Daddy was a road warrior. Whether by nature or nurture, he instilled in me the love of the road that has served me well throughout my life. My parents divorced when I was 4, and Daddy's take on solo parenting involved tossing me and a bag of clothes into the land yacht and revisiting all of the places he had been in his youth.
So we traveled – from Baltimore, where he arrived in America in 1895, to Terre Haute, where he left in a covered wagon to homestead Oklahoma territory in 1905; from Alaska, where he mined for gold, to West Virginia, where he mined coal. Pennsylvania (steel factories) to Wyoming (wheat harvest) to San Francisco (shipbuilding), we followed the arc of his careers from professional boxer to union organizer.
As I got older, my road trips were with other people. And, most often, they involved concerts. There are still performers I would drive 1,000 miles to see with one day’s notice. This is about my first such trip.
I returned home this morning after a few days in the hospital. This diary could very easily have been a health care rant. Very easily. What in the hell has happened to health care in this country? The sanitary standards have sunk far below acceptable. Not even one registered nurse per FLOOR. I had Case managers, PCRs, ISAs. But no one – NO ONE – to change the sheets on the bed.
Fortunately, you were saved from that by Turner Classic Movies, which had The Last Waltz on at 3:00 a.m. this morning. Instant memory overload. Those were some good times. If you haven’t seen it, you need to check it out. If you don’t know about The Band, some of it won’t mean much to you, but there is more music than anything, and that is as good today as it was in 1976.
My first concert road trip was to see The Band and Bob Dylan in Chicago 1974. I had just turned 11. We had heard about the concert earlier in the week late one night while listening to WLS, so on Jan. 2 six of us piled into a VW beetle and drove to Chicago. Through some fluke, this first concert of their US tour had not been advertised, so we were able to walk up a buy tickets for $10.00 (stadium floor, 5 rows back – I couldn’t hear for a week afterward). But by the time the concert started, they were playing to an overflow crowd. Later that month, I managed to catch the tour again in Atlanta. Although I've seen Dylan many times since, it was the last time I would see The Band perform togeher live. The Last Waltz was filmed a year or so later, during The Band’s final tour.
Let’s face it, any film where the first frame is:
This film should be played LOUD
is off to a great start. And The Last Waltz lives up to those expectations. While perhaps not Martin Scorsese's greatest film, The Last Waltz is high on my list of favorite films. Not only does it reunite Ronnie Hawkins with the Band he formed in 1958 (and left in 1963), it includes performances by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Emmylou Harris, and Neil Young. And a few more old-timers like Dr. John, Ringo Starr, Ron Wood, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Buttterfield. There are some others. See if you can pick them out from this video, the finale to The Last Waltz.
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Tonight’s Top Comments
ManfromMiddletown shows why execs work against the interests of their companies in Trapper John's Backwards and in Heels.
Inquisitive Raven demonstrates the difficulties of being theocratically correct in GernBlanzten’s hopeful Has Chris "Tweety" Matthews been sacked for the night?
And tonight’s Top Mojo, courtesy of my hero, BeninSC:
Top Mojo - excluding search-identifiable tip jars and first diary comments (top 30 of each plus ties):
1 Dr. Harrison has been adding his voice... by rserven - 176
2 Format by Keith Olbermann - 154
3 Have I Gone Utterly INSANE?? by IndianaDemocrat - 154
4 Teenager? by Miss Blue - 136
5 Fiction? by Miss Blue - 124
6 He is a disgrace by turneresq - 108
7 Ha by matthewcc - 105
8 I'm not a black voter by Jonathanonymous - 104
9 Dr. Harrison has earned respect by Caneel - 103
10 Terry Gilliam by Keith Olbermann - 96
11 And that is my point. by Delaware Dem - 92
12 I'm one of those Jekyl..... by Christin - 91
13 Please stay...this will all be over very soon and by Chamonix - 81
14 Re: Negative Comments by jlemere - 80
15 Hillary's loss is Edwards gain by FishOutofWater - 77
16 And therefore you need... by rserven - 77
17 that's what I heard on KO last night... by grannyhelen - 75
18 And Cris Collinsworth by Keith Olbermann - 75
19 It wouldn't be objectionable in the slightest by wilco920 - 73
20 I think the Orwell portrait serves a purpose... by KingOneEye - 72
21 Thanks for this diary. by JedReport - 72
22 Ok, shamelessly pushing my tag line. n/t by snafubar - 70
23 Yea, Verily It Is Written In The Book Of Obediah by Keith Olbermann - 68
24 the same "well-read" lawyer by TexH - 68
25 Yes! Let's hope it's not an outlier. by JustAngry - 67
26 Sibel Edmonds case would be a good place to start by saildude - 66
27 Which would explain why he won Iowa by a ... by leevank - 65
28 Methinks by marcvstraianvs - 65
29 The diarist is a well respected physician, by godislove - 65
30 Keith, I watched it live tonight. by psycho liberal - 64
Top Mojo - everything included:
1 Tip Jar by Keith Olbermann - 761
2 tip jar by teacherken - 305
3 Tip Jar by lenzkrafterz - 293
4 Tip jar for those so inclined... by slinkerwink - 252
5 Tip jar (n/t) by leevank - 215
6 Dr. Harrison has been adding his voice... by rserven - 177
7 tips for a better America by Stroszek - 166
8 tip jar by lukery - 161
9 Format by Keith Olbermann - 154
10 Have I Gone Utterly INSANE?? by IndianaDemocrat - 154
11 Tips for the Obamathon by Populista - 150
12 and here is one who will work for the movement by clammyc - 150
13 Tips/Recs for Obama by dansac - 141
14 Teenager? by Miss Blue - 137
15 Samantha Power by kid oakland - 128
16 Fiction? by Miss Blue - 124
17 Good bye by Kevvboy - 124
18 Tip Jar by OneCarolinaGirl - 119
19 Tips by turneresq - 116
20 Tips for a good showing by TomP - 115
21 what i have been hearing by AntonBursch - 114
22 He is a disgrace by turneresq - 111
23 My other FP by sobermom - 109
24 Tip jar... by grannyhelen - 106
25 Ha by matthewcc - 105
26 I'm not a black voter by Jonathanonymous - 104
27 Dr. Harrison has earned respect by Caneel - 104
28 Tips/flames for rael media coverage by JeremiahFP - 99
29 Tips for holding Democrats accountable by Charles Chamberlain - 99
30 Terry Gilliam by Keith Olbermann - 96