KEVIN PATRICK HODGKISS

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KEVIN PATRICK HODGKISS

As the final notes of Prince’s NOTHING COMPARES TO YOU cascaded into the foggy air surrounding the hillside, a gaggle of geese serenaded us. The bagpiper who accompanied us for the morning, slowly walked away leaving us to experience the beautiful music that nature now segued into our day. We remained virtually silent, knowing it was so apropos, almost as if the great disc jockey now residing in heaven, known to his friends as Kevin and our family as Patty, had planned this sonic event.

In a few hours it will be one full week since I received the phone call. While in the back of my mind I knew that one day the dreaded phone call would be received yet when you receive it one is never fully prepared. With my eyes full of tears, with my hands trembling I hung up the phone and told my wife we needed to head home. The 700 mile journey north was rain filled as if the heavens felt our pain and needed to cry.

The next call was received during our journey, the call I dreaded most, my baby brother left us. His pain has ended, his fight over. His love endures, forever.

The first signs of illness for my brother occurred about 1977 when he was 25 years old. His kidneys for whatever reason stopped working. Medicine prescribed at that time was heavy doses of a diaretic which did not work. At that time he was working upstate New York as an elementary teacher, 11 hours from his home base, Mom and Dad’s place on Long Island. He drove home, never stopping once to relieve himself as his kidney function was non-existent. Arriving at our childhood home he beeped the horn of his yellow Volkswagon continuously until our father realized it was my brother’s call for help. Dad had to physically help him out of the car as Pat’s (which we called him) legs and lower body were fully swollen making him unable to walk. My brother was rushed by my father to the hospital where the staff had to cut his pants off of his swollen legs before any treatment could take place.

Diagnosed with the non-permanent kidney dysfunction the appropriate medicine was administered and after a few days my brother was home with my parents recovery. Follow up appointments were made and during one routine examination a lump was found on the left hand side of my brother’s neck. He was scheduled for surgery the morning of New Years Eve day. That night we expected to see the rockabilly act Robert Gordon. I still have the tickets. The phone call came for my brother about 6 o’clock that evening when he informed me that the diagnosis was Hodgkin’s disease.

It’s been a long haul for him since then, having had to experience not only radiation treatments but two separate extensive Chemotherapies over the subsequent years, one which was quite experimental for its time. Life expectancy was 14 to 20 years so I should be happy he beat those odds, but I’m not. Seems the chemo eventually wore away the walls of his heart, the organ not his spirit, a side effect which was never anticipated. Hey, he was’t supposed to last this long so the doctor’s of Hodgkin’s disease assumed when they administered the chemo but they never met my brother, the fighter.

Forty-one years later we bury my brother on a beautiful hillside in his adopted home of New Paltz ,New York. That man lived life to the fullest and it was obvious by the love and admiration he received, the tributes paid to him during this past week. One only had to see the line at the funeral home on Valentine’s Day no less, the church filled with people, the recessional of The Beatles LET IT BE played and sung by the pianist,and the line of cars in procession to his final resting place. Oh, this is all so appropriate and so my brother.

His lovely wife and two sons, his family and friends, we will miss him. Blizzard his dog is still waiting by the front door. The sound of his voice might be gone, his physical presence no longer to be seen, but his spirit and enthusiasm will never leave us.

God take you into heaven, Kevin Patrick, and look down smiling, knowing how much you impacted us with your love.

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THE GRAMMY’S 2018

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The Grammy’s

For what seemed like in ages I finally succumbed to my inner child instincts hoping to be musically entertained and watched that dreaded awards program known as THE GRAMMY’S. I do like James Corden who except for the fact of he being a budding star on the sponsoring network got the gig to host this year’s extravaganza and to top it off with me being a New Yorker I was pleased to hear that the awards would be given out on the stage of what is known as THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA. In this sacred hall I viewed many an event (The Doors, Blind Faith, Led Zeppelin, etc, etc.) and I am sure that being on the stage of this particular arena appealed to many of the performers, presenters, recipients and the spectators.

The hubbub which surrounds this particular genre of awards perplexes me,that is, Song, Record, Album, etc OF THE YEAR actually means nothing and is quite subjective. Aren’t these categories one in the same? Meaning, the “album” is a collection of tunes AKA “songs” which are sequenced on a collection known as an “album”. If you win “song of the year” I surmise one would also take home “record of the year” AND have a good shot but not necessarily winning “album of the year”. Here’s where it all gets muddy for me. Example, BRUNO MARS wins an armful of statuettes and probably rightfully so, however let me be honest to state I do not own the collection for which we speak but do enjoy Bruno Mars talents. Yet the critics of the show are complaining that JAY-Z was shut out, and so and so didn’t get that award, etc.etc.

