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.
Now playing in the bunker
Buy Jeff a beer, he requires a beer
1st concert: Styx at Tri-State College in Angola Indiana in 1974. Lady had just become a hit they rocked! Saw them many times after that…
Greatest timing: Watching Bob Seger play Fire Lake while seeing the sun set over the lake at the west end of the Orange Bowl in Tampa. 1979?
Most wasted: Tripping at the Toledo Speedway Jam. Started off the morning @ 6am drinking Jack and Coke and driving to Toledo. Finished the day setting along a country road because we were laughing too hard to drive. What a day, glad I don’t do that anymore. Great show, Heart, Eddie Money and 3 other bands. It was so hot they had water trucks in the infield spraying everyone down. 1977?
Hottest Concert: John Fogerty and John Mellencamp in Charlotte. It was 106 actual temp when we got to the show. They ran out of water halfway through Mellencamp so we left. He wasn’t doing well in the heat anyway.
Cool Moment: Mellencamp pulling a fan up on stage and letting him sing “Jack and Diane”! The guy did a great job and the whole crowd was singing so loud you could hear it over the mics! Who doesn’t have that dream?
Cool moment 2: Aerosmith at Deer Creek in Indy. They had a small stage set up in the lawn area and came up and played 3 songs for the lawn crowd! We headed over there as soon as we saw it coming and got right next to the stage while they played “Big Ten Inch”. It worked because the gf couldn’t wait till we got home so I stopped at a rest area on I-69 and we crawled in the back of my van for some fun!
Memorable concerts: Crosby, Stills and Nash at the Embassy Theater in Ft. Wayne. Any of the old Mellencamp concerts, he was always moving and dancing and put on a hell of a show. Fleetwood Mac in Indy. Jimmy Buffett in Indy at a small venue, Jimmy opening for the Eagles in Orlando 1979. Listening to Tommy Shaw play a 12 string. Black Sabbath in the day, there were people having sex in the floor, girls topless on their boyfriends shoulders, empty liquor bottles and smoke so thick you hardly see the stage, great times!
Of course, Rush, REO Speedwagon, Tom Petty, the Outlaws, Molly Hatchet, Kansas, Duke Tumato were all great shows.
Concerts I regret never seeing: Supertramp. Still my favorite musicians. Pink Floyd.
Haven’t been to many shows lately but I am going to try to go see Steve Martin play banjo with the the Steep Canyon Rangers in Brevard next month.
and I forgot: Cheap Trick a few years ago at the Murat Theater in Indy. Still LOUD as fuck but was front row with a bunch of other mid-life professional teenagers! Still have the guitar pick from that show!
Fucking. Awesome. Just awesome!
I also saw some great shows (Styx. Rush, Gary Wright) at the Fairgrounds in Indy, My thoughts are with those who were affected by the tragedy there last week. One was a friend of a family member, just horrible.
saw Richie Havens open for Jimi Hendrix in the Westchester Co. Coliseum NY .It was billed as a black concert – both were pretty unknown at the time .maybe 1968.Jimi had a wall of 24 Marshall amps -blew the place away as no one had seen or heard anything like it !
Let me just say that I beat you all. My first (and only) concert was when I was 11 & the act was….wait for it…wait for it: MARKY MARK & THE FUNKY BUNCH.
That’s right, bitches. Feel the vibration.
OMG Donnie D’s brother??!!!?
I can understand the need for the vibrator.
I bet you do.
don’t fuckin kill me
My first concert: The Monkees. 1998 in Indiana. Mike Nesmith was not there. Davy Jones threw me a rose, which I still have.
Second: Paul McCartney at United Center in 2002. Shed a single tear when he walked out on stage.
Concerts to follow…
Phish – 11 shows
Dave Matthews Band-7 shows
Keller Williams – 3 shows
Primus – 2 shows
Disco Biscuits – 5 shows
Moe. – 5 shows
Yonder Mountain – 2 Shows
Widespread Panic – 1 show
By the way…I posted a video of me playing some Beatles tunes on my guitar. Unfortunately, I’m pretty rusty because this was the first time I’d picked up a guitar in over a year, but anyway….I start with a quick ‘Dear Prudence’ and end with ‘Blackbird’.
Pretty cool, Britt!
Thanks, Britt! I enjoyed hearing you play!!
Son of Sam says
I saw a bunch of country stars when I was a kid with Dad and Mom. Ernest Tubb Hank Snow I forget the rest. MY first concert was Foghat at the Igloo in the ‘burgh around 76-77? blew my hillbilly ass away.
No no no NO! Not the dog turds again!
Ah, I remember her well. She was fetching, and I didn’t even know how to sit or roll over.
Chuck in Belpre says
Good morning, everyone. I feel like 10 miles of bad road today. I’m hoping for a funny update to help lift me. Or some of you could say some really funny shit. Sometimes the depression kicks the mania’s ass.
“Funny shit” – are you laughing yet?
I’m also in a bit of a pissy mood today and need some laughs. If not, they may be calling Security on me because I can easily slap the shit out of someone.
Chuck in Belpre says
I’ll hold them and you knee them in the kidneys.
Thanks, Chuck! I’m feeling better already just conjuring up that image!
first concert was the JudyBats during 8th grade at an all ages show at the Metro in Chicago, then my first illegal “bar beer” after that at the Gingerman Bar next door. (older brother and friends snuck me in)