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We knew them when!


whitefang

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Winston Smith inspired this thread with his comment in Larry's "Fleetwood Mac" thread mentioning seeing them BEFORE their '70's fame and Christine McVie was only just sitting in with them.

 

Made me wonder, HOW many eventually really famous acts have you seen open for someone else BEFORE they hit it big? I CAN come up with a few...

 

In 1969, when "Kick Out The Jams" was making it big, A buddy and me went to see The MC5 at Detroit's Grande Ballroom. The opening act for THEM was a band from Cleveland that for a couple of years before was a FIVE PIECE band, but that night, it was their FIRST appearacnce as a TRIO, due to 2 of them dying in a traffic accident on one of their frequent trips back and forth from Cleveland to Detroit. the BAND? It was....

 

The JAMES GANG They have YET to have recorded an LP, and that lanky guitar player burning up that Gibson LP goldtop was not yet a household name! Oh, and the REAL "headliners" were THREE DOG NIGHT!

 

In 1972, VERY early, before I married my first wife that May, me, her and a buddy went to Cobo Arena in Detroit to see EMERSON, LAKE AND PALMER, whose "Pictures At An Exhibition" was all the rage on the radio. THEIR opening act was some band with an odd name. Something like---"The MahatmahGandhi orchestra" or some such shit. The guitarist, some dink with SHORT hair, wearing a WHITE SUIT comes out sporting this double necked guitar. I thought, "Oh, RIGHT! AS IF he could PLAY it!" Well, if you've already figured out WHO it really was, it took a short five minutes into their set to discover that YEAH----he COULD play that thing! Yeah,it was The Mahavishnu Orchestra, the guitarist WAS John McLaughlin, and I've been hooked ever since.

 

Me and another friend, later that year, (1972) went to go see Mahavishnu again at Detroit's Ford Auditorium. It was shortly before "Birds Of Fire" was due out. THEIR opening act was a group of guys, said to have a couple of Detroit area roots who played something called "country-Rock" and went by the name THE EAGLES. They had a song on the radio I liked( "Take It Easy") and they had a nice sound. Hmmm....opened for MAHAVISHNU of all people!

 

LATER that year, STILL before they garnered the fame they eventually would, they opened for YES at Detroit's Cobo arena.

 

A few years later, a few of us went to see a "Yes clone" band named STARCASTLE. THEIR opening act was some band who I heard on the radio do a song called "People" and I thought was OK. THEY were called JOURNEY. And I remember wondering if THEY would get anywhere!

 

Just like back in '68-'69 when we'd go to Aquinas High School in Southgate,MI to see BOB SEGER almost every weekend (for $2!)and a few times there was this ugly asshole perorming in women's dresses and calling himself ALICE! Some of us DID wonder if he thought he was gonna GET anywhere with that schtick?

 

Goes to show you that Chuck Berry was right!

 

You NEVER can tell!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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I saw a band at SXSW that I thought was going to be the next incarnation of Red Hot Chili peppers or Fishbone. They didn't get a contract like that, but they DID become the backup band for Outkast.

 

I saw Galactic Cowboys doing a show back in Austin about 1 month before they got their first recording contract.

Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: âNinety percent of everything is crapâ

 

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I had a work buddy who had two tickets to see Alabama as his wife jaked out on him at the last minute and couldn't go. So he invites me to take her place and I told him I was not interested. I like Alabama but I don't like getting in and out of concert parking lots and fighting the crowd. When he told me it was an outside stand-up concert I told him definitely no! He continued to beg me to go and said he would buy the beer, so I reluctantly said Oh OK I'll go...

 

So we get there and fight our way in with another couple of his friends and the show begins...out comes the warm up band and it's The Charlie Daniels Band! There was not a word mentioned about them even being there on the flyers, tickets, ads, etc...For me, it was great as I liked Charlie way better than Alabama (oh they were super too)...I was a happy camper! :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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Uh, YEAH, but see----Charlie Daniels at that time was already an established classic act. NOT an unheard of.

 

Example, my wife, long before I met her, used to be big on country music in the late '70's and early '80's. She used to frequent shabby roadside dumps with country acts around the greater Metro Detroit area. One dump had a guy she thought was OK, but no great shakes, as a regular performer. HIS name was GEORGE STRAIT!

 

YOUR story is more on par with the one I once mentioned about a friend of mine having extra BLACK SABBATH tickets, and asking me if I wanted to go. I NEVER was much on Sabbath, so I declined. It wasn't until AFTER that I discovered YES was THEIR opening act! Had I known, I would have gone, and LEFT after YES went off!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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hmm, let's see...

