The Act 2 Column last week by Alan H. Fallick ("Moody memories, never reaching the end") gave readers a chance to relive their concert of a lifetime.
I was a high school junior living in Brooklyn and infatuated with The Beatles. A local radio station held a lottery for tickets to the concert at Shea Stadium [August 1965]; mail in a postcard for an opportunity to win two tickets. One postcard was all it took -- surprise, I won.
My plus-one was a high school senior I was as infatuated with as I was with The Beatles. We rode trains to the stadium, eager to hear our favorite songs and so excited to be a part of history. Well, we did get to see The Beatles that night. But hearing them sing was an insurmountable challenge. The stadium was filled with girls screaming at the top of their lungs, drowning out every bit of music. Jeff and I just shook our heads, laughed, and were thrilled to be part of the experience.
Forty years later, another surprise arrived in the mail. Jeff's daughter works in the music industry. She sent her Dad a rough recording of that very concert. He tracked me down and sent me a copy of that CD. Finally, I did get to hear some of the music The Beatles sang that night (accompanied by the screaming)!
Team blocked for Frank
It was 1948, and I was a student at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the Bronx. One of the school's alums worked for Frank Sinatra's agent and was able to get him to appear at our school for a concert.
It was fun to see how the football team had to encircle him and walk him into the auditorium to protect him from us bobby-soxers. He looked so lost among all those bruisers. I can't remember what he sang, only how excited we were and how adorable he looked on our stage.
--Lee Cohen, East Meadow
My Supremes moment
Back in the mid-'60s, my sister and I adored The Supremes. We would put on little shows, performing their songs for our brother and parents. We each used the end of a jump rope as a microphone. We were thrilled when my mother told us she was taking us and a couple of friends to see The Supremes at the Westbury Music Fair. The opening song was "Stop! In the Name of Love." Diana Ross' hand popped out from behind a curtain, as if giving the "Stop!" signal. Then all The Supremes appeared, and we just went crazy with excitement. At one point, Ross invited all the kids onto the stage to dance. My mother tried to get me to join in, but I was too shy. To this day, I think it's pretty cool that my first concert was The Supremes!
--Maureen Law, Babylon
Wrinkled but still great
My gift for my 50th birthday in 2003 . . . 13th row to see the world's greatest rock band -- the Rolling Stones -- at Madison Square Garden. My love affair with the Stones started at age 11, when they made their appearance in the States on "The Ed Sullivan Show" as part of the British music invasion. This followed the life-changing event of The Beatles' appearance on Sullivan, but these guys were different. Long hair, scruffy, gyrating onstage, they piqued my interest as the antithesis of the cute "yeah, yeah, yeah" Beatles and were quickly labeled the bad boys of rock and roll. The Stones continued to have hit after hit, as I ventured to my local record store to purchase the newest 45 or latest album, gazing at those scruffy bad boys on the cover. Decade after decade, they stayed on top as they continued to tour; I aged along with them and loved them every step of the way.
I was very excited to see them in 2003, but I wasn't sure how they would be performing live at this point in their careers. They did not disappoint.
As Mick Jagger struts out onstage and the band starts playing, I am suddenly transformed to my teenage self, singing along and dancing in the aisle, at which point the security guard says to me, "Ma'am please go back to your seat." They played hit after hit, many times turning some songs into bluesy jams that transcended me to a different time and place. Of course they did not look as good as they played; the wrinkles were there in full regalia and looking at them bigger than life on the giant screen could be disconcerting.
I said to myself, "Don't look at them on the screen, just concentrate on Mick's moves." However, I could not take my eyes off Keith Richards, who looks like he has been to the dregs of the Earth and back, but looked like the happiest person in the world, playing songs that he could probably play in his sleep, as he says his classic line, "Glad to be here . . . glad to be anywhere." Indeed.
The Stones are like fine wine, aged to perfection and delivering what the fans want. As the Stones celebrate their 50th anniversary in the music world, they remain to me the world's greatest rock band.
--Gina Kelly, New Hyde Park
Janis Joplin stands out
It was in the late '60s on a perfect summer night.
Janis was performing alone, without Big Brother and the Holding Company. She came out with a bottle of Southern Comfort, put it on top of the piano and told the police to either get off the stage or she's not going to sing.
They "graciously" obeyed.
Although it was about 45 years ago, in my mind, I remember it as if it were just last week.
--Mike Porto, Long Beach
Legend with an 'L'
Was the movie "Cabaret" really 40 years ago? That was when I really fell in love with Sally Bowles -- better known as Liza Minnelli. She won the Academy Award for best actress for her performance. To me, she was the best actress, best singer and best dancer -- the perfect star!
When I bought tickets to see her perform at the NYCB Theater at Westbury last month, I didn't know what to expect. After all, she is Hollywood royalty -- the daughter of Judy Garland. She appeared in countless movies, performances and TV shows. You can usually judge the performance at Westbury from the crowd attending. There were some people my age, but many older. Several attendees sported walkers, and one was spotted bringing his own oxygen!
Liza approached the stage to a deafening roar and standing ovation. This audience response continued after almost every song. Even though Liza often ran out of breath and couldn't hit the high notes as she hobbled around the stage (she broke her leg last year), the audience was very forgiving. After all, how often do you get to see a living legend?!
--Elysa Parker, North Woodmere