My first Harry Chapin experience was in the spring of 1976 when I bought Varieties & Balderdash, and saw him in a solo concert at Northern IL Univ. in May of that same year.
I say it was only the first experience because I was fortunate to have many more. I believe it was the fall of 1976 when I saw Harry at the Keil Opera House in St. Louis, MO. It was at that concert that I first met and chatted with Harry after he was through signing autographs and books. I talked with him for only 10 or 15 minutes, but they were and are some great moments. If I wasn’t already a hooked fan, I was after that. . .
Back in those days I used to freelance for Rolling Stone, (I am a photographer and writer) so I used to see a lot of shows, and most for free. Harry was one of the few I would pay almost any price to his show again and again. No one before him or after him had the Magic Harry had. He sucked you in to his world for two or so hours and you were his. . . He took you high and he took you low and he always brought you back with a smile on your face, and little something extra in your heart just for the ride. . .
I was never in the “Cheap Seats”, having contacts for better than average seats, but that didn’t matter either because he involved us all in his special way, from the sad and happy magic of “Cory’s Coming” to the many endings of “30 Thousands Pounds Bananas”, the thrill of it all.
I was perhaps one of his most fortunate fans, as I had the special pleasure of interviewing Harry on April 26th, 1981 just 3 months before his death.
I spent over 3 hours with Harry and the band that night, and came away with some very different insights of this life of ours. The memories of that night are highlights of my life. In case you did not already know it, Harry had a special sight, and he saw the world as it could be, as he hoped it would be one day.
I remember Harry well. . . If any one is interested I have some special photographs that I took of him over the years and would be happy to share these with other “Harry Chapin Heads”.
Thank you for talking the time to read my thoughts of this very special person.
Please note: this story is the sole property of its author. Unauthorized use is prohibited without the author’s permission.