Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One From The Archives: 07/04/08 Sonic Youth/ The Feelies @ Battery Park, NYC, NY

(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

One year ago I was able to attend my second-ever show in NYC, this one a freebie put on as part of the River To River Festival. It was a great afternoon and an amazing show.

Click HERE to read about my experience at and thoughts on the show.

Click HERE to see a photo I found online of me enjoying the show.
(I'm second person from the left - in the purple shirt and shades.)

Brooklyn Vegan ran a review a few days later with tons of great photos...
Click HERE to see it.

And here is video from various uploaders I've found on Youtube from most of the show - missing maybe three of four songs - but this is most of it anyway. Enjoy.
























One From The Archives: 07/02/07 Rush @ Jones Beach Amphitheatre, Wantagh, LI, NY

(Image via: NYCDreamin)

Two years ago a long-time dream of mine finally came true. I had wanted to go to a concert in the NYC area for several years and as I was putting together my summer 2007 NYC trip, Rush announced their "Snakes and Arrows" tour dates, including this stop at Jones Beach. I was on the phone with TicketMaster the morning tickets for the show went on sale and then "337" and I waited, quite impatiently, for our trip to the city to begin and for the day of the Rush show to arrive.

On the afternoon of July 2, we boarded the LIRR, got off in Wantagh, stopped in at the local McDonalds for an early afternoon lunch and then headed over to wait for the bus that would take us out to Jones Beach. When we arrived there were still several hours left until showtime so we decided to check out the beach a bit. It was a beautiful day, in the high 80's, so it was perfect for stepping into the waters of the Atlantic to cool down a bit.

As we lounged around the beach admiring the view, we could hear music coming from the amphitheatre behind us. So we decided we should head over there and it was a good decision on our part. We were soon just outside the amphitheatre viewing area, and as we sat waiting, talking to some guy and his girlfriend who had come all the way from Argentina for the show (and we thought WE had come a long way!) the band started doing a run-through of several songs they were going to be playing later in the evening. We couldn't see them of course, but it was very loud so we could hear everything just perfect. They played about five or six songs in their entirety...we were thrilled to be hearing this mini-concert/soundcheck and sat ther smiling, knowing how awesome the show was gonna be. This would be my second time seeing the band, the first time for "337".

A few hours later we were in our seats, sitting next to some cool, friendly people and the show finally got under way. As the band played the first few songs I MIGHT have gotten a bit misty-eyed. It was powerful stuff - my dream of seeing a show in NY was finally coming true - and outdoors - at the ocean at that! And it was Rush - one of the best ever. The combination of these factors, along with the beautiful sunset were almost too much for me to believe. It was an experience I will never be able to duplicate and one I will never forget - easily the best concert experience I have ever had.

You can read a review of the show from PopMatters.com HERE.

Click the titles below to see a few videos from the show:
Witch Hunt/Subdivisions/Malignant Narcissism

Monday, June 29, 2009

One From The Archives: 07/02/92 Ozzy Osbourne/ Slaughter/ Ugly Kid Joe @ Target Center, Minneapolis, MN

(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)
This was Ozzy's "No More Tours" tour - he was gonna retire from the touring circuit after this one. We all know how that turned out - he stayed off the road for a few years and was back out on tour by 1996.
 
I had no plans on attending this show and didn't get a ticket in advance. The day of the show was payday for me. I was working as a cook at a Perkins a few blocks from my apartment in Burnsville, MN at the time. I went up to work around noon to pick up my paycheck and went back home to wait for a few hours until I was supposed to go to work.
 
About 3:00pm, the brother of my then-roommate (PriestFreakNo.1) showed up with his wife and asked us if we wanted to go to the show with them. We decided that, yes, we did - now I had to act fast to try and get the night off. I called up Perkins and told my manager I was not feeling well and asked if I could have the evening off. "No, you were here earlier to get your paycheck, so you gotta come in and work," was the reply. "What if I get someone to cover my shift," I asked. "Fine, but if not you gotta be here." So I hung up the phone, cursing under my breath, and immediately picked it back up and began calling several of my co-workers to see if I could get someone to cover my shift. No luck - everyone was either busy or just didn't want to work on such short notice. So I called Perkins again, begging them now, faking my best "sick" voice..."I REALLY don't feel good - are your sure I have to work?" "Yes, be here at 5:00." Damn it! I hung up the phone and at that very moment decided I was NOT gonna miss the show. "I guess I'll just no-show," I told my friends and with that we piled into the car and headed off to Minneapolis to go to the concert.
 
