Saturday, November 20, 2010


Jan. 2 Foolish Virgins / Skitzos This sounds like a Billie Goat Hill New Year to me.

Jan. 9 Mama’s Pride / Faustus. How many times did I see these guys?

Jan. 9 Yard-Apes. From Kansas City, with a bit of a Talking Heads vibe, if I recall correctly. They were on the Fresh Sounds From Mid-America tape.

Jan. 21 Morells

Jan. 22 Morells

Jan. 23 Morells. Billie Goat Hill was jam-packed every time they played, but Tony Renner and I were always up near the foot of the stage, dancing up a wild storm within the tiny square footage our feet could take up. 

Jan. 30 The Felons / Riot Act. Interesting – I assume by this time, Riot Act had retained only Jeff Roth from the trio I saw in late 1980, and had expanded into a larger, funk/soul ensemble. Now that I think of it, half the musicians in town were in this band at one time or another, so who knows who was in the band at this gig? Papa Ray played sax before he was a papa, I remember that.

Feb. 5 David & the Happenings. These guys were from Carbondale, I think. David was the cousin of James Chance of the Contortions up in New York. This band played 60s soul with a bit of an art-damaged vibe, and for a little while, they practically moved into our city.

Feb. 6 David & the Happenings. Billie Goat Hill hoped they’d found another Morells, but while the crowds were good, they weren’t that good.

Feb. 11 Human Sexual Response. One of the great indie bands from the days before they were even called college rock. Out of Boston, there were three vocalists, and the legendary Rich Gilbert on guitar. This was at Mississippi Nights.

Feb. 13 The Action. I’m wondering when Dr. Munchees became the place to go. I ask because I remember the Action playing there frequently. Dr. Munchees, later Poorboy’s (yeah, they had no clue how to name clubs) was the first place in town booked by John Green, IIRC. His name will probably turn up now and again in the course of this memory project.

Feb. 17 The Felons / Riot Act.

Feb. 19 U2 / Scanners. Obviously, I got mixed up when I wrote about seeing these guys before. That time was at Graham Chapel; this time was at Hollywood Nights.

Feb. 20 David & the Happenings. I’m wondering if this was the show they did at the Chase Park Plaza, the same room where Squeeze had played, and the only other time I was there.

Feb. 24 Langrehr / Wax Theatricks. Wax Theatricks was the new name for Earwacks, though I preferred the old one. Still, it was nice to see them again – can’t remember where this show was, though. Could we be at Heartbreak Hotel yet?

Mar. 5 David & the Happenings

Mar. 6 David & the Happenings

Mar. 10 Studebakers / Sound Town. Anybody remember Sound Town? I sure don’t.

Mar. 13 Duchamp / Newd Arrangements. The Scanlons returned. Don’t know who Newd Arrangements were, but that was not a very good name.

Mar. 17 Morells

Mar. 19 Morells

Mar. 20 Morells. Don’t know what happened Mar. 18.

Mar. 24 The Obvious. I remember seeing the Obvious at 4th and Pine, and it feels like this could be the time frame for that.

Mar. 25 Joe Camel & the Caucasions. An east-side old-time rock’n’roll/rockabilly guy who played around town now and again for a while.

Mar. 26 Yard-Apes.

Mar. 31 David & the Happenings / The Felons. This could have been a return to the Ville Auditiorium, when Beatle Bob somehow booked bands, and when Rene Spencer (now Saller) wound up rapping in French on WESL.

Apr. 1 The Police / Joan Jett & the Blackhearts. Back to the Checkerdome for a much better Police concert – they figured out how to connect with a huge audience by this point.

Apr 2 Hunger Project. Can’t remember this one.

Apr. 7 The Embarrassment / the Nukes

Apr. 9 David & the Happenings

Apr. 15 Fools Face. This was probably at 4th & Pine, and I was probably along to humor the Mailman.

Apr. 17 The Felons / Popular Science. This was at a new, short-lived venue on Laclede’s Landing, and Popular Science was a band I was very excited to see. Tony Fafoglia and Curt Hendricks had left Be-Vision, teamed with Bob Chekoudjian of the Retros, and Kevin Griffin of the Zanti Misfits/AKA, not to mention a keyboard player who only lasted one or two gigs. I wish there were recordings of this outfit.

Apr. 18 Popular Science / the Nukes

Apr. 19 Red Rockers / the Nukes. My first ever exposure to hardcore punk, in the auditorium at UMSL. I was confused, I admit, but there was some wild energy there. I’ll never forget Tony Fafoglia’s review of their record: Take four bored teenagers. Lock them in a room with the first Clash album. Call them the Red Rockers.

Apr. 21 Boppin’ 88’s. Suddenly, there were rockabilly bands everywhere. I don’t remember this one at all.

Apr. 23 Hell Cats. Another rockabilly band, another distant memory.

Apr. 24 Arsenal Street / Wax Theatricks. Okay, who the heck was Arsenal Street? Maybe Dominic Schaeffer remembers?

Apr. 28 David & the Happenings / Jason & the Nashville Scorchers. This was at 4th & Pine, and boy did I hate Jason and company that first night. They were sloppy and raucous and not my thing at all. Then.

Apr. 30 Foolish Virgins. These guys played at Dr. Munchee’s a lot, too.

Apr. 30 Couch Dancers. Mysterious. A separate venue on the same night for a band I can’t remember at all.

May 5 Jonathan Richman / the Morells. You bet I was excited to finally see Jonathan Richman in person. I was disappointed he played solo, but I got used to that quickly, and left with a giant smile on my face.

May 8 Foolish Virgins.

