#1512 Day 14 of getting there: Like a Virgin in 1985

It was Sunday night dinner, so that also meant it was everyone-picks-a-song-they-want-from-youtube night.

When it was my time I threw a super curveball at Hubbie, as it was nothing I had requested before… “Can you see if you can find Madonna, Dress You Up, live?”

He found the original clip for the song, which was from her Like A Virgin tour as I’d wanted… but it was the official video, and so the studio recording was used as the audio, NOT the live concert version.

And I KNEW the difference.

I knew, because back when I was 12 years old, there was a 3 month period where my parents succumbed to cable TV. It was meant to stay at $30 a month, so when it went up by a few bucks after that initial period, they ordered me to call up and cancel… typical parents. ๐Ÿ˜‰

But in those 3 months, I purged on as much extra channels as I could. I watched heaps of Freddy Krueger sequels… tonnes of C-grade teen movies… and the best find of all, was Madonna’s 1985 Like A Virgin concert tour filmed in Detroit.

I inhaled this doco. I savoured it. I taped it, and watched it again and again and again. I knew most of the songs already, but then I learnt some of her lesser known hits like the rock-grungy Gambler, and super-catchy Over and Over.ย 

I learnt the dance moves. I picked up the bits where her concert version deviated from the album recordings. I knew every single phrase and word uttered in song and to the audience, every –

“That goes for you too Grandma!” at the start of Holiday.

Her emotional – “I gotta talk fast ’cause I might start crying,” when she addressed the audience.

“Do you wanna hear some more? I said, ‘do you wanna hear some more?'”

To her “I don’t need money I need love!” declaration during Material Girl.

Tonight, as I eventually found the original LIVE version on youtube, I realised I had found so much more.

Because I had found the complete concert.

!!!!

It was all there, the entire hour set.

I was rapt. :):):)

I sang and I danced. I gasped that I was still able to remember lines and conversations. I sang along as we finished dinner, I washed the dishes, and then I worked some more on our 1000 piece puzzle (yeah we were wrong when we thought it was only 500 or so… double that!)

It made me soooo happy. It took me back to my childhood. It took me back to a simpler time.

And oh, the 80s! What brilliant fun that was! Seeing the fashion, the hair, feeling the iconic music…

HOLIDAY!

I can’t believe it, I remembered it ALL.

“I went to New York, I had a dream.

I wanted to be a big star.

I didn’t know anybody.

I wanted to dance, I wanted to sing,

I wanted to do all those things,

I wanted to make people happy,

I wanted to be famousย 

I wanted everybody to love me,

I wanted to be a star

I worked really hard

And my dream came true.”

BANG! That is her Like a Virgin concert opening monologue and that all came from my head! BOOM! Word for word it is imprinted in there.

And just because, 80s music can save us all, here is the opener…

 

#1469 Legends Live at Wembley

It was a simple thing that made me happy today.

You don’t necessarily have to go to, let’s say, a Queen concert, to have a grateful day, right?

(It doesn’t hurt though ๐Ÿ˜‰)

You can just watch them on DVD, instead!

Which is what I did. If you think I wrote about Queen too much before Thursday night’s famed and unforgettable concert, you have another thing coming.

After seeing any performer/band live, I go a bit cray-cray and have to listen to their music for days, sometimes weeks on end.

I took out the Wembley DVD I’ve had for a while now, but sadly not watched a lot of, and started watching it today.

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They are so damn good. Energetic, their vibe is palpable, bursting off the stage with their powerful and unique brand of soul-thumping rock.

I just LโคVE it.

๐ŸŽต๐ŸคŸ๐Ÿ™

 

#1467 A crazy little thing tonight

I was driving in the car this evening, on my way to my musical destination.

I was on my way to see Queen.

Bona fide proper royalty. ๐Ÿ˜‰

And they were blasting out of the car too… but the crazy little thing was, the Queen I was listening to had Freddie Mercury, and the one I’d be seeing tonight had… Adam Lambert.

It’s another one of those crazy things, when someone or something you love is not there, and something else, or somebody else, stands in.

Tonight, Adam addressed the elephant in the room early on.

He was NO Freddie. He was a fan, just like we were.

And tonight he was going to pay tribute, the way he knew how, and the way that he could.

With those formalities out of the way, the show went on in superb style.

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Adam is a performer in his own right. He did an exceptional job bringing his take to Queen classics, and his vocal range is just as remarkable.

I loved some of his camp parades, and started to appreciate him in a whole other way.

He was somebody else to love.

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But perhaps most touching of all? When Brian May did the guitar solo for Love Of My Life, even singing the sweet words Freddie used to…

And then 3/4s through the song, Freddie suddenly appeared on stage, on a screen next to Brian.

