Michael Johnson Concert

I went to see Michael Johnson in concert at the Pioneer Place on Fifth last night -- what a thrill! I remember seeing him for the first time in the Stewart Hall Auditorium back in the mid 80s and sitting a mile away, last night I was in the front row.

He hasn't lost a thing, although his voice was a little weak at times, but that's understandable seeing as he just had quadruple bypass surgery only 4 1/2 months ago. His guitar playing, on the other hand, is still up to snuff, in fact it's beyond snuff, he's one of the best guitarists I've ever seen.

He played an Irving Berlin song that I simply must learn, but I forgot the title (grrr!). Berlin wrote it for the woman he loved, but back in those days it was unthinkable for a Jewish man to marry a Catholic woman. It's something like "That'll Do" or "It'll Have To Do," I just can't remember -- I even asked him after the concert, but it was gone by the time I got home. Sometimes it really sucks being ADD.

He'll be back again next year, maybe I can find out then.

At one point I was in the bathroom washing my hands and the guy next to me asked what I thought of the concert, I told him I was thrilled because I am such a fan of Michael Johnson.

"What did you think of the opening act?" he asked.

I told him I didn't really like them. It was a husband and wife team from Duluth, I didn't catch their names, and they did cutsie folk. One of their songs was "Matching Baggage" and it told the story of how they met. I found it way too cute and walked out after it in order to wait in the bar until the main act started.

It's just a matter of personal taste, he used simple chords and simple melodies and both their singing voices were very weak and thready. But he was very entertaining to the crowd and very engaging to them.

It just wasn't my cup of tea, I told him.

"That other fellow can sure play the guitar," he said and I agreed, "but I'll bet he can't fish." That was such a non sequiter I had no response.

Later I saw that fellow talking with the opening artists, his body language told me he was a close friend or possibly family. I didn't feel bad, though, I didn't diss the guy, I just said it wasn't for me.

Now, to figure out that Irving Berlin song…

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Anonymous said…
What'll I Do Lyrics
Writer: Irving Berlin

Gone is the romance that was so divine.
'Tis broken and cannot be mended.
You must go your way,
And I must go mine.
But now that our love dreams have ended...

What'll I do
When you are far away
And I am blue
What'll I do?

What'll I do?
When I am wond'ring who
Is kissing you
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?

When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?

What'll I do with just a photograph
To tell my troubles to?

When I'm alone
With only dreams of you
That won't come true
What'll I do?
Mike Sawin said…
I love Irving Berlin's music, and I agree with the anonymous poster above. The closest title I can come up with given your information is "What'll I Do". It's an incredible song, almost a classy blues number.

I've heard it a million times, by everyone from Linda Ronstadt to Bea Arthur. Koko Taylor even has a version.

If that's not the song you have in mind, I might be able to help if I had a little more to go on.
Anonymous said…
"What'll I Do" is indeed the song Michael sang in St. Cloud. It was Michael's father's favorite song.
Muggsy said…
Thank you, anonymous poster!! Who was that masked person?
Anonymous said…
I'm MJ's webmaster. I enjoyed reading about your cats. Hope the two are still buds.
Jen said…
Arghggh, I wanted to go to this show. But couldn't talk the hubby into it. Shoulda gone stag.

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