May 14 Bad Beats / Foolish Virgins. The name Bad Beats doesn’t ring any bells, does it? . It’s entirely probable that this was at Dr. Munchees, and was the night I first met one Cathy Alsobrook, who would go on to have great influence in my life. But at this point, she was on a date with Tony Renner.

May 15 Riot Act I remember seeing these guys in an afternoon show at the 14th Street Mall – this may have been that.

May 15 Bad Beats / Foolish Virgins

May 17 Graham Parker. At Stages, an exhilarating performance by a band featuring Carlos Alomar and Brinsley Schwarz sharing lead guitar duties.

May 22 Dear John / Popular Science / the Action

June 2 Dave Edmunds / Island. A sweaty, exciting performance down at Mississippi Nights. I actually got his autograph, trying to get him to sign a West End Wax ad so they’d be happy with us in Jet Lag.

June 5 The Felons

June 11 The Morells. One night only? Was this at 4th & Pine? 

June 12 The Philosophic Collage. I seem to recall seeing them play in Timothy Tyme’s apartment with his wife, Carrie Lindsay. But that would have been loud, wouldn’t it?

June 18 The Action / Popular Science

June 25 Mike Burgett Band. Mysterious. This was at the end of the Foolish Virgins, and just before the Aviation Club, and probably not formally either yet. Might have been the time they played at a public pool and all my friends and I frolicked in the water while the rock played.

July 3 Chuck Berry. This was the first time I saw the legend. It was down on the Riverfront for the VP Fair, and there weren’t but a few hundred people paying attention, so we got up close. I was very impressed just to bask in his presence.

July 3 Mamas & the Papas. An exhilarating masterful performance elsewhere at the same Fair. John Phillips and Denny Doherty were there, with MacKenzie Phillips and Spanky McFarlane of Spanky and Our Gang subbing for Michelle Phillips and the late Mama Cass. What an incredible band, what incredible singing, what incredible songs!

July 7 Squeeze / A Flock of Seagulls / the Producers. This was at Kiel Opera House. Squeeze was all over the radio with “Black Coffee in Bed,” and at the time, I was in love with the first Flock of Seagulls album. (I still like it, but really, for a while there, it was one of my very fave records). The Producers were silly and pompous.

July 10 David Johansen. This is a total surprise. I really don’t remember seeing him. It must have been at Mississippi Nights, and boy, did I love the album with “Funky but Chic” from the day I first heard that song on KWUR. I’m not sure if I’d even heard the New York Dolls yet, but I remember buying their two out of print albums at Wuxtry, so I probably had.

July 17 The Felons. Boy, I saw those guys a lot.

July 23 Pylon / Rude Pets / Avon Ladies. At the Lindell Club, a hole in a basement on Lindell, and one I wish I could go back to with fresh ears. Cause I liked Pylon then, but I suspect I’d be more impressed now.

July 27 X / the Felons. I can’t tell you how major a band X was in my social circle in those days. I don’t think I’d owned a record by them yet, but I had to go. From that point on, I wanted to be Billy Zoom for a long, long time.

Aug. 4 Dead Kennedys / Rude Pets / Avon Ladies. What hold did Rude Pets and the Avon Ladies have on Mississippi Nights to both get billed opening for such wildly different acts two weeks apart? Anyway, this was the only time I ever slam danced. What fun! You could grab anybody you wanted and throw them across the room and they’d thank you for it. This was a way better hardcore band than Red Rockers had been.

Aug. 5 Elvis Costello / Sussman Lawrence. And then the next night was the Imperial Bedroom tour. Everything I didn’t get from the first time I saw Costello in 79, I got in spades this night. Much longer than a two hour show, with the Attractions on fire, and Costello showing me for the first time that he was an essential live performer who re-interpreted all his material at every show. I’m pretty sure this was the night he sang “End of the Rainbow” by Richard Thompson, a name I’d only just begun to learn about from Tony Renner, Tony Fafoglia, and Al Ricketts.

Aug. 6 Remainderz. Yep, bands spelled like that back then.

Aug. 14 Aviation Club / the Action. Burgett had formally a whole new band, featuring the astounding Jon Ferber on lead guitar, Mike Ritter on bass, and Mark Evans on drums. And there was much, much dancing to be done.

Aug. 21 Studebakers / Aviation Club

Aug. 26 The English Beat / Ferrari. I think this was at Graham Chapel, though having Ferrari open seems odd. Still, what a joyful sound.

Aug. 28 Avon Ladies / Aviation Club

Aug. 30 Black Uhuru / the Felons. You really have no idea how incredible Black Uhuru was, especially with Sly and Robbie live right there on stage at Stages. I remember everybody on stage left one by one until only Sly & Robbie remained. I can’t remember which one of them was last to play on by himself and then stop and walk off to thunderous, rapturous applause.

Sept. 8 Burning Spear / the Majestics. And then I first saw Winston Rodney only a little more than a week later. What a great time!

Sept. 9 Black Flag / Nig-Heist / Rude Pets.  This was at a small hall named Mr. A's in Illinois somewhere, maybe near Belleville? At any rate, this was the Rollins/Cadena/Dukowski/Ginn/Biscuits line-up, and it was formidable indeed. During the Nig-Heist set, which included members of the Flag, Dukowski almost beaned a guy over the head when Mugger, the nincompoop vocalist who had shown me and my friends his small penis backstage, convinced the guy to come on stage and make out with him or something.

Sept. 10 B-Lovers. Steve Scariano, Jeff Evans, and Nick Rudd played 4th and Pine – historically, the first time I ever saw anybody do cocaine backstage. These guys were awfully good – I wish I’d seen them more.

