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Discussion in 'Artists & Music' started by james, May 5, 2012.
AC/DC- Flick of the Switch tour. Fastway opened.
The Beach Boys circa '63/'64. I was a big fan (and still like 'em). It was at the New Haven Colosseum in Ct. For the past couple of decades they tour with a large backing group but this was just the Wilson brothers, Mike Love and Al Jardine. It was a great show!
First concert was Kenny Wayne Shepherd, just saw him again in Memphis this past weekend.
That guy blew my mind at the Hendrix Experience tour. prior to the show I had only heard his top 40 stuff. He's a MONSTER guitar player!
He needs a 305. How do we make that happen?
Not many concerts came within hours of where I grew up so I think I played quite a few shows before I went to see Lighthouse in a movie theatre.
Phenomenal. Reminds me of John Mayer (and others) in that he really doesn't get enough credit as a guitarist because all you hear on the radio is pretty tame from a player's perspective.
My story is actually a two-parter. I apologize in advance for the length.
My actual first live show was when I was seven or eight years old. My parents dragged me to see my uncle. Sort of. He was playing in what they described as 'some awful s**t-kicker band' in a rough, dive bar in Ft. Worth Texas. My parents intended to stop in just long enough to get some money said uncle had borrowed and promised to pay back that night. We stood at a side door of the place for maybe fifteen minutes. I stuck my head in the door and could see the side of the low stage, the steel guitar, and a couple of small combo amps that I later learned were Fenders. In the time we were there, we saw one bloody fight, several police cars responding to the call from the bar's owner, a shoving match in the parking lot, and finally left without ever having seen my uncle and/or getting the cash. To my knowledge he never did pay it back. Big surprise.
My first REAL gig of my own choosing was Willie Nelson, also in Texas. Eight thousand seat arena. I was twelve years old and my mom agreed to let me go 'alone' IF I took Bobby, my nerdy friend from school, with me 'for protection'. Yay. She bought the tickets ($6 bucks each - I still have my stub), took us and dropped us off out front, and said she'd be waiting for us when it was over.
All general admission show, and even back then I somehow just knew that the place for me was at the front of the stage. But, Bobby was a wuss, and he refused to go on the floor because he was afraid of the rowdy crowd. He also said if I went down there by myself he'd fink me out to my mom, so like an idiot I caved. We sat at the far end of the floor in this long oval hockey arena. It was in the front row of the raised, fixed seats. A clear view, but still; it m-a-y have been Willie up there, but until he opened his mouth, who could tell? They almost looked like ants on the stage from that distance. I was not happy.
Some totally unknown band opened. They were a last minute addition, and I never knew their name. I've forever thought of them as "Joe's Armpit". They stumbled out to start the show, plugged in, said howdy, hit their first chord, and nothing from the guitar... After the crowd quieted down (a little), they tried again. Still nothing. They scrambled around, checked and traded cords, plugged and unplugged, tried everything they could think of, and still no guitar. The longer it went, the louder and rowdier - and more vulgar - the crowd got. I had heard that kind of language before, but it blew Bobby's sheltered mind! His eyes looked like saucers, and he was seriously scared. He kept saying 'Maybe we should leave. We can call your mom to come get us.' I flat refused to do that. I kept trying to reassure him that it would all be okay, but he wasn't convinced.
Finally, after what seemed like twenty minutes (but probably wasn't really more than seventeen or eighteen), some guy wandered out from stage left, walked up to the guitar player's amp, looked at it a minute, then reached down and flicked a switch. BINGO! The freakin' thing had been on STANDBY the whole time!!! Even those in the crowd who had no musical knowledge whatsoever could tell that some sort of stupidity of major proportions had just been rectified, and they failed to see the humor in the situation. Beer cups flew, gimme caps flew, trash flew, cowboy hats flew, expletives flew... this crowd was drunk, high, mad, and they had waited long enough to see Willie!
Joe's Armpit didn't stand a chance. They did maybe twenty minutes, said a super-quick goodbye, and ran off the stage. Hopefully, they got in their van, or station wagon, or whatever they had, and disappeared, because they were in danger whether they realized it or not.
All of the excitement had put the fear into Bobby, so he left me sitting there and said he was going to get a Coke. Good riddance. Soon, Willie and his band came onto the stage. A few friendly waves from the band, a higher level of rowdiness from the crowd, then those opening chords, and BOOM! The gigantic Texas flag backdrop unfurled, and they blasted off into "Whisky River"! I was in heaven! That moment hooked me for life, and I've never forgotten it. I've also never gotten over it, and I don't want to. It may sound silly to those who don't get it, but in that moment my entire life fell into place. From then on, it was music above all else for me. That energy, that excitement, that... truth. Music in general, and guitars in particular - they are the reason(s) I was born.
