Last night, I went to see Amy Grant at the Grammy Museum here in Los Angeles. About a month ago, a friend told me about these events that the Grammy Museum hosts where different musicians do a Q & A and then a short music set in a small theatre (200 seats) at the museum downtown. If you live near LA, I would recommend getting on their mailing or email list because if you want to see your favorite artist, there is no venue more intimate.
Last night, my friend Richard and I went to “A Conversation with Amy Grant,” a dream come true. We were on the 7th row, but there are no bad seats at the Clive Davis Theatre. It started with a guy asking her questions about her career, her songwriting process, her influences, her old music, her new music. They opened it up briefly for questions from the audience and then she sang about 8 songs, including Jesus Loves Me, My Father’s Eyes, Love of Another Kind, Our Time is Now, and Better than a Hallelujah.
I had planned to ask a question, I was going to stand and say, “I have a comment and a question. First of all, I would like to say that as a gay man who has spent the last 30 years listening to your music, I want to thank you that your message has always been about God’s love and God’s grace. That being said, if you were a Golden Girl, who would you be?” I’d tried it out on my friend Richard and he approved it. Before the show, we met for drinks and food and rehearsed our questions to Amy, each of us taking turns responding as Amy. (“Oh, thank you, Richard, I would love for you to be the set decorator for my next Christmas special.” and “Ray, I’d be honored to do a guest blog for Easily Crestfallen, do I have to talk about William Inge, though?”) Alas, the rehearsal was the performance because we didn’t get to ask our questions. It was touching to hear the handful of people who stood with questions that were really just testimonials masquerading as questions. We knew it before we got there, but Richard and I were not the only people in the room whose lives were deeply affected and enriched by Amy Grant’s music.
After the event was over, my little brain apparently did not get enough Amy Grant because she was in my dream last night. It’s kind of embarrassing to talk about dreams with celebrities, but hey, if one can’t embarrass one’s self on his own blog, what other platform does one have? It seems as though, I had been assigned the task of taking care of Amy after the show, although in my dream, it was now the afternoon. We were walking around the area near La Brea Tar Pits, E! Network and no surprise, Marie Callender’s. I asked her what she wanted to do and she told me she wanted to see a playground, so we set out to find a playground. As we walked and talked, our conversation was intimate and personal. At one point, I tried to get her to assess the skill level of a young woman she’d invited on stage to share a duet a la Kristin Chenoweth at the Hollywood Bowl. Amy wouldn’t say anything bad, but she did give me a look to say, don’t go there. In our travels, we wandered over to Park La Brea. Somehow the topic of life dreams came up and she asked me, “Ray, if you could do anything, what would it be?” Instantly, an answer came to mind and my face lit up. “What is it, she asked?” “I can’t tell you,” I said.” “You want to have a child, don’t you.” I laughed because having a child was definitely not what popped into my mind. “No, I don’t want to have kids.” And then I quietly wondered, does Amy Grant know me better than I know myself? Not long after that, we were headed back to wherever Amy’s next destination was. As we crossed the cross walk on 6th and Curson, she set down on the street a pair of sunglasses she’d found while we were walking around. I thought to myself that probably wasn’t the best place to leave them, but I didn’t say anything. As we were saying our goodbyes, I realized we had not found a playground. Amy said, “That’s okay.” We hugged and then the next thing I knew, I woke up in my bed. For a while, I couldn’t get back to sleep. I lay there wondering, what does it all mean? What does any of it mean? It’s just a dream and like most dreams, it might take a little time to be understood.