Auditorium

Auditorium: (n) a large building or hall used for public gatherings, typically speeches or stage performances.

dictionary with letter A

I love auditoriums.

I think anybody who performs looks forward to being on a big enough stage that it provides for a backstage.

Backstage is fun.

It’s where you sit or stand and wonder about how many people are coming to the concert, or you slide into a side room that’s been provided for dressing and make-up.

When I graduated from high school I started a music group, wrote two original songs and actually built up the courage to raise some funds to record them.

I made a 45 RPM.

I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but in that era it made me nearly a god. Having a record made you look like you were not only prosperous, but talented.

So I was able to get a gig at a large auditorium on the Ohio State Fairgrounds. I loved that building. I had been to concerts many times in the facility, and now I was going to get to play in the auditorium.

I dressed everybody up and we even hired a drummer to come in and perform with us. I thought we sounded pretty good.

Unfortunately, the gig was for a religious church group youth rally, so there was an air of stuffiness surrounding the event, and a lot of rules and regulations laid on us, which honestly, I just didn’t listen to.

I found out later that:

  • We weren’t allowed to have drums, which we had.
  • We weren’t permitted to be loud, which we were.
  • And there couldn’t be any rock and roll in the sound, which there definitely was.

So we were halfway through our song, jubilantly sharing our talents, when suddenly the curtains started to close in front of us.

At first I thought it was a mistake, so I ran forward while the band still played and tried to pull them open. But they continued to close, because there were two austere men of dark countenance pulling on ropes, making sure that our sound and appearance were terminated.

I was furious.

I demanded they reopen the curtains, but they refused.

So the young audience booed for a second, and then were rebuked by their elders.

We still sat in the lobby offering to sell our 45 record to anyone who might have enjoyed the 16 bars of the tune we were able to pump out.

Only one girl of the 728 present was brave enough to come to our table and see us. The rest of the kids avoided us like we were an unwelcome leper colony. The young lady bought our 45, told us that she thought the grown-ups were assholes, and as she left, she raised her fist and said, “Rock on.”

I did.

And I’ve never stopped.

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Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) —  J.R. Practix

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