Friday, December 15, 2006

when the party's over /and everyone has gone

My friend Harry, from the dark side of the five boroughs, has issued a request for some live gigs to go with my album, 12” and 7” lists. He provided me with a list of his own so I’ll post that first, elevated from the comments...its essential reading…and then I’ll post mine

  • Magazine....Mainstreet AK...right after the "Correct Use of Soap"...hard to top
  • Birthday Party...Victoria University matter how big the room was you just did not want to be in that room with those guys on stage that night...they were frightening
  • Tom Waits.....Hammersmith Odeon London 88 (I think)...right after "Franks Wild Years" and when he sat down at the piano for "Xmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" my world was in that the letter was written from
  • Rolling Stones.....Port Chester NY..forgot which year but it was the "Voodoo Lounge" front of 1000 people for a VH1 out the limo in a cloud of pot smoke,looking at a wall of NY state troopers and the 8 Ball fell out me pocket...OOPS
  • Cramps...Marquee NY circa 1990...secret gig...maybe 40 of us there and Lux just tore that shit up....pulled out a TV guide and read to us what shows we were missing that night,then proceeded to go the whole 10 yards....when he wasn't wanking on stage he was sticking the mike up Ivy and licking it dry...
  • Pixies...CBGB's NY first show in NY,my first time at CB's and the Pixies first show in the apple
  • Primal Scream...Ritz NY...right after "Screamadelica"...the 5th pill hit when they came out for the encore "Higher than the Sun"..the 6th kicked in when they followed it up with "No Fun"
  • Springsteen and the E Street Band...Giants Stadium NY...about 3 yrs ago.....U can love the guy or hate the guy but it's an insane experience seeing him in the middle of 10 sellout nights on home turf in front of 60,000 thoughts were "If You go to Egypt Ya climb the pyramids" and if Your in NY and Bruce does Giants then it just has to be done....well worth it...
  • Aerosmith...Beacon Theater...last week....I know what yr thinking BUT these fuckers kicked...played 2 hrs of the first 2 albums intersperesed with covers like "Walking the Dog" and "Baby Please Don't Go"....very few people can go anywhere near Joe Perry,when he is on form....he's like Keith on Crystal....and he can fucking play...LOUD
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse...MSG NY..Right after "Ragged Glory" came out Neil went on the road with Sonic Youth.Well the Sonic's like to make a racket and such but the first note of the "Star Spangled Banner" shook the building...right at the beginning of the first Gulf war with speakers draped in Dove's and peace signs..."Hey Hey,My My"
  • Sonic Youth..ULU London....86...right after Evol....anyone at that show would know...
  • the Orb...Roseland NY.....Not just the show but the 1/4 ounce of mushrooms we used as the seasoning on the Mexican food beforehand and the three days of chaos that followed....

and Some duds....

  • Johnny Thunders...Marquee London....walked onstage,promptly fell over and went to sleep...
  • Juliet and the Licks...Knitting Factory takes a hell of a lot to want to throw a bottle at a Hollywood actress,but they were so bad I had too...shame i missed..
  • Toto...BB King Club...Times Sq NY...How many people in the world can say "I Got so Fucking drunk last night,I went to see Toto"....not many...well I only caught two chords before the bouncers chucked me put for being too drunk...go figure...

And mine…I was actually trying to knock over the last of my albums but this will do in the interim. The year is sometimes vague. Excluding DJs of course, and with the proviso that I may well have been in a better state, although not always, than Mr Bastard, here we are….

