The Firm: 3/15/1986

Those of you who missed the 80’s (or just have a cloudy memory) may need a little info on The Firm. They were a supergroup comprised of some very notable musicians:

  • Paul Rodgers on lead vocals (from Free and Bad Company)
  • Jimmy Page on guitar (from The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin)
  • Chris Slade on drums (from Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, Uriah Heep, and AC/DC)
  • Tony Franklin on bass (from Roy Harper, John Sykes’ Blue Murder, David Gilmour, Kate Bush, and Whitesnake)

I went to this show with my friend Mike. Since we were both young guitarists, we were pretty psyched to see the legendary Jimmy Page.

What I remember about the performance was that they were awesome. I personally would have liked to have seen them do a Led Zeppelin tune, but alas. Page did do a really cool guitar solo, though, using the violin bow, with a pyramid of lasers encasing him, reminiscent of the solo featured in “The Song Remains the Same” movie. That was the high point for me.

After the show, we were making the long drive back from the Sportatorium along the two-lane road that took you out of the boonies and back to civilization. We saw two young women hitchhiking, so we picked them up. Mike immediately began chatting them up, clearly hoping to get lucky. When he asked them what they were into, one of them replied, “We’re into each other,” and began making out in the back seat. We could respect that. We drove them as far as we could and dropped them off, then headed home to recover from the killer night of rock and roll.

Here is the setlist, courtesy of the internet.

Setlist

  • Fortune Hunter
  • Closer
  • Someone to Love
  • Make or Break
  • Prelude (Chopin)
  • Money Can’t Buy
  • Satisfaction Guaranteed
  • Radioactive
  • Live in Peace
  • All the King’s Horses
  • The Chase
  • Cadillac
  • Midnight Moonlight
  • You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’

Roger Waters: 3/13/1985

This was my first time seeing Roger Waters. I had seen David Gilmour solo prior to this, which was very cool, but I was definitely excited to see Roger.

Unfortunately, we were on the second leg of this tour. The first leg, which happened in 1984, featured Eric Clapton on guitar. Instead, we had Jay Stapley. Oh well… such is life.

I went to this concert with both of my brothers, one of whom traveled a considerable distance to attend. But that brother has always been a huge Pink Floyd fan, so he was not going to pass on the opportunity to see Waters.

The show was basically broken into two sets: the first set was all Pink Floyd stuff, and the second set was “Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking” in its entirety. Then they did “Brain Damage/Eclipse” as the encore, which was awesome.

The sound was about as good as it could be, considering it was in the Hollywood Sportatorium, notorious for its crappy acoustics. The stage show was very cool. Lots of freaky visuals, props, and theatrics. Basically, everything that you would expect from a Roger Waters concert. High points for me were “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” “If,” “Pigs on the Wing,” and of course, “Brain Damage.” Here is the full setlist. Rock on!!

Set 1:

  • Welcome to the Machine
  • Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
  • Money
  • If
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Pigs on the Wing 1
  • Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
  • Southampton Dock
  • The Gunner’s Dream
  • In the Flesh
  • Nobody Home
  • Have a Cigar
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 1
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 2

Set 2: (The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking)

  • 4:30 AM (Apparently They Were Travelling Abroad)
  • 4:33 AM (Running Shoes)
  • 4:37 AM (Arabs with Knives and West German Skies)
  • 4:39 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 2)
  • 4:41 AM (Sexual Revolution)
  • 4:47 AM (The Remains of Our Love)
  • 4:50 AM (Go Fishing)
  • 4:56 AM (For the First Time Today, Part 1)
  • 4:58 AM (Dunroamin, Duncarin, Dunlivin)
  • 5:01 AM (The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Part 10)
  • 5:06 AM (Every Stranger’s Eyes)
  • 5:11 AM (The Moment of Clarity)

Encore:

  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse

Pink Floyd: 4/30/1988

I was living in Miami at this time, but thought nothing of taking a road trip up to Orlando to catch Pink Floyd. A group of us decided to carpool up there together, which led to a problem. I was playing music with a guy named Mitch, who was along for the ride. We stopped at a convenience store for refreshments, and unbeknownst to everyone else, Mitch got in to an argument with the cashier and walked out of the store without paying. The cashier got the license plate and filed a police report. A few weeks after the concert, police contacted the owner of the car, who contacted me, and I passed a message on to Mitch to call the officer and straighten out the dispute. He failed to do so, and after more harassment, I finally provided his name to the police. Needless to say, that ended our musical collaboration.

Anyway, back to the concert.

We made it to the Citrus Bowl, and it was pouring like it can only pour in Florida. But it was not a warm spring Florida rain. Oh no! It was bitter cold. Everyone was huddled together, wearing trash bags, trying to keep warm. I recall shivering uncontrollably, my teeth literally chattering. If it were any band other than Pink Floyd, I would have walked out. And while the lasers looked really cool slicing through the rain, after a while, I didn’t even care.

As a musician, I could not help wondering about the safety of the band members, as well as the equipment. I for one would never want to let my guitar get wet like that. But David Gilmour did not seem to mind, although he did comment about how it always seems to rain in Florida when they perform there. Richard Wright, the keyboardist, was literally covered under a tent of tarps. It was kind of silly that when he was playing a solo, the lights just shone on this brownish mound of plastic.

