WRITING about the music I listened to as a kid (see previous post) got me thinking — cringing, actually — about my first rock concert.

PAINFUL TRUTH ALERT: It was Toto. In 1979, I think. Before you laugh at how monumentally uncool that is, hear me out.

In my defense:

  1. The concert was at Kings Dominion, and the admission ticket got you into all the rides and attractions, so it’s not like I went out of my way or paid good money to see Toto, OK?
  2. This was their more rockin’ “Hold the Line” era, before they went totally MOR and got creamed on all over by those Christopher Cross-loving Grammy voters.
  3. The band did have some great studio musicians in it, musicians who played on some of the most popular albums of the ’70s and ’80s, including “Thriller.” Yeah, man, “Thriller!” Suck on that, haters!
  4. Plus, the band never — ahhh, fuck it. It was Toto. Who am I kidding here.

So, who was your first concert? Post a comment and show me how much cooler you were than me…


24 Responses to “TOTO RECALL”

  1. Name withheld for obvious reasons Says:

    Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult at the New Haven Coliseum, circa 1979. The guy who drove us got mugged on Clinton Street in Bridgeport on our way there, so the experience was heightened by our brush with danger. One of the vendors was selling those adjust-a-strap baseball caps (the plastic button-in-the-hole kind) that had iron-on letters spelling out “FOG” on the front. I thought that was exceptionally witty.

  2. Ozzy Osborne … forget the year … Hartford Civic Center.

    It was the “Blizzard of Oz” tour and I waited in line for tickets on a brutally cold December night. Unfortunately, the guitarist died in a plane crash and the concert was postponed. But Ozzy still ruled!

    Actually, to answer this question with complete honesty, my first “concert” was at the Oakdale Theater. My parents dragged me along to see Mac Davis. Whatever happened to him?

  3. I’ll line up with Tod on this one. .my first concert was The Rascals at the Oakdale, around 1984. . .might have been too young to appreciate it then, but now it seems kinda cool.
    My first real “rock” concert: David Lee Roth, with Cinderella opening up, Hartford Civic Center, fall of 1987. . .that should make you feel a LITTLE better about Toto.

  4. Yes (the band Yes, that is). Millett Hall, Oxford, Ohio, 1972 (or ’73). I think Stealers Wheel opened.

  5. Simon & Garfunkel, Meadowlands, 1983. Seriously!

  6. 45vinyljunkie Says:

    My first concert was the Kinks at the Springfield Civic Center in Massachusetts in early August of 1978. The opening act was the Cars, whose debut album was released just a couple of months or so before the show. I paid a whopping $7.50 for a floor seat (I still have the ticket stub to prove it). I saw the Kinks twice the following year, but never again after that, as I had lost interest in their music. I still believe that they are, quite arguably, the most underrated band ever. Their 1966 LP “Face to Face” ranks right up there with “Rubber Soul,” “Surrealistic Pillow,” “Aftermath” and “Freak Out!” as the greatest albums of that era.

    The best “show” I ever saw was when the Plasmatics played at the Agora in West Hartford, Conn., in May 1981 (yep, I still have that ticket stub, too). I was one of a handful who actually bought any of their records, so I didn’t go to the concert just to see a guitar cut in half with a chainsaw, or a TV set smashed to bits with a sledge hammer, or a car blown up on stage. The one thing I do remember in particular about that show was that it was the only concert I attended by myself. The Plasmatics played the same venue earlier that year, and several of my friends and I made plans to go, but they all bagged out at the last minute, so I didn’t go. I kicked myself for not going, so when they came back a few months later, I went alone. I was near the stage and got within a few feet of Wendy O. Williams. Priceless.

  7. Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, Maine, ca. 1981: Earth, Wind and Fire. And yes, I enjoyed it very much. Still love the old R&B/soul stuff. It’s funny, I was going to comment on your post yesterday to say that (as I’m sure you know) I like a lot of the same music you mentioned, and I even liked (gulp) Toto! Just heard “Africa” on the radio and was singing along.

