17 October 2003
Benet Hill Auditorium, Colorado Springs, CO
This concert sets an all-time record for shortest event distance from my residence. This venue was literally a ten minute drive-and-park from my house. The last two times I saw Roger, I had to tool 100 miles up to Boulder. This was great!
The Black Rose Acoustic Society hosted this evening with Roger McGuinn.
Walking in, I bought an autographed copy of his Grammy-nominated Treasures From The Folk Den CD, a disc containing 18 folk classics, most in duo form with other famous folk artists such as Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Pete Seeger, and several others.
Shortly thereafter, I met and talked with Roger's life partner [in the truest sense of the word] Camilla. She and Roger have been together for over 25 years, as husband and wife, as co-writers, co-producers, and as a team for the concert road. These two have made each other's lives complete, simply stated.
A good singer/songwriter, Buddy Mundlock, opened the set with six original tunes.
These days, Roger still likes to dress in black jeans and black t-shirts as he has for years. But in recent months he's resurrected his trademark Ben Franlkinesque glasses, and goutee from his folk days in the early 1960s.
He walked out to an extremely polite audience with his signature Rickenbacker 370 12-string electric and a wireless microphone as he began performing Bob Dylan's "My Back Pages", and then sat in a chair for most of the rest of the show. Picking up his signature Martin 12-string, he played two songs from the Easy Rider soundtrack, "Ballad Of Easy Rider" and "Wasn't Born To Follow", describing the former as inspired by Dylan scribbling down some notes, handing it to Peter Fonda, and saying, "Give this to McGuinn, he knows what to do with it."
Subsequently, and for the first time ever, I got to see Roger play a six-string guitar, a Martin acoustic, for several songs off of his Treasures disc, including "Finnegan's Wake".
Roger's song selection was quite interesting to say the least. He dug out obscure, but nice, Byrds gems such as, "Pretty Polly", "Old Blue", and "You Ain't Going Nowhere", and the solo track "Jolly Roger". His performance of "The Bells of Rhymny" included a corrected pronunciation of "Rhymny".
Generously, his setlist included the more well-known Byrds classics, "Mr. Tambourine Man", "Mr. Spaceman", "Chestnut Mare", "Turn Turn Turn", "5D", "So You Want To Be A Rock And Roll Star", and "Eight Miles High".
His encore included Gene Clark's "Feel A Whole Lot Better", and his 1996 composition with Camilla, "May The Road Rise To Meet You".
Roger looked like he was in better shape than he was in 1997, his voice sounded better than ever, and he seemed like he was having fun. His trademark guitar riffs, vocals, and stories in between songs are always special to hear.
After the show I got to meet and talk with 98.1 KKFM morning disc jockey "Wild" Bill Cody, who is a monsterous fan of McGuinn.
Wow. A nice evening!
[**** 1/2] - Steven T.
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