I was talking with an old friend the other day and we recalled the time Talking Heads came to Wellington, New Zealand, in 1979. My ONLY memories of that show are firstly that the band seemed really nervous, and secondly that someone in the audience yelled out “TINAAAA!!!” and Tina Weymouth looked slightly embarrassed. However my friend also recalled that she broke a string on her bass, and continued playing her bass parts on a guitar. I would have thought I’d remember that, being a musician myself. And thinking about it now – what band would do an international tour without either spare instruments or at least bass strings? (Mind you, bass strings rarely break).
Anyway it made me think about what I remember from concerts/gigs/shows I’ve seen in the past, and – I’ve noticed this before – often I remember very little, if anything, about them.
For example, Little Feat came to Wellington NZ in 1976. The only 2 things I remember are the giant cactuses on the stage, and the roadie who gave them all a towel as they walked off stage, and Kenny Gradney threw his back at him. I have no memory of the songs they played. Other people who were there have detailed recollections of the set list and so on.
Or, Led Zeppelin in Auckland NZ in 1972, the one thing I recall is Robert Plant saying “you’re all sitting down so we’ll sit down too” before the acoustic set. And I’ve since heard the bootleg and – wow, my memory is correct, that’s what he said.
Or, Frank Zappa, Auckland NZ January 1976. All I remember is FZ in a fireman’s helmet, and bass player Roy Estrada’s magnificent falsetto backing vocals.
The interesting, or tragic thing, is that I have no recollection of the musical details. And I’m a musician! I take notice of these things. But obviously don’t remember them.
And I should add the obvious comment – I was completely straight at all these events. I don’t smoke weed and never tried LSD (although I now know lots of people at those gigs did so). And while I do love a beer or a wine, back then there was no alcohol at gigs. Although I suppose people pre-loaded on flagons of DB lager before the show, or smuggled in something. I was a bit too innocent for all that.
So I’m interested in what you remember about gigs from the past. Not last week, but from decades ago, but possibly famous or formative gigs you went to