I remember being bored to death by Ugly Kid Joe who were rather popular at the time - I never liked 'em. Then Slaughter came out and I wondered why they sounded so...bad. I had seen them once previously and they were pretty good that time. I found out later that Mark Slaughter was having vocal chord problems and not long after this show I believe he had some surgery to correct the problem. I was thrilled to see Ozzy as this was the first time I had seen him live. Zakk Wylde was amazing to watch as he just destroyed the crowd with his amazing guitar abilities as Ozzy tossed bucket after bucket of cold water on the crowd down front as the band roared through all the Ozzy and Sabbath songs we all love so much. Soon the show was over and we were on our way back home, partially deaf and completely drunk. That's when I began to wonder if I'd still have a job the next day...I didn't really care if I did or not, but I was a bit concerned about having to go looking for a new job if I didn't.
 
Well, the next afternoon rolls around and I pick my hung-over ass out of bed and got ready to work at 5:00pm. I walked in like nothing had happened the previous day and was met at the timeclock by my supervisor. He didn't look too happy to see me. I figured he was pissed of but I still thought I was gonna get away with my little stunt. No such luck. "Hey, NYCDreamin," he said, "Don't bother punching in, you're fired!" So I turned around and walked out, knowing I deserved to be let go but still feeling a bit indignant. "Don't worry," I told myself, "you'll find another job soon enough." I partied the rest of the July 4th weekend away as was common practice for me and my friends in those days, we partied every night anyway, and a few days later I cleaned myself up and went out to hunt down new employment. One morning just a few days later I had managed to secure a new job, again, just a few blocks away from my apartment. I was gonna be cooking again, this time at Embers, but for more money, and for a guy who seemed like a much cooler boss. And it was all because I was an irresponsible little shit who just HAD to go see Ozzy. I was now even more glad I had gone to that show...

 

One From The Archives: 07/01/90 "Metal Fest" with X-Sinner/Jealous/More @ Marshall High School, Duluth, MN


(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

I went to this Christian "Metal-Fest" with a car load of my friends and I don't really remember much about it at all. I think there were a total of 4 or 5 bands and I mostly remember that the band X-Sinner was a very kick-ass group in the style of AC/DC, Kix and Dirty Looks. I used to have one of their cassette tapes but it mysteriously disappeared from my collection at some point several years ago. If you want to know how they sounded, you can look them up on Youtube and see several videos of them there...

Revisiting The Deadly 06/30/74 Fire @ Gulliver's, Port Chester, NY

06/30/74 Gulliver's Nightclub Fire @ Port Chester, NY
(Image via: NYCDreamin Archives)

35 Years ago tomorrow marks the anniversary of a tragic fire at the nightclub "Gulliver's" which was located in Port Chester, LI, NY. The fire killed 24, injured 32 and no doubt left lasting psychological scars on those who made it out alive, one of whom was late Kiss drummer Eric Carr.

Click HERE to read the post I wrote last year about this night of tragedy. At some point in the previous year I managed to find the above photo, which shows a lone fireman surveying the debris and aftermath left in the wake of the fire. The photo was taken by Michael Evans and was originally published in the New York Times on 07/01/74.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

One From The Archives: 06/26/04 Kiss/ Poison/ ZO2 @ Floatrite Amphitheater, Somerset, WI

June - August 2004 Kiss/ Poison "Rock The Nation" US Tour Ad
(Images via NYCDreamin Archives)

Flyer from the TicketMaster window from the morning tickets went on sale for this show. I was there quite early to secure my ticket...I needn't have bothered as attendance for this show was absolutely pathetic - less than 5,000 attended at an outdoor venue that could have easily held 30,000.

06/26/04 Kiss/Poison/Z02 @ FloatRite Park, Somerset, WI (Print Ad)
Print Ad (above) and ticket (below) for the show.



An unscratched "Instant Live" Game ticket that was handed out to those attending the show. I managed to score over a dozen of these things and do you think I won anything? Naw...


My buddy "337" and I arrived quite early in the afternoon - early enough to be able to hear the band do their afternoon soundcheck - which included jams on songs by The Who and Jimi Hendrix. It was cool to FINALLY get to hear Kiss do a soundcheck after all the years I had been attending their shows. They seemed to be having fun - it came through in what we were hearing as we could not see the front of the stage but could hear everything just fine. Soon it was over and more waiting ensued.

I don't remember anything about ZO2 - they may have been good - or bad - who knows? I wasn't paying much attention. Poison bored me to death as for me they had long ago ceased to be a relevant musical unit - not that they were ever some earth shattering live act, but they were a much better, more fun band in their heyday back in 1988.

