Your First Concert: Who was it?

Buckle up boys and girls! We are about to take a trip in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine.

If you remember Mr. Peabody and that little goggle-eyed dweeb of an assistant, Sherman with their cartoon time machine, you are old enough to start thinkin’ about cashin’ your first check from that rich uncle ya got in Washington.

Where are we goin’, you ask? We are heading back in time to the scene our first rock concert.

For many of us, the Wayback Machine will have its date set to transport our pitifully protruding posteriors back to the late 60’s or early 70’s. Due to the widespread use of certain illicit substances at the time, memories may be foggy and details few. So, let’s attempt to get those synapses firing in your few remaining functional brain cells and TRY to remember details like…..

  • Who was the group?
  • What/Where was the venue?
  • Who did you attend the show with?
  • How much did the tickets cost?
  • Any cool tidbits of info that can be shared?

My trip in the Wayback Machine transports me to September 30, 1972 and the Morrow Field House of Slippery Rock College nestled in the rolling hills of scenic Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania.  

The Guess Who had just released their “Live at the Paramount” album a month earlier. Being a 14 year old guitar-goddess-wanna-be, I had to be there! As luck would have it, Tina, a friend of the family, was a freshman at Slippery Rock and asked me if I’d like to go to the show along with her sister Paula. Just for the record and being kinda cool in its own way, Tina and Paula were first cousins of Andy Warhol. BTW…..It was ‘Warhola’ if you were from the neighborhood. 

Off to the Show!

I remember having to pony up a whopping $3.50 for a ticket. We arrived early and got great seats about 20 feet house right from the short riser stage and Guess Who guitar great Kurt Winter. 

The post-Randy Bachman rendering of The Guess Who was introduced and immediately ripped into “Pain Train”.  If you take a listen to the “Live at the Paramount” album, we were treated the same set/concert which was recorded in Seattle a few months earlier, only this show was performed in “Slimy Pebble”, as us locals like to call Slippery Rock, PA.  

Whether there were 300 or 3,500 people in the Morrow Field House that night, I can’t say, my attention was fixated on the stage. The band members were clad in hockey jerseys. Burton Cummings was wearing a Boston Bruins jersey (sweater for the hockey purists in the crowd) while banging the keys of the grand piano. Kurt Winter was wearing a Montreal Canadiens jersey, as he tore up the neck of a red Gibson ES-335.

After a few tunes, the band shed their jerseys and Kurt Winter was then wearing a grey “sound by Garnet” sweatshirt with the sleeves cut off.  I HAD to have shirt like that one! That sweatshirt was the coolest thing ever! Never got one though…… (Heavy sigh). Garnet was the hometown amplifier company that outfitted all of the musicians in Winnipeg at the time.

http://www.garnetamps.com/index.htm

The Guess Who show was everything that you’d wish for in a first concert experience and the “Live at the Paramount” album functions as Mr. Peabody’s Wayback machine for me and brings back some vivid memories from nearly 48 years ago. I CANNOT believe it has been that long!

Your turn……….Let’s hear your recollections of your first show.

(BTW….. I wrote this article about 5 or 6 years ago when I was the Music and Pop Culture editor for that notorious nationally known website!)

Calamity Jane