"Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity." ~ Gilda Radner

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I called. I pledged. And now, pen must meet paper.

I must write the check that seals the deal...

"At this challenging time, thank you for partnering in our mission," ends the letter from the Iowa Public Television Foundation that came in the mail today.

Confession: I really wasn't thinking about their mission when I grabbed my cell phone, pushing buttons like a mad woman, hoping against hope that they hadn't already promised all their "Moody Blues Meet and Greet" tickets to other callers before one of their pledge drive phone bank volunteers answered.

What I was thinking is this: "OMG! I could MEET Justin Hayward? Holy shitake mushrooms! Seriously? OMG! OMG!"

I felt like a giggly school girl again...like the time I got to meet Johnny Bench at the Kenwood Shopping Center in 1970. I'm sure ol' Johnny doesn't recall that day, but I will never forget it! I had admired him from afar -- at Cincinnati Reds' games at Riverfront Stadium. And now, there he was, two feet in front of me!

I was 13.

Forty years later, I'm all wiggity over the opportunity to meet one of the rock group icons of my youth -- THE MOODY BLUES, for cryin' out loud -- on June 29th at the Civic Center in Des Moines. Specifically, I cannot wait to meet Justin Hayward.

Funny thing is, I didn't even know what Justin or any of the other Moody Blues looked like before the 80s. I'd been listening to their songs on the radio since junior high and high school -- Nights In White Satin was like our high school prom theme. But I was in my late 20s when I first became smitten with Justin Hayward. I blame it on watching the videos to "In Your Wildest Dreams" and "I Know You're Out There Somewhere"over and over again on VH-1. His voice, those songs, spoke to my inner diehard romantic schoolgirl once more.

"THAT'S the guy who sang Nights in White Satin?" I thought to myself. Whoa! The blond hair! The blue eyes! That romantically haunting voice! Yikes! I unearthed my old Moody Blues Greatest Hits album, circa the 70s, from the bottom of a box buried in my closet and sort of fell in reminiscent-yearning-for-my-misspent youth love with them all over again for the first time.

Fast forward then to June 1992. I was 35. John and I were living in Cinci. My stepsister happened to have a couple of extra tickets to a Riverbend concert featuring The Moody Blues and Chicago. Why not? So we went.

And there he was. Justin Hayward crooning, "I know you're out there somewhere." My gosh, I thought, he still looks darn good for an old rocker...he still looks so young! He was, I figured out later, a mere 43. Young, indeed.

I sort of lost track of Justin and the boys after that summer. Daniel came along that following March, and life was crazy. John and I, baby Daniel in tow, moved back to Iowa.

Long story short, I saw The Moody Blues in like August 2000 at the Iowa State Fair with my friend, Wava, and her daughter, Sara, and again in like 2007 at the Civic Center with my friend Mary. Ahhhhhhh. Sing to me, Justin!

And I have to say, last time I saw Justin, he was still looking and sounding darn good for a guy in his late 50s...The Moody Blues, circa now, can still put on a great concert.

Or so I hope.

There is a reason, I think, that the Friends of Iowa Public Television show 10-year-old rather than recent concert footage of The Moody Blues during their pledge drive. As The Moodies have aged, so have we. But their songs take us back. Wayyyyy back.

And if we see Justin still looking relatively youthful, and still sounding fantastic, as the pledge barkers ask for our hard-earned money, we also might feel young and youthful and spontaneous enough to gladly plunk down $325 smackarinos to not only see The Moody Blues and hear them but MEET AND GREET them (and keep IPTV programming going, of course).

Seeing footage of Justin in his bifocals squinting at his guitar, on the other hand, might not entice us to do so. I'm just sayin'...

Frankly, I've given it some thought, and I've decided that if Justin Hayward were balding, bifocaled and sporting a drool bib, I would more than likely still want to meet him...and I will, just this once, for a once-in-my-lifetime opportunity, cough up the Benjamins.

Now, if I could just remember where I put my checkbook.

Next: What DOES One Wear To A Meet and Greet?


JustinFan1 said...

Annie, you are in for such a treat!! And the best part is that you realize The Moody Blues, and Justin, have aged just like the rest of us. I just finished attending six of their concerts in Florida and they are WONDERFUL!!! Yes, Justin has a new wrinkle or two and he does were glasses (mostly in private) but he still sings like an angel and almost looks as good as he did in his youth. I've been in love with him on and off for 36 years now so I know how you feel. Just one thing, though -- in most of the Meet and Greets I've heard about, all you got to do was have a photo taken with the group -- there was no actual meeting or greeting. So don't get your hopes up too high and if something better happens for you (which I hope it does) then you will have a pleasant surprise!!! Enjoy your concert, Annie!! They are THE best rock band that ever graced a stage!!

JustinFan1 <------aka Arline in Florida

Annie said...

Arline in Florida! Hello!

Thank you SO much for visiting The Home Stretch! And thank you even more for sharing your experiences/insight, call-it-what-you-will, regarding "meeting and greeting" our favorite rock band!

I realize that what I would consider a "meet and greet" and what The Moody Blues consider a meet and greet are more than likely miles apart in philosophy...LOL.. Just to be in the same room with The Moody Blues will make for a memorable evening.

You definitely have me beat in the concert attendance category -- Holy Toledo! SIX CONCERTS? In a span of one year or less? You are my hero!

It's nice to know that you share that inexplicable adoration for Mr. Hayward...indeed, the voice of an angel...

Stop by the Home Stretch anytime, but make sure you check back June 29/30...I'll let you know how the big night goes!

Take Care, Arline in Florida!