Barry Saunders

Saunders: Aretha makes Triangle fans feel like natural fools

The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, performs Feb. 9, 2012, at the Durham Performing Arts Center.
The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, performs Feb. 9, 2012, at the Durham Performing Arts Center. tlong@newsobserver.com

There are, presumably, people running around the Triangle who look down their noses upon those of us who think a realistic retirement strategy is buying $100 worth of Powerball tickets because we’re convinced that 63-45-78-9 is bound to hit on Wilson Pickett’s birthday.

Those same people will then call Ticketmaster and drop a couple hundred simoleons months in advance on tickets for a scheduled Aretha Franklin concert.

I like my chances of a payoff better.

From the moment last year when it was announced that Aretha Franklin was scheduled to perform at the DPAC on Thursday, you just knew something would occur to cause the Queen of Soul – an automatically applied appellation to Aretha with which Etta James fans can quibble – to cancel.

As noted in an N&O story this week, Franklin has canceled five shows in the Triangle since 2005, shows for which tickets had been sold, cars washed, wigs did, glad rags – that’s party clothes in 1960s lingo – purchased.

You know what, y’all?

It appears Aretha is treating the Triangle like her side piece – a disrespected person or, in this case, place, she’ll see if and when the mood strikes, regardless of previous assurances or what we had to go through to get ready.

What would it be this time? Sore throat? Exhaustion? Weather?

Bingo.

A news release from Franklin said she was canceling Thursday’s sold-out show because of bad weather and potentially treacherous roads.

Concern for safety is understandable, but also understandable is the disappointment of fans such as Doris Galbreath. Galbraith and her husband, Chicago natives now living in New Bern, received tickets to the show from their three daughters as a Christmas gift.

We expect a rescheduled date to be announced shortly. Ticket holders should hold on to their tickets; they will be good for the future scheduled performance.

Rachel Gragg Traversari, senior marketing director for the Durham Performing Arts Center

She said they’ll use the tickets for the rescheduled show – tee hee – but she’s out of the dough they dropped on booking a hotel room. “They said it was their policy” not to give refunds, she said of the hotel.

Rachel Gragg Traversari, senior marketing director for the Durham Performing Arts Center, told me Monday, “We expect a rescheduled date to be announced shortly. Ticket holders should hold on to their tickets; they will be good for the future scheduled performance.”

She said “future scheduled performance,” presumably, without laughing.

Galbraith said her husband and she are fans of “upbeat, soulful music,” even though she said she doesn’t have a favorite Aretha song.

I do: it’s “Call Me” – and that’s what you’ll have to do before I spend money on a hit-or-miss concert by the fabulous Miss Franklin. You’ll have to call me the minute, the moment, the hour Aretha arrives in Durham. That’ll give me just enough time to slap on some Brut and get to the DPAC.

Despite Aretha’s divatude, your ear would have to be in your foot to not want to hear her sing in person, especially if you saw her recent Kennedy Center musical tribute to Carole King.

Despite Aretha’s divatude, your ear would have to be in your foot to not want to hear her sing in person, especially if you saw her recent Kennedy Center musical tribute to Carole King.

You’d also have to be a masochist or someone with plenty of moolah to tie up to spend money prior to her arrival.

That’s why her fans in the Triangle should join me in singing this updated tribute to her hit, the Carole King-penned “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman.”

Maestro, hit it:

Looking out on the melting snow

Lord, I used to feel so tired.

Then I bought Aretha Franklin tickets

And suddenly I felt so inspired.

But from the day I bought them

I feared she would not show.

And Lord knows I need my dough.

You make me feel

You make me feel

You make me feel like a natural fool ...

When her DPAC show was first announced

I rushed out and bought two tickets.

But our relationship is so irreparably torn

Nothing can ever fix it...

Oh, baby what you’ve done to me

You make me feel so dumb inside

And when the landlord comes for rent

I have to run away and hide

Cos you make me feel

You make me feel

You make me feel like a natural fool.

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