Having seen Pink Floyd before in Miami, I have to say I was a little disappointed with this show. The set list was shorter, and noticeably missing was “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” which was what they opened with in Miami. It felt like the band was miserable and just wanted to finish playing and get somewhere warm and dry.

After the concert, we all piled into a hotel room. There were a lot of us, so floor space and bathtub were utilized. Next morning, we headed back to Miami.

Here is the set list…

Set 1:

  • Signs of Life
  • Learning to Fly
  • Yet Another Movie
  • Round and Around
  • A New Machine (Part 1)
  • Terminal Frost
  • A New Machine (Part 2)
  • Sorrow
  • The Dogs of War
  • On the Turning Away

Set 2:

  • One of These Days
  • Time
  • On the Run
  • The Great Gig in the Sky
  • Wish You Were Here
  • Us and Them
  • Money
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
  • Comfortably Numb

Encore:

  • One Slip
  • Run Like Hell

David Gilmour: 7/5/1984

Before I would have the opportunity to see Pink Floyd, I was fortunate enough to see David Gilmour solo. He played the Sunrise Musical Theater, which was a small venue in South Florida, and it was mind-blowing. Gilmour’s guitar work is totally cerebral, unlocking areas of the psyche with his rich tones. I left the concert feeling like my mind was expanded. While I wished he would have played a few more Floyd tunes, it was great seeing the legendary guitarist in an intimate setting.

Unfortunately, most of the details have faded. I can’t even recall with whom I went to this show. But, I managed to find the setlist online, so here it is.

  • Until We Sleep
  • All Lovers Are Deranged
  • Love on the Air
  • Mihalis
  • Cruise
  • Short and Sweet
  • Money
  • Out of the Blue
  • Let’s Get Metaphysical
  • You Know I’m Right
  • Run Like Hell
  • Blue Light
  • Murder

Encore:

  • Comfortably Numb

Pink Floyd: 11/1/1987

PinkFloyd_11-1-87

Yes, I paid $20 to see Pink Floyd, row 38. How times have changed in regard to ticket prices.

When it was announced that Pink Floyd had reunited and would be playing at the Miami Orange Bowl, you can imagine that it was a big deal for concertgoers, even if it was Pink Floyd sans Roger Waters. My brother Mike and I made plans to get tickets and go to the show together. Now, this was back before there was the internet to buy tickets and such, so if you wanted to get tickets, you had to go wait in line outside the record store, which for us was Record Land near the 163rd Street Mall. My brother secured a spot a couple days before the tickets went on sale and we stayed there in shifts, watching as the line grew and grew.

It was the night before the tickets went on sale, and the crowd had swelled exponentially. The line snaked along the sidewalk and I could not see the end, but we were close to the front, so I was psyched, knowing we would get good seats. For the home stretch, it was my brother, his friend Roger, and myself, and we were having fun taking part in the revelry that night. But then it started to rain, that heavy subtropical Miami rain. A torrential downpour. But we were OK because we were under an overhang, so we watched people scrambling and running about in the storm. Now Roger, my brother’s friend, was quite the prankster. One might even say he was a smart-ass. So this poor girl was making a dash to her car and Roger yelled: “Hey! You dropped something!” She stopped in the midst of the deluge and started looking around on the ground. “Where?” she asked. “Right there!” More looking. “Where?” “Right there!” We could not help starting to laugh and she finally realized what was happening. She glared at Roger and said, “You think you’re really fuckin’ funny, huh?” Sadly to say, that only made us laugh more.

Anyway, the next morning we got our tickets. We were going to see the Floyd!

The day of the concert arrived and we went to the Orange Bowl early and got our seat. Unfortunately, we would be paying our karmic debt. It rained, and it rained. So we stood out there with the thousands of others and got drenched while the band played. Thankfully, it was not that cold, and the rain had the bonus of making the lasers all the more visually stunning, as the rain caused the lasers to glimmer like little diamonds that were floating like cosmic stardust within the waves of light. It definitely added to the surreal experience of seeing Pink Floyd.

The show opened with “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” which was great. The band played two sets, performing a nice balance of old classic tunes and new material from the “Momentary Lapse of Reason” album. They ended the show with “Run Like Hell.”

But the adventure did not end when the lights came up. We still had to drive home, and I was the one who had to drive, in the rain, and feeling dazed from the show. So we piled into the car and started out. It was dark, raining hard, and very few streetlights. I was driving carefully when all of a sudden I saw someone standing in the middle of the road, right in front of me! I hit the brakes and skidded to a stop, maybe a foot away from the police officer standing in the middle of the intersection trying to direct traffic. He stepped forward and slammed his fist on the hood of my car, screaming things at me that I could not understand. My heart raced as I sat there. Still, I could not help but wonder at the logic of this officer standing in the middle of the intersection, at night, in the rain, with no flashlight or reflective clothing. I waited, trying to calm my nerves, and then witnessed another vehicle driving on the cross street fly through the intersection and almost hit the cop. The officer literally had to dive out of the way of the vehicle. I really felt scared for the officer, but still wondered why he did not use his flashlight. Finally, he waved us through and I carefully navigated us home without any further incident.

While this was the first time I saw Pink Floyd, it would not be the last. I ended up seeing them two more times, and each time it was an experience. But those are other stubs and other stories, which I will share in the future.

Shine on!