Do you remember where you were 34 years ago today?
Saturday, July 13, 1985 brought us the largest rock-n-roll concert in world history. Known as Live Aid, the dual-venue benefit concert was a fundraising effort for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. The band featured David Bowie, U2, Judas Priest, Tina Turner and Mick Jagger, The Who, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Phil Collins and the surviving members of Led Zeppelin and of course Queen.
I remember when I was a kid and heard Queen’s “We are the Champions” for the first time on the radio. I loved that song, and how its power moved me. Being the aspiring rock-n-roll singer I was, I got my best friend Rodney Frizzell, who was quite the drummer for his Pentecostal Holiness church, to join me in entering the upcoming talent contest at our hometown Newcastle talent show.
Rodney and I worked for weeks getting ready to perform “We will rock you” and “We are the champions.”
Ironically, Rodney is still playing those drums for a living in Ty England’s band. You might remember Ty. He was here with Garth Brooks on June 2, 1997 when we changed Cemetery Road to Garth Brooks Boulevard!
I just go to 80’s rock-n-roll concerts.
I remember watching that concert all day long all those years ago. It was unbelievable to hear Led Zeppelin perform Stairway to Heaven live and it was amazing to have the hourly update about Phil Collins performing at Wembley stadium in England, and then immediately getting on the Concord to fly and play live in Philadelphia.
But of all the performances by all the great artists that day, Freddie Mercury and Queen stole the show. I was a freshman in college and had never seen Queen perform. I had only heard them on the radio. I just remember how powerful and commanding Freddie was on that stage. He was working so hard at giving everyone a good show and was not getting paid a penny to do it.
I didn’t realize how good he really was until he died in 1991 and I got to watch on television and listen on the radio to all the tributes about him and his life.
Live Aid was held 34 years ago today. It’s such a great feeling to have these great memories of all those rock-n-roll bands I grew up with including Queen.
If you get the chance today, watch Bohemian Rhapsody. It is the real-life story about this great Rock-n-Roll band and their trials and tribulations. You will find it somewhere on cable or on Netflix. I think you will really like it.
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Back in the Summer of 1989, my Yukon friend John Lukehart and I were working during the summer semester at the University of Central Oklahoma VISTA newspaper. We were both working the sports desk and had the difficult task of finding summer sports to cover when few athletes were on campus.
It was mid-June and I remember driving back from lunch into the parking lot at the newspaper and seeing John running out of the building to tell me that Barry Switzer had just quit his job as head football coach at the University of Oklahoma.
I can’t believe it has now been 30 years since Barry resigned. Where were you when you heard the news? Did it really trouble you? Were you one of those folks who had grown-up with Coach Switzer at the helm? Were you sad? E-mail me and let me know where you were and what you were doing. That event is one of those indelible marks left on so many Oklahomans that just never goes away.
By the way, I’m glad coach left OU. He ended up winning Superbowl XXX for my beloved Dallas Cowboys. I guess Jerry Jones is going to have to hire Mike Gundy from OSU if he ever wants to get another Lombardi trophy!
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John Paul Jordan called me this week to tell me that his family is going to advertise his mom and dad’s estate sale. Paul and Pat Jordan had a lot of unique stuff.
JP told me he called auctioneer Ken Carpenter to sell it because simply put….Ken Can. I think you will probably hear more in the future from John Paul Jordan when it comes to politics.
He knows what to do and how to get it done. He has done things the right way. He loves his wife. He took care of his parents. He loves the Lord. He is respectful to the media and he listens to his constituents. I might just have to have him start writing a column for the Progress!
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I ate lunch Wednesday with longtime Yukon city attorney and current Piedmont city attorney Mike Segler. I have known Mike for 30 years and when he worked with old man John Wheatley years ago I used to call him, John and John’s son Matt Wheatley “The Dream Team.”
I would always see those three attorneys eating lunch together at the old Conrad Marr snack bar. I gave them that name 25 years ago when O.J. Simpson hired his own Dream Team. My, how time flies!
Thanks so much for reading. I will see you next Saturday. Would you like a Progress?