By Travis McMullen Contributing Columnist
August 12, 2014
“These may not be real good reasons to pick us. But I hope you do,” wrote Stephen Goodwin of Sedalia.
Goodwin and his wife Rebecca have been married for three years.“He wants to do something special for me,” wrote Mrs. Goodwin.
“My wife wants to see Joan Jett so bad it hurts,” admitted Goodwin.
Despite the fact that my guests weren’t exactly showing their excitement visually they assured me that they were experiencing just that.
After we got to our seats in the grandstand Mr. Goodwin regaled me with tales of classic fair concerts gone by. I tried not to look jealous.
The highway patrol officers making their grandstand round kept eyeing Mrs. Goodwin and the beer that she was holding very suspiciously – but I can promise you that she passed the rigorous testing of a grandstand beer seller, and if you can’t trust their judgment, is there any judgment left to trust?
My guests’ response to Black Stone Cherry was mixed: “I didn’t care for it,” admitted Mrs. Goodwin
“It reminded me of the music we had back in Vietnam,” said Mr. Goodwin. Now without hearing the tone of that comment it might be hard to know if it was meant as a positive or a negative, but let me assure you that he meant it as a compliment.
Despite her opinion of the opening act, Mrs. Goodwin was having a good enough time to get on Facebook and tell them what a good time she was having. She won a ticket for the whole seat, but halfway through the intro of the first song she was out of it and prancing around in the aisle.
While Mrs. Goodwin enjoyed the whole show, her husband found that he particularly enjoyed the percussive stylings of Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ Thommy Price. “That drummer really plays,” he said, “When I was a kid I played the drums, so I know that drummer was good.”
Neither Joan Jett nor any of her Blackhearts are lacking any musicianship but I now realize that at least half of the appeal of going to a concert like this one is the excessive coolness on display. Jett’s friendly, casual delivery and veteran musician swagger let you know just how cool she is without coming off as unapproachable. When Jett is feeling the rhythm of a show, it would be harder to find a cooler person in the entire galaxy.
Mrs. Goodwin eventually came back to her seat, but that doesn’t mean that she was any less enthusiastic. I could tell that her Joan Jett fandom wasn’t just part of a show to win the tickets. It feels good to help someone get exactly where they want to go.
“It’s a real good show!” said Mr. Goodwin excitedly, “This is the kind of music that I listen to all the time.” Maybe he realized that night that he really did like the work of Joan Jett or maybe he was just feeding off his wife’s energy but I could tell that his enthusiasm was genuine.
I’m ashamed to admit this but I’m not as familiar with Joan Jett’s catalog as I thought I was. But that was all right, because it wasn’t about what she was singing, but how she was singing it. “She was really good,” said Mr. Goodwin.
When the first few bars of “I Love Rock and Roll” came on, the grandstand erupted. This was Mrs. Goodwin’s favorite song so she grabbed a partner and began to dance.
“I’m not going to have a voice tomorrow,” she laughed.
Jett lead the audience in a pretty serious hand-clapping solo – my palms stung for a while afterward.
I saw a highway patrol officer singing along silently to herself.
“I love her music,” beamed Mrs. Goodwin , “It was the best concert I’ve ever seen.”
“I want to thank the Sedallia Democrat,” said Mr. Goodwin, “For having the contest and for picking us.”