DISCLAIMER
I tried to be as accurate as I can.
A date may be off, or some such thing.
However, all of these stories I did experience.
Yep, I should have kept my ticket stubs.
Many thanks to Bert Gangl for helping me research the web for info.

 
Click on the underlined words for photos and more!
The Monkees
January 21, 1967
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Yeah, I was hip.  I went to see The Monkees for my first concert.  It was fun for a kid and exciting, too.  The screaming was deafening.  Those girls really made some noise.

 

Tommy James and the Shondells
March 3, 1968
Encanto Park Band Shell
Phoenix, Arizona

It was a sunny day and lots of people.  I was 14 years old.  I don't remember much about this show except that it took a long time for Tommy James to start playing.  Well, the crowd became restless and began throwing grapefruits or oranges at the stage.  One person hit the top of the band shell and the fruit dropped perfectly on a cymbal.  Local celebrity Pat McMahon was the emcee of the show and he was livid.  He bolts to the microphone and tells the crowd to stop or the show will end.  They did and the show eventually continued.

 

Steppenwolf, Blood Sweat and Tears, Illinois Speed Press, Three Dog Night
December 31, 1968
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This was a good, long show.  I remember Steppenwolf having a big wall of speaker boxes to each side of them and if I'm not mistaken the grill cloth was blue.  I was actually familiar with Illinois Speed Press and their song "Get In The Wind".  Their guitarist, Paul Cotton, would go on to join Poco.  At the end of the show balloons and confetti dropped from the ceiling as it was New Year's Eve.  

 
Credence Clearwater Revival
May 9, 1969
Phoenix Exhibition center
May 9, 1969

All I remember was the loud volume, standing (no seats) and terrible echoing.  I think there may have been Persian looking carpets on the floor.  I was 13 and not tall enough to see much of anything.

 
Iron Butterfly
Alice Cooper
Blue's Image
May 23, 1969
Albums: "Ball" and "Pretties For You"
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

My dad bought me a ticket and I went solo.  I'm 15 years old at this time.  This show had a rotating circular stage centered on the floor.   I remember walking the floor before the show and noticed a large black equipment case.   On it was stenciled "ALICE COOPER".  I remember thinking "Who's she?"  There was a third act, Blue's Image.  All I remember from them is that the guitarist sweat a lot.  Alice cooper opens, I believe, and I was, well, dazed.  Here is this strange band with an over-the-top lead singer.  The band had a trellis type setup and Alice would climb up behind it, stick his head out a square and rotate a hammer around his hands.  It was so bizarre to me.  Just the effect he wanted, I'm sure.  Iron butterfly put on a fine show.  They had, in my opinion, their best 3 albums out.  The played for quite a while and the sound was very good.  At the end guitarist Erik Brann stooped down and lit a trough of something on fire.  It was a fairly large inferno.

 
Blind Faith w/ Delaney and Bonnie
Album: "Blind Faith"
Veterans Memorial Coliseum
August 23, 1969

I'm so glad I saw this show.  A friend took me and we were high up at one end.   Again, a rotating circular stage.   There were huge speaker boxes stacked high behind the bands.  I don't remember much about the Delaney and Bonnie set but it went off without a hitch.  Blind Faith takes the stage and starts the set.  The stage rotates a few times and then my friend and I notice the speaker boxes shake.  The stage stopped rotating.

After a few minutes people started moving from one end of the coliseum to the other.  My friend said, "Let's go" and we headed from our seats way up and away from the stage down to the floor.  We ended up right next to the stage.  Blind Faith did their set and during the end, Delaney and Bonnie joined them on stage.  It was during "Sunshine Of Your Love" Bonnie passed out cold and fell off the stage.  About 4 security guys picked her up, held her above their heads, and took her off the main floor area right past my friend and me!  By the way, one of the security guys was future Dallas Cowboy Bob Breunig.  I knew him from Alhambra High School and my family knew his family.  When the show ended the band also walked right by me.  I stuck out my hand and shook hands with Ginger Baker and Steve Winwood.  Honestly, I did.

 
Chicago
April 23, 1971
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

There wasn't anything remarkable about this concert except it was the first concert in coliseum after Jethro Tull played a year or so before.  Apparently there were a lot of overdoses at the Jethro Tull concert and they decided not to have any more concerts at the coliseum.  Security was ultra tight and much of it was made up of regular folks.  My friend lit up a cigarette and they were on him in no time yelling "put out that joint".  He couldn't hear him as the music was loud so I had to tell him to put out his cigarette.  All in all it was a good show.

