Concert Timeline, How it All Began

Concert Timeline, How it All Began

My admiration of the arts/music came from my mom who belonged to the Columbia Record Club and must have selected the Jazz category, as I was raised on Duke Ellington, Erroll Garner and Benny Goodman. My first concert experience is said to have been in The Rose Garden or the Band Shell of the Des Moines Art Center, most likely with my Grandmother, Dorothy Schaaf.  Unlike others my age (8) in my neighborhood, my grandmother took me to art lessons each Saturday, which meant no Little league. On Sunday’s after church it was often back to the Art Center where we often heard live music. Around 1967 I began attending concerts at the KRNT Theatre in Des Moines, Iowa. My first vivid memory was of The Turtles and The Association. I saw Buffalo Springfield, Music Machine, The Flock and Strawberry Alram Clock, probably not all at the same show. While living in Des Moines I attended the first Arena Concert in Iowa at Veteran’s Memorial Auditorium , Cream and Conquer Worm in 1968. The show was put together by Des Moines Music House, whose owners were my neighbors in Des Moines. I also attended a few concerts in a downtown warehouse near Vets. The night the Monkees played Vets I went to Enoch Smoky. (I thought Frank Zappa was also on the bill?)As I moved into the 1970’s I can remember seeing The Allman Brothers Band Superball Fest July 24, 1968 in St. Paul Mn. To this day I recall watching Duane with his sunburst Les Paul This was one of his last shows.. Next came the historic Denver Pop Festival at Mile High Stadium, Denver Colorado, June 27-June 29, 1969 : Iron Butterfly The Flock Three Dog Night Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention Aeorta Zephyr (Tommy Bolin) Poco Jimi Hendrix Experience Creedence Clearwater Revival. Besides being introduced to cannabis, The Mothers of Invention and Tommy Bolin, it was The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s final performance. I attended the festival with a friend I knew from Ft. Dodge. His mother drove us to denver in a VW station wagon. I remember looking at all the musicians who sat in front of the stage watching JHE. We got tear gassed at the end of the JHE show due to gate catchers. I recall the band Zepher (Tommy Bolin) coming out and playing in gas masks.  A majority of my 70’s concert life were road trips from Ft. Dodge to Des Moines, Ames and St. Paul, I drove. ( After a Humble Pie show in St. Paul we were stopped by armed police because my 1964 white Impala matched the description of a nearby gas station hold up) St.Paul had a few standouts; Black Sabbath with King Crimson opening. Please be advised that Robert Fripp denies such a show.  Alice Cooper and Dr. Hook and The Medicine Show was forgettable save for the fact that a friend asked me to go see Mahavisnu Orchestra the same night and I choose Alice Cooper? Somewhere around this time period (1970-72)  I also attended a few concerts in The Des moines Ice Arena. This is where I experienced Ted Nudget bite his drummer’s ear and Chuck Berry with a local band as his backup band. (Something I know now was common practice).I attended numerous small arena shows in St. Paul. I remember when a car load of us once again headed North to catch Jethro Tull in there prime. We were on the floor, some standing and many stood. The aroma of marijuana filled the arena, producing intermittent clouds of smoke rising to the seats. Ian Anderson was the focal point with his antics and long flowing hair. To give an idea as to the time period, at on point a joint was being passed through the crowd; when I passed it to my friend he in turn was standing next to a St. Paul Cop. My friend, Bruce (RIP) passed it to him, obiviosly not aware he was a cop. Without any hesitation the cop simply passed it back to Bruce. (1970) Around 1971-74 I began to attend shows at the Hilton Colosseum in Ames and more at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Des Moines, Iowa. I saw Creedence Clearwater Revival, with Tom Fogerty at Vets on numerous occasions. I recall hanging on the stage as I watched John Fogerty on lead vocals/guitar. Another Les Paul. I also saw Steppenwolf during their hey day at Vets which helped shaped my musical direction for the next few years. In a time period referred to as a concert void  in God’s Country, 1974-1978 I saw no one while in Northern Minnesota. Once back to Iowa, with Kim and my sons in tow. The next Chapter began. First Concert, Dizzy Gillespie. It was billed Dizzy Gillespie in Concert Firday November 10, 1978. Band: Ben Brown ,Bass, Mickey Roker, Drums, Rodney Jones, Guitar, Shevoynne Wright , Vocals. This was our 1st show back from Minn. Tickets: $5:00. Our next show was one of many evenings at the Hilton with Marshall Tucker Band. Thursday January 25 @ 8:00 in the balcony. $7:50 Tickets. Notes: “I won tickets fro KKRL in Carroll, Iowa. Was a good evening with Fire Fall opening.” 3 stars.  Phobe Snow March 23, 1979 C.Y. Stephens. Main Floor Seating.  4 Stars. Jim Healey said,” Phoebe Snow revue: Totally Satisfying.” 5 stars. Billy Joel May 1, 1979 Hilton Coliseum. “…seats were horrible, set started late, But Joels was fantastic. Very moving concert. Drummer was Joel’s clone…” 4 stars. Benny Goodman Sextet. Friday June 1, 1979 $9:50 seating. “…was fantastic seating…did send in the clowns, which was most moving. Was a good experience to see such a well respected musician preform. Goodman controlled the entire band as well as the audience. I say Mr. Goodman as he was leaving C.Y.S. (Mother Mary Attended). George Benson Thursday June 21, 1979 Des Moines Civic Center. “…best seating to date. Was a pipe dream of 500 miles (Loved George Benson on CTI while living in Warroad , Minn) “…everything I expected and more. very powerful. Incorporated a full string section. Lenny Williams opened. 8 Stars.  Bee Gees July 24, 1979 Hilton Coliseum, Ames Iowa. I was not into the Bee Gees at the beginning of their Disco phase.This show was really for my mother, who liked their music. October 1,1979 Lou Rawls Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines, Iowa. Melba Moore opened. My recollection of this show was not good. Poor seats, sound and bad opening act. “….worst concert to date.”  Next may have been one of the most influential concerts since The Denver Pop Festival in 1969, “Weather Report” February 11, 1980 Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines, Iowa. I had front row seat that favored the right side of the stage. I remember at the time the Indian music from the PA that played until 8:30, when the band took the stage. According to the ticket they were to go on at 8:00. But as I grew to follow the band I understood “8:30.”  Not knowing what to expect other than they had this bass player that was gaining attention as a rock player in a jazz band.  When they did start Jaco made an entrance like no other I had seen. A roadie had put down baby power on the stage that allowed Jaco to slide accross the stage. I was familiar with their version of “Birdland’ and had read about a flamboyant bass player, Mr. Jaco Pastorious.

