Dennis Rudolph – my concert buddy – when I lost Dennis, I kinda lost music. When I got Dennis back, I didn’t get music back, that took much longer.

Lately I’ve been remembering all those concerts. Dennis – do you remember discovering The Alarm standing three feet away from them when they opened for U2? Then a bit later, the only person I’ve been so physically close to is my daughter when she was within my womb. After The Alarm left the stage and people began pushing their way forward to get closer to U2. you asked me if I wanted to fight for our position (it was an amazing spot – three feet away in the center-as you so eloquently put it “We can see up their noses.”), put your arms around me, and my feet didn’t touch the floor until we were around twenty feet back. It was an ocean swell of people pushing. I didn’t know it was possible for a mass of humanity to pick me up and deposit me twenty feet away, and it was scary. And thank you for keeping me safe. We were still in the center, and U2 was truly amazing. Was that the last time Bono did his running around and surfing the crowd? We were both taken aback when he threw himself off the balcony and into the crowd below.

And how many times did we see U2 that year? Three???

What about the US Festival? Man! I am so sorry I didn’t know anything at all about sunscreen and we left in the middle of David Bowie’s set – walking backwards and wishing we weren’t leaving. I am so sorry I didn’t just sit on the ground with my head in my arms and let you enjoy him. Then you made it all better for me later by bringing me with you (and that chick – was it Lisa???) to see him when The Gogo’s opened. Wasn’t there a third band that night? Were The Talking Heads there??? You have a much better memory than I have. Thank you for that concert. That was an interesting night, and what’s-her-name was – well, you know.

The US Festival! We were actually there. People still talk about it – it has achieved mythic status – why didn’t we go to all three days? When Berlin performed, they moved into a whole new place. Hey! Did you ever watch that show Bands Reunited? Some dude (I know you’d know who he is) decided to try and get all of his favorite bands together to play a gig – so he got Berlin together – it was pretty cool. In the process, both John Crawford and Teri Nunn both talked about that day and that Festival. Wow.

Then there was the Toy Dolls, Suicidal Tendencies concert (and a bunch of other bands). Once again you saved me from the crowd: One band played – I can’t remember their name  (tell me who it was)! – but someone played, and we were in the second row. It was pretty awesome. Then the second band started, and the mosh pit opened up in front of us… Punks streaming over our heads, not worried about where they put their boots – once again, you put your arms around me and covered me so that their boots stomped on YOUR back!

Oh! And Steve Taylor – all those Christian Rock Concerts – remember taking my camera and walking across the football field – and there was only one shot left in the camera so I chased you and the security guard let me go backstage too??? That was fun. Randy Stonehill and others that day.

I miss you, dude. But then I missed you when we were still going to concerts 😉

2 thoughts on “Concerts

  1. Good times, good memories. Concert buddies, I think we called each other back then, though we were the best of friends already. I know, though, that I was a bit of an a-hole then, but didn’t know it yet, or why.

    In my memory the summer of 1983 was a tremendously magickal time for music. It’s when the “new wave” truly crested. The Big Bang that set that summer off was the Us Festival… When I got tickets they cost some outrageous price like close to $20 each, a bit steep for me then, so I picked the day with U2. You had heard Berlin before, maybe on the radio, & mentioned looking forward to them. They were the second act that morning & truly brilliant. A couple acts later U2 came on, and did one truly amazing and inspiring performance. After that the music was still good, but didn’t reach that level again until Bowie came out and smiled. The memory of that still brings tears to my eyes.

    We saw U2 twice that year, first at the Us Festival & then a couple weeks later at the Sports Arena. Surprise, tickets were still on sale at the box office when we got there. Well, they were kind of expensive, around $13 or $14 each as I recall. Righteous bucks, then. After we had moved out of the crush to the middle of the crowd, we were still pretty close to the stage by Sports Arena standards; I don’t think the floor was even half way filled. That was the show where, afterwards, the rest of the band got all over Bono’s case for doing the balcony drop & subsequent crowd-surf back to the stage. According to an interview I read about a year later they were concerned he may kill himself and leave his band without a singer, so he agreed to not do things like that any more. He kept that promise, and the next time U2 came through town, on the Unforgettable Fire tour, he stayed pretty much in one spot on the stage… and sold out the Sports Arena. U2 v.1 truly ended that night in June of 1983.

    When we saw Bowie at Angel Stadium it was Jill who came with us. Madness opened (Our House was a KROQ hit at the time), followed by the Go-Gos. Bowie was on the Serious Moonlight Tour, so the Go-Gos billed their opening under that as the Serious Barbecue Tour.

    I never saw the Bands Reunited TV show, though I’ve heard it inspired some good groups, like A Flock of Seagulls, to give it another go. Berlin, too, huh? Saw Berlin again in 2005, with Bow Wow Wow opening (Anabella was still singing for BWW then). I think Terri had new musicians with her already, though it was still a good show. Richard Blade introduced them, and between songs Terri mentioned that she and Blade had dated in the early 80s.

