Monday, April 15, 2019

Cabbage, part 2


Part One detailed my medical concerns from the end of January through the beginning of March. Now we hit the major operation (or at least what I remember about it.)

MARCH 4

Surgery was scheduled for March 5th. Donna and I were relaxing at home, watching Jeopardy I think, when my eyes started going blurry again. I thought, "Oh, no... I want to enjoy my final night home, but am I having another stroke?"

Rather than taking a chance, I told Donna what was happening. She immediately phoned for an ambulance and I was carted off to Mount Auburn again. So much for a final restful night.

By the time we arrived, my vision was normal again. The guess was it was a TIA or Transient Ischemic Attack - a mini-stroke. I was glad it was gone but now I had to spend another night in the hospital. Folks were good. They made up a nice bed for Donna so she could stay with me and they gave me drugs to sleep.

MARCH 5

Here's where things get fuzzy. I honestly remember very little about the day of the operation.

They must have given me very relaxing drugs. I recall a visit from the hospital chaplain, which MY WIFE arranged at my request. She was a nice woman, but that's all I remember. I think I remember being taken to the operating room, but I'm truly not sure. Many hours later, I awoke in my room in intensive care. From there, it just gets blurrier.

I recall MY WIFE visiting me and me saying "Go away..." to her because I LOVE HER and I saw no reason for her to be hanging around with me in no shape to converse or anything else useful. MY MOM and my stepsister Diane visited. I spoke to them both for about three minutes but fell asleep. MY WIFE visited again even though I apparently told the nurses not to let her in. I wanted no one, not even her, to see me in such a weak state.

Understand, this all takes place in one 24-hour period. However, I truly thought over a week had passed, at least, and maybe 10 days. My sense of time was destroyed by my waking and falling back asleep so often. I'm sure the morphine or dilaudid or other pain meds had an effect. When I finally asked someone how long it had been since the operation, I expected to hear "10 days" or even more.  When the answer came back, "Yesterday", I didn't believe it at first. I honestly thought it was a joke.

MARCH 6 - MARCH 9

Big blur of bad sleep (always being interrupted by a nurse for some test so thus never more than 30 minutes at a pop.) Lots of medications, lots of pain. Trying to cough up phleghm under doctor's orders, painful as hell. They give you a pillow to hold against your chest to absorb some of the pain, but it still hurts like absolute Hell. When you do get some up, it's generally foul - green, gray, yellow, nasty - but you feel like you accomplished something!


I was hooked up to two or three different IVs at all times, plus oxygen. and had a hospital jonny that covered three-quarters of me. It sucked trying to get comfortable enough to sleep. Usually, I ended up just the least uncomfortable I could manage (and this despite wonderful pain killers.)

I had a huge scar; top of my chest running down to a few inches above my belly button. I wouldn't look at it unless I was forced to do so (change of clothes, sponge bath). My bones were cut through, of course, now held together by wire and tape. Coughing was incredibly painful. They knew the pain was brutal, so I was given the strongest opioid drugs available - dilaudid, morphine, oxy.

The two worst nights of my life were as follows:

1 - I had to spend one whole evening and night with no liquid whatsoever. I'm still not sure why. It was torture. My mouth and tongue and lips were swollen and cracked and I couldn't sleep more than a few minutes all night without being woken up by my dry throat and mouth and lips. When they finally allowed me some cracked ice, it was heaven

2 - The other night of torture was when they put something in my gut to try to suck up extra air/gas in there. I never saw the instrument but I think it was the size of a small ballpoint pen. It was inserted into my nose and I was told to make like I was swallowing to get it to go down into my belly. Totally unnatural and uncomfortable.

I probably came close to killing myself because of that thing. I was groggy after a few hours of it and I decided I'd had enough. I removed it myself. It was attached by some sort of cord or tube. I pulled it up and out of my stomach, then out of my mouth. When the nurse came in a few minutes later she was amazed. She scolded me for doing something so stupid. She said I could have died if it became disconnected and floated around my gut (or something like that.) I was happy as hell to be rid of it, though. That was the worst treatment I was awake for.

Everything else was just normal torture.


