Years ago when my husband and I hadn’t been dating for very long, he told me that he didn’t enjoy going to music concerts because sitting still for that length of time was impossible for him, having Restless Leg Syndrome. Bright-eyed me, on the other hand, found it very hard to imagine that someone couldn’t enjoy music concerts so I thought I’d give it a go anyway and bought us some tickets to see a classical music concert in the Endler Hall in Stellenbosch. Since we’d only very recently got engaged and he didn’t want to disappoint me Ironman went along not too enthusiastically but without too much protest. We settled down to enjoy the concert (well I planned on enjoying it) and about half way through I looked at my dear fiancé next to me to silently mouth to him: “See, this is fun”, only to find him fast asleep. Fail! Suffice to say that I was not impressed. (How does Restless Leg Syndrome make you sleepy anyway?) He was not the least bit fussed when he eventually woke up and realised what had happened though and all he (matter-of-factly) said was: “I told you I don’t enjoy going to music concerts”. Point taken. Lesson learnt.
I gave up on trying to instil some culture in my Ironman after that but fortunately it didn’t end up being the last concert we’ve been to and he’s managed to stay awake through a few over the years, not least of which was Les Misérables which, although at his own initiative, was still a feat of pure dogged tenacity of the same kind required to train for and finish an ultra-marathon or endurance event. (It didn’t go by unnoticed though, that this same dogged tenacity eluded him on the night of that first concert but I suppose we’re all guilty of persevering when we choose to.)
Much to his relief I’ve been to quite a few concerts without him, but we’ve also added some very memorable concerts to our (granted: relatively small) combined repertoire such as personal favourites Laurika Rauch and Katie Melua (the latter of whom performed in Perth about 6 months after we’d moved here and my husband heard about her concert and organised the tickets all without requiring any persuasion from me) but one that will stand out in my memory is Rodriguez in Kings Park last weekend. Ever since the documentary “Searching for Sugarman” was released and we’d gone to see it twice (and nobody fell asleep) and friends of ours had given my husband the CD of the soundtrack to the movie as a Christmas gift, it has become his preferred choice of music to listen to in the car nine times out of ten. The kids will get in the car, hear the music and complain: “Not that again” but it brings back so many childhood memories that he doesn’t relent and neither does he tire of it, so when we heard that Rodriguez was coming to town to perform in Kings Park my husband was quick to get us some tickets. It was an artist he likes and a venue where he could move around as much as he wanted to and the concert didn’t disappoint.
Understanding Ironman’s restless leg predicament I volunteered to be dropped off early to save us some space on the grass and he returned later in time for Rodriguez’s gig. It was a perfect evening on the green in Kings Park with friends, music, a picnic and some wine. Knowing that Rodriguez is in his seventies and by no means a young man any more our expectations were adjusted accordingly and it was sufficient for us to see and hear him in person and the beautiful Kings Park added to the vibe. He was clearly much loved by the sell-out crowd at his final concert in Perth on this tour who didn’t want to let him go and kept asking for more and more music to which he cheekily replied at the end of the night: “Remember me as an ordinary…….. legend.” Yes Rodriguez, we will remember you.