By Dave Read (Sept. 3, 2022 concert) – Every octogenarian willing and able to draw an audience in these penny-pinching days deserves a standing ovation, and Judy Collins got one tonight. Many of her audience seem in the throes of nostalgia – eager to feel the way they felt when she drew Suite: Judy Blue Eyes out of Steven Stills, with whom she performed here in 2018.
My Judy Collins nostalgia is more prosaic, however. At the tail end of the 1960’s, I delivered a bottle of Almaden chablis to her dressing room at Symphony Hall, home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The term was up at B.U. and, between semesters, I worked at a package store near Massachusetts Ave., where the concert hall is.
The event lodged in memory because the bottle looked cool, I had never heard of Almaden, and Judy Collins was right up there with Joan Baez, Janis Joplin, Gladys Knight, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Mama Cass, Grace Slick…all the chick singers I dug!
Tonight’s concert reminded me of how we were delivered pop music back in the day. A 3 minute song gets played on the radio, then the DJ talks, plays an advertisement, another song, DJ talks, song, news, weather, sports headlines, song, DJ…
Bill Graham’s Fillmore at Tanglewood
Our reward, then, for having to listen to four parts malarkey for every part good rock ‘n roll, was that we got to see and hear our contemporary heroes at venues such as Tanglewood, when the BSO had the good sense to put the Popular Artist franchise in the hands of that other great Wolfgang – Bill Graham!