Sheryl Crow

4

February 22, 2020, Indio-

I have promised myself that this year, besides being my last year of full-time work, will be focused on the arts (especially music), honouring First Nations and reaching out to the rising generations as an ally.

With that in mind, some time ago, I accepted an online invitation from the singer Sheryl Crow, through her publicist, to attend a concert in this revitalized city on the eastern edge of California’s Colorado Desert. It’s been forty-eight years since I attended a performance by a musical A-Lister (1972, Harry Chapin).  Since Sheryl is one whom I follow on Facebook, it was a natural choice.

Making the trip resulted in not attending more spur-of-the-moment performances by local artists, back in Prescott, but I do spontaneous events back at Home Base,, all the time.  A major recording artist, or any touring musician, has to book venues and make plans, in consultation with the band and staff, well in advance.

Indio, over time, has had the good sense to nurture resort tourism, especially with the lucrative music festival in nearby Coachella becoming huge, on the concert calendar.  Fantasy Springs Resort is owned and operated by the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.  With its golf course, casino and three-star hotel, the sparkling resort attracts top-flight entertainers.

Though the show started late, so as to give the audience’s many stragglers time to get seated, I felt I got my money’s worth, and I had a great seat-in the front and to the left of the stage. Had I been a bit less shy, I might have made a new friend of the comely lady sitting, and at one point dancing, alone on the other side of the stairway, but I was  primarily there for my friend’s music.  Excuses, excuses.

Sheryl and her band put on a rousing, energizing show, with her major pop hits of the past three decades and, reassuringly, her new material.  She included a couple of songs on which she had collaborated with the Eagles’ Joe Walsh, known for his unique high-pitched voice, as well as his intense guitar licks.  The lead guitarist emulated Joe’s command of the instrument, whilst a rhythm guitarist and backing vocalist nailed Joe’s vocal style.  All of the guitarists, including Sheryl,  also showed mastery of the keyboards, as they moved from one great delivery to another.

The nicest thing about bands like this is the sense of family.  Sheryl is the head of the group, but is no prima donna.  They are appreciative of  the audience, but there is no pandering- the band took no breaks and at the end of the one hundred five- minute set, there was a heartfelt thank you extended to the audience, the band left the stage and the road crew began dismantling the equipment-no gratuitous encore.  A recording of Sheryl’s past concert material filled the air, as we filed out. Ten o’clock is late enough for everyone involved in  putting the show together, to get their work done, and get their deserved rest.

The one aspect of the trip that had concerned me, returning to Prescott for tomorrow’s morning events, would turn out to be quite routine.  In the meantime, and always, I can say with a couple of other, very vocal, concert-goers:  I love you, Sheryl!

 

Only In Indio

10

June 11, 2017, Indio-

Before leaving Prescott, this afternoon, I called my very inspirational youngest living brother, on the occasion of his birthday.  He’s legally blind, yet has never failed to work, steadily, over the past thirty-five years since his college graduation.  His work has always involved a high level of responsibility, and on he goes.

A nice little brunch party followed my conversation, this one in a lovely garden patio, in Prescott Valley.  The conversation there centered on the fine line between creative thought and following one’s own path, versus the “right” to be willfully disobedient to the institutions of one’s chosen Faith.  I am no one’s idea of a Yes Man, but breaking a covenant is as far from where I want to be, as the proverbial Hell  itself.  The person who conjured thoughts of having one’s own sect, gingerly retreated and hopefully will remain so.  The party continued, a pleasant, lovely affair.

I headed out, towards southern California, around 3:30 PM, successfully avoiding whatever back to LA traffic slog might have ensued.  Dinner at a fine, best-kept-secret place, Nichols West, in the tiny old mining town of Congress, certainly helped in that avoidance.  Run by an acerbic, but somewhat cordial, New Zealander, Nichols offers a variety of burgers with unusual toppings, intense salads, exquisite Mexican fare and a surprising variety of seafood.  I chose the brie & avocado burger, with a modest helping of shoestring fries.  The burger was fabulous, grass-fed beef, crispy bacon and moist, ripe avocado wedges, held together by a generous coating of melted brie.  A lovely, very pleasant team of waitresses didn’t hurt the occasion, either.

I digress, though.  I decided to stop here, at City Center Motel, given that what lies ahead of me is I-10, CA 57 & 22 to Highway 1.  At the end of that jaunt lies Palos Verdes Peninsula, where I will make the hike from a gorgeous overlook, down to the shore.  Then, it’ll be a fair drive, with stops at Long Beach’s pier, Seal Beach and Huntington Beach, before securing a spot in one of the state beach campgrounds, en route to Crystal Cove.

“Only in Indio”?  That is an ubiquitous sign, along Hwy. 111, and Business 10.  It alludes to the Coachella Music Festival, held in this area every April.  Then, this area fills to the brim with alt-rock lovers from all over.  Now, however, it’s a cool night in June.  Motel rooms cost less than $ 100 per night, and I gratefully parked my carcass in a nice one.

It happens, in Indio, that one can walk, safely, along the 111, for two miles, and not find anywhere, other than an AM/PM., to get a cup of coffee.  This is, as much as anywhere else in southern California, a city designed for the automobile, while those whose fortune, or whose choice, it is to be without wheels, manage to walk along wide and well-kept sidewalks, taking the time they need to get from A to B.  Somehow, I enjoy being among them, walking the flat surface of the Colorado Desert cityscape.

Now, it’s bedtime.  I pray for a little boy who didn’t survive a beat-down, allegedly at the hands of his stepfather.  It’ll take some time before I can pray for the stepfather, and all I can do right now is resolve to be ever better at being kind and loving to those children I, myself, encounter, every day.