I attended my first real concert in 1979 - 30 years ago. It was Peter Frampton.
My first concert was supposed to be a year earlier - Boston, but my folks wouldn't let me go, what with the Memphis firefighter and police strike going on and the National Guard protecting the Bluff City---so I sold my ticket. I posted on this episode in my life several years ago...click here for that sad tale.
Now, fast forward now to 2009.
The venue? FedExForum.
The act? AC/DC.
Whose first concert? My sixteen year old. And of all the people he wanted to go with him???
His old man.
Can you believe that?
Would I have done that? Are you nuts?
Way back when, to go to an AC/DC concert meant you were on the fringe. You have this strange looking guy on guitar who wears shorts, shirt and tie - he's marketed as a devil - (by the way all the red lights you see in the crowd are little devil horns conveniently on sale at the concert - no, we didn't bite) who truly is a master on the guitar - and of course, he's playing a Gibson SG - and it's on fire.
Back in the day, before they really hit, they opened for KISS. So, you put AC/DC and KISS on the same bill, in the 70's, and any Bible-belt "Christian" is pretty darned sure Armageddon is closing in. And who could say it wasn't?
You have lyrics not really even hiding the double entendres - it's just there in your face.
And my 16 year old is there with me...and one of his best friends...who's there with his dad...
And I'm thinking to myself...Cool, but strange, right?
I mean since when did rock become so mainstream?
"Highway to Hell" was what you listen to when you're a preacher's kid and you want to let everybody know..."that holier than thou stuff, that ain't for me."
Being the observer of human behavior that I am, I couldn't help but notice who was in the crowd. Tons of kids even younger than my oldest with their parents - headbanging with such acumen that Beavis and Butthead would be proud.
The other predominant group were those heavily attired in black..leather. Some men and a lot of women. Some could pull that look off and most looked like they were wedged in clothes that they could barely wear 25 years ago.
And there we all were--from various places and stations in life--focused on the stage. Some of us, like me, were not so much tied to what was going on onstage, but more where I was, what I was doing, and who I was with when I first heard those rock anthems.
My experience of the event has to be different than Andrew's.
Truth is, I'm pretty sure I would have never gone had it not been for him. He wanted to share it with me.
And here I was thinking it was me giving him the gift...
Kids, what are you going to do?