ettajamesLet me just state for the record that I adore Etta James. I L-O-V-E her. Many of you might know her for her famous song, “At Last”, which you’ve probably danced to at one or twelve weddings  or heard in a movie. But that’s not even her best song in my opinion. She’s got sass and attitude along with her amazing voice and her undeniable presence. If I could be any singer, I’d probably want to be her. She’s like Mae West meets B.B. King.

She is, in a word, a legend.

Last night I went to go see her (third row, center, HELLO!) and I walked away traumatized by the experience. It wasn’t the scantily clad whorebags talking loudly in front of us that did it (though seriously, shut your pie holes). Nor was it the lady with the cane sitting next to me rocking the entire row with her “dancing” who, by the way, smelled like a strange mixture of drugstore perfume, dog shampoo and Chinese food. It wasn’t even the young guy behind us wearing the Obama hope shirt that kept yelling out like he was Her Biggest Fan (we GET IT dude!). It certainly wasn’t my “date” for the evening, the always gracious, amusing and charming  Dave2 from Blogography. Oh no. It was none of these. It was Etta James herself.

For one hour, she played a total of six song which means we basically paid $10 a song. That’s okay, honestly, because she is a phenomenal singer and besides, the woman is 81. Remember that. It’s an important fact. During the first song everyone was pumped, hooting and hollering, as she came out on her scooter.  She broke out into song and started gesturing- fondling her breasts, motioning to her crotch, rubbing on herself. I look at Dave and we’re like woah! but we’re laughing and enjoying it with the rest of the crowd. It makes sense because the song is a bit racy. But then then next song starts and she starts making kissing noises into the mic and then wags her tongue at it and again with the sexual gestures and I’m like um, what is going on?! And for the next two songs, the same thing.

I started to wonder if she was an oversexed 81 year old or I was just a prudish 35 year old. I mean, I’m all for getting some into your senior years but what is WITH the sexual gestures? Even when the song isn’t actually sexual? It started to feel dirty and wrong. She could be my grandmother! She’s on a scooter! She’s touching her vagina on stage!

Then she announced she was going to sing “At Last” so the crowd went predictably wild. She said something about someone and how they can fuck themselves. Turns out, Etta was ripping into Beyonce. She seemed pretty pissed at her singing her song at the Inauguration Ball and probably, I’m guessing, portraying her in the recent film, Cadillac Records. There was a lot of “fuck her” over and over. I will say though that that was the first song of the night where she did not fondle herself- a welcome relief to my bleeding eyes.

I’m still a little agape at the whole experience.

I still love her but maybe if I were to be her, I’d keep the sexual overtones to one song. And I wouldn’t pretend hump a chair.

70 thoughts on “Oh My EYES!

  1. Six songs in an hour? Vagina rubbing? F- Beyonce? Sounds like a bit of a fiasco. Last year we chose Stevie Wonder show over an Etta James show and I’ve wondered if I’d made a mistake ever since, but now I’m thinking I didn’t.

  2. I can’t leave a meaningful comment because I’m too busy laughing at your 5th and 4th paragraphs from the bottom. You are hilarious!

  3. Holy balls. First, totally guilty in that a friend sung At Last at my wedding (not my choice, hers, but it was pretty awesome because she had the whole audience swaying and clapping), and second, your description is so unbelievably awesomely hilarious that I wish I had been there to be traumatized too!

  4. Dang! I just can’t stop laughing. Are you going to need some sort of therapy after seeing this? 😉 I love it when older people drop the f-bomb. Too funny.

  5. If it wasn’t so pathetic and – uhm – appalling, I think I would have laughed.
    But that must have been one hell of a concert experience.

  6. Oh goodness — I would not imagine her fondling herself on stage…interesting.

    Also, I quite liked Beyonce’s rendition of At Last at the Inauguration Ball. 🙂

  7. I was reading your tweets from last night and I was highly amused. I was also extremely jealous of you because Etta James is literally my favorite singer…and yet somehow I am not so jealous anymore.

    Sounds like you had quite the bit of entertainment though. Who knew Etta was so pissed off at Beyonce?

  8. When you guys were sending those tweets, I totally thought you were kidding. Being silly. You know, ANYTHING not to believe that you were actually witnessing that horror!

  9. Umm… yeah. My brain is still reeling. I too still love Etta and everything, but now I wonder if I’m going to struggle to envision kick-ass young Etta or older scary Etta when I hear her music. I’ve been violated!

  10. I’m laughing so hard right now, at work, at my desk. Oh my gosh… you are such a fabulous writer. And I’m sorry about your bleeding eyes, but this is the most I’ve laughed in at least a week.

