Bye, Bye, City Stages Goodbye

By June 29, 2009

City Stages

Note: This was first published by The Terminal after I wrote it. I thought I’d post it here too for you.

I’m a music lover and a fan of City Stages. I was a volunteer for the first ten years of the music festival and attended City Stages for many years after that. I did not attend last year or this year due to what I describe as a lack of top tier and up-and-coming bands to stir my interest. I didn’t want to let City Stages slip away without saying goodbye. I decided what better way than a remake of an old classic American Pie.

A long, long time ago…
I can still remember
How that music used to make me smile.
And I knew if I had my chance
That I could make those people dance
And, maybe, they’d be happy for a while.

But has-been acts made me shiver
With every song they’d deliver.
Bad news on the bank step;
They couldn’t take one more step.

I can’t remember if I cried
When I read about his fallen pride,
But something touched me deep inside
The day the music died.

So bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
And them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
Singin, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Did you write the book of love,
And do you have faith in God above,
If the Bible tells you so?
Do you believe in rock ‘n roll,
Can music save your mortal soul,
And can you teach me how to dance real slow?

Well, I know that you’re in love with him
`cause I saw you dancin’ at the park named Linn.
You both kicked off your shoes.
Man, I dig those rhythm and blues.

I was a lonely teenage broncin’ buck
With a pink carnation and a pickup truck,
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the music died.

I started singin’,
“bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
Them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Now for 20 years we’ve been on a loan
And moss grows fat on a rollin’ stone,
But that’s not how it used to be.
When George sang out for the king of lien,
With a note he borrowed from the cash machine
And a tax that came from you and me,

Oh, and while king Larry was looking down,
Stages played his bankrupt town.
The courtroom was adjourned;
No audience has returned.
And while Council read a book of larks,
The quartet practiced in the park,
And we sang dirges in the dark
The day the music died.

We were singing,
“bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
Them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Helter skelter in a summer swelter.
Stages flew off with a writeoff shelter,
Half a million bucks and growing fast.
It landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for a forward pass,
With vendors on the sidelines in a cast.

Now the half-time air was sweet perfume
While the sergeants played a marching tune.
We all got up to dance,
Oh, but we never got the chance!
`cause the players tried to take the field;
The marching band refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the music died?

We started singing,
“bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
Them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

Oh, and there we were all in one place,
A generation lost in space
With no cash left to start again.
So come on: jack be nimble, jack be quick!
Jack flash sat on a candlestick
Cause fire is the devil’s only friend.

Oh, and as I watched him on the stage
My hands were clenched in fists of rage.
No angel born in hell
Could break that satan’s spell.
And as the flames climbed high into the night
To light the sacrificial rite,
I saw satan laughing with delight
The day the music died

He was singing,
“bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
Them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
And singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

I met a girl who sang the blues
And I asked her for some happy news,
But she just smiled and turned away.
I went down to the Stages door
Where I’d heard the music years before,
But the man there said the music wouldn’t play.

And in the streets: the children screamed,
The lovers cried, and the poets dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The church bells all were broken.
And the three men I admire most:
The father, son, and the holy ghost,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day the music died.

And they were singing,
“bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
And them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.
“this’ll be the day that I die.”

They were singing,
“bye-bye, City Stages good bye.
Drove my Hummer to the drummer,
But he didn’t reply.
Them good old boys were nursing their black-eye
Singin’, “this’ll be the day that I die.”

Categories : Events

Comments
Bettina August 2, 2009

I was sad to see City Stages come to an end. It was the event that influenced my decision to return to Birmingham after college. It was much smaller and held in May. I viewed it as a sign of Birmingham’s direction for the future. I talk about it in this post http://tinyurl.com/mhhplf.

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