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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Greatest Triangle Concert


“There’s Nothing Louder Than Dead Air”

Bob "the Blade"
Book Signing Saturday with Dave Rose at School Kids Records

011
Me and Stephen Judge, proprietor of School Kids Records.

June 2, 1979. Poco. The Outlaws. Van Halen. Boston.

This was the Woodstock of North Carolina, the show that decades later, everyone claimed they attended. Ask any person who lived in or around the state of North Carolina for any period, and they will tell you they went to the first show ever at Carter Finley Stadium in Raleigh, where NCSU played football.
I believe this show was more important than the Led Zeppelin show of 1970 at Dorton Arena in Raleigh and even more important than Jimi Hendrix at Dorton in August 1969. Those two bands played in Raleigh back then, but the shows were not well received because the architectural wonder known as Dorton Arena had, and still has, a very big feedback problem for its live concerts.

I have heard the bootlegs of the Zep show, and not to talk badly about the greatest rock band of all time, but the poor people at the time had to sit through a fifteen-minute drum solo.

John Bonham rattled through the solo in the middle of “Moby Dick.” Ouch, babe.
No question: the greatest show the Triangle has ever seen was the Carter Finley Stadium Show with those four bands. We all wish it had a name, but it didn’t. Poco had just released the Legend LP, The Outlaws had just released the Hurry Sundown LP, Van Halen had released Van Halen II, and Boston had finally released Don’t Look Back. We drove up in Sam’s Maverick, listening to WQDR the whole time. Tom Gongaware was the DJ that day, and the man kept us posted. He played songs from the bands that were playing the concert, told us the band lineup, where to park, and so on. It was awesome. Looking back, if he had warned us to avoid the brown acid, we would have totally flipped. That man had the coolest job a guy could have.

gongaware blade
Tom Gongaware 2009 Rock N Roll Hall of Fame Benefit-Koka Booth Amphitheatre

There were thirty thousand-plus people in attendance, and you couldn’t walk ten feet without finding someone carrying a film canister with acid to sell. Oddly enough, nobody was selling any pot because pot was at a premium. It was “dry” as we said back then. If people had pot, they kept it for themselves. Musically, I really don’t remember much because we were so far away; I do remember Boston leaving early because of the onslaught of red plastic soft drink cups the stadium dispersed to commemorate the event. The crowd was pummeling the band with them and the show ended after that.

The red cups scene was the culmination of a long, drunken, drug-influenced day for everyone. I had never done any acid, and I did not do any acid that day because I was smart enough not to take just anything from some random dude carrying a film canister at a concert.

Plus, I was broke.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Book Preview: The Will Clark Interview

The Giants were off that day. It was a Thursday, and they were in
town for a three-game set with Atlanta starting Friday. Will Clark was nowhere to be found by four fifteen, but he finally showed up at around five o’clock. He had this really weird look on his face. I mean, not zany or quirky or anything, just plain weird, like he was on a weird drug of some sort; and this would not have shocked me because it seemed like everybody I had met in San Jose was on some sort of drug.
will clark with a bat
I remember being fairly alarmed at the guy’s actions when I saw him for the first time . . . he just put a knot in my stomach, just very weird. At this point, I had five or six members of the air staff in the room. Laurie Roberts who just loved the Giants, Ass Kisser, Carmine, Miss Piggy, and Lamont, the morning guy who had replaced Perry Stone.
“Hey, sorry I’m late, man. I got so lost!” he almost was yelling,
panicking, snarling.
“No problem . . . we’re live in forty-five seconds. Here are your
headphones.”
-Chapter 21 Living on The Fault Line
“There’s Nothing Louder Than Dead Air”