 

I saw folk hottie Jewel back in the summer of 1995. She was the opening act...for goth legend Peter Murphy. Perhaps the most wtf double bill I've ever seen. She did have some support in the room - I'd say that 30% of the sold-out crowd were just there to see her - but her fans weren't the ones waiting outside all day to get in. All the goths filling the main floor and the front row of the balcony just stared at her without making a sound. They didn't cheer or boo. Had to be weird as hell for Jewel; I'm sure she could hear the cheering and applause that she was getting, but she couldn't see the people doing it at all.

 

I saw Creed open for an awesome Canadian band called the Tea Party in a large club (Clutch Cargo's in Pontiac, MI) in early 1998. Creed were just starting to get radio play for their single, "My Own Prison." They SUCKED. One of the worst bands I've ever seen. Saw them open for VH 2 months later, and they were even worse on the big stage. 18 months later, they were one of the biggest bands in the world. Go figure.

 

Not exactly on topic, but I did see Soundgarden and Nine Inch Nails when they were both still playing medium-sized clubs. They were the headliners each night, though, so not the same thing.

 

 

 

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In 68 or 69 I went to the Rose Palace in Pasadena to see a bill headlined by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & Trinity. I went to see the opening act, a bunch of nobodies (at that time) called Led Zeppelin.

Also around that time there was an ongoing weekly series of concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Exhibition Hall, featuring regional B level acts. I went nearly every week to stand right at the front of the stage & watch the house band/warm up act, a local unknown outfit who had one album out that my friends & I loved. They were called Iron Butterfly & IMO were much better at that hungry point in their career than they were during their 15 minutes of fame.

Scott Fraser
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Uh, YEAH, but see----Charlie Daniels at that time was already an established classic act. NOT an unheard of.

 

Example, my wife, long before I met her, used to be big on country music in the late '70's and early '80's. She used to frequent shabby roadside dumps with country acts around the greater Metro Detroit area. One dump had a guy she thought was OK, but no great shakes, as a regular performer. HIS name was GEORGE STRAIT!

 

YOUR story is more on par with the one I once mentioned about a friend of mine having extra BLACK SABBATH tickets, and asking me if I wanted to go. I NEVER was much on Sabbath, so I declined. It wasn't until AFTER that I discovered YES was THEIR opening act! Had I known, I would have gone, and LEFT after YES went off!

Whitefang

 

I knew all that Fang and I'm sorry that my story was a tad OT. I should have made that more clear in my opening. It wasn't quite the Cinderella story of Tom and Jerry becoming Simon and Garfunkel. There is an irony though when a well known band is treated like the up and coming no-name warm-up bands you described. Just imagine how many more tickets would have been sold if there was a double billing! But, with that said, that's my story and I'm sticking to it LOL! Ps. I wouldn't have left early though because I did like the mainliner...:facepalm:

Take care, Larryz
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There was a band in my town I knew and used to open up for and hang out with a bit... Better Than Ezra, who went on to became huge for a time.

 

Tons of people who've attained some fame in the indie rock world crashed at my house and I did shows for lots of up then up and coming folks... but none of them would probably be legends to you guys.

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HOW many eventually really famous acts have you seen open for someone else BEFORE they hit it big? I CAN come up with a few...

 

I saw the James Gang and ZZ Top at a skating rink in Bricktown NJ before they hit it big.

 

Interestingly, the manager of that skating rink at that time, and I met some years later, working at the Anheuser Busch brewery in Jacksonville Florida as employees of an outside contractor, as union tile setters, doing the tile work on the walls and floors of the brewery where they had the tours. Every other year we had to rip up the floors and redo them.

 

It was the best construction job I ever had those two different years. Easy work and bigger pay. I liked it.

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In 68 or 69 I went to the Rose Palace in Pasadena to see a bill headlined by Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & Trinity. I went to see the opening act, a bunch of nobodies (at that time) called Led Zeppelin.

Also around that time there was an ongoing weekly series of concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Exhibition Hall, featuring regional B level acts. I went nearly every week to stand right at the front of the stage & watch the house band/warm up act, a local unknown outfit who had one album out that my friends & I loved. They were called Iron Butterfly & IMO were much better at that hungry point in their career than they were during their 15 minutes of fame.

 

I was at that Rose Palace Show and it was '69 :2thu:

 

When I was stationed in Minot N.D. in '73-'74, I saw Styx in an old theater and Areosmith at the Minot Municipal Auditorium, both before they were household names. My wife says she used to go see this group the Glass Harp at JB's in Kent. She said the group that used to open for them were the James Gang and nobody really cared about them. :laugh::laugh::laugh:

Les Paul Studio Deluxe, '74 Guild S100, '64 Strat, JCM 900 Combo, Peavey Classic 30 1x12, Peavey Classic 30 Head, CBG
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In August of 1973 I went up the the Bangor Auditorium with my girlfriend to see Uriah Heep. They were at their peak and "Easy Living" was getting heavy airplay.