This was to be the first (and only) time I had seen Kiss outdoors. I was hoping for a huge attendance. My hopes for this were dashed by the time the gates opened and I just couldn't figure out where all the people were...I guess a lot of the Kiss Army had gone AWOL on this evening, deciding that with money being tight and Ace and Peter long gone from the band, they just were not interested anymore. I wish I had made the same decision. By the time the painted foursome appeared on stage I was quite amused to see that so few people had decided to attend the show on such a beautiful summer evening. Apparently there were better things to do - like watch some bad TV or stare at a wall or something. And they were right - the show was a true letdown for me - the saddest moment in all my years as a member of the Kiss Army. Gene and Paul seemed to be just going through the motions. The setlist included no surprises and there was no new material obviously, as the band had not put out any new material since 1998's "Psycho Circus." It was the night I realized that it was finally all over for them (for my money at least). Too bad 5 years later, as they ready a new CD and tour, that they still have not realized it for themselves. It's rather embarrassing now. I will not be purchasing the new CD nor attending the tour. This concert was the last time I would ever pay to see the band and at this point I wouldn't walk across the street to attend a FREE Kiss show. The glory years seem so long ago now - the band absolutely living on it's past legacy - something Paul Stanley said, back in 1995 just before the "Reunion Tour", that they would never do - and they've been doing it for almost 10 years now.
I've tried to write this post several times and it just turns into a rambling story about being let down by your childhood heroes. Let's just say that this was the case on this evening and leave it at that...



Monday, June 22, 2009

New Link of Interest to the Enlightened: Wolfgang's Vault



If you've never visited this site, you need to check out all the great music collectibles and downloads over at WolfGang's Vault.com...you're sure to find something special to spend your hard earned money on.

 

Friday, June 19, 2009

Honking My Own Horn: Two of My Photos Included in the 2009 Schmap NYC Online Guide

 (Photos by: NYCDreamin Archives)
07/04/08 - I took this photo of a Kettle Drum player in Battery Park on the afternoon of July 4th while I was waiting to attend the Sonic Youth concert there.
07/06/08 - An early Sunday AM photo of the entry to the Hell's Kitchen Flea Market.

I am proud and honored to have 2 of my photos from my July 2008 NYC trip included in the newly published 7th edition of the Schmap NYC Online Guide! I just received the email confirmation and links to where the photos are located online:

(Update: 09/22/14 - The Links to Schmap no Longer work but you can see the images they used above.)

Thanks to the people at Schmap for including my work!

One From The Archives: 06/22/97 OzzFest 2007 @ H.H.H. Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN



06/22/97 Ozzfest 1997 @ HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN

06/22/96 OzzFest @ Minneapolis, MN (Laminated Vendor Booth Sign)
(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)

06/22/97 OzzFest @ Minneapolis, MN (Ticket)

A laminated Beer Vendor sign and my ticket stub from OzzFest 1997. Apparently the powers that be were afraid Ozzy might inspire some drunken manics to completely lose thier fuckin' minds when he came out on stage, and who knows what migh happen if that were to occur, thus beer sales were cut off when he took the stage for his headliner set.

I attended this first OzzFest stop in Minneapolis with my then-girlfriend, a friend of hers, and a co-worker buddy of ours. The full lineup for the day was as follows:

Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne/Marilyn Manson/Pantera/Type O Negative/Fear Factory/Machine Head/Powerman 5000/Down Set/Nuerosis/Slo-Burn/Coal Chamber/Drain S.Th.H./Vision of Disorder

Early in the day we were lucky enough to score a 2-track cassette sampler from one of the guys in Powerman 5000, which was autographed by the band - I still have it. I remember being quite impressed with Type O Negative whom I had not previously thought very much of. This would change as a result of seeing them on live on this bill. During their performance, Phil Anselmo of Pantera joined them on stage for one song. I also remember being quite amused that there was drug paraphenalia for sale in the Metrodome at some of the vendor booths set up that day.

Mostly I remember the amazing mosh pits that took place during Pantera's set. Just before they came out on stage I handed my glasses to my grilfriend and told her, "See ya when they're over." I headed off on my own to make my way to as close to the front of the main stage as possible and when I got there I had some dude launch me up on top of the crowd and began some of the most intense crowd surfing I had ever enjoyed. It seemed like I floated along the top of the crowd forever. When I neared the soundboard, I got down, went back to the front and got up and did it all over again. I did this throughout their set. After Pantera finished, I met back up with the people who I was attending the show with at our pre-determined meet-up spot. We settled in to watch Marilyn Manson, who put on a great show. I thought they were very entertaining even though I was not (and still am not) a big fan.

This stop on the OzzFest tour was originally supposed to tkae place outdoors in Somerset, WI (see ticket stub), but local residents of the small town protested and made such a commotion over the inclusion of Manson on the bill that the promoters were forced to move the show across the WI/MN border to Minneapolis, where such religious-based fears were less of an issue.

06/22/97 OzzFest @ Minneapolis, MN (Newspaper Review)
Minneapolis Star Tribune (06/23/97)

Ozzy was Ozzy. Then, after a short break and another band appearing on the second stage, Ozzy joined his Sabbath bandmates for another full, headliner set. This was the second time I had seen Black Sabbath and all through their set I kept thinking how much better they were with Dio on vocals. You gotta love Ozzy, but Dio is just a better, more powerful singer who I feel fits the band much better.

This was the only OzzFest I ever attended as each subsequent year the lineup seemed to get weaker and weaker, for my money anyway. But this was a great show and I have nothing but good memories of how much fun the four of us had that day...