 

Jethro Tull
June 14, 1971
Album:  "Aqualung"
Travelodge (Celebrity) Theatre

This was a most excellent concert.   Ian Anderson starts out sitting in a chair playing a guitar.   The song is "My God." When the band kicks in, Anderson jumps up, kicks the chair away, puts his guitar down and starts playing his flute.   He did this in one quick motion.   This was the only concert I saw from them but that was enough for me.   I guess I'm a little picky because the albums "This Was", "Stand Up" and "Aqualung" are my favorites.   The drummer was wearing a T-shirt, basketball shorts, really high socks , and those sunglasses that are about 18 inches wide.   The keyboard player was wearing a leather helmet with goggles.   And Ian Anderson looked like Aqualung from the album cover.   Not only was the sound spot on, but I love the sound of the band.   I think everyone should throw on a pair of headphones and listen to those three albums.   Here is a similar set list.

 
Black Sabbath
Sweathog
October 17, 1971
Travelodge (Celebrity) Theatre

This show was a real disappointment.  Black Sabbath came out and played probably 5 or 6 songs and then walked off the stage.  No explanation, no reason given, they just left the stage.  I read in the paper that Ozzy Osbourne didn't like the PA system.  They sounded great.  I don't know what his beef was but it disappointed the crowd.  That left a bad taste in my mouth for Ozzy.  Too bad, really, because I love their music.

 

The Who
Album:  Who's Next
December 7, 1971
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This is the first of four Who concerts I've attended.  The album "Who's Next" had come out and that made the show pretty fantastic.   The year prior, the album "Live at Leeds" was released and that added to the anticipation of this concert.   All in all it was a good concert and we also got to see Pete Townshheend smash a guitar.   Here is the set list.

 
Loggins and Messina
Humble Pie
Album:  "Loggins and Messina"
April 17, 1972
Travelodge (Celebrity) Theatre

This was a fantastic show.  Their first two albums were out and they were really on top of their game.  Plus you can't beat the sound at the Celebrity Theatre.  It was one of those nights where the sound was perfect, the band was just great and the crowd was enjoying every minute of it.  This was not the concert where, I heard, Jim Messina had his hand in a cast.  I believe that was the next year.

 
Frank Zappa
April 7, and December 14, 1973
Celebrity Theatre

What can you say about Frank Zappa? He's quite the showman and one heck of a guitar player.  "Overnight Sensation" was out but I had begun listening to Frank Zappa back in the days of "Absolutely Free", "We're Only In It For The Money", "Freak Out" and the other early albums.  My favorite album is "Hot Rats", but I really like quite a few.  One thing I remember clearly is the percussion work of Ruth Underwood.  She was really something.  Also, I believe it was Jean-Luc Ponty on violin.  Everyone was top notch and it was a really good show.  Ditto for the December show.

 

Alice Cooper
Flo & Eddie
Album: "Billion Dollar Babies"
May 5, 1973
Tucson Community Center

I took a trip down to Tucson to see Alice Cooper.   This concert was a trip, literally.   I went down with several of my friends, and we met up at the Tucson Community Center.   We were all sufficiently prepared for this concert.   As we are sitting there, this guy is coming up the stairs.   He is all decked out in lavender, or blue, or a combination of both.   He has short shorts on, fishnet stockings, some kind of top and makeup.   I must admit I've never seen anything like this before.   Then the Frisbee's start flying with trails following them across the arena.   I knew I was ready.   Flo & Eddie opened up the show.   At one point Flo puts a flamingo on its head, pulls up his shirt over his belly and spins the flamingo.   He then says "This is for the Tucson police!" It was hilarious.   I believe it was the encore when they played "Happy Together." They put on a pretty good show.

This is the second time I saw Alice Cooper.   At least by this time I knew who he was.   This was the tour of my favorite Alice Cooper album.   The band was wearing white tuxedos and top hats.   Their guitars were white.   The sound was excellent.   Alice Cooper opened with the song "Hello, Hooray" and the crowd immediately got into it.   During the song "Unfinished Sweet" Alice chased a giant tooth with a giant toothbrush between his legs.   They played "Raped and Freezin'", "I Love the Dead", "Elected", "Sick Things", "I m Eighteen" and many more.   Dennis Dunaway was running all over the stage.   Michael Bruce and Glenn Buxton were playing Gibsons.   But all night long I was hearing a Stratocaster.   At the end of the show they highlight a guitarist way off to the left side and he's playing a Stratocaster.   I knew it! After some researching on the web I find that it's Mick Mashbir.   He has a very interesting story on how he got to be playing on the "Billion Dollar Babies" album.   You can read the story here.   On this tour, Alice had his head cut off by using a guillotine.   That was pretty cool.   You can see the set list here.

 

Elton John
September 4, 1973
Album:  "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road"
Big Surf

Big Surf is a waterpark located in Tempe, Arizona.   It opened in 1969 and you could go there to swim or to surf.   Two friends of mine were ushers at Big Surf and asked if I wanted to go to the show.   I hopped into the back of their VW bus and they put blankets over me.   It s worked like a charm, and I was in at the show.   Elton John was, well, Elton John.   I wasn't familiar with this album but was a big fan of "Tumbleweed Connection", "Elton John." and "Madman Across The Water." The thing I remember the most was the dust.   They didn't use the beach sand, instead they used desert sand.   If you went there to swim the sand would cut your feet.   Not good.   I'm not sure what they're using now.