We entered the auditorium and what caught my eye was a couple of stacks of Marshall amps with some longhorns mounted to the top. As it turned out there were 2 opening acts and the amps belonged to the first act to take the stage.

When showtime came, the lights dimmed and the stage lit up and this guy wearing a cowboy shirt, jeans, cowboys boots and a big cowboy hat takes the stage and walks to the microphone and he Says, "I Ya'll"

There was some clapping along with a smattering of boos. He then said, "How 'bout a warm Maine welcome for that little ol' band from Texas, ZZ Top!" It would appear that most in the crowd (including myself) had not heard ZZ Top before and they seemed underwhelmed. Of coure ZZ Top won them over immediately when they tore onto "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" for their opening song. It was a helluva show.

To top it all off the second act to hit the stage was Earth Wind and Fire and by the time poor old Uriah Heep started playing they had already been blown off the stage in the battle of the bands.

 

 

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This kind of stuff is FUN when you stop and think about it. In other entertainment areas it's like watching some old movie on TV and seeing someone you KNOW is a "big star" show up in something considered a "walk-on" role. Or like when a bunch of us went to Mark Ridley's COMEDY CASTLE in Birmingham Michigan back in oh, about '80 or '81 to see a comic named Bruce Birnbaum, and one of the opening comics cracked us up royally. Some guy with short hair and a SUIT! The "trend" for comics at that time was longish hair and jeans. THAT comic was HILARIOUS! His name? TIM ALLEN!

 

Or it's like when my ex used to work at a bar called The Sidestreet Saloon( because it WAS located on a side street in Lincoln Park, MI) One of the bands that were kind of "regular" was a band called TOBY REDD. And after releasing THEIR first LP, their original drummer quit and was replaced by a guy named CHAD SMITH. (Yep! THAT Chad Smith!)

 

It's all actually kinda cool!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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In March of 1977, I went to Cobo Arena with some friends to see Boston. They had a couple of opening acts that none of us had heard of. I tell you what, that Sammy Hagar guy was pretty good. I wasn't all that impressed with that other band called Journey. I hear they got a new lead singer later and sold quite a few records.

 

My friend Bill told me how back in the Sixties, he was at a bar that his friend owned, and there was some British band playing that the bar owner thought was really great. They called themselves The Yardbirds.

I rock; therefore, I am.
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In 1978, went to see April Wine in my hometown of Ottawa Canada. April Wine came through often and I would see them on every tour (It's part of our Canadian duty). On this tour they had an obscure British band called U.K. that had their debut album. They're still fairly obscure but the players weren't: Bill Bruford on Drums, Eddie Jobson on keys, John Wetton on bass and vocals, and Allan Holdsworth on guitar.

 

That lineup didn't last long and they went on as a 3-piece with Terry Bozzio on drums and no guitarist, but man, I think I was the only one there who was completely thrilled.

 

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Yeah, Sharkman---I did mention that Journey opened for the "headliners" called STARCASTLE! That WAS about a year or so before you saw them with Boston. STARCASTLE went on to obscurity, and Journey? Well,,,,I guess we all know what became of THEM!

 

You can get sort of the same sensation back in the day of "liner reading". Back when we'd lay around listening to vinyl LPs while reading the liner notes. Then in later years, when you see familiar names somewhere else. I recall a girl I knew coming over with an LP of a dou called "McDonald & Giles". When looking it over( the music was kind of OK) I noticed---"THese guys are from KING CRIMSON!", I blurted out---I since don't know what happened to GILES, but McDonald wound up in FOREIGNER'S line up.

 

It can be interesting stuff. After all, MOST of us "boomers" might not ever have been aware of WHO Michael Bloomfield or Al Kooper was if NOT for seeing their names pop up in the "personel" lists on those Dylan albums!

(another interesting note: Koopper and Bloomfield did a "jam" LP, recorded live over several dates( "The Live Adventures of Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield") in which Bloomfield, suffering from Insomnia, was hospitalized on one of the dates, and was replaced that night by a somewhat obscure( to many) guitar slinger from the Butterfield Blues Band named ELVIN BISHOP, who some seven or so years later found some national fame with a song called "Fooled Around and Fell In Love"

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Well I don`t have any stories like this myself but, a friend of mine who passed a couple of years ago-too much hard living back in the day-had been a record producer in L.A.-one of his buddies was a fellow named Gaza X, who produced a minor hit for Meredith Brooks called `Bitch`.

