Thursday, December 29, 2011

Reading Backwards

I just finished an amazing book - Spalding Gray's journals, published by Knopf. It is a must-read for anyone who ever loved Gray's monologues or had the privilige of seeing them (I think I saw him 4 times). I've never done this before, but I started this book toward the end because I couldn't quite remember the circumstances behind Gray's death and I wanted to refresh my memory. There had been a terrible car accident on a trip to Ireland in which he incurred a severe brain injury, propelling his already frail mental health into further despair.

I next moved to the middle of the book, starting when he booked the role in the movie "The Killing Fields", the experience which inspired his monologue, "Swimming to Cambodia." He is so alive in these sections. Totally neurotic, but so immersed in living a creative life.

I then finished the book at the beginning, which chronicles his post-college days (Coincidentally, he went to my college, Emerson College). This part is where he learns of his mother's suicide.

It was very interesting reading this backwards. I felt like a psychologist, piecing together the layers that made up this complex human being. It was also compelling to watch the themes of his life emerge. Water and water imagery played such an important role in his life - from the title of his monologue ("Swimming to Cambodia") to his childhood on the Rhode Island coast, to his ultimate death by drowning.

I was so taken by this book that it has inspired me to pitch a new course at the art college where I teach - something like, "In Their Own Words - Artists Write About Living a Creative Life." It might be awkward discussing all of Gray's sexploits, but oh well...

Speaking of reading backwards, with the new year fast approaching I am looking back at '11 - what a busy, expansive, intense, abundant year it has been. I am grateful for so much and look forward to welcoming in '12. When the clock strikes midnight I will probably be in downward dog, my new New Year's Eve yoga ritual. I hope that you, too, find yourself in an interesting position, whatever that may be, and I look forward to connecting with you in the new year!

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Not Easy Being Green

Last night I saw a screening of the charming, inspiring, heartfelt "Being Elmo," the documentary which chronicles the life and career of the puppeteer Kevin Clash. Inextricably linked to Clash's story is, of course, Jim Henson, muppet creator extraordinaire who gave Clash his big break.

In the early 70's I had the amazing opportunity of going to Jim Henson's workshop and 'meeting' all the muppets. You see, my dad, a comedy writer on the Jimmy Dean show in the 60's, had once written jokes for one of Henson's first characters, Rawlph the dog.

From Wikipedia: Rowlf rose to stardom as Jimmy Dean's sidekick on The Jimmy Dean Show. The show ran from 1963 until 1966. Rowlf the Dog was a regular on the show, and was billed as Jimmy's "ol' buddy." Between seven and ten minutes of every show were devoted to a spot with Rowlf and Dean. Many of the comedy sketches ended with the two singing a duet together. Rowlf's tenure on The Jimmy Dean Show allowed Jim Henson to develop the character over a period of time
I was 4 or 5 and we were in New York and my dad had arranged for me to meet Henson and the rest of the furry gang. He'd since gone on to create Sesame Street, obviously, and considering it was my favorite show in the world my dad knew this would be an opportunity of a lifetime. My memory comes in patchwork around that day. I remember bringing cookies and feeding Cookie Monster, I remember seeing rows of muppets (were they called that then? I think they might have still been puppets) sitting inanimately on shelves, I remember the smell of the studio and I remember feeling extraordinarily shy. I'm not sure how long we stayed, or what we talked about (I'll have to ask my dad next time I see him) but somewhere in my clutter of stuff I have this postcard with Henson's signature...

Seeing the movie last night brought back so many amazing memories - not only of meeting them as a child, but watching the show on a nightly basis, being absorbed by the characters and stories and the world of Sesame Street. The movie was just another reminder about following your passion, whether it be puppetry or poetry. There are so many lives that you can affect by you just being you.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Narrator: As the 21st century began, human evolution was at a turning point. Natural selection, the process by which the strongest, the smartest, the fastest, reproduced in greater numbers than the rest, a process which had once favored the noblest traits of man, now began to favor different traits. Most science fiction of the day predicted a future that was more civilized and more intelligent. But as time went on, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction. A dumbing down. How did this happen? Evolution does not necessarily reward intelligence. With no natural predators to thin the herd, it began to simply reward those who reproduced the most, and left the intelligent to become an endangered species.

I watched a good movie the other night. The premise supposes that by the year 2505 society has dumbed down to the lowest possible level thanks to hundreds of years of breeding by the wrong people. Idiots litter the streets of a post-apocolyptic America. Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph play characters who are victims of a 2005 government experiment gone wrong and when they wake up 500 years later, they are faced with the reality of Idiocracy.