It completely took me aback. I fumbled for my camera, trying to record the moment, while looking past the phone to the stage before me to take in… Freddie.

It was the closest I’d ever get to him. Being in this large arena, with all these thousands of people, with Brian on guitar and Roger on drums… and Freddie as a pre-recorded video… I realised, this was as good as it’s gonna get.

It was emotional and extremely humbling.

And yet, it was still one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and it was missing one very important frontman.

How would it have been like, if Freddie were there? Would he have been able to hit his high notes? Would he have paraded around in his undies or some other garish costume? Would he have done his operatic solo, competing against the crowd, only to say “fuck you,” with a cheeky smile at the end when they managed to keep up?

No one knows.

But what I do know, was that despite his physical absence, his spirit was definitely there tonight.

He was all around us, just as his music grows in influence and deepens connections and traverses continents and generations.

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I was thinking on the drive home, my head full of Queen and giddy from the experience… my relationship with Queen has grown like that of a friendship.

It started off as an acquaintance, grew to a friendship, merged to best friends…

And now, it’s true love.

“When I grow older

I will be there at your side

To remind you

How I still love you… (I still love you)

I still love you.”

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ช๐ŸŽต

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Best birthday present EVER. Thanks sis and bro. This one was definitely worth waiting for. โคโคโค

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#1463 So close to royalty at the firies concert

I wish we were in Sydney tonight in the crowd of thousands, watching artist after group after band perform on stage to raise money for the bushfire catastrophe that has gripped Australia and the rest of the world over the last couple of months.

Did I say artists? I meant legends.

We only caught the last couple of hours of the show on tv, but were there in time to watch Adam Lambert and Queen take to the stage.

Anyone following my blogs knows what I think about Queen.

๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคฉ

It was truly something special. My thoughts kept going from “how amazing is Adam Lambert” to –

“How can he stand up to Freddie Mercury?”

“Of course he can’t, he’s his own person.”

“But Freddie was the best.”

“But look how far Adam has come to be performing with Queen!”

To and fro, my thoughts, and my words to Hubbie next to me on the couch.

Then they put Freddie on screen doing his legendary operatic solo bit where the crowd copies him, and seeing him lighting up the darkness of the arena with his yellow outfit, so large and life-like, I swear it was like he was there.

๐Ÿ˜ช

But then baby girl came into the room, and I was a little on edge.

As way of explanation… we haven’t quite spoken about death with her. She knows that if you do something stupid (like run out onto a busy road, get caught in a fire, or don’t put sunscreen on) you can die.

Things like that I bluntly drill into her. Shock effect to make her listen.

But real-life death, death of those around us? As far as she gets it from what I can tell, there are people ‘here’ on earth, and then there are people who are not… the in-between from here to there I think she doesn’t comprehend, and as for ‘there,’ the concept is all a bit cartoon-like for her, like Ursula the sea witch being stabbed to death in The Little Mermaid, or Mother Gothel falling out the tower in Rapunzel.

It’s all a bit exaggerated and other-worldly.

Add to that my first experience understanding death when I was about her age… and the thought of making her as sad and scared as I had been, was devastating to even consider.

So when this rock star princess of ours entered the room to “We Will Rock You,” took one look at Adam and asked “where’s Freddie?” I knew it was the perfect opportunity to break into a discussiom about death with her, and it might even just work, because Freddie, wasn’t part of our extended family.

But then again… with the amount we played Queen around the house, he might as well have had his own bedroom downstairs.

“He’s not here tonight honey…” I shot a confused look at Hubbie, who just shrugged. He’d previously said that talking about the death of a celebrity was the perfect segue into real-life.

But now he was looking as reluctant as I was.

“… he’s not singing anymore,” I ended. I waited for her to ask, but the question didn’t come. She stared at the screen for a few moments, before turning to our cat on the couch.

“Mister F, who do you like better? Freddie Mercury or this guy?”

OH LOL.

“Mama, who do you like better, Freddie Mercury or this guy?”

“Freddie.”

Off she went to the other room to ask Hubbie who had just walked off, and I heard his answer as short, simple and brief as mine: “Freddie.”

“Baby girl, who do you prefer?” I asked as she came back in.

“Freddie Mercury!”

He almost is like a part of our family…. so that conversation will have to wait, for another day.

But for tonight at least… Adam and Queen brought him back to life.

You can still donate to the bushfire relief here: https://firefightaustralia.com/

Thank you. โค

#1406 The Christmas carols

My first intention for tonight was to head on down to the local carols in the park for some festive cheer and fun.

‘Twas not to be. Hubbie was tired from work and not ‘feeling it.’

