Way back in the 70’s when television began to spotlight Rock N’ Roll artists, there was really no network or show that people could tune into to watch live performances.
Other than the occasional, scripted show, such as The Ed Sullivan, Smother’s Brothers Comedy Hour or even one of the lesser “variety” shows of the day; you never really got to see an artist playing their own music, on their own terms.
Everything that you watched was scripted, choreographed and in some cases lip-synced right down to the word or note. All of those shows adhered to strict network guidelines when it came to content and creativity. Some shows were not allowed to broadcast the songs as recorded or even played for fear that the words would be too controversial.
Enter . . . The Midnight Special.
On the Midnight special, things were a lot looser and spontaneous. Since it was later at night, there was much more artistic freedom granted the artists. Groups came on because they wanted to showcase their live performance artistry. It was a great fit at a great time in show business.
That was kind of what it was like, last Friday night at the Three Blind Mice Irish Pub in mt. Clemens, Mich.
Right int he middle of our first set, the door flew open and in came a big group of revelers, apparently all wound up, with no where to go.
Since something happened at his usual, afternoon gig down at the waterfront in Mt. Clemens, the legendary Adam Alan brought his entire entourage to come see us.
They came from miles around to see him, and since he couldn’t play there, they could watch him play here!
Great fortune for Carl and I.
And, what a night it turned out to be. Adam sat in again, lending his incomparable skills to each and every song that he played. Then his friend “Piper” brought out his suitcase full of blues and joined in on the harmonica. We had seen him before, but not without his trademark bagpipes.
Just when things started to settle down gain, there was a call to have the young lady in their group to sing a few songs. She was amazing, favoring the salivating audience with some Fleetwood Mac and John Prine selections.
To round out the night, someone even sat it long enough to serenade the “Mice” with his classical and new-age guitar musings.
The night seemed to us just like we were back in the 70’s on the classic variety show, The midnight Special. Full of excitement, talent and even booze!
What a night to remember. Hope that it happens again sometime, as the audience enjoyed each and every note.