KingMidget's Ramblings

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When Old is New Again

Earlier this year, a long-time friend told me she had joined a band.  At the age of slightly over 50, she was playing the keyboard for a rock band!  She told me about some upcoming performances and then said something like “it’s a Cat Stevens cover band.”  I’ve heard of Cat Stevens, know he had a run of popularity way back when I was barely out of diapers, but had never really ever listened to him.  I couldn’t name a single song of his to be honest and wondered why somebody would form such a band.

But I wanted to support my friend.  After a few failed efforts at seeing my friend perform, I was able to do so.  At the Sutter Creek Theater, MagicKat performed last night.  Before the performance, we met friends for dinner at Element, an uber fancy restaurant — the kind where you can pay $32 for rib eye steak and get two little nuggets of beef on a plate with asparagus and potato puree, $6 for the arancini appetizer and get two little balls of deep-fried rice.  But that’s okay.  The food was good, the company was better.  I was just kind of hungry afterwards.

We than adjourned to the theater, a small town place that probably can seat no more than 100 people.  It’s a narrow, cramped little place tucked into a space that might qualify as a small fixer-upper if it was a house.  After more than two hours, I can now say that I recognized one song.  I enjoyed the performance.  These days, regardless of whether I know the music, I enjoy seeing musicians perform and this band was no disappointment.  Three guitars, a drummer, a celloist!!!, and my friend at keyboards.  The guitarist performing the role of Cat Stevens sounded exactly like him.  He’s 63 and has been playing Cat Stevens songs for more than 40 years.  Have I mentioned the best way to intrigue me with music is to include the cello?

The music was good enough for me to want to check Cat Stevens out on Spotify today and now I have somebody new to listen to.


14 responses to “When Old is New Again

  1. Vince Dickinson August 23, 2015 at 5:06 pm

    I remember Cat Stevens when that was still his name!

  2. Trent Lewin August 23, 2015 at 5:28 pm

    Joining a band at 50… I hope I have the fortitude and imagination.

  3. Bruce Thiesen August 23, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    A Cat Stevens cover band. Just when I thought I’d seen it all.

    Good for your friend to find her place to play and such a kind friend you are. Sorry about the empty space on the fancy dinner plate and the ensuing rumbling stomach, but this is California after all.

  4. sknicholls August 23, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Morning Has Broken, Peace Train, Father and Son, Tea for the Tillerman, yes, I remember and loved them. All of us real hippies did. That was before rock went psychedelic and hard. Glad you had a good night out…kinda makes up for having to cut the grass, huh?

    • kingmidget August 23, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      That’s one of the points the singer made last night … that Cat Stevens was at the forefront of the acoustic effort. While everybody else was going psychedelic and hard rock, he was still writing beautiful music with meaningful lyrics. And, yes, I guess I can tolerate mowing the lawn after a nice musical experience.

  5. JunkChuck August 23, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Stevens had some tremendous songs–really, really earth-trembling good stuff like “Wild World” and, man, “Peace Train” both stir my soul–too bad he fell in with the Fatwa crowd.

  6. Amy Reese August 23, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    I’ve always loved the “Peace Train,” Mark. That’s a great one! How fun you got to see a friend play some music. That’s pretty special all in itself!

  7. Kevin Brennan August 24, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I used to do “Where Do The Children Play?” as a busker. Always a crowd pleaser.

    By the way, rent the old movie “Harold and Maude” for a whole bunch of great Cat Stevens songs. Perfect match of soundtrack and material!

  8. jkennedysnths August 24, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Sparky, I have been a Cat Stevens fan for years. My favorite film is Harold and Maude which is an all CS soundtrack. The film was at the Crest a few weeks ago and I saw it on the big screen. Last year when he came to Northern California I paid an embarrassingly large sum of money to see him and it was worth every penny. My face was sore from singing and smiling for so long. He is an absolute joy to listen to and I am so glad you are now in Cat Stevens world!

    • kingmidget August 24, 2015 at 7:49 pm

      Yeah, I don’t know how I missed out, absolutely 100% missed out, on him over all these years. You’d think I would have heard something along the way, but I just never have.

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