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January 6, 2014 / thackersam

January 5 – Sunday – Lee Michaels – Recital

Lee Michaels-RecitalThis is an earlier album. The cover shows a smiling Lee Michaels wearing a chain mail vest, and when you open it up, it reveals that he is standing in a pond naked, but for the chain mail vest, covering his genital area with pond debris. I thought it was hysterical at the time. Now I just don’t get it.

And I don’t remember a thing about this album, but it does help me understand where his one top ten hit, “Do You Know What I Mean” came from, later in his career in 1971. I had moved on by that time, but though I thought the song was not his best, I was happy for him. This album that came several years earlier was more poppish than the other two, but a weird pop. Reminds me a bit of the Grass Roots, a weird Grass Roots, with that trademark Lee Michaels falsetto.

My friend, who has been mentioned here before as my cohort in the cutting up of the 45s caper, and I, both still in junior high at the time, wanted to go see Lee Michaels in concert. He was playing in New York City at the Fillmore East. My friend’s mother was a businesswoman with an office in the fashion district. She was an executive with a bar in her office. I remind you, this was the late ‘60s. Most women were housewives like my mother had been until she became one of the few divorcees around. She was the only one I knew of till this time. The professional women were teachers or nurses. My friend’s mother was divorced and a fashion executive, and my mother stayed home. Mrs. R., we’ll call my friend’s mother, was apparently agreeable when approached with the notion of going to the concert and even wrote out the check for us to mail in with our ticket order. We were to come into the City and meet her at her office. She would take us to dinner, and drop us off at the Fillmore and pick us up at 11:00 to take the last train before midnight home. And she did. My mother was fine with it because she didn’t have to do anything, not even worry.

A boyfriend of about a dozen years ago, who is not the “ex” nor the one that looked like Bruce Springsteen, knowing that I had been to the Fillmore as a kid, bought me this book Live at the Fillmore East – A Photographic Memoir by Amalie R. Rothschild. The marquis in the cover photo reads “Bill Graham’s Fillmore East” then lists the current concerts and upcoming artists. The top line, serendipitously enough, lists the artists in this very concert – Moody, Michaels, Argent. It made me keep that boyfriend around a little longer.

But other than the three acts, the psychedelic Joshua Light Show, the playbill with the tarot card of the The Lovers on the front, and despite the anticipation and excitement, both then and now, coupled with my ability to recall minutia of yore, I don’t remember a thing about the concert, except for that darned drum solo by the Argent drummer, which, by the way, I thought was fantastic – then. Go figure. Oh, and that Mrs. R. came to get us at 11 as promised, halfway through the Moody Blues.

And so, we move on from this pivotal moment in my life to something completely different.fillmore e

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