It’s been a tough week for the country music world.
Over the span of just seven days we’ve lost the legendary Kenny Rogers, Grand Ole Opry member Jan Howard, and the incomparable Joe Diffie. And on the same day that Joe Diffie passed away from Coronavirus, we found out that John Prine is also in the critical condition and fighting for his life.
The hits just keep on coming. And it sucks.
Joe Diffie was one of my all-time favorite artists. As a child I grew up listening to “Pickup Man” and “Prop Me Up Beside the Jukebox (If I Die),” and as an adult I’ve sang “John Deere Green” at karaoke more times than I can count.
His music is the epitome of the great 90’s country that so many of us grew up listening to.
I only got to see Joe Diffie live in concert one time. Joe was playing on the Forever Country stage at CMA Fest two years ago. None of my friends could go, and my girlfriend was out of town, so I debated just staying home. I had every excuse to stay home: It was too hot, it was too crowded downtown and traffic was a mess, I didn’t have anybody to go with…
But it was Joe Diffie, and he was one of my favorite artists – so I decided to go.
And when I heard that he had died on Sunday, one of my first thoughts was, “Damn, I’m glad I went to see him when I had the chance.”
And I know that thinking about going to concerts seems so trivial right now with so many people sick and hurting. But one day, things will go back to normal and our favorite artists will be back on stage instead of sitting in their living room broadcasting on Instagram live. And one lesson I hope we all take away from this is: Go see your favorite artists when you can.
I know we’re all busy (when we’re not locked inside of our homes) and sometimes it’s hard to find time to go to all the concerts we want to. Sometimes tickets are too expensive. Or we can’t find anybody to go with. There are always excuses not to do something. But we’ve been brutally reminded this past week that our favorite artists aren’t going to be around forever. Their lives are just as fragile as ours – and as dark as it may sound, you just never know when or if you’re going to get a chance to see them again.
So the next time your favorite artist is nearby, go see them. Hell, take a road trip if that’s what it takes. Go alone if you can’t find anybody else to go with you. You won’t regret it, just like I didn’t regret going to see Joe Diffie two years ago.
Don’t take the opportunity to see your favorite artists for granted. You just never know when it could be your last chance to see them.