Tuesday March 4, 1980 Ronnie laws and Lenny White Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines, Iowa. “….was bad weather-blizzard. Tom (Brother) and I went, we had good seating Lenny white was very energetic with great guitarists. Ronnie Laws did old and some new material… friends and strangers was memorable.”
Monday March 17, 19080 Pat Metheny Group  8:00 Show Fillmore,  Ames , Iowa. “…St. Patrick’s Day and Kim, Tom and I  attended the first show a rather new venue/bar (now a fitness club) …was a fantastic show, everything was perfect, seats, sound was outstanding.Only draw back was not being able to stay for the second show.                                                     The Crusaders w/ Randy Crawford Thursday April 24, 1980 Des Moines Civic Center, Des Moines, Iowa. “…Randy Crawford opened and was good (singer), as was her band, but I came to hear The Crusaders. The wait was soon over and very much worth the wait. Phill Upchurch was on guitar(once Robben Ford) and Airto percussion. Sytx Hooper-drums, Joe Sample -Keys, Wilton Felder-Saxes, Kicked out their set with a cut from Street Life (which featured Randy Crawford) Did some older material later in the set.  standout was the work between Styx Hooper and Airto. Actually, Street life was the only low point for me…”

Memorable :
Col. Bruce Hapton Guitar and Vocals, Jimmy Hearing, Guitar, Oteil Burdgrige , Bass, Snipe, Drums, Kofi, Flute The venue was across from the Des Moines Police Station. The date was the night of the 93 flood. Midway though the show Col Bruce went to the mic and said that we (Son and a friend) were to report to the lobby for an imortant message. Once there I was greeted by a Policeman who was delivering a message from Kim that the roads to Jefferson from Des Moines were washed out. By that time AQRU were standing in the wings waiting to go on for their encore. I approached them and told them od the :under water de-lima”which dew smiles and good lucks from the band. Blue Floyd was Allen Woody – guitar, bass & vocals, Matt Abts – drums, Marc Ford – guitar & vocals, Johnny Neel – keyboards, harmonica & vocals & Berry Oakley – bass, percussion & vocals 2/19/00 The Grand Ballroom Fort De Moines Hotel De Moines IA Early Show: Breathe jam> In The Flesh> Cymbaline> Interstellar Overdrive> Wish You Were Here> Hey You, Money> Us & Them> Seamus> Fearless> Young Lust Encore: Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 Late Show: HAL> Shine On You Crazy Diamond> Have A Cigar, One Of These Days, Blues jam?> Fearless, Sheep, Echoes> keys/drums> drums> bass/drums> Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun> Breathe> Money jam, Us & Them, Breathe> Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2 Encore: Young Lust Ticket Stubs:


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George Burrows
Written by George Burrows

George Burrows grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Iowa State University. George created Live Gig Shots to promote his enthusiasm of live music. George collaborates with a talented group of photographers, writers, musicians and promoters to bring a varied array of artistic content to the site. George's niche is jazz and the blues. "Anyone can make the simple complicated. Creativity is making the complicated simple." -Charles Mingus -

1 Comment responses

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    February 10, 2014

    I traded in my stubs for photo passes in 2010. I am truly blessed.

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