Last night, Rea and I went to see Loretta Lynn perform at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, WA. After being rightfully introduced as the “Queen of Country Music”, Loretta waltzed onto the stage in a sparkly pink ballgown, complete with puffed sleeves and a flowing silk skirt, and proceeded to get (what I like to call) her “Living Legend Diva” on…
Fans: “We love you Loretta!!!”
Loretta: “Aww babies, I love y’all too. Now what’cha want me to sing to y’all? Holler ’em out now…”
Fans: “Honky Tonk Girl!!”
Loretta: “Nah, ah don’t even like that song!”
Fans: “Coal Miner’s Daughter!!”
Loretta: “Ah don’t like that song neither. Well, I guess I’d better sing something, since that’s what y’all want me to do. Ah wrote this song while ah was sittin’ on the toilet…”
After Loretta sang her first song “You’re Lookin’ at Country” she said that she was “parched” and needed “somethin’ to wet my whistle” so one of the men in her band handed her a bottle of water.
Loretta took a long drink and handed it back to him, “Here, now ya put that somewhere ah can grab it when I need it.”
The man put the bottle on the floor next to her feet.
Loretta looked at him like he was crazy: “Ah said for you to put that thing somewhere ah can grab it! I ain’t bendin’ over now. Do y’all know how old ah am?!” The crowd laughed.
The man grabbed a chair, put it next to Loretta, and then set the water on top of it.
Loretta: “See there, that’s much better. We ain’t tryin’ to make things pretty up here on the stage anyhow. We need things to be accessible! Alright now. What’cha wanna hear now? Holler ’em out…”
Fans: “You Ain’t Woman Enough!”
Loretta: “Ah don’t like that song. Do y’all know how sick I am of singing my own songs? I’ve been singin’ em for so long now, I’m just darned sick of ’em!”
Fan: “These Boots are Made for Walkin’!!”
Loretta: “What the hell? That ain’t even one of my songs!” She looked around at her band and said, “Who sings that song?”
Band: “Nancy Sinatra.”
Loretta: “Am I Nancy Sinatra?”
Band: “No Ma’am…”
Loretta: “Well then I ain’t singin’ that song neither!”
The crowd continued to holler out songs, until Loretta announced, “Alright, I’ll sing one of my songs now. Hit it boys…”
About halfway through the song, Loretta made the Universal sign for slitting one’s throat, and the band stopped playing immediately.
The keyboard player piped up, “Yes Ma’am?”
Loretta: “Ya started that song out too high, didn’t ya Bobby…?”
Bobby: “Yes Ma’am.”
Loretta sighed: “Well, that song’s ruined. Let’s play another one now…”
Loretta sang through several of her most popular hits, and her voice is still as strong and as beautiful as ever. After a while she moved her water, sat in the chair, and said, “Alright boys, y’all come up here and sing a bit. I’ma gettin’ tuckered out!”
The band kind of looked at each other. Since they weren’t moving fast enough, Loretta called out, “Come up here and sing now so I can take a break! You there! The one with the HAIR!” The crowd laughed because it was so obvious which one of the men that she was referring to. Her lead guitarist looked like a missing member of ZZ Top or the Oak Ridge Boys with his long, flowing, luxurious grey hair and perfectly manicured black goatee.
The band sang a few songs, and during their last song, Loretta was clearly trying to get one of the guy’s attention. Since he wasn’t hearing her, she started to hit him in the leg with her microphone. When he finally looked at her, she just held up her arms to him so that he could lift her up off of her chair.
Loretta dusted herself off: “See that gentleman who just lifted me up y’all? He played lead guitar for Conway Twitty and now he plays steel guitar for Yours Truly!”
The crowd cheered and one of the other men in the band said, “Are you going to tell the rest of that story Loretta?”
Loretta: “Did I mention that he played for Conway Twitty?”
Band: “Yes Ma’am.”
Loretta: “And now he plays for me?”
Band: “Yes Ma’am.”
Loretta: “Well that about covers it then. Alright, now that I’m back on my feet, ah guess I could sing another song or two…”
Loretta sang a hilarious song that I hadn’t heard before called, “The Pill”.
The chorus goes: This old maternity dress I’ve got is goin in the garbage
The clothes I’m wearing from now on won’t take up so much yardage
Miniskirts, hotpants, and a few little fancy frills
Yeah I’m making up for all those years since I’ve got the pill…
When the song was over, Loretta announced to her band, “Well ah guess we’d better not be singin’ that song when we cross over into Canada tomorrow. If them border agents found out we had pills in our tour bus, there’d be hell to pay!”
The next song was entirely inappropriate to be singing these days at all, least of all at a Tribal-owned Casino, but this is another one of the benefits of being Loretta Lynn/Living Legend Diva…
Your Squaw is on the Warpath:
Well your pet name for me is Squaw
When you come home a drinkin’ and can barely crawl
And all that lovin’ on me won’t make things right
Well you’re leavin’ me at home to keep the tee pee clean
A-six papooses to break and wean
Well, your Squaw is on the warpath tonight
Well I found out, a-big brave chief
The game you were huntin’ for ain’t beef
Get offa my huntin’ grounds and get outta my sight
Of course she ended the night with “Coal Miner’s Daughter” to everyone’s delight. As soon as the song ended, she took a quick bow and began making her way off the stage. The lead guitarist in the band said, “Come on out here Loretta, and give the audience one more bow!” Loretta stopped in her tracks, turned around and gave him a look that about scared the pants off of him, and then continued walking off of the stage.
Don’t Y’all know that Loretta is 81 years old and she’s the Queen of Country Music! Be happy that you got to witness one bow that you can tell your grand-babies about!
Best. Night. Ever.