The 40+ year old mystery had eaten away at my soul like athlete’s foot has eaten away my pinky toe, leaving just a stump of flesh and bone with a nail. Hmm, upon further review, that’s what a pinky toe is normally. Bad analogy. Regardless, the mystery of the band I saw in my first concert while on my first date has been solved. Okay, technically it wasn’t my first concert. I had been to a zither concert (no kidding) with the neighbor kid across the street and his dad. But that doesn’t really count, because we just explored the building and screwed around while the zitherists were zithering. Anyway, the mystery involved my first rock concert on my first date, and it has been solved.
I hurriedly gushed out all the details to my wife. Her crossed arms and steely gaze signaled to me that she would be mad if I left out any detail. When she told me, “You realize that I don’t know any of these people you’re talking about,” I understood that she wanted me to fill her in on every little detail so she would feel she knew the people. I hadn’t seen my wife so excited to hear one of my stories since I regaled her with news of how I resolved my ingrown toenail issue.
Editor’s Note: Sorry about a second toe reference in the first two paragraphs, but the idiot insisted it remain in this post. Might be some sort of weird fetish.
Anyway, I shared the mystery resolution with my wife, and now I’m prepared to share it with you.
It seems like only yesterday …
It was freshman year of high school. I looked about ten years old. She was smart, sweet, in need of some orthodontia work, and cute on the days that she washed her hair. I was smitten. And then she asked me to go to a concert with her. However, I was so socially awkward at the time that I was incapable of speaking to the opposite sex. I gladly signaled my acceptance of the date using my everpresent aldis lamp.
Rather than lugging my heavy aldis lamp on our date, I vowed to learn semaphore before the concert and our first date.
The band was Morninglory. They played Christian rock. There was some religious dude there running the concert that wanted to baptize us all in some creek. It was not how I wanted our first date to go. I declined the baptism on the grounds that I didn’t want to get my new semaphore flags wet.
My date eventually moved away to Minnesota, never to be seen again. By me, I mean. Other people could still see her. She hadn’t become invisible.
Years later while leafing through a bin of used records, I found this album by Morninglory called Growing.
I couldn’t resist. I just had to shoplift it by stuffing it down my pants and eagerly brought it home. It was as I listened to the album that the mystery coalesced to haunt me for decades. They sounded nothing like the band I had heard in concert. They played secular rock. Was it the same band? I had to find out. But how?
Yesterday, I confirmed it was. I had stumbled upon this website with info on the independently pressed Morninglory Growing album. https://www.discogs.com/Morninglory-Growing/release/3896767 Here’s a track from the album that I quite like on a promo 45 rpm record with the band’s name shown as two words, not one.
A quick internet search located former Morninglory drummer Phil Madeira, now a drummer for Emmy Lou Harris. I contacted him through his website, and he was gracious enough to fill me in on his Morninglory days that he fondly remembers. Yes, they played small gigs in the Chicago area. Yes, they were Christian rockers that put out a secular album. Yes, I also saw him in concert with the Phil Keaggy Band in the late 70s. Yes, I will stop emailing him, please.
Seriously, he was a cool guy who was quite eager to reminice about his Morninglory days. Check him out on Facebook as it looks like he livestreams a concert every Sunday night. You might like what you hear.
And now, back to my toes …
Editor’s Note: See? Told you.