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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Can't Get 'Em Back

Back in the mid-'80s, I was at a Farrell & Farrell concert in Shreveport, Louisiana. Farrell & Farrell were one of the most successful "new wave" Christian bands out there, one with successful albums and even some radio hits to their credit. They were a married couple who had started performing in the '70s, with some of their biggest hits occurring in the early and mid 1980s. The concert I was at was tour attached to maybe their biggest hit album, Jump To Conclusions. I loved the album (still do) and was pretty pumped about the show.

Unfortunately, Shreveport Louisiana isn't particularly known for being on the cutting edge of pop culture, and attendance at the show was dismally, and uncomfortably, light. The hall was oh, I don't know, maybe half full, maybe less (give me a break, I was a kid... I wasn't looking that closely!) The band put on a great show, and I remember a few things about it, but after all of these years, the thing I remember most clearly was the chewing-out that the crowd received from Bob Farrell.

Bob was obviously pretty upset about something. Maybe it was the low attendance, or maybe there was something else that was bugging him that night. Maybe he ate something that didn't agree with him, or had some bad news from his management or record company, or maybe he and Jayne had had a disagreement earlier that day. Maybe he was tired from touring so much. Whatever it was, he took an unpleasantly long break from playing music to chew us out, the people who had paid to hear the concert, for not bringing our friends and filling the place up. Maybe he was right, or maybe not (how could he know? Maybe if we hadn't each brought a friend, the place would have only been on-quarter full!)... but all I know is that I don't remember exactly which songs they played or what he might have said about Jesus. All I remember is that he bawled us out. All these years later, whenever I listen to Farrell and Farrell, I remember Bob Farrell getting mad at me when I came to his concert.

Last night I was really tired because I hadn't had enough sleep and then unexpectedly had to do some major work in my garage, and I yelled at my wife in front of my kids. Because of me, my children will now grow up with the memory of my temper tantrum in their memory banks. Jayne Farrell may or may not have set Bob straight after the concert (how could he have done that to his fans?), and I know the Holy Spirit has certainly been working on me about my own tantrum, but words said in anger, whether from a stage or a dining room chair, cannot be retrieved and un-said. There is no way Bob could have reassembled that crowd and apologized for his harshness, but I sure can assemble my three-person audience and apologize to them for my outburst. Maybe my children will grow up with that apology in their memories and not just the image of my blowing my top.

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