Johnny and Lisa
Westbury Music Fair, 3/13/83
WHEN LISA MET JOHNNY
Over the years, I collected posters and albums, and was fortunate enough to see Sha Na Na in concert three times at Westbury Music Fair - 1980, 1981 and 1983. The 1983 date proved to be quite a memorable experience for me. My parents had purchased second row tickets, and I couldn't wait for the anticipated day to arrive.
I wore a mauve long-sleeved shirt and pinstriped blue jeans with little zippers on the back of the ankles. My naturally curly hair was "winged back" as best as I could get it that day, and I had a mouthful of braces on my teeth. In other words, I was a typical fifteen year-old in the early 1980's.
As the guys ran onto the stage, one by one, my heart was racing and nothing else mattered in the world but Sha Na Na. I was in pure heaven the entire time.
After the concert was over, I went around the side of the bulding to a door where I saw twenty or so people standing. So I stood there with them, not sure of what I was waiting for. But I hoped that at least one of the guys would come out for some reason. After approximately twenty minutes, the door opened, everyone took a few steps forward, and my heart started racing. Out walked Johnny Contardo, accompanied by another gentleman. He wore a purple sweatshirt with a white stripe going across the middle, and blue jeans. His hair was still slicked back from the show. Johnny signed his autograph for me on the concert program I bought for $5.00 in the lobby. I asked if he would pose for a picture, and with that, put his arm around me. We both smiled, and my dad snapped the camera.
Johnny said that he and the other guy were going out to get something to eat. I watched as they jumped in a car maybe 60 feet away from me and got in. Johnny sat in the passenger seat. I ran toward the car as they began driving away. Johnny smiled at me and waved.
When the car disappeared from view, Johnny instantly became a memory. I knew at that moment how much I missed him already.
I remember that the film took so long to develop, a good two weeks as I recall. The picture came out terrific! I mailed Johnny two copies in care of his fan club. In turn, he signed the back of one of the photos and returned it to me. To this day, it stays visibly protected in one of my albums.
Johnny and Sha Na Na represent a segment of my childhood that I cherish immensely. March 13, 1983 made such an impact in my life, yet I was just another teenage fan in Johnny's eyes.
I don't know if I'll ever see him again. I sometimes wonder if I had the chance to meet him now, would it mean as much to me as it did nineteen years ago. I don't know. But I do know this: I have a happy memory carried in my heart that never seems to fade. And I still smile every time I look at that special photo.
Thank you, Sha Na Na and Johnny...wherever you are.
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