Sunday, November 11, 2012
Roadie Report 62 - Argentina & Creeque Alley
December 7th is a memorial day in our country’s history. In 2011, that date stamped in our passports will remind us of a wonderful trip to Argentina.
Our early arrival, a week before the concert, provided the opportunity for Roger to talk to reporters, visit radio studios and perform on local TV shows. It was exciting to be living in this vibrant city for a week.
Fernando and Jorge wanted us to experience the excitement of their city. We ate at gourmet restaurants, visited the amazing Opera House and listened to a famous Tango singer. We always thought “Tango” was just a dance, but the lyrics are as passionate as the dance.
Saturday, December 10th, Christina Fernandez, the first female elected president for two terms, was being inaugurated. Friday night, I told Fernando and Jorge that I have never been in Washington DC for an inauguration. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to take part in their inaugural festivities with the people on the streets. They looked alarmed. I noticed their dismay. I quickly told them, “Oh its okay. You don’t have to take us. We’ll just catch a bus.” They quickly told us what time they would pick us up for the inauguration
We walked the near empty streets, listened to the bands playing but never saw Christina come out to the porch where the beautiful Eva Peron stood wooing the masses..
The Colisieo theater is beautiful. The audience was overwhelming and joyful. “The Paris of South America” is vibrant with art, music, dance and wonderful food. Parting a lovely city and new friends is always a sweet sorrow. While waiting to board the plane to take us home, a lady approached Roger and thanked him for the wonderful concert. She and her husband detoured to Buenos Aires when they heard Roger was performing. Music does make the world smaller.
The itinerary included St. Thomas, the home of "Creeque Alley." In 1963, John and Michele Phillips were fellow residents with Jim (Roger) McGuinn in the musician’s hotel in Greenwich Village, The Earl Hotel. Jim had met the duo years earlier in San Francisco. John was singing with the “Journeymen” while Jim was working with the “Chad Mitchell Trio.”
Jim would often go down to their suite to share songs, food and other forms of entertainment prevalent in the sixties. John and Michele were not impressed with Jim’s renditions of “folk music with a Beatle beat.” They were “folk purists.” History proves they changed their minds.
While penning the song “Creeque Alley,” John mentions two friends who had number one songs on the music charts. “McGuinn and McGuire just a-getting’ higher in LA, You know where that’s at.” Jim McGuinn was soaring with the BYRDS and Barry McGuire was singing “Eve of Destruction.”
The spelling of "Creeque Alley" is different on the historical plaque than the way John spelled the name. Maybe someone had fuzzy vision or a short memory? No telling who spelled it correctly. Anyone out there in St. Thomas in the 60s who might remember how the alley was spelled then?