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’
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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

The Outlaws and Wet Willie: 5/26/1978

Outlaws_5-26-78

This is quite an old ticket stub, and it was torn in a way that I could not make out the date. So I did a quick Google search for The Outlaws at the Suffolk Forum, and discovered that this was actually a concert that was made into an album! Here’s a link to Amazon where you can purchase the album online or just read some reviews.

Anyway, let me share what I remember about this concert.

This was a pretty wild concert. New Yorkers who were into the Southern rock scene were rowdy, to put it mildly. I went with my friend Ola and two of Ola’s friends, Frank and Rick. Wet Willie opened the show, and I was not that impressed. In fact, the only thing I remember about them is the crowd, which was throwing a lot of projectiles around the venue. I was happy to be higher up in the stands away from the insanity of the open floor.

The Outlaws came out and I remember really liking the show, but the only detail that stands out clearly in my memory is the encore, which was “Green Grass and High Tides.” I can still picture the crowd going nuts as the band ripped through a three-guitar solo that seemed to go on forever. The review of the album states that this was an epic 26-minute version of the song. Yeah, 26 minutes of screaming Southern rock guitar solo was something that makes a lasting impression. But what I remember most about this concert is what happened afterwards.

We did not have a ride home, since we were all too young to drive. So in our infinite teenage wisdom decided we would hitchhike home. After some discussion, we figured we would have more luck getting rides if we split into two groups of two. So Ola and I were a pair and Frank and Rick were a pair. The others were a few blocks down the road, which meant Ola and I had first dibs on cars coming past. After a little while, a car pulled to the side, about 20 feet past where we were standing. The door opened and we cautiously approached, but stopped as we saw a cowboy boot emerge from the passenger side. A drunken maniac leaped from the car and charged at us, screaming curses and threats about how he was going to kick the shit out of us. We ran towards the woods and the dude tried to kick us but fell on his ass. We made it to the safety of the woods and looked back as he staggered to the car, cursing, and got back in. The car pulled back onto the road and we watched the taillights moving away, and then pulling off again further down the road, where we assumed Frank and Rick were. We hoped they had enough common sense to stay safe. We found out later, that was not the case.

The next time I saw Frank, his eye was swollen shut and his face was badly bruised. The story we heard was that the car pulled over and the door opened, but no one came out this time. Rick, being cautious, hung back a little, but Frank went right up to the car, leaned over, and cheerfully said “Hey guys! How far are you going?” At which point cowboy boots kicked him in the face as he was bent over. He got kicked a few more times before they left him there, satisfied that they got to whoop some ass after the show.

I learned an important lesson that day: Don’t hitchhike home from a Southern rock concert, for any reason! Sleep in the woods if you must. You extend your thumb at your own risk.