Four out of the five times I've seen TSO in Amarillo I have stuck around afterwards to meet the band and get programs signed (I've gotten programs as Christmas gifts for my nieces and a few others each time, and these are always the favorite gifts from me to my nieces, both of whom are aspiring musicians). Last year, I even bought my first suit, a black pinstripe number even, especially for wearing to see TSO.
The band members may even still have the guardian angel/prayer coins I gave them in 2004. I was lucky enough to see Blizzard of Ozz in Amarillo in 1982, about a month before Randy Rhoades was killed, and I never want another of my heroes to die an untimely death again. I figured guardian angel and prayer coins couldn't hurt to try and protect the band, all of whom I've come to regard as friends, regardless of how silly that may seem to some.
Last year, Al Pitrelli even said he remembered me from the times before, and even asked about my family. The TSO Amarillo concert last year took place on 14 December, what would have been my dad's 61st birthday. This added, for us, to the significance of TSO's performance last year, and to our privilege in getting to attend. I think our mom was perhaps the most impacted, as it was her first TSO show in addition to Dad's birthday. He died 24 January 2005.
Last year, in the Amarillo Civic Center Coliseum, it was rumored it would be TSO's last year to play in Amarillo. This makes no sense, as they sell the place out year after year, and are well received and treated there.
I even asked Al Pitrelli last year about the rumors of TSO not playing Amarillo anymore and he said verbatim, "That's all bullshit! We're coming back."
Now, I realize my opinion may not matter much in the grand scheme of things, but in all fairness and honesty, I have to go on record to say that if TSO elects for any reason not to play Amarillo any longer; they will not only break alot of hearts (this 42 year old disabled former Cavalry trooper among them), potentially alienate alot of fans, but also prohibit many people from seeing them perform at all. My mom and her husband, for example, are senior citizens and traveling, particularly if it involves driving after dark, is a difficult thing for them. Trust me, they are not the only senior citizens who've attended a TSO concert.
Another thing is the fact that not everyone in this area can simply afford to drop everything and pay for the added expense of a trip to Lubbock or Dallas to see TSO. Being based in New York, you surely can't help but note that fuel prices are high all over, though moreso on both coasts. However, even if we aren't paying $3.00 or more per gallon here in this part of the mighty Texas, it does not mean we all have the option of travel, particularly for a major event which until now was at least convenient for most of us to attend and which we hadn't thought we'd end up getting screwed out of being able to attend.
Again, my opinion may not mean a damned thing to anyone but me, this email may never get read, and maybe nobody gives a tinker's damn about Amarillo or the people in the nearby surrounding area. Amarillo used to actually be a concert mainstay, up to the mid 1980's. We got Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Rainbow, Nazareth, Kiss, and loads of other bands. Anymore, TSO is pretty much it, but obviously they're popular and much loved. A band nobody cares about doesn't sell out a venue five years in a row.
By the way, I originally met Johnny Lee Middleton & co. after the Edge of Thorns tour Savatage show at Dallas City Limits in 1993 (and still have the autographed album flat) before Criss Oliva was killed, and I first saw Al Pitrelli when he was in Dee Snider's band, Widowmaker, at The Basement in Dallas in October 1992. I know my rock'n'roll, and I have damned sure done my share to help finance a hell of a lot of it.
If TSO is no longer going to include Amarillo in their tour schedule, a hell of a lot of us are going to be unable to see them perform at all. I had always been under the impression this sort of thing mattered both to the band and their management. Perhaps I was mistaken.
I wish you all would think about that.
By the way, Jill, you're way too good for those Supernova clowns.
Thank you for your time. God bless.
Trace L. Gordin
The face puts on its best disguise,
and all is well;
until the heart betrays.
« Back to index