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Baby Was a Black Sheep Baby Was a Whore

Huge thanks to everyone who participated in the literary version of America’s Funniest Home Videos. I would have picked a winner but I was at a Patti Smith/Neil Young concert, motherfucka! Don’t even look at me or my all stage pass. Behold the laminate.
And, needless to say, long live rock and roll. My my hey hey

What was your first concert ?

Winners tba

65 Responses

  1. Cat Stevens. Oooh baby baby it’s a wild world…
    Jesus I’m old.

  2. David Bowie. Station to Station tour. If you don’t count David Cassidy.

  3. First concert, Mantovanni, I was fifteen, my mother and I cried because the music was so beautiful.

    Second, Mama’s and Papa’s, I loved them, there concert was a dud.

    Third…stretch-limousined my daughters, and their friends, to a Back Street Boys Concert in Boston. It was amazing, I was thirteen again, deaf from the screaming but smiled all the way home in the limo as the girls slept; best night ‘evah.

    • Mamas and Papas, huh? Maybe you needed some Samoans (see below).

      • I used to sit at my piano, blast their music and sing along like I was one of them. I sounded damn good ’cause you couldn’t hear me. Hell. who needs Samoans, I had me in my Diet Rite induced crazy world of me being another Mama Cass.

  4. First concert, Herman’s Hermits, @ nine years old or so…

  5. It was the 60s, I was in junior high school, and I don’t remember–not because of drugs but because that zone of my memoryscape is just fogged over. Probably Jimi Hendrix, or The Doors, or Cream. I do recall Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, but she wasn’t my first. Maybe the greatest, though.

  6. Grateful Dead, Capital Theater, Portchester, N.Y. The drinking age was 18 and we were 16 and with “fakes” bought shots of tequila with lime finish. Don’t remember much. Other than I wanted to go again.

  7. Jefferson Starship 1983 Saratoga Performing Arts Center. My friend’s mother showed up from NYC and climbed into the backseat of someone’s car to sleep off her buzz while we went in. She kept telling me she had to get out of the city because she wanted to have sex with her new man, but was suffering from vaginitis. We drove up to their property in VT afterwards (in a ’69 Camaro convertible with top down and minus the mother) and I slept in a barn loft that could just have easily fallen down as stood, and woke up to hippies scrambling eggs in a house made from sheets of plastic nailed into tree trunks. I stayed there for a week and had to wash my clothes in a stream. Total weirdness, but what a memory.

  8. If we’re talking classical, the Cincinnati Pops when I was five or six, out on the lawn in a huge park with fireworks.

    If we aren’t, then Night Ranger on their Seven Wishes tour. I was fourteen or fifteen and went with a friend whose parents were far more permissive than mine.

  9. At the tender age of seven, I was enrolled in a classical music appreciation program. The Pittsburgh Symphony performed on CMU’s campus every few months during the school year. The first performance was Mussorgsky’s “Pictures at an Exhibition”. Before the concert began, an instructor explaining how a symphony was assembled and how this music would describe the “paintings” in this “exhibition”. I was entranced.

  10. If someone will put me under hypnosis, perhaps I can remember my first. More interested in my next. I’m floating a second mortgage to buy thhe tickets.

  11. Classical: Van Cliburn after he won in Russia.
    Cool cats: Stevie Wonder (2 hrs. late & worth the wait) in 1968

  12. New Riders of the Purple Sage with Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, Central Park, Great Lawn, 1973, free concert. I was a runner back then and didn’t smoke but still enjoyed the show. At one point I turned around and freaked out when I saw how many people were in that field and I’ll wager only a few were as straight as me.

    You must be floating on air after the Patti Smith and Neil Young concert. Remember yesterday’s contest? Here’s one: it’s better to burn one than it is to rust….

  13. At six or seven, Bizet’s Prelude to L’Arlesienne, which I remember well. It rises and falls like our lives and loves, from raucous to tender. It still amazes me, and I am old.

    The first contemporary concert- it was contemporary then, now it’s historic-was The Mamas and Papas, with The Association, in Honolulu, near a group of drunk and rowdy Samoans, who were pretty scary.

    One of the best was John D. Loudermilk, sitting on a folding chair, tapping his foot on a wooden Coke case. The Alligator All Stars were killer, too. Bob Dylan gave the most indifferent and disappointing performance I’ve ever seen.

    The loudest was MC Hammer. A glutton for punishment, I took the lads to see his show twice, and quite a show it was.

  14. I saw the Beatles on August 23, 1966.

    I was 10 years old and nabbed a last-minute ticket (still have the stub…$5.75) to Shea when my sister’s friend lost her grandmother that day. Still remember the pouring rain, the bell bottoms I wore with a black turtleneck and white cardigan, and the passionate screaming that filled the electric air. I was deeply in love with George, and nothing in the intervening four and a half decades has come close.

