One thing that defined the 1980s besides you know, ridiculous clothes…and big hair…and everybody and their Grandmother doing blow…was music.
Without a doubt music ruled the 80s.
And leg warmers. Leg warmers kinda ruled the 80s too.
Besides the birth of Rock N’ Roll in the 50s, the glamtastic 1980s were arguably the most exciting and profitable time in the music industry. Launching, reviving, and ultimately sky rocketing the careers of such artists like Bruce Springsteen, Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, The Police…Oingo Boingo*.
Then MTV came along and had all us kids plastered in front of the gloriously big boob tube, watching Madonna hump a crucifix, Bruce play baseball, a fabulous looking tranny sing about Chameleons, and those overgrown cheerleaders from WHAM! jump around like they had Amazonian Needle Bugs dancing around in their short shorts. It was AWESOME! We rushed to the stores to spend our hard earned lawn mowing and baby sitting money on cassettes and stupid little pins with our favorite bands on them. Then we put those little pins on our bookbags and stared at them in math class when we should have been paying attention to algebra. Then we damn near flunked out of high school cause we didn’t know a damn thing about algebra because we spent all our time in class staring at some stupid pin on our bookbag. Then we grew up and couldn’t get a real job cause we blew off school and now we spend all our time blogging about stuff like 80s music and stupid little pins.
Anyway, another thing we did back then, was we went to concerts.
Concerts were the Holy Grail for music fans. People flocked to halls, clubs, auditoriums, and stadiums…dressed in tight jeans and shirts emblazoned with the faces of their favorite rock stars. Fans raised lighters and sang the words to every song. And the next day, they all sat around smelling like cheap beer and weed, telling stories of their totally rad night at the show.
Needless to say, when my dad announced that he was taking me to my first concert, I was thrilled!
Who would it be, I thought?
I was a huge metal fan…so, Motley Crue?
Nope. It would’ve have been way too easy to go see a popular 80s hair metal band while you were actually living in the 80s…
My first concert was Sha Na Na.
In case anybody’s wondering just what the fuck a Sha Na Na is, let me explain…
Sha Na Na was…is…fuck, I don’t really know if these fuckers are still around. Or alive, for that matter. Anyway, Sha Na Na is a bunch of dudes that dress like the Fonz and sing fucking Doo Wop songs. And they got some guy named Bowzer — Bowzer — with a really deep voice, whose only job in the band is to sing shit like, “Dip Dip Dip Doodle Waa Waa” while the rest of the Fonzies are singing actual real words. Look out Lennon and McCartney.
So my dad and I are watching these guys Shoo Wap Ba Diddly Doo all over the stage and everybody there is like losing their minds to these fucking guys.
I don’t get it.
There’s no spandex. No long hair. No upside down drum solos, or hair sprayed lion maned lead singers politely encouraging ladies to “SHOW US THOSE SWEATER PUPPIES.”
Yet the crowd, who all look to me like Sunday school teachers and used appliance salesmen, are shaking their geriatric asses off to these musical Lenny and Squiggys. At one point my dad elbows me, and with a toothy grin, points at the stage, where it appears that a couple of the Sunday school teachers have tossed their bras at these greaseballs…er, greasers. I’m immediately distracted because, well, you know…bralessness and whatnot, and spend the rest of the concert trying to spot a nipple. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t…the concert finally ended…and we took our shamalamadingdongs home.
I hated my dad for that shit.
But then he got himself back in my good graces by scoring us tickets to see Black fucking Sabbath and WASP. Then it was 11th row for Springsteen. Followed up by treks to see Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and finally Great White**. Pretty bad ass father and son time, I might say.
The old man had redeemed himself.
A few years later, he got my girlfriend and I tickets to another sold out Bruce Springsteen show. We went with him and my mom, and it was actually pretty fuckin gnarly. Especially since he and I first saw The Boss together years before. About halfway through the show, he elbows me and points at the side of the stage, where a couple bras had landed.
I smiled and elbowed him back, “Love you, Dad” I yelled over the music.
And then I spent the rest of the fucking concert trying to spot a nipple.
*Just messing with you. Oingo Boingo sucked.
**This was back in the day when Great White was just one band. Now those guys have split up and formed two Great Whites because apparently there’s a huge need for Once Bitten Twice Shy to be played for and by as many people as possible.
So what was your first concert? Did you like it? Hate it? Is the band still around today? And most importantly, did you get to see any nipples?
Rock on, fuckers. Rock on.