Monday, May 31, 2010


What a perfect show.

I think I could just post their play list and it would be enough to make everyone who has reached a certain age sigh in happy reminiscence. These are the songs that become tangled up in our very existence; rendering themselves inseparable from the memories of times past. I sat next to a long-lost/new-found friend who leaned over to me at one point and whispered, eyes shining, clearly retrieving a memory she hadn't dusted off in years, "A friend wrote that lyric in my high school yearbook."

You've got to wake up every morning with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart. ~ Carole King, Beautiful

I reached over to hold my husband's hand. I reached across him with my other hand to hold my daughter's hand. I leaned my head into my friend's shoulder. Tom thought I was being a little silly, I could tell, but it was a wonderful moment.

Shower the people you love with love, show them the way you feel. ~ James Taylor, Shower the People

My best friend in the middle school years and I listened to her Tapestry album so many times I'm surprised we didn't wear it out. We sang every song, word for word; note for note, over and over and over. We hadn't experienced many of the complexities of life yet, but Ms. King paved the path for us. That friend was taken from this world in a most untimely manner a few years back, making those memories even more poignant for me.

It doesn't help to know that you're so far away. ~ Carole King, So Far Away

They closed the second set, as I'd suspected they would, with You've Got a Friend. They performed it as a beautiful duet, sitting side by side, their long and loving friendship obvious in their body language. Tom and I played that song to introduce the bridal party at our wedding.

Close your eyes and think of me, and soon I will be there - to brighten up even your darkest night. ~ Carole King, You've Got a Friend

It was an amazing show, performed on a revolving stage to make every seat in the house a good seat. Carole King is gorgeous. I don't mean gorgeous for her age (68, according to the ever reliable Wikipedia), I mean flat out gorgeous. It would be tempting to say that she seemed most comfortable seated behind the piano, because that certainly was a natural placement for her, but she seemed equally at ease strapping on a guitar for one or two songs - indulging in guitar hero poses that delighted me to my core. When she was not seated behind the piano, she owned the stage - dancing, engaging the audience, and smiling - always smiling - her beautiful, wide, easy, real smile - all in ridiculously high and skinny heels. Well, you just go on and GO, girl!

Now I'm no longer doubtful, of what I'm living for, and if I make you happy I don't need to do more ~ Carole King, Natural Woman

James Taylor's voice has not changed a bit. He presents as humble, in a manner that is charming, sweet, real and - dare I say it? - sexy as hell. He looks a little older, but still younger than his 62 years (again, per Wikipedia) would indicate appropriate. But his voice? - virtually unchanged. I kept thinking that if I closed my eyes, it would be pretty easy to melt years - decades - away. I didn't, though. Not for longer than the time it took to blink. I didn't want to miss a thing.

So close your eyes, you can close your eyes; it's all right. I don't know no love songs, and I can't sing the blues anymore, but I can sing this song, and you can sing this song when I'm gone. ~ James Taylor, You Can Close Your Eyes

I thought You've Got a Friend would be the end. When you're Carole King and James Taylor, where do you go from there? How could there be a more perfect ending for this show? They left the stage to thunderous applause and I did not anticipate an encore. Except - the house lights didn't come up. And that means...

Up on the roof we went. I was pretty emotional at this point. These two amazing and prolific talents had stirred up quite a lot of memories. I tried to subtly wipe a tear from my eye without being noticed. In doing so, my head turned slightly to the left, and there was my friend rubbing both eyes with her fists. I threw subtlety to the wind. It's highly overrated anyway. We went ahead and openly wept. It had been quite a ride.

When this old world starts getting me down, and people are just too much for me to face, I'll climb right up to the top of the stairs, and all my cares just drift right into space. ~ James Taylor, Up On The Roof

I'm not a huge fan of live albums, but I may buy this one. And I'm going to listen to it with my eyes closed.


Sandy said...

I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THIS SHOW! I already knew that but reading your post makes me look forward to it even more. I did wear out a copy of Tapestry. And I, too, could sing every word, every note....hopefully still can.

And one of those that you highlighted....was the song I shared with my ex. Still can make me a little wistful, for my youth if not him!

Cheryl said...

Oh crap, Tammy! I've had such a sucktastic week and this put me right over the edge. I long to be footloose and fancy free once again. Not younger, just freer. I remember all of those songs and what I believed were endless possibilities. Time for a change.

Mandy's Life After 30 said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your experience with us! Those are two of the best writers and performers of all time. They just don't write lyrics this soulful anymore!

Sing it loud, sing it proud, in the dark or with light. Just sing it and remember it, with eyes opened or closed Tammy! Enjoy!

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

Thanks for this! I never thought about buying the album based on this tour, but what a great idea.

blueviolet said...

You are so incredibly lucky to have been able to see them. It sounds perfect, truly perfect.

MiMi said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time!!!
So nice. :) And you got to share it with the ones you love.

Pam said...

Sounds like a wonderful concert and experience. I'm always amazed at how music can instantly transport you back in time and/or elicit an emotional response. Sounds like this concert did both.

Katie Gates said...

Tammy, So happy to have found your blog through WOW. This is a great posting. The picture you painted reminded me, in some ways, of the early 80s Simon & Garfunkel Central Park concert in NYC. I kept thinking they'd sung all their hits, and then there were more. And to see such classic performers is truly a bonding experience between and among everyone in the audience. Thanks for sharing that enviable experience.