 

Mott The Hoople
Joe Walsh & Barnstorm
September 15, 1973
Album:  "Mott" and "The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get"
Celebrity Theatre

I was really anticipating this concert and it was worth it.   Joe Walsh & Barnstorm opened the show.   They kicked ass.   Of all of the guitarists that I have seen, no one makes faces like Joe Walsh.   It's kind of a cross between solving a math problem and getting a tooth pulled.   Being able to hear songs from "The James Gang" and "Barnstorm" was a delight.   During "Rocky Mountain Way" Joe was using a type of talk box.   It was actually a boda bag with a tube coming from it.   As I was searching for that particular thing I came across a website that called it "The Talking Bag." I couldn't find any more information on that.

Mott The Hoople also put on a good show.   Mick Ralphs had left the band a few days prior to join Bad Company.   From what I've read, the new guitarist, Luther Grosvenor (a.k.a. Ariel Bender) only had a few days to rehearse before playing at our concert.   You couldn't tell though, as they sounded great.   Ian Hunter had two special guitars.   One was a large letter M, and one was a large letter H.   It was a good night.

 

Grand Funk Railroad
September 23, 1973
Album:  "We're an American Band"
Big Surf

This is another concert I attended at Big Surf.   This time, I didn't have to sneak in as I bought a ticket.   Once again the dust was thick.   Grand Funk Railroad put on a good show.   Everyone seemed to enjoy it.   During the song "We're an American Band" I always felt that I heard a different guitar than what Mark Farner usually used.   The whole night he played a shiny chrome guitar.   I did find a picture of him playing that guitar, but that would cost me $175 to put it on my site.   I guess you'll have to trust me.   When they go to play "We're an American Band" Mark Fahrner puts his guitar down and picks up a red Stratocaster.   Chalk up another one for me and my ears.   It was during this show that I saw the best drum solo.   Don Brewer was getting into it so much that his arms became a blur.   The amazing thing was that it was a small drum set.   I stood there almost mesmerized watching him.   All in all it was a good concert.

 

The Beach Boys
November 15, 1973
Celebrity Theatre

This might seem like overkill, but this show was absolutely fantastic.   They must've been pushing the Holland album.   All of the Beach boys were there including Brian Wilson, Bruce Johnston, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson, Mike Love, and Al Jardine.   Also Blondie Chaplin was there, and second drummer, Ricky Fataar.  There was so much equipment on stage that night that Mike Love spent most of the evening singing in the crowd.   The stage is small, so imagine this: Looking straight on you can see two drum sets, a keyboard set up on your left and right, three guitar players in the center and not much room left over.   I was loving it.   The sound was impeccable.   The harmonies were right on.   They had the crowd going all night long.

 
Poco
February 28 1974
Celebrity Theatre

Richie Furay had left but it was still an awesome show.  The harmonies were great.  Again, the music at the celebrity Theatre was perfect.  The standout of the show had to be rusty young.  He played a guitar he called the bear in which the neck was horizontal instead of vertical like most guitarists.  He used a slide and made the guitar growl in a way I'd never heard before.  Also, Rusty Young is a master on pedal steel guitar.  At times it sounded like an organ.  I can't say enough about Rusty, except he is the best pedal steel guitar player I have ever seen.  When Guitar Player magazine added pedal steel to its guitar poll Rusty Young won the first five years, if I remember correctly, and was immediately put into the Hall of Fame.

 

James Cotton Blues Band
Marshall Tucker Band
Lynyrd Skynyrd
Boz Skaggs
Steve Miller Band
May 24, 1974
Tempe Diablo Stadium (Feyline Field)

It was a beautiful day and this concert would last well into the night.  Every band put on a top notch performance.  Looking back, these bands were growing to the height of their popularity.  Every band put on a great performance.  To me, the highlight of the show was Lynyrd Skynyrd .   The Steve Miller band ended the concert.  At the end of a set, Steve Miller announced he was bringing on a special guest.  The crowd was blown away when he announced Elton John.  Out comes Elton John.  He played on several of the end songs.  Honestly, I can't remember the songs.  This was a really super concert.

 

Ten Years After
King Crimson
Robin Trower
The Strawbs
June 9, 1974
|Tempe Diablo Stadium (Feyline Field)

I was standing four or five people away from the stage.   I had a great view of all of the bands.   I was kind of familiar with the Strawbs, so I enjoyed their set.   I was anxious to hear Robin Trower and he did not disappoint me.   The album "Bridge of Sighs" was out, and that's my favorite album by Robin Trower.   It was quite enjoyable watching him play guitar.   King Crimson was also quite good.   The highlight of the show was watching Alvin Lee play.   He was just attacking the guitar.

