Saturday, April 14, 2007

And I thought I was Cool...


Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about concerts. I was telling him about the best show I ever saw, which was a combination of the Red Hot Chili Peppers (headliners), Pearl Jam, and Smashing Pumpkins at the Aaragon ballroom. At the time the Smashing Pumpkins were an unknown; their first album was out but I hadn't heard it yet. Pearl Jam were just starting to climb the charts, and Eddie Vedder dove way out into the crowd and crowd surfed for a while. The audience went crazy when the Red Hots went on stage, coming down from the rafters upside down with bungee cords attached to their ankles...

On a parallel note I recently acquired a Best Buy gift card and went online to look for CD's. It is a boon that you can use gift cards online; they tend to pile up otherwise. At one point or other I have owned all the "legit" Jimi Hendrix albums on CD, cassette or album... but they got lost at one point or another in various moves. A friend of mine gave me a 4 CD set of out-takes and rarities but I started getting used to all the non-official versions of the songs I liked so I figured that 10 bucks was a good deal to buy (again) the original songs.

Well this guy at the party started with HIS best concerts, and it turns out that he saw Jimi Hendrix TWICE while he was in high school. The second time he was in Washington DC and there were 200 people at the show; there were 5 hot girls in the crowd and Jimi left with 3 of them in a taxi. He said that they used to hand out flyers at the Filmore when you left for upcoming shows and he had some but they got lost over the years... I am sure they sell for a lot of money on eBay now.

A lot of people have died or flamed out in their prime but I have to say that Jimi Hendrix seems to have had the most promise unfulfilled. He was on a roll at the end, incorporating new studio techniques and new guitar methods. His music ranged across all styles from the blues to hard rock to psychedelia to something almost jazz-like. If you listen to his remastered albums today they still sound fresh 35+ years after his death. Wikipedia has a decent summary of his life at this link.

In any case, he blew away my concert stories...

2 comments:

Dan from Madison said...

I was with at that epic show at the Aragon. But yea, that has to pale. The Stevie Ray show we saw at Foellinger fourth row I think may have been better now that I think about it.

astro said...

One of the most memorable concerts I got to see was Janes Addiction's last concert - it was in the Hard Rock in Vegas, 1999 IIRC. It was a rather small venue - only a few hundred - but very intimate and they put on their usual awesome show. At the end, Perry Ferrell thanked everybody there, and said (I paraphrase), "Oh, by the way, you guys just watched our last concert. We're moving on - making different things, making babies, but we'll never play together again."

Everybody was shocked speechless - this came out of the blue. I considered myself lucky that I'd made that last historic show.

Of course, it wasn't true. They ended up getting back together, putting out a new album, and headlining Lollapalooza (which they had originally started) a few years later. I made that one too (Phoenix, this time). Good show, but it didn't have that historical significance of being their last show. I got to see the Donnas there, though, so it all works out.