Saturday, December 9, 2006


It was a bitter cold February Sunday Morning, circa 1993. The alarm went off at 8:00 am, I quietly rousted my two children, Mandy age 6, Reese age 3, from their sound sleep.
"Where are we going Daddy?"
You remember honey, we talked about it last night.
"Oh, the building"..
Yes honey, The Building!

The building they were refering to was the old IMA Auditorium...they were going to 'implode' it this morning.

"Is Mommy going?'
No honey, she needs her beauty sleep.( not as 'nostalgic' as I am)

The IMA. IMA stood for Industrial Mutual Association, It was built some 40 odd years earlier during the hey-day of GM's influence in Flint. It was THE major venue in town for ALL events. Basket ball tournaments, The Shrine Circus, Commencements,.....and concerts. And they were going to destroy it to make room for the ever expanding Flint campus of Flint U/M.

I've always been fascinated by file footage of the Las Vegas casinos being brought down, and that same ending was coming to our little hick town.....

It was only a 4 mile drive there from our house, and we were soon being directed to a 'safe viewing area'. As I said, it was a bitter cold day, and upon parking my daughter opted for the warmth of the mini-van. My son though was game, and after bundling him up in his snow suit, mittens, and scarf, we walked about 30 yards to a roped off corner of the parking lot. Since it was sooo cold, only about 50 or so die hards showed up.

We ranged in age from between 25 and 45. The smell of hand-warmers, coffee, and hot cocoa, was soon wafting about, but not much was being said....We were all trying to keep warm...entrenched in our own thoughts.

Finally, as though the silence was deafening, I blurted out......
"I remember seeing Jimi Hendrix here, he humped his amp, then set fire to his guitar on stage!"

As if a bell went off, one by one everyone started blurting out names....
Yeah, my first concert Joe Cocker
Mine was Nazareth
Mine was Steve Miller
Mine was J. Geils....
......J. Geils!! I had to add" Yeah, the first time I saw J. Geils his lead- in group was the Average White Band, the lead singer was banging Bette Midler at the time , and when they came out for their encore she came out on stage and joined in a rendition of I Heard It Through The Grapevine."
Another added....The James Gang....
....The James Gang "Yeah, and Joe Walsh quit 2 weeks before they came here, what a gyp!!"
Yeah, I thought to myself, that fucker Randy Bachman had on tight red leather pants that he wore 60 pounds ago!
The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons?? One by one we all turned and looked his way, and broke out laughing.

Finally I added, "Well the best show That I've ever seen live was Alice Coopers Welcome To My Nightmare!...It was a multi-media event . At one point in the concert a screen lowered on stage, and a film of skeletons dancing in a graveyard was playing. Suddenly the skeletons turned and started to come toward the audiance....Just then, through slits in the screen, LIVE dancing skeletons burst through on stage and danced right before a stunned crowd...It was great!!"
Hey I was there
So was I
Me too
Yeah it was awesome
..Several moments of silence was then broken by a city worker walking up and down the street with a mega-phone..."When you hear the siren folks, the countdown will begin".
Just then the mournful wail began...Ten nine eight seven six.............

A mild rumble, several small pops, and the collapse started....sort of disappointing really! I had expected much one said a word. One by one, we all turned to each other , we were all sniffling..but NOT from the cold. All that was left of our stately old building was rubble, twisted steel, billowing smoke and dust and ......memories!

We all shuffled slowly and silently, back to our vehicles. As I was pulling away, I looked in the rear view mirror for one final peek at the pile of debris, I reached for the radio volume knob to turn it up a hair...Who was on? Fuckin Joni Mitchell........

......"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? You take Paradise and put up a parking lot"


Cha Cha said...

A beautiful post, Galen. You have a way with words, felt like I was there in the crowd.

G-Man said...

Thanks, I was afraid it was too epic. But then again, YOU are the Queen of epic posts..xoxoxoxo

GAB said...

hummmm g must stand for gabby lol your post is longer than mine.

GAB said...

ps if thats your name in strumpets comment just take the n off and you have my name!

Cha Cha said...

Mr. Galen,

I feel our blogs are nothing other than OUR blogs.

If you want to write two fucking words, then you write two fucking words and that's all there is to it. If that is what makes YOU happy on YOUR blog...that's ALL that matters. Is there any other point in blogging? If you want to write five-thousand words...then you write five-thousand words. If you want to post a picture. A poem. A song. A video. Whatever you are feeling when you choose to express yourself on YOUR blog...then that's what you post!

I've posted epics. I've posted barely anything at all. Sometimes I post nothing that day. Which in and of itself expresses how I am feeling, if I don't post.

ALL of your posts have been great, Galen. Because you are great.

I don't think I've ever been afraid of anything with regards to my posts. Once it's posted, it's posted and that's all there is to it.

People are going to read if they want to...and if they don't...who really cares? You are writing for YOU! I mean, it's great to have people read and enjoy your shit, dude, don't get me wrong...but what you write has to make YOU feel the emotion in it, before anybody else can feel the emotion in it. I feel a LOT of emotion in this post. It's QUITE apparent. I loved it.

I also believe the same thing when it comes to commenting.

Do I concern myself with how epic my comment is? Not really. I am aware that I babble. I wouldn't change it for the world.

Once again, Galen. This is a really rockin' ROARIN' good time of a post.

You go, Galen, with your bad self.

You go.

lime said...

wow, what an experience. how great that a bunch of strangers could share some memories and camaraderie in the cold before the old girl came down and how fitting that joni should sing her version of 'taps' for the occasion.

CozyMama said...

very cool, I watched a building implode once. pretty cool stuff. I love most of the bands you listed.

Early bird yes - want the time???


jillie said...

What a great post! It made me go back in time a bit and all the bands that you mentioned are bands that I grew up listening to. Thanks for the memories ;o)

G-Man said...

Hey the California girls. Thanks for coming back.

Jodes, it is now 2:04 est here. So there it's 6:15 am pst right?

Jillie, is that you on that bike?

jillie said...

You know if I told you how I got my "FREE" yes, "FREE" ticket to Lambeau Field...I would have to kill you too! LMAO and yes, that is me on the bike...wooohooo for Harleys!! Happy hump day to ya!

G-Man said...

Everyone please bear with me for a few days. My work computer is blocking me out of my own site. So I can not create a new post on here. If I can't figure it out, I'll have to create a new blog from Home sorry..G-Man

jillie said...

Damn those work computers!!!

Jodes said...

dude that sucks about posting and I was gonna razz you about.....hey I have seen that pic of Jillie in full size - haha your jealous aren't ya?

tsduff said...

This one was excellent too. I love it all - I saw J.Geils with 10 Year's After at the forum in L.A. fun topic for all those bands. "rrripppppppppppp" the four seasons? ha ha ha ha