Wednesday, January 18, 2006

1986 Revisited

May 1986... The heavy hitters of 80's "Alternative" Rock certainly came through The Fillmore.. Especially on the 3rd, 10th, and 29th.

(From the Timo Archives)

A year earlier Umlaut was still into Metal. It's weird how a year can sometimes change everything. In 1986 I went back to college to give it "another go" (as The Brits say), and I soon fell in with a whole new group of Music Geeks.. and this is where my head was at: 80's Indie / College / Rockabilly / Alternative guitar stuff. I saw Bob Dylan and Neil Young for the first times that year too.

My most vivid memory from that year seems to be seeing Camper Van Beethoven at some weird, short-lived club next door to a movie theater in a San Jose strip mall. I don't remember the name of the place, but the space literally looked like someone's living room with the band set up on the floor in front of a fireplace.

I was sick and had taken NyQuil or some other cold remedy... Of course, I did the smart thing (since I had gone back to college) and got a pint of beer at the bar. When the show began my head was spinning like a hippie chick at a Dead show from the cold remedy and alcohol. I ended up sitting in the middle of the floor and watched peoples' feet as Camper played 'Sad Lovers Waltz'. Whenever I hear that song now it takes me right back to that floor and that moment.

I was WAY into Lone Justice in 1986 too (Lone Justice w/ Steve Earle = Fookin' gleat..). Good times.

Anyway, now all of Umlaut's Old Metal bruthas and sistahs know where I was after I disappeared from the S.F. Metal Scene.....

BUT here's something else you didn't know: In March 1985 I COMPLETELY betrayed Metal and saw Prince on the Purple Rain Tour! (cue stunned silence.....)

I could blame it on the girl who asked me to go, but no one forced me.. The things you will do for chicks when you're young... Prince played 6 sold out shows at the Cow Palace. In hindsight, I'm glad I saw that concert.. Tics were only $17.50 too. "Wear Purple" (I didn't).

Two weeks later I was seeing Metallica / Armored Saint again as if nothing had happened. And a week after that I was seeing Iron Maiden again as if nothing had happened!

I looked all of my Metal friends in the eyes (including Cliff Burton) and they suspected NOTHING. I was a fucking poser in their midst! HA!!! So now you know. Shocking, innit?!

"Two thousand zero zero party over, ooops out of time.."

"Fight fire with fire, we all shall die..."

"Two minutes to midnight, the hands that threaten doom..."

Postscript: If anyone taped the 2004 VH1 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony let me know. I need Prince performing 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' with Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, and George Harrison's son Dhani. His guitar solo was fucking GREAT. I shit you not.

John and Umlaut have known each other over 20 years... Old Metal Bruthas... or so I always thought!!! Who knew that back in 1985, when John was a member of the Metallica road crew and Umlaut was a Metal "journalist" / geek, that we shared a poser secret involving Prince... FAWKIN' HILARIOUS!!

JOHN MARSHALL: I too must profess that at one time I had a (semi) secret admiration for Prince. I think he's a fantastic songwriter, a great performer and all around great musician. I've seen Purple Rain more than once. I don't remember when or how I got exposed to Prince, but there was a time when I didn't like him. We used to call him "Prance" just to make fun of him in a Heavy Metal sort of way. He had all those extravagant costumes, spiked high heels, and chicks dug him. Something changed, though, when I heard Purple Rain -- it's just a great album. I lost interest again after Purple Rain, but for a while I was WAY into it.

Anyway, in 1985 I was actually able to go to the First Avenue Club (where Purple Rain was filmed) in Minneapolis, when Metallica played there on the Ride The Lightning Tour. It was pretty cool, to walk through the club and recognize the balconies and the stage from the movie! (The dressing rooms were a different story-- these tiny little boxes were NOT the dressing rooms from the movie). It was a small, but significant "geek" moment for me......much like playing Hammersmith Odeon in London or Red Rocks in Denver.

Thought for the day: Remember when Prince was the weirdo and Michael Jackson was the genius?

UMLAUT: On the way back to the 21st Century, some pimply-faced Metalheads called John and I fags.

"This is what it sounds like when doves cry.."

"Die by my hand, I creep across the land..."

DRUNK TED: I'm sure you've heard all the stories about Prince being a prick in person though. Kevin Smith has a great one on his spoken word DVD.

At this Irish Pub I go to, there's this guy who does lights for bands. He was hired to go on tour with Prince. At the beginning of the tour, he was told under no uncertain terms that he was not to talk to Prince. At all. Well first day of work, he was walking down a small backstage corridor and Prince was coming the other way with his entourage. The lighting guy moved out of the way and said "Excuse me.". A few hours later, he was fired for "talking" to Prince!!!

Oh, may I be the thousandth person to call you a "fag". Ha ha!

JOHN MARSHALL: Yeah, I've heard about Prince's attitude problem. Being in the guitar amp business, I heard a story once that His Holiness had received a sweet, brand new purple leather (natch! to quote Umlaut) guitar amp.

After a short while, it came back thrashed all to Hell, with holes in the speaker grille that looked suspiciously like they had been made by a spiked high heel. I guess the amp had a problem with a tube (as tube amps sometimes do), and he let fly with the kung fu dance moves.

Needless to say, I don't think he uses that brand of guitar amps anymore.

Prince Who?

RICH LAMINATE: I remember Gary and Rick from Exodus telling me they had been to see Prince on the Purple Rain tour and said he was simply ridiculously talented. There must have been some purple stuff in the water in S.F..

I used to be pretty good friends with Price's security guy. We were telling funny tour stories one day when he advised me that Prince would not sleep in a hotel bed, so he had a truck that used to carry his bed / mattress and crew guys who would go to each hotel and set up Prince's sleeping goodies....

He also confirms Drunk Ted's story about talking to Prince. It does go even further: Prince did not like anyone looking at him. I, of course, asked the question about what one would do if stuck in an elevator with his Royal Majesty and the answer was very matter of fact. If you were in his employ, you would be obligated to turn and stare at the wall..... Whatever floats your boat....