Tuesday, January 24, 2023

A Little First Major Rock Concert Nostalgia

Do you know where you were at, with certainty, for at least any two hour or somewhat longer period (of your choice), on December 11, 1970? My guess is that you can guess but that is it for most of you - just a guess. Although I can not state the exact hours, I do know where I was situated for at least a couple of the hours on that exact day. I was in Nosebleed Heaven, to the right of the stage at maybe a 60 degree angle in front of it, in Madison Square Garden. That was to see and listen to Grand Funk Railroad in concert. What I did not know, or at least do not recall knowing back then, was that the backup band would be Bloodrock. Heck, when I think of it now, I do not remember knowing about a band by that name back then (damn those aged little grey cells) but I do recall a couple of their songs. Must have been them though because it says so here: https://www.concertarchives.org/concerts/grand-funk-railroad-bloodrock-834fc761-27ec-41e9-a5e9-e3ff89a9cd20.
 
I always do remember though what amounts to basically three things in general about that concert:
 
Number one is who accompanied me: I went with my two friends, from Glendale, NY - Jackie R and Steven M (my best bud back then). Sadly, I have no clue as to what they are up to or where they are now; we've been out of touch for many years.
 
The second is that while we went to see Grand Funk Railroad, we were much more impressed by Bloodrock as they put on a much better performance and mind you - Grand Funk Railroad was not bad. Bloodrock's songs D.O.A. and Sable & Pearl had the audience going wild with applause as did others. They got a longer amount of applause and the kids (yeah, most of us were teenagers) there called out much longer for an encore from them than did the bunch of us for an encore by Grand Funk! As I seem to vaguely recall, the lead singer of Grand Funk expressed his disapproval about that. It really is funny I cannot recall shit almost anything else about them, it is just that concert performance and those two songs light up my little gray cells & has them dancing with a memory of musical delight. 
 
I said, I remember three things in general about that date. The third that I remember is that I was 15 at the time by a couple or few months or so and it was the first time I smoked. Now, it is for you to surmise, within the depths of your own psyche, to what type of smoke I refer - does he mean, you may wonder, something such as: a pipe filled with pipe weed as in The Hobbit, cigarettes filtered or unfiltered & self rolled or not, cigars, or something else - cause I ain't telling. And I ain't telling, not because I don't remember but rather because I love to stir up folks' imaginations and keep them guessing about me. Whatever it was, I am happy to say I quit smoking & chewing tobacco long ago.
 
All that aside - who/what, where & when was the first concert you attended? Bear in mind please that I am asking about major Rock concerts - not about: Country/Western, not Blues nor Bluegrass, not Classical nor Opera, not CRAP RAP, not your buddies in a garage, not school shows, not barroom wonder bands either - and not anything less than a major Rock concert.
 
All the best,
Glenn B


5 comments:

Hey Booms said...

Led Zeppelin - 1973, Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale N.Y., 3rd row, 17y/o

Feral Ferret said...

1972 - Rare Earth. Warmup bands were Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan. Rare Earth's plane was running several hours late. After the Doobies and Steely Dan did their sets, they announced that Rare Earth's plane had landed and they would be there shortly. Both DB & SD came back out on stage and jammed together until Rare Earth arrived and was ready to come on stage. I got to hear early versions of several songs that the two groups would later release as successful singles.

Glenn B said...

Wow, was that show in or close to February? I stood on lines, first at Madison Square Garden probably for 10 or 12 hours, then at Nassau Coliseum for about 20 - 24 hours in freezing cold in a ramp area (for off loading trucks or elephants I guess) with a buddy of mine. At the garden, a few people at the front of the line got pushed through the glass of the entry doors by the mob behind them. Others up front, like me and my pal, joined the front end folks in pushing the mob back and passing the word back to stop the surge. The Coliseum ticket line folks were a better crowd but man was it cold. Thing is I do not recall the year, remember that was when I was in late teens or early 20 so 73 could well be in there. We got as many tickets as we could. Everyone who got tickets from us among our friends really enjoyed both of the shows. Well, that was everyone except me; I was in the hospital for an emergency appendectomy and recuperation was long - at least a week, maybe 10 days (hospital stays were much longer then than now). Luckily, I think it was WNEW or WPLJ that broadcast one of those shows live on the radio. So, at least I got to listen to that one.\

Did not know you were from or at least visited up that way. Ever know anyone in Glendale in Queens?

Glenn B said...

The more I think of it the more I vaguely remember being 20 when that happened but still not sure.

Hey Booms said...

WNEW, WPLJ - boy, that was when radio was radio. I'm a little bit younger it seems and was just only starting to get into music in a big way. Prior to that, liked GFR and the Stones. A buddy of mine asked me to go as another guy he knew had 3 tickets and away we went. I knew nothing of the particulars of getting the tickets and it could very well have been February. I didn't know anything about other shows or that it was even broadcast on the radio. I do know that after watching Page bow his guitar on Dazed and Confused from the 3rd row, my brain was blown. After that it was sex, drugs and rock and roll. Well, mostly rock and roll. I saw Zep again, I think it was '77 for 2 or 3 shows at the Garden when I believe they were making the "Song Remains the Same" movie. By the time I went away and graduated college, I got heavily into the Dead and stayed stuck there for a long time. Oddly enough, I don't listen to a lot of music any more unless I do a nostalgia dive. I just really enjoy quiet at this point in my life.
I grew up in Nassau County but never went back after school. Had grandparents and other family in Brooklyn but didn't know anyone in Queens. I don't get down there much anymore (too crazy for me)though I still have family there. You really knocked some cobwebs off the memory banks. Thanks.