Sept. 23 Morells. I’m reasonably sure by this time the Morells had shifted to Heartbreak Hotel. In fact, it’s probable that by this time, Billie Goat Hill had bitten the dust, which was a shame. I had a lot of great times there.

Sept. 30 Shoes / the Raybeats. Do you have any idea how cool the Raybeats were? An instrumental band from New York led by guitarist Jody Harris, they had chops out the wazoo. And Shoes, of course, were power pop princes.

Oct. 2 Aviation Club / Disturbers. Boy, there were a lot of bands I saw once or twice and don’t remember at all. Disturbers, anyone?

Oct. 10 Rude Pets

Oct. 16 Rude Pets / Aviation Club. Then there’s Rude Pets, who I obviously saw all the time, but don’t remember their music much at all. I liked them, liked the people, but just can’t remember the music.

Oct. 26 The Specimens. Here’s a band from Minneapolis, I think, that I loved. Featuring one electric pianist named PJ something or other, they just always entertained the heck out of me. Oh, to hear “Lance Romance” one more time. These guys kept coming back to Dr. Munchees.

Oct. 28 Fleetwood Mac / Glenn Frey. Back then, the World Series was over by the middle of October, so when Glenn Frey, who wasn’t going over at all, resorted to “Hey, St. Louis, city of champions,” the fervor of the city’s World Series win guaranteed him a great ovation. And was I ever thrilled to see Fleetwood Mac – the song “Hold Me” from their album that year has always been one of my very favorite records, and I consider them to be perfect pop. See how far I’d come from my New Wave births?

Nov. 1 Noise to Go / The Elvis Brothers. “Hi, we’re the Elvis Brothers, and we have a lot of money.” I think they worked that into every song introduction, and some song lyrics, too, at Mississippi Nights. I remember the name Noise to Go, but the music and the faces escape me.

Nov. 5. V.I.P. No clue. I just remembered - these guys were a band from Webster University, and I remember they were trying to teach their drummer to play a reggae beat, but he'd never heard it before.

Nov. 8 Bad Brains / Riot Act. At Mississippi Nights. Bad Brains opened with three crunching, exhilarating hardcore songs that had me floating on air and halfway into space, but then it was all reggae, often with HR off the stage. It was cool they could play both, but hardcore was their strength. Without it, they were a mediocre reggae band. Little did I know how difficult HR could be.

Nov. 13 Meats of Distinction / Sub-Dudes. This was at a talent show at Clayton High School. I had started to meet all these kids into the hardcore scene, and many of them went to Clayton. The Meats of Distinction featured Dareen Ledeen and Bobby Christopher; the Sub-Dudes had Mike Apirion, Andy Hawkins, Gabe Katz. All these guys would play in front of me many more times, but this was the first time I saw them. Hardcore punk at a high school talent show, by the way, was quite a change from the baton twirlers and comedians also on the bill.

Nov. 16 The Specimens/ Cheaters. Since John Green booked Dr. Munchees (did I mention that location is now Magnolia’s, the biggest gay bar in town?), no wonder there were always bands I don’t remember. Cheaters?

Nov. 20 Infra-Red Funk. Yep, they were a local reggae band – I remember now. They played a lot for a few years there.

Dec. 3 Bad Beets / Aviation Club. Bad Beets? No memory.

Dec. 6 The Who / the Rockets. This time, Alex Weir won tickets by answering a trivia question on KSHE, and he took me with him. The free tix were again near the very top of the Checkerdome, but we managed to move down and find empty seats near where my future boss, Dick Richmond, was reviewing the show for the Post. The Rockets were the remnants of Mitch Ryder’s Detroit Wheels, and they did a mean version of Fleetwood Mac’s “Oh Well.” This was the last time I saw the Who live, and thus it was memorable, if not perfect.

Dec. 31 Meats of Distinction. Punk rock on New Year’s Eve? Where was this. It almost had to be a party. These guys were so young then.


Jan 9 The Guess Who. Well, I was working a car show or something akin to that at the Convention Center – ushering took me to all kinds of strange places; I once got to guard Clayton Moore (yeah, the Lone Ranger) at a personal appearance) – and a band called the Guess Who played. There was no Randy Bachman, no Burton Cummings, nobody except the bass player who wasn’t even the original guy who ever played on any of their records. A few years later, I met a guy who was playing in a version of Bachman Turner Overdrive with no Bachman or Turner in it.

Jan 13 The Police / Jools Holland / Sector 27. This was the worst Police show I saw; maybe they hadn’t figured out how to project in a larger space (Kiel Opera House), maybe they just had an off night. Jools Holland had recently left Squeeze, and he played some boogie woogie by himself. Sector 27 was the new band with Tom Robinson in it – John the Mailman and I interviewed him and for some reason drove him to 7-11; was there no feed backstage?

Jan 16 Brown & Langrehr & Friends. This may have been at Billie Goat Hill, and probably included Reed Nesbitt, he who played barre chords only on his guitar, and that by tuning the strings so he merely had to push down all six across one fret.

Jan 17 Brown & Langrehr & Friends.

Jan. 22 Fool’s Face. Oh, how I disliked these guys. Mailman loved them, and that’s probably how I wound up seeing them. Their best songs were at the end, when everybody traded instruments and they rocked harder. Also, these guys were apparently responsible for the stupid tiny pony tails that many men had throughout the 80s.

Jan. 23 The Strikers. Somewhere in here, perhaps this night, I went to the Club OP-P for the first time. It had opened on New Year’s Eve, but that was a very rare chance for my girlfriend and I to spend some alone time, so I didn’t go. The Club Op-P was a storefront down on the Stroll (the run-down strip where the prostitutes walked the street) run by Tony Patti (whose dad owned the building) and Mort Hill. For a few months, it was the place to go!