    Do what they will, but they can’t take that away from me!

  15. First concert – KISS. We were close enough to feel the sweat flying off of Ace Frehley and Paul Stanley and the heat from their lights on stage. And then there was Gene Simmons’ tongue – need I say more.

  16. Dave Clark Five, City Park Stadium, New Orleans.

  17. Power Station and OMD. I had a white jacket and black legging and a metallic magenta scarf that I put a cigarette through. Madison Square Garden? Not sure what year. Sixth grade or eighth grade, again not sure but want to say it was an even number. Yeesh.

  18. My first concert was America at the Hollywood Bowl; they got mad at the crowd, played 45 minutes and vacated the stage. Although I did not participate in the “activities” of the crowd, I did think that they were well-behaved and responsive to the music.

    You might like this:

    One of my favorite concerts was Bob Dylan at The Brady Theatre in Tulsa a couple years ago. My two grown sons attended with me. Dylan was “on” from the beginning. I think he was energized by an engaged crowd from the start of the concert. There was a group of nine teen girls directly in front of us who knew every word to every song, and would stand and sing and dance from time to time during the concert. As a fifty-something professional I found this and other moments during the concert as an enlightening example of Dylan’s odd charm with such a diverse group of people for the last quarter century.

    Dylan’s encore was Highway 61 revisited—-the crowd went absolutely nuts. Standing ovations all around. The house came down.

    This was my fifth Dylan concert.

    CL Spencer

    ps I have a door-sized poster of a very young Dylan in my alternative education classroom. A young girl who has been in my classroom all year, remarked the other day after one of my late afternoon playings of Dylan as she was leaving for the day, “Mr.Spencer. Bob Dylan is the best.” She looked over her shoulder at me and gently touched the poster.

    Sent from my iPad

  19. Simon and Garfunkel in Central Park, 1981. I was thirteen years old and I don’t remember a damn thing.

    • Take my breath away. I’d kill for this in my bio.

    • Two regrets in my musical past–that I never saw S & G or the Beatles in person. You are a lucky duck, MSB.

      • S&G performed at the NO Jazz fest 2 years ago. Art’s voice was compromised by a cold but we didn’t care.

    • No one can beat seeing S & G – you are indeed lucky…

      My husband and I have gone to see Peter Frampton twice in the past five years – and we also went to see the Moody Blues – just last year. I was stunned when I found out they could actually still sing and play. The drummer said he was 70 yrs old. Justin Hayward used to be so good looking to me…we saw them in 95 and he still was at that time… now…well…not so much but God I love their music.

    • That deserves a gah!

  20. First: The Nields at The Bottom Line, Greenwich Village. In the 90’s. I think. It’s fuzzy…
    Best: Springsteen. Boston Garden. Sept. 1999.
    Train at the Orpheum is second.
    And any Nanci Griffith gig is essential to my life.

  21. Bryan Adams. Still love him.

  22. 1978 Madison Square Garden, Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps tour, baby! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft3XBaPEOrw

  23. Elton Fucking John. With my orthodontist. It’s one of my more bizarre memories.

  24. I’m having a hard time figuring out who came first. It was a LONG time ago. I think it must’ve been Richie Havens (after Woodstock). Or possibly a very young Elton John. Or Paul MCartney and Wings on their first tour? I grew up in a house that didn’t even have a radio. Thankfully I married a rock ‘n roll audiophile.

  25. I so hoped to make it to one of Patti and Neil’s shows, but this fall was a cluster. How fabulous was the concert and that all-stage pass? As if you weren’t already a rock star…

  26. Trips Festival, 1966, San Francisco. The Dead and Big Brother and plenty of Merry Pranksters. This is one reason I’m grateful to be the age I am. I could have died happy after all the concerts in SF from 65-70 or so. That music still defines me.

    I was thinking of your post about Neil Young when his book came out. I’m slowly working my way through it. It’s so different from Patti’s, which I couldn’t put down and which had both great writing and great story. Neil is pretty much just sitting down and yakking. I love all his thoughts and stories but after awhile I start tuning out. Still, I’m always ready for the next pages. And who cares if it’s not perfect after all the perfect songs he’s written.

    He says this about music which seems to me to be true of writing too: “When music is your life, there is a key that gets you to the core…..I can find myself there and go to the special area of my soul where those songs graze like buffalo….I dream of playing those long jams and floating over the herd like a condor. I dream of the changing wind playing on my feathers, my brothers and sisters around me, silently telling their stories and sharing their spirits with the sky.” There are a few more lines after that that make the book worth buying just for that page, which ends: “Am I too cosmic about this? I think not, my friend. Do not doubt me in my sincerity, for it is that which has brought us to each other now.”

