The (Un)Lonely Guy

TSTThere was a time, before I became semi-retired, that I traveled a lot on business.  As I advanced in experience … and years … I frequently traveled alone.   I usually had lunch with customers and sometimes, one would join me for dinner.  But frequently, I was on my own in the evening.  Now, anyone who’s ever seen the restaurant scene from Steve Martin’s Lonely Guy would think twice about going to a nice restaurant alone, expense account or not.

In my younger years, I’d do fast food or room service.  But Older Eyes loves good food … and has the body to prove it … so eventually, I started going out to good restaurants alone.  I’d bring a book, ask for a quiet table under a light so I could read, and after a while, it was a natural as showering alone.  My wife, Muri, on the other hand, would never go to a restaurant by herself but has been going to the movies alone for years.  If there’s a chick flick I don’t want to see and she no friends available to go, off she goes by herself.  Me?  I’d see a guy alone in theater and think … Lonely Guy … you’d never catch me doing that.  But now, I’m semi-retired.  And there are films that Muri doesn’t want to see and afternoons with nothing to do.   So there I am … the (Un)Lonely Guy in the theater.  Here on Top Sites Tuesday #220 where I get to offer Two Thoughts on Tuesday, I’m here to tell you Thought Number One:  When you’re pushing seventy, it’s best to never say never.

Yesterday, I went to the local artsy-fartsy theater… alone … to see a remarkable little film titled Twenty Feet from Stardom.   The film, a breakout hit at the Sundance Film Festival, tells the story of the backup singers that have fueled the modern pop sound.

By following the sometimes heartbreaking careers of prominent background vocalists, most of whom rival the talents of the lead singers, the film shows how backup singers have defined the sound of many hits that we’ve taken for granted.   Performers like Darlene Love, Judith Hill, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Táta Vega are featured in both performances and interviews, as are star performers like Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Mick Jagger and Bette Midler.  Merry Clayton’s amazing backup to Mick Jagger on Gimme Shelter is featured and you get to hear solos by phenomenal backup singers like Darlene Love and Judith Hill.


This may the best music documentary I have ever seen, and everyone agrees … it got 99% from critics and 88% from viewers on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer.  So, here’s Thought Number Two: If you are a music lover, you absolutely have to find a theater showing this film.  And … if you are a blog lover … you absolutely have to push my button … gently … to make me Number One on Top Sites Tuesday #220.

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11 Comments on “The (Un)Lonely Guy”

  1. liggybee Says:

    Interesting! I have heard of backup singers who break out on their own and achieve success. Or, if not, sometimes they just don’t get the recognition they deserve. It’s great when they work behind popular performers who are humble enough to always give them the credit they deserve…introduce them at every show, give them special mention on their album jackets, etc. Great post, Bud!

    Have a great week ahead!!! (Click!)

  2. sharon Says:

    I got so excited to check out Judith Hill, I forgot to post a comment. Wow, can’t wait to see the movie!

  3. Cheryl P. Says:

    I hadn’t heard of Twenty Feet from Stardom but it sounds really interesting. That’s nearly unheard of to get 99 percent approval from critics, isn’t it? Don’t they usually love to criticize.

    As for eating out by myself at nice restaurants. When I traveled I rarely went to nice restraurants alone but occassionally the in-hotel restaurants were closer to fine dining than fast food. I would also take a book or work on something so I didn’t feel so conspicuous. If there was fast food really close at hand that would be my choice.

    Movies…I prefer to go with Wayne or by myself. I am finding a lot of my friends are chatterboxes in the theatre. Makes me crazy.


    • oldereyes Says:

      I eventually got to the point where I enjoyed dining our by myself, as long as the restaurant wasn’t full of drunks, or as you say, chatterboxes. Muri has a friend or two that talk in the movies and they drive her nuts.

  4. Trina Says:

    I love Steve Martin humor! I’ve never really experienced the “alone” concept when going out, but I’m sure I will.

    You know, backup singers don’t get enough credit. Some songs would be terrible if it weren’t for the lovely soulful voice helping the lead singer. I wonder where I would go to see that film…


    PS Sorry about the Captcha on my blog, spammers hit me pretty hard and I am constantly battling them.

    • oldereyes Says:

      It wierd. I haven’t had any problems with the Captcha. The movie is in limited release, usually at more artsy theaters. I’m sure it will be out on DVD soon. I watched an interview with several of the singers today and they may go on tour together as a result of the popularity of the movie.

  5. Wolfbernz Says:

    Hi Bud!

    Sounds like a great documentary, something Trina would really like to see.

    Crazy to think that these singers are just one hit away from being know world wide (and truth be known they’re probably better singers than most of the new “musicians”)

    Clicks for you!

    • oldereyes Says:

      Oh, several of these singers were MUCH better that the singers they were backing up. And at least one spent some time cleaning houses to get by a slow time. Now, she’s in the RR Hall of Fame.

  6. Music, just as in our lives, requires some good backup musicians to make the sounds (and words too) become the hits they are. Our lives require backup too and if it weren’t for those things, those people who stand behind or beside us as we travel on, day by day, think how difficult it would be to keep plugging away alone. In my mind, trying to be as “unlonely” as possible is one of the main goals each of us has and having backups to share that journey with does wonders for the mind, body and soul.

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