Jan. 24 The Action. This was a band from Elsah, Illinois who had a really cool power pop sensibility. Never recorded, but I saw them a bunch.

Jan. 27 The Rockats / Ferrari. I’m gonna guess this was at 4th and Pine. I didn’t remember seeing them a second time. Ferrari was the cover band with Ken Krueger at the time. I hated the band, but I liked Ken a lot. He wanted to move the band in a different direction.

Jan. 30 PG. I loved PG, but Burgett would go on to bigger and better things. And also, didn’t Saltsider abandon them before this to join first the Oui Oui Twins and then the Obvious? Was this PG as a trio?

Jan. 31 The Action / Anti-Mation

Feb. 4 Mama’s Pride. I don’t know how or why I saw them – I’m gonna guess a Convention Center event.

Feb. 6 The Strikers / The Skitzos

Feb. 7 The Action / The Heels. Remember I didn’t like the Heels when I saw them twice the previous year? I loved them to death this night at the Club Op-P. New guitarists Tony Fafoglia and Curt Hendricks were monsters – this was the night they played “Wooly Bully” with Tony on his knees playing the fretboard while Curt played the strings. They became my fave band of 1981, and Tony remains one of the best guitarists I’ve ever seen in St. Louis.

Feb. 7 Brown & Langrehr. Okay, where was this and why could I go after Op-P? There was a Masonic Temple two doors down from Op-P, and I wonder if this was a gig there. Not many shows happened there, but if anybody would book a new place, it was Charlie Langrehr. It could also have been the Tivoli for a midnight show, which happened sometime in this timeframe.

Feb. 13 Food & Money / The Heels. Food & Money were from Springfield, Illinois, and I really liked them. Possibly the first out-of-town New Wave band to play Billie Goat Hill.

Feb. 14 Brown & Langrehr

Feb. 27 The Nukes

Feb. 28 The Felons / Zanti Misfits

Mar. 5 Mama’s Pride. Alright, I’m confused. I had an internship at the Riverfront Times, but I thought that was in the fall. Maybe it was spring. If it was, I did a feature on this band, and had to see them a couple times. Ray Hartmann gave me a lecture about my rather critical stance on a popular local band – “If you were covering the Cardinals, you wouldn’t write anything bad about them, would you?”

Mar. 7 Be-Vision / The Action. Be-Vision was the Heels by any other name. A way better name, actually. 

Mar. 14 The Oozkicks

Mar. 19 Martha & the Muffins / the Felons. This was my first time at the Casa Loma Ballroom. I still love “Echo Beach” by these guys, and I still remember being madly in love with the bass player, who had only recently joined the band. There was an interview after the show in which a whole bunch of guys clustered around her.

Mar. 20 The Strikers / the Obvious. The Obvious was Tony Patti’s band; he had originally put together this same band to back up Rommie Martinez and Alisa Feinberg in the Oui Oui Twins, but that was a one gig and done thing. Chuck DeClue, formerly of the Retros, took over the vocal spot, and I loved the results. I think this may well have been the final Op-P show (though somewhere in there Mort had left, and it was called the Change Club).

Mar. 28 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts / Dog People. Jett had signed to her management deal with Kenny Laguna, and replaced Eric Ambel with some less entertaining guitarist. Still, she was Joan Jett, and I loved this show at Fourth & Pine. Were the Dog People Jim Wunderle’s band? I remember seeing him in something back then sometime, and this rings a bell with me.

Apr. 3 The Felons / Trained Animal. This was definitely at the Masonic Temple. It was the debut performance of Trained Animal, a new band with some instrumental virtuosos who didn’t last long, but made it on the Test Patterns album.

Apr. 4 The Gap Band / Cameo / Slave. This was the year I became entranced with WESL, the African-American hit radio station that was the only thing I listened to in the car for months. The Gap Band had a monster smash “Burn Rubber on Me,” and Donna Knott and I had to see them live. I don’t even remember Cameo or Slave, but I was thrilled with the whole night. I mean, I saw Dr. Jockenstein in person.

Apr. 6 Dear John. This was Bob Kuhlman’s band. Bob was a guy I’d seen around town at a lot of shows, and he had one heck of a knack for pop hooks. This might have been at a little bar on Hampton, or it might have been at Billie Goat Hill – those are the places I associate with Bob being on stage.

Apr. 7 U2. They played Hollywood Nights, touring behind or maybe slightly in front of the second album. I called Bono a Christ figure, and this was before he came out as a Christian.

Apr. 11 Trained Animal / Zanti Misfits

Apr. 23 The Strikers

Apr. 25 Brown & Langrehr

Apr. 30 Steel Pulse / the Felons. A major reggae show at the Casa Loma. Rick Gould and Sam Berger had started a production company to bring in the acts Contemporary Productions wouldn’t touch. I remember the singer in Steel Pulse, with that towering mass of dreadlocks, somehow fitting his head in a limousine before the show.

May 1 Earwacks. Earwacks were slightly older than the New Wave crowd (maybe like a year or two older, an eternity at the time in terms of musical taste). They came from a prog-rock background, but they also had a love for New Wave energy. I’m pretty sure this first time I saw them they played at UMSL, but I probably had their album already. I really wish I’d seen them more back then, as these guys were truly talented.