Type O Negative (Cinimon Girl)

Marilyn Manson (Full Set)


Ozzy Osbourne (I Dont's Want To Change The World)

Ozzy Osbourne (I Just Want You)

*Post Updated: 09/08/13 - 10:20pm

One From The Archives: 06/22 - 23/02 93X Hairball @ River's Edge Amphitheatre, Somerset, WI




(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives) 
 
I took the day off from work to attend day 1 of this 2-day festival in Somerset, WI, driving there and attending by myself as I couldn't scare up anyone to go with me. I have no special memories from this show except that the festival grounds were completely soaked as it had been raining quite heavily for a few days prior to the show. When I arrived I was planning on spending full price for my ticket but was approached near the gates by a guy who had some discounted tickets - they were actually free promo tickets which he was trying to make a few bucks on - who can blame him? I was glad to hand over only $10.00 for my ticket that would have allowed me to attend both days had I wished to do so. I had no plans of attending day 2, I was only really there to see Ratt. I arrived late intentionally as I had no desire to see one of the worst bands of the genere, Firehouse.
Ratt did not disappoint. Their lineup then was Jizzy Pearl (vocals), Warren DiMartini (lead guitar), Bobby Blotzer (drums), Robbie Crane (bass) and the always entertaining John Corabi (guitars, vocals). I would see the band several more times with this lineup over the next few years, never having seen them back in their 80's prime with vocalist Stephen Pearcy and guitarist Robbin Crosby. Sadly, just a few weeks before this gig took place, on June 6th, Crosby had passed away in Hollywood, CA after succumbing to his 8-year battle with Aids, he was definately on my mind during this show.
The only other memory that stands out was that when Warrant came out I was laughing so hard at what a lard-ass former pretty-boy Jani Lane had become - he looked to be a bloated mess. And as anyone who follows these hair-metal bands knows, he is STILL a mess, having been kicked out of the band and rejoining several times throughout the past 7 years, only to be kicked out again for his addictive/destructive personality and behavior. Dokken was the headliner on day 1 and I remember being not amazed, but pretty happy that they were at least better than the only other time I had seen them, back in 1988 on Van Halen's Monsters of Rock tour, a show at which they had pretty much sucked and been blown off the stage, even by the opening act, Kingdom Come.
 
 

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New Music Video: Sonic Youth "Sacred Trickster"



Finally picked up my copy of Sonic Youth's "The Eternal" this past weekend. It has barely left my CD player since then - it's a great CD that grows on me with each subsequent listen.

 

In Stores Today! 06/16/09 Spinal Tap "Back From The Dead"



Just heard about this on the radio this morning and I guess they were on Conan O'Brien last night also. Should be an instant classic.



Monday, June 15, 2009

06/13/09 - A Short(ened) Trip to the 5th Annual Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Festival - Minneapolis, MN

Flyer for the 5th Annual Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Fest - Autographed by Nikki Mallone, Ana Popovic and Corey Stevens.

(Photos by: NYCDreamin)

On Saturday afternoon (06/13/09) the Gorgeous One and I set off for Minneapolis with a blanket, a few bottles of water and the camera to attend the 5th Annual Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Festival. As in previous years, the action kicked off around noon but we were unable to attend the full day, so we finally arrived around 4:45pm just as Nikki & the Rue Mates were finishing their set on the second stage. We wandered over to the southern edge of Peavy Plaza and found a nice place to sit on the grass, not too far from the main stage. At 5:00pm sharp, an announcer from local TV station KARE-11 came out and announced the next act - Serbian born Ana Popovic, who has performed here previously several times at Famous Dave's uptown Calhoun Square location. She was a nice change from the usual assortment of old blues guys - easy on the eyes and a very talented guitarist as well. She and her band played for about an hour and a half, including a great Hendrix jam near the end of their set. The only complaint I had was that her keyboardist was mixed a bit too loudly and kind of overpowered Ana's guitar in the sound mix.

Ana Popovic and her band performing on the main stage.
See Video of her performance HERE.

About 45 minutes after we arrived, while Popovic was still on stage, the overpowering smell of clouds of BBQ smoke drifting through the plaza were making us very hungry so we walked over to the Famous Dave's booth and ordered up some chow. I settled on a Pulled Pork sandwich ($6.00). The Gorgeous One had more of an appetite - she got the 6-bone Rib Platter with a side of beans (which I ate for her) and a bag of chips ($16.00). We sat down on the sidewalk in front of Brit's Pub and enjoyed our food as Ana and her band continued to wow the crowd, which seemed very large for the early hour of 6:00pm.
The Famous Dave's BBQ Booth - where a heavenly smell of BBQ was produced throughout the day and into the evening - making the mouths of all those in attendance water with anticipation.
Our delicious food...waiting to be devoured.