Next up is the censorship of songs. If an artist performs his/her (mostly guys this year) tune live, as a recreation of the recorded song AND that song has profanity or racial slurs, or inappropriate in mixed company whatever, that tune should be broadcast as such and the network should not censored it. This morning I read an article proclaiming a mother’s indignation at all the “bleeps” and then Mom found out her 12 year old daughter knew (and uses) all the words when the youngster sings the tune in the privacy of her room.

And finally, to the performers,especially Sting, U-2, Sir Elton, Patti LaPone, come on folks, take a bow, a bow out. The audience, me especially, would have been better served listening to a newer artist, without the censorship. Unfortunetly, THE GRAMMY’S is run by aging white dudes about my age and as a result the show will lose their intended audience: the young consumers of the new music.

So as a result I say, “goodnight” to the GRAMMY’S and I’ll probably never return but unfortunately neither will the record buying public.

jazzbus@gmail.com

The Brand vs The Cover Band with the rights

THE BRAND vs THE COVER BAND with THE RIGHTS

Recently I spotted an ad for tickets to see BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS featuring BO BICE(of AMERICAN IDOL fame) at a local venue and wondered…BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS? Where’s Al Kooper ? Where’s David Clayton Thomas? Not being historical naive of BS&T I knew what happened to Al, and the tenure(s) of DCT but WHO ARE THESE GUYS calling the band BS&T?

This tidbit is taken directly from the band’s website:

Will Blood, Sweat & Tears have any of the original members?

“Not a chance,” says Colomby, who last performed with BS&T in 1976. I think of this band like baseball’s Yankees. “When you’re at a Yankee game you’re not going to see Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle or Lou Gehrig. What you do come to expect is a team of top-notch players upholding a tradition of winning. That’s the Yankee legacy. It what people expect from BS&T as well… brilliant musicians, singers, songs and arrangements.

Yo Bobby,who are you talking to? Not me….I understand the makings of a baseball franchise with the aging of players,the changing rosters,the numerous trades, etc, but to think of music your way leaves me a bit confused. If I go see the Stones,The Zombies, or some other band from that era then I expect the performers on stage to be a true representation of that band. Yes, as you say, “the musicians, singers, songs and arrangements”. But at least give me a band with a few notable members, preferably the singer, maybe the premier guitarist, etc.

Tommy James and The Shondells, hell Tommy better be there and singing. Alice Cooper…Alice is up on the stage. But this “brand” shit has got me confused.An ad for TEN YEARS AFTER at BB KING’S in NYC showed a photo of the band which included CHICK CHURCHELL, RIC LEE and two non-descript gentleman posing for LEO LYONS and ALVIN LEE. Hey folks, ALVIN LEE is dead and LEO is retired so we are left with the drummer and keyboardist, both who do not sing. The show is listed as “TEN YEARS AFTER- The Name Remains The Same”. Needless to say I did not go.

I remember a few years back when Butch Trucks was steering the ship known as THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND, he stated that he could foresee a time when a group of musicians, none an original member/shareholder of the namesake, would hit the road as THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND and to paraphrase what Butch said “play like The DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA would without Duke, you know just the music of…” .

Maybe I’m mistaken but I wouldn’t pay a dime to see BS&T with Bo or the ALLMAN BROTHERS without GREGG or THE ZOMBIES with ROD ARGENT or COLIN BLUNSTONE.

Now in Australian another phenomena is occurring with a band known as THE LITTLE RIVER BAND. Currently on tour is a conglomerate of musicians calling themselves LRB, none an original member, while the originals are suing to get their name back and the originals are forbidden to tour as LRB because the manager “owns the brand”. WTF? Another one which gets my goat is Mike Love as THE BEACH BOYS. Okay, I’ll give you he was/is an original member and sang a few notable tunes.

So I offer the following musical band member ratio: You need a portion of the “notable sound” to represent the band. TYA without ALVIN LEE is not a true representation of the band… If you are self-titled, hence, CROSBY,STILLS,NASH and YOUNG, then you NEED them all.Imagine STEPHEN STILLS next tour billed as CROSBY STILLS and NASH with only STILLS up there, nah.Or JIM MESSINA touring as BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD.