May 2 Zanti Misfits / Be-Vision

May 8 Parliament/Funkadelic / Zapp / Sweat Band. I had seen P-Funk in 76 on the Mothership Tour when I worked at the Arena. This time, the place was called the Checkerdome, and they brought the funk completely. And George Clinton got bare-ass naked on stage, with only an ermine cape behind him, which didn’t prevent anybody from seeing his appendage a waggling around while he danced. Also, Zapp blew me away, right from the moment Roger Troutman was carried into the venue from the back of the crowd and brought to the stage. “More Bounce to the Ounce,” indeed.

May 12 Garland Jeffreys / the Rumour. Graham Parker had split with his old mates, and they hooked up with Jeffreys, who had a new album I loved. This show was at Hollywood Nights, and I remember the Rumour’s opening set including a version of the Spinners’ “Rubberband Man.”

May 14 Shoes / Mopeds. Shoes were one of the first “indie” rock bands, though their second album had just come out on Elektra. Great show at Stages. Don’t remember the Mopeds.

May 16 Trained Animal / the Obvious

May 28 The Plimsouls / Be-Vision. This was a big deal, a majorly hyped power pop band from LA coming to 4th & Pine. This was pre “Million Miles Away,” and yet they drew a nice crowd of curiosity seekers. Still don’t know how Be-Vision got on this bill, but I was happy to see them.

May 30 Be-Vision / Food & Money.

June 5 John Cale / Earwacks. I was actually pretty sick this night, but the chance to see a former member of the Velvet Underground at the Casa Loma could not be passed up. I remember being disappointed he didn’t play “Ready For War” from the only Cale solo album I had at the time, “Sabotage Live.” But it was a great show, and remember, I liked Earwacks.

June 6 The Vapors / Strangers. “Turning Japanese” was an underground hit on all the new wave radio shows at the time. I don’t remember anything about the show except the interview afterwards, with Tony Cornejo pretty much taking over the entire conversation.

June 13 Duchamp. Another out-of-town band at Billie Goat Hill. This time from Kansas City. Inspired Tony Renner to come up with the headline “Scads and Scads of Scanlons” in Jet Lag, as most of the band were brothers named Scanlon. Artsy, but nice.

June 15 The Obvious. I’m guessing this was possibly the New Wave Fashion show at the Divine Miss M’s parking lot. I took great photos that night. Somewhere in this period, Chuck DeClue had left the band, and Tony Patti was singing lead.

June 17 Soulard Blues Band. This was definitely a Riverfront Times related thing, and I remember going with Bob Chekoudjian to see them so I could learn about blues.

June 20 The Strikers / Dear John / Steve Tee & Bob Kuhlman. I don’t know what the Kulhlman duo meant.

June 27 Be-Vision

June 28 The Obvious

July 1 Greg Kihn / Great Buildings / Fools Face. I think this was at Stages, and I remember hating Great Buildings even more than Fools Face, though hearing Kihn sing “Rendezvous” made up for it.

July 3 Tommy Bankhead & the Blues Eldorados. Donna Knott took me to this little hole in the wall on Manchester because she said this was real blues and I had to see it. She was right, though I don’t think I really knew what I was experiencing at the time.

July 14 999 / the Alleycats. The Casa Loma didn’t have air conditioning. It was over 100 degrees inside that night, and we were all gathered in front of the stage dancing like crazy. I actually got high just from dancing. The Alleycats were like X, but not as good.

July 15 Dennis Brown / Infra-Red Funk. Another Casa Loma reggae show, I believe. Infra-Red were a local reggae band, the first I’d ever heard. (Or were they from KC?)

July 17 The Sirens / Foolish Virgins. I can’t place the Sirens at all, but the Foolish Virgins were a trio led by Mike Burgett (of PG fame), with Doug Hagen on bass and Danny Hommes on drums. I almost never missed their gigs from this point on.

July 18 Herald Head. Huh?

July 20 Syl Sylvain & the Teardrops / the Nukes. I interviewed Syl at the Casa Loma before the show – he pointed to his 8 month pregnant drummer and told me, “This . . . .is what happens . . .  when you fuck . . . with Syl Sylvain.”

July 24 Insect Surfers / Strikers / Max Load. I seem to recall this being a Casa Loma event, too. The Insect Surfers were an underground band from Washington, DC. I think KWUR had something to do with this show.

July 25 Isley Brothers / Chaka Khan / Kool & the Gang / Manhattans / Al Hudson. Another Busch Stadium gig that I didn’t appreciate enough at the time, despite my funk fandom.

Aug. 1 The Felons

Aug. 3 Foolish Virgins. I think this was the time they played in a TV studio for cable broadcast, and I worked a camera that wasn’t turned on.

Aug. 6 Skitzos

Aug. 7 Dashboard Idols. I remember this name, I don’t remember this band.

Aug. 8 Delay Tactics 3. This was Carl Weingarten, right? With or without Reed Nesbitt?

Aug. 14 George Jones / Moe Bandy. Yep, I was ushering out in Fenton on a field where one of America’s greatest vocalists performed, and Moe Bandy wasn’t chopped liver, either. I don’t think I knew any songs yet, except “The Race Is On,” but he didn’t sing it. Still, it was thrilling.

Aug. 15 The Studebakers / Foolish Virgins. The Studebakers had been showing up at Billie Goat Hill in their Studebaker limo, and they had ads in Jet Lag for months before this gig. They were good people, especially drummer Jimmy Miller (who came from a jazz background, was a great guy, and who died way too young), but boy I didn’t like their New Wave by the numbers.

Aug. 20 Foolish Virgins. I think this was a gig at Mike Burgett’s house in St. Charles purporting to be the band’s last as he was going away to college. That didn’t last long.

Aug. 21 Rude Pets / the Sirens. The Rude Pets were another new band that changed styles now and again. Their drummer was always pretty good.

