Hurricane Arthur Fiedler is headed up the east coast, and the Boston Pops have already moved their regular Fourth of July Esplanade concert up one day to tonight, the Third of July. Arthur Fiedler — the real person (1894-1979), not the hurricane — directed many, many Fourth of July concerts at the Hatch Shell along the Charles River in Boston. Arthur Fiedler’s first Fourth of July Boston Pops concert was in 1929, and he became music director of the Pops in 1930, remaining in that position until his death in 1979. Fiedler combined classical music with some lighter show tunes, etc. because he wanted to bring classical music to a wider audience — and it really worked. Since his death, however, especially since the 2000s in my view, classical music does not seem to any longer be carried on to the next generations. The only things now seem to be rock, rap, and whatever is easy, loud, and not particularly complex. Oh well, please pardon my being an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy stick-in-the-mud. (I’m actually more of a symphony fan, as opposed to “pops.”)
Anyway, I think the only time I was at one of those Boston Pops Fourth of July concerts was in 1983. At that time, goons were inspecting everyone’s coolers in case someone might have some (gasp!) . . . beer. Ooooh. And that was over 30 years ago now. I can imagine the security there these days, post-9/11 and post-Marathon bombings. I’m sure they’ll be searching everything and everyone now. They probably won’t even allow coolers or even bottles of anything. And they probably ban food now as well. Jeepers, I hope all that rain coming up from Hurricane Arthur Fiedler doesn’t put out the fireworks.