Thursday, December 4, 2014

Happy Birthday Southside Johnny Lyon- Re-post from August 2013

It's been a long time, but as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes started the concert out last night, "Better Days are Coming." I hadn't been to a Southside concert since I lived in Connecticut. We drove to a bar near Hartford in 1986 for a closer view.
David introduced me to Johnny's music. The joke from David's college days, of John Lyon being his cousin. His friend tried to get him a date with a girl, who adored Southside. Denny remarked, "Hey, isn't your cousin in a band playing in Erie." The girl just returned from the concert in a daze after Johnny had brushed past her. She almost bought it, but David couldn't go on with the ruse. His father's first cousin is John Lyon, a veterinarian in Corey, Pennsylvania.
Southside has a strong following here in Steel Valley, and we know how to rock. I saw him first with David and the girl from college in the Beeghly at Youngstown State University. A spring evening in a crowded  gymnasium welcomed me to this band. The sun filtered through the high windows and Johnny joked with the audience. To prepare for the concert, the local FM station WSRD, the Wizard played the album, Having a Party at the four o'clock high hour.
Thirty three years later, Southside continues to mesmerize a crowd. He entertains, he loves the music. He controls the crowd, even venturing into the crowd to stop a fight. He talks about local flavor, mentioning Leavittsburg to an exact description. He made references to waiting for a girl to return comparing it to a win by the Browns, like never. I was not too happy with the mild put down of Pittsburgh, being more a Pittsburgh person than Cleveland.
An end of summer concert under the stars, I watched Venus rise as the weather more than cooperated. We enjoyed the music, with their clear notes to match the sky. The crowd had more gray hair than the concert on the college campus thirty three years ago. Beer sold, but no over rowdiness.The crowd jumped up at the end to have a party. At ten thirty, this lady was not ready for the concert to end.
I had waited for years to see Southside. I joke about him being a cousin to my husband, from the Jersey Lyon's. I see resemblance. Many of the Pennsylvanian Lyon's can sing. I wanted to sway to the music under a summer sky on the Jersey Shore, but Warren, Ohio, satisfied that desire. We had a rocking good time. Being old, we enjoyed  a Pittsburgh favorite, grilled stickies ala mode at Eat-N-Park, before a ride on flat Ohio land under a three quarter moon.
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