On yesterday’s post about the wrong words to songs, Mindful said this:
I actually saw the Kingsmen in the early 70s (whatever the lineup was by then) at a friend’s college homecoming. In the acoustically awful gym. With it cranked up too high to make out the words. So it was perfect Louie Louie.
That got me to thinking of my first concert.It was in 1965.My friend from 4H invited me to come with his family to the Rockford YWCA to see a Chicago band named The New Colony Six.It was in the gym and the band was on the stage,dressed in their Paul Revere and the Raider-type outfits.There were a number of Chicago bands who had local hits,like the Buckinghams and the Cryan Shames.Everybody knew the big time bands,like Chicago(originally Chicago Transit Authority,whose first gig was at bar near where I lived called the Cinnamon Cinder in 1967)and,of course,Styx.Any group who had a record tried to get it played on the midwest powerhouse,WLS 890AM.I started listening to it on my 6 transistor radio when I was about 13.
The only bands I heard in college were REO Speedwagon,all music students from the University of Illinois,who were doing a gig at the National Guard Armory with The Chambers Brothers.We also saw a texas band called Bloodrock.I was dating a girl who was a senior at Northern Illinois University in 1972 and she was on the ticket committee.They had mini-concerts,with the likes of Joan Baez and Mountain(Mississippi Queen).
The big concert was held at the NIU Fieldhouse and starred Reginald Dwight…also known as Elton John.It was just before his Honky Chateau album came out.I got to go to the after-party(at the Holiday Inn,where else?) and never heard anybody swear as much as Elton did.There was so much pot being smoked at the concert you could get a contact high.
Those were great times.A lot of happy memories of where you were and what you were doing when you first heard a song.It was fun.Surfin’,hot rods,losing a girlfriend,Motown,all harmless and it made you feel better about everything.So sad that what passes for music today celebrates violence,the degradation of women and blatant drug use.You don’t hold somebody when you dance.The dances today are close to what we used to call foreplay.
I would be remiss not to mention Rockford’s own hometown heroes,Cheap Trick.Rick Neilsen’s parents were both music teachers and owned the biggest music store in town.I remember sitting across the street on a Saturday afternoon watching a big U-Haul being loaded with amps and equipment from the store.At that time,their name was The Fuse.I actually had a music appreciation class at Rock Valley Junior College with Nielsen.I worked my tail off,got a “C”.He showed up for class about twice and aced it.Go figure.The drummer,Bun E. Carlos,(real name:Brad Carlson) went to Harlem High School with my child bride.He was class of 1967,same as her.
Times change,music changes.I haven’t listened to music since the hair metal days of the 80’s.(yeah,I listened to disco in the 70’s,but I won’t admit it.)but it is what it is,I guess.My grandkids think I’m a little strange,but their grandkids will probably think the same thing.
THIS IS THE STATION ALL YOUNG KIDS LISTENED TO: