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Zombies, Slowhand and the weight of the years


Lovely wife Tricia and I have attended more than our share of music events lately.  So much that a friend of mine commented on Facebook, “You are really hitting the nightlife!”(“Gar?on,  another bottle of Chateau St. Jean Cinq Cepages, 2005, immediately!”)  No, but we did find a great little spot for chicken-fried steak in Oak Cliff (Norma’s).

Actually, this little run of musical immersion started when said friend above (the lovely Mike Bell, Greenville High School class of …) called me up at home one evening and asked, “Would you like to see the Zombies?”  Now, being of a certain age, my thoughts did not go immediately to gruesome images of decayed flesh.  No, my friend Mike and I are true devotees of ’60s music (though mere children at the time) and I knew he was referring to the vintage performers of “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season.”  We saw Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone and various junior Zombies at the wonderful little Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff.
When I was younger (so much younger than today), it was impossible to imagine anyone over the age of 40 wielding a Fender guitar on stage.  But Argent and Blunstone, pushing 70, are probably better performers today than 40 years ago.  Thanks to the modern miracle of the cell phone, this is video from the Kessler show:

The Kessler, as apparent in this video, is a great venue for music.  About 300 seats, like watching a show in someone’s oversized rec room.  At the Zombies show, Mike and I were astounded to see former Congressman Dick Armey, R-Flower Mound, “close enough to kick him,” Mike, D-Dallas, noted, though he resisted the temptation.
A week later, Tricia and I saw the great Eric Clapton in the cozy little American Airlines Center.  The tickets had been a delightful surprise Christmas gift from the wife.  Even from the upper reaches of the vast AAC, it was obvious that Clapton, also nearing 70, is still every bit the guitar virtuouso:

On days when I’m beginning to feel the weight of the years, I take great inspiration and optimism from Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Eric Clapton, and their graying peers.  More on our recent musical adventures in another post.

John Mark Dempsey is the host of the public interest program The Blacklands Café from KETR News. Dempsey is also the play-by-play announcer for Commerce Tigers Football on 88.9 FM and on ketr.org.
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