Author: Judd, Brooks

Ten Items or Less

Beginning thought: Rice is a good meal if you like 1,000 of something.
Item 1: Last week I was leading my weekly bible study group for some of our neighborhood youngsters. Each weekly session has a theme, and the young faithful would brainstorm to come up with ideas they would share. Since Easter was fast approaching I felt a thoughtful discussion about the ramifications of the Resurrection would be appropriate.

I began the meeting in the usual way. “OK, children who here would like to share what they know about the Resurrection? As usual the smiling and beaming faces would immediately turn downward toward the floor and the fidgeting and nervous coughs began in earnest. Chairs would begin to teeter uncomfortably back and forth followed by a long silence.

I waited a few seconds and said in a louder voice, “C’mon kids SOMEOME must know something about the Resurrection.” One of my younger charges meekly raised his hand as if it were going to be dipped into a vat of hot oil. “Zachariah, great! Would you like to share with us?” Zachariah painfully stood up, looked around nervously, and said, “Mr. Judd, sir, I know that the resurrection is dangerous.” “Zach, exactly how is it dangerous?” I responded. “Well, Zach said, “I know that if you have a resurrection that lasts for more than four hours you are supposed to go to the hospital and see a doctor.”

Item 2: I received an e-mail from my sister, Maria. She was sharing with me her current activities, visiting with old friends, seeing bluegrass shows and booking her ever increasing number of popular bluegrass groups. Then out of nowhere my sister drops the BS bomb. She e-mails, “Oh yeh, I almost forgot. Megan received a call from an executive at Capital Records the company that Bob Seger records for. He wants her to play on his tour for the next couple of months. I shut my eyes, and suddenly it was May 1978 and I was back in our beautiful home in the Oakland hills that Sheila’s parents had rented out to us for three glorious years. Bob Seger was coming to play the Oakland Coliseum in just a couple of weeks and I was determined to get tickets.

“I was a little too tall, could have used a few pounds…… working on those night moves, trying to lose those awkward teenage blues… in the summertime.” Night Moves….Bob Seger.

Item 3: I loved Bob’s music and going to the concert was a must. I was running the KFC warehouse at the time and I had a good friend, Mike, who managed the Kentucky Fried Chicken store in Hayward. Mike shared a house in Fremont with two other guys. One of his room mates worked for Bill Graham Productions. Mike could get Sheila and me tickets at cost for the shows at the Oakland Coliseum. We had seen Eric Clapton, Journey, The Who etc. using Mike as our Ticketmaster. The seating wasn’t always in a prime section but the shows were certainly worth it. Also, there were none of those pesky 15% fees added to the cost of the ticket.

I told Mike how much I wanted to see Bob Seger and he immediately obtained our tickets. Sheila (7 months pregnant with Rhiannon) and I were excited about going to the show. We made the short ride to the Coliseum, parked, and walked to the theater. Inside we found an usher to show us to our seats. The first usher led us to a second usher, who smiled and led us downstairs toward the stage. We were briskly led down the main aisle and finally stopped three rows from the stage. She aimed her flashlight at our seats. I thought there must have been some sort of the mistake. We had never been this close before. Thank you, Mike.

We excitedly sat down and I got our little camera. We were so close to the stage that when Bob came out with the Silver Bullet Band and began to sing. I could count the eyelets on his black canvas tennis shoes and see the first flecks of gray that were showing up in his beard. I’ve still got the photos. It was a wonderful show full of energetic old time rock and roll. We loved it. Sheila said she could feel Rhiannon’s tiny unborn feet kicking in time to the beat of Bob’s tunes.

Bob is a rock and roll legend. Through all these past 30+ years Bob has remained loyal to his fans, his music and rock and roll. He is one aging entertainer who doesn’t feel the need to dye his hair or beard. There is no need for face lifts or Botox for Bob. He still wears his black Levis, canvas shoes, black shirt and vest. Rock and roll never forgets and Bob never forgot his roots.
I looked at the e-mail again. I reread that line again and again. BOB SEGER!! What an opportunity. Megan had just finished up a four year stint with Pam Tillis. When they played at the Gallo Center in Modesto Megan kindly got tickets for Sheila and me that had us pretty much sitting on Pam’s lap. Maria also has a very good friend whose daughter has been playing violin in Rod Stewart’s band for 15 years or so. Whenever Rod comes to Northern California Maria will give me a call and say, “Brooks, you and Sheila can have tickets and back stage passes if you want.” We had never taken up her Maria on her generous offer but maybe just maybe Maria might have access to tickets to Bob’s show. Better yet maybe we could get backstage passes. I just can’t believe seeing Megan on stage right next to one of my rock and roll hero’s fiddling while Bob belts out another song.

I finally came back down to Earth and finished reading the e-mail. My excitement soon turned to dismay when I read that Megan was NOT going to take up Capital’s offer. Megan was too busy with her successful fiddle camp, and she had recently been asked to teach at the Walker Creek Music camp in April. Severely disappointed I was still curious how this all came about so I asked Maria to give me the details.

This is what she told me: “Someone that Megan was in a music program with in junior high has silently been watching Megan’s career. She followed Megan on Face Book but never contacted Megan. They haven’t seen each other or talked to each since high school. This girl married a Capital Records executive and when he came home the other night and said Bob Seger needed a new fiddle player, this gal suggested Megan. They looked up all her stuff on the internet and decided to offer her the job. Amazing how things happen, isn’t it?”

Item 4: I wiped the tears of disappointment from my face as I wrote back to my sister how excited I was for Megan to have been asked to play with Bob Seger. Megan said she was excited to have been asked to go on tour with Bob, but told Maria that she was more thrilled when she was asked by the execs at Capital to recommend another fiddler to go on Bob’s tour.

Item 5: Every cloud has a silver lining. Just a short time after the e-mail rollercoaster ride with Megan and Bob, I read that Weird Al Yankovic had been hired to play at the Stanislaus Fair this summer. God does have a sense of humor.

Until May, read a book, hug a child, pet a dog, stroke a cat, eat a bar of chocolate and Go Giants!

Posted:  4/5/2013

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