November 12, 2006

Look at that old photograph...

Is it really you
Smiling like a baby full of dreams
Smiling ain’t so easy now
Some are coming true
Nothing’s simple as it seems

But I guess you count your blessings with the problems
That you’re dealing with today
Like the changing of the seasons
Ain’t you come a long way (Ain’t you come a long way)
Ain’t you come a long way down
This old road

When I began this blog almost a year ago, I was determined to keep the focus on books. I’ve since created other blogs in which I can share my favorite recipes, pictures of my garden, the birds that visit, or simply chatter about the beauty of the changing seasons. But like a great book that continues to haunt me well after I’ve finished reading, I find myself reliving a magical evening spent listening to one of my favorite singer/songwriters and I decided to write a bit about it here.

In some ways it feels as if I cut my teeth on Kris Kristofferson’s music. My entire family (parents, grandparents, aunts & uncles, etc.) owned all his early albums

and I have fond memories of hearing them played in the homes of my childhood (or on the 8-track deck in my grandparent’s car when we’d go to visit them at their beach house in Southern California), learning all the lyrics as I sang along to the gravelly voice of the man whom everyone referred to as “Kristy.” The very first concert I ever attended was in 1973 when Kris & Rita (Coolidge) performed at the San Diego Concourse Center (yes, that's me standing next to Kris in the above photograph). What a thrilling evening that was, as we got to go backstage after the show and say hi to Kris, Rita and the band. At 11 years old, I thought I was super cool!

It’s been 33 years since that first concert. Rod and I have seen Kris perform several times since and last month’s show in Omaha was by far the best. We were entertained with songs spanning his entire career, a few of which I haven’t heard in several years, if not decades. Over 30 songs (some abbreviated to accommodate the lack of band or backup musicians) in two hours. I’m not sure I remember the entire play list, but here’s what comes to mind (I’ve highlighted my favorites):

Just the Other Side of Nowhere
Shipwrecked in the Eighties
Casey’s Last Ride
Best of all Possible Worlds
Help Me Make It Through the Night
Johnny Lobo
I’d Rather Be Sorry
Here Comes That Rainbow Again
Darby’s Castle
Me & Bobby McGee
Jody and the Kid
The Pilgrim, Chapter 33
Pilgrim’s Progress
Billy Dee
Loving Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)
To Beat the Devil
The Last Thing to Go
Wild American
Holy Road
In the News
Final Attraction
This Old Road
Sunday Morning Coming Down
Nobody Wins
Thank You For a Life
Love Is the Way
The Silver Tongued Devil and I
Chase the Feeling
For the Good Times
A Moment of Forever
Don’t Let the Bastards Get You Down
Why Me
Between Heaven and Here
The Promise
The Heart

It was a remarkable evening. Someone recently said Kris is a living legend. All I know is that I hope I have half his stamina when I’m 70 years old! Given the fact that Kris’ mom and my grandmother were sisters, it’s entirely possible. We share the same great family genes. I, however, missed out on the musical talent.

Kris has a long list of engagements on this particular tour and I strongly urge you to check out his website. If you can’t make it to one of his shows, pick up a copy of his latest album, This Old Road

It’s one of his best (although A Moment of Forever remains my favorite).

Personally, I’d love to see the show again and I’m trying to figure out a way to convince my husband that Scotland (or Vienna) would be a perfect location.


  1. You were WAY cool, Les!!! :) Neat post...I enjoyed it.

  2. I love when you talk about more than books; I love to hear about your life.

    At first, when I saw that picture I thought, "That sure looks like Kris Kristofferson. And who's that cute little girl by him?" Then I see it IS him, and it is YOU. How lucky are you to be standing next to him! Too bad you weren't a little older, hmmm? :)

    The first time I saw him was with Barbra Streisand in A Star is Born. I love his rugged handsomeness. Love. It.

    Lucky you.

  3. Thanks, Joy. I sure felt way cool!

    Bellezza, glad you enjoyed the post. I sure felt lucky standing next to him, but I was just a kid. Even if I were older, you do realize he and I are cousins? Distant cousins, but cousins nonetheless. Hard to get the hots for someone your parents' age (although KK has always been really buff!).

  4. Anonymous6:44 PM

    There's something about him that reminds me of home... Not quite sure what it is. I think there's something about his ruggedness that reminds me of the windworn fishermen from the communities that I grew up. There's something about his sound that is very homey too although we didn't listen to him when I was growing up.

  5. :::sigh::: Of course, you already know how much I would love your current blog :-) But I had to tell you how much I liked the picture! Very cute - of both of you. I do think this latest CD is one of his best in a long time, although I don't think it's possible for him to have a bad CD -- he's a singer that just touches your soul with his words!

  6. Too funny. Shows what I know.. I only knew of him as an actor. I didn't even know that he's a musician!

  7. Anonymous9:51 AM

    This is so cool! Thank you for sharing :)

  8. Can't say that I've listened to any of his music since the 70's but I do love his role in the Blade movies.

  9. Neat blog, and the concert sounded wonderful. Brings back lots of memories: your uncle and KK making music as teenagers, you and KK's daughter. Good music, good memories.

  10. Wow what a cutie! both of you!!

  11. Sassymonkey, he does have a craggy, rugged quality about him, doesn't he?

    Beachreader, I thought you might enjoy this particular blog/post. ;) I agree. He's a poet, he's a picker, he's a prophet...

    Angela, you and so many others!

    Iliana, you're more than welcome! It was a fun blog to write.

    Carl, I've only seen one of the Blade movies. Have you seen Lonestar? Great film.

    Thanks for the comment, Dad! Yep, lots of good memories.

    Thanks, Bybee!

  12. oops. I didn't pick up on the cousin part. Like Emily, in the old Saturday Night series, "Never mind."

    He's still hot.


I may not answer your comments in a timely fashion, but I always answer. Check back soon!