When we were children the build up to Christmas seemed to take forever. The advent calendar always looked as if there was still a hundred doors to open, but eventually Christmas Day would arrive. The last six months have therefore been complete torture for Mike.
As a young man he drove around France one summer, along with his 8-track and a copy of the album "American Pie" amongst others. By the time his road trip was over, he knew every word to every song (well that's what he tells me) and even now he can sing the whole 8 minutes and 36 seconds of American Pie without even thinking about it, a fact he proved once when we were on a short break in Benidorm (everyone has to experience it at least once.) While sat in a very nice Irish bar the band started to play American Pie as a background song. Mike was on his feet faster than you can snap your fingers, had grabbed a microphone and joined in. I think you can guess that Mike is a big Don McLean fan.
Well last October Don McLean announced he would be touring Europe, including a date at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. I was straight to the box office to get seats. When I told Mike he was really excited, he still is. We wrote the date down and as soon as we got our calendar for this year it was the first date we wrote down. May 3rd 2010. Of course since October things have changed quite a lot. Where once a song would spark a happy memory of youth, it now is tinged with a little sadness, for what has been and what may never be again. Mike has watched his TV interviews over the last couple of weeks with slightly moist eyes, and has already said several times that tonight may be his last chance to see Don in concert. I'm just hoping security don't stop me when they see the size of the bag I need to carry all the boxes of tissues required for this evening's performance.
The only other person he wants to see in concert "before the end" is Joe Cocker, so if anyone knows him, tell him it's got to be before November 1st 2010 or after Mike has recovered from his SCT. Thank you.
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