By Andy Weddington
Wednesday, 08 August 2018
"My theory and my philosophy is 'compromise breeds mediocrity'." David Foster
Last evening David Foster, the Hitman, mesmerized a packed house in Omaha during his two hours show 'An Intimate Evening with David Foster.'
If David Foster, Canadian, does not ring a bell his music will. He's a musician, songwriter, and producer - with dozens of mega hits to his credit. Name the mega star singer (some he discovered - e.g. Celine Dion; Michael Buble) and Mr. Foster has written for them.
He was on piano last evening - engaging (storytelling thus the Intimate Evening) with the audience between numbers. He's a master of the stage - comfortable, personable, quick on his feet, sharp wit, and funny.
I texted a Canadian friend in Toronto, "At the local performing arts theatre this evening. David Foster reminds me of you - casually charming ... ".
A bass player, drummer, and keyboardist backed him up. The drummer and keyboardist famous in their own right. A trio of singers, two stunning women and a gent with an equally booming voice, rounded out the band. To say they made music would be absurd. Incredible!
I open today with Mr. Foster because, 1) there was an American flag stage right, and 2) he made it a point early in the show to recognize veterans; thanks to a generous donor many were in the seats. The crowd offered genuine vigorous applause in gratitude.
There was neither note nor word about politics. No besmirching our country, President, nor kneeling before colors.
A civil, refreshing night of beautiful music - for an audience to relax, sit in awe and acknowledge remarkable skills and talent.
The evening still on my mind today.
While driving to an out-of-the-way grocery store for a specialty item, I was on the phone with a retired Marine infantryman.
Ironically, the song playing in the grocery store was one of Mr. Foster's (knowing the scope of his work, the odds not all that surprising) heard last evening - a pleasant memory and distraction while roaming the unfamiliar aisles.
As it was 11 items in the cart; one under the 12 limit noted on the Express Lane sign; 13 or 14 would have probably been okay but rules are rules.
The cashier a woman some 15 years my junior.
She said, "My son's a Marine. I see by your shirt, you're a Marine."
"Yes. I sure am. Tell me about your son. Where is he?"
"He's at Camp Pendleton - that's in California."
"Yes, I know. I am familiar with the base. Do you know what your son does?"
With reservation she said, "He's an infantryman. Heavy machine guns. He loves it. He's about halfway through his enlistment but is not sure what he's going to do. Sir, what can he do with his infantry training after the Marine Corps?"
As there was not another customer waiting I took a minute ...
"I don't know your son but I know a lot about him. As I know a lot about you for having raised a young man who decided to be a Marine. There is nothing easy about what your son is doing. His mettle is being tested daily. His self-confidence is growing and character being strengthened. You need not be concerned about your son's infantry training and experience for the job market should he decide not to reenlist. Employers are looking for men like him - responsible and dependable and mission oriented. They'll hire him for who he is and train to skills. He'll be able to do whatever he wants to do. He'll be fine."
I finished bagging.
She was quiet a moment. Her expression changed. Relieved she seemed. Smiling she said, "Thank you."
"Yes, ma'am. You made my day."
Another customer walked up.
And I was out the door.
To close ...
Mr. Foster was not a Marine. But his theory and philosophy is Marine like - Marines do not compromise and mediocrity is not in the lexicon. Like Marines, his astonishing success reflective of winning a lot of battles; the music business brutal.
And there is nothing mediocre about a mother who raises a Marine son. Nor him.
I didn't ask but she'd surprised me if knowing of David Foster.