 
Crosby Stills Nash and Young
Opener: Jesse Colin Young
July 16, 1974
Tempe Diablo Stadium (Feyline Field)

This was a nice show.  That's right, just a nice show.  Kind of mellow throughout.  The main thing I remember about this show is that later in the show they were harmonizing to acoustic guitars and Stephen Stills gets zapped by his guitar.  He throws his hands up and waits a second and they start singing again.  Well, he gets zapped again.  This time it's a little more intense and he gets knocked back in his chair.  Graham Nash, who is standing behind Stephen stills, looks up to the stars and says "We know you're up there".  They did manage to finish the concert with no serious injuries.

 

Hot Tuna
The Dusty Chaps
Album: "The Phosphorescent Rat", "America's Choice."
July 6, 1975
Celebrity Theatre

I had always been a fan of Jorma Kaukonen since his days with Jefferson Airplane.   This is the only concert where I saw Hot Tuna.   The opening band, The Dusty Chaps, were a band out of Tucson.   They put on a good show, but it was quite different in music style.   You can hear one of their songs that had quite a bit of radio play in Phoenix here.   During the intermission the crowd got restless.   They kept yelling out "Jefferson Airplane." I was a little bit annoyed.   Well, Hot Tuna comes out and proceeds to kick their ass.   One thing that was interesting to me was the Jack Casady had an effects pedal connected to his guitar.   He moved the pedal to the halfway position and left it there all night.   I don't know if it was a Wah-wah pedal or not.   It sounded to me that it could have been.   At the end of the show I had a smile on my face.   Not because it was a good show (it was), but because the concertgoers had egg on their face.

 
Todd Rundgren
July 28, 1976
Celebrity Theatre

I was impressed with Todd Rundgren's guitar work.  I wasn't real familiar with him but the show was fantastic.  One thing I do remember is Todd Rundgren smashing a clear bodied guitar.  At the end of the song, and I can't remember the song, he impaled the guitar with a sword and held it above his head.  He then brought the guitar down and smashed it on the stage.  This guitar broke into hundreds of pieces.  Unbelievable.  The crowd, of course, went wild.  After researching on the Internet I found that the guitar was made of ice. I also found out that it was the Utopia song "Singring and the Glass Guitar."  I was also impressed with Todd's vocal range which became evident during the song "Hello It's Me".

 

Yes
Renaissance
July 31, 1976
1976 Solo Albums Tour
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This concert was good.  The opening act, Renaissance, was nice to see.  Their lead singer, Annie Haslam, stood behind large plexiglas panels.  I read that at a previous concert, a concert goer threw a firecracker up on the stage.  Since that incident, she used the plexiglass panels.  Yes was quite good.  The sound was really good and the stage set up was quite spacey.  It had what looked like skulls hanging above the band.  they were connected to the back of the stage with what looked like vertebrae.  They would shine a light down on the musician, and raise and lower during the show.  The one thing that surprised me was Jon Anderson's solo.  He was high up behind the drummer and played a harp.  The drummer had two sets of drums on a rotating platform.  The drum set he used for most of the show was conventional.  For his drum solo, the platform rotated and exposed a wicked set of drums.  They looked to be made of an acrylic.  They were probably North Drums.  I hope I can explain this well.  The tom-toms came down and curved outward.  They were like large curved water chutes.  the bass drum was long; about 4 feet.  I believe they were made this way to be powerful because they were very powerful.  All in all, it was a good show. 

 

The Who
Album:  "Squeezebox"
Octoiber 6, 1976
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This concert was fantastic.   It was the first time I've seen the use of laser lights.   There were several banks of lights that fanned out over the crowd.   At one point in the show, they started to rotate.   I was sitting in the perfect location to look down one of the lasers.   It was a blast of bright, blue light.   I didn't know that I wasn't supposed to look down the lasers.   But there was no damage.   Keith Moon was absolutely insane on the drums.   In my opinion, The Who were at their best in this show.   Here is a video of that concert tour.   If you go to the six minute mark, you will see the lasers.

 

The Eagles
JD Souther
Album: "Hotel California"
October 15, 1976
Arizona State University Activity Center

This was an excellent show.   Hotel California had come out, and the musicianship and vocals were right on.   I am glad I saw this concert instead of the following concert tour.   The reason? Joe Walsh played songs from The James Gang and Barnstorm.   Having the Eagles as a backup band was just awesome.   It was a good night.   For the encore, JD Souther joined them onstage.   Everyone except Randy Meisner played an acoustic guitar for the song "Best of My Love." It was truly special.

