Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Are You Ready To Boogie?

Well, get down off your chair. This isn't a rock concert. It's just a post about rock concerts.
Last night, while in bed, I was listening to Live At The Filmore East, by The Allman Brothers Band, and I got to thinking about some of the best concerts I've ever attended. Then I fell asleep trying to compile a list in my head of ALL the concerts I've attended during my life. I woke up with the same thoughts whirling around in my brain, so I figured it might be something that would keep you interested for five or six minutes.

Anyway, here's the list. My tastes tend toward heavy metal and hard rock, so those dominate, but you'll notice early on that they aren't all rock concerts. I decided to include everybody I've seen perform, some of whom are the type of acts you might have thought were not my cup of tea. Hey, what can I say? I'm eclectic.

The point of something like this, of course, is to jog your memory and perhaps get you to tell a tale or two of your own, so please do so, either here or at your own place. I'd love to read your lists and stories.

(The numbers in brackets indicate acts I've seen more than once. The stories following any of the names will indicate, in all likelihood, that I'm a long-winded bastard willing to spout off far too much concerning past drug usage.)

AC/DC [4]

The first time I saw these guys goes down in history as the best audience participation I was ever involved in, although the part I played in said participation was small.

My good buddy, Fast Freddy Goodman, had scored us tickets for the second row. In the audience, to our right, were... ah, hell, it's a long story, but a good one. Better if you go read it HERE. You'll be rewarded with stuff about sex, if that convinces you.

The last time I saw these guys, which may well be the last time I see these guys, was also in the company of Fast Freddy, and also resulted in a story to tell (as is often the case with any time spent with Fast Freddy.) Read all about Hell's Parking Lot.

Aerosmith [3]
Alice Cooper
The Allman Brothers Band
The Beach Boys

Saw them as the opening act for Chicago, in Foxboro Stadium (the then-home of the New England Patriots.)

I make mention of this concert because it marked the first time I had ever tried brownies made with pot.

One of the guys I went to the concert with - there were six of us, as I recall - lived in Foxboro, so we went to his place before the show, armed with a righteously-sized bag of dope and a box of Betty Crocker. We mixed the brownie batter and dumped the dope in, stirred well, and baked, both literally and figuratively. I don't believe I have ever been as stoned since, and I know for sure that I had never been that stoned before.

The problem, though, was that we hadn't considered the best way to incorporate a bag of dope into some brownies. Sure, we had crushed it up somewhat, but what we really should have done was grind it fine before adding it to the brownie mix. About an hour after eating the things, and just as we were really starting to get off in an amazing fashion, we had some of the worst cramps in history. And, about midway through Chicago's set, my intestines rebelled with passion against the digestion of such stuff as seeds and twigs. Color my world brown, thank you. I was on the can that night until about 25 or 6 to 4.

Tony Bennett

This would be the latest show I've seen, just a few months ago with MY WIFE. Amazingly good voice for his age, and the show swung mightily.

Black Oak Arkansas [2]
Black Sabbath [4]

The first time I saw them marked the first time I ever took a drug I wasn't intending to take. While grooving to Into The Void, the guy next to me passed me a joint. Or, at least, I thought it was a joint. I thanked him and took a mighty haul on it. I then realized, by the unmistakable taste of plastic in my mouth, that it was Angel Dust. Oh, well. It wasn't as though I had never done the stuff before. I knew what I was in for, so I relaxed and enjoyed it.

[Disclaimer: Angel Dust is the only drug I've ever done that I would never in a million years recommend to anybody. If I knew then what I know now, about how quickly you could die from that shit, I'd never have touched it. Enough said, I hope.]

Blue Oyster Cult [2]

Quite possibly the record for furthest time between seeing an act twice - 1975 and 2009. The first time, they opened for Black Sabbath. The second time, they opened for Deep Purple.

The Boston Pops [8]
The Boston Symphony Orchestra
Well, I'm from Boston, after all.

Harry Chapin

Lovely man. He gave a free concert at the Hatch Shell on the Charles River, with a hat passed and donations going to some charity or another. This was hardly a one-off deal for him. He was known for his charitable endeavors. Shortly after I saw this concert, he died. Such a shame.

