This is a list of the live concerts I’ve seen in my life, as best as I can remember.
1. Buddy Rich, Late 1970’s, Missoula. I went with my father. Later I read a Rolling Stone magazine interview with Rich in which he discussed music but not the details of his life-changing UFO sighting…
2. Van Halen, March 29, 1979, Missoula. I know this date, as I went with my friend Dave Peterman, who kept better historical records than I did. I didn’t wear earplugs, and it was extremely loud. My ears rang for two days afterwards. Perhaps the best part was when David Lee Roth told the crowd that Missoula was the “rock and roll capital of the world.”
3. Molly Hatchet, late 1970’s, Missoula. Again with Dave Peterman, we went more for the opening band, the Heartbeats. We helped “roadie” the Heartbeat’s equipment for a show they played later that night at the Trading Post Saloon.
4. Cheap Trick, July 17, 1980, Missoula. This was not long after the Who tragedy in Cincinnati, and there was no more festival seating. The floor had chairs, but everyone stood up on them. A drunk girl standing behind me fell forward and tore my favorite shirt, a yellow Chouinard Patagonia climbing gear shirt that featured an image of the Great Wave off Kanagawa. Moral: Always bring earplugs, and don’t wear your favorite clothes…
5. Eric Clapton, March 10, 1981. Dave Peterman and I drove to Great Falls to attend. Driving back, we listened to Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. I remember being amazed that colored stage lighting could cast colored shadows.
6. Fishbone, Mid 1980’s, Missoula. Very loud. Very distorted.
7. Frank Zappa, 1984, Los Angeles. Wow! Very “tight” show, but I was not really familiar with his music.
8. Grateful Dead, 1984, Southern California. I was never a big fan, but I still liked them. They didn’t play particularly well that day.
9. Green River, Mid 1980’s, Missoula. I had known Bruce and Jeff before they moved to Seattle to “make it big”. When they came back, they had long hair and cool rock star clothes.
10. Pat Travers, Mid 1980’s, Missoula. I went with my friend Andrew Ward to a show at the Carousel lounge. Travers’ career was in a bit of a slump at that point…
11. Miles Davis, late 1980’s, Seattle.
12. Tony Williams, late 1980’s, Seattle.
13. Mother Love Bone, 1990, the Central Tavern, Seattle. I think this was their last show before Andrew Wood died on March 19, 1990.
14. The Cult, 1990, Seattle. Ian Astbury’s voice was shot. He mentioned the tragedy of Wood’s death.
15. Alice in Chains, late 1980’s or early 1990’s, Seattle. Early on in their career they came across much like an ordinary bar band. At that point they seemed much like all the “hair metal” bands I’d seen in Missoula at the Trading Post Saloon.
16. Lollapalooza, summer 1992. Everything changes here, as all of a sudden I see all this fantastic music up close and personal. Early Pearl Jam shows were outstanding. I became friends with Kim Thayil and started to tag along with him to see various shows from the side stage throughout the 1990’s.
17. Nirvana, 1993, Seattle. This was a performance recorded in a waterfront warehouse for a forthcoming MTV new years show. They played songs from In Utero, and not so much Nevermind. A good show, but I was not blown away. I went backstage, but didn’t get to meet Kurt. While watching from the back of the hall, I turned around and noticed that Tad Doyle was standing behind me…
18. Iggy Pop, 1993, Europe.
19. Lenny Kravits, 1993, Europe.
20. Lori Anderson, 1993, Europe. I met her in the hotel lobby.
21. The Kinks, 1993, Germany. They played in a tiny club that we had performed at the night before.
22. Tad, 1993, Crocodile Café, Seattle. I hosted the record release party for their album Inhaler. The original idea was to fill the place with balloons inflated with nitrous oxide, but that plan was abandoned at the last moment.
23. Soundgarden, 1994, Vancouver BC. Those guys liked me, but not the gal I was with. Very uncomfortable.
24. Ministry, 1990’s, Key Arena, Seattle.
25. Alice in Chains, 1990’s, Key Arena, Seattle. I think the Screaming Trees performed as well.
26. Cheap Trick, 1990’s, Seattle. Some asshole in the crowd threw a powerful firecracker that exploded near Bun E. Carlos. Carlos ran offstage screaming and cursing.
27. Yoko Ono, 1990’s, Crocodile Café, Seattle. Her son Sean was on guitar, and at one point Kim Thayil came on stage and performed as well.
28. Red Hot Chili Peppers, Seattle, mid 1990’s. I was actually there to hang out with Marky Ray, who was managing the backing band, the Toadies. I think I met Krist Novocelic at that time. Believe it or not, I never saw much of the Chili Peppers during Lollapalooza in 1992, as our bus usually had to leave before they started playing.
29. Parliament-Funkadelic, mid 1990’s, Seattle. I spent most of the evening in the Paramount theater bar.
30. Black Sabbath, mid-1990’s Seattle. This was probably my favorite rock show of them all. The sound quality was really good, the performance was great, lighting and staging was outstanding; everything was just right. We had hoped to meet the band, but we were told that Ozzy was not feeling well, so it didn’t happen.
31. Wang Chung, 1997, Seattle. They opened with To Live and Die in LA, which is probably my favorite song of theirs. After the show, their road manager asked people in the crowd at the Ballard Firehouse if they wanted to meet the band. So a bunch of people went backstage and met them! I had Jack Hues sign my jacket.
32. Bare Naked Ladies, late 1990’s, Seattle. This was the first concert I had been to in which there was no smoke in the auditorium! It really blew my mind! A gal I had been involved with knew Kevin Hearn, so we were able to hang out with the band after the show. As clean and wholesome a situation as you could get!
33. Ministry, Aug 20, 1999, Seattle. I remember the date because it was my birthday. I hung out backstage with the band for a while. Later Al brought me on stage and wished me a happy birthday.
34. Chris Cornell, late 1990’s, Seattle. I had his solo album so I was familiar with the songs. His show was quite good.
35. Megadeath, 1999 or 2000, Seattle. I Met Dave Mustaine through Kim Thayil. When Mustaine learned I was a pharmacist, he asked me about Zithromax…
36. Megadeath, One or two days later in Vancouver, BC.
37. David Lee Roth, 2001, Bumbershoot festival, Seattle. I liked the show, but rock music and live concerts had changed by this time. Being outdoors, the Sound Pressure Levels had to be monitored. Too loud and it would be some sort of legal violation. People in the audience made cell phone calls. I went home with a funny feeling…
38. Jet, 2004, Seattle. I went with Jan Gregor, the sideshow’s original road manager. An Englishman named “Iron John” was Jet’s road manager, so we were “comped” in. Their single “Cold Hard Bitch” had a video associated with it that I had seen. Other than that I was not familiar with their music, but it was a good show.
That’s about it for arena rock shows, there might be some that I’m forgetting. I used to hang out in bars quite a bit, so I’ve seen lots of bands perform there too. Some that I remember are the Presidents of the United States of America, Nashville Pussy, Motorhead, Rage Against the Machine, (they once opened for us), KMFDM (VERY loud), Horton Heat, The Fastbacks (many times), A Doors cover band whose name I don’t recall, Bjorn Again, which was an ABBA cover band, and the Butthole Surfers.