BS&T had 8 original members for the first album. After a few left newer members joined in, totaling nine (9) for the second album which won the GRAMMY for “Album of the Year” over ABBEY ROAD. David Clayton Thomas was the new lead singer at that moment in time but was not the leader of the band as drummer BOBBY COLUMBY took over the reins. Bobby quit performing with the band in 1976 and is listed as “owner” of the band as it continues to tour world wide without a single original member being present. Sorta like BEATLEMANIA, a “true recreation of The Fab Four”. Geez.

VINYL, JUST VINYL FROM NOW ON

Vinyl, just vinyl from now on

Oh, vinyl records why did I leave you? I question myself every single time I place the stylus down. First, I weaned off vinyl for a short affair with cassettes in the late sixties. Cassettes, you know that plastic do-hickey which had to be constantly rewound if not played all the way through. And then you could never find that one song, the one which had to be located in the middle of the tape somewhere on side 1. Yet in 1968 I was convinced by the head honchos from BASF at Dubbings Electronics that cassettes would destroy the 8 track tape AND vinyl recordings industries. Cassettes were the wave of the future or so they thought. Hey, we at DUBBINGS made one million cassettes of THE BEATLES (White album) for shipment the same day as the vinyl was to be released. So it was about that time that a slight wink was given to cassettes, an every so slight wink.

Yes, I still bought vinyl records by the armful. Every Saturday mornings would be spent scouring the record racks of the local record stores. My vinyl collection soon hit the thousands. Everything imaginable was there, everything except Opera. Folk, jazz, blues, Americana, rock, hard rock, metal, Beatles, Stones, picture discs, colored vinyl disks, collectibles, cut-outs, you name it I bought it, all safely stored on aluminum shelving, in alphabetical order for easy retrieval.

It was an impressive sight to behold until the storm, one of those great hurricanes. It wasn’t so much the storm wind as it was the electric going out and the water slowly rising in my basement a few days later. With no electric my pumps would not pump. First it was only a few spots of water, then an inch, then more. We scurried around moving as many boxes as fast as we could. I concentrated on the bottom shelves of recordings….The Zappas, XTC, Yardbirds, etc. Not for any truer value or sentiment, I just thought my collection would be safe the next level of shelving up.

Then it occurred. We heard the creaking, the collapsing of one shelf, which was attached to another, and then the third. Records falling, crashing and splashing into the water below. I knew from that sound that most would be lost, to which they were.My BOSE speakers… done, my AudioTechnica turntable …done, my Marantz…all done.

It took weeks to dry out the basement, records included. Most were trashed. A mold expert company was called in to “cure” the environment, to “scan” the walls, etc. The “professional” advised that I should store what I had left, about 500 records and all my cassettes, in another space and wait until a “rainy day” to go through the boxes.Insurance covered nothing.

At that point I became a CD collector and sent most of my music to “the cloud”. But something was missing. I knew what it was but felt I could not enter that zone again. My mistress, vinyl, was awaiting in the dark. I avoided it as long as I could. Then one day, on an app I had on my iPhone, I saw that by me giving up smoking cigarettes I had saved over $1000.00. Hmmmm, what to do with that money. All my bills were paid and this was “rainy day” money. Its time.

After purchasing new stereo equipment complete with a new turntable I hit those stored boxes. A record cleaning device was purchased, new inner sleeves, new plastic outer sleeves, and new shelving set up. Funny how as I was cleaning the records I noticed how they were still in alphabetical order.

Today is the day I completed the task of restoring what was left of my vinyl collection. Took a few weeks cleaning, drying, relabeling but I did it. AND to celebrate I bought some NEW 180 gram virgin vinyl records, notice plural as in records. So I say, “Honey, I’m home” and this time to stay.

THE HEARTBREAKERS NOT THE HEARTBREAKERS

THE HEARTBREAKERS NOT THE HEARTBREAKERS

Circa 1980 Johnny Thunders reunites with his mates Jerry Nolan or Ty Stix (drums) depending on which night, Billy Rath or some other guy on bass depending on which venue, and the ever present WALTER LURE, a story unto himself, to play a few local dates in and around NEW YORK CITY as THE HEARTBREAKERS, a name which they used since 1976.

Having seen them numerous times at MAX’S KANSAS CITY, IRVING PLAZA, The PEP LOUNGE and lesser known venues in the NYC area it came as a shock to see an ad advertising THE HEARTBREAKERS on a Spring 1980 Saturday night at MY FATHER’S PLACE in the quaint Long Island village of Roslyn, New York. Johnny was coming out of the City to visit The Tunnel people, as many Long Islanders were called when they visited clubs in Manhattan.