Chicago [2]
Perry Como

Funny story. I had made plans to see Mr. Como with MY WIFE. I had made plans to see Ozzie Osbourne with Fast Freddy. These concerts were supposed to take place during the same week.

When Fred and I went to see Ozzie, we arrived at the venue only to find out that Ozzie was sick and had canceled. A couple of days later, MY WIFE and I saw Mr. Como in concert. He was about 87 at the time, and made his way to the stage with a cane and two assistants. And then he proceeded to perform a marvelous show for about two-and-a-half hours, leaving the stage afterward with the cane and the two assistants.

MY WIFE has never stopped kidding me about how Perry Como was as good as his word, despite his advanced age and infirmities, while Ozzie Osbourne probably canceled because he had a bad cold.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

First real concert I ever went to, and Thank You, Uncle Jim. He scored the tickets for me and my friends. He had some seriously good connections in those days, so he got us into the second row. Midway through the show, we lit up a pipe full of grass and were passing it back and forth. David Crosby eyed us from the stage and gave us a thumbs up. We lived on that for weeks.

Deep Purple [5]

My favorite band, so you'd think I'd have many stories to tell. Not so much. Just damn fine concerts, every time. I suppose I could say that Steve Morse, the current guitarist, is probably the single musician I've seen more often than any other (four times with DP, once when he was a member of Dixie Dregs, once with his own Steve Morse Band.)

Ronnie James Dio
The Dixie Dregs
Duke & The Drivers
Maynard Ferguson [2]

The only real concert I ever attended with My Father, outside of the Boston Pops gigs, were the two times I saw Maynard Ferguson. My Dad was a Ferguson freak. He had some 15 or 17 vinyl long-players of Maynard, so I heard him often and came to enjoy him greatly myself. I still have most of them, as well as some old 78's of him with Stan Kenton's band. The man sure could reach some dog-whistle highs on that horn of his.

Peter Frampton

Just prior to him breaking huge as a solo act, I saw him open for Aerosmith in Providence, Rhode Island. At the time, not too many people knew what in hell a talkbox for a guitar was, so we were totally freaked when he made his guitar "speak".

Gentle Giant
Grand Funk Railroad
The Grass Roots
Golden Earring

We've got a thing that's called Radar Love... 
With the possible exception of Highway Star, the best driving song ever.

Herman’s Hermits
Huun-Huur Tu & Angelite
The J. Geils Band [3]
David Johansen [2]

This man just ate stages whole; swallowed them in big bites. Probably the best showman I've ever seen.

(In case you don't recognize the name, he fronted The New York Dolls prior to his solo career, and later adopted the persona of Buster Poindexter for some gigs on Saturday Night Live.)

Tom Jones

Saw him in Vegas, baby. And the man has a spectacular set of pipes. If you've only heard his poppish hits, you might not know that he has one of the best blues voices ever. Well, he does. And he uses it tremendously well. Blew me away.

The Monkees

Yup. Three-quarters of them, anyway. Michael Nesmith was not part of the aggregation. They played their own instruments, here and there, but mostly just sang backed by a truly superb band. Fine, fun concert.

The Moody Blues
The Steve Morse Band

NOT Mott The Hoople. This was the band Overend Watts fronted after Mott The Hoople dissolved. It contained two or three of the original members, but not Ian Hunter.

Wayne Newton

Saw Mr. Newton in Las Vegas, also. Great showman, to be certain, but his voice is shot to hell.

Ozzie Osbourne [2]

He didn't eat any bats (or puppies, as MY WIFE likes to think he does.)

Poco [2]

Very odd. Saw them twice, but never expected to. They were the opening act on two different bills, and a pleasant surprise both times.

Iggy Pop

Post-Stooges, with David Bowie playing keyboards (which I'm not sure half the audience even noticed, as he kept very much to the shadows.)

Gary Puckett & The Union Gap
The Ramones [4]
Kenny Rogers

Ended up seeing him for a very odd reason. MY WIFE and I decided we'd broaden our horizons randomly, so we asked My Mother to buy tickets for a show at The South Shore Music Circus on a specified random date. We assiduously avoided looking at the tickets or any advertisements for the place, and we only knew when we were supposed to go there. It wasn't until we were there that we knew who we were seeing. And it was a fine show, too. If I could remember the name of the female country singer who opened for him, she'd be on this list, too. She was good. Wish I could recall her name.