Well anyway my buddy was the producer for a band called L.A.s Wasted Youth, who had an album that has something of cult status among the punk/hardcore crowd, called `Reagan`s In`. The idea was, to follow up the success of that one with a fairly big-budget release. However, due to the funding sources, the studio he was working at overruled that project, and instead decided to invest in another band that was just getting started.

That band, was called Motley Crue.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

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Well, I GUESS "Bitch" WAS a minor hit for Meredith Brooks, because I've NEVER hEARD of her!

 

But it's an interestig story, AND in keeping with the vibe of the thread.

 

I also belong to the TCM message boards, where our main interest is "classic" movies, and there's a lot of that sort of stuff that can be discovered in the histories of old time movie stars, too.

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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^ Were you under a rock for all of 1996-98? You couldn't avoid that song for at least 2 years there.

 

Well I don`t have any stories like this myself but, a friend of mine who passed a couple of years ago-too much hard living back in the day-had been a record producer in L.A.-one of his buddies was a fellow named Gaza X, who produced a minor hit for Meredith Brooks called `Bitch`.

 

 

dude, I loved Geza X back in the day!

 

[video:youtube]

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Well, there`s no control over that-we knew WHO when?

 

Here`s a good one-I have a friend from Sweden, a musician and composer. I stayed at his place on my one visit (so far) to Stockholm. His mother had been an executive with-I think it`s CBS Records? his dad was in sales-well dad was sick of sales, he got the idea to have a kind of, mobile battle of the bands. He would go to different towns, audition local bands and they would each play a set and whoever got the most votes from the audience would win. There was one band he liked, they didn`t win the local competition but he had a feeling that there was something going on. He approached the group after the event and offered to help promote them.

That band later became known as Europe-`The Final Countdown` guys. I saw pics of them at my friend`s house.

 

BTW here is the Meredith Brooks song-oh yeah,she plays guitar *v*:

 

[video:youtube]

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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U-m-m-m-m-m-mmmmmmmm

 

Let's just say, "Later, poorly covered by..." Say that about both Sam the Sham AND Buddy and Stacey as to NOT lose clear memory of Junior Walker's fine version!

 

Yeah, those early clips of Jimi are always amusing. Ya can't help but think, "I wonder if they had ANY idea!?"

 

There is a story in one of the Dylan bios about a Vanguard Records executive, the one who rejected signing Dylan to the label, running across a copy of his rejection letter to Bob one day, AFTER Bob was notably the biggest thing to happen to folk music, AND hailed as the "voice of his generation" and selling TONS of LPs, and the exec told his secretary to hold all his calls, and he went out and got drunk!

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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Cool stories-

 

I remember as a kid my dad used to drag me to this bar called The Mad House out in the sticks in a town of Bronson in the middle of SW Michigan (kind of like 'Roadhouse' but not as rough). Their big claim to fame was they used to be a regular stop for Foghat before they hit it big.

 

 

"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind"- George Orwell
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Cool stories-

 

I remember as a kid my dad used to drag me to this bar called The Mad House out in the sticks in a town of Bronson in the middle of SW Michigan (kind of like 'Roadhouse' but not as rough). Their big claim to fame was they used to be a regular stop for Foghat before they hit it big.

 

 

So, is that who you supposedly saw there, or was that it's rep WHEN you were a kid being dragged to it? There CAN be cases of bands going under different names back in "the day" before they changed the band name to what they became famous under. You know, like the old story of "The Mama's and The Papa's" once going by the name--"The Mugwhumps"( or howEVER it was spelled).

Whitefang

I started out with NOTHING...and I still have most of it left!
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U-m-m-m-m-m-mmmmmmmm

 

Let's just say, "Later, poorly covered by..." Say that about both Sam the Sham AND Buddy and Stacey as to NOT lose clear memory of Junior Walker's fine version!

"

Whitefang

 

Junior Walker and the All-stars, that`s the version I was trying to remember.

Same old surprises, brand new cliches-

 

Skipsounds on Soundclick:

www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandid=602491

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Cool stories-

 

I remember as a kid my dad used to drag me to this bar called The Mad House out in the sticks in a town of Bronson in the middle of SW Michigan (kind of like 'Roadhouse' but not as rough). Their big claim to fame was they used to be a regular stop for Foghat before they hit it big.

 

 

So, is that who you supposedly saw there, or was that it's rep WHEN you were a kid being dragged to it? There CAN be cases of bands going under different names back in "the day" before they changed the band name to what they became famous under. You know, like the old story of "The Mama's and The Papa's" once going by the name--"The Mugwhumps"( or howEVER it was spelled).

Whitefang

 

 

http://digitaldreamdoor.com/pages/Original-Names-of-Bands.html <--- here's an interesting list! :cool:

Take care, Larryz
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