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’

Alvin Lee and 10 Years After: 9/11/1983

AlvinLee_9-11-83

Anyone who has seen the Woodstock movie will undoubtedly remember Alvin Lee and 10 Years After’s smokin’ performance of “I’m Going Home.” For me as a guitarist, seeing that filmed performance was one of those inspiring moments that made me want to play guitar. So when I heard that Alvin Lee was coming to the Button South, a popular rock club in South Florida, I was determined to go.

I was living with a Latin woman at the time, so of course, she was coming to the concert with me. I thought it would be OK, since she did like rock and roll, but unfortunately, she did not appreciate Alvin Lee’s long and energetic guitar solos nearly as much as I did, and after they ended the first set with a 10-minute version of “I’m Going Home,” she was ready to leave and letting me know in no uncertain terms. I was annoyed, to say the least. So I had to decide what was more important, standing my ground and stubbornly demanding we stay for the second set, or going home and maintaining a sense of harmony at the abode. I opted for the second choice, placating myself by focusing on the fact that I got to see the song that I wanted to hear most of all.

Sadly, Alvin Lee is no longer with us (he passed in 2013), so the fact that I didn’t stay and catch the second set is one of those rock and roll regrets. But I did get to see him, and the one set that I saw certainly inspired me.