I'd guess this had to be the most heavily attended show in the festival's 5-year history as the plaza and surrounding streets were absolutely filled with people - the word must be getting out that this is a great festival, a not-to-be-missed event that seems to be growing in attendance every year. It's still no serious competition for the Chicago Blues Festival which runs the same weekend, but the Dave's fest is definately a growing event - I've watched the crowd size steadily increase in the 4 years I have been attending. The first few years the afternoon crowds were kind of smallish but this year the place was packed by mid-afternoon and the people just kept coming in large numbers all through the early evening.

The view from behind the main stage...

After we were done eating, we found a good spot to sit, just behind the main stage, as Corey Stevens and his band kicked off their first of two brief sets on the second stage. I enjoy sitting behind the main stage as you can watch the performers set up gear, converse with each other and hang out. While Stevens and his group played, we watched the guys from Bernard Allison's band setting up on the main stage. Their drummer was doing a crazy regimen of stretching exercises that was pretty amusing to watch. Another good point of sitting in this spot is that you can see pretty much the entire crowd and both stages, albiet from behind. It makes for good people watching and there are always plenty of interesting people to watch at this festival. hippies, punks, homeless, yuppies, middle-class business men in suits, old, young, black, white - it seems everybody loves the blues. We watched a group of about 4 or 5 (seemingly) drunk white ladies dancing and shimmying along with some older geezerly-type dudes who joined in with them with little or no prompting. How were they dancing? Think of Elaine from that Seinfeld episode where she's dancing at her company Christmas Party and you'll get the picture.

As Stevens and company wrapped up their short set, The Gorgeous One and I moved again, this time to a spot right in front of the main stage so we could get a few good photos of Bernard Allison and his band when they came out. While we were waiting for his set to begin we managed to score a few autographs on our show schedule/flyer (see top photo). There was a merchandise booth set up just to the right of the main stage and all through the afternoon and evening the artists were visiting with fans, taking photos and signing autographs. We said hello to Ana Popovic as she signed our flyer. We told her we had enjoyed her set and she said that she and her band would be appearing later in the evening over at Famous Dave's in Calhoun Square. A few minutes later Corey Stevens, just off stage, appeared and we got him to sign as well and then I noticed Nikki Mallone (of Nikkin & the Rue Mates) standing nearby so we asked he to sign as well and she smiled and said "Thanks for coming!" as she added her name to our flyer. I was pretty jazzed about all this, thinking it would be nice to have as many autographs as possible on our flyer - but these were the only three we obtained. We didn't know it yet, but we would be leaving the festival shortly.

After a lengthy introduction from the KARE-11 dude, Bernard Allison, his band, and keyboardist Bruce McCabe began their set. We hung out in front of the stage for a bit, watching as they slowly worked their way into a blues guitar frenzy, taking several photos as they played through their first few numbers.

Blues legend Bernard Allison lays it down for the Famous Dave's crowd.

See video of Bernard Allison's performance HERE.

About 20 minutes into their hour-and-a-half set we headed back to the food area to get some Ben & Jerry's ice cream (1 large cup of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough - price: $6.00) and found a place to sit down and eat. As we were eating we saw this older lady with her dog, who she was pushing around in a baby stroller - it was quite a sight and I had to take a photo of them. This might be the most spoiled dog in the world, he looked like he was really enjoying himself. The lady was pushing him along and she had also picked up some ice cream. She at down not far from us and I was watching them and the dog seemed to really want some ice cream. I kept waiting for the lady to give him a taste right from her spoon - it wouldn't have surprised me one bit if she had - but she did not. Poor doggy.

Ice cream finished off, we decided to work our way back around to the back of the main stage and as we were winding our way through the ever-increasing crowd, disaster struck. The Gorgeous One's choice of foot-wear, flip-flops, proved to be a bad call as I stepped on the back of her left one as we were inching our way through the crowd, walking very closely together. As I stepped down, catching the back of her heel, she was stepping up - the pressure of my shoe holding down her flip-flop just as she was stepping up caused the straps of her shoe to shift violently and pinch the area around her big toe in a very painful way that caused immediate redness and swelling. She pulled a muscle and was having difficulty walking as putting her full weight on her foot was now a very painful experience. We sat for a bit and hoped the pain would subside but it was obvious that further walking around the festival grounds was not going to be a very enjoyable experience for her. We sat for a bit more and decided it was best if we just headed for home instead of traipsing around for 3 more hours with her damaged foot. We were both quite disappointed at this development but it was what it was and we started off towards the car, Bernard Allison only half-way through his set, still jamming, the volume decreasing as we got further and further down the street, and eventually the sound of music gave way to the sounds of city busses, traffic, pedestrians and sidewalk diners.

We walked mostly silently, neither of us in the greatest of moods at having to leave the festival so early and miss the headliner, guitar-slinger Tinsley Ellis. As we walked up Nicollet Avenue back to the car, we encountered a guy who was 30-something-ish and looked to be homeless. He was giving his pitch for money: "Spit on me for $1.00 or kick me for $10.00." It was one of the saddest, most desperate and disgusting things I've seen or heard in quite some time.