  • The Screaming Blamatic Roadshow….Victoria University, August 1981…we had arrived in Wellington in our convoy of battered vans naively expecting a friendly reception at our gig. We hadn’t really planned on the reception from the Wainui boys…sub-neanderthal skinheads who had decided to beat all of us to a pulp, with chains and the such. It was all on, but I think, as we had the intellectual advantage, we somehow got the better of them. They were the sort you could say “look over there”, they would turn away, and you could thump. My two favourite visions are Don McGlashan with some thug’s head between his knees as he bore his clinched fist down on it; and Michael O”Neal from The Screaming Meemees calmly swinging his guitar to knock out some goon before he went to the guitar solo in See Me Go. Next morning Syd, from The Newmatics, had the tread mark from the sole of a Doc Marten on his cheek.
  • Beach Boys....Western Springs, Auckland, Feb 1978.. this was the legendary tour when Dennis got fired after some drunken fracas at the hotel, and Brian had no idea where he was whilst they played. He wandered on and off the stage, sometimes half way through a song. That said I was totally fried, it was an incredibly beautiful summer’s Sunday afternoon and the mix of seventies and sixties BB songs sounded quite good as I recall.
  • Led Zeppelin….Western Springs, Auckland, Feb, 1972…is was my first real concert. I was a kid and told my parents I was elsewhere. My very vague memories are the incredible looked and felt like a wall of sound, but photographs now show it to be otherwise. It was less than an impressive looking stage by contemporary standards, but, fuck it, I saw Zeppelin at their peak…..
  • Split Ends…His Majesty’s Theatre, Auckland Dec, 1974…the Christmas Pandemonium Concert. It cost a dollar and it changed my life. In two halves, I had memories of the second half starting with Judd on a deck chair strumming Titus. I dismissed it after all these years as a false memory until Richard Driver came up with the footage. I’d seen nothing like it..and still haven’t. They were never this good, this inventive, again.
  • The Enemy….. Zwines, Auckland 1978…the Dunedin’s hippy crew come to Auckland, play the toughest venue in the country and win, blood, glass and all...I’ve written about it before so that’ll do…you had to be there and I’m glad I was…I think…
  • Elvis Costello & The Attractions …Hammersmith Palais, late 1984…(almost) the last dates on the final Attractions tour. The encore was twice the length of the actual show, it just kept on going on and on…I missed the last train, had no money for a cab all that way, and walked to West Hampstead afterwards, fueled by lager and kebabs.
  • Lou Reed…The Auckland Town Hall, 1977…as I said earlier I went to an earlier show, around the time of Rock’n’Roll Animal, at His Majesty’s Theatre but I smuggled myself into this one in the company of Graham Brazier and Johnny Volume and I can’t think of two more appropriate people to go to see Lou with. It was the Street Legal tour I think. Johnny actually owned his old Les Paul Junior…the one he’d used with the Velvets, but sold in Auckland some years earlier for drugs. We tried to get it signed but Lou told us to fuck off…literally…he even called John an arsehole. We were happy with that. A year after John got drunk, dropped it and it was rooted forever. C’est le rock’n’roll…..
  • Billy Bragg….The Galaxy, Auckland, 1987….I sat in the VIP box with David Lange, various assorted celebrities and the like. A thoroughly wonderful gig, with Billy making a point of celebrating NZ’s anti Nuke stance, of course. But what really made the gig was the fact that I was sitting outside close to the dressing room door, with venue owner, Phil Warren and we proceeded to drink poor Bill’s beer rider. We were both legless, loved the gig and left him with a single Steinlager.
  • Roxy MusicAuckland Town Hall, 1975…god my memories of this are vague..I remember Eddie Jobson’s neon violin and a huge swirling noise going around. Like The Beach Boys, I was well toasted on various things, but it had an enormous effect on me. It destroyed any flirtation I’d had with the proggy stuff, and focused me more on a path which, happily, eventually led me to punk and the like…and I got into the after party….Beech supported, I remember that….
  • Hello Sailor….multiple times, Globe Hotel, Auckland, 1975/6…I really used to like early Hello Sailor, and it was part of that post Roxy thing I mentioned above. In the pre-punk days in Auckland they were about as real as it got. Standing right beside the tiny stage in the packed Globe…and I mean so packed you couldn’t breath…watching Graham and co grinding out Waiting for My Man (he meant it too) or sleazing through their take on Rum and Coca Cola was something else. And I’ve told them that countless times…
