“That Got Me To Thinkin’…?” “Concerts” Chapter 93
By Bruce Williams
I got my Foo Fighters cancellation notification while we were on vacation, and I was pretty bummed out. I never got to see them and now who knows (after the overdose of their drummer) if they’ll ever tour again? I’ll see Iron Maiden for a second time this year and Greta Van Fleet (my son’s favorite band—a Zeppelinesque young group out of Michigan) for the fourth go ‘round. I asked Brian Barge if he wanted to go see The Who when they come, but he declined, stating that Roger Daultry was “pushing 80.” Meanwhile, he’s on a golfing trip busy planting fake turds in the corners of his buddies’ bathrooms while they’re out (complete with a couple of squares of decorative TP), and we’re laughing like teenagers about it (we’re 55).
I think back to all the great shows I’ve seen—an unknown, young Soundgarden at The Moore who almost (literally) brought the house down with their “Big Dumb Sex” encore, as I held on for dear life in my balcony seats (scored at the last second) as the whole place shook violently. I went to see The Cult at the Seattle Coliseum in the ‘80’s when they were opening for an up-and-coming American metal band that went by the name of ‘Metallica.’ There was the AC/DC concert where a guy got stabbed (pre-metal detectors); the Judas Priest rockfest that featured a beer bottle tossing war when there was a delay to get into the Tacoma Dome; and the psychedelic-influenced Pink Floyd show with a giant inflatable pig.
I saw The Police right before they broke up and Stevie Ray Vaughan at The Gorge shortly prior to his death in a helicopter crash—my friend Watty won tickets on KISW’s Busload of Blues for that one. I got goosebumps when The Glorious Sons opened in the pitch dark with their slowly rolling, emotive hit “Pink Motel.” I got to watch my wife sparkle when I reluctantly agreed to a double date with her to a post-mullet Richard Marx performance at the Tulalip Casino (he wasn’t bad, but her giddy smiles were worth the price of admission). There was the time Def Leppard quit playing abruptly due to over-aggressive pushing in one of their first appearances after their drummer lost his arm.
U2, Peter Gabriel, the Scorpions (twice—Klaus Meine: “Are you ready to rock Tacomaaaahhh?!!”), Motley Crue, Kiss (Gene Simmons flicked his guitar pick at Permann and me), Queensryche. My first ever show was Devo at The Paramount (I was in junior high)—I caught a tossed flower pot hat and got to sing a few bars of “Jocko Homo” when Mark Mothersbaugh came down a rope from the balcony and thrust his mic into my face as I stood at my Row 6 aisle seat. At the time I thought all concerts must be like that and by ‘like that’ I meant completely awesome.
I survived the Porta Potty in the parking lot at a Maiden concert on an 85 degree day (there was a whole column about it that I scrapped because, well, it was just kind of gross), and a whole plethora of chemical enhancers that I’ve since left far behind like a dropped water ski at the start of a slalom (18 years last January). Not sure where I’m going with any of this…other than my love of music, the shared experience of it all, the randomness of crowd behavior, seeing the unexpected, et al. I love having a set of tickets on the horizon—a show to anticipate. And I definitely need to see Springsteen and Guns N’ Roses before they call it quits.
So that’s it for this week…my Foo lament taking me (us) down memory lane. Thanks to all of you who’ve been right there with me, gotten us tickets, came up with the idea to go or just listened in the car—a mutual bobbing of the heads, air drumming or guitaring, enthusiastic whip cracking or cow-belling. Go see as many shows as you can so when you’re old and crinkly you can think back and crack a smile while you simultaneously shake your head at the Tik Tokkers and Emos—the ‘New Country’ and Mumble Rap—and whatever other asininery that the following generations manage to come up with.