I rock (I rock) therefore I am

It was 1981 and The Rolling Stones were touring North America in support of the Tattoo You album:  Two concerts at the LA Coliseum, October 9th and 11th.  I went to the Friday show with some friends and Sunday I went alone.  It’s always been a hassle going to a Stones concert but I was young then and full of Stones-fire and willing to put up with the physical ordeal part of it.  And, unlike any other of their concerts I’ve attended, I had fairly good spots to watch from both days.

Also on the bill were George Thorogood and The Delaware Destroyers and the J. Geils Band, two real good rock and roll bands.  And it was two real good rock concerts.  A special treat was a rare appearance by Ian Stewart, original member of the Stones, later road manager, played on many Stones records, and with them at live shows, however I don’t recall seeing him at any I attended.  For the two LA gigs, Stewart, considered one of the best white boogie-woogie piano players in the world, played with George Thorogood.

There was a fourth act, the opening act; a group that came out in some weird outfits with a lead singer who wore a corset and fishnet black stockings, or something equally outrageous.  They looked as if they had stopped by the Trashy Lingerie store in West Hollywood on their way to the stadium.  The music wasn’t bad.  In particular, I remember a song about John Lennon that sounded good.  If the audience had any appreciation for what the Stones were about, anti-social attitude tinged with a drop of androgyny, they’d have realized how this band fit right in.

But they didn’t and on both days the audience threw things at them and they were booed offstage during the fourth or fifth song.  On Sunday, legendary rock impresario Bill Graham, who was promoting the tour, came on stage and dared the audience to throw any more stuff on stage.  Some guy up front lobbed a milk carton at Graham.  Two security guys jumped down and pulled the guy up onstage and they took him out.  Of the stadium, that is.  I’d hate to think he was roughed up.

I had not heard of this opening act before, but less than a year later, a lot of people who attended those Coliseum concerts would be paying big bucks to see this guy who called himself Prince and his band The Revolution perform at similar venues.

prince2cI rock (I rock) therefore I am (therefore I am)
I don’t need you to tell me I’m in the band ((…) please)
I rock (I rock) therefore I am (therefore I am)
Right or wrong I sing my song the best I can

– Prince, 1996

 

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