Jun 122011

I have been going to see concerts since I was 13 (well 11if you count being at a Chicago concert, though we were on the other side of the park and could hear but did not see them). Since then I always gave my dad a hard time about not seeing the great  ’60s and ’70s bands in their prime. His excuses were (1) The Draft and (2) the expense of concert tickets in NYC when you have 2 infants (so basically MY fault). He missed The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Allman Bros/Dead at the racetrack 5 miles from our house, Bruce, The Who, Steely Dan, Dylan‘s Rolling Thunder, etc. Shame on you old man, but thanks for taking care of your kids too!

So at 14 or so my brother and I decided that we would see EVERY band that came to town. And we stuck to it for many years. I have been able to check off just about every major band that has toured in my lifetime that I had any desire to see (oh, and Britney Spears, who I saw anyway).

My bucket list is down to 5 artists, and I just heard that 2 of them will be in my area this year:

  • Brian Wilson (Gershwin show I think)
  • Neil Young  (Buffalo Springfield added 30 shows to their tour this fall)

Still left….

  • Ozzy
  • Prince
  • David Bowie

They all tour and  have been to Atlanta, Just missed them for one reason or another. Did I miss ALL of them in their prime? Certainly, but I feel like I have completed 95% of the rock and roll crossword puzzle and need these last 5 crossed off.

I never saw Oasis, and of course they are broken up and I’ve had people say I really missed out on Radiohead. As far as big acts (not counting Rap, R&B acts, some of the Metal bands that I did not like until much later). It would be hard to stump me.

PS – I had a ticket for Michael Jackson with The Jacksons (victory Tour) but got a soccer-related concussion and missed the show. My family told me that I was there and kept this lie for many months before they finally told me that I did actually miss the show. I had a T-shirt and everything.


  33 Responses to “Rock and Roll Bucket List…Down to Five and Closing In!”

  1. I don’t have anyone I’m dying to see but I wouldn’t mind seeing Prince, Yo La Tengo, Sleater Kinney, the Raspberries and the Bangles.

    I love that Jackson’s Victory tour story

  2. Ha! Going retro tonight with some friends to see the Bangles at a free show at our county fair “Celebrate Fairfax!” Haven’t seen them since ’88! We’ll see how Ms. Hoffs has held up over the years.

  3. Let me know how it was, but personally, I was always a Vickie man, myself.

  4. Very cool show. cdm you are correct — Vicki Peterson is the glue of the band. Great guitar and did all the obligatory crowd chit-chat. Looked fantastic too — as did Ms. Hoffs and Debbi Peterson.

    Forgot that I got introduced to Big Star through the Bangles – they did September Gurls. They also did a Nazz cover, seamlessly worked The Who’s “Magic Bus” into “Walk Like an Egyptian”, and closed with The Seeds’ “Pushin Too Hard.” They said that will show up on a Seeds tribute album coming up. They also did a couple of songs off a new Bangles record they said is coming out in the fall.

    For a free show at freaking county fair — not bad at all.

    Now — Vicki needs to get Continental Drifters back together!

  5. I don’t have anyone left to see on my ‘bucket list’, really. Can’t say I saw everyone in their prime because a few passed their prime before I was old enough to get to see them. Also, there’s a couple of majors that were not on my list… Springsteen, Dead, & MJ (all channel changers-never liked them) .. Managed to get to see Elliott Smith a few times before he died and likewise Sparklehorse. I saw XTC before Partridge melted down.

    I saw Radiohead twice, once not so good, but the second time at the Electric Factory was excellent. Oasis was never on my list. Buffalo Springfield was never on the list for obvious reasons, but I would add them if they come around (hardly in their prime though.)

    One guy who wasn’t on my list, but I did catch pretty close to his prime, Leon Russell. Saw him not long after Bangladesh and it still ranks as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t that into him, went because he played with Harrison and I liked Youngblood. etc. He was absolutely incredible- can’t overstate that. (Maybe I would’ve felt the same about da Boss if I’d gone to see him, eh?)