 

Boston
The Bob Meighan Band
Album:  "Boston"
November 2, 1976
The Celebrity Theatre

This was a fantastic show.   They only had their first album out and I was one of the first people I knew to have the album.   I bought five tickets and try to get four friends to go but I can only manage to get three to go.   The tickets are $5.50.   I sold one of the tickets at the show.   What a waste.   A local group called the Bob Meighan band opened for Boston.   After that Boston came out and rocked that theatre.   They opened with "Rock And Roll Band" and lead singer Brad Delp was playing a Telecaster.   Now I can hear the Les Paul that Tom Scholz was playing and the Gibson SG that Barry Goudreau was playing but I couldn't hear the Telecaster.   After the song was over Brad Delp put his guitar on a guitar stand and walked back to the microphone, stopped, and walked back to the guitar.   He strums the strings or something like that and then walks back to the microphone and says "I'm so excited, I forgot to turn on my guitar".   I had a big grin on my face because I was right.   Yep, I was full of myself.   Once again the sound was perfect and the crowd was ecstatic.   It was probably a week or so later that you heard Boston everywhere, and I mean everywhere.

 

Eric Clapton w/The Charlie Daniels Band
No Reason to Cry Tour
November 19, 1976
ASU Activity Center

I was a little apprehensive about this concert.  I had heard on his previous visit to the valley Eric Clapton was so drunk they had to help him onto the stage.  But this concert was a very pleasant surprise.  The Charlie Daniels Band was excellent as always.  I especially like that he played my favorite song,"Saddle Tramp."

The stage setup for Eric Clapton was quite nice.  They had 20 to 25 small trees all over the stage.  On each side of the stage there were two large chairs.  One was a plush chair, and the other was a large wicker chair.  These chairs were for Eric's backup singers, Yvonne Elliman and Marcy Levy.  Whenever the girls weren't singing they were sitting in these chairs.  He opened with the song "Hello Old Friend." He sounded great.  He was wearing a black velour coat and a cowboy hat.  A couple of songs he played that were not on the average set list were "Bell Bottom Blues" and "Have You Ever Loved A Woman." His guitarist, George Terry, played a mean slide guitar.  The sound was clean and clear.  It was a good night.

 

Atlanta Rhythm Section
February 3, 1977
Dooley's

I wasn't a "big" fan of Atlanta Rhythm Section but I did like their music.  They did put on a good show, but the highlight was bass player Paul Goddard.  He would stand in the back of the band in an unassuming way.  However, when he did his bass solo he came to the front and just started blasting that bass.  This, without a doubt, was the best bass solo I had ever heard.  The crowd loved it, I loved it as it was really intense.

 

The Steve Miller Band
Norton Buffalo
Album:  "Fly Like An Eagle"
February 7, 1977
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This concert was on my birthday.  A few days before I got a call from my brother-in-law.  He was working at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Phoenix.  He wanted to let me know that Steve Miller was staying at the Hyatt the night of the concert.  I asked him if he could, would he get me a signature and he said that he would try.  My friends and I went to the concert and had a good time.  Norton Buffalo put on a good show and could play a mean harmonica.  Steve Miller put on a good show also.  He played mostly from the albums "The Joker", "Fly Like An Eagle", and "Book of Dreams".  When the concert was over we went back to my dormitory room, had some cake, and I went to bed.  A little later the phone rings and my roommate picks it up.  My roommate hangs up and then tells me it was My brother-in-law and he would call me in the morning.  So he calls me in the morning and tells me that Norton Buffalo and he were going all over the Hyatt looking for Steve Miller.  They couldn't find him and Norton tells my brother-in-law "Hey, give your brother-in-law a call and tell him to come on down."  I was shocked that that message didn't get to me that previous evening.  I was bummed.  Well, Norton Buffalo and his band signed a paper for me wishing me happy birthday.  That was nice of him and the band and it's a fond memory to this day.

 

Lee Michaels
March 21, 1977
Dooley's

I'm back at Dooley's again, this time to see Lee Michaels.  It had been a few years since I saw the Spirit, Lee Michaels concert at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  Lee Michaels put on a good show, but the most interesting part was the drummer' s drum set.  His bass drum and tom-toms were made out of garbage cans.  You know, the galvanized kind that your family used when you were a kid.  They sounded fine.  I don't know the name of that drummer, but I do know that it wasn't Frosty.  I had seen Frosty before with Sweathog and with Lee Michaels.

 

Pink Floyd
Album:  "Animals"
May 4, 1977
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This, of course, was a fantastic show.  It was in surround sound and the sound was perfect.  Pink Floyd played all of "Animals" and "Wish You Were Here." .  They also played a couple of songs from"Dark Side of the Moon.".   During the song "Pigs" they had a green fog flowing off the front of the stage.  After watching this fog for a little bit I looked up and saw a giant pig cruising across the ceiling of the Coliseum.  It was huge and had red eyes.  The visuals were also fantastic.  No one puts on a concert for the senses like Pink Floyd. Here is the set list.

