Harry Chapin

A really nice remembrance of a great artist from my friend Kevin Fura

“I meant to post this yesterday on the 37th anniversary of his death. I had the opportunity to see Harry Chapin perform only once in my life. It was early 1980 at Allentown Symphony Hall in Allentown, PA. I went there expecting a fine performance and left with much more. Harry’s plane was late and the show started with a 30-45 minute emergency performance by Tom Chapin. He was so entertaining that nobody really noticed the time. Suddenly a roar came through the crowd as Harry ran through the center row, guitar in hand, and jumped up onto the stage. He was very apologetic and promised an extra long performance that evening. All of the standards were covered plus some obscure tunes. It was just Harry and Tom, the band was not with him that evening.
Toward the end of the concert, Harry announced that they would be available after the show to sign autographs, pitch his causes, and just bullshit. Needless to say I waited after the show to meet him. Tom and I had a long conversation about the status of the New York Knicks and he graciously provided me with an autograph. After waiting for a little while, I got a chance to meet Harry. Words cannot express the kindness he provided in making small talk and signing an autograph. The most remarkable thing was the lack of bodyguards or any entourage, it was just Harry, Tom, and their fans. I still have the autographs. Harry’s is matted with a photo from the “Heads & Tails” album. I will never forget that evening and will always “remember when the music”.

One thought on “Harry Chapin”

  1. I’ve seen a lot of shows, artist that I deeply admire and collect their recordings extensively. Eric Clapton comes to mind. The Rolling Stones. Joan Jett. The Allman Brothers Band. Stevie Ray Vaughan. These are just a few of my favorite artists that I’ve had the privileged of seeing in concert. But the BEST concert I have ever seen was Sammy Hagar.
    I’m not a big fan of Sammy Hagar. I like “the David Lee Roth” Van Halen a lot better than “the Sammy Hagar Van Halen”. He was pretty good with Montrose but I’ve never really cared for his solo career.
    Anyway, I saw him in my hometown of Odessa, Texas when I was 16. It was the Standing Hampton tour and our venue, the Ector County Colosseum sold out. It was Sammy Hagar’s first sell out. He was really amped up about it. In fact, you could say he was thrilled. And he played his heart out and did three encores. He played so long that the Colosseum turned the lights on because he wouldn’t leave the stage. He told them “@#$% you!! Turn the lights back off!!! This is my first sell out and I’m going to play as long as I’m not tired. AND I’M NOT TIRED!!! Turn ’em off! I’ll pay whatever fines you throw at me for going over!” And so they turned out the lights and he played for about another hour. It was fantastic. By far the best concert I have ever seen…By far.

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