And soon we were in the car, heading for home, hoping for a better experience next year.

*See the rest of the photos we took HERE.

*Watch some of the music from earlier in the day here: Big Daddy Cade Tribute to B.B. King

*Read my review of the 2008 Famous Dave's BBQ & Blues Fest HERE.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Suggested Viewing: The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)



On a whim, the Gorgeous One and I, neither of whom really enjoy going to the movies, went out last night and caught the opening night of "The Taking of Pelham 123" which features my favorite movie star - New York City. All I have to say about it is it is a GREAT movie and we both really enjoyed it.



One From The Archives: 06/15/85 "Weird" Al Yankovic @ Valley Fair Amusement Park, Shakopee, MN


(All Images by: NYCDreamin Archives)
June 15th, 1985: The Aitkin United Methodist Church Youth Group prepares to storm Valley Fair. I'm the dork in the back row, second from right, with the bag of Gummi Bears.

The day started out early - like 6:00am early. Mom and my step-dad had arranged to take the kids from our church youth group on an overnight trip to Shakopee, MN to have a day of fun at the Valley Fair amusement park. Around a dozen of us piled into a GMC Suburban and headed off on our trip. I remember as we were coming in through the Twin Cities that there was a huge ammount of summer road construction as there always seems to be and I believe my step-dad was about to lose his mind sitting, stuck in slow-moving traffic, inching along, and having to put up with a dozen crazed teen-agers who were belching and farting and being generally obnoxious, all of us anxious to get to the park. We finally arrived at some point late in the morning. The park was already packed with people by the time we arrived and we parked quite far out in the parking lot as it was rapidly filling up.
 
I can't remember if we knew "Weird" Al was going to be performing before we arrived or if we found out when we got to the park. There was a huge banner hanging over the park entry gates announcing the show though (see above photo) and we stopped near the gates to take a few photos of our group before we all split up and went our seperate ways for the day. I think my buddy Dan and I spent most of the day hanging out together, riding a few rides and checking out all the hot looking chicks and most probably discussing our plans for the band we wanted to form - "Crusader", the name taken from a Saxon song we were particularly fond of at the time. He and I were just excited that we were gonna be able to see and hear some music later in the evening. It wasn't gonna be Motley Crue, Ratt, Ozzy, or Kiss, but we liked "Weird" Al enough and were happy to be able to have a chance to see him live in-concert.

Late in the afternoon we decided we'd head over to the amphitheatre area and watch the band set up and run through their soundcheck - this was very important stuff to us. While the rest of our group were busy hitting the rides and the water park, we wandered over and soon found ourselves staring at the very nice tour bus that, no doubt, belonged to "Weird" Al. We were hovering around, dreaming of the day when we'd have our own tour bus like this when suddenly a guy steps out of the bus. We walked over and asked him if he was "Weird" Al's driver - he said he was. So we started talking to him and we asked him what other bands he had worked for. He told us that, just before this tour, he had been driving a Japanese band called Loudness around the country on one of their first (maybe THE first) tours of America. Dan and I were both big fans of Loudness so we were thrilled to hear the driver's stories about how the Loudness guys were always cooking up some rice-based fish dish on the bus, smelling it up horribly in the process, and that they were really cool (and crazy) guys. The driver soon tired of our juvenile and to him inconsequential questions and excused himself and disappeared, so Dan and I headed over to the front of the amphitheatre stage where the band were busy in full preparation for the evening's show.

They were running through a few songs and all of a sudden the man himself, "Weird" Al appeared on the stage and stepped up to his keyboard set-up. We waved at him and he waved back and said "Hi, Guys!" through his microphone. We might as well have been old friends! He and the band ran through several more songs and Dan and I were thrilled to be standing there getting a preview of the show. Soon they were finished and we headed off to meet up with the rest of our group to grab some food before we all headed back over to the amphitheatre to attend the concert.
By the time we got done eating and got back over to the band shell, there was quite a line of people waiting to get in and get good seats. We finally wound our way through the admittance line and found ourselves just a few rows back, plenty close enough to witness the show and take a few photos of all the craziness that was sure to ensue.

Click HERE to see my full set of photos from the show and our day at the park.

There was no opening act and soon the band wandered out and began to play, Al joining them a few minutes into the intro. I wish I could remember more about the show...it has been a very long time - 24 years ago - so my memories are a bit sketchy. I do remember he played several of his big songs like "Eat It", "My Bologna", "Another One Rides the Bus", and "Like a Surgeon", during which he had donned a pair of green hospital scrubs and was laying on the stage, writhing around in a spazmodic imitation of Madonna.


It was hilarious. He made several quick wardrobe changes throughout the course of the show.


