Long, long ago in a place called Cleveland I used to listen to a radio station called WMMS. Mixed in with all the great (now Classic Rock), music was a new singer. WMMS was famous for supporting not only local bands but also new bands. Rush made its US debut at WMMS, Bruce Springsteen became the cities patron saint (although he’s from New Jersey). I first heard Patti Smith and moved away from AM radio music. Yes, AM radio used to be popular and it was a big deal for me to actually have a radio that was an FM receiver…but then too I had 8-tracks. Anyway intermixed in the hard rock was a new singer with with an amazing voice and music that didn’t seem to fit the rock scene. I fell in love with the voice and rushed out to Peaches to pick up the Album. It was Karla Bonoff’s self titled album.
Thirty-five years later, almost by accident, I finally got to see Karla Bonoff in concert. The concert would have slipped right by me if a friend and fellow bike mechanic in Austin didn’t notice it. Thanks Steffi. : )
The Kessler in Dallas is a small venue and it was really nice to sit that close to the stage. I don’t think there is a bad seat there. I took off work early biked to the train station and took the train to South Dallas. It is just a mile and a half from the the Tyler/Vernon Station and there is a bike rack right in front.
Karla Bonoff came on with Nina Gerber backing her on guitar. From the opening “Driving at night, the headlights were bright…” to the end it was an amazing show. I told a friend: It was awesome in that grown up remember the past adult kind of way rather than the awesome punk rock Patti Smith life I lead. I stuck out a bit in the crowd of business casual dressed concert goers, in my combat boots, black Dickies shorts, and black bike shop work shirt. So I was not sipping Chardonnay with my fellow audience members. There was a strict no pictures, no phones rule at the show and it was very dark so I could not write down the playlist. Needless to say in ninety minutes Karla played everything I could think of, except for Flying High. Her voice is still perfect as I remember it…completely amazing show.
Yeah, they said no pictures, but you know, I still lead that Patti Smith, punk rock, kinda life.