Pat Clark

May 22, 2014

Pat Clark: I Want You To Want to ROCKS!

There’s a new exhibit hitting Turlock purporting that it “ROCKS!”

There’s a new exhibit hitting Turlock purporting that it “ROCKS!”

After reading about it and seeing some photos of the pieces in it, I’m a ROCKS! ’n’ roll believer.

And I’m darned interested in seeing the show getting ready to open at the Carnegie Arts Center this weekend.

More interested, I’m slightly embarrassed to admit, than seeing any other art exhibit, installation or museum show, pretty much ever.

I’ve never been an art show kind of gal. Oh, I can appreciate some exhibits I’ve gone to. And I’d have to have ice in my veins to have not been moved by several (the Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., immediately comes to mind) or be half dead to not enjoy the heck out of others (the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, also in D.C., for instance).

But we don’t get a lot of stuff around the greater Modesto region that intrigues me to the point of getting almost giddy to experience it. This isn’t to say the region doesn’t have some fantastic shows at several great venues. Nor is it to say I haven’t seen any of them. It’s just the level of interest here that I’m talking about.

The “Carnegie ROCKS!” exhibit just hits my sweet art spot, I guess.

I won’t go into great detail since you can read all about it and see some of the photos for yourself by turning to Page E12 in this section. Suffice to say that the Carnegie will have pieces on exhibit from Sunday through Aug. 17 from a Turlock collector that includes items used in concert by several rock icons from the 1970s and ’80s.

See, my art sweet spot.

There’s a grand kickoff show on Saturday evening that will include an appearance by Kiss guitarist Ace Frehley, Dokken/Lynch Mob guitarist George Lynch and an acoustic show by classic rockers Night Ranger. Wish I could be there, but previous plans and a limit on how much money I can spend to indulge my sweet spot will keep me from it.

But you can bet I’ll be at the Carnegie before the show closes later this summer.

After reading about the show Monday – and one piece of memorabilia that will be there, a drum kit used by Cheap Trick for its 1978 “Cheap Trick at Budokan” album – I knew I had to go. Almost eerily, when I got in my car to drive home from work that very same day, what song came on our own classic-rock station The Hawk? The band’s hit “I Want You To Want Me.”

I melted just a little bit inside. I also likely left a few drivers around me laughing in wonderment at the crazy middle-age woman in the Honda rocking out, head bobbing and singing along to a song playing way too loud inside her car.

Still melting, I went home and immediately climbed up to reach the top of a closet where a bunch of old vinyl LPs are unceremoniously stored. Did I still have my “Budokan” album? I thought I must, but wasn’t sure, since I haven’t looked at those LPs in about 14 years.

After bumping my head (damn, that hurt), almost falling off a chair perched fairly dangerously on top of a treadmill and sorting through several dusty album covers gathered by me and my husband during our youth – including just about every vinyl from The Clash, The Police and Billy Joel – I finally found it, the seminal album from Cheap Trick.

Now, I realize Cheap Trick is not The Rolling Stones. Or U2. Or The Police. Or The Clash. Or Billy Joel. But that live “Budokan” album got almost as much play in my last year of high school and beyond as any other I owned.

While searching the albums, I had in my mind exactly the cover picture that I was looking for – black background with a close-up of Robin Zander and Tom Petersson smiling in performance, microphone stand in Zander’s hands, kind of blurry, totally cool.

What red-blooded American girl in 1979 didn’t fall madly in love with those two and that loud, live recording from a concert in Japan?

Conversely, what sane girl didn’t ponder just what the heck they were doing with a kooky-looking pair like Bun E. Carlos and Rick Nielsen? Of course, Nielsen was the writer of hits like “I Want You To Want Me,” “Surrender” and others. And Bun E. – well, the name and his almost brash nerdiness made the drummer just psuedo-cool enough.

I looked over the liner booklet, in both English and Japanese, the old pictures from the concert and the lyrics. I pulled out the Epic LP that still had the fingerprints of a wide-eyed teenage fan-girl smeared on it and got lost for just a second in my old bedroom with my old turntable and clunky old-school headphones.

The Carnegie ROCKS!, but so does this middle-age rock gal. I’ll be there at some point soon to see the drum kit and other items on display – and to wallow more in the nostalgia.

How cool will that be? Totally.

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