Joe Satriani
The Scorpions
Ruby Starr & Grey Ghost

An amazingly underrated and forgotten singer. Strong voice, in-your-face sexuality permeating her stage presence, she should have been huge. She died young and relatively unknown considering the scope of her talents. If you've heard Black Oak Arkansas's version of Jim Dandy, she's the featured female voice. 

Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Livingston Taylor
Tuff Darts
The Who [3]

Could be two times, not three; depends upon how you count. The first time I saw them, Keith Moon collapsed on his drum kit halfway into the second song. The show was canceled. Saw the return engagement, then another after that with Kenny Jones on the skins.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers Of Invention
ZZ Top [2]

And this could be 1 and 1/2, depending upon how you count. The second time I saw them, some douchebag threw a beer bottle at the stage. The band left and didn't return.


And that's it. I'm sure, as soon as I publish this, I'll remember three more bands and five more stories. In the meantime, if you'd regale me with some of yours, or maybe do a list, I'd love it.

Rock on.

Soon, with more better stuff.


Chris@Knucklehead! said...

Very pleased to see Maynard get his props. Saw him several times myself, and he was always impressive even as he got up there in years.

My STYX experience is well-documented over at my place. That was my first concert ever.

The best though, is still and will always be KISS. No one puts on a show like those guys.

Jayne said...

Whoa- quite the list, Suldog. I'll be the Queen show was something. I always wanted to see CSNY and Traffic, but never had the opportunity. Love the Ozzie Osbourne/Perry Como story! ;)

Uncle Skip, said...

Will you stop with the lists thing? The first one that popped into my mind was the Yale Russian Chorus. I saw them at the Masonic Auditorium in San Francisco. The USO was giving away tickets so service members. It wasn't the first concert I ever attended. It's just the first one I remembered when I read the post.

Craig said...

Yeah, you're on quite the 'List Kick', aren't you?

OK, my lifetime concert experience is pretty limited. I could list various and sundry symphony orchestras that my folks took me to when I was a kid, as well as 'The Nutcracker' one Christmas when I was in college. . . But here's something more like My List (which I'm sure is FAR from comprehensive):

Saw Emerson, Lake & Palmer when I was in college. Keith Emerson is an amazing keyboardist. . .

I've seen Phil Keaggy (one-time lead guitar for Glass Harp, but he's been doing little solo gigs for the past 40 years) half-a-dozen times. Dude can play

And I've seen Paul McCartney three times, all since '93. First time, a buddy scored me two tickets, and Jen didn't want to go. She suggested I offer one to my best friend, but he wasn't so keen, either. He suggested that his wife would love to see Paul, since she'd actually been to a Beatles concert back in the day. So I took my best friend's wife on a date to a Paul McCartney concert. (The whole story is here, if you're interested. . .)

A few years back Simon & Garfunkel played my alma mater's arena, about 2 miles from our house, and I've kicked myself ever since for not getting tickets. . .

Michelle H. said...

Quite a list! Some I know, others not so. I've only been two concerts (no one from your list) and will share those experiences in a blog post soon (maybe today).

Michelle H. said...

Oh yes, and Overlord Jaq is quite pleased you've seen Peter Frampton... per her decree :)

Ananda girl said...

Great list! It evoked a wonderful walk down memory lane. There are some names here that I have not thought of for a long time... such as Poco and Gary Pucket and the Union Gap. The name I didn't know was Tuff Darts. Hummm... now I've got to go look them up.

Suldog said...

Uncle Skip - I knew this would happen. There was bound to be a comment that would remind me of a concert I forgot. Yours did. It was a group called (if I remember the spelling correctly) Tuan Tu Hur, a group of Tuvan throat singers, who did a dual concert with The Hungarian Voices, a group from (yup) Hungary. And it was so good, I bought the CD after the show. And I forgot to list it here...

Suldog said...

Craig - And YOU reminded of Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Damn. I forgot to list them, too. I'm going in and put them there now, and the Tuvan throat singers, and the Hungarian group.

Sausage Fingers said...

Bloody hell you have been to a shite load of shows, I had a wee laugh at the Black Oak Arkansas I bet 99 out of 100 people would not know who they were. Nice one mate.
Cheers, Sausage...

