Over in the Dave's Picks 12 thread, there's a discussion going on about people's first concerts, with some great stories attached. Rolling Stones! KISS! Yanni! And yet, here we all are.
This got me to thinking that there were probably equally great stories attached to shows we're still bummed about missing--whether because we weren't born yet or just couldn't make it at the time. These days there are many recordings of all kinds of live performances; which ones make you wish you'd been there? Dead shows, not Dead shows. Any era whose music you like...
I had tickets to see Miles Davis at Jones Beach, NY in 1991 but Miles didn't make the show due to illness. A few weeks later he passed away and I never got to see him live.
...to see Page & Plant. The Dead played 3 shows in Seattle in 1995 on the final tour. I saw the first and last shows, but missed the middle show to see Page & Plant in the Tacoma Dome. I also missed the "Mighty Quinn" encore that night... :(
I'm so i'm so psyched for dicks picks 20 I don't care what it is , I'm just happy to get another recording of the Grateful Dead ,in HDCD , it just makes a sunny day , or a rainy day , sunnier , Love ☮. Chrispy
I was driving to California from Connecticut moving to squad Valley in Tahoe city, I was driving across the continental divide when the tape that I was listening to screwed up . Since I was on the continental divide I figured I could get a radio station listening to the radio I heard that Bill Graham was killed in a helicopter crash in California made me furious what a waste it made me shed a tear knowing how instrumental Bill Graham was with so many musicians. All I could think of was Jimmy Buffett saying as I was driving crossed the continental divide the David John Wayne died the irony was incredible, just that my tape deck would've screwed up at that time to hear that broadcast , Anyway that first weekend I was in California the Dead were playing in Oakland I couldn't make it I am just drove across the country . As I remember hearing about the memorial concert at the polo field is the next weekend I said I had to go even though I just wet myself it's the day I'll never forget so many bands such a beautiful day What a shame that such a tragedy had to Spooner such a beautiful memorial. Best to you and yours. Chris
This would take forever, I think. Mostly, just about any show I wasn't at, I wish I was. A few of the big ones...
The Dead at Deer Ck in 89. That was my first invite to a Dead show and I didn't go. Another offer didn't come around again until 95 (night 2 of course). Though, had I fully gotten on the bus in 89, things would have likely been a lot different for me now.
The other big one was FTW. I tried getting tix from all the usual channels but was denied. My wife was reluctantly willing to go with, if I had tix but would not just drive to Chicago in hopes of finding some. So, I didn't go.
A few other "honorable mentions" would be the Police (Synchronicity tour), Soundgarden (Louder Than Love tour... did see them later), Van Halen (1984 tour). And, this morning, I wish I would have just gone to see Chris Robinson last night!
The very 1st show I ever attended was Elton John and Kiki Dee at Schaefer Stadium now know as Gillette Stadium and before that was Sullivan Stadium. Sullivan Stadium is the actual venue. I was in attendance with my older sister who had an extra ticket last minute so it was decided that I was the one who should go to the concert. Yes I was there and yes I remember parts of it but not enough to call it a great time. Only because I was to young to know everything going on there. I remember it was July 4th and Elton came out wearing a Uncle Sam type of outfit. Back in the days when he wore flamboyant outfits every night. Thing that stands out most in my memory was this girl near us decided to rip off her top and dance all night that way. I was completely shocked that anyone would be so bold. In time now looking back this was a common thing later in life at Telluride and the Oregon shows I attended this was common. topless woman dancing meant nothing more to me then the fact that we in area where freedom was so easily displayed.
Now so many years later I found a copy of that Elton show online and am rather glad to hear what I saw but missed if that can even make sense
I was there, with a prototype Mac laptop... It was in fact a stunner on many levels. What got me was not so much "Ohio" as "Long May You Run." Not a dry eye in the place. I'm so sorry you missed it, but glad it was on the radio anyway.