Okay, obviously this is no Citizen Kane, no Gone With the Wind, but as far as social commentary is concerned, it is spot on. The idiots of 2505 don't actually speak, they grunt, like Kris Humphries. Their
facial expressions are as blank as the Kardashians. They just don't understand. Life is very hard. But they keep having kids (The Duggars). This movie was made before Snookie arrived on the scene, before the Real Housewives invaded Bravo.

Idiocracy was written and directed by Mike Judge, the man behind Beavis and Butt-head. That show about those two stoners who watch TV and laugh? you say? Yes, that's the one. But that show was also commenting on the youths of society. I teach college and am confronted with those insipid blank stares, confusion over due dates, surprise over plaigairism allegations. I see our future and it's kind of scary.

Idiocracy is a cautionary tale. It is the whisper before the scream.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Pace

Another jam-packed NY trip has sadly come to an end. In 3 1/2 days I managed to attend my favorite Russian restaurant/bar (even though I'm allergic to Vodka I can't get enough of their gravlox and potato pancakes), have lunch with the bestie birthday girl at the scrumptious Spice Market, walk the High Line on my way to meet my book agent for a drink , (who always manages to make it feel like everything is going to be okay), catch a performance of Follies, the best, starring Bernadette Peters (apologies to

friends who had to endure my rendition of "Broadway Baby" over and over and over after the show...). I occupied Wall Street in the rain, traveled by car to Connecticut
in the harrowing snow storm, made the best out of a power outage by dancing to 80's music in front of the fire (14-year old DJ Julia kept the tunes going), took a walk in the snow-covered neighborhood, dodging falling branches and downed power lines (Whenever a clump of snow fell from the trees Erika declared, "It's like the Wizard of Oz when the trees pelt apples at everyone!"). I ate more, and more, and more.

Back in NYC I stood in what seemed to be a thankless line, at least 25 people deep, for Book of Mormon tickets and much to my surprise and delight found that I was the only single one in line and got the one extra ticket they had to offer. The line boo'd as I came to collect my ticket but I didn't care because when I slipped into the 4th row center seat, my row applauded my arrival, knowing how hard these tickets are to come by (sold out until June, 2012). My face still hurts from laughing. It was truly the funniest most crass thing I've ever seen - and the music was great, too. Matt Stone and Trey Parker can do no wrong.
On my way to the airport the next day, I stopped at the MOMA thanks to Daryl's membership, and caught the De Kooning retrospective which took my breath away. (BTW, shout out to dogfriend Teddy who licked my nose every morning to wake me up.)

The flight home was through the blazing orange sunset all the way from coast to coast. I'm already scheming ways to get back to NYC in the Spring. My theater and food habit is very expensive, unfortunately, but I'll somehow figure it out.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back to Court, Virtually Speaking

Is it so sick that I'm lapping up every word of the Conrad Murray trial? You'd expect nothing less from the person who traveled to Utah to observe the Elizabeth Smart case, right? I am very attracted to stories that plug into the bigger themes of life - in this case greed and power.

Yesterday the courtroom heard from many of the UCLA doctors who worked on Jackson, trying to resuscitate him. These doctors, mostly women, were brilliant in their testimony. A cardiac specialist named Thao Nguyen was particularly impressive. She went toe-to-toe with the defense lawyers and was so articulate and composed. I kept thinking, all these doctors are down the street at my local hospital.

Today we've got another crop of ladies. Yes, we're hearing from Dr. Murray's gals - one is his baby-mama, a 29-year old aspiring actress, while another he met in da club in Vegas, I'm guessing age 25. I know I have better things to do, but a story is a story and this is one that is capturing me right now. What current events are capturing you?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Before and After

Wow! College was so long ago. Who are those babies in these pictures? This photo might have been within days of meeting each other for the first time on the 5th floor of our dorm in Boston. John is already doing toothpaste shots and I'm grabbing Mark with OJ's glove.

And here, John's tongue is out, as it usually was, and Katie's got that signature smile on her face. I believe we are at Noelle's house in Cohassat, MA, where we used to escape sometimes on weekends. Shout out to Catherine Pouch in the background.
Well, we're all grown up now (I guess that's debatable, but certainly we're all aged up now) and here we are at the Hollywood Bowl 25 years later (for 80's night, no less - Berlin, The Fixx, the B52's and Human League - how perfect is that?). The last time Diane, Mark, Katie, Noelle, John and I were all together was perhaps 1987.