We settled in for a night of carols on TV instead – if I couldn’t have them in person I had to have them someway, right?

“Don’t they do those on Christmas Eve?” Hubbie asked me.

Automatically I responded –

“Channel 7 do Carols in the Domain the Saturday before Christmas, in Sydney… Channel 9 do Carols by Candlelight on Christmas Eve from Melbourne.”

BAM! Just like that. All Christmas worded-up and everything.

Well I have been watching them all my life, I SHOULD KNOW.

Knowing the Wiggles were on in the first part of the night, we all sat down while baby girl asked repeatedly when they were going to be on.

She totally made up for it when they did arrive on screen, and she danced along to them while we watched her, revelling in her happiness and joy.

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There wasn’t a lot of quiet in our house tonight. We weren’t all seriously watching the carols and singing along with our flashlight features turned on on our phones… we were talking over one another, tuning in and out to songs on telly, singing along to some and talking about our goals for next year and just having the best time together.

We didn’t need no community park concert. We were all we needed.

And then I looked outside and – YES! – our new solar Christmas light was working!

It looked magical ๐Ÿ™‚

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My memories of Christmas carols stem way back. Growing up on Christmas Eve I’d sit in the lounge room with my Dad as they played, and Mum would come in and out, busy in her preparations for a big family Christmas lunch the next day. We would then wait up ’til midnight and exchange presents, wishing each other a Merry Christmas, and go to bed excited and buzzing that Christmas was finally here.

They are the best memories.

Well we made some of our own tonight. And though the night actually started out pretty average and flat… as soon as the carols started, something magical occurred in our lounge room.

It was, Christmas magic. โ™ฅ

#1394 The first Christmas concert

You can be sure when your child first enters the education system, you will quickly encounter a lot of firsts.

Their first excursion.

Their first award.

Their first sick bay visit.

Their first bestie.

Their first fight…

Their first, Christmas concert.ย ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽถ

“We’ve got a good number of years of this ahead of us,” I whispered to Hubbie as we lay on the picnic blanket on the school’s lawn this evening.

It was warm, and most of it was before the sudden 20 degree drop in temperature signalling the cool change.

There were Christmas songs… both in and out of key.

Traditional carols and contemporary tunes.

Daggy Christmas jokes: “What do you call someone scared of Santa?”

“Claus-trophobic.”

๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ™„

Oh God I know, they were so bad you had to laugh.

Choreographed kiddy dance numbers and a Christmas raffle draw. The Christmas concert had it all.

But mostly for us, it had our girl, up with the rest of the preps singing “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.”

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That’s her before the show, telling me to stop taking pics… can you see?

(That’s okay, you’re not meant to ๐Ÿ˜‚)

It was long, it was windy, and we were hungry… but to be honest, I loved the off-key notes.

The kids dancing off-stage before they walked on to their own show.

The strong change that blew hats and empty water bottles across the oval, cooling us all down.

I evenย loved the daggy jokes.

I generally love Christmas, and I love how baby girl’s school seems to really love it too.

๐Ÿฅฐโค

 

 

 

#1392 Front row at The Wiggles

You know the other day when I said “I’m done,” because I was so happy and grateful to be part of a writing group?

“I made it.”

Well today I made it in another way.

We did.

It’s only taken us 9 shows. But today we were front row at The Wiggles concert.

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๐Ÿ˜ฎ

It was the best. It was an incredible experience all on its own, without the Wiggly high-fives, smiles, and don’t forget that repeated eye contact.

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Baby girl had Emma, the yellow, and also ballet and Scottish dancing, bow-wearing, goat-loving wiggle, high five her and point that she saw her flashing bow from up on the stage.

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OMG. Talk about a total childhood high.

How the hell am I meant to top this experience?

Just as well. Sis and I never know which show will be the last with our kids, and so every moment shared together is so precious and such a beautufil blessing.

And so if it is, it was the biggest highlight EVER.

(Just between you and me though, I think today raised the bar and made them even bigger fans than before…) ๐Ÿ˜‰

๐Ÿ”ต๐Ÿ”ด๐Ÿ’›๐Ÿ”ฎ

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#1254 The first production

Hubbie and I are always telling baby girl she can pick any extra-curricular activity she likes… like sport, or a musical instrument.

But tonight another area of possible interest emerged…

Because tonight, baby girl was a penguin.

She was in her Madagascar school production ๐Ÿ™‚

She had no leading role. Cuter though, she was part of a whole swagger of penguins (more like, a waddle) and they were all dressed in black and white, wearing white vests with ties, and orange hats on their head to serve as beaks.

Oh my. How my eyes welled up.

