I attended a local elementary school festival on Saturday night. Catholic schools in the New Orleans area typically have an annual 3-day festival that serves as their primary fund-raisers for the year, with music, food, and amusement park rides.
The headliner on Saturday night was the Atlanta Rhythm Section, a band that had a string of hits in the late 1970’s (most notably “I’m Not Gonna Let it Bother Me Tonight,” “So Into You,” and “Imaginary Lover”).
My cousin saw Paul McCartney live and said afterwards that it was more than a concert – it was a trip through his childhood. I was reminded of that thought when I listened to ARS for a brief time Saturday night. I recall seeing their music videos on MTV and on a show that was a pre-cursor to MTV called Video Concert Hall when I was in high school. Those clips of their live performances were such strong motivators as an aspiring teen-aged musician.
When the dreams of fame elude us, there are landmarks in our lives that remind us of a time and place when the world and all of its possibilities stood before us. I’m sure that at the peak of ARS’s success in the 70’s and 80’s they never saw themselves playing elementary school festivals 30 years later. Yet any artist’s music lives on and on and remains relevant as long as the musician shares their talents for the enjoyment of others, not matter the venue, reach, or compensation.
Thanks to the Atlanta Rhythm Section for taking me back for one evening.