Did I mention that I had a catheter the whole time in ICU? Well, I did. It was fine, in that I didn't have to think about peeing, but it was creepy because I had never had one before in my life. On March 9, when I was transferred to a stepdown unit, I asked for it to be taken out. They did so and I resumed my normal life peeing.

Previous to that day, I had the most humiliating moment of my entire life. There's no easy way to say it, so... I shit myself.

I was in bed and I felt it coming. I tried to get to the toilet but I wasn't able to move fast enough (I was still only taking a few steps at a time.) It just dropped out of me onto the floor, soft and smelly. Some got on me. I was physically unable to clean it up myself - I couldn't bend down and so forth without passing out - so I had to ring for the nurse.When she came, I had to say, "I'm so ashamed. I shit myself and I need to be cleaned up."

The nurses were all magnificent and caring and NEVER made me feel belittled  no matter what I asked of them. She cleaned it up, then undressed me and sponged me down, gave me a fresh jonny and never said a word that would have made me feel bad.

MARCH 9 - MARCH 13

I was finally moved from ICU into a regular room. Not too much had changed. I was still only taking very short walks down the corridor and back. The pain wasn't significantly less at first, though it ebbed a bit with each day. My overwhelming desire was to get the hell out of the hospital. As nice as everyone was, I wanted to be home where I could sleep hours and hours without somebody waking me up to take blood, have an x-ray, test me for other vital signs, etc.

Finally, we were told I was going to be released.  After receiving voluminous instructions on how to handle myself, what drgug to get and take daily (sometimes twice daily), follow-up tests at the hospital and other places, I got dressed (which was much more of a chore than I imagined - took me ten minutes with help from MY WIFE) was put in a wheelchair and taken downstairs. We waited for a cab, having no able driver among us.

(Home, next, in a few days. Thanks for reading.)









Friday, April 12, 2019

Chronology of Cabbage*


*CABG (pronounced "cabbage") is medical shorthand for my heart operation. I like the vegetable and resent having to think of my operation every time March 17 rolls  around.

This is the timeline, with some details, of my open heart surgery. If I leave anything out that you want to know about, just ask.

JANUARY 30 (?)

I believe this was the day I had a minor stroke that robbed me of much of my peripheral vision on the left side.

I did not think I had a stroke. Everything I heard about strokes told me to check my face, hands, lips, limb strength, etc., and not a single word about vision. So, I went about my business expecting this would clear up (I had a previous experience a couple of years earlier when something like this had happened and taking a nap allowed me to wake up refreshed and 100%. This time, I woke up still blurry on one side.)

Since I still had no idea it was a stroke, I called and made an eye appointment. I was thoroughly checked by my eye doctor and  no eye problems found (except for loss of peripheral vision in the left eye, of course) and she suggested I contact a regular doctor.

JANUARY 31

Made an emergency appointment with a doctor. MY WIFE, of course, helped with all of this since I am helpless with doctors, not having seen one for anything in at least 20 years. Doctor examined me and scheduled me for MRI on Saturday following.

Later that night, after we got home, call came from doctor re-scheduling MRI for next day instead of Saturday (which was two days away, so now I knew they thought it was serious.)

FEBRUARY 1

Had MRIs, which is scary. You're slid inside this tube that is very close fitting, told to lie very still and have horrible sounds bombard you for 45 minutes. First time they slid me in, I immediately rang the panic buzzer for them to slide me out. I asked them to call MY WIFE. They did. She came and put a hand on my ankle for the duration, giving me a lifeline. Thanks to her, I got through the rest of it OK.

Turns out I had a stroke. The MRI photos showed I had two of them - one recently and another a few years back possibly. Also I was shown to have had two heart attacks I was unaware of.

Yay.

I was sent, by ambulance, to Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge (near Watertown) to stay overnight and have tests.

FEBRUARY 1 - FEBRUARY 5

So I spent four nights in the hospital being tested and given all sorts of new meds. Since I had never been prescribed ANYTHING before, every drug they gave me was new. Lower cholesterol, regulate heartbeat, thin blood, anti-anxiety (I enjoyed that), and about five others. I went from 0 drugs to 8 or 9 overnight.

