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Seeing and Hearing Them (a)Live by Jim Brazytis

Seeing and Hearing Them (a)Live

Earlier this week, I had the pleasurable audio experience of taking in an acoustic performance featuring Paul Barrère and Fred Tackett at one of Cleveland’s newest concert venues, The Music Box Supper Club. For those not familiar with the duo of Paul and Fred, they are guitarists from the legendary group Little Feat. Even though Little Feat, which was led by its deceased founder and lead singer Lowell George, never achieved mass commercial success, they influenced many artists: from Dave Matthews to Jimmy Buffett to Bob Seger with songs, including “Dixie Chicken,” “Oh Atlanta,” and "Willin.”

The Paul and Fred show was exceptional! As I stated on my Facebook page, “It was like being at the greatest camp fire ever.” But, I couldn’t stop from wondering how great it would have been to see the entire group live fronted by Lowell. Of all the artists who have passed away before their time, Lowell George is one I wish could have seen and heard in concert.

So on my way home, traveling the rock and roll streets of Cleveland, I started to think about what other artists would fall into my category of “I Wish I Could Have Seen and Heard Them (a)Live.” Names and voices streamed through my head … Jim Morrison … David Ruffin … Kurt Cobain. All good - and I’m sure very entertaining – but not at the top of my list. 

So after some thought and scanning my iPod I arrived at the list below. Drum roll please! Presenting the Jim Brazytis list of “I Wish I Could Have Seen and Heard Them (a) Live” artists (in no particular order):

Bob Marley (Bob Marley & The Wailers) – I have seen Bob’s son Ziggy Marley live a few times, and it’s a fantastic reggae experience. That said, the chance to see one of music’s most captivating, transcending artists manning the stage with his dreadlocks flowing would have been better than a Jamaican meat pocket and a Red Stripe.  

Steve Ray Vaughan (Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble) – I still kick myself! November 1989, I had tickets to see Stevie Ray and Jeff Beck in concert at Cleveland’s Public Hall but due to having to pack for a trip the next day I didn’t go. Then in August 1990, Stevie Ray dies in a helicopter crash. What is so sad is that he was just starting to make some of his best music after getting sober. 

Michael Jackson – All I have to say is, “King of Pop!” He might have been strange - to say the least - but he was one hell of an entertainer. Wish I could have been witnessed to his moonwalk. Wooohhooo! 

John Lennon and George Harrison (The Beatles) – Of the four Beatles, the only one I have seen in concert is Ringo Starr. Ringo’s show gave me chills! A “Yellow Submarine” sing-a-long with a real Beatle! What would have been like to see the entire group onstage? And better yet, post-1966 when the music became transformational.

Eazy-E – Okay, this one is generational and has to do with drinking 40s of malt liquor in Cleveland’s Flats. If you weren’t in your late teens in the late 1980s you will probably be shocked that those of us now in our early 40s can still rap along with songs like “We Want Eazy” and “Boyz-n-the-Hood.” One clarification, we have graduated from beers like Olde Engish to craft beers.

Lowell George (Little Feat) – Summed up earlier.

So, as the Rolling Stones said, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” and since these artists are now jamming alongside the angels, or in some cases demons, I will never get to see them live onstage. But in a nod to Mr. Lennon, I can “Imagine” what it would have been like.