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Philadelphia Inquirer Simon and Garfunkel

Simon and Garfunkel • Friday, November 7, 1969 at the Philadelphia Civic Center in Philadelphia, Pa. The first concert I ever attended.

I remember sitting, almost in disbelief, listening to our favorite songs while watching Simon and Garfunkel who, truth be told, seemed a bit geeky like we were.

My boyfriend, Jake, surprised me with the tickets. Neither one of us had our driver’s license so we had to take several

Philadelphia Inquirer Simon and Garfunkel

buses from Roxborough and Manayunk where we lived. It was a nighttime concert and going all the way downtown from where we lived was quite a trek. We had both gone to high school in downtown Philly so it wasn’t as if it was a scary place to go.

I remember sitting, almost in disbelief, listening to our favorite songs while watching Simon and Garfunkel who, truth be told, seemed a bit geeky like we were. That endeared them to me all the more. We heard many of our favorites: The Sound of Silence, The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy), Benedictus, Richard Corey, Sparrow, A Most Peculiar Man, Scarborough Fair/Canticle, At the Zoo, and Old Friends.

I could go on and on. It was amazing! I was overwhelmed by the excellent seats Jake had gotten for us. We were in the 12th row back from the stage. I think he had to go to the Civic Center to buy the tickets. This was before StubHub and robocalls for tickets. Concerts were not sold out before you could even buy tickets.

It was also a time when people attending concerts sat in their seats, listened to the performers, sometimes softly sang along, and, in our case, had to keep pinching ourselves to believe that we were actually in the presence of two of our favorite musicians.

I can’t imagine what the tickets cost. Of course, nothing like the money concert tickets cost now. I don’t know where Jake got the money. He worked at the ACME food market while a freshman at Villanova. Our dates usually consisted of walking to the Roxy movie theater in Roxborough and going to the local diner on the way home for a soda and an order of fries.

That made this night all the more magical. I remember it fondly. We felt grown up and very fortunate to experience first hand the magic of live music.

Profile photo of muzziesgirl muzziesgirl
I am Philadelphia born and raised. I moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin when I married my husband, Richard. We have one daughter, one son-in-law, and two granddaughters. In addition to Milwaukee we have lived in Vermont and now New Hampshire.
I retired from my position as the palliative care and oncology chaplain at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center a little over two years ago.
Now I write, read, sew, knit, and rug hook-not necessarily in that order. With deep appreciation for all that libraries have meant in my life I represent my local library volunteeing one day a week at a local nursing home where I discover the residents' book preferences and bring them library books. Mostly, I visit and listen to their stories.



Characterizations: well written

Comments

  1. Profile photo of Betsy Pfau Betsy Pfau says:

    What a wonderful memory. I, too, loved Simon and Garfunkle and listened to all their music. Their close harmonies, poetry and Art’s soaring voice were perfect for my sensibilities. They had a reunion tour in 2003, I think. My husband took me to the Boston Garden on my 51st birthday to hear them. It was just as wonderful then. However, Art is on tour once again. We heard him on the Vineyard two summers ago. I’m sorry to tell you that he’s lost his voice, sang a few songs (poorly), can no longer even try “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, read poetry, told stories, brought his YOUNG son up to say hello. It was disheartening and we had paid a lot for the tickets. I prefer to remember them the way you describe them.

    • Profile photo of muzziesgirl muzziesgirl says:

      It’s sad to read about Art Garfunkel. I’m not sure what happened to the two of them as a duo. “Bridge Over Troubled Water” is such a beautiful song. Sounds like he made up for not being able to sing by the ohter things he did.

  2. Profile photo of Suzy Suzy says:

    What a great “first concert” experience! Especially sitting in the 12th row! S&G did have such great songs. Thanks for reminding me of them.

  3. Profile photo of John Zussman John Zussman says:

    Just reading the set list takes me back to those years! Kudos to Jake for scoring those amazing tickets—he must have either loved you or been trying to impress you! I agree that concert audiences back then were generally well behaved, although I’m told at Beatles concerts, the screaming was so loud you couldn’t hear the music. Thanks for sharing this great memory.

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