Friday, July 11, 2008

I Feel the Earth Move (Carole King)

My husband and I had the honor and pleasure of attending the Carole King concert last night at the Hard Rock Cafe in Hollywood (Florida, not California!), where my daughter Sarah works - such a memorable evening from start to finish... :-)

It was billed as The Living Room Tour, and the stage was set up with couches, chairs, plants, rugs and lamps (as well as the piano, of course) - Carole came on stage about 8:15 p.m., escorting an older woman to a seat on one of the couches... and we soon found out that was her mom ("a local", she said), who sofa-danced and sang along all evening.

Carole was later joined by instrumentalist (guitar and mandolin) Rudy Guess, Nashville singer/songwriter Gary Burr and Louise Goffin, her daughter from former husband/songwriting partner Gerry Goffin who each showcased some of their own original material - the harmony vocals throughout the concert were sublime.

Seems in the 70's, Carole wrote a song about the Hard Rock Cafe... so of course I had to
go googling - in her introduction of it, she said something like "this is the portion of the show where I have a brief costume change"... and she put on a black Hard Rock Cafe T-shirt (which the hotel manager had given her earlier in the day) before sitting down at the piano and starting to sing... :-)

I thought the show felt very smooth and intimate, especially for such a large venue (I'm used to coffeehouses and house concerts these days) - I loved the way Carole encouraged audience participation (how gratifying to an artist for their fans to know every word to every song). She performed a good many songs from Tapestry, did a medley of her early Brill Building hits, finished with You've Got a Friend... and the encore was Loco-Motion - my husband and I were both moved to tears throughout the evening with memory floods from a very important time in each of our lives.

Here are photos and an article about her pre-show appearance, autographing a guitar for charity... as well as a March 2008 interview with Tavis Smiley and the Wikipedia entry detailing the overview of Carole's extensive career...

Rewind to 1994: When my husband and I finally purchased a CD player, in a fit of practicality I vowed that I wouldn't replace anything we already owned on album or cassette but would just move forward from that point on - my sister came to my 40th birthday party, gifted me with the Tapestry CD and said, "that's the stupidest f*cking rule I've ever heard"... :-)

P.S. My book club just finished discussing the book mentioned below, so the timing of this show was perfect - I highly recommend Weller's retelling of the lives of these three legendary singer-songwriters!

I Feel the Earth Move by Carole King

Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon - and the Journey of a Generation by Sheila Weller

POEM: Songs for the People by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper

Let me make the songs for the people,
Songs for the old and young;
Songs to stir like a battle-cry
Wherever they are sung.

Not for the clashing of sabres,
For carnage nor for strife;
But songs to thrill the hearts of men
With more abundant life.

Let me make the songs for the weary,
Amid life's fever and fret,
Till hearts shall relax their tension,
And careworn brows forget.

Let me sing for little children,
Before their footsteps stray,
Sweet anthems of love and duty,
To float o'er life's highway.

I would sing for the poor and aged,
When shadows dim their sight;
Of the bright and restful mansions,
Where there shall be no night.

Our world, so worn and weary,
Needs music, pure and strong,
To hush the jangle and discords
Of sorrow, pain, and wrong.

Music to soothe all its sorrow,
Till war and crime shall cease;
And the hearts of men grown tender
Girdle the world with peace.

QUOTE: "So she poured out the liquid music of her voice to quench the thirst of his spirit." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne


  1. Susan, I'm so glad you were able to attend the concert, sounds like it was a magical evening! :-)

  2. Hey, M ~

    It was most definitely a night to remember... and a dream come true - crazy enough, I had the opportunity to see her with James Taylor oh so many years ago in high school (1972?)... and somehow allowed another commitment to take priority (ack!).

  3. Susan Susan,

    I owe you a *huge* e-mail, but for now, I must say, I'm jealous. I saw the living room tour twice. Sweat Carole King like no one's business. I miss my TAPSTRY license plates so bad. And I miss you so bad as well.


  4. Hi Susan
    I am so glad you had the chance to see the concert and your description was wonderful-- I felt like I was there. Oh I wish I could have been....Lots of love Norma your bok club buddy

  5. Hey, A ~

    I miss you too, kiddo - no worries on e-mails (I figured *I* owed *you*... :-)

    Carole King's music definitely encompasses all ages - don't know where I'd be without Tapestry (the title song is also on my funeral tape!).

  6. Hey, Norma -

    How sweet of you to stop in and comment! - I wish you had been at the concert as well... and am glad my recounting helped bring the experience a bit closer (god, that was a great book, wasn't it?... :-)

  7. Hi Sue:
    I am so Jealous! Thrilled for you that you got to see Carole King--I can only imagine the special Memories that it must have brought back for you of the 70's---Great Times; so glad we were a part of it!!! Reading "Girls Like Us" in book club meant alot to me- I encourage other children of the late 60's & 70's to get this book. Thanks for sharing.....Kathy

  8. Hey, Kathy -

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment - even though I'd heard some of the stories in the book, it opened my eyes to so many more... :-)

    Joni and Carole and Carly, oh my! - so amazing to finally see Ms. King up close and personal... <3