    Any shows really disappoint anyone? I can say I saw Bowie twice (post Ziggy) and didn’t love him either time. Same with Zep, Page was out of tune through most of the set. The Clash were terrible the time I saw them at the Penn hockey rink. It might not have been their fault; the sound was so bad I didn’t know what songs they were playing half the time. As a teenager I can also say Harrison’s tour was a disappointment.

    I did make sure to get my son out to shows from as early an age as was appropriate- both artists I like and artists he liked. Sitting through a couple of Nickelodeon Concert events was tough.

    Sorry for rambling.. boring evening.

  6. I am generally OK with most concerts I go to — but here are some of the most disappointing shows I can recall — why I went to some of these in the first place is lost in the haze of the period.
    1. New Order — played about 40 minutes — and they were the headliner.
    2. Elvis Costello — circa 1984– (he was great at a show I saw a few years ago). Squeeze opened with a terrific set, which made his seem worse.
    3. Saw Marshall Crenshaw about three years ago at a small club — he sat down the whole show. Seemed like he didn’t want to be there.
    4. Strokes on the First Impressions of Earth Tour. Stage was so dark you could hardly see them — and they liked it that way.
    5. John Doe — a solo show at the Mercury Lounge in NYC that just never got going — and the crowd didn’t help by talking the whole time.
    6. The Romantics — at a club called “Nite City” in Sioux Falls SD, circa 1987. They acted like they couldn’t wait to get out of there.

  7. I’m NOT the kind of rock fan on which the touring business is built. I regret not seeing all the bands I could have seen in or close to their prime, but not too much. I am often too content to sit around the house and watch sports or bad ’70s movies to risk spending a lot of money or time on what might be my next bad live show experience. Plus, tickets are so expensive and venues are so big when it comes to trying to catch up on my bucket list regarding Classic Rock artists I should have seen in 1980 that I let it go.

    I opted not to take a fraternity brother up on the offer of a second-row seat at Chicago’s sports-rock arena to see the Stones on the Start Me Up tour because I was already certain the Stones were past their prime. Thirty years later I do regret passing up on what may have at least been a somewhat entertaining show, because I don’t know if I’d go to see them now if you gave me a free ticket. On the other hand, 30-some years after not feeling cool enough to take a chance and see Neil Young on the Rust Never Sleeps tour (I was just beginning to dig him at that point), I do consider seeing the old man before it’s too late. When I heard he was coming through Philadelphia last year (or was it earlier this year) I thought this would be my chance. Then I read it was a solo tour with him playing impressionistic stuff off his instantly forgettable album with Daniel Lanois. PASS! Should Young tour with the Gators, in particular, I really should go. I like when I hear him play in the “country” vein that’s better suited for him these days.

    I had tickets to see Grown-Up Nick Lowe last year and was really pyched to see him in that vein, but I had to give up my tickets in preparation for a…er….medical examination. SHIT! Add Grown-Up Nick Lowe to my bucket list.

    I’d really like to see Paul Simon solo just once, but every time he comes through town it’s promoted (and priced!) like An Evening With Nelson Mandela. I think tickets for his recent Academy of Music show in Philadelphia were in the $250 range. I’ve done a lot of work on behalf of Simon by being one of the few rock nerds willing to express that his solo records outshine Simon and Garfunkel. Come on, Paul: cut me a break on the ticket prices!

    Finally, as I try to recall who else might be on my list, who comes over the speakers in my hotel lobby but AL GREEN! Now there’s a guy I’d consider paying $250 to see, even in his Crazy Preacher mode. Well, maybe not $250…

  8. BigSteve

    Yeah a few weeks ago I was in Atlanta, and my friends offered to take me to see Paul Simon at Chastain Park, an outdoor venue where I’d seen an excellent Elvis Costello show 7 or 8 years ago. But the cheapest seats were I think $100, and there weren’t many left, so I passed.

