For a week until everybody got sick of it, there was a Facebook/Twitter meme: List 10 concerts you had seen and let your followers guess which one was a lie. Here’s my variation: the 10 concerts I considered going to but couldn’t or didn’t — and I’m still kicking myself:

  • The Beatles at Atlanta Stadium in 1965. My mom thought 12 1/2 was was too young. Tickets could have been the best early Bar Mitzvah gift ever.
  • Eric Clapton’s celebrated Rainbow concert in 1973. I had just gotten to London and hadn’t figured out the tube yet. And I still haven’t seen Eric. Dumb.
  • Simon and Garfunkel Central Park Concert in 1981. Sharon and I had a place to stay for free but decided against paying airfare from Tampa. We’re still using that failure in judgment to justify other indulgences. Six years later we saw the Paul Simon Graceland tour in Atlanta. I had to choose between that show and a small-group interview with President Reagan. No regrets.
  • Atlanta International Pop Festival in 1970. It was a holiday weekend; half of my crowd went to the festival, and half went to Callaway Gardens. I chose Callaway. There was an attractive young woman involved.
  • The Who in 1973. I have memories of classmates taking a several-hours train trip to see The Who well north of London and returning at 4 a.m. I can’t find any reference of such a show online, so maybe I imagined it. After all, it was the early 70s. I finally saw The Who in Tampa in 1997, and it remains one of the most exciting shows I’ve seen.
  • B.B. King. I’ve had chances to see him. Just didn’t. Grrr.
  • Van Morrison. Ditto.
  • Jimi Hendrix at Atlanta Municipal Auditorium in 1968. In my mind it was a school night; the Internet says it was in August. Anyway, I didn’t have a driver license yet. Excuses, excuses.
  • Great Southeast Music Hall, Atlanta, early 1970s. I saw some great shows there, but a few years ago I flipped through an old Great Speckled Bird and saw ads for concerts by rising artists I’d love to have seen but who I wasn’t even aware of then.
  • Elvis at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa in 1976. Yeah, it was the bloated Elvis. Yeah, I was peeved that Elvis sold out Curtis Hixon in minutes and that year’s Bob Dylan Rolling Thunder Review didn’t. Yeah, I had picked sides in the mid-60s Beatles-Elvis divide. But … Elvis!