Remembering Shea


(Sunday Paper, Volume II, Issue 40)

I read this week that Paul McCartney played the Nassau Coliseum and Long Island's own Billy Joel joined him for a couple of songs.

Which got me thinking about the best concert I've ever seen - The Last Play at Shea.

I've written about this before, so I won't go through the whole thing, but my brother got me the ticket for my birthday, and I went with him and a bunch of his friends.

It was so good.

And I think today's post is just a little nostalgia for that show - when Paul McCartney joined Billy Joel on stage to shut it all down.


First of all, here's the link back to the original blog post I wrote about the show way back almost ten years ago...and three blogs ago.

And for those of you who don't know (and didn't click that link, I guess), here's the background: I love Billy Joel. I love the Mets and grew up attending games at their old ballpark, Shea Stadium. In 2008, the Mets' final season at Shea before it was torn down, Billy Joel played the final concert at Shea Stadium.

And it was amazing.

So maybe the fact that it's the final baseball weekend of the season got me thinking about the end of seasons past, and maybe I was thinking about Shea Stadium.

Or maybe I was just thinking about the fact that even though Billy Joel was the headliner for the last concert at Shea, he invited the man whose band played the first concert at Shea more than 40 years earlier - Paul McCartney - to be the final performer.

Seeing that they played together this week made me think about that show, the only time I've seen Paul McCartney live.

It made me remember the story about McCartney getting to Shea for that performance.

It made me remember the 'Last Play at Shea' documentary which showed the drama of those moments as he rushed to New York and Billy Joel stalled for time on stage - the documentary is pretty great overall but worth it for that part alone.

It made me remember thinking I would never go to another Billy Joel concert because there was no way I'd ever see him as great as he was on that night.

Then Billy Joel started his Madison Square Garden residency. As long as those shows keep selling out, he says, he'll keep doing them.

So I feel like I need to see at least one of those.

Maybe I have one last great Billy Joel concert in me yet.


*Remember when I was riding that big writing high last week? I rode it right into a submission this week that was met almost immediately by a big fat rejection. So that evened out pretty quick. (And we return to the age-old question: Better to sit and never hear about a submission or to hear someone say it's just not the right fit? They each sting in a different way.)


*On the other hand, comedy had a nice rebound week. The Monday show at Meadhall in Cambridge was great, I was able to attend and support a new show that will be happening monthly in Waltham on Tuesday, and then Saturday night I was in a good show in Lewiston, Maine. I'm starting to wrap my head around the differences between the audiences in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Lewiston, Maine, too. So it was a good week in the comedy department.

What I've Been Enjoying

*It's been a while since I gave you a podcast recommendation, so I think it's fair to throw one your way now. This story from The Moth by David Litt made me laugh out loud while I was driving the other day, It's about his encounters with President Obama while he worked at the White House as a speechwriter. It's about 17 minutes long, and I think it's worth your time.


*If a little bit of what you read here seemed familiar, I did touch on concerts - and Billy Joel - back in April. It's in the 'What I've Been Enjoying' section of this post. And I think we'll be coming back to the subject to delve into it a little more at some point too.

*Speaking of concerts, Matt Sucich is coming to Boston in a couple of weeks. I am planning on going to see him - if you want the details please get in touch. There's a ticket link available at his website. It's one of those deals where they announce the site of the show a couple of days ahead of the show. (I guess that's a deal now?) But it'll be in Boston, and it'll be October 15. That much I know. And I also bet you'll enjoy it.

*You may or may not remember (here's another link to help you remember!) that last year at about this time I bought my calendar for the new year. I've taken two trips to two different Staples this week (also Barnes & Noble and The Paper Store) and I have yet to have success finding a suitable 2018 calendar. And the Staples website hasn't been helpful - I thought I'd easily find what I needed there. So now it looks like I'll give it a couple more gos to get the same calendar I've used the past couple of years...but I might have to move on. It could be that this is the time to switch things up and go with a different style of planner. Stay tuned.

*This is a little upsetting: The other day I picked my daughter up from dance and pulled out onto Route 20. Within seconds a guy was on my tail. I didn't cut him off - he was just really tearing down Route 20 and clearly I was not driving fast enough for his liking for 7:30pm on a lightly-trafficked road. Anyway, when I turned off Route 20, he naturally sped past me and yelled a really nasty word at me. It really shook me and I thought about it for a long time. And the conclusion I came to was kind of a positive one: It made me think that it is so rare I hear people yell stuff like that that for the most part we must be doing a good job of surrounding ourselves with good people. So nice work being good people...especially if you're reading this.

*Another baseball season, another baseball post-season without the Mets. So I need to figure out who I want to root for. I'm inclined to root for the National League wild card team (Rockies or Diamondbacks) over the Dodgers, Nationals, or Cubs, but I probably prefer an American League team like Cleveland or Houston or Minnesota winning it all. I find I enjoy rooting FOR teams a lot more than I enjoy rooting AGAINST teams, and unfortunately this year's post-season features a lot of teams I much prefer rooting against.

*As I mentioned on the Facebook page, I would love some interaction on this post. Share on the Facebook page or in the comments below - what was the greatest concert you ever attended? Was it great because of the performer? The venue? I'd love to hear about it.