The biggest star at this concert was the Dalai Lama

Ready to address the press is the Dali Lama.

Ready to address the press is the Dalai Lama.

Just the other day when I was reading a post from my friend at Peace, Love & Great Country Music, recounting a blog conversation we’d had about the band Train, the thought hit me again.

I had some truly great moments in the 21 years that I covered music and entertainment for the big daily.

Yeah, I’d seen Train in 2012. Interviewed lead singer Pat Monahan, too, I told PLCGM as we swapped Train tales.

That reminded me that I’d been meaning to post a photo I stumbled upon in the early stages of my iPhone 4 camera roll last week.

I took the shot during a news conference before a mega show in the Carrier Dome here in Syracuse, the Oct. 9, 2012 event One World Concert. More than a dozen big-name musicians performed.

Dave Mathews played an acoustic set and knocked it out of the dome. Counting Crows performed, and Adam Duritz was spot-on. Matisyahu rapped and rocked.

Whoopi Goldberg was MC, in sharp host mode.

But these stars were not who the organizers were bringing to the pre-show gathering of reporters.

The Dalai Lama was willing to meet the press.

Now the big daily had sent reporters far more schooled in this prestigious man’s plans and pitches for world peace and good living than I, the guy assigned to write the music review.

I did know enough to high-tail it to the news conference in the bowels of the Carrier Dome, and grabbled my spot in the third row.

When the robed gentleman, this 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, was led to a row of folding chairs facing the rest of the room, reporter types pushed forward some, as they seem pre-ordained to do.

I sat still, took a few photos, and listened to the man.

He had his ideas about the world’s woes and how nations must come together.

Somebody asked him if he had favorites of the musicians and the music that would be performed soon.

The Dalai Lama laughed, shook his head, and actually plugged his ears to quite adequately convey what he thought of modern music.

He said he did tell the musicians he met backstage how they should use their celebrity and power over the masses to deliver wise messages.

You can read what I wrote about the Dalai Lama and his musing about music on by clicking here.

On stage during the show, the Dalai Lama pulled on a Syracuse University visor as he talked to students and other peace-seekers during the event. He looked relaxed, like a normal guy wearing a robe not troubled a bit by the weight of his people on his shoulders. He talked perhaps some moments too long for some people, and you could spot some shuffling in the public rows. But the Dalai Lama sounded smart. And hopeful.

I’ll remember that far longer than any of the music that night.

The Dalai Lama has entered the room, folks.

The Dalai Lama has entered the room, folks.

Have you ever met somebody that made you sit straighter, stand taller, and listen harder?

39 thoughts on “The biggest star at this concert was the Dalai Lama

  1. Yes, Mark. I’ve met many people who have helped me sit straighter, stand taller, and listen better, as you so beautifully put it. But I’ve yet to meet the Dalai Lama. Thanks for helping me know him better, here.


  2. When I was in SEAL training, one of my instructors made me stand tall, straighter, taller.
    Then he told me to get wet and sandy.
    (Guess you’d have to have been there)
    Great post.


  3. I’m not sure exactly what age or moment the realization is to set in, but its obvious now, at 31, to truly believe that who you meet, see, speak to… is purposeful, and the moments are intended to happen. I’m glad you had the opportunity to “meet” the Dalai Lama.


  4. Wow, Mark! You really have had some wide varieties of acquaintances! I respect the Dalai Lama and am in awe of your being around him and in his presence. I think it is so cool how you have covered all these events and have those outstanding memories written down to re-read when you get old and forgetful! Ha ha!


  5. I’ve met such people, but they didn’t have the fame of the Dalai Lama. They were content to stand in the background and let others take the bows, one in particular was my mentor. That is an incredible photo Mark, and incredible memories. I’ll always treasure my memories of Danny though, a quiet, unassuming man, who led the movement to get blood banks to test all blood products before they were used. He was born with hemophilia, and two days after opening and injecting some new clotting product, he was informed it was infected with AIDS virus. A quiet, unassuming man, who remained in the background, but touching everyone who met him, I was with him when he died.


    • I can tell that Danny was somebody special who taught you important lessons, Angie, by doing the right things and leading my example. I’m sorry you lost him they way he was stolen from this life.


  6. As a matter of fact yes – there was a lecturer when I was at uni Robert Leach, he’d written a number of books regarding political ideologies and he was from the old school 70’s sort of protest movement and he was troublemaking up until the day he died. His funeral in West End had people from all over the country, indigenous leaders, political lobbyists, politicians, students by the hundreds whose lives he’d opened up using words and showing that there is more to life than doing better than your neighbour.

    He was the one who directed me to a number of groups and told then to let me do what I did in regards to using the press and public speaking even though at that point I had no real experience and was so very young. He was the first to recognise the skill I had with words, not just to tell a story or to get a HD for an assignment, but to persuade and provoke [when needed] and to bring the press in and keep them there.

    My friends and I were so shocked that he could die – he was too loud and alive to ever be dead. In a way I’m glad I think it would break his heart to see what’s happening in Australia now but then again he would have an awesome time being back in the saddle protest and demo wise.


  7. People love the Dalai Lama. Even Richard Gere. 🙂 He seems like a wise man, the Dalai Lama not Richard Gere. He might be wise. I can’t say. Ok. I’m rambling on. 🙂


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