 

Led Zeppelin
July 20, 1977
ASU Activity Center

This concert was absolutely terrible.  I went with two friends, one of whom was a big Zeppelin fan.  He fell asleep.  Jimmy page was so messed up that when they did an acoustic set a roadie would pull the guitar out of his hands and put another one in.  When Jimmy Page was standing I thought he would fall down.  The music was not on.  John Bonham seemed sloppy, nobody seemed to be in sync, and Robert Plant's voice was toast.  I admit that I'm not a fan after their fourth album.  But they only played one song, "Stairway to Heaven", from their first four albums.  This concert, to me, was excruciating.  The headline on the review in the Arizona Republic said it all:  "Led Zeppelin plays little but noise."  What a shame.  If you're interested, here's the set list.

 

The Ramones
The Runaways
February 8, 1978
Album:  "Rocket to Russia"
Dooley's

I wasn't much of a punk rocker.  But this was the Ramones so I went to see them.  Cherie Currie had left the Runaways and Joan Jett was handling the lead vocals.  I wasn't familiar with their music but they put on a good show.  The Ramones also put on a good show.  They also jumped up and down quite a bit.

 

David Bowie
March 30, 1978
Album: "Heroes"
Veterans Memorial Colosseum

This concert started out in a way that was one of a kind.  Imagine if you will, approximately 10 large lights behind the stage.  This was the kind that they would use on a movie set.  They were facing the audience.  All of a sudden they turn the lights on.  We were blinded.  Then the music starts.  As the song goes on, the lights slowly dim.  It wasn't until the end of the song that we could see the stage, and there was David Bowie and the band.  This was a straightahead rock concert.  Aside from the lights, there were no theatrics.  I was happy about that because I just want to hear the music.  David Bowie was wearing white pants and a dark top.  Halfway through the show, he takes a break.  For the second half of the show he was wearing dark pants and a white top.  Or it could have been the other way around.  Anyway, it was a super show.  I'm so glad that I saw the show without all the extra stuff.  Other than Pink Floyd, I'd rather just watch the band.  Here is the set list.

 

Spirit
June 12, 1978
Dooley's

I had seen Spirit once before with Lee Michaels.  That was in a large arena, and this show was in a small club.  I really like going to Dooley's for concerts.  I was a fan of Spirit and Kapt. Kopter and the (Fabulous) Twirly Birds.  Before Spirit started playing I noticed Randy California walking around in the crowd.  Nobody seemed to know who he was.  My girlfriend walked over to him and said something like "We love Kapt. Kopter and have a copy of the album." Randy California says "So, you bought it."

 

Van Halen
Album: "Van Halen."
July 7, 1978
Celebrity Theatre

This show was beyond awesome.  I was wondering if they could perform live and sound like their album.  They were way better than the album.  It was intense and the sound was just about ready to break your eardrums.  It was perfect.  They just kept coming at you with song after song.  David Lee Roth likes to jump around.  The celebrity has a relatively small stage.  On one song, David Lee Roth comes running across the stage, jumps up in the air and comes down at the end of the song.  The only thing was that the stage ended.  Just as the lights go down you see him flying off the stage.  When the lights come up he's crawling back up onto the stage.  He looks at the crowd and says "Wow man, I'm having so much fun I fell off the stage!"

 

Bruce Springsteen
July 8, 1978
Album:  "Darkness On The Edge Of Town"
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

What can you say?   It was Bruce in full force.  It was the first time that I attended a Bruce concert.  And it was fantastic.  I have to it admit that I hadn't listened to much of Bruce's music.  Sure, I knew a couple of his tunes, but that was about it.  It's not that I didn't like him, his music was just a little bit different than what I was used to listening to.  However, that would change.  He rocked the joint and played for a long time.  The crowd was really into it.  I haven't seen anyone go that deep into a crowd and allow them to carry him back to the stage on their hands.  Girls were running up on the stage all night to give him a kiss.  At one point, the Phoenix police had pulled the girls off of them.  It was insane.  I've seen a video of the police pulling the girls off, but I can't find it any longer.  This was absolutely the best show I've ever seen up to this point.  I didn't think it could get any better, but it did just a few months later.  I did find some videos from that night here.  Here is the set list.

 

Foreigner
Album:  "Double Vision"
September 20, 1978
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

This was a really good show.  They had two really good albums out.  All during the show, I noticed something on the stage.  In the back on the right side of the stage something was covered in a large black cloth.  During the middle of my favorite song "Starrider" the cover begins to lift and there's another set of drums.  Lou Gramm runs back to that drum set and starts playing.  It was pretty cool.  I've always liked two drummers.  I would see them again on the "Foreigner 4" tour, but only one set of drums during the show.