    I agree about solo Simon vs. S&G btw.

  9. BigSteve

    Tom Waits is the only bucket list candidate I can think of. Most of the artists in that category are retired or should be.

    Regrets involve specific concerts I missed back in the day, particularly the Who in ’71 or so. The Band in that time frame as well. I should have driven to Baton Rouge to see the Sex Pistols. Little Feat canceled a show because of weather in ’78.

    But mostly I’ve seen my heroes. Hendrix is the main one that I don’t think I even had the chance to see.

  10. All right, then, you’re my plus-1 when that guest list invitation finally arrives.

  11. Saw the Robbie-less Band in the mid-to-late 90s at the now defunct Taste of DC festival. It was really great — a big ‘ol Rick Danko . . . and Levon singing his heart out. I was really blown away . . . it cracked me out of my 90s cynicism about bands reforming.

    My best Taste of DC moment was seeing Al Green. Just at the start of his comeback in the late 90s — what a show — way beyond expectations.

  12. I saw the Robbie-less band at Tony Mart’s in Summers Point NJ in the late 80’s. I thought it was a random place for them to play but in Levon Helm’s book he said that they used to play there with Ronnie Hawkins. It’s the same bar that they filmed the club scenes in Eddie and the Cruisers, by the way. Anywho, I, too, was blown away. I was directly in front of Rick Danko, touching the stage and that show kicked ass.

  13. Saw Paul Simon on ROTS tour (91?) and he did his hits and all the world music stuff. Neil always plays in Atlanta on a night I have a gig or tickets to something else. I did get to see Run DMC with Jam Master Jay at the 40 Watt as a Neil replacement so that was a good one.

  14. trigmogigmo

    I have managed to see a lot of my favorite rock bands/artists, but there are plenty I missed while they existed. There are a few big names like U2 that I like well enough, and would have loved to see earlier in their careers (when I probably was more enthusiastic about them), but don’t really find going to see them in a giant arena all that appealing now.

    The one bucket list item I took care of a few years ago was Tom Petty. I’ve always been a big fan but for whatever reason never went to a show until I ponied up $200+ to a broker for a Fillmore show, which was well worth it for the smallish venue. My buddy and I really wanted to see Petty (opener was Greg Kihn) at Winterland on New Year’s Eve 1978, but his parents had a strict “14 year old kids do not go out in the city on New Year’s Eve” policy. (* web research shows Petty/Kihn played Winterland the night before NYE 1978, but the above is how I remember it!!)

  15. Chastain Park in Atlanta is a bad venue for most acts. It’s 100 degrees and the people with tickets buy the series and don’t care who is playing. I go to see Steely Dan there every year with my dad since it’s his favorite band in the world, otherwise I avoid this venue at all costs

  16. My band opened up for Jr. Walker at Chastain Park 100 years ago. Walker started the show standing 4 steps back from the mike, He stomped up to the mike in 4 countoff steps and blew. Awesome! From an artist perspective Chastain Park is incredible.

  17. Heart is touring right now with Def Leppard. I may try and see that one. Heart would be on my bucket list. I’ve seen most of the shows I wanted to see (Stones, Tull, Yes, Zeppelin) and a few in their prime like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Zeppelin was in 77 but played only 3 songs before it rained and there was a riot. In a way it made it more special… I guess. I missed “The Who” with Keith Moon because I wasn’t a big fan but I regret it now. My biggest regret is passing on many chances to see the “Grateful Dead”. I never liked them and still don’t but I would like to have experienced the vibe,

  18. mockcarr

    I was going to go see that Fairfax show and got tired.

  19. mockcarr

    I was pissed off at a Beatle-length (30 minutes) full-priced Marshall Crenshaw set at the Birchmere in Alexandria. It was not Beatle-quality, although the girls did not scream so I could hear it.

  20. BigSteve

    Speaking of the Continental Drifters, Susan Cowsill is featured in this week’s episode of Treme.

