VT – Saturday Night Concert Series

"Bryan Adams"
Bryan Adams

American Music Heritage with Jim W. Dean

Bryan Adams…Summer of ’69

Dear Folks, It’s been horror week of Revolution, blood and guts, heroism and cowardice, and bad plate tectonics for the Japanese and their Tsunami and the terrible loss of life and property, and a possible nuclear tragedy thrown in for good measure.

Gordon and I got beat up by our liberal readers for not being passive about the impending slaughter of the Libyan freedom movement by the Gadaffi gang. I think folks have forgotten that the French save our bacon at Yorktown, although we did pay them back…twice.

This new music retrospective as been in a folder for a while, current news pushing back. But tonight, I am on my first beer, and it’s time to take a break and reflect on some American blessings which we all can share.

Gordon and I are early 60’s now as a number of our core group are. We came into our formative years with Elvis, the Kingston Trio, the Bryds, Monkeys, the Rolling Stones and of course the Beatles. Pink Floyd was on the way, Jimmy Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, The Who, the list goes on and on.

I miss Woodstock, but the Angels smiled on me later. I saw The Who at Tanglewood, Mass. when they were the back up band for Jefferson Airplane. The following year the Who came back as the as the headliner, the last stop of their American tour. It had been a good year for them.

Arlo Guthrie

Alice’s Restaurant with Arlo Guthrie was a few miles from my house. And Officer Obie, the Stockbridge police chief was real. He had a son who went down to the jail and let all the dopers go, and then disappeared. A year later a hunter found a body that had fallen from having been hanging in a big tree for too long. It was the missing son.

There are many of us, of different persuasions, who share that music heritage. And Bryan Adams Summer of ’69 was chosen as our lead off concert for good reason. While we may have shared the music, not everybody shared life experiences.I was a sophomore in college trying to work my way through NC State.

I took a date once from UNC, Chapel Hill to an Italian restaurant where James Taylor was the piano player. My TKE fraternity had Three Dog Night as a party band once, and the Allman Brothers Band another time. No one would believe this years later. Richie Havens, the Beach Boys, the Dead, Emerson Lake and Palmer, the Moody Blues. the list goes on and on. It all seems like a dream now.

I have a lot of goodies in this series folder, some well known classics and some unknown gems that many of you have probably never heard of. Bryan Adam’s Summer of ’69 I thought would be the best lead off because it is a crossroads piece. He and Springsteen really nailed some classic rock ballads.

VT writers Gordon Duff, Bill Erkard and Eddie Harris had their Marine paths cross in Vietnam as members of 2nd squad, 2nd platoon, Alpha Co., BLT1/26 . While I was playing all night poker to pay my school bills, Gordon was killing mortar squads with 1000 yard shots. They shared a rare combat action even by Vietnam standards…the bayonet charge”

“We then drew back down along the “safe” side of the berm, spread out and talked about how to deal with this. We knew we had one heavy weapon or more in front and maybe another to the right, maybe out 80 to 200 meters and were taking small arms fire from almost everywhere.. The answer? Harris took a fire team around to flank the guns, hit them from the left while we fixed bayonets, waited for Harris to get into place and went over the top, right out of World War I. This may have been America’s last bayonet charge, or at least I hope so.”

Gordon Duff's 2nd squad - Vietnam - 1969

What binds a lot of us together is being survivors…of Nam, drug abuse, drunk driving, not getting caught doing things we should not have been doing, a life in the shadows, trusting the wrong people, or living other people’s lives.

Those were times when we could not see what all that was ahead, which was probably for the better. The music, the stuff we loved the best stayed with us, an oasis we could always return to in good times and bad.

So let’s crank up the first journey. Turn the volume up. If someone complains, tell ’em to screw off…that you are involved in American cultural enrichment…a kind that only America can claim to own. Make sure you select the 480p quality as we don’t have a lot of these.

There are a lot of audience shots, face closeups. Note that everybody knows the words, and in the groove. They are not there for the band, but for Bryan Adams, the guy that started out with a cheap guitar, in his garage, the penultimate America story.

Hang in there through the running lead in…something different but a filming device to put you in his shoes, despite the dark. This is a compilation of world concert audiences who are stars in their own right. Directed by Andrew Catlin. Bryan Adams has a major web presence at www.bryanadams.com . Imaging that !!

Jim Dean…Heritage TV…Atlanta, child of the ’60’s…and grateful for it 🙂

[youtube NgpcwYooLO0]
Last minute surprise folks. I actually found a Who video below at the July 7th, 1970 Tanglewood, Mass concert where I first saw them, 41 years ago. I had never even looked before. Looks like a VHS taping, but hey, I was there…and what a treat to find it. Here is Tommy….live.
[youtube 4J5CSm56CJs]


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Jim W. Dean was an active editor on VT from 2010-2022.  He was involved in operations, development, and writing, plus an active schedule of TV and radio interviews.