McMullen loves hearing from his readers

Travis McMullen - Contributing Columnist

I love getting mail from my readers. It doesn’t matter what you want to say – maybe it’s controversial, silly, short, long or even crazy, but it doesn’t matter because I want to hear and read all of it. Sometimes even the most mundane communications will strike the match of inspiration.

I got an interesting card from Nancy Laurie of Sedalia the other day.

“Referring to your view of the entertainment for this year at the fair,” Laurie wrote. “Boy, the Mo. State Fair must have really busted the budget this year!”

Yeah, there are probably at least a few other people like me who look at a given Grandstand lineup and see a whole lot of events that they would never even consider seeing. But the overabundance of country music makes sense: the marketing materials and official interviews from the Fair and the people who make it happen have made it clear that Sedalia’s biggest event is first and foremost an agricultural showcase. And it’s safe to assume that many of the people who live the agricultural lifestyle enjoy a good country song.

“Except for Lady Antebellum, like you I’ve never heard of anybody on the list,” Laurie continued, “And tickets for L. Antebellum are beyond my meager budget.”

Each year the Grandstand lineup acts as a handy guide to some of the hottest country acts that I’ve never heard of, but even I had remembered hearing of of Lady Antebellum because their name was reasonably distinct.

Despite the fact that the name seems to refer to just one person it’s really a band, but maybe all the members come together and form themselves into one large conglomerate musician like a country Voltron. I can’t say for sure that it doesn’t happen, because I’ve never seen them live and hope that I never will.

“Lady Antebellum” sounds like the feisty old madam that runs the local brothel, and it seems like the sort of name that would attract the wrong sort of fans. There’s probably a significant number of people who don’t fondly reminisce about life in the pre-Civil War south for very good reason.

If you want to see a really GREAT show – catch “Hotel California, a salute to the Eagles” at the Touchstone Stage. I saw them last year – twice – and they were fantastic,” beamed Laurie, “They belong on the Pepsi Grandstand.”

Yeah, I went to see most of the shows put on by Hotel California at last year’s Fair and it’s true that they are back. They are worth seeing at least once, though last year their late set was a little better than their early set. They have probably mixed and matched the songs since then, so you should visit both shifts at least once. But seeing The Eagles, or even an Eagles tribute band will never be the same because of the tragic death of one of the most essential members of the band, Glenn Frey.

I guess the running joke/dream of having the Eagles at the fair in my lifetime is over. They might still come some day, but it definitely won’t be the same.

I’ve written a little in the past about what sort of bands should or should not be at the Pepsi Grandstand. I still maintain that a tribute band, no matter how good they are, shouldn’t play the big venue. But I would also agree that even Hotel California could probably out preform many of the musicians playing the Grandstand this year.

“P.S. – Sorry – no computer.”

Look, I have firmly stated my position as a proponent of better living through technology and better learning through the Internet but that doesn’t mean anyone needs to apologize for using any means of communication to send me a response. I want to receive the words you want to send, and I don’t care how you send them as long as you’re not physically hurting anyone or destroying any property. Send a carrier pigeon! Drop off a tape from a tape recorder, we’ll find something to play it. Carve your message into an old piece of wood. Cut out individual letters from a magazine or a newspaper and assemble them into a message. Any way you want it, that’s the way I need it!

Mail or hand deliver your message to the offices of The Sedalia Democrat, or contact me on Twitter@SardonicJerk or via e-mail at You can also find me on Facebook. And don’t be afraid to stop me on the street if you’ve got something to say.

And I’d like to send a special thanks to Nancy Laurie for her letter. Keep them coming!

Travis McMullen

Contributing Columnist

Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.

Travis McMullen is a longtime Sedalia resident who shares his views on the city through his weekly Democrat column.

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