Dr. John – The Night Tripper

Posted by Frankly Francis on February 3, 2009 under Music/Musicians | 3 Comments to Read

Who doesn’t remember their first concert?

Well, my first concert occurred on April 1, 1972 with Dr. John opening for Emerson, Lake & Palmer at the venerable Buffalo War Memorial Auditorium.

While I was broadly schooled in most varieties of music, Dr. John’s New Orleans style, coupled with his Mardi Gras costume and pixie dust was overwhelming to me at 15 years of age.  It changed my perceptions.

Dr. John

Dr. John

Ever since, I’ve been drawn to the music of the Big Easy: Jazz, Blues, Dixieland, Gospel, Cajun, and Zydeco.  That Voodoo sure has some draw.

If you haven’t let it into your heart and your head, I would urge you to try what you’ve been missing.  I’m not preaching and I don’t want to convert you (I got past that), but it is some wonderful stuff.

A couple of summer’s ago, I saw Dr. John perform at an outdoor venue.  Many, many years had passed since I lost my aforementioned concert virginity…

Number Two Daughter (I prefer to refer to my daughters by their birth order) went with me to the show.  Out of nowhere, I thought, it would be pretty special to meet Dr. John.

Two accompanied me in search of his tour bus.  Did I mention that it is fortunate that my daughters look like their mother?  Once found, I asked the bus door guard if we could meet Dr. John…

After a spell, the bus door guard returned and said that the Good Doctor would see us, but the Good Doctor would need a hug.  I considered this momentarily and said, “Sure, I’ll give him a hug.”  Door Guard looked at me with disdain and motioned to Two.  Realizing, I looked at her and asked, “Are you willing to take one for the team?”  Two assented (God Bless Her) and in to meet Dr. John we went…

I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed meeting him or how open and friendly he was.  I cannot begin to tell you how much natural grace and dignity he had.  I cannot begin to tell you how comfortable we were made to feel.  I can’t begin to tell you how many times he hugged Two.  I was in the Court of the King of New Orleans.  It was really special.  And I got a hug too!



  • jess said,

    I loved it- This was funny for me to read because you have told me so many times to open my mind and learn to love different types of music. Love you Dad!

  • Chastity said,

    The first time I saw Dr. John was on Lightning in a Bottle. Sad, I know. I watched it on cable and was pretty taken away by the sounds I had not really listened to but knew in some kind of weird way already. Pointing out the blues influence on Jimi Hendrix made me realise why I enjoyed that concert so much. I wouldn’t want to hug him but I am grateful anytime I am introduced to new music that can be a part of my collective. I’m a little young for some of the “greats”. Everything seems so pressed out now a days. My first concert was the Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage at HSBC in 96. Note to self, learn to duck and pray people are smart enough not to install chairs at a rock concert…but I believe that story is for my blog.

  • Damien said,

    Yea, my first concert was Hall & Oates, at the memorial auditorium back in 1982, it was all the way in the orange section, I couldn’t see them, but the sound and the feeling of being in the same room with them was awe inspiring. That year I bought my first record, The best of the Doobie Brothers. ahh…the moments.