Friday, June 27, 2014
Our Debut Concerts
LUCY BURDETTE: Loni Emmert asked this question on Facebook last week (thank you Loni!) and I knew we would have fun discussing it here: What was the first concert you ever attended?
And I am chagrined to have to say: The Monkees! (Couldn't it have been something uber-cool like the Beatles or the Rolling Stones?) But I was a teenager, madly in love with Micky Dolenz. And tickets to the 1967 Monkees concert in Detroit were what I wanted for my birthday most of all.
Earlier that year, my best friend and I had slaved for hours to make Micky a "party kit" to celebrate his birthday. We'd made crepe paper party hats, and lord knows what other homemade gifts, and packed it off to his fan club address. I did get a signed photo back from the club. But I suspected he was waiting to give me a shout-out from the stage...
I don't remember much about the concert--except that we screamed and screamed. And even though it isn't listed on the set, I'm certain that Davy Jones dropped to one knee and crooned "The day we fall in love." The memory still sets my young-girl heart aquiver…
HALLIE EPHRON: Mine was pretty amazing. It was at the Hollywood Bowl Sept. 3, 1965, Bob Dylan made his Bowl debut as the opening act for Joan Baez. I was singing folk songs and learning guitar, and I am chagrined to admit that I did not get Dylan, not one bit. (A few years later I saw Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin at the Filmore in SF and was similarly baffled.)
JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Lucy, I have to admit, my first concert was similarly dorky: at the age of fifteen, my best friend and I went to see Barry Manilow when he came to Syracuse. The tickets must have been a present from my parents, as I had spent all my allowance money on Barry Manilow records. Oh, my, how we screamed and sighed. He was so slim and cute and he had the fluffiest, most perfectly-blown-out seventies hair ever.
Most memorable concert? Going to see the Grateful Dead in college and discovering AFTER I had gotten through security that one of my friends had hidden his stash in my purse.
HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: My very first? Well, my father was the music critic for the Chicago Daily news, and when I was pretty young, like, five, he would take me to the symphony. Was I well behaved? I guess so...since he kept taking me. But apparently there was one memorable (for Dad) occasion where I must have been fidgeting and the man in front of us turned around and said: "Please keep that child quiet." And it was Yul Brynner!
And I would have loved to see the Monkees!
But my first real concert as a separate person was the Beatles at the Indianapolis Coliseum, a huge arena usually used for cows. I cried for DAYS. Before, during, and after.
One of the most memorable: some college pals and I sneaked off campus (in Ohio) and drove to Chicago to see Crosby, Still and Nash. They sang for a while, and it was great..and then they said: we'd like to introduce you to another guy who sings with us sometimes. And out came Neil Young!
And then they sang Suite Judy Blue Eyes...and out came Judy Collins!
And all the while, my parents thought I was in class.
RHYS BOWEN: My first concert on my own was when my friend and I went to see the Rolling Stones. It was in a not too impressive hall, so they can't have been that well established, and the group that opened for them--well, they were terrible. It was Tom Jones and I believe they were called The Squires. I was amazed when he became a star later, but I have to admit he did improve with time.
But other types of concerts--my aunt was a huge theater buff and took me to opera, musicals etc when I was quite young. I saw Rigoletto at twelve and cried my eyes out because it was so sad.
DEBORAH CROMBIE: My first concert WAS the Beatles--on their first US tour in 1963, at the Dallas Convention Center, with my best friend, Franny, and a bunch of other girls from our 6th grade class. I have no idea now how we got tickets, or whose parents took us (certainly not mine...) We were on the 12th row, center. Could we see anything? NO. Everyone stood on their chairs, and I was short. Hear anything? NO. Non-stop screaming from the minute they took the stage until the end of the concert. Still, it was something never to be forgotten. Now I think, poor guys, having to play city after city to a bunch of hysterical screaming girls... No wonder they got tired of it.
Most memorable concerts from the last few years? The Police reunion tour. And Paul McCartney, a couple of years ago. Dallas was the last stop on his tour, and you could tell when he walked out on the stage that he was exhausted. But then the audience started cheering and clapping, and you could just see him taking in all that love and energy, absorbing it. He played his heart out for three hours--three hours!!-- and every second was fabulous. Still gives me chills just thinking about it.
SUSAN ELIA MACNEAL: OMG, Debs, the Beatles? Wow. <fans self> OK, I think my first concert was Sonny and Cher. (No, I'm not joking. I was fairly young.) The most memorable is a toss-up between two. First is opera singer Leontyne Price at Artpark (outside on a perfect summer night under the stars — she finished with Gershwin's "Summertime"). And also Madonna's Blond Ambition Tour. (Anyone remember that? It was the one made infamous by the Gaultier cone bra.) It was amazing and life-changing. (Seriously. I'm being serious here, folks. I think Madonna is a fabulous performance artist. Seriously.)
Reds, do you remember your first concert? Are you willing to tell us about it??
And just for fun, here's Kaye Barley's Memory Quilt, made from the concert t-shirts she scored over the years!