    Beautiful man. Best concert ever: CSNY at Esalen, 1969, doing one of those long jams on “Down By the River”.

  27. Do we rock, or what? Damn!

  28. I hate to admit this, but my first concert was Herman and the Hermits. Don’t judge me — I was only 13 and didn’t know any better.

    But … the opening act was some new group no one had ever heard of, The Who. My friend and I got to walk right up to the stage, three feet from Roger Daltry and his skin-tight pink satin pants, and Pete Townsend bashing the snot out of an amp. Life-changing experience? You betcha.

    • I was reluctant to admit it to HH also, but what the hell…truth…later came Bob Dylan (3x)…Eric Clapton with Santana opening and sharing encore at the end…John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra…Yo Yo frickin’ Ma, and so on and on…sigh, aging has its benefits.

      • Santana was one of the best concerts I went to; Quicksilver Messenger Service might have opened, and they were fabulous as well.

  29. I just heard that Dave Brubeck died.

    Here’s to you, Dave.

    • I forgot to input my info so my reply regarding reluctance admitting to seeing Herman’a Hermits was shown as “Anonymous” — back to say first Jazz album was Take Five — RIP Dave Brubeck

  30. Embarrassing, but The Dixie Chicks.

  31. “The Woodstock of country music.” Labor Day weekend 1974, in a soggy field 12 miles west of Atoka, Oklahoma, I cowboy danced to the music of the outlaws–Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Jerry Jeff Walker, Jessi Colter, Hoyt Axton, Freddy Weller and David Allan Coe, among many others.

  32. Oh, I forgot to answer the question. My first was Aerosmith. A friend bought me the ticket for my 14th birthday, at the beginning of our freshman year. It was a wild start to the high school experience. Clearly an indication that parenting in the mid-seventies was a bit more liberal.

    • I was at a Cheap Trick concert in the front row of the second section of a small theater. Entering from the left, Steven Tyler with his entourage walked past me while CT was on stage. I think I stopped breathing for a few seconds. Later in the show, Tyler made a guest appearance on stage for a couple of songs. One of the best concerts I’ve ever been too.

  33. NSYNC, and somehow we weazled our way into the VIP section where all of the WWF stars had taken their little girls. I still have a pic with Macho Man Randy Savage.

  34. At the age of fifteen I saw the band Rush in a high school gymnasium. And sometime around then, along with my sister and her friend, I went to see Tom Jones. The forty-year-old women in front of us who humiliated themselves by throwing panties at poor Tom mortified us. Now I would kill to be a forty-year-old panty thrower.

  35. Rush, which I don’t really remember since I fell asleep on the concrete stairs next to my seat. Or so I’ve been told.

  36. I grew up on the Oldies (sorry, that’s what the 50s and 60s music is called for my generation), and haven’t found music to match it yet! But not being a concert going person, I’ve only ended up at two concerts ever. One called Endfest in 1997 with a mish mash of bands playing – think bands like Offspring and Everclear – when I was about 17. The other was Matchbox 20s original tour a few years later…they are still my favorite.

  37. Stephen Stills and Chris Hillman in Manassas at the Philadelphia Spectrum, 1972. I was 16 and soooooo in love with Steve. 30 years later I saw his son open for Paul Weller at City Center in NYC. I was soooooo in love with Paul.

  38. My cool Aunt Nancy took me to see The Osmond Brothers at Cincinnati Gardens. I was in the first grade and those lace up granny boots she got me to wear to the concert were the shit.

  39. The Kingston Trio at the Santa Barbara Bowl for a Nancy Buck’s birthday party in junior high. I thought her mother was the coolest parent ever, and I went mad for the music. “The south coast the wild coast is lonely” was the most stirringly romantic song I’d ever heard.

  40. Amy Grant when I was 17. My second was U2 in ’85. I loved those boys so much, I had tears in my eyes when they started to play. Still love ‘em today.

  41. Duran Duran, in the early ’80s.
    There I said it.

  42. Deep Purple, Radio City Music Hall, 1974.

    • First show….my first fave band, ELO in 76 at philly’s spectrum….first mind fuck? Pink Floyd Animals tour a year later….first time seeing my heroes? The Who, madison square garden in 79…..two weeks ago, i also saw neil and patti, both wondrous…..and last night? My heroes again, the Who doing quadrophenia…dont tell me how old they are…..i’ll tell you how picture perfect great rock always is

  43. Coincidentally, when Patti Smith was inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame, she said that “Rock N Roll N*gger” (title of OP) was the song her mother liked to vacuum to.

    That being said, my first concert was The Ramones, Summer 1988. Man, what a show!

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