Although college was a blast, specific memories are vague at best. I mean, do you remember details about what you were doing 25 years ago?

There were a lot of parties - too many of us stuffed in dorm rooms, drinking and dancing. I remember typing many papers on my giant-sized Brother typewriter, which seemed so modern at the time. I remember being sick a lot - this California girl not quite sure how to dress for the snow. (The storms were so thrilling, though - sleet, hail, snow!)

A bunch of us reunited over this past Labor Day weekend. We sifted through photo albums, jogged each other's memories, spent hours on my couch gabbing, gabbing, gabbing. We ate, we drank, we even sang...

RW really feels it when he's behind the mic...

Overall, it was a spectacular weekend. Time really does have wings and I'm glad we were able to capture these moments before the next 25 evaporate before our eyes.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What We Talk About When We Talk About Food

I have had some amazing meals in the past few weeks - some created, some purchased. Pictured below is a salmon and apple carpaccio dish inspired by Giada DeLaurentiis. I hosted a brunch for my parents the other week and this was the standout of the meal. Thin slices of smoked salmon are joined by thin slices of green apple, capers, a dollop of olive oil and served with toasted olive bread. The flavors and textures are outstanding together, and I know I'll be assembling this dish many more times in the future.
For my birthday last week, my parents took me to a phenomenal restaurant in Koreatown called Jun Won. My mom had read a review in the LA Times that had her mouth watering. It is a small place, almost like a diner, and kind of hard to find, but this is the best Korean food I think I've ever had. Even the little side dishes, pictured here, were out of this world. Everything was so fresh and bursting with flavor. Run, do not walk, to this restaurant as soon as you get a chance. Later that day I went to this spa, which deserves an entire post of it's own. Let me just say here that it is open 24 hours and on Tuesdays costs a mere $15.00 for the use of all its fabulous and wacky amenities.

I overate this weekend while hosting a college reunion - a Hollywood Bowl picnic, dinner at Street, lots of little "pickies" as our friend John calls noshing food, and then this fantastic dinner at Loteria Grill. Katie sampled the 12-taco special...

...while I indulged in a shrimp and pumpkin sauce dish. Mmmmmmmmm.

I have A LOT to say about this past weekend's reunion, but am waiting for pictures to illustrate the stories. Ooops, just looked at the clock - 12:30 - time for lunch! I wonder why I'm so hungry?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Big Sur, Yes Sir

I've been coming up to Esalen regularly for about 3 years now and it never disappoints. I do find that I take the same pictures year after year. The property is a photographer's dream. These photos were taken on my cell phone. I can only imagine what a 'real' camera would capture.

Big Sur is notoriously moody with fog and marine layers, but not this time. It was sunny and in the 80's the entire trip.

This year I brought with me Henry Miller's "Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymous Bosch" which I'd purchased on a trip up here a few years ago at the fantastic Henry Miller bookstore a few miles North of Esalen off Highway 1.

Miller lived and wrote in the area for fifteen years and this book details what it was like being an artist, and all the characters who lived and worked in this part of the world when he did.

If I were a 20-30 year old guy, Henry Miller would be my idol. This book in particular gives permission to be an artist. Hell, as a 40-something-year-old woman I'm still in awe. His voice is so encouraging, funny and confident, and he writes about the area with such knowledge and passion.

I'm holding the book in front of the same mountains that are on the book cover (I think)

And just to bring things back full circle...

Sitting in my dining room is this postcard from Henry Miller himself. (see below) My mom's friend from Montreal, Isabelle, had written to him asking about farming opportunities in Big Sur (from what I understand, she didn't give a crap about farming opportunities, she just wanted to connect with the man himself) He wrote her back and she saved the postcard for the rest of her life. When she passed away, her other friend (my mom's best friend Ruth) recovered the card and gave it to me where it now sits framed in my home. This postcard has made a circuitous journey, but I'm honored and grateful that it landed in my hands. Now more than ever I feel connected to this wonderful piece of memorabilia from this iconic author.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Suddenly, I find, my life is taking place downtown.

Last week I was on jury duty. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a good courtroom drama, but the flourescent lights were so... flourescent, the judge droned on and on, some other jurors were so annoying and the walk from Disney Hall, where we had to park, to the Criminal Courts building was just plain painful in slightly heeled sandals. Did I mention that the defendant was defending himself? Thankfully I had this fantastic book to keep me company.