They came on stage twice during the show. We found her amidst the groups, pointed and clapped and cheered. At the end of the show the entire school came onto the stage, and the preps were at the front, youngest as they are…

And guess who was clear and centre in front of us?

Our โ™ฅ

I tell you, watching her perform her moves, sing along with the group and make out the actions, looking out into the crowd while beaming happily, my heart actually SUNG.

My eyes welled up so much, I could barely see. Hubbie and I waved at her excitedly. Blew her kisses. Gave her plenty of thumbs up.

And I couldn’t help but be transported to when I was 16. Sure, a tad older than baby girl. But I was in year 10, and remember being part of about 7 acts for our end of school revue.

I remember the buzz clearly. I remember the feeling of excited anticipation as people rushed behind the curtain. It was dark, and it was all happening in a frenzied quiet.

It was magic.

I remember that fondly. Sure I never went into that line of work, but I developed a tremendous amount of respect for those that do, as I got a taste of it myself… I felt what it was like, to be a performer. Where the world is your stage…

I don’t know what the future holds for baby girl. But I do know that she had a great time tonight, and that is as good a start as any to start creating good first-time memories… โ™ฅ

(waddle waddle waddle).

#1239 Princess fun at Disney on Ice

Hubbie and I sat, giggling and sneaking looks to one another while also peeking beside us at baby girl.

She was singing, warbling… she was letting it rip.

“Let it go! Let it go! Don’t hold it back anymore!”

It had been a long 4 months that she had been waiting to see Disney on Ice. Even so, the trip in today seemed almost as long… trains, then disruptions to trains which meant replacement buses, and oh, the drama! The angst! The hell!

It really did feel like forever to get to that moment… and even then, at the start of the show…

“When are the princesses coming?”

“Where’s Ana?”

This girl was just not content with only Mickey Mouse, Dory and Nemo or Toy Story. She had come to see some freaking ice, and sparkle.

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So when the group of Disney princesses DID emerge, we were enthralled at their ice skating genius, and gasping out loud when Rapunzel did this number in the air with Eugene:

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Incredible! I think the parents were thinking as we were – “shit… Disney has upped their game!”

All of these air acrobatics definitely had her rapt, but nothing more so than when her favourite sisters FINALLY emerged from behind the big curtain.

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“Don’t hold it back anymore!”

Oh no, baby girl held NONE of it back. We just let her be and tried to not let her, you know, catch us giggling at her, being all 5 going onto 16 and all ๐Ÿ˜‰

 

 

#1236 Wiggly love and luck

My sister and I must have some blue, red, yellow and purple fairies floating over our heads.

No, I lie. Those colourful fairies are totally hanging over our kids.

Because every time we go to a Wiggles show, be it the end-of-year Christmas extravaganza in the city, or a mid-year, smaller local theatre, like where we were today, well, we not only have a great time…

We get a tremendous amount of luck.

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We were questioning today how long this would last… not our luck, but our kids devotion to the Wiggles. We keep wondering at each concert, will this be their last? Will it be OUR last?

We laughed, yet quietly I think we would have been quite devastated.

At the smaller shows it’s easy to come into close contact with the colourful quartet. A couple of them will walk through the crowd, collecting presents, cards and flowers from the kids, and so we have had quite a few claim-to-fame moments… and even at the last show we were at before this one, the ENORMOUS one in the city, well baby girl was fortunate enough to have her sign picked up by Anthony, the true blue original Wiggle (after she jumped out and thrust it at him!) and as he ran onto the stage he then proceeded to read it out to the entire crowd.

We were pretty star struck.

Nothing could really top though, the sweetest of moments that was today. Today they had their ‘helpers’ collecting gifts from the crowd, and baby girl had given forth her yellow flowers with card inside, while my nephew had handed over the sign that he and my sister had decorated with love.

I watched with a keen eye, as our pressies were brought up on stage.

And as present by present, cards and random crafts were passed onto purple Wiggle Lachie and read out, baby girl’s flowers were next presented to him, which received extreme giddiness from baby girl beside me at the acknowledgement of them…

And then they read out my nephew’s poster.

It was the most beautiful of moments. Not only did he stand up and receive a heartfelt round of applause for his artwork, but Lachie went on to read the note that said my nephew had been seeing the Wiggles for 10 years now, following on from his big brother being a Wiggles fan before him…

And wowโ€ฆ just WOW. The moment went on and on, and in doing so, the love grew stronger, and stronger.

We were all so touched. I think no one more so but my nephew.

And as the show wound up at the end of the evening, after yet again an amazing and entertaining performance, I couldn’t help but think, that the red curtain wasn’t going down in our kids hearts, anytime soon.

Even Simon made sure of that.

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