It was a great show (I guess). In my little area some amazing things happened. For one, I was offered my first 'custom made'. I passed it on to the next guy without trying it. I was also offered my first taste of beer. I accepted that and I liked it. But the most exciting thing that happened to me and my twelve year old hormones was that an older woman ended up taking the seat by me that Bobby had vacated. She was something else! Looking back now, I guess she could best be diplomatically described as having a few miles on her. She had to have been in her late forties. She had bleached blonde hair, chipped red fingernail polish, a huge purse that looked like she had all of her worldly goods in it, ragged Levis, and a tight purple plaid western shirt. That sucker was tight too. The snaps or buttons or whatever it had were working overtime! She looked like a somewhat lower rent version of Dolly Parton. She climbed over the back of the empty seat, plopped down in it, leaned up against me and yelled in my ear 'Mind if I sit here, Honey?!?' I must have turned ten shades of red. I couldn't answer her; I couldn't find any words. Some guy sitting behind me leaned toward us and said 'H*ll no, he don't mind!' He was right. She gave me a huge grin, threw her arm around me and hugged me, pushed DR (Dolly Right) into my arm, and offered me her cup of beer. I took it. I had no choice; I needed something to get my tongue working again! She stayed there for the rest of the show, except when she left to get two more beers; one for each of us.
When the show was over and we all stood up to leave, she gave me another big hug and a smile. She kissed me on the cheek, said 'See ya next time, Honey!' and walked away. I never saw her again, and I don't remember her name, but I'll never forget her. Willie was okay, but she's the one who made my night really special.
As for Bobby, I never saw him again until the show was over. I stopped by the souvenir table to get a pin, a program (remember those?), and a bandana. When I walked out of the front doors, there he was sitting in the car talking to my mom. He said he'd only been there a couple of minutes, but she told me later on that he had been sitting out on the steps when she pulled up to get us. My mom saw the lipstick on my cheek, smelled the beer on my breath, and smelled the 'smoke' on the rest of me, and she was not pleased. It took a long time and a lot of talking before I was allowed to go to another concert. The next one was Savoy Brown, or The Doobies, or KISS, or somebody...
I'm a Texan, and I'm proud that my first gig was Willie Nelson. The fact that we were barely in the same zip code that night is beside the point!
Thanks for reading my long-winded memories.
GREAT POST, Goldtop!!! Thank you for sharing! :!:
If you're talking to me, you're welcome. I'm sorry my writing is (A) too long winded, and (B) isn't any better. As you can probably tell, the tightness of 'Connie's' shirt still has an effect on me! Heck, it was only about forty years ago, so why wouldn't it still get to me?!? :lol: (I tend to give her the name Connie when I think of her. I hope she's had a good life...)
The impact of that one night and one show on me and my life still amazes me. Everybody noticed the change in me after that. My mom always thought it was just the smoke in the air or the beer I drank, and no matter how I tried to explain it all to her, she never got it. It was THE MUSIC.
The Who, December 1971.
First live concert for me was John Denver in '77 or '78 in Hollywood Fl. at the Sportatoreum, and still one one the best concerts I've ever been to. He might have projected a goofy image on TV, but onstage was a total pro.
First full blown "rock" concert was Heart and Kansas in Greensboro, NC in '82 or '83. Heart was touring Passionworks, and John Elefonte was lead vocalist for Kansas at that time. Great show.
Congratulations. That is a GREAT first gig! I'm so envious. The two biggies I've always wished I could have seen were Elvis in the prime of his jumpsuit era, and The Who. I'd still love to see The Who now, but the odds aren't with me.
My first arena rock concert was Blue Oyster Cult and J. Geils at the Baltimore Civic Center in March of 1978. Horselips was also on the bill, but all of their gear was stolen the day of the show. J. Geils was the opening act. I remember being completely blown away by Blue Oyster Cult's laser light show. If recall correctly, I paid the princely sum of $7.50 for my ticket. I also recall that it was snowing fairly heavily that day.
My first was KISS in Memphis in 1976. I was 10 and still can't believe my parents let me go with another 10 yo and an 18 yo. It was general admission and a wild scene with plenty of very odd smelling smoke in the coliseum. I was hooked immediately on the music and rock fantasy which led to seeing a litany of bands in their prime and becoming a player myself. I saw KISS again in 1978 with an odd but rockin' warm-up band that carried the guitarist around through the audience on a platform during his solo. The guitarist also wore this weird schoolboy outfit and they called themselves AC/DC.
Hey Not Z,
I wonder if that was the same tour. Did they destroy everything on stage like the Muncie show?
The Doors, summer 1968 Asbury Park Convention Hall.
As a 14 year old kid, I grew up real fast after that concert.
The Dead at Deer Creek in 90.
Didn't know that I should get tickets for both nights.
http://archive.org/details/gd90-07-19.d ... sbeok.shnf
I was a late bloomer.....1972....Dylan (and The Band) at MSG. The concert tour where Bic Cigarette lighters first became popular as methods of showing homage. I was a freshman in college, 17 years old, and like a prior poster....was somewhat unfamiliar with the "strange smells in the building".
Oh, how times have changed! Is it 4:20 yet???
Boston Pops at Detroit's Ford Auditorium. They played music from the movie, "Exodus."
Hey, you said, "concert," not "rock concert."
My first rock show (you couldn't really call it a concert because there were no seats, and kids danced) was The Kingsmen at The Ponytail near Traverse City, northern Michigan.
I loved greaser music.
Was that before, or after, the infamous concert in Miami when he got arrested for exposing himself? I'm thinking it had to be late in his career and close to his exodus to Paris when he died in the bathtub.
Oh wait...I forgot...Morrison Lives. :?: