concert memoirs pt. 16 – ramones & pete shelley

Ramones w/Funseekers
7/27/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: $8.00

This is one of my feather-in-my-cap shows. True, it wasn’t very early on, it wasn’t at CBGB’s, but it was before Dee Dee left the band. And well before they all died, most of them anyway. I hope that doesn’t seem to mean, because I do feel very fortunate that I was able to see them play.

It was a hot July night, the local leather-clad rockers and John and I (John eventually owned a leather jacket but not at that time and I’ve never owned a leather jacket) gathered at First Avenue to take in the greatness of The Ramones. The excitement was as unmistakable as were the heat vapors that could be see rising from the crowd on the main floor.

As a gift to their fans, the godfathers of punk rock had the club play the video of a song from their latest album, ‘Animal boy’. The song was ‘Something to Believe In’ and the video was brilliant. It was a biting parody of the whole BandAid, ‘We Are The World’ trend. The Ramones weren’t attacking the cause, they were merely attempting to deflate the celebrity ego. Besides, if your not in it, you’re out of it. Check for the video on YouTube.

Finally, as the crowd bellowed, “Hey, Ho! Let’s go!”, The Ramones took the stage. And they delivered the goods! “1-2-3-4!” “Gabba Gabba Hey!” Pinheads. Banners. Fantastic songs! And best of all, fun!

Pete Shelley w/Information Society
8/20/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Here’s another great show. The Buzzcocks was one of my favorite bands, but they had broken up by the time I had discovered them, so it was cool to at least be able to see Pete Shelley. And he didn’t have that I’m-only-playing-my-solo-work attitude. He was more than happy to crack out a few Buzzcocks tunes. And we loved it.

There was a good crowd in attendance, but, surprisingly, it wasn’t a packed house. There was plenty of room to dance and pogo and slam our hearts out. And the dozen or so fans down front (John and I included) were going wild. It was exhilarating!

Pete kicked off with his solo effort ‘Telephone Operator’ and kept us jumping with others of his excellent solo tunes and lots of Buzzcocks classics. We were exhausted when we called him back for his encore, but we didn’t stop. In fact, we were so enthusiastic that we got him back out for a second encore!

He and his excellent band came back out after the first encore and Pete looked a bit surprised and certainly pleased. However, he had apparently run through all his rehearsed material, because he treated us to an encore performance of ‘Telephone Operator’.

It was wonderful!

I can’t remember a thing about the opening act, Information Society, but when you’ve seen such a great show why waste brain cells remembering the opening act?

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