I worked at a hotel in the Napa Valley in the early '90s and caught many great Bay Area shows through the years. The power dimmed in the kitchen the night Bill Graham's helicopter crashed into the power lines. I can't say we ever really met, but I did have quite a bit of contact with Bill at various venues over the years. The last time I saw him was at Squaw Valley for a great weekend of Jerry earlier in '91. Bill was as happy as could be bouncing around on the mountainside, as relaxed as I had ever seen him. Later, I caught 3 of the 4 Oakland shows including the Halloween show with Ken Kesey spouting E.E. Cummings. It was a pretty heady week. When the memorial concert was announced, I knew I was doomed. I was responsible for a major event that day and there was no way out. My wife and a bunch of friends left for Golden Gate Park and I headed to the kitchen. I spent most of the concert in a small banquet kitchen prepping and listening to the show on the radio. So many amazing performers. I was openly weeping listening to CSNY sing Ohio and I really lost it when John Fogerty belted out CCR with the boys. My prep cooks could not understand what all the fuss was about; it was only music, right? At least I got to hear the show, but it was nothing like what everyone raved about late into the night.
One Dead, and sorely missed; one not, and missed but not regretted:
First of all, I'm not gonna pine for all the Dead shows I was too young to see. I feel fortunate just to have seen them a bunch during the early-mid 80s, when I feel they still had some real spark left, and some really awesome nights; and to have access to all the great shows (first on tape, then online, and now also in the dead.net sets).
BUT- 6-30-85, Merriweather Post Pavilion, in Maryland- the second set in particular- that incendiary Shakedown (still the best ever, in my opinion), that rare (for that era) Cryptical>Drums> Space >Other One!, really all of it... I just narrowly missed, due to car trouble on the way home from Saratoga (6-27-85). My ancient volkswagen rabbit broke down, and I was stranded for a week or so, until it got repaired. In the meantime, my friends, at some distance away due to circumstances, had to go down to MD without me. I'm sure had I gone I'd consider it one of my top few shows- so- c'est la vie!
The non-Dead- U2 at Madison Square Garden, 4-1-85. I was fairly into them during their early career (let's not talk about most of what came later), and would dearly have loved to have seen them then- and had a ticket for that night (and never have since seen them). But here's the thing- even though I missed them because I was seeing the Dead in Portland that night, and THAT show was lame (again, IMHO- though I think Weir actually dissed it in some interview years ago), you gotta pay to play- and the night before, on 3/31, also in Portland, I attended a GREAT Dead show (one of my all-time favorites attended), and came out to a beautiful snow storm. So of course I was gonna stick around for night two. Anyway- despite the strong early albums- how good could U2 have been live? Though I didn't imagine it at the time, in retrospect I think it would just have been a theatrical performance. That's not what I go to hear...
Oh, and one other- 9/21/13- NY Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC playing the full soundtrack of 2001 (I particularly love Ligeti's work on that) as accompaniment to the film being screened. I stayed home that night to spend more time with my four year-old daughter and my wife, whom I hadn't seen much lately. While I know I made a good choice under the circumstances, I doubt I'll ever get that particular musical opportunity again.
The show I regret not being able to see, was one that disappeared into space, was never created and keeps me wondering......What might have been? Confused? The show I'm referring to is the one 2 night stop, in the Midwest, in which I choose to spend my money on the second night (was there for the first night, but couldn't afford both nights). Some of you might have been there and some of you might have even partaken in what was a horrific and very disappointing scene from where I was. I happened to be right outside the venue, listening to the music, and witnessing people running up a hill and over a fence to try and see the show. A show which they didn't have tickets for, like myself, but somehow felt they should be allowed in, by any means.
I am talking about the second night of Deer Creek, the show the band cancelled due to unruly, rude, and stupid people. I don't say fans, I say people, people who didn't have a clue about what the Grateful Dead were about. The tear gas, helicopters, and police presence that night all but lead me to believe that the band wouldn't play the following night, and when I showed up the next day, the gates were closed.
So that is my one "that got away". It makes me upset not to have seen this show, that second night at Deer Creek, knowing that I had paid for a ticket and should have enjoyed the experience.
What would they have played? Would it have been what I expected or predicted with my fellow travelers the night before or would it have been a mind-blowing, totally unpredictable, unearthly experience that would have had me smiling to this very day?
The comfort I have, the one thing I tell myself that makes me smile about that whole injustice brought upon us that night, is that the show was and will always be LEGENDARY for me. This night that got away is what I want it to be and I put together my own set lists and listen to it whenever I like . It is a blow the doors off my house rockin' night, a life changing outer cosmos trek, or a cowboy ride in the West.
This night that I never saw is mine, and depending on my mood, might just be the best Grateful Dead concert I ever saw. Or at least that's what I tell myself.