Ron Wood and Bo Diddley: 6/22/1988

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As I mentioned in my previous post about the first night of the two-night stand, my memories of the numerous shows I saw at Woody’s on the Beach are somewhat vague, but this night I remember well. Ron and Bo were particularly pumped and they broke into some classic Stones tunes, as well as some Faces. And while Ronnie Wood is not a great singer by any stretch, watching him sing “Honky Tonk Women” and mimicking the snorting of cocaine with his big nose while croaking out “She blew my nose and then she blew my mind” is a rock and roll image that is forever burned into my memory.

The Faces medley was also quite an experience for me. The first concert I ever attended was Rod Stewart and the Faces, way back when (unfortunately, I do not have that stub). So seeing Ron jam on these tunes connected me with my concert christening.

Finally, the gunslingers closed the show with a smokin’ version of “Hey! Bo Diddley.” I could not think of a better song to wrap up two nights of rock, rhythm and blues.

Here is the full setlist.


Setlist:

  • Crackin’ Up
  • I’m a Man
  • Money to Ronnie
  • Around the Plynth > Prodigal Son > Gasoline Alley > Little Red Rooster
  • Honky Tonk Women
  • Black Limousine
  • Bo Diddley’s A Gunslinger
  • You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover
  • It’s All Over Now
  • Hey! Bo Diddley

Aerosmith: 12/17/1984

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I had seen Aerosmith once before, but it was during their low point. Joe Perry was not with them and Steven Tyler was pretty messed up. But then the original lineup got back together and they were all clean and sober, and they booked the “Back in the Saddle” tour. They booked two nights at the Sunrise Musical Theater, a small venue, so I figured I would have to see both shows. This stub is from the first night.

The concert was awesome! They opened with “Rats in the Cellar,” which totally rocked. Joe Perry had his guitar slung low while Steven Tyler pranced around the stage, screaming into the microphone. It was exactly what I expected from an Aerosmith concert and light-years better than the first time I had seen them.

The band dug deep into their song catalog, playing some choice songs that I was surprised to hear, such as “Movin’ Out” and “Lord of the Thighs.” They also played the hits you expected: “Walk This Way,” “Sweet Emotion,” and “Dream On.” It was a totally satisfying rock and roll concert.

Now, I have to say that the second night was a little wilder. I have the stub ready and a juicy story to share about that show, so be sure to check back for that one.

I’ll leave you with a taste of the opening song from this show. Rock and Roll!

Jake Bugg: 6/20/2014

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I was first introduced to Jake Bugg by my daughters. They both like his music and played it for me, and I immediately recognized his brilliance as a songwriter. Then, while on a family vacation to England, we visited the Cavern Club in Liverpool, and what was on display there alongside Beatles memorabilia? One of Jake Bugg’s acoustic guitars. Clearly, he was a musician worth checking out. So when he booked a show here in Asheville at the Orange Peel, an intimate venue, I knew I would be going.

Not surprising, my daughters also wanted to go. My older daughter was putting money away for college at the time, so my younger daughter decided to buy her big sister a ticket for the show, which I thought was so sweet. Anyway, it ended up being the whole family going: me, my wife, and our two girls.

The concert was amazing. Jake had a great band backing him up, and he roared through a set that was a nice mix of acoustic and electric songs, demonstrating his versatility as a songwriter and performer. He was not the type of person who spent time talking with the crowd, which was fine by me. He got up there, played his music with all he had, and then ended the show.

We were fairly close to the stage, and I have to admit that Jake looked pretty rough, like he was either burnt out from being on the road, or he had been overindulging. Very likely a combination of the two. That said, it did not seem to impact his performance, which I appreciated. I’ve seen too many musicians suck on stage because they were too stoned. But I felt a touch of sadness, fearing that he may become another in the long list of talented people who burn out way too soon. Hopefully, that will not be the case.

What will always stand out for me about this show is the joy I felt being with my family, watching my two daughters together, and sensing the sibling love that they have for each other. What more can a parent wish for?

Ginger Baker: 10/23/1989

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While rummaging through my piles of stubs this morning, I came upon this one, which has a great story associated with it. For those of you who do not know who Ginger Baker is, he was most famous for being the drummer for Cream and Blind Faith, but he also played in other bands.

OK, now for the story.

During this time, I was in a couple bands and playing a lot of music, hence I had a lot of musician friends. One of my band mates, Greg, was a huge Eric Clapton and Cream fan, so he found out about this drum clinic where Ginger Baker would be performing. He and I, along with a few of our musician friends that included Big Ed and Bongo Bob, got tickets to attend. Big Ed and Bongo Bob were in a band together called the Pranksters, inspired by Ken Kesey’s merry band of freaks. Ed, who sadly passed away too young, was about 500 pounds and Bob loved to wear a suede jacket with fringes (in Florida) while channeling his inner Roger Daltrey.

We arrived at McArthur High School in Hollywood, Florida and all I could think of was “Oh, how far the mighty hath fallen!” I half expected the sign in front of the school to display “Puppet Show and Ginger Baker.” It was kind of sad to see that one of rock’s legendary drummers was reduced to playing by himself in a high school auditorium.

If you’ve heard stories about Mr. Baker, I can attest that they are accurate. He was kind of a curmudgeon, and he definitely suffered the effects of living the hard rock and roll life. He banged around on a blue Ludwig drum kit, and in between would tell garbled stories in a way that made Ozzy Osbourne sound eloquent. Then the floor was opened up for questions. Ginger seemed to have a difficult time understanding what was being asked. At one point, someone asked a question, which somehow reworded itself in his brain to a criticism about his drug use (the question had nothing to do with drugs). He started ranting about how people just won’t leave him alone about drugs, and blah blah blah. The poor person who asked the question went and sat down, dejected.

Finally, we all got to line up and meet Ginger and get autographs. People were getting records, drum heads, and such memorabilia signed. I lacked the foresight to bring one of my Cream albums along, but I did get him to sign the ticket stub, as you can see from the image.

When my friend Greg got up there, I could see how awestruck he was, meeting one of his musical idols. And hey, I understand. Meeting someone who has inspired you is a huge deal. But I was unprepared for what I would discover at our next band rehearsal.

The band I was in at the time with Greg, The DV8’s, would practice in Greg’s garage. I arrived for practice, guitar case in hand, and was greeted by a beaming Greg. “Look what I got!” he exclaimed as he pointed to the corner. There stood a new blue Ludwig drum kit. He was unable to resist the temptation to purchase the drum kit that Ginger Baker played on at the world famous McArthur High School. Every time after that when we would rehearse, when I looked at the drum set, I would get the image of Ginger Baker, sitting by himself, at the front of a high school auditorium.