Aug. 28 Strikers / Felons

Aug. 29 The Obvious / the Nazi Seamen / Leaky Faucets. It was inevitable that I had to get up on stage myself. The Nazi Seamen was an ad hoc organization that included this night that included Tony Renner, Dana Ong, and myself. We had never practiced, we couldn’t play anything, and we had no songs. I made stuff up, and had the time of my life as vocalist. I’m pretty sure Leaky Faucets backed us up, too. We were hooked. This would continue.

Sept. 9 Soulard Blues Band

Sept. 11 Be-Vision / the Happy Chemicals. Billie Goat Hill wanted music to start at 9 pm. Bands wanted to play later, when the crowd would actually be there. We were an opening act that only wanted to play, not get paid. Match made in heaven. Oh, the name change to Happy Chemicals was because it was embarrassing to call ourselves Nazi Seamen. I’m pretty sure Tracy White and Mike Wineke played with us this time.

Sept. 12 Delay Tactics 4 / the Philosophic Collage. Now Jim Saltsider was playing with this art-damaged trio the Philosophic Collage, along with Trained Animal drummer Jeff Kersting, and Timothy Tyme. Tyme and I had an adversarial relationship, and I didn’t much like his singing, but I loved the sound of the band.

Sept. 16 The Go-Go’s / Mopeds. First, I fell head over heels for Kathy Valentine when I saw her playing pin-ball with a briefcase attached to her leg. Then later, after the show, the band threatened to tie me, Tony Patti, and John the Mailman up and take us to Chicago. That’s an adventure I should have had.

Sept 20 The Felons / AKA. I think AKA was a post Zanti Misfits band with Mark Sheridan, and if my mind isn’t completely going nuts, it was also a post Anti-Mation band with Tony Cornejo?

Sept. 22 Pretenders. Was this at Graham Chapel? I don’t remember the gig at all, but people tell me they saw them there, and clearly I saw them somewhere this time.

Oct. 2 Jay Berry Band. This smells of something I didn’t want to see.

Oct. 3 Acts. Same thing. I think it must have been at the Convention Center.

Oct. 3 Sonny Vincent & the Extreme. Rockabilly show I don’t remember at all.

Oct. 14 The Blasters / the Felons. Mississippi Nights was back and rocking. I guess the Go-Go’s must have been that triumphant return. Oh, the Blasters were magnificent – every song was a blast!

Oct. 15 Rick James / Teena Marie / Carl Carlton. “She’s a Bad Mama Jamma.” “Square Biz.” “Super Freak.” Live while they were all huge hits. And a 20-minute version of “Fire and Desire” with Rick and Teena.

Oct. 17 Felons

Oct. 23 Langrehr Band. I think this was at the bowling alley on Olive that burned down a few years back – Kenny Brown had left, and Charlie had a bassist and drummer now.

Oct. 30 Bangkoks / AKA. I don’t remember the Bangkoks, but they were probably from out of town.

Nov. 20 The Studebakers / AKA

Nov. 26 The Kings / Sommerville/Scarfina Project / Fools Face. Tony Renner’s 21st birthday was celebrated with me and Bob Chekoudjian, and we hated all the bands. Fun night, though.

Nov. 27 The Morells. My first time seeing Lou Whitney and Donnie Thompson. I fell madly in love right away.

Nov. 28 The Morells. They played a lot at Billie Goat Hill, and I was always right up front on the dance floor.

Nov. 29 The Studebakers / The Foolish Virgins

Dec. 4 The Embarrassment. From Omaha, I think, came this incredibly intense four-piece band that had trouble drawing an audience besides me, Tony Renner, Tony Fafoglia, Bob Kuhlmann, and his friend whose name I forget. I loved them to death.

Dec. 11 Kelley Hunt & the Kinetics / the Innocents. Really, some things just don’t jog the memory banks at all. What was this? I’m gonna guess it was at Billie Goat Hill, because I’d go see anything there if there wasn’t anything else happening.

Dec. 15 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts / Sirens. Interesting. I didn’t remember seeing Joan Jett a second time this year, but obviously I did. Was this at 4th and Pine, too?


Jan 7 The Heels. A very artsy, experimental, downright weird band from Illinois played the No Name Disco. I remember a long segment in which Matt, the bass player, put on a preachers collar and did some performance art.  I also remember leaving early, and driving my friends home to South St. Louis, a million miles out of my way, because Kevin Brueseke’s car got messed up.

Jan. 12 Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers / The Fabulous Poodles. A big show at Kiel Opera House for the Damn the Torpedoes tour. I remember Duwan found me a skinny tie to wear, my one and only pseudo-New Wave look. Grand opening, and grand closing that night. The Fabulous Poodles, a Kinksish band, should have been much, much more popular. They were amazing, as were the Heartbreakers.

Jan. 14. The Clones (later Da Clones) played No Name Disco. They were a St. Louis New Wave cover band who really could sound like all the records.

Jan. 18 Acts. This was a St. Louis bar band – I have no idea why I saw them, though it could have been work related.

Jan. 19 Bob Reuter & Frankie Tomazi. This was a party at Frankie’s house. John the Mailman and I still were thinking we were going to interview all the local musicians and write a history of St. Louis new wave; instead, we were slowly shifting towards doing a fanzine. Bob & Frankie had been in the Dinosaurs, who had recently broken up, and they played a bunch of Dinosaurs songs. I recorded it on my cheap cassette recorder, and if Jason Rerun ever gets around to it, I may someday find out if the sound of that tape is any good.

