Friday, April 22, 2011

Weekend Listomania (Special Oh How I Wish Video Edition)

Well, it's Friday and you know what that means. Yes, my Oriental Objectivist Tart Fah Lo Suee and I are off to a Hell Singleplex (seriously -- it really is in Hell) to attend a screening of the blockbuster movie adaptation of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged. Under normal circumstances this would take no more than a few hours of my time, but apparently we have to show an IQ card before we're allowed in, and I'm not sure where mine is.

Incidentally, this is apparently the first time theaters have required such a card for admission since the legendary Steve Reeves version of Hercules played across America in 1959.

In any case, here's a possibly fun little project to occupy your time while you await my return.

Post-Beatles Band or Solo Artist You Could Have Seen Perform On-Stage In Person Somewhere Sometime, But to Your Regret You Never Did!!!

No arbitrary rules this week; the post-Beatles proviso is simply an acknowledgement of the fact that nobody reading or commenting at this blog is old enough to have caught Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran or any of the other first generation rock icons in their prime.

In other words, the band or solo artist has to be somebody whose show you could have, plausibly, attended if you had put your mind to it.

And my totally top of my head Top Six is/are:

6. The Gin Blossoms

I absolutely adored the New Miserable Experience album when it emerged in 1992, for obvious jangly reasons, and I was stoked to see the band responsible for it. Unfortunately, the one chance I had, they were scheduled to play CBGB's around 11pm, and I rightly figured that meant 2am in real time. At my (even then) advanced age, that was obviously a no-no on a school night.

5. The Shadows of Knight

These guys played a proto-hepster club in NYC -- probably Trudy Hellers -- around the same time the above footage was filmed in 1966, and I remember that I really, REALLY wanted to go. Alas, I didn't work up the courage to head into Manhattan for that kind of thing until the next year.

4. Daddy Cool

These guys are genuine legends in Australia, and I'm a humongous fan -- their Teenage Heaven is one of the great hard rock albums of the early 70s. According to Wiki, they must have done some American gigs circa '72, but they never played in the New York area, at least as far as I can determine. And as much as I'd like to see 'em -- they're still at it Down Under, apparently -- I really can't afford the ticket.

3. Buffalo Springfield

No explanation necessary, obviously.

2. The Flamin' Groovies

I actually caught a later edition of the Groovies, when they had turned into a purist 60s cover band. They were a lot of fun, but still -- what I wouldn't have given to see the Teenage Head or "Slow Death" lineup; as you can see from the clip, they were as devastating a hard rock band as has ever worn shoe leather.

And the Numero Uno Band-That-Got-Away of them all quite obviously is....

1. The MC5

Dave Marsh, who of course is from Detroit, famously said that if the Rolling Stones at their peak were playing at a club down the street from where the 5 (also at their peak) were playing, he would have opted to see the latter every time. Unfortunately, I never did, although I actually had tickets for a New York show in '68. Got the flu, alas.

I should also add, just for the historical record, that the 5 were the only American band with the, uh, stones to play in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Party convention; they can be glimpsed here in government surveillance footage paid for by your tax dollars.

This is disturbingly relevant to our contemporary politics, is the point I'm making.

Alrighty then -- who would YOUR choices be?