ARTIST VENUE YEAR
Maynard Ferguson The Ohio Center, Columbus 1980
I was proud to be a member of the marching band my freshman year of high school. The 1980-1981 school year was magical, and the senior class could seeminly do no wrong. The football team qualified for the state play-offs for the first time ever; the basketball team went all the way to the state semi-finals; amd the marching band received so many accolades at the state marching band competition that we qualified for the national marching competition that spring in Florida.
It was after the marching band competition in November that a bunch of us stayed behind in the state capital to catch Maynard Ferguson at the Ohio Center. Ferguson had been catching a lot of flack for dumping most of his orchestra, and for being seduced by commercialism, but none of that mattered to us. Our group of about 20 students sat agape at the musical gymnastics Ferguson performed with his trumpet. He could hit a double-high C that sent shivers down my spine and made the hair on my neck stand straight up. I never wanted the show to end.
On the ride home, and for weeks afterwards, that show was all we could talk about. I admit to wearing my black Maynard Ferguson concert t-shirt hundreds of times, and after I outgrew it I still kept it neatly folded in the bottom drawer of my dresser.
It was finally sold on eBay a few years ago. Although I could no longer wear it, and although it fetched a good price at auction, I sometimes wish I still had that shirt.
Because whenever I caught a glimpse of it in the drawer, I was transported back to being a gawky, geeky, carefree teenager again, if only for a brief few moments.