Purple Rain and the Starman: A music bucket list.

An empty stage.
Back in 2014, Alan and I had the opportunity to see Elton John perform. It was incredible. We offhandedly talked about creating a bucket list of musicians we wanted to go see (because no one is getting any younger) but nothing ever came of it.

Then, in January of 2016, David Bowie died.

The world knew it was coming. He had cancer. And when he passed, a star in the sky shined more brightly. He is, as you know, the Starman. I was very fortunate to see David Bowie and Nine Inch Nails perform together in 1996. A rare opportunity and college irresponsibility allowed me to snag tickets and go with my then boyfriend, Zack. Yeah. So that. I want to see that show again.

And the bucket list came up again.

My husband and I were watching the newish show Lucifer, and when the actor sat down to a piano, and the first chords of King of Pain came out, I grabbed my laptop.

Sting is on my bucket list.

I got lucky.

We bought tickets for the Sting AND Peter Gabriel tour that night. A show that was nearly sold out. I get giddy when I think about it.

Then, a few days later Alan comes home to tell me he heard on KEXP that Brian Wilson is touring, and performing Pet Sounds for the last time. I grew up in Ocean City MD, the Beach Boys might as well be the sound track of my childhood. Tickets for an October show, check. Did I mention we scored 5th row seats?

Smashing Pumpkins. We nearly missed this one. The day I learned there was going to be a Seattle show for the In Plainsong tour with Liz Phair I opened my web browser to a sold out show.  The exception was VIP Pre-Show seats. A private acoustical performance. A Q&A with Mr. Billy Corgan. Oh, and epically good seats. I quickly thanked the blog gods for a good December and bought the tickets for the March 23 show. (Side note, our 9th wedding anniversary was March 24) Was it a little bit crazy? Absolutely. Was it worth it? Definitely. After Liz Phair blew us away, we were moved up from our already amazing front row seats to the 2nd row orchestra pit by Justin, a friend of Billy’s that had helped organize the VIP experience. It made the experience that much more amazing. Hey Justin – thanks again for that. That was fucking awesome of you.

Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins, March 2016, Seattle

Back to the music bucket list.

Prince. Touring, but no Seattle dates when I checked. I was hopeful.

And then, we lost Prince. Suddenly. I’m sad. MTV has been airing his videos and Purple Rain all day. I can’t bring myself to turn off the TV and go to bed. So I’m writing this. I’m sad because from what I’ve read he was alone when he passed. I hope that as a spiritual man that he was at peace, that he didn’t feel pain, and that his last moments he knew of the love of his family friends and fans.

I have these memories of watching Purple Rain on HBO with my friend Noelle at her house in Florida. Of playing Purple Rain on my mom’s record player in the mornings before school. Of dancing my ass off in college.

I skipped a fashion class in college trying to get tickets for 1999. I was unsuccessful. Obviously.

I’m taking a look at my music bucket list again, and if the opportunity awaits, I’m not going to skip it. And you shouldn’t either.

There are so many I don’t know where to begin. Some I’ve seen. Some I want to see again. Guess it’s time to make the list. I hope you help me hold myself accountable.

There’s something about music, especially live music that is empowering. The emotions and feelings it creates are undefined. To be in the presence of performers who truly love what they do is like nothing else.

So. Go. Make your list.

Don’t let the music die.

About Kerri Jablonski

Kerri Jablonski AKA The Maven lives in Seattle,WA with her 3 kids (2008, 2010, 2013), husband, cats and backyard chickens. Two of her children have special needs. Kerri enjoys cooking, travel, movies and spending time with her family.


  1. I did the same thing. I bought Sting and Peter Gabriel tickets. I bought Cyndi Lauper and Boy George tickets. I saw Duran Duran again.

  2. Life’s short. Buy the concert tickets.

    I am kicking myself now that I didn’t try harder for the Gorge tickets since that I can’t go see him again. RIP Prince ?

  3. NYC Single Mom says:

    you are so right!! I need to get on some bands I regretted not seeing in the past.

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