Rock and Roll Never Forgets Part1

“That’s one of the great things about music. You can sing a song to 85,000 people and they’ll sing it back for 85,000 different reasons.” – Dave Grohl





“Ann’s the brunette, Nancy’s the blonde.”


I have a three-decade-old pinback button straightening out which musical Wilson sister is which, a souvenir from my first Heart show – October 16, 1982, about a month before leaving the pier for my second Mediterranean deployment aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz.

My wife and I saw Heart a few weeks ago in Baltimore. It’s my third time seeing them live; the second time Peg and I have seen them together.

Ann (the brunette) and Nancy (the blonde) are both in their 60s now, but they still rock- and-roll. On that cool recent evening on the Inner Harbor, Heart played their early 1970s classics, their MTV-era pop hits, and closed with killer covers of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song, What Is and What Should Never Be, and Misty Mountain Hop.

This band wasn’t nicknamed Little Zep back in the day for nothing.

Ann’s singing voice is still singularly dynamic, and Nancy remains a guitar goddess.

Side tip: If you’ve got a thing for cougar hippy-chicks, hang out near the Michelob Ultra line at a Heart concert.



The first live concert I ever saw was at the Delaware State Fair. I must have been five.

The Banana Splits were a furry-costumed, Saturday-morning-TV band/LSD hallucination. The leader of the Banana Splits was a guitar strumming beagle named Fleegle. Drooper the lion played bass, and Bingo, a Keith Moon-ish gorilla, was on drums. Snorky, a voiceless psychedelic elephant, was their keyboardist.  On TV they seemed fun and quirky, but live and in person, they had the all the appeal of cheap, smelly, noisy bathroom rugs wearing hats.

If you listened closely you could hear the man inside Snorky, in particular, cursing his life decisions.


My first legit rock show was Kiss at the old Capital Center in Largo, Maryland. December 20, 1977. I went with an older cousin, who drove, and a buddy of ours. It was the band’s Alive II tour and except for the Banana Splits, I’d never seen or heard anything remotely like it.

My ears buzzed for days.

My spirit even longer.

For me and to this day, there’s still nothing quite as humanly soul-stirring as an outstanding rock-and-roll show.

Thinking about concerts of my past made me curious about those experiences of others.

One of the great things about social media, is if you want to know something, anything, all you have to do is ask.

Sometimes you don’t even have to ask.

But this time I did.

My Facebook friends responded with enthusiasm

and with an impressive variety of answers across the spectrum of popular music.




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