I’ve been having a blast for the last two days reading the responses to a post by Sean Daly, the pop music critic for the St. Pete Times and a neighbor of Uncle Crappy’s Florida family. In order to prep for a story about first-concert experiences, Sean asked the readers of his blog to tell him about their first shows and the associated details.

I’m giving Sean complete credit for coming up with a great idea; I’m also totally ripping him off. So — What was your first show? Where? When? How embarrassed are you to admit it now? My first time was Kiss, at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincy; you can read the details here, among the 70-plus comments at Sean’s blog. I’m a little fuzzy on the second — Cheap Trick with the Romantics at St. John’s is a possibility, and there were two at the Ohio Center (remember the Ohio Center? I do, but just barely), both almost too humiliating to own up to: Blue Oyster Cult, with an opener I can’t recall, or .38 Special opening for Molly Hatchet.

Yikes. OK, boys and girls — What’s yours?

And if anyone remembers who opened for Blue Oyster Cult, please let me know — it’s making me nuts.


  1. UC –
    A quick internet search, and probably some embarrassing details about ones self, I found that on Oct. 20, 1981 BOC played at the Ohio Center with Foghat opening for them – If I recall, FUC drove us down there to the festivities. I can’t remember if that was my first, I have other memories of seeing Goerge Thorogood and the Delaware Destroyers playing at the Mershon Auditorium on OSU’s campus – either that is my first or I’ve told myself that it is so many times it is my recollection now.


  2. FOGHAT! Yep, that’s the one. And that was before the Thorogood show, which was in the fall of our junior or senior year in high school. When I mentally tick through the list of the best shows I’ve seen, I usually forget about seeing George at Mershon — and I shouldn’t. Jesus, there couldn’t have been more than 200 or 300 people there, and Thorogood acted like he was playing Madison Square Freaking Garden instead. That was an amazing night.


  3. I remember BOC / Foghat – but in my mind it is a lot nicer to think that George was the first – maybe first really good one –

    Hey, we took what we could – not to many big names toured Columbus in the early 80’s

    I’ll always think back on the Buffett concerts as well – although actual memories of them are ‘cloudy’ at best – “My head hurts, my feet stink, and I don’t love Jesus”


  4. I, too, was at the Foghat /BOC show in ’81 and proudly wore the black tee for years. Also remember .38 Special / Molly Hatchet. I was totally impressed that the guy in the seat next to me was getting his knob polished. Right there for everyone to see!! This looked pretty neat ’til her gag reflex kicked in and she heaved bourbon all over his lap. And the floor. And my jacket.

    God I miss the eighties…


  5. Wow – sounds like he was ‘Flirtin’ with Disatster’ – I’m going to sing that song all of the way home now I think.


  6. Had to give my 1st. 1984 Cleveland Coleseum, Springsteen Born in the USA. I was a Sophmore in High School. Of course the 4 hour concert was awesome but the thing I remember most was the parking lot tailgate prior to the concert. We happened to park right next to Chris Spielman and his Massilon football buddies. At the time he was on the cover of all Wheeties boxes in our area and of course we worshiped him(He was only 2 years older than us) My brother was going to OSU the next year in the Freshman class and would also be playing football so it wasn’t hard to start talking and tailgating with their crew. The greatest and most memorable part was watching Spielman and his buddies have a “barf” contest for no less than 45 minutes. At that time we actually thought it was cool and we were all giving high fives when Spielman won. My first whif of marijuana was an hour or so later in the concert but Spielman winning the barf concert is what I remember most. Still to this day the best concert I have ever seen and best “barf” contest.

    C. Powell


  7. I was thinking about this last night – when was the first concert – was it really BOC & Foghat? And then it hit me – many years earlier – I saw a performance at a venue (1) that you had to pay money to get into (2) and music was played (3) – I think that would count as a concert – and I thought it was cool – especially because I was a little bit Rock-n-Roll. Yep – Ohio State Fairgrounds – mid-70’s – I saw Donny & Marie Osmond. I think I’ve said enough. If anyone else asks – it was George Thorogood.


  8. Chris: Why is it that I have no trouble imagining Spielman participating in a puking contest? And the vomit aside, that’s an excellent way to start; a lack on Springsteen shows is still a glaring hole in my concert resume.

    Nor have I seen Donny and Marie. But for some reason I’m not nearly as upset about that omission…


  9. to give a bit more clarity to my one and only D&M O show, I really wanted to see the tracter pulls, but that was on a different night than was our ohio state fair outing – so D&O it was


  10. My first concert was Def Leppard opening for…not sure, who was it kewyson? This was at Vet’s Memorial for their High and Dry tour.

    Most embarassing concert: Bon Jovi, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest Triple Bill at Ohio Center


  11. HP –

    I don’t know – I only google concerts I’ve gone to – Def Leppard eh? That’s almost as bad as D & M O!