Jan. 21. The Nukes. Steve McCabe was one of the few guys I met at UMSL who I actually talked to outside school. He was the guitarist in this band, another New Wave cover band, though much slicker than the Clones. This was also at No Name Disco, and quite possibly was their first performance – he came up with the band name at the Eddie & the Hot Rods show in October.

Jan. 24 The Police / Wazmo Nariz. Stages was packed to the gills for this show. Steve McCabe had seen the Police back the previous year at M. Nights, along with 20 or so other people. But something like 1200 people crammed in for this show, which was spectacular. Wazmo Nariz was my second interview, and the first for which I knew I was doing a fanzine. He was a very entertaining Chicago artist with a record on IRS, and a song called “Checking Out the Check-Out Girls.”

Jan. 29 The Clones. Hmm – this was unlikely to be at No Name. Don’t know where it could have been.

Feb. 1 Cool Jerk / Max Load. Again hmmm. I thought they’d broken up after that previous gig, but maybe this was with a different drummer. I liked Max Load much more at this point – their Wire influence was beginning to be noticeable.

Feb. 2 & 3 The Britons. No idea at all.

Feb. 8 The Retros. I saw these guys so often, I doubt I’ll have any specific memories on any other gigs.

Feb. 18 Mitch Ryder / Powerhouse. I only barely knew who Mitch Ryder was, but after this 4th & Pine performance, he has been one of my all-time favorite singers. Stunning show.

Feb. 22. Max Load. 

Feb. 23 Brown & Langrehr.

Mar 5 George Thorogood / Phil Driscoll. This was at the Chase Park Plaza, that giant ballroom, and it was packed. I knew nothing about the blues, but I knew the songs he had on the radio, and I had a great time, though I probably wouldn’t like it so much now.

Mar 6 The Romantics / The Clones. At Stages – they wore their red suits and had just been on American Bandstand shortly before this show.

Mar 7 Brown & Langrehr / The Felons. This was at Peacock Alley. The Felons emerged from the ashes of the Dinosaurs and the Camaros. At this stage of their long career, they played more 60s rock’n’roll & soul songs than anything else; I remember Mike Downey singing “Baby I Love You” because he had a newborn baby.

Mar 8 The Beat. This was the band later called Paul Collins Beat to distinguish them from the English Beat, who were only called the English Beat to distinguish them from the prior existence of this Beat. Got it? Very enjoyable power pop show.

Mar. 10 The Ideals. I think this had to be a local band, but I don’t remember them at all.

Mar 17 The News. This was the final show at the No Name Disco. It was St. Patrick’s Day, and the regular disco crowd was there to party, and our crowd was there to rock, and the djs were fighting, and well, it just became something they didn’t want to deal with any more. 

Mar. 22 The Retros / The News. So where did this show take place? Was this the first gig at American Legion Hall 555? That was the next big location for local shows, I know that. You could rent the hall for next to nothing, and beer (which I didn’t touch in those days) was something like .50 a glass.

Mar. 26 Iggy Pop / Janet Jameson. My first road trip. I went with Donna Knott & Dave Beckman to Kansas City, to stay with Nick Moon before driving to Lawrence, KS to see the legendary Mr. Pop. I’m 6’8” tall, and some guy taller than me stood in front of me. This was the New Values tour, I believe, and it was incendiary.

Mar. 28 Brown & Langrehr / the Heels. This had to be a Legion Hall show.

Mar 30  999 / the Dickies. Donna Knott brought this show to the Ville Auditorium, a nice big location in the heart of St. Louis’ most prominent African-American community. I don’t remember any problems, but nothing rock happened at the Ville for a long time after it.

Apr 18 Max Load / Nerve Gas. Was this a party in Clayton?  Or was it a Legion hall show? And who were Nerve Gas?

Apr. 25 The Nukes. This may have been a show at UMSL. I definitely saw them there some time, and was taking pictures at the show while I was studying photography at UMSL.

Apr. 26 The Retros / Brown & Langrehr.

Apr. 28 The Who / The Pretenders. At the Arena. The tickets had been mail order only, and no location was guaranteed. Our tix were in the last row at the top of the Arena, on the side of the stage, such that all I saw of the Pretenders was Pete Farndon’s foot. We moved to a spot behind the stage so I could see the Who for the first time, and I was mightily impressed.

May 1 Squeeze. This was at the Chase Park Plaza in a small bar at the top of the hotel. In those days, you scoured the newspaper ads every week looking for concert announcements – I swear, when I saw the little ad in the Post announcing this I stared at it for hours trying to make sure I wasn’t seeing things. What an amazing chance to see a great band right at their Argybargy period.

May 3 The Zanti Misfits. So where was this gig? You know, I’m starting to think this was actually a rehearsal they let me watch for a while. One of the best bands ever to play St. Louis– Pete Kremer, Mark Sheridan, and Kevin Griffin had songs and energy to spare. Loved them to death – you can hear two of their many classics on the Test Patterns album.

May 9 Clones.

May 17 Surgery / Oozkicks. This was at a party in Clayton in the afternoon. The Oozkicks were teenagers from Webster Groves, Surgery was led by a crazy Iggy Pop imitator with extra libido. Both bands blew my mind.

May 17 The Retros / Zanti Misfits / Anti-Mation. Then I went to the Legion Hall for this triple threat, including the debut of Tony Cornejo’s newest outfit Anti-Mation and the official debut of the Zanti Misfits. That was a great day – four new local bands to love.

May 31 The News / Zanti Misfits

June 4 Third World / Toots & the Maytals. My first reggae concert, at Stages. I was working at Busch Stadium for a Shrine Circus performance, and desperately wanting to get out of there to see this show. I think I missed a good chunk of Toots’ performance, but he still knocked me the heck out. Third World was slicker than I liked at the time, but still a new world was opening up.