Daryl said...

In another life, I worked for the head agent in the William Morris Agency Music Dept .. I got to go to a lot of concerts, almost lost my hearing at a concert in Madison Sq Garden .. after we left to go back stage my ears was ringing for a long time... I was a 'band aid' on the Jackson Browne Late for the Sky tour .. and Cameron Crowe snapped me in a photo with Bebe Buell when she was with Todd Rundgren.. ah the memories

Elaine said...

Queen? BOC? The Who? Wow. I'm jealous, seriously.

Ok, my list. You'll be laughing at the end of it...

Wet Wet Wet
Thunder (4)
Loudon Wainwright 111
Boy George (Got booed off stage)
Chaz n Dave

Now I feel silly :)

Red Hamster said...

My concert experience is nowhere as rich as yours. I remember part of a Jefferson Airplane concert. There was so much dope in the air that I got sleepy and passed out eventually. Well, I'm blaming the air quality in the auditorium.

Matt Conlon said...

Some excellent acts in that list! I would have LOVED to see Queen...

I've seen Aerosmith a couple of times, the last time was with Kiss. I was never a big kiss fan, but they put on a hell of a show. It was Simmons' birthday, so there were more kiss than I would have liked, but still a good show.

Aside from them I've seen They might be giants, Live, Hum, Godsmack, Anthrax, and a handful of other bands at one of those lots of bands on several different stages at once concerts.

Cricket said...

Heh, heh. Quite the list. I've seen a few shows myself, as you might imagine. I'll have to think it over. I have a pile of stubs somewhere... sometimes looking through that can jog my memory, which can be hazy for some reason.


Along those lines: before my wife was MY WIFE (not to be confused with YOUR WIFE), I asked her if she'd ever seen Boston. She said no, which surprised me, I though the whole city went to one of the nine sold-out shows at the Centrum on the Third Stage tour.

Anyway, sometime later, a buch of us were on the beach when I heard her brother say to her "...hey, remember going to see Boston?"

My head whipped around.

Apparently, she really really had a "good time" at that show.

Suldog said...

Cricket - Damn! You just reminded me that I saw Boston. I guess I had a real good time, just like YOUR WIFE.

Hilary said...

You sure have a fair number of concerts behind you. My son has outdone my meagre experiences in his first year of concert-going. His preference is metal as well.

Let's see..

Cat Stevens
Pink Floyd (Dark Side of the Moon tour. It was incredible.)
Chris De Burgh
The Guess Who
Burton Cummings
Gordon Lightfoot
Harry Belafonte
Stan Rogers (at a club in Montreal, shortly before he died)
Simon and Garfunkel/Everly Brothers (about 7 ish years ago)
Frankie Valli (gifted with tickets about a year ago)

I never got out much... ;)

There are probably a few more which escape me at the moment.

Buck said...

Ah, the wonder and glory of livin' in a major metroplex! You've got QUITE the list here, Jim, and I'm more than a lil envious.

Apropos of not much... my faves, in no particular order:

The Allmans (post-Duane)/Marshall Tucker/Charlie Daniels at the Cow Palace in SFO, New Years, 1970-something

The Who, Wembley Arena, 1980-something.

Leo Kottke, various small clubs and colleges, late seventies into the late 80s.

John Hiatt, on the river in Dee-troit, 1990-something.

Mick Taylor, small club, Dee-troit, 1990-something.

And there are more... these are just off the top o' my head.

Nick said...

AC/DC, Black Sabbath, Tony Bennett - I always get those three confused.

Crazed Nitwit said...

My first concert ever was Harry Chapin. I saw him two other times before his too soon death. He was amazing in so many different ways. Probably the first humanitarian I paid attention to that had a true impact on my life.

Mushy said...

Man, my list will never surpass yours Suldog! I have posted about several concerts over the years, and have even posted photos on Flickr or some. However, if I find the time soon, I'll try and follow up with a list!

Great post.

Linda said...