  12. when growing up i was lucky enough – most of the time – to be the youngest of 3 boys. my brothers were old enough to enjoy using me as their mascot every so often. thus, my older brother took me to many sporting events, especially pirate games in the early-to-mid 70s. my middle brother used me as a different sort of mascot…instead of introducing me to sports, being the 70s, he introduced me to all things green and white (along with some beverages). he also introduced me to my first concert: bob seeger, civic arena, a friday in early june 1980.

    i had literally just finished 9th grade the day before. my parents had left friday morning to go see my oldest brother graduate from ou. my concert story begins immediately after they left…say, 9amish.

    one of my brother’s friend (i think one of his nicknames was ‘corky’) came and got me in his green ford 4-wheel drive (my brother and all of his friends had 4-wheel drives). corky was taking me into the woods for a pre-concert morning communion with nature via one-of-gods-plants…the importance of 4-wheel drives in small town western pa, is that you can drive into the woods to do things and feel, relatively, safe that johnny will not make the show…but…

    when we got to the woods there was an older gentleman hanging out at our bat-cave entrance. can’t remember what he was doing, but we said howdy and that we were going to do some 4-wheelin’…we go into the woods and up a relatively steep hill, turn the truck around so it was facing down the hill (just in case you want to see who might show unannounced)…corky and i talked about the weirdness of the old man, but did not think much of it, and as we began to strike a match, some sort of vehicle pulled up at the bottom of the hill (blocking our egress) and a person with a hat that looked frighteningly like a state troopers hat began walking toward and then up the hill – for some reason, at this point, corkly began handing me a variety of plastic bags and telling me to throw everything into the woods.

    the guy huffed-and-puffed to our truck and we realized that he was only like some sort of game warden…the old guy thought we came to the woods to dump trash. although frightened, we were safe, but we couldn’t immediately get out of the truck and start looking for our candy, so we left (i went home and changed pants) and then we went back later to look for our lost friends.

    as i mentioned, my brother and all of his friends had 4-wheel drive trucks. this enabled them to take over a wooded area of town. they build a pavillion, had picnic tables, laz-e-boys, etc. i think this is what happened to boy scouts who began to take acid: let’s use our skills to party in the woods.

    pre-concert was in the woods, surrounded by trucks and continuously handed various items by my brother’s friends…the drive north on 51 found me in the middle of corky’s front seat, continuing what was started in the woods…

    the concert itself: it was bob seeger, there was another band, people seemed to like bob, he played songs that people liked.

    what i remember: reagan was not president yet. it was june 1980, but that was sort of 1979+1…the lights are on in the civic arena, our seats are on the floor, i hear an usher yelling at someone to my left. the person has a 1liter bottle of gordon’s or smirnoff and the usher is telling the person – put that away until the lights go off.

    people are continuously passing refreshements around. i don’t know most of these people.

    a guy who looks like he got lost at altamont and was wavy gravy’s cousin, is being walked to the back of the arena by some friends. he seems a bit upset. maybe 15-20 minutes later; the guy is being carried to the back of the arena by some friends. his shirt is all bloodied and he is mumbling. about 30-40 minutes later, while bob is playing, the guy is no longer wearing his shirt, he seems unconscious and his friends are carrying him to the back of the arena. the back of the arena frightens me…

    i guess the concert ended. we went back to our boy scout hash den. i remember eating a steak with my hands; nothing like grilling at 3am. i remember someone stealing the laz-e-boy i was sitting in; i remember sitting, then lying on the ground where my laz-e-boy used to be…

    at some point, my brother took me home. i guess i tried to make to my bed, but woke up saturday morning on the stairs. i don’t remember feeling sore from sleeping on the stairs…i think i might have urinated during the evening: everything in my wallet was stuck together, but nothing smelled like urine.

    later that summer, i went to see the eagles with my church youth group. i rubbed skoal and/or wb cut and told all the others what is was like to see a real concert..


  13. I agree! Also, I agree that old people in the woods are always a bad omen – One hot summer night down in South Carolina, between our Jr and Sr HS years, I was with tow T’s – T. ‘town yeller’, and T. ‘Hark the Herold’ – following my bro out to the back swamps to go shrimping – we passed, very slowly, an older lady standing, out in the middle of the woods, with a lantern lit and a huge trash can next to her – we didn’t stop – she was a witch – we could tell. We kept driving along – then met up with said bro who had pulled up to the large jaguar that had become stuck in the sand – with another other lady next to it – hmmmmmm – maybe these two people are connected – maybe my brother came across them both, stopped, and offered help? Maybe the lantern was actually ours as well as the huge trash can – oh yeah, we use those to go shrimping. No – in our state of mind we were certain – she was a witch and we didn’t stop – Old people in woods – bad omen.


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