On Friday, post jury duty, I had a reading downtown, however I wasn't dressed for a reading nor did I have any of my books in the car. After court I had to drive home (over an hour), shower, change, grab books and hop back in the car (almost 2 hours in peak traffic) to head back downtown for the reading. The night was a blast, but as I was saying my goodbyes, I experienced auras that signified a migraine was coming. And it came, keeping me company on my schlep back home.

Next semester I'll be teaching a course at my college's downtown campus, as well as teaching a few courses through this downtown writing salon. Oh, it's a lot of driving, but I'm excited to explore some restaurants, neighborhoods and other sights that I normally wouldn't get to see.

And then there's this spot that I imagine I'll be frequenting on my drive back home to the west side. Aaah. That might make it all worthwhile.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Writing/Teaching news...

I spent last Sunday night reading the terrifying, haunting, overwhelming "A Stolen Life" by Jaycee Dugard. Why did I read this cover to cover before going to bed? Um, not sure. The psychological enormity of the situation is beyond comprehension. Dugard proves to be an excellent writer - even her journal entries written at 11-years old show what a good writer she is.

Go to fullsize image

Speaking of writing, I am on a panel this weekend and then teaching a few classes here as well. I'm looking forward to a new crop of people and the yummy food and drink that accompanies these events!

In other writing news, my piece, tentatively titled, "Rachael Ray Saved my Life" will be included in an anthology titled, "The Dish: Making the Food that Makes Your Family," forthcoming from Shambhala Publications (Fall, 2012). My friend Lisa co-edited this anthology with Caroline Grant and the sale of this project earlier this week marks the end of a very long search for the right publisher and the beginning of an exciting new chapter for them. I couldn't be more thrilled for them!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Random Thoughts

1. I am teaching at this wonderful organization. Browse the menu of writing courses to see if anything sparks your interest. I am teaching a 1-day course titled, "Imagination Vacation," as well as co-teaching a longer novel writing workshop.

2. Happened to catch Jennifer Aniston on the James Lipton show earlier this week. I was so struck by her discomfort. She was constantly tugging on her hair, answering long questions with awkward one-word bites and making faces that expressed such sadness. Did anyone else happen to see this? What up with her?

3. You know you're living in L.A. when you've been invited to three "carmaggedon" parties. For the abroad readers: The 405 Freeway, a main driving artery, is being shut down this weekend for major construction. According to the media this is going to disrupt L.A. like no other. We'll see how it all plays out...

4. Many, many Canadian cousins visiting this month, eh?

5. Preliminary plans underway for the "25-years since we met" college party. I'm not sure when I became a reunion organizer, but I suppose I named this blog "Connections Clark" for a reason.

Friday, June 24, 2011

East Coast Trip, Summer '11

I just returned from the most wonderful trip to Boston and New York. Since I am still jet-lagged (why do I have such a dramatic reaction to 3-hour time differences?) I will save the stories for another time and just post some pictures. I am so grateful to the many friends with whom I stayed, and all the fun adventures. This trip had nature as its theme. To the left is a picture of the beautiful Fells, in Medford, MA. We went hiking there one afternoon.

Below, and having nothing to do with nature, is the luxurious condo building, The Charlesview. Why do I have a picture of this? Because it used to be my college dorm called "Fensgate." As my friend Noelle wrote, "If those condo owners only knew..."

I hadn't been to Boston in close to 19 years. So much has changed, yet so much has stayed the same. What a beautiful city. It felt like every building held a memory.

The Harvard Yard - still as gorgeous as ever. By the way, all these photos were taken on my cell phone. Not bad, right? Speaking of right, to the right is a picture of the High Line in New York. This elevated railway was converted to public gardens. I love how the flowers in this picture mimic the skyscrapers of NYC.

After a few days in the city, running around like a crazy person, I went up to the Catskills where my friends own a home. Ah, finally, rest and relaxation.
Self-portrait: cocktail hour in Andes.

My four-legged boyfriend, Teddy. I love this dog so much that I'm seriously considering adopting a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. I know they are big but...

Trying to get boyfriend Teddy to pose for the camera (but he only has eyes for me).

I bounced home on one of the most turbulent flights I can remember. What was up in the atmosphere yesterday? Oh, sidebar, both pilots - going to and coming back from the East coast - were women! I know it's 2011 and I shouldn't be shocked that women fly planes, but c'mon, it was kind of cool.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Girlfriends Book Club: Happiness is a Broadway Musical

Please click on the link to read a post I contributed to the blog group I'm in.

