When I was 17, my cousin John & I (he was 14) had the great fortune of having Melanie take us in to Carnegie Hall because we didn't have tickets to get in. She was so popular in the early seventies that everyone thought it was impossible but we believed. It is still one of the most memorable nights of our lives, February 3rd, 1973.
By an unbelievable chance meeting, Melanie later learned that I had wrote that story in my first book, Life Is a Bumpy Road. That chapter is called, "On Stage with Melanie". When she read that story, she was so enamored with it (of how she affected a young teenage fan) that she contacted me and we had a reunion in 2017.
I went to meet her at her hotel where she was staying and I brought the old photo of how I looked the night she took me in to Carnegie Hall all those years ago. I said to Melanie (and it was a word I hadn't used in many years), "look at me Melanie, I was a little raggamuffin and you took me into your show on your 26th birthday." Herself and her son were startled and she asked, "Tony, why did you use the word raggamuffin?" I said, "Melanie, that's what I was - look at me. I was a little raggamuffin. She says, "I'm startled because no one knows it but that's going to be the name of my new CD." We both looked at one another and I thought, how amazing is this?
Much to my surprise, the next night at her concert in Salinas (Ca.), I was in the audience and she was about to tell the story that she had just read out of my book. Into about the first two sentences she says, "you know what, I cannot do this story justice. I was just as shocked as the people at my table when Melanie asked, "Tony, where are you out there?" I raised my hand and she said, "will you come up and tell the story?"
I got up on stage and there I was with Melanie in our reunion. I told the audience the story of how Melanie took me in to her show at the height of her fame. Two lost raggamuffins outside. We only had six dollars and fifty sense worth of pennies in our pockets but we made it! We believed just like Melanie taught us to believe and it is a memory that's stayed with us forever. So, I wanted to put these photographs here of how I looked then, how we looked at our reunion and there I am on stage telling the story of that beautiful night so long ago.
Read that story called "On Stage with Melanie" on page 32 by clicking here