 

Heart
December 8, 1978
Album: Dog & Butterfly
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Yes, in my opinion, this concert was far better than Bruce.  It's hard to explain, but it was absolutely an experience.  No concert I have attended since has even come close.  The sound was perfect, the stage presence was great, and the musicianship was second to none.  Roger Fisher was a guitar wizard.  It was hard to take your eyes off of him.  I was amazed at how good Nancy Wilson was on guitar.  She was like an angel with an Ovation guitar.  After about three songs, the crowd was so loud that the band couldn't play.  It seemed like everyone in the Coliseum had their lighters lit.  The band just stood there and looked at the crowd.  Ann Wilson came up to the microphone and said "thank you" and the crowd got louder.  She moved back and they all just stood there.  The crowd got louder.  Honestly, it was so loud they couldn't play.  Well, Ann Wilson comes back to the microphone and says "All right" and the crowd gets louder and they just stand there looking at the crowd.  I had never seen this before at a concert.  After about five minutes, they can start playing again.  I remember seeing Steve Fossen standing at the front of the stage just playing away.  His toes had to be right at the edge.  During the encore they played "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin.  Nancy Wilson was playing a miniature Les Paul guitar.  I had seen Led Zeppelin in 1977, and they put Zeppelin to shame.  Sorry, but it's true.  Of all the concerts that I was glad to see this ranks as number one.  Here is a set list that was similar to the Phoenix show.  Here is a video of the same tour.

 

Journey
AC/DC
June 27, 1979
Album: "Evolution"
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Journey
The Babys
April 5, 1980
Album:  "Departure"
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Journey
Loverboy
November 11, 1981
Album:  "Escape"
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

I'm putting these three concerts together.  All three were excellent shows, and the really good thing was the opening acts.  The first concert AC/DC opened up.  I had no idea who they were.  Angus Young was in his school-boy outfit and Bon Scott was decked out in tattoos.  You could feel the energy and they played a really good show.  Both "The Babys", and "Loverboy" put on good shows also.  The "Evolution" show included Gregg Rolie.  At the "Escape" concert Jonathan Cain was playing keyboards and guitar.

 

Bad Company
September 12, 1979
Album:  "Desolation Angels"
ASU Activity Center

This concert had one of the cleanest stage setups I have ever seen.  Most of the speakers were hanging from the ceiling.  The band started off with "Bad Company" and Paul Rodgers came gliding from the back on a platform with his electric piano.  There was also a lot of dry ice vapor.  They put on a really good show... you know, they're Bad Company.  For me, their best five albums were out.  They played a good long time.  So many hits and great musicianship made the night special.

 

The Beach Boys
November 15, 1979
ASU Activity Center

This was another solid performance by The Beach Boys.  They played all the hits.  It was at this concert I learned that Bruce Johnston wrote the song "I Write The Songs".  A month before this concert the head football coach of the Arizona State Sun Devils, Frank Kush, was fired.  Lead singer Mike Love put on at Arizona State baseball cap, and the band played "Be True To Your School" and the crowd really enjoyed it.  Here is a similar set list.

 

Randy Hansen
January 14, 1980
Dooley's

Randy Hansen played several times at Dooley's.  This was the first show I saw.  He was doing Jimi Hendrix.  Even though he played guitar right-handed, you almost forgot it was Randy Hansen.  This was just incredible.  Here's a clip of Randy doing Voodoo Child.

 

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
The Fabulous Poodles
Album:  "Damn The Torpedoes"
January 22, 1980
Phoenix Symphony Hall

This was my first concert in Symphony Hall.  Acoustics were really good and compared to Grady Gammage Auditorium it had a better low end.  The Fabulous Poodles put on a good show.  The riser for the drum set looked like a boxing ring.  Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers put on a fine performance.

 

The Who
Album:  Who Are You
June 30, 1980
ASU Activity Center

I went with my friend Shelly to see this show.  It had rained a little bit, but not too badly.  As we approach the arena I could see lightning in the distance.  The Who put on a fine show, as usual.  This is the first time that I would see Kenney Jones on drums.  Honestly, I liked the way he played the drums with the band.  There was a guy in the front row and he had this toy called a chinese yo-yo.  The red plastic would zip out about another 2 feet and then recoil back.  Well, this guy was doing it for a long time.  He was positioned right in front of Pete Townshend.  Everyone could see this clown.  After a while, Pete Townshend jumps off the stage, grabs the toy and tears it to pieces.  The crowd gave him a standing ovation.  They had been playing about an hour when bright lights came on and the crowd was standing and cheering.  However, everyone started to realize that there was no music.  Pete Townshheend was stumming on his guitar, wondering what happened.  We finally realized that the power had gone out.  The emergency evacuation lights came on but nobody left.  I must tell you that the smoke was thick.  But it didn't smell like burning wood.  After about half an hour Pete Townshend comes out with a broom.  He starts sweeping the stage and motioning for us to leave.  But nobody left.  After 45 minutes to an hour, my friend and I took off to get something to eat.  While we were there in announcement came out that the show was starting again.  We hightailed it back to see the end of the show.  This was a memorable night.  Here is the set list.  Note:  I searched the Internet to find dates and set lists.  On one Internet site (thewholive.net) it is noted for this concert that it was in Sun Devil Stadium.  I can assure you that it wasn't.  The next time I see The Who it is in Sun Devil Stadium.