    The Toy Dolls/Suicidal T show in January 84! Stalag 13 opened, and the crowd just stood there. No applause between songs, no response. I was in awe of what I was seeing and hearing. We were sitting in the second row at Perkin’s Palace. At some point, don’t remember when, a song began and the crowd standing in the front spontaneously exploded. A pit suddenly formed, and escaping punks who didn’t want to be part of it were climbing over the chairs and over us. You were screaming, and I was laughing like a hyena. The whole night was a musical revelation to me, and changed my life as much as the entire previous summer had, musically & culturally… punk hadn’t died in the 70s, but had definitely decayed in an interesting way!

    In retrospect, the most interesting act of that night for me was the Toy Dolls. That music still stands up & I still enjoy listening to that first album they were supporting and playing from that night. Olga was an awesome front man.

    It had begun with those Christian rock shows a couple years or so before, some of which we went to with a girl named Jackie that we knew. Yeah, I remember taking your camera & wheedling my way backstage to take pictures. Stonehill, Sweet Comfort, Steve Taylor… Kerry Livgren’s A.D. I think, too, at one of those shows. After the summer of 83 I didn’t think much about the “Christian music” that had dominated my stereo before… I think the only band I still listened to from that time was Daniel Amos.

    There’s a group on Facebook called I listened to KROQ in the early 80’s. A friend of Bret’s moderates it, and a question came up there a few weeks ago for people to reminisce about and respond to if they liked… What was the first new wave/post-punk album you got? Devo’s Q: Are We Not Men A: We are DEVO was probably the most common reply in the comments. I thought about it, and realized that for me the answer would be DA’s Alarma in 1981. Remembering that brought up mixed feelings… it was a very cool album, and the entire Alarma Chronicles still stands up… And, looking at the progression of the Chronicles from Alarma through Fearful Symmetry, I see that the first album was addressed to “the church”… it functioned a bit like Franky Schaeffer’s book Addicted to Mediocrity did, as a wake up call to people lost in church. In the case of DA, I came to think of it partly as New Musik for Church Kids. Their records & shows mostly got lost in the evangelical ghetto of the time, and I still feel they deserved better. Yet for me it worked… it helped wake me up to a new world of music, fashion and art.

    I never did comment on that FB post.

    Thank you, Kathy, for sharing that time with me. I’m sorry for the times I was too self absorbed to be the kind of friend I wish I had been… it was a few years before I began to wake up to what-the-fuck-is-going-on in my life and the big questions (which had little to do with Arthur Blessitt’s “Big Question”) got answered rather spontaneously. By that time I had lost my religion & began to discover Jesus at a level I only hoped for when lost in Literalist Christianity. The early 80s were a time of cultural awakening, and I’m glad we shared so much of that.

    We’ve missed a couple of our Xmas Starbucks get togethers. I still have a Xmas present I got for you almost three years ago. Sometime soon we have to make up for that… things are very busy here this summer, so maybe in the early fall?

    • Bowie’s smile – yeah. Can’t even think of a comment on that smile. I would walk over glass for that man because of that smile. He kinda taught me what Chrisma meant.

      Madness! Ah ha!!!. Awesome 😀 I don’t know why my memory is so ridiculous – but I’m glad you have one! Try to find Bands Reunited somehow – Youtube??? Every single show I saw was awesome! I wish I had realized it was happening and had been in the audience! Darn it! (However, I probably wouldn’t have made it, ’cause of the stupid health thing that was making me not go anywhere or do anything without knowing why).

      I remember Stalag 13 – I was amazed that the audience wasn’t more into them as I recall (Thanks again for having a memory of names and stuff). I do NOT remember screaming! I DO remember you laughing and protecting me!! Dude – I had no idea I was there when you changed! Cool. It seems as if I was there for many of your revelations and didn’t know it. Toy Dolls was the band that stood out for me then and continued to for these past decades.

      Jackie. That’s her name! If that’s the girl I’m remembering. The one who asked me to embroider a unicorn for her and when I gave it to her, instead of paying me, gave me a to be crocheted unicorn package 😦 She also had a kid later, right?

      Stonehill was so nice that night. The greatest guys were Sweet Comfort, though. They were kind – they talked with us – one of them had a kid… we got some good shots. Do you want me to try and find them for you??? I saw Daniel Amos several times after that. Met them – they were kind, too – took a picture with me (I think that was at a Knotts Berry show). Enjoy their music still.

      Honey, you were forgiven at the point you were still being an ass! (I really enjoyed writing that). The weirdest time was when you were going through that “The Wall” phase… odd.

      I’m glad we shared so much, too. You have no idea, but the only reason I have a college education is because of you. I tell my students that every year, but I don’t think I’ve told you. Even though I had college educated parents, they weren’t so great at helping me figure stuff out. I am so afraid of new things, I would never have gotten to CSULA if you hadn’t driven me down there and walked me through the process. So thank you for my career!!! It’s where I am meant to be 😀

      Is it still early Fall? Let’s get together soon, okay?

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