Friday, July 10, 2009

Angel From Montgomery

In my life of 1984 I had occasion to meet and spend several hours backstage with Bonnie Raitt. I was the owner of a small nightclub in Portland Oregon at the time and she was performing at a different venue downtown. I dont remember much about the day or the season but I remember the mood. Times were hard. Ronald Reagan had tilted the economy in the direction of the military so places like Oregon, with next to zero defense industry, took a bad hit. The times were tough for the music industry also and Bonnie found herself at rock bottom without a recording label, (Warner Bros also dropped Van Morrison!) and playing small houses. For hours just her and I talked about music and the politics of 'no nukes'. She seemed so sad. However, when she walked onto the stage the crowd lit up and she put on one of the very best performances I have ever seen in my life. I cried when she played Angel From Montgomery as our eyes crossed paths. In my 'Think Music' column you will see a link to a live version of the song she performed in sometime in the 70's and I suggest you take a listen. Years later she returned, triumph, loads of grammys under her arms and played the Arlene Snitzer Concert Hall in Portland. That show can be heard on her cd 'Road Tested'.


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