The Value of Entertainers in Our Lives

Thank YouI don’t remember a time when strangers singing songs or acting out a story were not part of my life. As a kid in the 70s, I had already formed an attachment to some and called them my favourites.

K. C. and the Sunshine Band, Donna Fargo and Marty Robbins brightened my days with their music, and I sang along with every song. John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Linda Carter (Wonder Woman) and  Lindsay Wagner (Bionic Woman) entertained me on the small and big screen, bringing stories to life and enhancing my dreams. The Waltons felt like watching family as there were so many of us and so many of them, and I had always felt like Elizabeth Walton.

The 80s delivered artists such as Bryan Adams, Alabama and John Cougar to my ears. I was in Heaven listening to my Mountain Music and when told to turn off the radio, I’d say, “I Ain’t Even Done with the Night.” I was a teenage, eager to run and see where life would take me, but I also had my down times, and songs like Lonely Ol’ Night and Missing You got me through rough days when my engines revved so high I thought I could jump the moon but couldn’t because I was only 17, and days my heart ached so bad I thought it would break wide open and bleed out.

In the 80s, I was right there with cousins Bo and Luke Duke and Daisy on The Dukes of Hazzard because me and my many cousins were always up to no good on back roads.

I didn’t watch much TV or many movies in the 90s, so I never had a favourite and nothing stands out, but I had my music. New singers mixed with the old ones and my mixed tapes held everything from Tom T. Hall to Loverboy, Dolly Parton to Heart.

I’ve attended too many concerts to count, but it’s a fair guess to say I’ve seen more than a hundred singers on stage. They include Alabama, Eddie Eastman, Platinum Blonde, Carol Baker, Reba McEntire, John Cougar, Clint Black, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Haywire, Waylon Jennings, Alan Jackson, Lisa Brokop, Rod Stewart, Tim Hicks, Huey Lewis and the News and the list goes on.

Bryan Adams RecklessLast week, Bryan Adams visited Halifax once again. I first saw him in concert in 1984 (maybe ’85, I’d have to dig out my book and check the ticket), and to this day, I have not experienced a concert like that. He played for two solid hours, and I knew every song. I sang, I danced and I almost fell off the backs of the chairs I was standing on most of the night. The girl in front of me did, but we caught her and she went right back to dancing.

I also saw him in concert four years ago, so you know I’m a fan. I have several cassettes, an album or two (one signed, won from the radio station), a few 45s (including Diana) and CDs.

Bryan Adams, Diane TibertWe often don’t get a chance to thank entertainers personally, looking them in the eye and shaking their hands, for all the music they’ve given us over the years. In many ways, they are untouchable.

However, the stars aligned last week, and after a leisurely breakfast at the hotel my sister and I stayed in, we went to check out. While my sister was Taking Care of Business, I was standing behind her and gazing around the almost empty lobby. When my eyes fell upon the man at the next counter, I thought, “He looks familiar. I know him.” Then it dawned on me. That’s Bryan Adams.

I nonchalantly stepped sideways towards him. We made eye contact and he turned to greet me. That’s when I had an opportunity of a life time. I told him I was a teen of the 80s and enjoyed his music all through high school. He told me he was sorry about that. We laughed, and I asked if I could shake his hand. We did, and then I said, “Can I give you a hug?” The answer was yes. So I hugged him, and thanked him for all the great songs.

When I released him, I asked if I could have a picture taken. He graciously said yes, and my sister took a picture of us. Then he snatched the phone from my sister’s hand and said, “Now all three.” So we squished together for another picture.

After we parted, I said to my sister, “Imagine how horrible life would be if we didn’t have entertainers who do what they do. Could you imagine a world without musicians? A world with no music?”

Music lifts me up, gives me hope, makes me cry and delivers many other emotions. Music can say what our mouths refuse to divulge, and it keeps me company every day. I am never alone when music is playing.

I’ll leave you with my favourite song by Bryan Adams. It’s a live acoustic version of Heaven. Of course, as many songs do, this one makes me think of a certain individual. In my mind, he became attached to this song back in the 80s, and if I live to be a hundred, his face will still come to mind every time I hear it.

Have you had the opportunity to say thank you to one of your favourite musicians, actors or authors?

4 thoughts on “The Value of Entertainers in Our Lives

  1. What an incredible opportunity to meet a favourite musician and to be able to thank him for all the great music. I too love Bryan Adams and Summer of ’69 will always be my theme song. My first New Years Eve here in Spain we tuned into BBC and Bryan was playing in London. I was delighted to have a home town boy see us into the New Year. I have also been to a number of concerts, including Neil Diamond, Lionel Richie, The Eagles and Tina Turner. I’ve met Gordon Lightfoot in person, another very nice Canadian.

    • I haven’t seen any of those artists, but I’d love to. I remembered you loved Bryan Adams, too. I’m always amazed at how his concerts make me feel; they are energized even though it’s very basic. He simply sings so well and adds enough stories to entertain a crowd. He’s all over the stage and engages with the audience.

      At this concert, a fan asked to play guitar on Summer of ’69, and Bryan’s first answer was, “No!” After two songs, he asked him to come up on stage, and the man played right along with the band. It was awesome, and a chance of a lifetime for that fan.

  2. I started this year with a bang, and now I don’t know how to top it in the remaining eleven months. I’ll have to work hard at it.

    I’ve listened to a lot of Neil Diamond songs, too. My parents, born in the 1920s, had their era of music I enjoyed, and then my older siblings played their songs from the 60s and 70s. I enjoy most of it.

    Sweet memories of our childhood stick with us like tree sap. Missed opportunities of love always make me think, “What if?”

  3. A wonderful story, Diane. It is so awesome that you got to meet Bryan Adams!

    I spent the majority of my teen years in the late 70s but I can relate to the music, movies, and TV shows you mention. Neil Diamond was my musician of choice during that time. When I fell in love for the first time at the tender age of 14, Forever in Blue Jeans was my love song. She, on the other hand, was my best friend’s sister and 16. She wanted nothing to do with me. LOL

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