Allow me to set the stage. The 930 Club in Washington, DC. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the 930, let me try to describe it. First, think of the kind of place you'd imagine a legendary country singer like Johnny Cash would probably perform a concert in. Now picture the exact opposite kind of place. That's about what the 930 Club is like. There aren't any chairs or tables. Just a big open space and a concrete floor. If it weren't for the fact that the club normally caters to "alternative" music, it might be the kind of place a struggling young country honkey-tonker might play for free beer and a small take of the gate.
And that's what made this show great!
My father and younger brother accompanied me to the show. Dad's liked Johnny since....well, since forever, I guess. Chris went 'cause Dad paid for his ticket. Chris doesn't exactly like country music. (Although since going to the show, I've noticed a few country CDs pop up in his collection.) Didn't matter to me -- I'm glad they both came. I was just real excited.
One of the reasons I was excited was because Jay Dauro found my Johnny Cash pages since I went to the first show a year before. Jay's the production manager for the Johnny Cash shows. He had sent me some e-mail with additional information and corrections for my page. When I told him I was going to this show, he invited me to chat with him a little bit before and after the show. So while we were waiting in line to get in, I stole away to the stage door and asked for him. He was kinda busy with the preparations, but he took a few minutes to show me around and just chat -- about Johnny, about the Internet, about my graduating from college and getting ready to move to North Carolina. Jay's a great guy. He introduced me to a few of the stage hands, too. For that, I'm extremely grateful.
Well, the doors were about to open, so I thanked Jay for his time and went back outside to wait with Dad and Chris. They let us in. But they didn't want to let me in. You see, I brought my camera to take some pictures. The Johnny Cash show is very gracious and allows fans to take flash photography during the show. I had called the club earlier to verify that this was going to be the case for this show. They assured me that my camera would not be a problem. However, when I got to the door, they didn't want to let me in. I was not going to hike all the way back to my car to put the camera in there and I didn't trust the club enough to leave it in their office. So I asked if I could leave it with either Jay or one of the stagehands. The guy at the door said that would be OK. So, I went up to the stage and explained the situation to one of the stagehands (I'm really sorry I don't remember his name.) and he told me that we should be allowed to take pictures. After a brief chat between the stagehand and the guy at the door, everything was taken care of. And I was allowed to bring my camera in and take pictures. And so was everyone else with cameras.
Since I was only about 3 feet from the stage, I've got some great pictures from the show. Thank you, Johnny Cash Show, for allowing fans to take pictures during the performances.
Johnny did a great job, played lots of great tunes, and looked like he was having a good time, too. Like before, there was a portion of the show where June Carter Cash joined Johnny. And a portion where John Carter Cash played a few of his own songs. The audience wasn't too thrilled about that -- they came to see The Man In Black himself. John Carter Cash handled the crowd gracefully and turned the show back over to his dad pretty quickly.
I can't wait to see Johnny again. It certainly is a treat.
After the show, I caught back up with Jay, who provided me with a setlist. Here it is.
Johnny Cash at the 930 Club in Washington, DC
May 15, 1996
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