Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Brendan and I had a great time Tuesday night. Yet, I almost missed Willie Nelson at the show last night at Radio City Music Hall (RCMH) in NYC. Dropped off my pistol at a local NYPD precinct for safe-keeping while I was to be at RCMH because those bastards have a very restrictive policy for armed patrons -  not allowed in unless you are active duty NYPD. Could have left it home but the way I figure it, I was not about to travel to NYC unarmed at least part of the trip. Luckily, the NYPD showed me the courtesy to voucher my pistol while I would be in the show. The only catch, I had to pick it up by 11PM which at the time I thought would be fine because last show I saw him at, Willie played for less than an hour. That done, we decided to grab something to eat because we had about an hour and a half before show time. We picked a local pub and while the food only was mediocre at best, the ciders were cold and tasty (Strongbow) and the service was excellent.
 Then we walked over to RCMH. When we got close the RCMH, it was pretty obvious as to some of whom among the crowd would be seeing the same show. I gave up wearin cowboy boots about 20 years ago but the babe in the red dress in the first pic looked pretty good in them. There were quite a few big city cowgirls around! Brendan and me moved on and  entered the hall. First things first, a head call, then right to the bar. We got a couple of beers (Blue Moon), found our seats and sooner than later the show was on.

The first group, don't know their name, started around 8PM and played for 45 minutes. The lead singer was a babe in a pretty short black and she had legs, all the way up to there! But yes, even though the dress was short and the legs were long, I still noticed she and the band were very good. She had a voice, if not of an angel then of one in training. They played as long as Willie hd at the last show at which I had seen him and that was a good omen that maybe he would play longer but maybe a bad one too as you will see. Then a break to set up for second band.

Not only could this lady sing, she played a mean fiddle.
The second group, Alison Krauss (she holds 27 Grammy awards as of 2012) and Union Station, was very good, played for 1.5 to 1.75 hours from about 9PM or so. Then at about 1040 or so, during their last song, I left to pick up the iron while the band was still playing. Told my son if I did not get back in time to stay and just enjoy I. We were both bummed out because I would not likely get in again. He texted me that Willie was just starting up a moment or two after I had left the police precinct with my piece.
As I approached RCMH, I was thinking of how to grovel and beg so security would allow me inside while armed. Let me just say I got back in with no chicanery on my part, I told the guard I was armed an as  was doing so with ticket and ID in hand he told me something very lose to this: 'Go ahead, my supervisor told me you're okay, you can go inside no check'. I had just passed by an obvious supervisor while walking in. Let me put it this way, while the first singer of the night only may have been an angel in training, this guy was a prince of angels and he did not have to sing a single note for sweeter words to have been heard. Better luck than that I have not had in a long time. In I was without delay and there was Willie or as Johnny Cash would have said - The Man In Black.

I got back inside to my seat just as he started song number four. I cannot for the life of me remember which one it was but I do remember it was great. My son was pretty surprised to see me - butnot as surprised as me that I not only got back inside to see Willie but that I had approval from security. As for Willie, he was Willie as usual. He smiled, and sang, and joked, and commented and through some of his sweat laden bandanas to the ladies who cherished them like diamonds. He crooned on and on and on for about an hour and a half. That was much longer than when we saw him last year in Westbury, NY where he played for all of 45 minutes and I have to say that it pleased me and Brendan no end because the show was excellent.

Willie is one hell of a musician and singer and when you consider that he is in his young eighties it is amazing that he is as good as ever. Maybe there a little different timber to his voice, as to be expected, than 20 or 30 or 40 years ago but his singing is as mystical as holly, strong as an oak, wistful as a willow and come to the listener like a gentle breeze rushing through the leaves on sultry summer's night. At the end of the show, he was gracious enough to call everyone out on stage, all of the performers and whomever else came out with them and they sang the final song of the night together along with Willie and the audience.

All the best,

PS: I forgot to add this, so will do it here. I probably never had to worry about being searched while walking into RCMH in the first place. As Brendan and I walked in (the first time for me) guess who got selected to be searched and who was allowed to walk in unimpeded. Just go back up top and look at the shirt he is wearing and you'll be able to figure it but if not I'll just say it wasn't me who got stopped. I wonder why?