In late '71/early '72(?) at age 17/18, Dave and I were roommates at NYU in the Bronx, NY. When we heard that the already "legendary"_x009d_ Jim Messina, would be playing with his new protegé, Kenny Loggins, at CW Post College on Long Island, we knew we were going to be there!
We had been playing "Sittin In"_x009d_ 24/7 and we queued up EARLY for that general admission, first come-first in, concert so that we were belly up to center stage when Kenny came on, to do his acoustic part of the concert. To say we were blown away at his looks and his voice, and his music, would be an understatement- the proof lay in the fact that we didn't even notice Merel Bregante slipping in behind the drums until he let fly at the conclusion of Long Tail Cat.
When Kenny introduced Jim, there was an electric shock that went through the crowd that I had never come close to experiencing in the 2 or 3 years I had actually been semi-conscious on the planet. The mood and excitement went only one way - up, up and away! The crowd could not get enough and when the guys came back, after their "Nobody But You"_x009d_ finale, they said "We've got nothing else to play!" Well, there was only one thing to do - an encore of a couple of the earlier numbers!
Dave and I were hooked and we followed the guys during their quick rise to fame traveling where we could to see 'em, never being disappointed. March 12, 1973 we found ourselves in row 7 at Carnegie Hall listening to Jim Croce open for them in the early show of a 2 performance gig, recorded in part, for posterity, on the "On Stage"_x009d_ album.
Fast forward to the "modern era"_x009d_ and Dave and I are still best friends separated by an ocean, but still connected in a way that makes geographic distance totally irrelevant. I left San Diego in 1988 to see what Stavanger, Norway, was like with my wife of two years who is from that city. Life was good and we made this our home and have our family here. But as with close friends like Dave, I never left Kenny and Jim behind. Their music was with me wherever I went and always brought with it feelings of youth, friendship, love and a general euphoria that we hopefully all know, but which very few can put into words, myself included.
Unfortunately, it was simply not possible for me to come in for their 2005 tour and I had to work hard at consoling myself with watching the DVD and knowing I had had no choice. Last year, things changed in a remarkable way when my wife and I decided to go back to San Diego to visit old friends, (her first visit since 1992). After booking the trip, I found out that Kenny was playing in Palm Desert, an hour and a half away. Dave flew out from Jersey, we went to the concert and were blown to the 70's and back again with soon to be 61 year old Kenny, looking and playing as good if not better than ever! It was an indescribable experience and I vowed that it wouldn't be the last.
I flew back to the New York in April to visit family, an obvious pretense for catching Kenny in action again in Tarrytown, in the northern suburbs. Dave of course was with, and it was very cool when we were able to chat with Kenny at the Mexican restaurant we were all at before the show.
When the Together Again tour was announced, I was IN - hook, line and sinker, and I was taking Dave with me, at least part of the way! It made no sense to fly transatlantic for just one L&M concert, so I got tickets for Foxwoods, CT on the 13th, Bridgeport on the 16th and Atlantic City on the 19th. Needing a little "filler"_x009d_ I got lucky and picked up a ticket for Kings of Leon at the Nassau Coliseum on the 14th, Michael McDonald and Boz Scaggs on the 18th and, to close out my tour, U2 at Gillette Stadium on the 20th. (Not the worst filler) 8 days, 6 concerts, 5 cities. Crazy, BUT, the most fun I've ever had in my life, and I can highly recommend it!
The highlight of the trip though, was of course, the first reunion with Kenny, Jim and Dave at Foxwoods on the 13th. Having seen Kenny perform twice in the past year, it was incredible to see, hear and feel so different with Jim Messina on the stage with him. To relive the music which was so special to me, and to travel back in time 37 years_x009d_ was a blessing that I wish my daughter (and everyone else) gets a chance to experience in her life. Kenny's voice and energy, Jim's guitar and the chemistry between the two was an emotional, mind-jarring and powerful musical experience which truly touched me to the core. The support was fantastic: Gabe Dixon opening the show and then playing keyboards for L&M, Steve N. and Big Jim Wheeler, in one of the most impressive sax duels ever (it brought the house down all three shows!), Gary on the violin, George Hawkins bass, all driven by Steve S on the drums.
Being able to say Thank You directly to the guys during the Meet & Greet was of course, thrilling. Their sincerity, honesty and interest in their fans are quite special and I'm sure appreciated by all who have the chance to meet them.
I got some pretty good shots during the three shows and the Meet and Greet and it gives me a lot of pleasure to share some of them with you.
Once again -- Thanks from the bottom of my heart! --_x009d_ to the guys for sharing with all of us again, and, -- Thanks Dave, Love ya buddy! for being such a good friend over all these years! Thanks to Janet and Alyssa at the fan club for all the work you do.