  • Nathan Haines & The Enforcers….Cause Celebre, Auckland, most Friday and Saturday nights 1992/94…they were, technically, supposed to come on about midnight but inevitably it was 1am or two, until 5 or so. Packed, smokey, incredibly hot, inspirational, chaotic…the band spilled into the crowd, the crowd spilled into the band, and some of the finest musicians in New Zealand played and improvised….words still fail me
  • John Cale…..The Windsor Castle, Auckland, 1986?....I was strolling down Parnell Road and heard a piano playing. I looked into bar to see two people…promoter Doug Hood and Cale, solo, sound checking and rehearsing solo at the piano on stage. I sat, drank beer with Doug and watched a large part of the Velvet Underground perform a set for the two of us.
  • James BrownMelbourne 1988…simply because during the support set by the atrocious Rockmelons, James looked out from between the stacks. The crowd saw him and went a bit crazy…Murray Cammick, whom I was there with, waved at him and then turned to me and said…he waved back…I liked that…oh, and the fact that Maceo came into the crowd, stood beside me and played Soul Power’s saxtramental bit…
  • Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five….Victoria London, 1982…men dressed as Buffalo or other ludicrous costumes on stage, telling everyone to go “ho!”, some guy making outrageous noises with two records, and the long intro to some, as yet unreleased tune called White Lines, as my friend Marc Baron (RIP) and myself had just returned from partaking in something similar. It was a long time ago…
  • David Bowie…Western Springs, 1978….it was the day of my Dad’s 50th…..Dad, I said, I love you but its Bowie….and so it was. As the sun went down, the neon strips behind came on, and the opening train noises from Station to Station moved from left to right. My flatmate, Sandra, got pulled out of the crowd by David’s security and didn’t emerge from his Mon Desir Hotel for three days. The polaroids were around our flat for months…
  • New Order…Mainstreet, Auckland 1982..the gig was perfect, it was their time in the sun, but what I most remember was, at the party, someone asking the band where Ian was…they’d heard he wouldn’t be seen dead hanging around with them…. Harry?.....24 years later, maybe, just maybe, I can repeat that one….
  • The Features and The Sobs…The Reverb Room, Auckland, 1980…The Sobs were a funny band. I saw them a couple of times. From memory, and I could be wrong, Gary Hunt from The Terrorways was on drums, and I know Hamish Kilgour was on vocals in one of those in-between The Clean periods. Anyway, they were power-pop and, considering their time together, very polished. The Features on the other hand were one of NZ’s greatest live acts….ever… beautifully anarchic and I recall Karel on his knees during Secret (he wasn’t pleading, he was exhausted) and Jed down to a single unbroken string…it sounds terrible but it wasn’t…refusing to change and still being able to extract something absolutely mesmerising from it.
  • Ian Dury & The Blockheads….Hammersmith Odeon, London, 1984….It was the reunion gig…I went with Greg Carroll on U2 freebies. We only saw one song…Sweet Gene Vincent…and then went to a local pub for a few hours. It was the last time I saw Greg…
  • The Birthday Party / Dead Can Dance…Bombay Rock, Melbourne, 1981…hometown for the BP, Nick Cave on stage looking like Jesus Christ to the crowd, and in the next room, very early DCD, although only half way through Brendan’s transformation from Ronnie Recent and the Marching Girls. Des was on drums and they still sounded like a pop band. Johnny Volume was unconscious on the floor.
  • Suburban Reptiles / Scavengers / Junk…Disco D’Dora’s, Newton Road, Auckland, May 1977….confused looking disco kids (it was an old disco and the mirror ball was still turning) and a bunch of young first time fans (Kerry Buchanan and crew) who would soon form a band called Rooter which mutated into The Terrorways. Des Edwards, the drummer from Junk, was a butcher by trade, and half way through their set he pulled a large slab of meat out of his trousers and plonked it on his snare to some effect. It then went around the room.
  • Ice T…..The Siren, 1989…in the room that became the Box, for three nights, with only 200 tickets per night. On the first night T (Tracy to his mom) asked for champagne which we provided. He then got his scantily clad wife, Darlene (as per the cover of his Power album) to spray it over the crowd. The next night he got Chardon. Four years later, as Flavor Flav djed in The Box, a drunk Ice T lay on the floor of the closed Cause Celebre, and microphone in hand, treated us to renditions of My Funny Valentine and Summertime.

