While a painkiller addiction may be troubling for a 30-year-old, Loretta Lynn proved at her Friday show that it can be hilarious for a 70-year-old. Not once, not twice, but three times, Ms. Loretta began to sing a song she’d already done. ("Fist City" (yay!), "You Ain’t Woman Enough," and "God Bless America.") The third time she explained this was because: "Every song I sing sounds alike."
Of course, when I say began to sing, I’m talking about the high points. For a good half the show she couldn’t remember the lyrics and would turn it over to her youngish, poofy-haired
singing relative daughter with a barked order: "Sing it, Patsy!"
The audience could have cared less and was beyond forgiving during all this. And, of course, when Lynn was singing, no one could touch her. I believe she made it entirely through just one song. She sat in a crappy metal and plastic chair at center stage for the entire show. Apparently she’s just off a three month cancellation of the tour due to a broken foot. At one point, she remarked that it was the first time she’d had a shoe on the broken foot in months and someone from the audience yelled out, "Take it off!" To which she replied: "If it’s okay with you, honey, I’ll just leave it on. If I take it off I’ll never get the thing back on there. I have to get back to the bus."
Various extended members of her family who appeared to be supping at the Loretta Lynn, Inc, trough, were there to step in and carry the show at her command, including a son-in-law who also drives the bus and who did two ho-hum numbers sporting a gigantor cowboy hat. The back-up singers were untalented to an extremely unfortunate degree–their costumes consisted of the same black shirt, but they apparently are free to choose whatever pants they want. The "lead" back-up singer was sort of a white trash Owen Wilson and, rather obviously, had chosen leather pants. He led an extremely creepy version of "Peaceful Easy Feeling." (Aren’t all Eagles songs creepy though? They have a very serial killer preparing for an evening out vibe.)
But still, it was Loretta and so it was wonderful. If perhaps a bit more kitsch than even we expected. And hey, I got to hear "Fist City" more or less twice.
Now back to work. Keep an eye out for Mr. Rowe’s account; he’s much funnier on the whole experience than I. (I’ll link to it once it’s up.)
5 thoughts on “Why, Ms. Lynn, I Do Believe You’re Stoned”
Oh man – I love Loretta’s latest CD (Van Lear Rose) and she seemed to be doing so well in all the interviews when it came out – I hope this is just a temporary thing. I imagine the “Patsy” she was talking to is her daughter – when she had the set of twins she named one of them for Patsy Cline, who died right before they were born.
Not that I’m a big Loretta fan or anything…..
I too heart Van Lear Rose and was disappointed that she didn’t do anything off it. But then again, if you’re having trouble remembering songs you’ve sung thousands of times… maybe it’s best to stick with what you (sorta) know.
I’m hoping it’s a temporary thing, too. Even if it’s not, she is 70. More power to her.
And thanks for the reminder on the Patsy thing — there were several young singer types out on stage and I got confused about which were the daughters. I think one was a niece. Her granddaughter even came out for a bit, but she just stood next to her mom Patsy (who apparently makes pumpkin spice candles to sell at the merch table).
(Aren’t all Eagles songs creepy though? They have a very serial killer preparing for an evening out vibe.)
Thank you, THANK YOU for defining this for me… the Eagles have always made me vaguely uncomfortable for reasons I could never quite articulate. But now I know!
A thousand YESes to the Eagles comment.
Oh, man. My roommate Marianne reports that the last time she saw Loretta was very like this. I guess I lucked out when I saw her last; although she had to be prompted by Patsy a couple of times, she made it through all the songs and never repeated herself. Also, she did “Portland, Oregon” and “Family Tree” from the new album.
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