Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Joan Rivers and Michael Rivers: 20th Anniversary

Joan Rivers and I meeting for the first time 20 years ago.

April 28, 1990, was the first time I met Joan Rivers. Twenty years ago. I can't believe it!

My parents knew how much I wanted to see Joan so we traveled from Aberdeen, SD to Minneapolis, MN. Joan performed at the famous Guthrie Theater and my mom went to the show with me.

I'll never forget sitting in the audience waiting for Joan to appear. I was so nervous. I couldn't believe I would be seeing her live! Finally it was showtime. The orchestra played Anchors Away and spotlights swept over the crowd.

Joan burst through the curtains. She was wearing a Bob Mackie evening gown and had a black feather boa over her shoulder. When I saw her, I physically jumped in my seat. It was like I had been zapped with an electrical current. The entire show was a rush and I can remember trying to memorize every detail.

After the show my mom and I went to the backstage party. The performance was an AIDS Benefit and if you purchased a $100 ticket (1990 dollars), you got to go backstage. Joan was wonderful with me and I never left her side. I'm sure there were times when she wanted to call a security guard to "get this kid away from me." But she never did.

As Joan was talking to others, I saw that her assistant, Dorothy, was holding Spike (Joan's Yorkie). I asked if I could pet him. Dorothy said, "Do you want to hold him?" My heart jumped as Dorothy placed the small dog into my hands. I beamed! I was holding Joan Rivers' Yorkie.

After talking with everyone backstage, Joan, her assistant and security guards headed out the back entrance. I of course followed along. My mom, wondering where her son was going, quickly caught up. We went out a back door which lead to a dark alley behind the Guthrie Theater. A waiting limo was glowing in the darkness. It was magical.

Joan asked if I wanted to walk Spike down the alley to "do his business" before they entered the limo. I would have walked Spike to China if she had asked me. I walked with Spike and then Joan scooped him up, said good night, entered the limo and drove off.

Joan, thanks for a great 20 years!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Legends I've Seen: Donna Summer

Donna Summer

Number of Concerts I've Attended:

Iconic Moment:
Donna Summer has sold over 130 million records. The 1983 hit She Works Hard for the Money was a crowd favorite. Closing the show with the anthem, Last Dance, encouraged the audience to dance, sing and cheer. And we did.

Sigh. How many times have those lyrics gone through my mind. "Ain't I even worth a dime a dance?"

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Favorite Quote: On Viagra

I only take Viagra when I'm with more than one woman.

Who Said It:
Jack Nicholson

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Joan Rivers Performs in Sioux Falls, SD

When I found out that Joan Rivers was performing in South Dakota for the very first time in her career, I really wanted to be there. Sioux Falls is a four hour drive from Minneapolis, so I decided to go.

The night before the show, I talked with her and she wondered what to expect from a South Dakota audience. There was no need to worry. The show was a success. The audience loved her.

After the show I went backstage and we talked for awhile. She was thrilled for the positive audience response.

Then she said, "Tomorrow is Iowa. I wonder how they will be?"

I told her not to worry.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Legends I've Seen: Barbara Mandrell

Barbara Mandrell

Number of Concerts I've Attended:
Barbara won 75 major awards and her career spanned almost four decades. I was fortunate enough to attend one of her farewell concerts.

Iconic moment:
Barbara singing Sleeping Single in a Double Bed. The song was her 25th hit and spent three weeks at number one.