  21. Clarence Clemmons had a stroke and is paralyzed on the left side of his body. Say a prayer. No one has mentioned Spingsteen but he won’t be the same without the “Big Man”.

  22. Just saw the Rolling Stone link. Some of his previously unpublished answers from a February interview are funny:


  23. 2000 Man

    You didn’t miss much by missing The Dead. They were awful, and the vibe wasn’t much to write home about. I had more fun in the parking lot, listening to music I liked.

    I think I’ve seen most of the bands I wanted, but there’s always more. I haven’t seen new Pornographers or Drive By Truckers, and I’d like to see Built to Spill. I don’t mind bands being older or past their prime. It usually means you get to see them in a smaller place at a reasonable price, and they generally seem good to me. I don’t think “rocking out” requires duckwalking and foot kicking so long as you can keep two hands on the guitar. I wish I had seen Brownsville Station, or even Kub Coda and The Points. But I saw Rick Derringer in a bar! I missed Rory Gallagher, but I saw Roxy Music. So there’s trade offs all over the place.

    The worst shows I saw were bands in their prime – Aerosmith. Wow, were they terrible. The Cars – sounded exactly like their records, note for note and had all the stage presence of a sack of potatoes. I saw Gordon Lightfoot take half an hour to change a guitar string, too. Big Country played 18 minutes and played In a Big Country twice! Wow, they were really drunk and really bad!

  24. Thanks 2000 man, that’s what I figured but I still wish I saw them just to say I did.
    That’s a good point about older bands playing smaller venues. That’s the way I got the opportunity to open for many bands. It makes me appear to be badderass than I am. Two of them you mentioned, Cub Coda and Rick Derringer. We opened for Derringer in an atrium in a mall… really. He was great, made mincemeat of his guitar. Cub Coda was in a bar in Charlotte, NC. I don’t know if the line up was the original Brownsville Station or not. That’s the rub sometimes. We opened for the “Guess Who” and the bass player was the only original member and I don’t think he was even all that original but he owned the name. I don’t remember his name but it wasn’t Randy Bachmann of Burton Cummings.

    One real squanker I saw was Eric Clapton. I think it was the Slowhand tour. He appeared out of it and his percussionist looked like he was tripping. Sloppy as hell and totally disconnected with the audience. I’ll bet he didn’t say 10 words the entire night.

  25. DBT, you will hate me. I saw them many times at the Star Bar in Atlanta (which holds about 100 people crammed in) including a night where they did the Southern Rock Opera in it’s entirety.

  26. Dead was a dull show for me (back row of The Omni in 1990 I believe) I was not into their music much and the seats sucked. I had to drive back to Athens that night (about an hour through small towns with crazy speed traps) so I was far too sober as well.

  27. Thanks for the link Mr. M, good read. Looking at my previous post, I come across like I’m blowing my horn but I really don’t mean to. I’ve forgotten most of what I’ve done through the years. This site reminds me how fortunate I was to take it all for granted. So once again, we opened for Clarence Clemmons (not Springsteen) at an Army base somewhere in the mid 80’s. He was huge, I remember that. He was isolated and we couldn’t really hang with him but our singer got him to sign his guitar.

  28. The Robbie-less Band played a radio convention that I went to and were smokin good. Sadly the show was at 7:30 PM at the convention floor and just about everyone had gone out to eat (and use up their corportate am ex card on booze). They missed the best show of the day (ok, maybe a totally shattered Steve Earle playing an 11:30 AM acoustic set – just post rehab – to 25 people was a tie)

  29. You never come off that way to me, gregg. I love hearing people’s “war stories.”

  30. Saw that Costello show and agree with you. Also saw New Order and they couldn’t have seemed more bored. My wife saw a NY show where they played a short set because the crowd booed the opening act.

  31. I’ve told my New Order show story before, at which my friend Sethro and I were even more bored than the band. Terrible! It was so bad and so offensively devoid of any attempt at delivering the live goods that I sold the one New Order album I owned after that show.

Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube