like the ladies from Fleetwood Mac

We went to the Fleetwood Mac concert here in Houston last night. It was good — they’re very good musicians. We were sad that Christine McVie didn’t tour with them. But it was still good.

While sitting there watching Lindsey Buckingham tear it the hell up on his guitar, I remembered that I’d mentioned Ms. McVie and Stevie Nicks in my first book. I was talking about being a child and imagining myself a successful grown-up, and that picture, in my mind, involved looking like Stevie and/or Christine.

See, when I was a kid in the ’70s, there were those two, and then there were Ann and Nancy Wilson, of the band Heart*.

That was it, for me. Those were the four women who were allowed to be in rock bands, because they were so bad-ass that they apparently got to bend the men-only rule. And they were*, therefore, my role models. I could say my goddesses or my muses or whatever, but really, only Ann Wilson reached those proportions in my mind. Ann Wilson was, to me, awesomeness personified. I was singing “Magic Man” in the back seat of my parent’s car, back when I was three or four I guess because I remember my mom still being there and encouraging me — she liked that song a lot, too.

I remember staring at the cover of my dad’s Dreamboat Annie album whenever he let me, reflecting on the perfection of the Misses Wilson on it, believing that they were exactly how women were supposed to look.

I remember pulling out the inner album sleeve and staring at the beautiful, beautiful guitarist in the band with them (Roger? Steve? can’t remember who I thought was so handsome) and imagining that he must be in love with either Ann or Nancy, or both. And thinking that they probably kissed him sometimes. Both of them.

(Way later, I read that I’d guessed right.)

I remember, also, playing my dad’s Tusk and Rumors cassette tapes. Listening to Lindsey Buckingham sing “won’t you lay me down in the tall grass and let me do my stuff” and inferring that he was probably singing either to Stevie or to Christine, and that “do my stuff” undoubtedly meant kissing.

I remember wondering if I’d ever sing and play the guitar, like my mom used to, and if a handsome guitar player would ever want to kiss me. :)

So… I sat in the Toyota Center with hundreds of other people — all chilled out and seated, mercifully, because we’re all getting too old to jump around — and I thought about this stuff. And I knew that the people behind me were more likely remembering actual kissing that they themselves performed to those cassette tapes, since they were a little older. Same with the people in front of us. Lindsey sang that song, and three women near by jumped up and screamed and danced like they must have danced as teenagers, and I knew that those words about the tall grass had had a striking effect on them, too. In a way I felt embarrassed that when the band announced a song name, I usually didn’t know which song they meant until they started playing, because I was so young back then and I just listened to the tapes all the way through, without picking favorites or even looking at their titles, like you do when it’s an album you’ve always known and loved. But then I relaxed and realized it was okay not to know the song names.

I sat there looking all around at the hundreds of people, knowing that they all had special memories that went with these songs. Lindsey and Stevie stood on stage and told us their own memories, too. And it was — you know — magical and stuff.

* When I say Heart, I mean, of course, Heart in the ’70s. Not in the ’80s. I pretend that ’80s Heart didn’t exist, or was a different band with the same name. Actually, same goes for Fleetwood Mac, too. Don’t tell my Gen Y fiance that I said that, though.

My favorite song by Fleetwood Mac, as played by a young man on YouTube with a really nice voice.

The kissing-in-the-grass song, with Lindsey B’s remembrance intro.

Stevie on the same tour, week before we saw her, wearing the same gold shawl for “Gold Dust Woman,” which made our friend June suggest that I find one for my wedding. (I look better in silver.)

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Posted in getting older, music, reminiscing on 05/04/2009 12:50 am

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