Sunday, May 09, 2010

Random Arizona Anecdote: Night & Day

My previous post reminded me of a strange story. Looking back on it, it almost seems like a peculiar dream.

It was the 10th of November, 1982, and Joe Jackson was playing at the U of A Main Auditorium (the same place I saw the B52s earlier that year). I don't know why, but for some reason I was in the area by myself that night, probably using the U of A library for some paper for school, and I remembered that he was playing, and I really liked Joe Jackson (and still do). Oddly, I ran into my friend Lenny Mello, a notorious Tucson punk rocker known for his safety-pin-festooned face and tall "liberty spikes" mohawk. A lot of people thought Lenny was a bit much to deal with, but I liked him.

I mentioned to him that Joe Jackson was probably just starting at the auditorium, and he said, to my surprise, "Let's go! I like him!" I pointed out to him that the show had probably already started, and we didn't have tickets. "Oh, I know how to get in there," he said with a shrug, "C'mon!".  And before I knew it, we were tumbling through a window into the basement bathrooms of the auditorium. Shortly we made our way up a couple of staircases and into the main part of the building, effortlessly moving through the lobby and into the show.

And, wow, Joe Jackson was just amazing, sitting at the piano with a small combo. And the whole time I'm thinking, "Does Lenny really like this?" It was funny to see him nodding his mohawked head to the kinda Cole Porter stuff Joe Jackson was doing.

But this was Jackson at the top of his game. I don't know how anybody couldn't have been impressed with that performance. Lenny loved it, but was a little embarrassed: "Not really my kind of thing... but damn." Really.

10 comments:

Madduane said...

Cool Mr. Tucson story. I wonder what that guy's up to these days...

Matty Boy said...

I loved Elvis Costello back then, and I bought both "Imperial Bedroom" and Jackson's "Night and Day" on the same trip to the record store. I was listening to both with my pal and bandmate Padre Mickey. Neither of us warmed to the new Elvis album on the first listen, but we loved the Joe Jackson.

My opinion of "Imperial Bedroom" has improved over the years. I still love "Night and Day", Joe's shot at being a New Yorker.

Danielk said...

I want to put in a good word for RAIN, Joe's latest album and a damn good return to form.

REVO said...

Wow.. The Night & Day tour was the FIRST "rock concert" I ever attended. I was 19 years old, and growing up in Orlando, Florida, NONE of the artists I liked ever came within spitting distance of The South. If you liked Ted Nugent, that was another story. He was practically a resident as he showed up at every "Rock Superbowl" the local clothead FM station sponsored.

Nixie Bunny said...

Lenny is still around. He's considerably more tattooed these days.

I enjoyed that concert as well. But I had a good seat.

coronaboomboom said...

This reminds me of once seeing George Benson. I couldn't stand his music, but somebody gave me 2nd row tix at a beautiful restored theatre, during the New Orleans Jazz Festival, no less. And of course the show was insanely good, as was Benson himself. Unforgettable.

Christopher said...

Well that was tasting googling. I mean I figured from the description that Lenny Mello was a looker, but hello there!

Peteykins said...

Right, this is him.

Jason Zenobia said...

Love the personal stories. This and the 5-52's post below - Fantastic!

Keep 'em coming.

Karen Zipdrive said...

Wow, I literally wore that Night & Day album out. It was on vinyl and I played it until the grooves sort of ran together.
And another wow, I accidentally ended up at a George Benson concert at the Universal Amphitheater in L.A. and that guy was so good in concert I was shocked.
And speaking of sneaking into concert venues, my g/f and I once snuck into the symphony auditorium in Springfield, Mass to hear a Verdi opera. Nerdy much?