  11. I laughed so hard my co-worker came over to see if I was okay. I’m not really sure what to say about that performance. Perhaps the problem is the lack of getting any…or maybe she watched Debbie Does Dallas before going onstage?

  12. Ha! When you first mentioned going to see her I almost told you about this tendency of hers but then I thought what I saw was maybe a fluke. So I kept my trap shut. I didn’t witness it in person though, it was a concert of hers on TV where I saw her keep fondling herself AND imitate giving head to the microphone. Oh yes you read that right.

    Love her but could also do without the “moves”.

  13. OMG. I love frisky old people. I can’t imagine (Thank GOD) the actual images taking up precious room in the old cranium at this point for you…is it possible to purge such oddity? you may effectively suppress it for some time…but when you least expect it, it will be there, something will trigger the image of E.J. feeling herself up and it will take over your mind……oh, your poor girl. lol.

  14. Wow. I love her, but I think I will take a pass on seeing her in person. Perhaps you could borrow some of Kaply’s brain bleach.

  15. Ewwwwww… It seems like it would be over the top even for a 25 year old, but I couldn’t handle watching my Grandma behave that way on stage — and for $60. I can’t get over how expensive concerts are nowadays and esp. for what you get in return. I remember going to concerts in high school for $20 for the front area and it was at least a two hour rock show. Okay, did I just age myself?

  16. To her credit…i’m sure there were some 81ish year old fans in the audience that really enjoyed the show for the same reasons you were disturbed by it. [SHUTTER]

  17. Yikes…81 year old crotch grabbing, cussing and boob fondling – not too shabby for 10 bucks a song. LOL…so wrong, so very wrong.

  18. I’m kind of speechless. This reminds me of a story my friend just told me over the weekend. A holiday spent at an elderly relative’s house. Whom, when someone wished her a happy holidays, turned to that person and yelled UP YOURS and proceeded to yell UP YOURS to everyone in the room.

  19. Horrifying! I am strongly reconsidering going to see her at House of Blues when she is here in April. That’s just wrong to touch yourself in a roomful of strangers like that. Not that a roomful of friends would be better but you know what I mean.

  20. Seriously? You have totally ruined Etta for me and “At Last” was my hubs and I’s first dance at our wedding and “Sunday kind of love” is kinda our song as we got married on a Sunday and other weird little things about a Sunday! I’m glad that I wasn’t the one to pay $10 a song for a bitter, overtly sexual senior show! Wow! Love your blog, been lurking, now delurking.

    btw…I am moving to Seattle in about 2 months! Can’t wait to be a Seattlite!

  21. Well, that’s something.
    I wondered how Etta James felt about Beyonce singing her song. I think I’d be a little peeved too, I mean, wouldn’t Beyonce be a little upset if Taylor Swift whipped out with Single Ladies on stage?

  22. Hey. Better than the time my mom went to see Nina Simone. Nina did something like two songs. Then she got into an argument with someone in the audience and walked off the stage.

    For years I have been meaning to catch Etta at the Fillmore Jazz Festival. She plays there just about every year. Probably has something to do with it being the place where she grew up. Perhaps this year. Because y’all still haven’t scared me off the Etta live.

  23. Wait, wouldn’t Etta have to give her permission anyway for Beyonce’ to portray her and sing her songs?
    Well…regardless…wow. Poor Etta. Poor you & everyone else in the audience!

  24. I went to the AC/DC concert this week and had great seats in a luxury suite. They did lots of rubbing and crotch grabbing and strip teasing and humping of guitars and tongue wagging and even had a 30-foot blowup ho.

    But it was AC/DC for pete’s sake and it kicked!

    An 81-year-old? Ewwwwwwwww.

  25. oh my! I am not surprised at the set list being 6 songs, she did something similar a few years ago and I chalked it up to her age/health. But oh the rubbing? the cursing? aiiiiiiiii.

  26. GOOD GOD! I have a whole new thought process going on when I listen to her now especially since we were on of the ones that had “At last” played for our first dance almost 9 years ago.

    and the rubbing and fondling herself? ewww! and we KNOW I’m not prude.

  27. i have been sitting here for about 10 minutes trying to think of a comment.
    i got nothin.
    i am, however, laughing in the same way as when i saw cloris leachman making out with jack black on ‘the office’…

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  30. The other day when I was listening to our local radio station, they started talking about Etta and her distaste not only for Beyonce’ but also for Obama. I totally thought of you and this post 🙂

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