Recently I had surgery to repair a torn wrist so I wearing a shoulder sling and taking a few pain killing meds. I took an extra one when I arrived at the show, to avoid any pain if I got bumped into. (If you believe that I have a bridge to sell you) Alcohol was also consumed by our group. During one of my trips to the bar area I met Johnny Thunders who was seated at a rear table. He called me over asking about my injury and inquiring if the doctors recommended any meds. Laughing I told him that the pills were already working and I had none to spare.He smiled.

Back at our table, now with waitress service and the place starting to fill up, I noticed a table of about ten folks seated behind us. Young men with Izod golf shirts and young women dressed up a bit. Not the leather and lace attire usually seen at Max’s but hey, we are on Long Island. Due to the close proximity of the seating arrangement I overheard one guy say how much he loved Tom Petty and wonder how good his band would be without him. Bells went off in my head. These folks were expecting to see THE HEARTBREAKERS not THE HEARTBREAKERS. The dilemma is whether or not to slip them a hint that they might be a bit confused when this band of HEARTBREAKERS hit the stage. Not to mince words I told the speaker.

The dude was confused as was those in his crowd. So he posed the question to me: Should they stay or should they go? Laughingly I said I can’t answer that but be advised we are in for a long evening as JT and his HEARTBREAKERS are notoriously late. The guy got up seeking management. In a few moments they all vanished.

Johnny Thunders and his THE HEARTBREAKERS were late, very, very late and mostly, except Walter Lure, quite intoxicated. The set was amazing as always, that is, amazing that it occurred, amazing that Johnny could remain standing and amazing that we all had another great story to tell. God Bless THE HEARTBREAKERS, which ever one you choose.

ONE OUT OF EVERY 40 SONGS IS A TOM PETTY TUNE…

ONE OUT OF EVERY 40 SONGS IS A TOM TUNE

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers is a strange anomaly in the music business.The band was hitting the scene out of Gainesville, Florida as our great nation was celebrating The Bi-Centennial with 1976 being a year in flux, musically.  Check the BILLBOARD album charts and see how we the record buying public were all over the place: Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, Bob Dylan’s DESIRE, Eagles Greatest Hits (71-76), Led Zeppelin’s PRESENCE, Wings,The Stones, FRAMPTON COMES ALIVE, FLEETWOOD MAC and Stevie Wonder’s amazing SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIVE. Who in their right mind would want to challenge that line up. Hey, I was enjoying shows by TODD RUNDREN who was morphing into UTOPIA at the time, Frank Zappa, Bowie, and The Stones of course.

Then 1977 has only two albums that control the charts for most of the year, HOTEL CALIFORNIA and Fleetwood Mac’s RUMOURS. 1978 was also stagnate in chart movement with RUMOURS continuing its long run at the top followed by two soundtracks SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER and GREASE. Billy Joel ends the year with his 52nd STREET.

So, How does TP and The Heartbreakers get into the mix?

Kudos to Sasha Frere-Jones for her insightful VILLAGE VOICE piece of October 3, 2017 describing the radio audience that TOM PETTY walked into circa 1977-1980. Her article helped me further understand the music business/radio dynamics of that time.

This period was one of a changing environment in radio. Within months stations started the labeling of artists, categories which did not exist before. And Program Directors were pigeon holing artists as well as attempting to define their specific audience’s tastes.  At this date we also witness the demise of free form radio hosts, my radio idols at the time, those willing to play anything and everything unconditionally. The pre Classic Rock format is slowing developing as stations were searching for identities, attempting to capture listeners by their tastes and grabbing the almighty advertising dollars.

 

Into this radio scene, albeit a confusing one, (1977) AMERICAN GIRL is released, a recording lost in the crossfire of the emerging “punk” rock and what Program Directors now defined as “rock”. How does one define this recording or better yet, WHY define it?

For me AMERICAN GIRL was a great record upon release, kinda catchy as they say and today it is still is a great listen. That Byrds Beatles genre which we were missing is somehow captured in  3 minutes and thirty five seconds: The twanging guitars, words that grab your attention. Quite a difference from RUMOURS, no disrespect intended, but hey, this AMERICAN GIRL record was different.

NY radio at this time, again in my opinion for my listening taste and again kudos to Sasha Frere-Jones for reminding me, had only two major players left.WPIX and WNEW. The PIX PENTHOUSE PARTY with Meg Griffin was a delight introducing newer music to us, not the standard Eagles or Frampton. Here at 101 FM we heard Talking Heads, The Clash, Elvis and Elvis Costello as well as the arrival of The B-52’s.

