Once upon a time, back in the 1980’s if you really must know, there were three kids who used to hang out together on the south side of Easton: James, Michael and John.
For the most part, these three friends would spend summer days playing Dungeons & Dragons, reading comic books, shooting basketball or occasionally, making Spiderman home movies.
Music was also a huge part of their lives. The boys loved buying the latest albums, wearing out the vinyl while playing state of the art video games on the Atari 2600, and attending concerts. Sometimes in pairs but rarely as a trio.
As time wore on these three people (let’s just call them “The Trio”) kind of lost touch with each other and went their own separate ways. Michael started college and entered the world of finance, John put down his imaginary +2 sword in favor of an army rifle and James entered the health care field and continued to play guitar on the side.
Through fate, and the social networks, the three of us were able to reconnect a year or so ago. We had always talked about getting together for a drink and reminiscing, but of course talking about something and actually doing it are two different things. Work, families and other commitments tend to get in the way. Days quickly turned into months and although I’d see John at the gym every so often or receive a text message from Mike when our football team was playing, we never pulled the trigger and made The Trio reunion happen.
Then one day, a few weeks ago something really cool happened. I was offered concert tickets to see Lita Ford at Penns Peak. Now, readers of my blog already know of my admiration for Lita. Heck, I walked for miles in the summer heat with my guitar to lesson to learn how to play her songs. But, as I thought about the opportunity of seeing Lita some more, a huge smile came across my face. What better way to reunite The Trio than with the one thing we all had in common: our love of music?
So, instead of texting Mike I decided to do it “old school” and actually call him. You know, just like if it were the 1980’s. Mike and I had seen plenty of concerts while teenagers back in the day. From the first concert we both ever saw: The Scorpions and some new band named Bon Jovi to REO Speedwagon, Survivor, Cinderella, RATT, Poison, Night Ranger, Ace Frehley… the list goes on. Mike checked his schedule, and it was a go.
Next, a quick message to John, who also was also immediately on board. “Dude” he said, “I haven’t been to a show with you since we saw Stevie Nicks and Frampton back in ’86. You KNOW I’m there!”
Wow! I knew John and I had seen Stevie Nicks in Philadelphia, but had completely forgotten that Peter Frampton was the opening act. But that’s what’s cool about seeing concerts with friends; they help remind you of these things.
At approximately 6:10 pm on July 12th, 2012 The Trio were officially reunited in the parking lot of Penns Peak. The first time the three of us stood together in probably 25 years. In between handshakes, hugs and pats on the back was a bit of sadness too. How was it possible that the three of us all still lived within 30 minutes of each other and never got together?
My self-imposed depression was short-lived as we made our way to the bar (yes, it’s good to be an adult sometimes). It was there that we ate, drank and talked about how great it was to be together again and do something we all loved.
As we watched the concert, much like we always did back in our heyday, Mike and I would constantly look over at each other, nodding in approval of Lita’s performance. It was just like the days of yore and the three of us basked in the glory of metal. Lita was supporting her brand new album and never sounded better.
After rocking together at the show, we actually had the opportunity to meet Lita backstage. Of course, I already know that she’s the “Queen” so it was one of the coolest things ever for me to meet her personally. But for some reason, having the three of us there together at that moment bumped it up a notch in cool.
As we stood there for a group picture, another smile came across my face (this now seemed to be a recurring trend). I kept thinking that Lita was part of something really special and had absolutely no idea about it.
Afterwards, we made our way out into the late summer night, the last ones left in the now empty parking lot. We stood there for fifteen minutes absorbing what had just taken place.
“Jimmy, I KNOW you want to wait here and follow her bus!”, John said. I laughed out loud thinking that was probably something he would have said after we saw Stevie Nicks, and in both cases my answer would still the same: “Hell, yes!”
After a final handshake, high-five and promise to keep in touch we all went our separate ways again. Brothers in music, hoping the time between now and our next reunion isn’t quite so long.