And some duds….

  • Deep Purple….Western Springs, 197?....I won the tickets on a radio station and left 15 minutes into Tommy Bolin’s solo in Smoke on the Wate
  • Jethro Tull….Civic Theatre, Auckland…..a wooden dog, a flute playing man on one leg who thought it was funny to drop his trousers …the things you do to keep girlfriends happy
  • The Anti Violence Gig….XS Café, Auckland, 1980….somebody thought this would be a good idea….back, 26 years ago, the AK live scene was plagued with violence, mostly wrought by the skinhead and boot girl (who were often worse) element that tagged itself onto punk. I can’t recall who played, I know The Features and Shoes This High did, but it almost didn’t matter. It was perhaps the most violent thing I’ve ever seen. As skinheads beat anyone they could, including members of the bands who were dragged off stage, club owner, Bryan Staff, stood in the corner taking photographs (there is one inside the AK79 CD sleeve) saying there was little he could do but wait for the police. Before they arrived the Ponsonby gang, The King Cobras arrived and it moved into the street. The third gang, the Police then turned up and beat anyone still standing into a pulp. A week later the same venue hosted the Toy Love album release party. There were only about twenty of us there but Mike Dooley announced that they were going to split after the tour and it seemed clear that the party that had started in 1977 was over.


Anonymous said...

Memorable gigs - where to start? But you can't go past "The Members" gig at Mainstreet circa '81 ... all that gob!

Anonymous said...

Yeah,that was a goody too...Jugs of DB laced with Drambuie...yjr skins showing off their new tats,the gob when "Stand Up And Spit" was Played....the funniest shit tho was walking into the dressing room months later and seeing "The Members have big Willies" written on the wall...

Fucking priceless


CCS said...

Drambuies in a jug.....depth charges if I recall rightly, left in a shot glass at the bottom....It got uglier the further down the jug you got. even better thru a straw!

I remember Fat Pat Crowe (Tiny Tina)saying they jammed so many into that gig, if everyone had pogoed at the same time the wall would have fallen out
Magazine at Mainstreet, I'm with you on that one of the best ever especially the extra night on Thursday they put on cos Saturday had sold out....hardly anyone there but they played a blinder.

Tom Waits at the Beacon Theatre NYC circa '96....Brilliant ! (Thanx Harry)

Primals at the Limelight NYC '94 ...thanx again Harry

Toy Love's first Auckland show at the Uni with the Scav's, Sheerlux and The Assasins...they moved the goal post's with that one

White Stripes at the Dog's Bollix 02...pre Big Day Out show with 200 tickets that sold out in minutes

Iggy Pop Auckland Town Hall circa 92 played only 5 post "Lust for Life" songs...everything else was Stooges tracks....Raw power indeed!

The Cramps at the Galaxy mid 80's....the one where they recorded Rocknreelinginaucklandbnewzealand" Candy Del Mar on bass, just chewed gum and pouted provocatively as a red wine fuelled Lux and and a seeingly indifferent Ivy cut up a storm.

The Gordons at the Gladstone in Christchurch '83....glad i took the ear plugz !

The Dream Syndicate mid 80's again at the Galaxy the last date of a world tour to about 30 people. I'd never heard of them got free tickets and left a convert.

Patti Smith North Shore Events Centre opening for Bob Dylan 2003....she blew him off the stage, he sacked his soundman after the next gig.

John Cale, late 80's solo at the Gluepot....mesemerizing

Ramones at Logan Campbell Centre 1980, (also Echo and the Bunnymen and XTC shows at the same venue) Costello and the Attractions at the first Sweetwaters 1980?,

Yeah yeah Yeahs at the St James '06 a band at the top of their game

The Dirtbombs at Kings Arms '05....two drummers, two bass player and a guitarist never sounded so good.


Anonymous said...

good to see the reminiscing going on :)
Magazine a definite, must also add the Clash at the Logan Concrete centre. 1983 I think. 2 dates of 'proper' pharmaceuticals (none of these modern party pills) fulled mayhem...

Anonymous said...

Forgot to mention a few of the WTC NYC...mid 90's....obviously they can't do that again

Smiths...Brixton Academy..think around 88...Queen is Dead tour..

There is a ton of Iggy shows,Town & Country UK and both the Coney Island Show and the Roseland show with the Stooges here in NY..

Mary Chain did a blinder at the Ritz(NY) one year....better that any time I had seen them in the UK...

And yes Those Ramones and Clash shows at Logan Concrete...

Loads of awesome gigs at CBGB's from some of the grungefests like the Cows or the closing shows with the likes of the Dead Boys,even a goodie by the Rolling Stones road crew...that soundsystem could not be beat


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