 

Pat Travers
Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow
Album:  "Crash and Burn"
March 24, 1981
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

Rainbow put on a really good show.  But the reason why I'm including this concert is something that made me chuckle.  I was a fan of Pat Travers and I read an article on him in Guitar Player Magazine.  He mentioned that he liked to play a Gibson Melody Maker.  This is because, as he said, they don't go out of tune.  Well, he was playing a Melody Maker but he was tuning his guitar between almost every song.  The other guitarist, Pat Thrall, played a Stratocaster and didn't seem to have any problems.

 

Jefferson Starship
.38 special
July 29 1981
Veterans Memorial Coliseum

My friend and I got there a little late, and when we reached our seats .38 Special started playing "Robin Hood."  That song is without a doubt my favorite from .38 Special.  They really rocked the coliseum.  Jefferson Starship also put on a really good show.  Two of the highlights were watching Mickey Thompson sing "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" and watching Craig Chaquico play guitar.  For the encore .38 Special came on stage and joined Jefferson Starship.  Also, they were joined by a really large white rabbit.

 

The Dixie Dregs
May 1, 1982
Album: "Industry Standard"
Dooley's

Overall this was a good show.  High energy and great musicianship.  At one point, Steve Morse brings out a male mannequin.  They're going to do this song "Ridin' High" from "Industry Standard."   Patrick Simmons, of the Doobie Brothers,sang the lead vocals on this song for the studio album.  The band decided to use the mannequin as a stand-in and the vocals were on tape.  The "Singer" was wearing a jogging suit.  The music starts up and there is the mannequin standing at the microphone.  After a short while, the mannequin's head starts turning to the left from the vibration of the music.  Steve Morse goes up to the mannequin and turns his head straight.  Well, that didn't last long because the head start turning again.  And Steve Morse goes back to straighten his head.  It was really funny.  It happened a few more times before the song was over.

 

The Who
Album:  It's Hard
October 31, 1982
ASU Sun Devil Stadium

This concert was at night.  As I was going around the outside of the stadium to get to my seat I noticed that the lights were out, but there was no music.  After entering the stadium, everything was dark and quiet.  I asked the guy next to me what had happened.  He said that John Mellencamp got hit in the head with a bottle.  After a short while, John Mellencamp came back on the stage.  His head was wrapped up and he was pissed.  He was shouting into the microphone for the guy who threw the bottle to come up on stage.  As you could expect no one came up on the stage.  I saw John Mellencamp on his next tour (as a headliner).  He wore a hard hat.

The Who put on another fine show.  Again, Kenney Jones played the drums.  The set list was super.  The sound was very good for a stadium show.  They played for a good long time.  It was the first time that I saw Roger Daltrey play guitar.  He played a baby blue Stratocaster during the song "Eminence Front."  It was a long show and we certainly got our money's worth.  Note:  I searched the Internet for information on Roger Daltrey's guitars.  What I found was he used an Esquire during 1982.  I was a long way away from the stage, but to my eyes it was a Stratocaster.

 

Santana
Album: "Shangó"
Nov 7, 1982
Grady Gammage Auditorium

For me, a highlight of the show was the very beginning.  When Santana was introduced the bongo player came out, sat at his bongos and started playing.  After a short time, the conga player came out and joined in.  Next was the the timbales player, the drummer, the bass player, and the keyboard player.  The instruments were in a half moon from one side of the stage to the other.  They started on the right and worked their way around.  It was really cool.  Here is a set list of that show.  NOTE:  The webpage shows this as a concert at the Gammage Centre, Tampa, Florida.  I believe that is a mistake as there is no Gammage Centre in Tampa that I could find.  It was at Grady Gammage Auditorium, Tempe.

 

David Gilmour
Album:  "About Face"
June 19, 1984
Mesa Amphitheater

This was a really good concert.  There's no other guitarist like David Gilmour.  He also had Mick Ralphs from Bad Company playing with him.  David played only a couple of Pink Floyd songs.  But that was okay, I enjoyed it nonetheless.  It was kind of cool to hear the two different guitar styles.  They seemed to fit together really well.  You can find the set list here.

 

The Tubes and Todd Rundgren
Grady Gammage Auditorium
July 3, 1985

This was a good show.  The most memorable part was Utopia's drummer's drum set.  The set was positioned on a platform.  The bass drum was extended about 6 feet from the set.  The bass drum pedal was connected to the beater by a chain.  During the drum solo, the platform rotated.  It started spinning faster and faster.  It was quite something to see.

 

For a pretty complete list of all the bands I've seen, click here.