Friday, June 10

Speak, Mnesomyne: The Concert Edition

This looked like an interesting exercise when I saw Corndog's list. It was. Though it's probably not so interesting to read.

Curious discovery: Potency of concert enhancement had nothing to do with recollection. I can, for example, name a good dozen or more of the acts which played the Indianapolis Rock Festival in 1971, despite their almost uniform obscurity (Atomic Rooster, Curved Air, The Pure Food and Drug Act, Grass Harp...), and the fact that I was not exactly inhabiting the same plane at the time. I left them off the list because I didn't go to see any of them. Oddly, it's some of the more recent, more-or-less sober stuff that was irretrievable, especially a summer series from seven-eight years back. Also gone are several shows in Chicago, where I used to go mostly to hang out with friends who were the ones who chose the shows. They had execrable taste, which is probably why I blanked it out. Deep Purple and Emerson, Lake and Palmer make the list because of them. I also left off opening acts I wanted nothing to do with, as in the inexplicable pairing of Creedence with The Peppermint Rainbow, who, I'm sure, would have been killed had they played one more song.

Most memorable (tie): Hendrix, 1970; Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, and Mink Deville, 1978. Honorable mention: The Beatles (natcherly. It was my first concert. I've totally lost the twenty other acts that ran through doing one song each, but I've read Jackie DeShannon and the Righteous Brothers were among them). Jethro Tull, the Aqualung tour, playing what was essentially a high school gym. Los Lobos, one hot summer night in an non-air-conditioned theatre, with everybody dancing on the seats. Iggy smearing himself with peanut butter and walking out into the audience on a sea of hands at Riverfront Stadium. Lyle Lovett announcing his marriage earlier that afternoon to whatsername, the actress. Zappa doing an hysterical take on Indianapolis' annexing the rest of Marion County. Bob Marley.

Beatles, The
Beck, Jeff Group
Berry, Chuck
Big Country
Big Head Todd
Black, Frank
Black Sabbath
Bowie, David
Butterfield, Paul Blues Band
Carpenter, Mary Chapin
Case, Peter
Cash, Johnny
Cheap Trick
Chenier, Clifton
Costello, Elvis (3)
Cray, Robert
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Crenshaw, Marshall
Davis, Miles
Deep Purple
Doors, The
Dr. John
Dylan, Bob and The Band
Edmunds, Dave/Rockpile
Emerson, Lake, and Palmer
Fabulous Thunderbirds, The
Faith No More
Feelies, The
Fleetwood Mac (pre-Buckingham/Nicks)
Fluorescent Leech and Eddy, The
Nancy Griffith
Guy, Buddy
Heat, Reverend Horton
Hendrix, Jimi
Hiatt, John (3 times since he moved to Nashville, twice while he lived here)
Hicks, Dan and His Hot Licks
Hooker, John Lee
It's A Beautiful Day
Jane's Addiction
Jason & The Scorchers
Jefferson Airplane
Jethro Tull (2)
Jones, Rickie Lee
Hooker, John Lee
Kershaw, Doug
King, Albert
King Crimson
Kotke, Leo (2)
Lane, Robin and the Chartbusters
Led Zeppelin
Little Feat (3, but never when Lowell George was alive)
Living Color
Lobos, Los (3)
Lovett, Lyle (3)
Lowe, Nick/Rockpile
Mahal, Taj
Marley, Bob
Marley, Ziggy
Material Issue
Matthews, Iain
Miles, Buddy Express
Mink Deville
Mo', Keb'
Modern Lovers, The
Mott the Hoople
Neville Brothers (2)
New York Dolls, The
Nixon, Mojo and Skid Roper
Pink Floyd
Pop, Iggy
Prine, John
Puente, Tito (2)
Raitt, Bonnie
Ramones, The (3)
Rolling Stones, The
Roxy Music (2)
Rundgren, Todd
Russell, Leon
Savoy Brown
Setzer, Brian Orchestra
Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes
Smith, Patty
Stooges, The
T. Rex
Talking Heads
Taylor, Koko
Ten Years After
Thompson, Richard (2)
Waits, Tom
Wall of Voodoo
Waters, Muddy
Who, The
Wilder, Webb
Winter, Johnny And
Wonder, Stevie
Yoakum, Dwight
Young, Neil (2)
Zappa, Frank and the Mothers (2)
Zevon, Warren
Zydeco, Buckwheat


Anonymous said...

doghouse, you must've gone to the same jethro tull concert i went to. it was back in the spring of 1972 and the band played in the state fairgrounds coliseum.

was it so?

Anonymous said...

Dang! That's a lotta shows.

Tito Puente twice?

I saw him at the Hollywood Bowl a year or two before he died. Terrific show and what a charming, funny, quirky guy.

Anonymous said...

Hokie, did Ziggy Marley suck when you saw him, too?

I saw Jethro Tull a couplea years back. Damn. I never thought anyone could rock on a flute like that.

Ray Bridges said...

I don't think I've ever been to a rock concert. No wait. I saw Jimmy Buffet and Bonnie Raitt at Red Rock near Denver is '76. I've also seen Bette Midler, the Village People and Lisa Minelli. I did mention that I'm Gay, didn't I? I think we went through the 60s, 70s and 80s in different dimensions.

My musical interests have evolved. Can I count Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Beethoven's Ninth Symphony as a rock concert? If so, then I'm still rocking. Saw that act last night. It was stupendous.

James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Harry, the Coliseum was the Thick As A Brick tour, also a great show. All the roadies were dressed in overcoats and slouch hats, running around all over the stage, when suddenly one of 'em tossed his off and turned into Ian Anderson strumming the opening and the house lights went down. Amazing. Later on a phone rang on stage and he stopped everything and answered it.