  8. Queen at the Waterbury Palace 1975. Top that!

  9. Damn, no one’s first concert was lamer than Toto (though David Lee Roth does come close).

  10. Top that. You’re not even close. The Rolling Stones at the New Haven Arena, Nov., 1965. They were originally scheduled for the summer of 1964, but get this, it was canceled because they couldn’t sell enough tickets. This was probably just before “It’s All Over Now.” There was also a Beach Boys concert on Thanksgiving Day that year or possibly ’64 so that may have been my first, with Brian Wilson, same venue. I’ve got a million of them. Top this: Four Cream concerts in a little more than one year: Psychedelic Supermarket, Boston (basically a garage), Sept. 1967; Woolsey Hall, New Haven (April, 1968); two shows at the Oakdale, afternoon and evening, June 1967, in the round but before the revolving stage and with a canvas top tent; and New Haven Arena, Oct. 1967, worst of the bunch. Best were the first one and the Oakdale night show. Cheers.

  11. Messed up the dates on Oakdale and Arena for Cream, obviously, 1968.

    I liked the first Toto album quite a bit actually. Some extraordinary musicians in the original lineup.

  12. 45vinyljunkie Says:

    Wow — I thought my Kinks/Cars double bill was pretty good, but pjr’s Rolling Stones show in New Haven in November 1965 blows mine out of the water by a mile. I saw the Rolling Stones in Hartford in November 1981, but that doesn’t even come close to seeing them during the Brian Jones era. Hey, pjr: If you read my message, do you remember anything about that show? Were the girls going crazy? I want details! Was the New Haven Arena the same place where Jim Morrison was arrested a couple of years later for indecent exposure during a Doors show?

    And yes, the Rolling Stones were scheduled to play in New Haven in June 1964, but it was canceled. That two- or three-week tour was a financial bust for the group, because at the time their popularity in the U.S. was limited mostly to New York City and southern California. During that tour they also played to small audiences in Cleveland (about 600 people), Omaha (I think that one was just about 200 or so) and several hundred in either Dallas or San Antonio. While the Rolling Stones were in New York City, local DJ Murray the K gave the group a copy of a soul 45 that he thought they might like to cover. The record was “It’s All Over Now” by the Valentinos.

  13. 45vinyljunkie Says:

    Adam, here’s a first concert that’s even lamer than Toto. I used to work with a woman whose first concert was a Cowsills show back around 1970. She was only 12 years old at the time, and I think she said it was in a dinner theater. Now that I think about it, I’d rather see the Cowsills than Toto. Sorry.

  14. It was tame by today’s standards. No girls screaming. Maybe a few rushing the stage near the end. This wasn’t a Beatles concert, and, by the way, I went to one of those. The Stones were on the conservative side in dress. Jagger moved around a lot for a singer at the time, but it was nothing compared with later in his career. Most of the material was from Out Of Our Heads or earlier. They opened with Everybody Needs Somebody To Love and I remember them playing Hitchhike, Mercy, Mercy and We Got A Good Thing Going as well as The Last Time and Satisfaction.

    Yes it was the same New Haven Arena. I was not at that Doors show, but know some people who were. At the Stones show, as with many from that era, people sat in their seats. That might be viewed as boring today, but it was anything but. There was a great appreciation for listening to the music then. There was standing and dancing near the end, but I really can’t stand the state of today’s concerts. Why should I have to stand through an entire set of Tom Petty. It’s ridiculous. I want to listen and groove to the music. Not stand like some zombie looking for their 15 minutes of fame on the evening news. Rant! I’m done.

    I saw the Stones only one other time, about six months later in early summer 1966 in Hartford at Dillon Stadium. That was quite a scene. Maybe later. Enough for now.

  15. Yale Bowl. 1980. Heart-Little River Band-The Eagles. Went with my eighth grade buddy and smelled dope for the first time. Thought it was burning toast or something.

