Well, maybe I can begin to tell you. So I am going to start a short series of posts where I will go into excruciating detail about stuff that I thought was funny and/or noteworthy at shows I've been to in the past. OK?
Sonic YouthI was at a Sonic Youth show at the Roseland Ballroom in NYC some time back in the early 90's with my friend Dave and his girlfriend at the time. She was nice. But she wore like a "little black dress" that would have been more appropriate at a lounge or club than a Sonic Youth show. Anyway. Roseland Ballroom is exactly what the name says...a former ballroom. It's got this series of old iron railings around the perimeter of the old dance floor.
We were hanging in the back of the old dance floor...away from the inevitable moshing that was going to take place closer to the stage. This was just after the "Dirty" album came out and Kool Thing, from their previous album "Goo", was probably their biggest "hit".
When they started this one up, Dave's girlfriend was sitting on the old railing hanging onto one its posts. Well, the whole crowd...I mean the WHOLE CROWD...immediately started to mosh together. Even us old farts in the back. We were instantly separated from Dave's girlfriend on the railing by about 50 feet. We were kind of stuck in that old punk paradigm. Everybody moves...nobody gets hurt!
At one point, I took a look back and I see Dave's poor girlfriend hanging on to her post for dear life while the entire audience swirled and moshed around her. Seriously, all I could think of was Billy Crystal up in that small tree in City Slickers during the stampede scene.
After the crowd calmed down, we made our way back to her. She was crying and really fucking pissed.
I don't think that relationship lasted very much longer. Don't worry. Dave's happily married with two little ones. And our moshing days are long gone. Sigh.
Alice DonutFor a few years, CBGB's was a favorite hangout of mine. I would head there after work on a weeknight with a friend of mine just to catch some great music and hang with the weirdos.
On one such evening, a few us us went to go see a NYC punk band called Alice Donut perform. I had one of their albums and I really dug some of their stuff. They had the longest title to a song that I had ever seen. It was called "The Son of a Disgruntled X-Postal Worker Reflects on His Life While Getting Stoned in the Parking Lot Behind a Winn-Dixie While Listening to Metallica as Loud as He Can" or something like that.
Anyway. The show was boss! Everyone was having a great time. Then they took a little break which afforded us some time to booze it up at the bar.
Then we noticed the drummer from the band come in the front entrance holding a trombone high above his head. As he made his way through the crowd, you couldn't help but be drawn to him. He was carrying a freakin' trombone, fer crissakes!
He gets to the stage and the spotlight hits him. Just him. The rest of the band is still on break. He warms up a bit and then he starts to play. Softly at first, but gradually getting louder. We all recognize the tune...and it's AWESOME!
He's doing a solo of "Helter Skelter" by the Beatles! And it kicked ass! When he got to the "Do you don't you want me to love you" section, he was blasting it out...rocking on his heels! I still hear it in my brain whenever I come across the original version.
It was such a weird and wonderfully unexpected moment at an otherwise fairly normal punk show. Love it!
Next: The Cramps and The Voluptuous Horror of Karen Black (intrigued?)