Last Friday night I found myself in Kamas, Utah. Many of you know that Kamas is the home of South Summit High School and isn’t too far from Park City, only 16 miles.
According to my research, Kamas has a population of around 2,000 and is at an elevation of 6,486 feet above sea level. I find myself in lots of different places at different times because of, well, different circumstances.
It was a result of an odd, little pastime, which I have, that put me in Kamas over the weekend. Every once in a while, I get on the Internet and look up rock and roll bands, past and present (mostly past). I like to see which bands are still together, which members of the old bands are still alive, and find out if they’re still touring.
Imagine my surprise, earlier in the month, when I found that the band “Three Dog Night” had a concert date in Kamas. I thought, “What?!” I was shocked that one of my favorite bands from my youth was playing in what I supposed would be a high school “out in the sticks” of Utah.
As it turned out, the concert was in a place called The DeJoria Center, a venue that I didn’t know existed. Billionaire, John Paul DeJoria, built the place, which was finished in 2016 at a cost of $14 million. It boasts a convention hall that can be set up for concerts with seating for 1,200+ people.
Now, I want to dive in and get to the heart of the matter of what’s really on my mind. What motivates a person (me), to drive two-and-a-half hours to listen to a band that was at the height of its popularity in the late ‘60s and ‘70s? Here’s the short answer: memories.
Most of us would agree that music has the power of bringing back vivid memories of our lives from many years ago. After my mother-in-law passed away, my wife went through her mom’s collected newspaper clippings, etc.
One clipping was of a poem. The clipping didn’t show the name of the poet; but I’m suspecting that it was either Ben Burroughs or James J. Metcalfe because of other similar clippings. Here it is:
Music is a diary
Music is a diary… Of days of long ago… The sadness and the happiness… And friends we used to know… When we are young, each song is just… Another tune to sing… But as the years go drifting by… What memories they bring!...
Each melody reminds us of… A certain time and place… And on the keyboards of our dreams… We see a special face… Yes, music is a diary… Of memories to keep… Some that we cherish while awake… And others while we sleep…
Some folks consider music as… Our most important art… And they are right because it keeps… A record of the heart.
It is an interesting phenomenon to hear a song on the radio and immediately be transformed to another time and place. Most people like to continue to listen to the music of their youth, for that reason, I suppose. That must be why “oldies” stations are able to thrive.
As the poem says, songs remind us of happy times and sad times. Past relationships are brought back to life. Awkward moments at dances are remembered. Sometimes feelings of homesickness or “love sickness” are part of the remembrance.
For me, “Three Dog Night” brings back a feeling of the world of high school and college. It was generally a happy time.
But, it was also a time of staying up all night cramming for exams, worrying about the Vietnam War and the draft, wondering what the future might hold in terms of a job and relationships, etc.
Every time of life is a mix of ups and downs. Life is a roller coaster. But there’s always music, which is constantly creating the soundtrack of our lives.
The best part of going to the concert the other night was being able to meet up with an old friend (and when I say old, I mean old. He’s my age.). My old friend and I were band mates in a rock-and-roll band in high school. Along with another friend, we went off to college in Logan together.
The last time my friend and I were together was when we met up for a “Three Dog Night” concert in Orem 11 years ago. Once again, we immediately re-bonded, laughed, reminisced and talked rock-and-roll. We didn’t skip a beat.
I have a feeling that we shouldn’t wait for another concert by this same band before we see each other again. The remaining original lead singer in the band, Danny Hutton, is 77 years old.
But, then again, I have to remember that Tony Bennett is 93 years old. And I see on his website that he has six concert dates scheduled for this month of October.
Join me in loving and enjoying the music of your life – past and present. And as Carly Simon sang, “These are the good old days!”