Every test anyone gave me in person - press my fingers, follow this flashlight with your eyes, smile, whistle, whatever to do with stroke symptoms - I passed magnificently. Every time, following one of these testings, I fully expected to be released the next day and sent home to live normally. However, every one of these tests was followed by CT Scan, MRI, other mechanical testing, x-rays, whatever, and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE CAME BACK WITH THE WORST POSSIBLE RESULT.

I'm generally an optimist, but I knew without a doubt where this was headed. I had dreaded the possibility of open heart surgery ever since My Dad had it in the late 80s. At the time, I had been the only one to take care of him (only child, he was divorced) and it was miserable. Before and after that operation, he was two entirely different people. Before: Robust, totally self-assured, unafraid of almost anything. After: Tired, not wanting to do anything, no desire for most things.

As it turned out, I was right. As each test came back, the doctors spoke about operations until finally they said I should have open heart bypass surgery as soon as possible. I was devastated. It was my biggest fear become reality.

FEBRUARY 5

Released from the hospital, which was nice. I was given some fuzzy idea of when the surgery would take place. As it turned out, it was a month away, March 5. They wanted to do it as soon as possibile, since they thought I was in danger of dying, but they also wanted to be sure I wouldn't have another stroke during the operation so they had to wait.

FEBRUARY 6 - MARCH 3

Had some further scattered tests, kept up on new medications, tried my best to compartmentalize my life and ignore what was coming. Best thing to come of it was quitting smoking after 48 years. I did so in January and have kept it up, Thank God. I can't even imagine how horrible this would have been if I was still smoking.

(Continued with the operation itself, soon. Thanks for listening.)


.

Saturday, April 06, 2019

I'm Alive


Where it happened... Good folks.


The operation, so I am told, was a success. I was going to have a double coronary bypass but they liked the looks of things so much whne they got in there, they decided to make it a quadruple.

Yay.

Worst thing I've ever been through, so far. If there's worse coming, I'd rather just check out.

Anyway, I'm getting better - S-L-O-W-L-Y - and maybe I'll feel normal (or better?) by May.

I could talk about all the horrible things - truly nightmarish things - that went down in hospital, but I won't for now. It was all for my good; I know that. Just wanted everyone to know I m still alive and expecting to get better. I won't be writing much - no desire at the moment.

Love all of your cards and letters and e-mails and little gifts and pleasant jokes and flowers. Hate the typos I have to go back and correct in every sentence, so I'm done for now.

Love you. God bless.

Jim
XXXOOO


Friday, March 01, 2019

Final Pre-Operation Blog


Surgery is now firmly scheduled for Tuesday, March 5th.

My birthday is Saturday, March 2nd, and it's one of those odd birthdays in that I was actually born on a Saturday, sometime around 9:30 in the morning as I recall reading someplace.

In any case, it was nice of the surgeons to let me actually turn 62 before cutting me open. My Father was 62 when he died and even though my general habits of health haven't been tremendously better than his, I do believe my having played sports for about 20 years longer and carrying about 20 pounds less around my middle should have been worth something in longevity. We'll see.

Barring anything of an amazing nature, this will be the last blog post before the operation and quite possibly the last one after it for quite some time. If you want any updates, try Facebook.

https://www.facebook.com/jim.sullivan.1654

I expect MY WIFE will post as needed.

Love you all. Thanks for the prayers.

Jim
xxxooo 


Monday, February 25, 2019

Latest News


Had a visit with my cardiologist today. All is pretty much the same.

I left some of you with an incorrect impression last time. I thought today - the 25th - was my time for surgery. It was not. I am still not operated upon. My apologies for misleading you.

The surgery should come sometime in March. I still don't know the date. My guess would be around the 12th but it could be earlier and it could be later. My cardiologist, the very nice Dr. Maggs, would do the surgery now if he had more confidence in my not stroking out while under the knife. Therefore, I will continue with my Holter monitor, get the results from that sometime in early to mid-March, meanwhile taking a much higher dosage of high blood pressure meds than I was started on (since my HBP is still H).

I have also been given a slightly higher scrip for anxiety, thank you.

That's about it. As soon as I find out the date for sure, I'll tell you.

Soon.


Thursday, February 07, 2019

The Coxswain Says...


