The first show I ever saw was the Beach Boys at MacArthur Court, the basketball arena at the University of Oregon. I remember my desk in my old room, and the way it looked with the concert tickets tucked safely under the edge of the blotter. My sister and I were equally excited about the concert. I’m not sure why…I don’t remember either of us really caring much about the Beach Boys. At the time she was a Shawn Cassidy fan, and I was pretty heavy into either Joan Jett, Blondie, or KISS…depending on the time of day.
I remember a few flashes about the show. I remember that we were behind a post and had to lean to the left or right to get a good view of…who? No idea. I mean, these days I know…it was all about Brian Wilson. At the time I had no fucking idea who Brian Wilson was. I knew Gene, I knew Paul, I knew Peter and I knew Ace…but Brian?!? Not fucking likely. I really have no idea whatsoever why the ‘sis and I were so damn excited about that show. I couldn’t have been more than 10 or 11, so I guess that explains it.
There weren’t a whole lot of shows at MacArthur Court. The only other band I ever saw there was The Clash. It was 1984; my junior year of high school. It was one of the last times I went out with one group of friends, before abandoning them for another group. I remember that Jimmy took something nasty and had to leave. I don’t remember if I went with him. I do remember that The Clash was something. Really something. It was all I had room for. Sorry Jimmy.
I’ve lost track of a lot of things in the last 20 years. I get lost really easily while driving. I am easily lost in conversations with any background noise at all, because my hearing is so bad. I have ADD, and am prone to feel depressed for no reason at all. I am constantly surprised when people I work with find my work noteworthy.
But there are two things I still have a tight grip on:
1. My sister was there for my first rock show
2. I got to see Joe Strummer live, on stage, singing words with feeling
Which of those is the more important is meaningless to me. They are both mine, and I’m keeping them.