June 13 Max Load. June 14 The Clones

June 19 The News

June 20 George Benson / Cameo / Con-Funk-Shun. Oh, to get back to see this show I worked at Busch Stadium with the ears I have now. I knew nothing about what I was experiencing.

June 20 The Felons. And I obviously wanted to get on to see this show. Somewhere in here, shows started happening at Billie Goat Hill. I can’t pin point when that started, but this string of local shows had to be going on somewhere. Now that I think of it, though, this one was at a Legion Hall on Big Bend – I remember this being the first time I ever heard “Sea Cruise,” the Frankie Ford song.

June 21 Brothers Johnson/ Rufus/ Sister Sledge /Peaches & Herb /Bobby “Blue” Bland. Another night at Busch, and an even greater line-up of talent. I did know about the Brothers Johnson, though. Jim Roehm had introduced me to their amazing single “Stomp,” and that was my gateway into music outside the New Wave realm.

June 27 Max Load

July 3 The News

July 5 The Nukes / The Oozkicks. In addition to Billie Goat Hill, Bernard’s Pub became an option around this time; this could have been there or at a Legion Hall. Neither location was opposed to letting kids as young as the Oozkicks were in to play.

July 9 Surgery / Anti-Mation. Surgery drummer Kevin Brueseke had played with Tony Cornejo in the Camaros – thus this gig made sense.

July 11 Brown & Langrehr.

July 12 The Felons / New Kicks. Don’t know who that opening band is.

July 16 The News

July 18 Anti-Mation / Surgery

July 19 Max Load / Zanti Misfits / Oozkicks. The last show at 555, and the benefit to buy an answering machine for the New Wave Information Line Jet Lag ran in those days. The crowd was so huge that we wound up paying each band $200 over the money we raised for the machine, so everybody won.

July 25 PG. This was definitely at Billie Goat Hill, the first time I met and heard Mike Burgett and Jim Saltsider.

July 25 Zanti Misfits / The Retros. This was probably at Bernard’s, as I drove from one club to the other to see what was happening.

July 26 Surgery / PG

Aug. 1 Zanti Misfits / The Retros. Somewhere around this time, Bob Chekoudjian had left the Retros, to be replaced by Paul Grant. I’m thinking this might have been his first gig with them.

Aug. 2 The Retros / Zanti Misfits. Two nights at Billie Goat Hill, and Mark Sheridan told some very funny jokes.

Aug. 19 Surgery / the Oozkicks. Holy cow! I didn’t see anything for 17 days.

Aug. 20 The Rockats / Crosswinds. I believe this was at Hollywood Nights out on St. Charles Rock Road. Wasn’t Jerry Nolan of the New York Dolls in this band of rockabilly heroin addicts?

Aug. 21 The Felons

Aug. 23 Brown & Langrehr

Sept. 6 Anti-Mation / PG

Sept. 12 Brown & Langrehr / the Oozkicks

Sept. 13 The Pretenders / the English Beat. Definitely at Hollywood Nights, 2 great bands with a packed house. I was in heaven that night.

Sept. 19 The Strikers / the Welders. The News had a name change to avoid confusion with Huey Lewis’ outfit. This had to be at Billie Goat Hill, and I think it was the last time I saw the Welders.

Sept. 20 The Kinks / Johnny Cougar. This wasn’t the best period for the Kinks live, but it was the only time I’ve seen them, so it’s what I’ve got.

Sept. 26 The Felons / the Strikers. By this time, the Felons were playing a lot more ska and reggae than they had at the beginning of the year.

Oct. 10 Brown & Langrehr. Charlie Langrehr was the main man for finding new places to play. Either this show or one around this time was at the Club Imperial on the north side, where Ike & Tina Turner had played in the past.

Oct. 17 Bruce Springsteen. I always remembered this as being in 1979, but this was at Kiel Opera House, and again lottery tickets put me in the last row of the venue. This was a good show, but I didn’t get the revelatory experience I was hoping for, and for which I had to wait until next time.

Oct. 17 The Oozkicks. Obviously, I needed even more music after Bruce.

Oct. 25 The Retros. Possibly the time they played the Gargoyle on the Washington University campus, the worst sounding room in St. Louis.

Oct. 28 The Retros / the Strikers

Nov. 8 The Strikers / Anti-Mation

Nov. 14 The Retros

Nov. 15 Joan Jett & the Blackhearts / Brown & Langrehr. I interviewed Joan, and hung out with her and  guitarist Eric Ambel at Blueberry Hill. That night, her bass player got Tony Cornejo arrested for disturbing the peace, because he kept turning the music up at a party at his apartment.

Nov. 21 Zanti Misfits / Max Load

Nov. 29 Iggy Pop / the Oozkicks. This was at a downtown hotel ballroom, very cool night. It was also possibly the first time I got drunk, as I kept sipping my girlfriend’s rum and coke. I only tried drinking a couple more times in the next 10 years, before noticing that there was more fun to be had than I had been having already.

Dec. 6 George Thorogood / Darrel Dawton’s Blues Band. I’d completely forgotten I saw Thorogood again, this time at Graham Chapel (the same place as the Joan Jett show).

Dec. 6 The Skitzos And then I hustled over to Billie Goat Hill to catch this local band for the first time – I always liked these guys, but they never developed much of a following.

Dec. 13 Brown & Langrehr

Dec. 20 The Felons / Riot Act. I think this was in the basement of the Carriage Bowl, now sadly replaced by a Walgreens. Riot Act at this point was a three piece band with a decided New Wave flavor; that would change by the next time I saw them.