Stroke! Stroke!


That's my not very clever way of telling you I suffered a stroke last week (or, as it was said of my Aunt Anna back in the day of weird medical terminology, I took a shock.)

I awoke one day last week to find that my vision was compromised. I had (and still have) a blur of everything to my lower left side.

I found it odd but not "OH MY GOD!!!" alarming. I had a similar experience a couple of years ago, wherein I had what I would call "fragmented" vision in my left eye. At that time, I felt a little tired and I attributed it to that. I took a nap and awoke with it having returned to normal. Not so much this time. It did not go away after a couple of hours but I still was not horribly worried. I had none of the other things I associated with having had a stroke. No weakness in limbs, no facial distortion, I could smile, whistle, move everything just fine, had no trouble understanding language or speaking. Therefore, I assumed it was just something wrong with my eye. I went to see my eye doctor. I suspected it might somehow be a detached retina.

She performed every test available and there was nothing wrong with my eyes physically. The only test that came back with less than good result was one for peripheral vision acuity. That showed what I already knew - I now had a big blind spot on my left side, lower quadrant. All other vision was OK.

To make a long story short, I followed up - a day later - with a visit to a regular doctor. He ran a few tests and scheduled me for a series of MRIs on Saturday (two days later). However, his ofice called back to our home and said he wanted me to get the MRIs done more quickly, the next day. And so I did. The results showed that I had suffered a stroke. In addition, I apparently had also had a stroke some time earlier in my life, perhaps associated with that other vision incident.

I was taken by ambulance from the MRI site to Mount Auburn Hospital in Watertown, checked in, and spent the next four days undergoing various tests. They started me on five different medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol reduction, blood thinning, etc.

During the days in the hospital, I was continually tested by nurses and doctors to see of I had any additional stroke symptoms. I had none whatsoever. With each test, I expected my good showings to result in my being released and my being able to resume a normal sort of life (albeit with a partial vision loss that wasn't going away.) However, every time an additional testing via equipment was run, it always came back with the worst possible result. I was told, "Well, it might be this good thing...", but it never was. Every single test that had to be studied for results came back with bad news. It was all very disheartening.

Ultrasound, x-ray and CT scan testing revealed that I had also suffered a couple of heart attacks in my life and that my heart was working at about 27% capacity. This was not a pleasant surprise, but by the time the final results were in, I wasn't AT ALL surprised as I by then expected the worst. Something I had feared my entire life was broached. I was told I needed a coronary bypass operation, and soon.

I am now scheduled for same on the 25th.

My Dad had that surgery around the time he was 56. He died at age 62. My 62nd birthday is coming on March 2nd. Woo-Hoo.

That's the short story of it. There are more details, of course, but I don't feel like talking about them - the more I do, the more I'm reminded of the upcoming unpleasantness - nor do I want to bore anyone by being one of those people who goes on and on about his/her medical traumas.

I do need to say - want to say - that I am blessed beyond measure to have MY WIFE. She has been absolutely solid throughout. To say that I love her is, of course, an understatement.

I have no desire to bring pain or worries to any of my other relatives and friends. That's pretty much my greatest disappointment in this. My Mom, among others of course, is worried. I hate to be the bringer of that.

Once I'm past the operation I'll be fine mentally, barring the totally expected sort of depression one is supposed to have. Thinking about it now, though, scares the shit out of me. If I had the ability to be totally oblivious from now until then, I'd take it. However, no one is willing to prescribe me enough happy pills for that. This is the one thing that pisses me off more than any other. I don't give a flying fuck about the possibility of addiction. I have a problem NOW that I want to handle; I'll handle that other problem later, thanks. And it wouldn't be a problem, believe me. I've now been off cigarettes for six days and if I can do that, I can do anything.

OK, that's all for now. Just felt I should let the folks who still visit here know the story.

Soon, with more better stuff.



Monday, January 07, 2019

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. As a matter of fact, it's mostly an OLD post about rock concerts (but updated since first published in 2011.)

I got to thinking about some of the best concerts I've ever attended. Then I tried compiling a list of ALL the concerts I've attended during my life. This is the result.