WNEW hitched its wagon to Springsteen (all day-everyday), Pink Floyd soon to all be labeled CLASSIC ROCK.

1979 we get DAMN THE TORPEDOES and Refugee which is another game changer.

So the question is: What’s your point?

According to data accumulated by FiveThirtyEight, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are the fifth biggest classic-rock group in the country, responsible for one out of every forty songs you hear on the radio.

That’s the point, TOM PETTY AND THE HEARTBREAKERS helped change the sounds which emulate out of that device Marconi made so many years ago.

Next up: TOM PETTY and THE HEARTBREAKERS versus THE HEARTBREAKERS

DAISY DUKES AND COWBOY BOOTS

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Tom Petty died the other day in his house in Malibu, a long way in time and space from his origin in Gainesville Florida .Well actually he had succumbed to cardiac arrest in his  Californian home but pronounced dead the next day, October 2 in a hospital. We the public were still reeling from the tragedy the day before in Las Vegas where a gun man assassinated 59 of our concert going brethren. Then the other confusing news, Tom died, then he was placed on life support, ultimately it was reported Tom Petty left us, physically.

As typically done when a recording artist of some renown passes the radio stations play a few of his/her/ their hits. Even the 11 0’clock news plays a “going to commercial break” with a sound bite of the musician’s work. Record sales go through the roof, as noted in Tom’s case by VVN MUSIC NEWS reporting of AMAZON’S TOP SELLING ALBUMS by VETERAN ARTISTS listing 14 of the top 20 belonging to Tom solo, Heartbreakers,and/or Traveling Wilburys, and better yet, of the Top Ten Tom has the Top 9 spots only to be bested at 10 to Shania Twain’s new release.

After the reports on the shooting in Las Vegas and the reports on Tom Petty’s passing I was thinking about both incidents and the 60 folks (59+1) who passed away in a short period of time. Some were smiling , surrounded by friends, family and fellow concert audience members, the daisy dukes and cowboy boots crowd before a few seconds later tragedy struck for no apparent reason. One can not fathom how or why but it puts a fear in my heart. Those poor souls silenced.

Then Tom Petty dies.

A few nights later SNL at it’s 10PM re-run spot played the November 10, 1979 show starring BUCK HENRY and featuring “musical guests” Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers performing “Refugee” and “Don’t Do Me Like That”. I sit in front of the screen silently, but with a slight smile, nodding, yeah, Tom.

The 11 O’Clock nightly news is over and it’s time for SNL. Me, I’m expecting ALEC BALDWIN as #45 throwing rolls of paper towels into the audience. Nope, not tonight America. Jason Aldean, the performer who graced the stage when the gunman hit Las Vegas was the cold opener of Sat Night Live this week and after a heart wrenching intro he led the band with Tom Petty’s I WON’T BACK DOWN. Again, I sat at the screen silently but without a smile. God Bless Us All.

SUMMER OF LOVE @ 50

 

“If you’re going to San Francisco,be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…If you’re going to San Francisco, Summertime will be a love-in there”

So sang SCOTT McKENZIE, a true one hit wonder but what a hit it was. This so called “anthem” arrived on the airwaves May 13, 1967, and was used as an invitation “across the nation” to publicize the upcoming “charity” concerts baptized as THE MONTEREY INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL June 16 to June 18, 1967. This 3 day event was organized by PAPA JOHN PHILLIPS who incidentally wrote the aforementioned tune, LOU ADLER who produced the tune, along with a host of others who planned this weekend showcase as a way to sanctify “rock” music, similar to the way the Monterey Jazz Festivals gave legitimacy to that genre.All proceeds would be given to charity. Artists were expected to play a 40 minute set without a fee, however their flights, accommodations, etc, would all be first class.

The song becomes an instant radio hit ,#4 on the BILLBOARD charts, and while estimates vary, thousands celebrate rock music that weekend in a fair grounds 120 miles south of San Francisco. Yet, the tune transcended its purpose. The imagery of the song encouraged thousands of listeners to attend the party which would become THE SUMMER OF LOVE in San Francisco.

HOW DO WE GET THERE? Well, not directional or travel arrangements wise but rather how did this LOVE thing happen?

The BEAT poets of NORTH BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO could be considered the fore fathers of the movement with their non-conformist attitudes while rejecting materialistic values.

