C is for Concerts

C

A friend of mine posted this cartoon on his Facebook page a while back and it really resonated with me. I think it might very accurately foreshadow days to come.  cartoon of old men arguing about how the best rock band is

This cartoon also took me down a long and winding road of memories. Memories of all of the concerts I attended back in the day. Some more hazy than others. Back in the day when Bad Company was headlining and Kansas was the opening band and my ticket to the show cost $6. All the way back to the days when I was so young that parents had to drop us kids off to see Peter Frampton and Rick Derringer. Back in the day when everyone was so generous with their weed and there was a constant flow of joints being passed down the rows. I told someone not long ago that I had seen Steppenwolf…and immediately thought, “Steppenwolf? Holy shit, I’m old!” Old enough that when I saw this superstar line-up of George Thorogood, Loverboy, Journey and the Rolling Stones together the ticket price was only $20!!

That was one crazy concert with a really cr-aazy crowd. It was held at Orchard Park’s Rich Stadium, former home of the Buffalo Bills. Orchard Park was never quite the same after that show. First of all, there were a zillion people standing in line and for some reason the stadium folks just would not open the gates. We stood out there forever. Everyone was starting to get antsy and irritated and we all stood around bitching until a few unruly and angry folks decided to bust through the fence. Well, you can imagine what happened next. First one panel of fence was down and a few people squeezed through. Then another panel started going down, and another, and another and suddenly it became a tsunami of people rushing and crawling over trampled fencing. But alas, we were in.

We found our seats and were excited as we settled in, waiting for the first band to come out. It started to rain. It wasn’t bad at first, just a little shower, but then the sky opened up and dumped buckets of cold rain upon us. People were covering up with tarps and whatever else we could find. But the show went on. It poured like a motherfucker the whole time, all through George Thorogood’s performance, all through Loverboy’s, through Journey’s. But what happened next was so mind-blowing …well, maybe moreso because we were all stoned… but even to this day I tingle when I think about it. It’s still pouring, pouring, pouring, I’m talkin’ practically torrential, when Mick Jagger runs out on stage and, I’m not kidding, this truly happened simultaneously, as soon as he reached the mike, the rain. just. stopped. The sun burst out and we were suddenly sitting under blue skies. And for a few moments, everyone stopped and the entire stadium took a collective breath of disbelief. What timing! It was crazy.

And then there was the time at the Black Sabbath/Blue Oyster Cult concert –the Black & Blue tour they called it — when Blue Oyster Cult started to play “E.T.I. (Extra Terrestrial Intelligence),” one of their songs that didn’t get a lot of radio play but happened to be my favorite song on their album, and I shot up out of my seat, arm up over my head, fist pump and a scream Yeeah! And for what seemed like a really long minute, I was the only one standing in the entire convention center because I knew the song from the squeak of the first note while it took the rest of the people a few notes before they figured out what song it was. It was a weird moment, but a cool one.

I had gone to this concert with my friend Chris, one of the funniest guys you’d ever meet, who could keep me laughing for hours. Like the time we were trippin’ and walking around his neighborhood: well, not quite AROUND his neighborhood. We’d walk a few steps and then stop because we were laughing so hard we couldn’t breathe let alone walk; we were out in the street, laughing hysterically for nearly two hours and the farthest we got from his house was three houses down the road, probably in all a total of 180 feet. Anyway, that’s another story. So here we are back at the Black & Blue concert in the Niagara Falls Convention Center and don’t ya know we ended up getting stuck in the middle of what looked like a never-ending row of seats. It wasn’t like that when we sat down. We had great floor seats, 9th row from the stage, dead center. Of course the middle section was flanked by two other sections, one on the right, one on the left (duh!) with walkways separating the three sections. Well, sometime during Blue Oyster Cult’s set, people had moved up to get closer and their chairs filled both walkways. So when the lights went up for intermission, we got up so we could go use the lavatories but stopped short when we saw the row configuration had changed. We looked in both directions and then at each other and both of us, in unison, said, “Nah. We can wait.” We psyched ourselves into believing that we didn’t have to pee THAT bad when really we were just too high to try to navigate through and over the sea of people.

“And then there was this time at the ZZ Top concert…”

“And OMG, at the Aerosmith concert…”

“And here’s what happened at the Supertramp show…”

“Plus the time we were at the Who concert in DC…”

“And then there was this time at the Doobie Brothers and Outlaws concert…”

And on and on I could go. So yeah, I can totally relate to this cartoon. I can fully see myself sitting around with a bunch of old men boasting about how many concerts we’d been to, who had the best seats, who had front row seats, who had the best weed, and all the crazy shenanigans we reveled in back in the day.

I ought to start making my list now before my mid-life memory starts to fade. Thankfully I have a drawer full of concert ticket stubs to help me out if I hit a snag…

Let me hear some of your concert memories! Let’s trip down memory lane together here in the comment section… 

Copyright © 2014 Michele Truhlik. All Rights Reserved.

