Friday, August 17, 2007

Weekend Listomania (Video-enhanced Edition)

Well, it's Friday, and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental houseboy Hop-Sing and I are off to Branson, where we'll be competing in the finals of the big Mitzi Gaynor Impersonators Contest. Posting by moi will necessarily be sporadic for a few days while I attempt to wash the inscrutable little yellow devil out of my hair.

Meantime, here's a fun project for you all:

The Historic, Legendary and/or Infamous Rock Show You Most Regret NOT Having Witnessed!

I emphasize the NOT part here. If you were, say, lucky enough to have caught the young Nirvana rehearsing in Cobain's garage in 1988, gloat all you want in private, but save the one-upsmanship for a future list.

Okay. Here's my top choice --

The MC5 at Lincoln Park -- August 25, 1968, as part of the street protests during the Chicago Democratic Convention.

This video of the 5 doing their signature tune "Kick Out the Jams" is from two years later, but it does give an inkling of just what an incendiary outfit they were.



It is an interesting irony that the 5 were the only rock band with the cojones to actually show up in Chicago during that terrifying and violent moment in American history; better known groups of the day -- even the ones with revolutionary/political vibes, like Country Joe or the Airplane -- had other, ahem, priorities, it seems. And it is another interesting irony that Norman Mailer, and not some first generation rock crit like Robert Cristgau or Jon Landau, got to write the definitive review of the show.

Speaking of critics, Detroit native Dave Marsh has famously said that if the Stones and the MC5 -- at their performing peaks -- had ever been playing at bars on opposite ends of a street near his house on the same evening, he would unquestionably have opted to see his homeboys over the Brits. Unlike Marsh, I didn't grow up in Detroit, and I never saw the 5 in person (alas), but having caught last year's MC5 documentary A True Testimonial (if you can find a bootleg DVD of it, pounce) I think Marsh just may be on to something.

Anyway -- what's your pick?

[h/t the divine Brooklyn Girl, who's been around and seen a lot]

25 comments:

Isaac said...

From 1989 to 91 I lived in Paris and missed out on both the Cure and the Velvet Underground's free outdoor concerts there!

Anonymous said...

Aw, shucks ...

Anyway, Monterey Pop is definitely in my top 5, but I think I'll have to go with Bruce at the Bottom Line in 1975, if for no other reason than it was the critically pivotal point in his career and must have been a remarkable moment to experience.

And, since I walked past that club every day, it's also a reminder to "carpe diem" ...

Anonymous said...

Alas, I was only six years old and pooting around Lubbock, Texas, when The Who recorded Live At Leeds. I made up for it at age 14 with many air guitar sessions with that extra-long rendition of "My Generation."

However, while I was rocking my room, the Sex Pistols had begun their awesomely disastrous U.S. tour. Thus I missed getting my head caved in by Sid Vicious' bass guitar.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and while i still have awful noise and hostile crowds on my mind:

Despite being 10 years old at the time, I'd love to have been on scene for what became the Iggy & The Stooges' Metallic K.O. bootleg.

I just love the way he taunts the audience as they hurl things at him:

"You can throw all the bottles in the world, and your girlfriends will still love me!"

"I don't care if you throw all the ice in the world--you're paying five bucks and I'm making 10,000 baby! So SCREW ya!"

Slig said...

Had tickets for the first Lollapalooza tour (1991) in North Carolina (I think it was Raleigh). Middle of August though, so it was going to be sunny all day and close to 100F. So I called the venue and asked them if we could bring blankets, water, etc. and they said nope, nothin', not even umbrellas. So we said screw it and sold the tickets. Not sure if I exactly regret going, because it would not have been fun baking all day. But still, that was a pretty big thing to miss...

Kid Charlemagne said...

Mine are all punk related. I would have loved to have seen the Clash in 1997 on their "White Riot" tour. Or, the Buzzcocks at the same time in Manchester.

Anonymous said...

Hoo boy, as someone who collects bootlegs, there's a lot to choose from...
Mebbe the famous Who show where Moonie passed out onstage, and they pulled a drummer from the audience?
Bruce - "Fire On The Fingertips" - (Berkeley?) - the recording of which is so good that it makes me weep...
Beatles at The Star Club, so I could donate a decent soundboard to posterity.
I would have liked to have seen Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys or either of Miles Davis' classic quintets in their prime. And would have liked to have been present at the premiere of Stravinsky's "Rites of Spring." There are many more... - Bill Buckner

Anonymous said...

06-March-1978, Toronto, The El Mocambo:
Elvis Costello ... with Nick Lowe as the opening act.

TMink said...

I would have liked to seen Chicago when Terry Kath was alive and shredding.

It would have been great to see Hendrix at those shows where Bill Graham fussed at him for too much showboating, and Jimi did one show without moving, then played the next show whilst jumping around like a fool.

Trey

Anonymous said...

either REM on their Radio Free Europe single tour (the promoter told me I should go) or DEVO on the Are We Not Men tour. I had a class that night and passed the club on the way home and could have stopped

dave™© said...