Girlfriends Book Club: Happiness is a Broadway Musical: "I am so enjoying my trial satellite radio in my new car. My favorite station, hands down, is the Broadway station. Every song evokes a memo..."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Woof Bak

I met two dogs on my run this morning: Lola and Chicken.

Say what?

Monday, May 30, 2011

The End of the Story - or Perhaps the Beginning...

Last week I headed back to Utah for the conclusion of the Brian David Mitchell sentencing. Why do all these creeps have three names? I checked into the same hotel as last time and was given the exact same room. The entire city of Salt Lake seemed to be headed to the U2 concert that night, but I was on a wild goose chase looking for the Whole Foods which had moved since last time I was there. I got confused and caught in a tangle of rowdy U2 spectators while I negotiated the packed trains. I finally hopped off and walked. Sadly, I never found the Whole Foods - well, not until later in the weekend.

The next morning my author friend Dorothy came to the hotel and we had breakfast and caught up on our lives since last we'd seen each other (in November, in the courtroom). We both felt a strong pull towards this case and are both writing about it in various ways. We headed back to room 247 in the Federal Court Building and waited about 2 1/2 hours until we were finally let back into the room for the sentencing hearing.

It was so swift that I'm still wrapping my brain around it. Some stalling from the bumbling defense team, some lucid arguments from the prosecution and then the Federal Marshals ushered the creep back into the courtroom for the last time. As usual his eyes were closed and he was singing hymns. What a jerk.

Ed Smart, Elizabeth's father, stood and took the mic. He spoke with emotion when he said, "Your perversion and exploitation of religion is not a defense. You put Elizabeth Smart through over 9 months of psychological hell..."

Then Elizabeth came to the stand, took a deep breath and said the following: (or something close to it, I was scribbling words and watching all at the same time)

"I don't have very much to say to you. I know what you did because I was there. I know you know what you did was wrong. I have a wonderful life. You took away 9 months of my life but no matter what you do you will never affect me again. You will have to face your punishment whether in this life or the next. I hope you're ready for it."

The judge reiterated what a heinous and degrading crime it was and then sentenced the creep to Life in Prison, twice. He asked if the creep had anything to say, but he kept his eyes closed and kept humming.

And that was it.
It was over.

There was a press conference. I stood a little behind the poised and beautiful Elizabeth as she spoke like a pro. I took some pictures.

Dorothy and I went out for an early dinner and discussed everything. I went back to the hotel gym and worked out for an hour, then crawled into bed.

My childhood fear of kidnapping coupled with the novel I'd written with a kidnapping at its core is what brought me to the trial in the first place. The experience, however, turned into much more than research for a book. I was immersed into a world of religion and a squirrely man's need for power. I met brilliant members of the court, from lawyers to guards, and a myriad of law students. I befriended another author and we spent a lot of time chewing on all the testimony we heard in court. I came to understand a complicated LDS history with power and control, polygamy and even violence at its core, and how this current case really descended from something that has always been.

The next day, before my afternoon flight, I headed back to search for the Whole Foods. I was finally able to find it due to the lovely Android technology. It moved into an old Trolley Building. I took a picture of it because it was so hip. Inside, while finding treats for the plane and scoping out what I'd have for lunch, I spotted the Smart family - Elizabeth, her mother and her sister. They were walking down aisles, grabbing lots of food.

I wanted to say something to Elizabeth, but I didn't know what. Other shoppers were noticing her, but not saying anything, so I took my cue from them. I bought some lunch and sat at the tables nearby. Now this is closure! I thought. Elizabeth and her mom checked out and then waited right by me for Mary-Katherine to finish paying. I snuck a picture.
It was thrilling to me that we all weren't in a courtroom, on uncomfortable, wooden benches. We were engaging in life, eating and shopping - such normal activities!

My journey to Salt Lake City to experience a kidnapping trial was made complete by seeing Elizabeth Smart hanging with her family at a supermarket. I was lucky enough to witness the first day of the rest of her life, her wonderful life as she told Mitchell. And knowing what she'd been through, this was surely something to celebrate.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Spring Awakenings

Do you find that your life revolves around themes? I think all of ours do, but I am paying close attention ever since I was hired to teach the Capstone class at the college where I work. (This course, taught to seniors, results in a 15-page paper focussing on the academic themes of the students' work).

My theme lately can be summed up in one word: CLEANSE.

It started with my sister and a book she shared with me. Both she and her friend were on the program for a week when I saw them recently. Not only had they both lost weight, but there was a certain glow emanating from them. The whites of my sister's eyes were so white, her skin so smooth, that I immediately decided I was going to try it out.

There's nothing too crazy about this cleanse - it's nothing like the Master Cleanse, which immediately gave me one of the worst migraines of my life when I tried it. No, this is simply a way of mindful eating - a vegetable 'smoothie' for breakfast, a normal meal for lunch (minus things like wheat, carbs, certain fruits, etc. etc. - it's mostly about staying away from processed foods and eating lots of whole foods) and a fruit smoothie for dinner. I'm on day 7 and I feel great. At first I wanted to get up and graze every hour, as I think I normally do, but that impulse reaction has died down. The goal is to eat this way for 3 weeks and I know I'll be able to do it. It's just that easy.

More cleansing is coming around my car. I recently got an adorable green Mini Cooper and am now it the process of selling my Audi. I've spent the past two weeks riding in the back of my own car as strangers take it for a spin. I met a gang of young Russian friends (who pulled up in a Boxter and spilled out like a clown car), an Iranian father/daughter duo, an Indian tech worker and a Mexican couple. It's like the UN over here. I'm hopeful that two of the interested parties will make an official offer tomorrow and I will finally wash that car right outta my hair (and send it on its way).

Even more cleansing is occurring with my grade book, my folders and my in-box. School's out for summer and I am weeding through old lesson plans, emails from students, uncollected papers, journals, you name it. My home is saddled with their crap and you know what? I don't want it! I've become very close with my recycling bins over these past few days. Buh-bye notes begging me to accept late papers, so long midterms that were never picked up.

In another week I'm heading back to Salt Lake City for the sentencing hearing of the Brian David Mitchell case. This story, that has dragged on for years and years and years, will finally come to an end on May 25th. You can bet I'll blog about it as soon as it's over. I'm looking forward to meeting up with my newfound court friends and seeing Elizabeth Smart released from that ball and chain of a memory.

I'd love to hear what themes are playing out in your life right now. Drop me a note in the comments section!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Meet My Mini...

We're having a grand old time zipping around the city listening to the 70's satellite station!

Monday, April 25, 2011


I can't believe my concert luck. I got to see two (actually, four) legends in a week.
The Paul Simon show at the intimate Music Box in Hollywood was such a thrill. I followed him around like a puppy in the late 80's/early 90's while he was touring with Graceland and Rhythm of the Saints, playing huge arenas. To see him up close and personal twenty years later was an honor. Sure, he's gone grey but now at 70, I think he's at the top of his game. His new work from So Beautiful or So What is outstanding, and he mixed it up with old classics, including many from the two albums I mentioned above.

A last minute Saturday night text changed the course of my evening. I was in the car h
eaded to meet up with friends for a poetry reading when I got invited to the Prince concert. I've written about Prince before. I am an ardent fan. So what was I supposed to say? No? I called the friend who's house I was driving to, explained the last minute change in plans, and headed to the Forum.
I don't think I'd been to the Forum since early college, when my friend lost her car at the Run DMC concert (and we had to call her father to pick us up). Before that, in high school, I saw many a concert there, including The Police (The Clash opened for them), Oingo Boingo, Tears for Fears, The Kinks, etc.

What a blast from the past.
I almost passed out when Prince announced the opening act - "My sister, your sister, everybody's sister, Ms. Chaka Kahn!" (legend #3) She was on fire, belting out my personal favorite karaoke song "I Feel For You", among others.

And then Prince.

I can't do the show justice, so I'm posting the setlist. Let me just say that the show ran 4 hours. And when it ended after the third encore, the lights up, people thinning out of the Forum, it wasn't over. About 15 minutes later, he was back on stage for a fourth encore. Wait, did I mention the third row seats?

I'll end by saying that whenever I see concerts, especially those of people I idolize, I feel so lucky to be alive and able to connect with musicians of my time.
  1. (with Prince & The Band interpolation)
  2. (with Sheila E.)
  3. (with Sheila E. and Larry Graham)
  4. (with Sheila E. and Larry Graham)
  5. (with Chaka Khan)
  6. (Sheila E. lead vocals, with Soul Sacrifice coda)
  7. (Shelby J. lead vocals)
  8. (with Let's Go Crazy Reprise)
  9. Encore:
  10. (Sampler medley)
  11. Encore 2:
  12. Encore 3:
  13. (with Welcome 2 America interpolation)
  14. (with Housequake interpolation)
  15. Encore 4:
  16. (with Sheila E.)
  17. (with I Like Funky Music interpolation)
  18. (changed to Inglewood Swinging)