  16. Several great shows: Eagles at the Palace Theater 1974, Pink Floyd 1972, Jack Bruce and Billy Cobham 1980 Todds, Allman Brothers, Johnny Winter Filmore East 1971,Gene Clark and Roger Mcquinn Shaboo 1974, Led Zep. 1970 Yale Bowl, Dead Yale Bowl 1971, Moby Grape 1967 Hamilton Park Waterbury CT., Dylan 1976 Palace and New Haven Col. Alvin Lee, Cornicopia 1974, Dave Mason Mul. Stadium 1974, Jefferson Airplane Southern Ct. State Colllege 1972.

  17. Watertown Grape Fan Says:

    I thought the Moby Grape show at Hamilton Park was canceled that year. Are you sure it happened? I remember James Gang, The Flock, Youngbloods and Rare Earth played at Muni Stadium later but I was sure Moby Grape canceled. It was after their Wow album came out.

  18. to pjr

    I had 6th row tickets to see the Stones at the New Haven Arena in 1964. I was so devastated that the concert was cancelled. Years ago I found some paper handouts that I had for the ’64 concert. These handouts were half the size of a regular piece of paper. I auctioned one of them off at Sothebys in the 90’s and got $1,500 for it. I then found 4 more and had them auctioned off also – I got from $800-$1900 for each. The maddening thing is that I had a poster for the concert also that was estimated to have been worth thousands, but my sisters friend ruined it – don’t ask!!!! I saw them the next year – 1965 – in Hartford and came away from that concert with Mick Jaggers harmonica! A guy had jumped up on stage and gotten it. He was waving it around and my girlfriend said “How much do you want for it?” He said $2 and it was mine!!!! I bet he’s been freaking out about that ever since.
    I also caught Cream in 1967 at the Psychedelic Supermarket in Boston. After sitting on the concrete floor with the huge amps, etc. I was deaf for about 3 days – I’ve always said – but it was SO worth it. I had second row tickets (in the middle) for the Cream concert at Madison Square Garden in 1968, but missed that concert because I was deathly ill at the time – the only way I would’ve missed it. I have always regretted that but I just saw Clapton at the Garden on Friday nite. It took 42 years, but I made it to see him at the Garden!
    I also could’ve seen the Beatles at their first Ed Sullivan show, but that’s another story!!!
    Don’t you just love it. Like Clapton sang the other nite “I’ve got a rock and roll heart” – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  19. Hello there…I am looking for an original rolling stones november 1965 concert poster from the new haven arena OR A 1965 bob dylan/joan baez concert poster from the new haven arena.These posters were hung up at cutlers in new haven and all around the yale campus.I WILL PAY $5,000 CASH EACH FOR THESE POSTERS!! Please,if you can help me out than please give me a call and you will be paid in cash within 24 hrs. Please call 310-346-1965…thanx!!…

  20. Miss Deborah Says:

    Top the Osmonds at the Springfield Civic Center August 7, 1976 for lame. Is there any chance you remember who opened for Toto? High school boyfriend and I cannot remember to save our old lives!

  21. Charles Appledore Says:

    I also attended the Rolling Stones concert in New Haven in circa 1964 at an Ice Hockey rink in New Haven CT. I seem to recall it was at Yale University Hockey Rink. The stage was at one end of the rink, chairs were set out where the ice would normally have been, and the rink was surrounded by chain link wire fencing. Screaming girls would run towards the stage and try to jump over the fence to get near the Stones, and a few got impaled on the chain link fencing. Security guards were throwing people off the stage. The screaming from the girls in the audience made the music difficult to hear. It was my only live concert by the Stones.

  22. Hello there…I am an avid buyer of ORIGINAL 1964-66 bob dylan and rolling stones concert posters.These posters were hung locally to advertise the up coming concerts.Both dylan and the stones played the new haven arena in 1965 and posters were made to advertise the concerts.Dylan also played the bushnell in hartford in 1966 and the stones played dillon stadium.I will pay $5,000 cash for any vintage 1960’s dylan or stones concert poster so please let me know what you have….call 310-346-1965.

  23. Hey 45vynyljunkie, Do you recall who openned for the Stones at that 81 Hartford CT, tour? I was there and I have been racking my brain.

  24. guitar…

    […]TOTO RECALL « This Might Hurt[…]…

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