Yesterday, while driving, I came up with a great topic for an update. I remember feeling excited, and amazed that I’d never thought of it before. It was perfect! A natural.
And now it’s all gone. I have no idea what that topic was, and it’s making me crazy. I’ve been thinking about it all morning, and just can’t pull it up. Dammit! I hate that, so much. And it happens all the time… I used to be really good about keeping notes, but I’m so scattered now it’s becoming a problem.
So, I’ll just write about my first concerts again. I don’t remember it specifically, but I’m sure I’ve covered this subject a few times during the past eleven years. Oh well. I’m burned-out, so I hope you guys will cut me a little slack.
My first three concerts were each very different from one another, and all need to be mentioned when we’re talking about firsts.
The first EVER “concert” I attended was Steve Martin at the Huntington Civic Center. This was at the height of his “wild and crazy guy” white suit arrow-through-the-head popularity, and he was playing giant arenas around the country. I was in Junior High, I believe, and thought the show was utterly hilarious.
Two things stick out in my mind. I remember he did something special for the folks sitting all the way in the back section — roughly a half-mile from the stage — a little thing he called “the dime trick.” I thought that was a riot.
Also, at one point there were a million strobe lights going off, and Steve Martin was standing there with his hands sticking out to one side, just slowly opening and closing the space between his middle and ring fingers. It’s hard to explain… But it was just some simple hand gesture, while this massive rock concert light show kicked-up. It was completely ridiculous, and funny as hell.
My first music concert was Billy Joel, at the same venue, a few months after Steve Martin. His new album at the time was 52nd Street, and the song “Big Shot” was the highlight. That’s the only time, I think, he got up from the piano and moved around the stage. It was a good show, but not exactly raucous.
52nd Street came out in 1978, so I was 15 when I attended my first music show. It seems kinda late… plus, it was freaking Billy Joel. Fairly embarrassing.
But my next concert made up for it: Cheap Trick at the old Charleston Civic Center. Man, that blew me away…
For one thing, Cheap Trick wasn’t exactly a superstar act at the time. The Budokan album had just been released, but hadn’t caught on yet. Eventually it became a billion-selling phenomenon, but none of that had happened when I first saw them. So, the place was half-empty.
And the people who were there were… scary-ass. It was just a bunch of drunken hicks — all tendons and blotchy facial hair — and it felt like our general safety was in question. I remember one guy had a baseball cap with the bill flipped up, and metal stick-on letters that spelled CHEAP TRICK underneath. He looked like he’d been huffing gasoline all afternoon.
The show was insane, and impossibly loud. There was a stepladder on the stage for some reason, and Rick Nielsen kept balancing guitars on top, and allowing them to crash down the steps. The noise was deafening. The whole thing was just wild and over-the-top and one of the loudest things I’ve ever experienced.
My ears were ringing for days afterward, and I couldn’t stop talking about that show. I saw them several more times, but they were more straight-forward affairs. That first time was crazy. It was one of the most memorable shows of my life. They were literally a few days away from blowing up and becoming world famous, and were running wide-open.
Since then, I’ve been to hundreds and hundreds of shows. But those were the ones that got me started. What about you? What was your first concert? Or concerts, if you need to put them into categories like me? Use the comments link below.
And I’ll be back on Monday. Maybe I’ll remember that golden topic that popped into my head yesterday? That would be cool, but I think it’s gone forever.
Have a great weekend, boys and girls.