I started working when I was pretty young. As I recall, I was 13 when I started selling live bait and hunting and fishing equipment in a sporting goods/general store in my home town. We really sold everything there and it was a pretty fun place to work. We worked hard but we played pretty hard too.
I worked in college and graduated a semester early. While waiting to marry Emily, I moved to her hometown and worked several jobs. It started with Red Lobster. I was hired as a server. I worked my first night and told them I wouldn’t be back the next day. I had found a better gig afterall. I was to be a shift manager at Taco Bell. I worked there for 4 days and found an even better gig (hard to imagine, I know) so I moved to a position as an “electrical schmuck” at Lowes. I stayed there for 2 months or so and moved to a garden nursery where I worked 1 week. By this time, Emily was pretty concerned about who she was marrying. I was obviously unstable and a “roamer”. My final gig that summer was at a feed store in Charleston where I think I worked harder than I ever had before. All of these jobs did give me a good appreciation for what it meant to work and what I didn’t want to do for a living.
So we went to graduate school where I taught some math and computer classes to make a few bucks in addition to the research I was doing. I have had a few regular jobs since school including the one at which I work now.
All of these other jobs were nothing compared to my favorite job (so far). This weekend, Emily and I went to Cleveland, OH to hear Billy Joel and Elton John in their Face 2 Face tour. Emily and I both sang backup vocals for the two entertainers! We were brilliant at it really. Billy himself commented at how we were right on key!
Ok…so all that is to say that we, along with 20,000 other folks , went to hear Elton and Billy play an awesome 3 and a half hour concert! The Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland was sold out and very much packed. The crowd went absolutely nuts when Billy and Elton’s pianos rose from the stage and they walked on. It was incredible! Billy was absolutely every bit as good as I had hoped. I have been a huge fan since high school and was not disappointed in the wait to hear him! He was funny and engaging and a phenomenal entertainer (doesn’t he have a song about that? ). I would go and see him again without hesitation. Billy and Elton together were very good as well. They played back and forth and had fun keying off of each other. Elton by himself was not stellar which was disappointing. Still, I am glad I got to see him as well.
Anyhow, the crowd was absolutely into the show. We had pretty great seats but that didn’t keep the “interesting” folks out. Let me just say that I am thankful that my wife is not a drunken-lap-dancing-ho like the girl next to us was. Enough said… But the rest of the crowd (save the one person who was burning something herbal) was tremendous. My ears rang and I was dizzy from the roar of the crowd. All-in-all, it was a fantastic show and a great weekend! I am certain that my favorite job was my time as a rock and roll star…or at least doing the backup vocals for a rock and roll star!
Just for reference, here is the set they played:
BILLY JOEL AND ELTON JOHN:
Your Song, Just the Way You Are, Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, My Life
Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding, Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting, Burn Down the Mission, Madman Across the Water, Tiny Dancer, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Daniel, Rocket Man, Levon, I’m Still Standing, Crocodile Rock
Angry Young Man, Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song), Allentown, Zanzibar, Don’t Ask Me Why, She’s Always a Woman, Scenes from an Italian Restaurant, River of Dreams, We Didn’t Start the Fire, It’s Still Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me, Only the Good Die Young
ENCORE WITH JOEL AND JOHN:
I Guess That’s Why They Call It the Blues, Uptown Girl, The Bitch Is Back, You May Be Right, Bennie and the Jets, Birthday, Back in the U.S.S.R., Candle in the Wind, Piano Man