Saturday, January 12, 2008

Project Ticket Stub - 1985

Time to resume Project Ticket Stub. If you have been following along you might be looking for 1984, but no, I didn't see any concerts in 1984 (well, that may not be entirely true -- see below). 1984 was spent heads down finishing graduate school - finishing the research, writing the thesis, finishing classes, and finally defending the thesis. I completed everything in December, 1984 and moved back to NH (for good, so far) in January, 1985. And then the fun began...

David Bromberg, John Hartford, February 23, 1985 David Bromberg, John Hartford
The Bottom Line, New York, NY
February 23, 1985

Yes, yes, I know that the ticket says Doc Watson and John Hartford, but it really was a Bromberg and Hartford co-bill. Doc was sick and couldn't make the show, and David filled in for him. We didn't learn this until we were inside the legendary Bottom Line, but it was quite the welcome substitution.

This was my first and only time (so far?) attending a show at the Bottom Line, and was also my first Bromberg show. Although this is the first ticket I have with Hartford's name on it, I know that it wasn't my first Hartford show. The first time I saw John Hartford was sometime in 1983 or 1984 when I was down in Blacksburg, VA. We saw him at a small club that must have been somewhere in or around the Roanoke, VA area. I have a distinct memory of the inside of that small little club, at how happy I was to be seeing John Hartford (whom I had discovered through the record collection of Rob from Tennessee when I was in school in St. Louis), at who went to the show with me (graduate school friend Lt. Commander Steve Harris and his then wife Linda), and the best memory of all -- John signing the large poster I bought. To this day that same poster hangs framed in my den, alongside a signed Aero-Plain album sleeve; two very prized possessions.

Anyway, back to the Bottom Line... This was a co-bill, and I'm pretty sure Bromberg played the first set, and John played the second set. At least that's the way I remember it. No bands either - both of them played solo.

Grateful Dead, March 31, 1985 Grateful Dead
Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME
March 31, 1985

Wow, a long dry spell for Dead shows - my last Dead show was in August, 1982.

This was a general admission show, at least according to the ticket. I'm trying to remember where I may have ended up, but I really don't recall. DeadBase tells me that the second set ended with Day Tripper - I bet that was fun! And, oh no, yet another Useless Blues encore - that's six out of seven, for those keeping score at home. Ugh, is it any wonder I grew to hate that song?

Grateful Dead, June 30, 1985 Grateful Dead
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
June 30, 1985

My first outdoor Dead show, and oh what fun. Merriweather is a beautiful setting. This was the "We may be lost, but we're making damn good time" show. (Mark and Scott will remember that.) I remember a killer Looks Like Rain towards the end of the first set; to this day I love the emotion of that song. And yea, you guessed it -- U.S. Blues for the encore, making for a dismal seven out of eight shows.

Grateful Dead, July 1, 1985 Grateful Dead
Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
July 1, 1985

Do I remember this right? The June 30th show was a Sunday night (that's a fact) and was me, Mark, and Scott (and potentially others?). We must have spent the weekend in Atlantic City, at Scott's house and driven down to Merriweather before the show. And then we must have driven back to Atlantic City after the show - about a 180-mile drive each way.

Then, on Monday, July 1, just Scott and I drove back to Merriweather. Were the Monday night tickets a last minute acquisition? Why did Mark bail, some lame excuse like work? :-) I distinctly remember that we didn't take the same driving route as we did on Sunday. On Sunday we drove Atlantic City toward Philly, then down through Wilmington, MD, and on to Route 95 through Baltimore to Merriweather. But doing that again on Monday would have been boring and routine, so Scott and I drove south from Atlantic City to catch the Cape May ferry, then west across Delaware to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. That was fun - both catching the ferry, and the bay bridge. If you have never driven it, the Chesapeake Bay Bridge is an amazing engineering marvel.