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46 thoughts on “C is for Concerts

  1. Outstanding! I had SO much fun reading this completely emphasizing and walking down my own memory lane of concerts. Each one with its own story and some that I barely remember if it wasn’t the stub from the concert bearing proof of my attending. I still have all of my stubs and keep them in a photo album that you’re making me want to look at again.
    Remembering Boston, Bruce Springston, John Mellencamp, the original Journey, The Eagles, Edgar Winter…. oh my. Thanks for the memories and thanks for the cartoon!

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    • Oh, I’m so glad you liked it! And I’m so glad that it took you to places in your mind that you love to visit! Thanks so much!

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  2. GREAT post! You had me Bad Company! Ahhh, the good old days! I grew up in Alaska so we didn’t too many concerts but I did see Billy Preston and Three Dog Night!

    BUT, what I really want to tell you is that our grandson got drumming lessons from the Steppenwolf drummer last year. He lives in Hillsboro, Oregon. I made my step-daughter get a photo of them together and he actually signed it and I’ve got it hanging up in my office. I’m sure my grandson has no idea how great Steppenwolf was back in the day but WE DO!!!

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    • Susan: OH. WOW! How cool is that?? Jesus, weren’t those the days? OMG, I spend half my time wanting to go back… 🙂 And I’d say you did pretty good on the concerts Sister: Billy Preston and Three Dog Night? Oh. Yeah. …

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    • Oh thanks for the blog referral! Yes, I love the 70s. I live in the 70s. Some might say I’m stuck in the 70s. 🙂 Thanks for reading my post. I’m glad you liked it. Hearing that is music to my ears….

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  3. Loved this! I didn’t see a whole lot of concerts, but I did see Grateful Dead, Linda Ronstadt, Bruce Springsteen, Peter Paul & Mary, The Everly Brothers (remember them?), Barry Manilow, and a few others… Nice memories! 🙂

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  4. Oh wow. Guess what? I met Peter Yarrow a few years ago. He came and performed at my church! He’s soooo cool and so funny! You saw some greats! Glad you liked my piece, Lynn. 🙂

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  5. I didn’t get to as many concerts as you but I did get to see (in the UK) Elton John, Status Quo, Bruce Springsteen, 10CC, David Essex and Paul McCartney and Wings, mostly in the 1970s.

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    • Oh, you saw some good ones! I saw Springsteen too: he puts on a fabulous show. It was around the time that I saw, believe it or not, Prince and Michael Jackson in the same week! That was so cool to see them so close together like that. And Elton John: oh, how I love EJ! Saw him twice. I remember looking around the arena when the lights were traveling around the crowd and everyone was just completely mesmerized. He’s awesome! I bet 10CC and David Essex were great too! The UK had some kickass concerts back in the 70s too!

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    • Another Buffalo person! And a Bills fan! Yay! I love me some Bills! OMG, you saw Sonny & Cher?? Wow wow! I would’ve loved to see them! And Captain & Tennille had some good groovin music!

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  6. So glad I stumbled upon your blog here! We have MUCH in common and I call myself the “Eternal Hippie/Rockchick. 🙂 You’ll see what I mean if you visit my blog. So many concert memories, but not enough time to share them here. I keep all ticket stubs, programs, T-shirts, etc. and always take pictures. 🙂 (Well, now I do, anyway.) Did a post about Steppenwolf too, which you’ll see if you search for John Kay & Steppenwolf. Am thrilled to find a kindred spirit! ROCK ON! \m/

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    • Oh cool! I can’t wait to go read your blog! I bet you have a ton of ticket stubs!! Can’t wait to find out more about your experiences! Thanks for stopping by, kindred soul! Love it.

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  7. I showed this pawsting to my alleged human, Gary. And oh my, the memories for him came drifting back from his hippy trippy days back in Vancouver. He saw the Doobie Brothers twice. The first time with the original singer, Tom Johnson. My human has never been the same since he watched Jethro Tull in concert in Vancouver when they were on their “A Passion Play” tour. He’s been Thick as a Brick, ever since.

    What an pawesome pawsting, my human friend.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar! 🙂

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    • Aw Penny, thanks for writing! I’m so glad that your human dug my post! Vancouver? Oh, that sounds magnificent! Hey, tell Gary I had Jethro Tull’s Aqualung and Songs from the Wood on 8-track! Oh, the horror! Talk about a trip: 8-tracks were definitely that! (Hey, also tell him that if he’s into his Hippie Trippy days he will love my post on the M day. Tell him to keep an eye out for it and let me know if anything from that post resonates with him). Ah, and the Doobie Brothers. Wow. See, I’m all nostalgic now after reading your comment! Thanks for that. 🙂 Keep coming back. I love to hear from you Penny. You are a rockin’ dog!

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  8. The most famous people I have sen live are either Paul McCartney or Bob Dylan. Which is a bigger name? I did see Dylan twice though. I have also seen such eclectic acts as Bon Jovi, The Cure (also twice), The Fixx (anyone remember them?), Cinderella, Dick Dale (yeah, baby!), Joan Jett (whom I got to touch – yeah yeah, baby!!) and as a wee kid, both Sonny & Cher and The Osmonds. Oh, I did see The Jacksons on their mid-eighties Victory Tour, so maybe Michael should be up there with Sir Paul and Bobby Z. Also, I once accidentally saw Barry Manilow live. Yeah, really. My wife and I were in Boston over Fourth of July weekend, and attended a 4th festival. Then suddenly, Barry Manilow takes the stage. True story.