A year before the Aqualung tour played the Tyndall Northside Armory. Great fun. We were ten feet away from him.

Anonymous said...

Hokie, I know what you mean. I was surrounded by a bunch of fake hippies at the concert. If you know anything about Boone, NC, you'll know what I'm talking about.

Anonymous said...

thanx for the info, doghouse.

i sit, corrected.

Anonymous said...

Wow. What a mighty list. You saw the Ramones, Iggy, and the Talking Heads. I was born too late. Oh, sob. I have only the pale imitations of those great acts to follow ...

I feel absolutely whupped, but I might win in the obscure bands territory. Pavement (4), Sonic Youth (3), Lambchop (3), Yo La Tengo (3), Silkworm (3), Stephen Malkmus (2), Archers of Loaf (2), Richard Thompson (2), Sleater-Kinney (1 and a half - an overzealous fan squashed me like a bug during one show), Versus, Guided by Voices, New Pornographers, My Morning Jacket

But I still haven't seen anyone rock a flute. My life is incomplete.

Anonymous said...

I've got obscure, goofy, and largely lame covered.
I will admit to: Young Fresh Fellows, Mighty Squirrels, They Might Be Giants, Robyn Hitchcock, and something called the Dudley Manlove Quartet, which was none of the above.
All in clubs and at festivals and the like, some more than once.
Among other shameful secrets, I will not admit to the one actual concert I attended, but I will brag that I once refused to see The Dan Band after driving from Seattle to San Francisco in part because my partner wanted to see them.

Anonymous said...

Wow--live long enough and large enough and you too can have such a list--although current opportunities seem thin to me now...

Oldest memory--Janis Joplin, big Brother and the Holding Co. playing on a tiny dais, 18 in. off the ground in a gigantic dayglosprayed ballroom Avalon vintage in Chicago, 1968 I think. Not a big crowd--like they were just playing for a highschool "dance." Played their whole first album and then some--so close you could reach out and touch them.

Hottest -- Paul Butterfield Blues Band at some club in Chicago--smoky, hot--we danced and drank like demons.

Coolest--tripping in Bloomington, IN at a concert held in the Little 500 hundred stadium. Jefferson Airplane played among others--but the best part for everyone was when it sun showered during Richie Havens' set, and a huge rainbow appeared over the field as he sang "Here comes the sun."


James Briggs Stratton "Doghouse" Riley said...

Sylla, that was the IU before my time. The Little 500 foundation, whatever it was called, was seized by country-club Republicans in the early 70s, after a rainout cost them a bunch of money one year, I think. Swear to god, the headliner one year while I was there was Frank Sinatra, Jr. The kids were buzzing about that one for weeks, as you can imagine. Another year Bob Frickin' Hope was the grand marshal, and this was while the war was still going on.

Anonymous said...

I think this concert was in 1969--before Woodstock, anyway. I believe it was on the 4th of July--it was hot. But I can't find a record of it anywhere.

And yes--the Little 500 was always a Republican/Greek (as in frat) event. But that little open air stadium had been around longer even than the Little 500. So it was a good place to have an all-day rock concert. I was so high during most of it (my first time on psilocybin), I simply cannot remember any of the other acts clearly--but I know there were several notorious ones--maybe the Byrds? CSN? Loving Spoonful? Or is it blurring into Woodstock...?

Pathetic--my memory that is.

But yeah--I remember when Bob Frickin'Hope was the grand marshal. I was just *living* in Bloomington then--I dropped out the spring of 68 when the administration announced a 30% fee hike. Seemed like a good enough reason to give it up--the world was going to hell in a hand basket anyway, and I had FBI droids calling me out to grill me about friends who'd gone to Canada...I moved into an ashram in '72 and sort of lost track of school doings and music for a long while.

BTW, I wish I could have seen Spirit!

Anonymous said...

As an additional note on the "Thick As A Brick" tour, which I witnessed at the Forum in Los Angeles in '72, I'll remind Tull enthusiasts new and old that the band led off the show without welcome or comment as described by Riley with "Thick" in its entirety-- a 45 minute piece of music to start with-- extended with additional guitar, drum, flute, and keyboard soloes to nearly an hour and a half of blood, sweat, and non-rabbit jokes.

After which Ian Anderson stepped up to the mike, bid a good evening and said, "Thank you! Now, for our second number..."

I'll say this for Ian Anderson & Company: He never seems to get tired of doing the recording and touring grind-- typically playing about a hundred dates a year-- long after other 60s-era rockers have given it up or retired from the biz altogether to pad around their manor houses in their bathrobes, drinking themselves daft all day.

Look at those cavemen go, indeed.

Anonymous said...

I count the Jethro Tull show at Tyndall Armory among my favorites. The opening band was good, too -- a group I'd never heard of up until then called Yes. Saw Vanilla Fudge there too, as well as the Canned Heat / Iron Butterfly show.

Acoustics at the Coliseum were awful, unless you were in the extreme front or back of the room. Saw lots of shows there anyway, including Hendrix (Chicago Transit Authority opened), CCR, Led Zeppelin, Zappa, Janis Joplin, the Coasters, the Drifters, Bill Haley and the Comets, B. B. King and King Crimson.

Strangest combination of bands was Cream and American Breed at Clowes Hall. Memorable show, though.

I don't remember all the bands from the Indianapolis Rock Festival, but I do recall that Iggy and the Stooges were there and so was Steve Winwood, though I don't think the band was Traffic. Thanks for the reminder about Curved Air.