July 30, 2010 by 8junebugs
“I wish I could do that,” my friend said. “Just stand there, arms out, like, ‘Adore me, people!’ And then have people actually do it.”
We were watching Miss Aretha Franklin, undisputed Queen of Soul and Diva in Chief. She was a vision in white last night on Wolf Trap’s main stage, complete with bling and, I must note, a slit in her gown up to HERE.
When you’re the Queen of Soul, when you’re a legend in your own time, you don’t have to sing every hit (and you can’t — it would take three days). You don’t even have to sing all the words to the hits you do sing — the audience will sing them for you. When you’re Miss Aretha Franklin, you can sing as much as you want or as little as you want for as long as you see fit, and we will not only not complain…
We will be honored just to be there.
I’m not the world’s biggest Aretha Franklin fan, and neither is my friend. We were there to see a national treasure, one we realize won’t be here to perform forever.
“When we lose Aretha Franklin and B.B. King,” I asked, “who’s left?”
“Cher,” she said. “Cher’s still out there and still touring.”
“True. Cher is immortal.” Comforting, that.
We’re all raised with different perspectives on music — I came from an Elvis household and went to school with Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel fans. But there are certain pop music truths that transcend the trends our parents graft onto us, and Aretha Franklin is one of them. Not just a singer, not even a rockstar…a truth. And it was an honor to see her in concert.
Many thanks to my employer for planning cool staff events, letting staff vote on which concert to attend, and taking care of everything so all we had to do was show up.
(And also for hiring the kind of people who put rubber duckies in the waterfall. That made my week.)