Tuesday, May 1, 2012

CONCERTS - 1980 to 1989 (updated 12/15/12)

This is a bit of a lost decade, in that there's a five-year gap in concerts from 1984 to 1989. I have a couple of theories why, but it's still frustrating that I can't fill in the blanks.

SEPTEMBER 30 or OCTOBER 1, 1980: PAUL SIMON - THE PALLADIUM (aka The Academy of Music), MANHATTAN
The tour that this show comes from is essentially the precursor to the Simon and Garfunkel reunion in September 1981.  So much so that the stage set is a rooftop setting similar to what was used in the Central Park show.

MARCH 8, 1981: JAMES TAYLOR - ST. JOHN'S UNIVERSITY, QUEENS, NY
I like to call this my JT 10th Anniversary Concert, in that it was almost exactly ten years after the first time I saw him at the Garden.  As I remember it, the show was in a gym on the St. John's campus.

MAY 29, 1981: JAMES TAYLOR - SAVOY THEATRE, MANHATTAN
Obviously couldn't get enough of James this year.  The Savoy was an older, small theater, and they had long tables set up perpendicularly from the stage.  We had amazing seats at one of those tables, just to the left of center, about 5 seats back.

JULY 14, 1981: THE MOODY BLUES - MADISON SQUARE GARDEN
Their "comeback" album "Long Distance Voyager" was out, and their keyboardist was Patrick Moraz, who replaced Mike Pinder after the "Octave" album.  I wouldn't see the band in concert again for another twelve years.

AUGUST 1981: ALEX, HUGH, JAMES, KATE & LIVINGSTON TAYLOR - THE SOUTH STREET SEAPORT, MANHATTAN
The first and only time I've had the opportunity to see the entire Taylor clan in concert at one time...and one of the rare times that little brother Hugh has performed live.  This was a fund-raiser to save the Seaport. The siblings performed as solo artists and in various duets, trios, quartets and as a quintet.
Hugh, Livingston, Kate, James and Alex Taylor

SEPTEMBER 19, 1981: SIMON & GARFUNKEL - THE GREAT LAWN/CENTRAL PARK
Another of those top five magical concert experiences.  It had been overcast and drizzling all day.  And somehow, about 30 minutes before the show started the clouds cleared away, the sun came out and it was simply a beautiful and unforgettable night.  The DVD doesn't even begin to capture the feelings in the Park that night.

OCTOBER 17, 1981: PETER, PAUL & MARY - SAVOY THEATRE
A fun show. They had a big dragon running around on stage while they were singing "Puff the Magic Dragon."  I know because I have pix of it!

OCTOBER 27, 1981: BOB DYLAN - BRENDAN BYRNE ARENA/THE MEADOWLANDS, SECAUCUS, NJ
What more need be said?  It was Dylan.  And I had trouble understanding him even on the songs that I knew!

SEPTEMBER 30, 1982: CRIS WILLIAMSON - WAX MUSEUM NIGHT CLUB, WASHINGTON, DC
Cris is widely recognized as being the standard-bearer for women's music.  She is an incredible artist, and I have enjoyed her music for nearly 30 years.

SPRING 1983: CRIS WILLIAMSON - GEORGIA WORLD CONGRESS CENTER, ATLANTA, GA
What I remember about this show is that on her most recent album Cris had dedicated the song "Night Patrol" to John Lennon.  When she introduced the song at the show, John's named was booed by many in the audience.  To her credit, Cris said that John deserved everyone's respect because he had made a conscious choice to stay home and be a father and husband while his wife took care of the family business.

AUGUST 14, 1983: SIMON & GARFUNKEL - BOBBY DODD STADIUM/GEORGIA TECH, ATLANTA
It may have been smaller than Central Park, but for me this show didn't have any of the intimacy or excitement of the reunion concert.

MARCH 20, 1984: BILLY JOEL - OMNI ARENA, ATLANTA
I remember I was sitting in the upper level of the arena on the left side with my buddy Jim Hedges.  The show was good.

JULY 8, 1989: THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND - MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION/COLUMBIA, MD
This was the Brothers' 20th anniversary tour, and their first tour since re-forming, with Warren Haynes on guitar, Allen Woody on bass and Johnny Neel on keyboards.  They were great this night.  I actually brought paper and pencil and wrote down the set as the night went on. I still have it.

JULY 23, 1989: THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND - LAKEWOOD AMPHITHEATER, ATLANTA
And 15 days later, catching the Brothers again in Atlanta.

COMING UP: THE 1990s


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