A Good Woman Is Hard to Find

Still in concert memoir mode …

A favorite of all the shows Fox and I went to was Oingo Boingo at the old Ritz downtown.   We loved Oingo Boingo, and not just because it was fun to say their name.  They gave a great show, and we had a lot of fun.  Afterwards, we stayed and danced until the shaking of that rickety second floor got to be just a little too unnerving.

The opening act had been the Ben Vaughn Combo.  We had no idea who Ben and his combo were, but we were game.  And then they came out … and we loved them.  I was still pretty deep in my Eastern European period, so it didn’t hurt that the bass player reminded me of Alexander Dubček, but it’s also true that they were fabulous.  They played a song I’ve never forgotten, A Good Woman I Hard to Find.  It’s a song with the strangest and most excellent lyrics.  Verses like:

There was an earthquake in Brazil.
There was an earthquake in Brazil.
A good woman is hard to find.
A good woman is so hard to find.
There was an earthquake in Brazil.

Can’t say enough how much we were loving them. 

And then one of Ben’s guitar strings broke.  And then I don’t know what happened.  He shook his head, said he couldn’t go on … and left the stage!  The band hung out for a few minutes, clearly expecting him to come back.  When he didn’t, they left, too. 

We were pretty amazed.  The crowd tried to clap them back, but no luck.  Too weird.

I’m glad Vaughn has gone on to all kinds of musical highs since that odd night.  I haven’t exactly followed his career, I’ll admit, but I’ve looked him up every once in a while since my introduction to the internets, and he’s been out and about, a busy and successful guy.  Which is just as it should be.  For me, though, he’ll always be that one wonderful song that I can still sing all these years later after hearing it only once.

(A good woman is hard to find.  A good woman is so hard to find.  There was an earthquake in Brazil.)

6 thoughts on “A Good Woman Is Hard to Find

  1. Oingo Boingo had a Halloween concert every year when I was in high school, but I never got a chance to see them! I love your concert memoirs…each memoir is bringing back some great memories:-)


    1. Oh, I’ll bet those concerts were so much fun! I’m glad you’re enjoying the concert memories. I had thought I was done after yesterday, but then I started thinking about a couple of other shows, so who knows …


  2. juliebrock

    I LOVED Oingo Boingo as well. I love the concert memoirs – it makes me remember all the shows I’ve seen, and makes me miss live music.


    1. I’m having the same reaction, Julie: thinking about all those old shows makes me miss going to hear live music. I think it’s time to check out the schedule for the Prospect Park Band Shell and go grab a spot on the lawn!


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