I'm amazed, not only that you attended so many concerts, but that you're able to list them. My concert-going has been much more limited and involved a totally different set of artists, including:

Peter, Paul, and Mary
Elvis Presley
Beach Boys
John Denver

Of all of them, John Denver was the one that I felt gave the best concert. He came out on stage and just sang for all he was worth. When it came time for a break, he let his accompanying players take theirs; but he sat on the edge of the stage and continued singing. I think the tickets were $15, which was a lot of money at the time; but it was worth every cent.

One performer that I went to see that I would not even cross the street for now was Bob Newhart. He was 45 minutes late, offered no apology or explanation, and proceeded to tell about two jokes before showing a video of some of his older routines. The show ended on schedule (nothing extra to make up for the late start), and the tickets to that one were $25.

lime said...

my list would be relatively short but i do have one story...

i met my husband at a monkees concert. freshman year of college, no one i asked would go with me so i bought myself a ticket and went alone. a pal saw me sitting alone and said he was with a whole group of friends and there were some empty seats by them so i should come join the group. i was glad for some friendly company. wound up sitting next to the future mr. lime, who about a year later confessed he was majorly bummed to find out i had a boyfriend at the time (he asked the pal who invited me to sit with them.)

Shrinky said...

Quite a wide and varied list there, Jim! Had to laugh at the tale of the doctored brownies (teehee)..

I've also seen a few of these guys live - The Who, Alice Cooper and Slade - I also saw Wizard, another band from the Slade era. Being lucky enough to have spent my single adult years living in London in the 80/90's, I was able to catch dozens of great performances: Squeeze, Madness, Lenny Cohen, Bob Dylan (actually, lets scrub Bob, he was a HUGE disappointment - he played for less than an hour, had NO interaction with the audience, and refused an encore), Al Stewart, Everything But The Girl, Eurythimics - gee, loads and loads! Ahhhhhhhhhh, happy days!

TechnoBabe said...

You have been to some great concerts. This would be a good exercise for all of us to do. If I could remember all the concerts I have been to it would help me remember I have lived a full life with much music in it.

Boom Boom Larew said...

Wow! What a list! Mine is not nearly as extensive or illustrious. Mostly folk singers. My first concert was Laura Nyro, who was amazing! We actually sat on the stage next to her piano bench. Also on my list are Beach Boys, Grateful Dead, Moody Blues, Linda Ronstadt, Leo Kottke, James Taylor, Freddie King, Arlo Guthrie & Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Joan Baez, Christine Lavin.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

I don't think I could possibly count how many times I've seen the Pops...numerous 4th of July experiences spanning 38 years. And every single time I get goose bumps with the first note of the 1812!

My first concert was The Cars. I was in 6th grade & we sat in the 8th row center at Worcester Centrum. With my sister and an aunt & uncle (who is cousins with David Robinson). The guy in the row in front of us did nothing all night but drink fruit juice boxes and smoke pot. So I guess technically speaking it was also my first time getting high -- age 11. And it made me a cranky biaotch when we were backstage at midnight. One of those experiences I wish I could get back, I was a total brat to Ric O. Voluntarily speaking? Pot didn't happen again for another 11 years.

Don't think I could ever list all the bands I've seen live, I've been to so many festivals with numerous acts that it would be virtually impossible (OzzFest in particular where I passed out from spending 12 hours the 115 degree NC heat and ended up leaving while Pantera was still on stage so I never even saw Ozzy haha)

I am insanely jealous you've seen Satriani live btw.

Might have to work some of this into my 30 day blog challenge I've got going on right now...good fodder for memories :-)

Craig said...

OK, I remembered a few more. . .

Saw BB King at a little club in the Chicago 'burbs one spring break in college; sat 10ft from the stage; awesome. . .

Also saw Peter & Paul (Mary was sick) on a rainy night at a music festival on campus. . .

East Lansing (which is right next door to Lansing) also hosts the Great Lakes Folk Festival every summer, and there's always an abundance of really fine acts you've probably never heard of; I always try to catch some of the bluegrass groups, and the zydeco bands are always fun. And if there's a klezmer group, I'll check 'em out, too

I saw Christopher Parkening (classical guitar) a couple times in college. As you might expect, that was a very high level of guitaristic skill, right there. . .

The couple folks above who've seen Leo Kottke - I am envious. . .

Mich said...

That's quite an impressive list. And I am radioactive-lime-green with envy that you got to see Queen.