As for the show, holy cow what a smoking second set: Scarlet > Fire, Playin' > Uncle John > Drumz > Mr. Fantasy > GDTRFB > Good Lovin! Wow. And for the encore, Satisfaction > Baby Blue! I went home happy!

Given that I came from NH, I figure I must have logged about 1,400 miles to see these two shows.

Live Aid, July 13, 1985 Live Aid
John F. Kennedy Stadium, Philadelphia, PA
July 13, 1985

It doesn't get any better than this. This concert, this whole weekend, goes right to my all-time top ten list. No questions asked. None needed.

Did Scott score the tickets for this? Whoever did, there's a bunch of us forever in their debt. We had a large group, and we used Scott's house in Atlantic City as the gathering point before the concert. Happy and Rae and Bill C must have been there. Was /Bill (slash Bill)? Mark, of course, and Scott. And others too distant to remember. I remember a multi-car caravan from Atlantic City to Philly, as well as one hell of a parking lot scene. Everybody knew this was something BIG, and the atmosphere was electric. And HOT. OMG, it was blazing hot that July weekend.

Where do you start when it comes to Live Aid? Ninety thousand strong in JFK Stadium that day. Joan Baez telling us that it was our Woodstock. Phil Collins playing first in Wembley and then flying across the Atlantic to play drums for the Led Zeppelin reunion. Crosby, Still, Nash, and Young! Mick Jagger and Tina Turner burning it up. Teddy Pendergrass being brought on stage in his wheelchair. Dylan, Keith Richard, and Ron Wood! From start to finish, it was mind boggling.

Favorite non-musical memory: Scott appearing through the crowd mid-afternoon with two big bags of ice over his shoulders. I don't know how he did it, but he somehow acquired them from a vendor. And they saved our lives. We weren't within reach of the large water hoses they were using to help cool down the poor folks on the field. Did I mention it was HOT?

Garrison Keillor, September 21, 1985 Garrison Keillor
The Wang Theatre, Boston, MA
September 21, 1985

OK, not really a concert, but I have a scanned ticket stub so I might as well include it. This was either at the Wang or at the Opera House, I can't remember which. And this was a benefit, as the ticket shows, but I don't remember what the benefit was for? Was it for the restoration of the Wang?

The night consisted of Garrison reading selections from his then recently published book, Lake Wobegon Days. I'm pretty sure I went with friends Chuck and Jan.

The Band, October 5, 1985 The Band
The Capitol Theatre, Concord, NH
October 5, 1985

My first visit to the Capitol Theater in Concord (now the Capitol Center for the Arts). This was the reunited Band (minus Robbie Robertson), and thankfully about six months before Richard Manuel's suicide. It was a rocking good night and just what you would want from The Band - a concert chock full of songs like The Shape I'm in, Stage Fright, The Weight, and Up On Cripple Creek.

Grateful Dead, November 4, 1985 Grateful Dead
The Centrum, Worcester, MA
November 4, 1985

And my year ended with a pair of Dead shows. First, Monday night in Worcester, where the highlight was the set 1 ending Might As Well. And yes, my bad luck with U.S. Blues encores resumed, now making it 8 out of my first 10 Dead shows.

Grateful Dead, November 5, 1985 Grateful Dead
The Centrum, Worcester, MA
November 5, 1985

And then Tuesday night in Worcester. Lots of highlights from this show, including They Love Each Other, Bird Song, and It Looks Like Rain all in the first set. The second started with the band playing Happy Birthday for Boston Celtic and legendary deadhead Bill Walton; the tall red head was quite easy to spot on the side of the stage all night long. The good thing about seeing back-to-back shows is no fear of another Useless Blues, but rather an achingly beautiful Brokedown Palace for the encore.

Bromberg, Hartford, The Band, five Dead shows, and Live Aid. 1985 was a very good year.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a great chronicle you have put together. I'm inspired to do the same now, having held on to (a few of) my ticket stubs.

Keep it coming.