    Happy A to Z-ing. See ya ’round the web. All Things Kevyn

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    • I would’ve loved to see Bob Dylan! And Sonny & Cher!! You’re the 2nd person who I’ve come across today who were lucky enough to have seen that incredible duo. They had such performance chemistry. And I remember the Fixx == One Thing Leads to Another…another… Yeah, definitely. And there’s no shame in seeing Barry Manilow: that man had an amazing talent; he’s a very gifted singer/songwriter. Isn’t it fun when things like that happen by sheer accident? I saw Dolly Parton that way. She was playing at a cool festival here in Austin. She was incredible. I was surprised I liked her so much. I love talking about concerts and 70s bands! Brings back so so many memories… Thanks for stopping by Kevyn!

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      • Ooh, I just remembered (how’d I forget?) I also have seen Chicago and Crosby, Stills, & Nash in concert together. And I wasn’t actually badmouthing Barry, I like his music.

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      • OMG! Chicago and CSN: Those are two of my FAVORITE bands!! You know that feeling you get when you see a ’62 Thunderbird on the road and you unconsciously suck in a big gulp of air because it’s just so beautiful? I just had that big air suck over your two bands!!! 🙂 Lucky you. mmm, mmm, mmm…

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    • You know it. Old age will be setting in sooner than later! Thanks for coming by! I appreciate your comment. Loving the A-Z Challenge. Having a blast. Thanks for all your hard work on it.

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    • U2 is an amazing band. I just ordered not too long ago the Rattle & Hum DVD. GREAT stuff! Bono is fantasy material for me… 🙂

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  9. Sounds like you had a lot of fun at concerts. My most memorable concert was Celine Dion. I scored the tickets through work, so I had a seat on the second row. Fantastic performance. Different era though:-)

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    • Second row seats! Wow. The closest I’ve ever been was 8th or 9th row… It’s a whole different perspective when you see the performances that close. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Those are some great memories there. The one that stands out for me was the first concert I took my son to. We went to see my favorite band, POD, together when they toured Australia, and we loved it. We still share a love of similar music, but that night was very special.

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    • That’s very cool that you and your son share a love of similar music. The concert you went to with him was probably a very bonding experience. Ah, memories… Thanks for stopping by!

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  11. Reading about Concerts was wonderful..I don’ t know why but I had never been able to enjoy Concerts that much..I ‘d rather sit quietly in the corner of my room and listen to instrumental music

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    • Thanks so much for coming by Nikita! I’m glad you liked reading my post. And will look forward to your stories at your site. Really nice blog you have.

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  12. Yes yes yes! Not the band, but my affirmation to this post. I remember a lot of these bands in concert and a lot of concerts I saw. I guess it was in the mid-80s when I paid $25 to see Neil Young in Kansas City that I realized that concerts were getting too expensive for my pockets. I don’t see how people afford to go to concerts now.

    I think I may do a series–or at least a blog post–about my own concert experiences. You are inspiring me!

    Lee
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

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    • Can’t wait to read them! Will you posting them on Tossing it Out or Wrote for Rote? Btw, I couldn’t find a “follow this blog by email” on Wrote for Rote. I get your TIO posts in my inbox. Would love to keep up with your memoir writing blog too. Did I miss it on there? And yeah, I agree with you: how do people afford to go to concerts. The Psychedelic Music Fest is in Austin this week and tickets are $125. That’s probably a decent price for a 3-day festival but still, that’s too rich for my blood. I like my $6 and $20 concert tickets! Now it costs $20 or more to park!!

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      • Parking! So annoying. Same thing here. I almost hate to drive anywhere anymore if I have to park at a pay lot.

        I’m not sure where I’ll post my concert series. Have to think on this. I have so many ideas in the line-up for both blogs as it is now.

        I’ve added the “follow by email” widget at Wrote By Rote right under the follower gallery. Thought I had that on there already so thanks for letting me know.

        Lee
        A Faraway View
        An A to Z Co-host blog

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      • Awesome! Thanks. Just signed up to follow by email. The book I’m working on is a memoir of sorts so I’m really interested in reading your memoir writing posts. See you there…

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        • If you are working on a memoir perhaps you’d like to consider doing a guest post at Wrote By Rote. Originally my intent there was to have primarily guest posters–or at least 50%. I’ve slipped in the past several months, but if you look at my archives you’ll see some pretty interesting guests I’ve had.

          Right now I’m basically wide open for my future schedule.

          If interested you can email me at jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

          Lee
          A Faraway View
          An A to Z Co-host blog

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      • Lee, I’d definitely be interested! Let me get some more writing done this week and then I’ll email you. Many thanks! That’s an awesome offer. Be talking with you soon. 🙂

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