Thanks for your comment. There's probably not much anyone could say that could change my irrational thinking, but the fact that you took the time to try lifted my spirits some. <3 The whole body image thing is a work in progress...


Matt Conlon said...

You know, it occurred to me that I have been to a few more concerts in my early years. My father was a big Jazz and Classical fan. I've been to a few classical concerts, and I remember seeing Dizzy Gillespie once as well.

Stu said...

You're good for culture, engendering a conversation that provides for such \m/ \m/

Suldog said...

Jenn - Festivals and such were almost never on the radar in our neighborhood, for whatever reasons, so I missed out on some opportunities to see 6, 7, 9, 12 bands in one shot. I think it was mostly a matter of transportation. There were only so many of us who drove and who had a car we could use, so we took the T everywhere.

Satriani opened for Deep Purple last time I saw them. Totally unexpected bonus! Little known fact (which you may know, of course) is that he was actually part of the group for a short time. When Ritchie Blackmore quit the band for the final time, leaving them in the lurch for uncompleted dates in a number of places, Satriani filled out the tour in Blackmore's slot. I believe they asked him to join permanently, but he declined. That's when they got together with Steve Morse, a happy union ever since. Anyway, that's no doubt why he was opening for them - past friendship.

Suldog said...

Matt - I would have loved to have seen Dizzy.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I saw Dizzy Gillespie on Friday, September 30, 1988 in an intimate venue at Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster PA. I remember the date because the poster is sitting on my desk, recently unearthed from some college artifacts. He had a 19 year old as an opening act that bitched about the piano but played it beautifully; A certain floppy haired fella named Harry Connick, Jr.

Most of my concerts I can recall because the faded ticket stubs from same are stuck in an album somewhere. Lets see:

Billy Joel (kept giving us football scores between songs, because the Eagles were in the playoffs)

Robert Plant (twice)

Metallica and
Guns & Roses with
Faith No More

Grateful Dead/Steve Miller Band
The Moody Blues

Joan Baez

Melissa Etheridge

Bruce Springsteen
John Fogarty (Bruce, John & REM part of the Rock for Change tour)

Phil Collins

Barry Manilow (and I'm not ashamed. It was for my MOM and she loved it.)

Lucinda Williams

Neil Young

The Indigo Girls

10,000 Maniacs and Adrian Belew

The Beach Boys (4th of July on the Parkway, baby)

Tori Amos (not sure what was creepier, her stories or the guy behind us singing along to every song)

Bo Diddley-- live @ Storyville Jazz Hall in New Orleans. It was hot. I was pleasantly drunk. And seventeen.

Shieldmaiden96 said...

I forgot Kings X and Dream Theater, though I admit that was one of those 'I'll go because he's my husband and I love him' concerts.
I also let him go to Queensryche without me because we couldn't afford two tickets AND the gas.

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Nope, I didn't know that about Joe but how cool is that? I never read up on him, just listened often with the lights off and a pair of headphones. Can't say its surprising they asked him to join, he's amazing! Definitely a nice bonus he randomly showed up!

Yeah the festival scene ended up being really popular as I hit my late teen/early 20's with the Lolapalooza / OzzFest crowd. Of course I'd gone to Kiss Concert almost every year with various family or friends who had cars and MixFest on the Common because the family I nanny'd for ran the thing. Met and saw Harry Connick, Jr at one of those actually.

Man all this talk is bringing back some awesome memories! Thanks :-)

Jeni said...

Oh, I see one of your concerts attended was Transiberian Orchestra and if my daughter Mandy were to read this, she would be highly admiring of your taste there. She went to see them back in November I think it was when they were at Penn State for a performance. Loves, loves, loves that group!
For myself, I've actually been to very few concerts but the one that stands out the best in my mind was one I went to way back in the late 60s in D.C. when a friend and I went to see the Righteous Brothers! Now that was and still is my favorite group -I know, non-existent group today -but anyway, at one point in time I had every album they had made then. I did go to a concert back in 1998 -also at Penn State -to see 3 or 4 groups from the 60s perform there. The only ones I can recall now -The Coasters and The Drifters -but boy, such fun to hear them perform songs that took me back to those good old days when I was young and music was a really highlight of my life back then. I still love music but don't get quite as "into" it as I did years ago.