Saturday, June 6, 2009

Rare Live Performance of Rockabilly in Topeka

Did this really happen? On October 7, 2006, on a beautiful full-moon-lit Saturday night, 10th Street in downtown Topeka was closed-off between the State Capitol and Supreme Court buildings. A stage was erected, surrounded by customized cars. A few hundred people showed up and watched performances by Lee Rocker and his band and the Rumblejets from Kansas City. Live rockabilly music, outdoors, for free, and I didn't have to drive 75 miles to see it? Nor was it all canceled the day before due to screw-ups or moral objection? And it didn't rain. God, I must be dreaming! And they promised to do it again next year? Am I still in Topeka? And after it was all over I didn't have a 90 minute drive home. God forbid, did something CHANGE here? The point I find hard to believe is that someone actually went to the trouble to have ROCKABILLY music performed live on stage here. Not country, not metal, not rap, not even blues, but ROCKABILLY! And some people even stayed until it was all over. ROCKABILLY, I can't believe it. Here. Surely something else was planned and it didn't work out and this was their second choice.

Pardon my sarcasm but after traveling to Kansas City and Lawrence a few times a year to hear live music for the last 35 years, it is hard to believe an event like this took place where I live. My deepest thanks to El Centro, a local organization, for even thinking about having live rockabilly music on stage here. It was a big risk. I'm glad it was as nice as it was.