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The Things We Do For Live Shows…


Kool DJ Herc

The other day I wrote about how the inclement weather affected our ability and pleasure in I reverse it to discuss the trouble we sometimes take simply getting to concerts and staying at concerts at all. In 1975, I drove through some very dangerous areas of Lebanon to check out Joan Baez in Baalbeck, and in the 1980s I was sometimes in the only white person at concerts. There have been riots (Run DMC and the Beastie Boys) near riots (Public Enemy), concerts with a single white person (New Edition, Black Street -I sat behind Whitney Houston), people dying mid-set (Patti Lupone), standing in line for entire days (David Bowie at Roseland -actually my friend did most of the standing), hostile audiences (Liz Phair got booed off stage at Town Hall) and hostile bands (how many storm offs have you ever seen?). Violent security, late starts, later starts, short sets, long sets, too long sets, and the longest set (I once got stuck in a disco for two nights). The whole thing about live shows is its uniqueness nd the whole thing about a one of a kind experience is it can’t be replicated anywhere: you see it and you store it but then it is gone, so while you are worrying about how to get there that there will never come again. I think this is very true for me when it comes to the Ramones, who played time and time again in the 1970s and 1980s New York City and it felt like it would never end, and then it ends. The Ramones were like the childhood of rock bands, you think it will last forever and you see no reason why it can’t last forever because the truth is, the quality never dipped. Time and again I went to CBGBs, every night for a couple of years, for me  there was no comparison, I was a CBs guy not a Max’s, and I thought it would never end and of course it did. Was it worth risking life and limb to see Kool DJ Herc? Yeah, I guess so.

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