I lived in the town that was the "official" home of Altamont Speedway in 1969 and didn't go to the show... of course, I was 11 years old!

Also, between 1977 and 1992 or so, I saw Elvis Costello every time he came to the Bay Area, except for the two most famous appearances: the one on the "Get Happy!" tour where he walked off the stage at Berkeley Community after 45 minutes and the three-night run at the Warfield with the "Big Wheel" of hits.

dave™© said...

06-March-1978, Toronto, The El Mocambo: Elvis Costello ... with Nick Lowe as the opening act.

Saw that show in June at Winterland.

Most excellent!

Kid Charlemagne said...

Oh, I remember one!

The Move at the Marquee around 1966 or so when they smashed TVs on stage.

Anonymous said...

Well, I’ve been thinking about it and that’s a great pick, Steve. It reminded me of what an important force music was back then … full of passion, commitment, intensity, freedom, inventiveness … and how integral it was to the times. The choice of the MC5 show captures one of the most definitive events of them all … I could go on and on about the late ‘60s but I’ll control myself.

Anonymous said...

I've just gotten into the MC5 in the past few months and what a great band they were. I think nobody combined free jazz and anarchic rock better than they did. But my choice would be The Band, New Year's Eve 1971 at the Academy of Music in NYC, which later became the live album Rock of Ages. I think that one concert was their peak and I'll bet it really felt like you were at the center of the world there that night. Then Dylan comes out for the encore.

Mike said...

How about the rooftop concert?

For a non-rock show, I'd love to have been at Carnegie Hall in '38 to see that legendary Benny Goodman show. Every time I hear something from that concert, it sounds like everybody is absolutely losing their minds.

steve simels said...

My second choice is Jimi Hendrix at the Steve Paul Scene club in 1968. According to at least one Jim Morrison biography -- and this is one of those urban legends that everybodys heard, except that apparently it's true -- old Jimbo was there, drunk as a skunk, and slithered on stage to actually blow Jimi in mid-solo during a late-night jam session.

Supposedly there's even a bootleg...

steve simels said...

dave™© said...

06-March-1978, Toronto, The El Mocambo: Elvis Costello ... with Nick Lowe as the opening act.

Saw that show in June at Winterland.

Most excellent!


NO GLOATING!!!

Seriously -- sometime in the future, we'll do Incredibly Cool Show That I Saw and You Didn't.

Anonymous said...

I would be a pinhead if I didn't offer, in honor of Steve Simels, a Zappa & The Mothers show at the Rainbow Theatre, Finsbury Park, London, December 10th.

During the encore, a guy rushed the stage, punched Frank, and he fell in the orchesta pit:

"The band thought I was dead." says Frank in The Real Frank Zappa Book. "I had fallen fifteen feet down into a concrete-floored orchestra pit, my head was over on my shoulder and my neck was bent like it was broken. I had a gash in my chin, a hole in the back of my head, a broken rib and a fractured leg. One arm was paralyzed."

In an interview I saw somewhere, Mr. Zappa said that his larynx had been crushed and that after recovering his voice was lower by a third.

mcpart said...

The Clash at the Palladium 1979
Bob Dylan and the Band, Basement of Big Pink, Summer 1967
The Beatles at the Kaiserkeller Club, 1960

Why not regret the best?

Anonymous said...

I waited for hours online for tickets to the Concert for Bangla Desh -- Ticketron broke down after the 4th person got tickets!

The Beatles anywhere, anytime.

The Elton John MSG show, Thanksgiving '74, when Lennon joined him for 3 songs.

The 1-on-1 concert with Lennon & Elephant's Memory.

Dylan & the Band -- '66.
Dylan & the Band -- comeback tour '74.

Never saw Zeppelin. I was an idiot.

I was planning to see Morphine in the late 90s right when we heard the bandleader had died. Sigh.

And in honor of the anniversary of the great man's death, I would give anything to have seen the Marx Brothers on Broadway!!

dave™© said...

...sometime in the future, we'll do Incredibly Cool Show That I Saw and You Didn't.

It's funny, because at the time, I hardly knew anyone that even cared about that show. I don't think it even rated a review in the SF Kronk.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

U2 on their first tour- they played Headliners, I think, in Madison and the crowd was insatiable- they only knew the songs in their single set, so they just played them all twice.

XTC opening for the Police. At the Barrymore in Madison.

Any Warren Zevon show.

Ultrasound.

Too Much Joy playing the 2 Live Crew show in Florida so they could get arrested.

Avedon said...

Well, I had to see the Stones in RFK stadium, which was not a cosy environment. Not a bad show, just...lacked intimacy.

MC5 at the Fillmore East, on the other hand....

Well, in the end, Bill Graham went around personally asking people if we wouldn't like to leave, one by one. Because when they screamed, "Kick out the jams, motherfucker!" everyone did, and it got a bit hairy in there.

Anonymous said...

There are some really great Branson shows to see!