Then there was the celebration entitled the HUMAN BE-IN at Golden Gate Park in January of 67, an idea of MICHAEL BOWEN the avant-garde artist and co-founder of THE ORACLE, a premier “underground” newspaper which announced the event. This Be-In inspired  the play HAIR: The American Tribal Love -Rock Musical by Rado and Ragni. Also, TIMOTHY LEARY asked the 30,000 attendees to “turn on,tune in,drop out”. 

The mainstream media picked up the story, highlighting Tim Leary, the drugs (LSD and mushrooms), the clothing and the music. These photos and images were shown on the nightly news. TIME magazine ran a cover story on THE HIPPIES and even CBS NEWS had a special report. This influx of “flower children” arrived to the 25 square block area of San Francisco with the cross streets , the intersection of it all HAIGHT-ASHBURY.

With psychedelic music and drugs prevalent, one could only predict that the future of THE HAIGHT would not be so rosy or happy. Homelessness, drug abuse, poverty became rampant. The BEE GEES even wrote a song, MASSACHUSETTS, in response to what was happening in SAN FRANCISCO, a ditty about someone who lost the vision, the hope, and was homesick.

Yet, the SUMMER OF LOVE despite its misgivings gave us a great soundtrack for that time and for years to come: THE WHO, JIMI HENDRIX, BIG BROTHER and THE HOLDING COMPANY, COUNTRY JOE and THE FISH,THE ELECTRIC FLAG,QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE,STEVE MILLER,MOBY GRAPE,HUGH MASEKELA,THE BYRDS,LAURA NYRO,JEFFERSON AIRPLANE,BOOKER T and THE MG’s,OTIS REDDING, THE BLUES PROJECT,BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD and the organizers of Monterey Pop THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS.

THE WHO:Fillmore East, June 6,1969

48 Years ago today:

THE WHO, JUNE 6,1969: FILLMORE EAST

My obsession with seeing/hearing LIVE MUSIC began by the time I was 12 years old but grew in leaps and bounds at age 16 when I found out how easy it was to obtain tickets for a LED ZEPPELIN show at FILLMORE EAST. The day the Zep tixs arrived in my SASE, I immediately ordered two seats for CHUCK BERRY and ALBERT KING, a Friday night early show, June 6, 1969. I was especially looking forward to hearing Albert King as I wore out his LIVE WIRE BLUES POWER album that spring. To my joy the tickets arrived in record time. I was “in the house”. During an intermission at the Zeppelin show I scouted where I would be seated for the Albert King show, fourth row aisle seat on the left. Too cool, really nice sight lines. Then it happened. At the Led Zeppelin show, Bill Graham announced a few future shows and had a special announcement. An additional act would be added to the Albert King Chuck Berry bill, headlining that show would now be…. THE WHO. Oh my… I was ecstatic…But How?

 

Actually, The Who had played the Fillmore East only two weeks prior to the Led Zeppelin show, when during their performance a fire occurred in the adjoining building . A Fire Marshall, not in uniform, attempted to evacuate the premises when Pete Townshend  The Who’s guitarist got into an altercation with the  “undercover” official. Townshend thinking that this guy was a nut job hit him and an arrest of Pete Townshend abruptly ended the show. So now this show, the one I had two tickets for, was labeled as THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF THE WHO.

Their album the “rock opera” TOMMY was released a few short days(May23) before this rescheduled performance and the songs were already in heavy rotation on the FM radio.

There I sat four rows back from Albert King, he dressed to the nines with a dark suit, white shirt, and a tie while playing a short but sweet set on his Flying V guitar,  BORN UNDER A BAD SIGN, PERSONAL MANAGER,AS THE YEARS GO PASSING BY and STORMY MONDAY.  I was amazed.

Chuck Berry was up next doing what I found out years later was his traditional set list, nothing too outstanding except seeing him doing his duck walk. Chuck closed with MY DING A LING a really stupid sing along which I found embarrassing. Chuck was gone and forgotten by me almost that quickly.

THE WHO on the other hand was fantastic. I was in awe the entire time, mouth opened kind of awe. The sheer power of the band along with the visual presence. Daltry, dressed in fringe was swinging his microphone, Townshend windmilling on the guitar, Entwhistle had magical fingers running up and down the bass, and then Keith Moon on the kit, a show within a show. Amazing. CAN’T EXPLAIN ,FORTUNE TELLER,New TOMMY stuff, SUMMERTIME BLUES, MAGIC BUS, needless to say my very limited concert experiences just had a new threshold to beat and that would be… THE WHO. Live music to me became a real education and an obsession.