They also did a long "Polka Medley" featuring Al on accordian, singing his well-written parody lyrics of several songs that were then popular on the radio. At one point he jumped off the stage and with one of his roadies acting as bodyguard, came out into the audience and walked around singing a song in the midst of the crowd who were loving every minute of the over-the-top performance.

As the sun dipped below the horizon the show came to it's conclusion and we all headed back out into the park as a group to enjoy a few more rides and (I think) some fireworks before calling it a day and going back to the hotel for the evening. But for some of us, this day was not over...not just yet.

The activities at the hotel that night were to include sleep. That's what most of the more well-behaved kids did, they went to their assigned rooms (boys in one room, girls in another of course) and went to sleep. As soon as we were sure my step-dad was asleep, Dan, myself and one or two others decided that we'd head back out into the hotel hallways and over to the game room. I remember playing Q-Bert, Zaxon and Dig Dug for quite a while and then pumping a few dollars worth of quarters into a vending machine, picking up a copy of Penthouse. Porn in a vending machine! How cool was that?? At some point we discovered that there was a wedding reception being held in the hotel banquet room. So, being the devious little shits we were, we decided to see if we couldn't somehow sneak in there and grab a few unattended beers. It took us a while but we were determined and eventually successful in our endevour and were soon enjoying our ill-gotten beers out in the hotel parking lot, safely away from any prying adult eyes. There weren't many beers to go around but we were happy just to have any at all. We drank them down, passing them around in true bum fashion, and now it was closing in on 3:00am or some rediculous hour like that. We finally wound down, sneaking back in to our room quietly so as not to wake anyone and get our asses in trouble, and settled in for a few hours sleep before being rudely awakened at the ungodly hour of 8:00am for the return trip home.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ephemera Interviews Karate Boogaloo

Be sure to check out the cool interview with fellow blogger and music lover Tim B. (a.k.a. Karate Boogaloo) of Stupefaction fame over at Ephemera. The interview also features photos of a few of KB's cool posters from his extensive private collection.

And we've also added Ephemera to our Permanent Links list.

Monday, June 8, 2009

One From The Archives: 06/09/02 Urban Sprawl Festival @ Warehouse District, Minneapolis, MN

 (Photos and Images via NYCDreamin Archives)
Print Ad for 06/09/02 Urban Sprawl Festival in Minneapolis featuring the legendary (to me anyway) Flipp. The ad was designed by Flipp guitarist Chia Karaoke a.k.a. Kii Arens, who was/is an accomplished graphic artist. You may even know some of his artwork. Check out his cool website at KiiArens.com.

City Pages "A-List" preview of the show.

This was a great day of free music in a large parking lot on the corner of 1st Avenue and 4th Street in downtown Minneapolis, hostesd by the Urban Wildlife Bar. The day culminated in one of the best of many Flipp performances I ever witnessed.

We arrived early in the afternoon on a sunny, warm Sunday and settled in and waited for the music to begin. The beers were flowing freely and we enjoyed sets of music by The Afterglow, Red Vendetta (whom I believe featured one member of the local legends "Babes in Toyland" - might have been Kat, but I don't remember for sure), and Faux Jean (who I'd seen previously opening for Flipp). LikeHell followed and I remember being quite impressed with them actually. Dumpster Juice came out and delivered a set of Minneapolis heaviness. They were followed by Janis Figure, whom I remember nothing about - the beers must have been kicking in and I was just all keyed up to witness the main attraction of the evening - Flipp.
A shot of the afternoon crowd rocking out to one of the earlier acts.

The Crazy Sick Fuckers finally took the stage around sundown and in true Flipp-style, made a comlpete spectacle of themselves - we would have been disappointed had they not done so. They were smoking joints on stage between and during songs, and at one point one of their road-crew appeared with a beer bong which guitarist Chia immediately gravitated towards. He continued to play as the roadie-dude filled the bong with beer and turned the tap, allowing the cold liquid refreshment to slide down the hose and into the mouth of the bald, band-aid headed guitarist. I took this photo (below) just seconds after he finished downing his beer.