[Note: I've seen quite a few more musical congregations than those listed below. However, I'm only counting those seen in a "concert" setting; I'll say at least 300 seats available. Clubs, therefore, would generally not count. For instance, I saw wonderful musicians in New Orleans when I was there. They played in small clubs, though, so not on this 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.

When I was a teen, I - and all of my friends - were voracious concertgoers. This was, in no small part, due to most of us also being voracious drug users. Everybody, whatever other drugs we used, smoked pot regularly. And I can honestly say that my use of pot directly led to a lifelong love of music. That statement is in no way an exaggeration.

Prior to my smoking grass, I was indifferent to music. I liked it but I wasn't a fanatic. I could take it or leave it. My tastes ran to music in comedy more than anything else; Tom Lehrer, for instance, or maybe the Smothers Brothers or Allan Sherman. After getting high, I began to truly FEEL the music. I could immerse myself in it and find textures I had never before noticed. I would liken it to a colorblind person suddenly seeing colors for the first time. It was truly a mind-opening experience for me. I not only became enamored with music performance but I also became a musician who played in five different groups that were paid for performing.

[Yes, that's me with the long orange hair, on stage with a band called Live Wire circa 1981. To put my own "career" in perspective, I played perhaps four or five gigs that could have qualified for this list by the "300 or more seats" rule. The biggest was about 2000, as I recall.]

Anyway, the point of a list like that which follows is to jog your memory and perhaps get you to tell a tale or two of your own, so please do so here or at your own place. I'd love to read your lists/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. 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 cheap thrills concerning sex, if that helps.

The last time I saw 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
Anvil
The Beach Boys

Saw them as the opening act for Chicago, in Foxboro Stadium (the then-home of the New England Patriots.) It marked the first time I 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 crushed it up somewhat, but what we 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 peaking, 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
Black Oak Arkansas [2]
Black Sabbath [6]

This count does NOT include separate concerts of Ozzy Osbourne listed later.

The first time I saw Black Sabbath 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, even if I hated them. If I knew then what I know now, about how quickly you could die from that shit, I'd never have touched it the first time. Enough said, I hope.]

Blondie
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.

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

David Bowie (Sort of - see Iggy Pop)

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 rock concert I ever went to, thanks to my 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 at Boston Garden. 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 [9]

My favorite band, so you'd think I'd have many stories to tell. The best, I suppose, was the last one wherein Fast Freddy and I (along with Steve Alimo) got to meet the band backstage.

 [That's me in the yellow hat, flanked by Purple drummer Ian Paice and Fast Freddy]

Steve Morse, the current guitarist - next to Fast Freddy in the photo - is probably the single musician I've seen more often than any other (eight times with DP, once as a member of Dixie Dregs, once with his own Steve Morse Band.)

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

The only real concerts 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 16 or 17 vinyl long-players of Maynard, so I heard him often and came to enjoy him greatly myself. I still have most of those records 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, by Deep Purple, the best driving song ever.

Herman’s Hermits
Huun-Huur Tu & Angelite

The former were a Tuvan throat singing aggregation, the latter a Hungarian female vocal group touring with them. Amazingly good combination. If you've never heard Tuvan throat singing, you should. It may or may not be your favorite experience. Personally, I think it's a wonderfully entertaining freakish way to vocalize.

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. If 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.

KISS
Korn
The Monkees

Yup. Three-quarters of them, anyway. Michael Nesmith was not part of the aggregation.

The Moody Blues
The Steve Morse Band
Mott

NOT Mott The Hoople. This was the band Overend Watts fronted after Mott The Hoople dissolved. It contained 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 thinks he does.)

Pantera
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 and was never introduced.)

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 Mom 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; we only knew when we were supposed to go there. It wasn't until we were there that we knew who we were seeing. It was a fine show, too. If I could remember the name of the female country singer who opened for him, she'd also be on this list. She was good. Wish I could recall her name.

Queen
Joe Satriani
The Scorpions
Sepultura
Slade
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. 

Traffic
Trans-Siberian Orchestra
Livingston Taylor
Tuff Darts
Andy Williams (again, Las Vegas)
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 I'll remember three more bands and five more stories as soon as I publish this.

Rock on.

Soon, with more better stuff.