The greatest musical disappointment of my life is that John Denver turned up his toes before I had an opportunity to attend one of his concerts.
Last Monday Captain Chris, my distinguished friend of 35 years,
and I, his scruffy little mate from the bush, attended a daytime concert performed by one of the world’s most accomplished John Denver tribute artists, Trevor Knight.
He WAS John Denver. Well, to me he was.
He also accompanied himself on a grand piano to sing Lennon and McCartney songs.
“Morning Melodies” is an initiative of the Cairns City Council to present affordable ($16) musical entertainment for old folk.
Captain Chris and I are both entry-level old farts. Looking around us at the venue I had not realised that people could get to be that old and still be alive let alone having the time of their lives laughing, singing, clapping and enjoying a musical day out.
There were however some very good reasons why the concert ran for an uninterrupted one and a half hours.
It took an hour for staff and carers to resolve all the wheelchair rage and seniority disputes which broke out in the foyer beforehand, and clean out the pockets of thrifty old souls like GOF who had salted away kilograms of sugar sachets, paper serviettes, cake, sausage rolls and biscuits from the complimentary tea and coffee table.
Then and only then could everyone be wheeled and shepherded slowly, ever so slowly, into the auditorium.
Any intermission would necessarily have needed to be two hours in duration to provide sufficient time to geriatrically destock then restock the concert hall.
Captain Chris and I were seated against a side wall of the theatre at the end of a long row of chairs occupied by athletically-challenged but nevertheless mostly cheerful senior citizens.
The exception was one fossilised old fart, who, when Chris and I mistakenly plonked ourselves down in the wrong seats beside him grunted and spat venom at us before making a move for what I can only assume was a stiletto knife secreted underneath his back brace.
I suspect that once upon he time he might have had Italian blood coursing through his arteries until most of them had hardened and clogged up from a lifetime’s excess of cheese-topped spaghetti-eating leaving open only a couple of veins which fuelled sufficient pulmonary power for his grouchy hatred of a couple of temporarily lost Adonises sitting in the wrong seats beside him.
(Audible note to self; “That was a very long sentence GOF. You are hyperventilating. Here, settle down and breathe into this brown paper bag for a while.”
OK, that’s better….let’s move on.)
We quickly moved past him into our correct seats.
At the conclusion of the concert it became obvious that it was going to take several days for all the old dears in our row to finish sharing the finer details of their various medical ailments and eventually get their rickety torsos vertical and moving towards the exit.
We had not brought along survival rations to sustain us for that long.
Additionally, Mr Fossilini still had one hand hidden beneath his coat and one evil eye focussed on us, so in an exuberant display of youthfulness Captain Chris and I vaulted over the back of our chairs into an aisle and bolted out of the building before he had time to summons backup from the local Calabrian Mafia goons on his mobile phone.
If, in ten years time Captain Chris and I are attending a similar concert and I notice two fashionable young sixtyish whippersnappers even thinking about performing a similar manouvre to bypass the orderly and leisurely exit queue I swear that I am going to belt the living daylights out of them with my Zimmer frame.
Oh, and did I mention that the formal entertainment was also fantastic?
It went a little bit like this;