The "World's Worst Guitarist" belches after downing his beer.
He never missed a note and the craziness soon began to escalate to new levels. Several pairs of promotional "Blow It Out Your Ass" underwear were tossed into the crowd and Chia bent over at one point, dropped his pants and showed us all the pair he was personally wearing, shaking his skinny little ass at the crowd. As was customary at a Flipp show, a random member of the crowd was pulled up on the stage, Brynn handed him his guitar and the guy got to jam with the band on a song. He was soon escorted off the stage and the show continued on.Flipp in action - I miss these guys!
They played right up to around 11:30pm at which point Brynn announced to the now totally drunken crowd of festival-goers that they had been told to wrap it up and get off the stage. "But," he screamed into his microphone, "We don't want to leave! We're NEVER FUCKING LEAVING!!" So they continued, playing another song or two and after several more minutes of mayhem, someone cut the power to the main stage P.A. system and the volume dropped noticeably. But the band continued on, playing through only their amplifiers ("100,000 Kustom Watts of Power!) which were suitably sufficient to broadcast the music to the crowd who were still hanging on every note.
But all good things must come to an end, and soon even the band's own equipment was switched off while they continued to play. The city was playing hardball - there was a curfew on the show and the band had gone well over their alloted time by this point - it was time to shut it down - NOW! "Everyone - this show is OVER," came the announcement from some jerk who had gotten up on the stage. He was met with a chorus of "Boo's" and middle fingers held high from the crowd who were quite obviously ready to party forever with their hometown heroes. But since the music was over, the concert-goers grudgingly began to disperse into the downtown area - most probably looking for more alcohol at the many clubs and bars in the Warehouse District. We too, decided it was time to head out and find something to do for the rest of the evening. I don't remember what we did or where we went after the show ended, but I'm sure it included more cold beer and discussion of how awesome the show had been.
Click HERE to see the rest of my photos from the festival. They are, I think, some of the best I've ever taken at any show I've ever attended.

Friday, June 5, 2009

One From The Archives: 06/08/89 Metallica/ The Cult @ Duluth Arena, Duluth, MN


(Photos and Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
My sorry-ass fridge in my sorry-ass first apartment the afternoon before the 06/08/89 Metallica/Cult concert in Duluth, MN. On the left sits my first guitar - a wood-grain finish "Kay" Flying V - the best guitar $149.00 could buy back in 1985. Sadly it is no longer around.

 
This was the second time I saw Metallica. I wish it had been my last, but alas, I went to see them a few more times (on the "Black" tour) and was quite disappointed at what they were becoming. It is common knowledge if you have nothing good to say, say nothing at all. I tried to write something nice about this show but all I kept coming up with was how much they sucked after this tour - and continue to do so to this very day. The only good thing I can say about it is that, looking back at the contents of my refrigerator it looks like we had a pretty good time - which we did. My buddy "Psycho" and I spent the day before the show procuring as much alcohol as we could scrounge up - looks like we did pretty good for a couple of underage punks with not much cash. The Cult was amazing - I've always been a big fan, and I rememberthis was also the day I picked up my first copy of "Nothing's Shocking" by Janes Addiction. I think I'm on my 3rd or 4th copy now. I presently have NO Metallica in my home, not even their best offering, "Master of Puppets." It just pisses me off when I listen to it so I choose not to.

 

New Permanent Link: ProudFootSound.Blog


Thanks to Sesu from MagicTramps.com for sending me this VERY COOL link to an amazing blog from Roma (Italy?) called:


Album artwork, information and MP3's of some very odd and very rare obscure punk/glam/trash/garage rock music.

Check out their recent Harlots of 42nd Street post for starters.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

In the City Pages This Week: Minneapolis Lyn-Lake Record Collectors Show

"You still see the older crowd but now you also see the younger people. And the younger people are buying alot of records."


Great article in this week's City Pages about the Minneapolis "Lyn-Lake Record Show", held every other month at the Minneapolis VFW @ 2916 Lyndale Avenue South:


...and for more information check out the MNRecordshow.com.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

New Permanent Link: Best Urban Exploration Site Ever - Opacity.us

Abandoned: Riverside Hospital - located on North Brother Island, Bronx, NY
(Image via: Opacity.us)

If, like me, you enjoy the beauty in photography of old and abandoned places, I have a site for you to check out. It's called Opacity and it is probably the best Urban Exploration photo repository anywhere on the net. Thousands of unbelievably beautiful and haunting images and detailed stories of abandoned and crumbling structures from around the world like the gem pictured above. Be prepared to spend a great deal of time browsing this site...I've spent hours reading and enjoying the images presented there. I've added the site as a permanent link to the right. (Look under "Of Interest To The Enlightened")

Visit them at: http://www.opacity.us/

Monday, June 1, 2009

One From The Archives: 06/01/05 Judas Priest/ Queensryche @ Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN


(Images via: NYCDreamin Archives)
This was the first show I ever attended at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul which had been open for a few years already by that point. It stands on the former location of the St. Paul Civic Center, a place where I attended many, many shows before it was torn down to make way for the new, improved version.
This was also the "Reunion Tour" for Judas Priest, Rob Halford rejoining the band on vocals for the first time in about a decade. Despite the (in my mind) harsh review in the Minneapolis paper the following day (read that review HERE) the show was amazing. Queensryche played well as always, dusting off a few tracks from my favorite CD of theirs, 1986's "Rage For Order." Priest came out and delivered a skull-crushing set of old and new material, showing that they had not mellowed with age even one iota, and again proving why they remain one of the best live metal bands to ever grace a stage, kicking more ass than bands half their age.
 
Update: 02/01/14 - Video!
(Videos say "Minneapolis" but were actually filmed in St. Paul)