Category Archives: 1979

Three is a Magic Number: My Third Anniversary (originally on

3rd Anniversary Fear of Music Cover

No “Fear of Music” … a fear of OS’s obsolescence, perhaps … (Mock-up by VA)
(This piece originally published on Open Salon on June 3, 2013)
NOTE TO READERS: Owing to the March 2015 closure of — which was my primary publishing platform, where I initiated this blog and concert series project, and was where most of my pieces were accessed — I need to plug up a few blog-holes (i.e., post up here a clutch of early Open Salon blog entries that I never transferred over to this WordPress version). 
Also note that the OS closing also affected some of the cross-linked images here across entries which I will also be fixing piecemeal.  Finally, I am also going to try and transport all OS user comments over here to be amalgamated for posterity.
Join me over the next few months on a journey into the Ghost of Blogging Past as those missing posts, covering a variety of topics and years, re-debut over here.  Meanwhile, new entries of past gigs are on their way as well.
This month marks my 5th blogging anniversary.  I am going to be republishing my previous anniversary posts which never made it over here, one per day, with this year’s (delayed) celebratory post appearing on Friday.
June 3rd marks my third anniversary of hitting the “publish” button here on OS — an anniversary that, round about six or so months ago, I really didn’t think would happen.  While there have been plenty of “sky is falling”-type predictions about the demise of OS during the several years I’ve been here either writing or reading, I never paid much attention to them … until the site started to full-on atrophy in every sense sometime around the middle of last autumn.

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178b. Enjoy Yourself: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Pt. 2) with The Specials, The Waterboys, Animal Collective, Solange, and more, July 8-12

Waterboys Ticket Fri July 12 Day Pass
Oooh looky, there’s a curmudgeon onstage …

178b. Enjoy Yourself: Ottawa Bluesfest 2013 (Pt. 1) with The Specials, The Waterboys, Animal Collective, Solange, Balkan Beat Box, and more, July 8-12, LeBreton Flats, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

The Specials
Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday was Bluesfest-free owing to the small matter of my visiting nephew — known here as Fast & Bulbous — and I going to see the surprisingly still fab Paul McCartney (that entry is eventually coming too, even with my re-focus back on the past).  Had “The Cute Beatle”™  not come to town on said night, Continue reading

021. Dangerous Acquaintances: Marianne Faithfull, August 15, 1983


Marianne comes to town on a steamy August Monday evening.  It was a  night of  thigh-slappin’ rhythms, contented smiles … and dangerous acquaintances.

021. Dangerous Acquaintances: Marianne Faithfull, Fryfogle’s, London, Ontario, August 15, 1983, $12.50

Marianne Faithfull has occupied mental real estate in my consciousness since I was but a wee lad. As someone who grew up in a household where the music of the Rolling Stones was ever-present via my older sibs (“Dandelion” was one of the first singles I ever owned; Out of Our Heads, my first album, was gifted to my four-year-old self from a visiting aunt and uncle from the UK), I was always following the Stones-related headlines and hijinks. Mick and Marianne’s exploits throughout their time as a couple in the late 1960s always got a profusion of ink. Continue reading

020a. You Won’t See Me: 20 Acts I Wish I’d Seen (1920s-1980)

20 Acts I Wish I'd Seen Colour Block by VariousArtistsk BLOG

(Top 20 Colour Cube by VA)

For those of you who go out to see live music, you know that part of going to shows is not going to shows. Concerts are cancelled, plans change, unforseen events present themselves, and sometimes people plain up and die (luckily, Johnny Thunders made a full recovery from his early-evening overdose on the night I went to see him, living to play the show, albeit barely).

As I work my way through my series, I wanted to have an entry that honoured those concerts and performers who I did not get to see … and here it is, also doubling as a celebration of working my way up to No. 020 (they say that hindsight is 20/20, so I felt this was a fitting number for the piece). Continue reading

015. I Found That Essence Rare: The Gang of Four with The Hoi Polloi, March 5, 1983


  What a rip-off: they took the ticket and I only got to keep the end stub.

015. I Found That Essence Rare: The Gang of Four with The Hoi Polloi, Wonderland Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada, Saturday March 5, 1983, $9 (+ A Meditation on Friendship and Shared Communities).

This entry on the Gang of Four not only recalls the concert from March 1983, but also reflects on key changes in my social life as I began my 20s in conjunction with a shift in the local underground community, and of finding one’s tribe and its importance on one’s personal development.

Just 18 weeks following the Iggy Pop scrimmage and here I was back at Wonderland Gardens to see the Gang of Four. However, there had been some significant changes during that brief time in between Continue reading

006. The Fine Art of Surfacing: The Boomtown Rats with B.B. Gabor, March 19, 1980

My first concert of the 1980s, presented by local AM station CJBK and BASS (Best Available Seating Service) who handled lots of tix back in the 70s.  Whatever happened to BASS?

006. The Fine Art of Surfacing: The Boomtown Rats with B.B. Gabor, London Gardens, London, Ontario, Canada, Wednesday March 19, 1980, $7 (and a meditation on the amorphous nature of memory).

I came up with the idea for My Life – In Concert! during the late winter of 2010 and then spent the early spring drafting my first few pieces to see if I liked the results.  Once sufficiently satisfied, I typed away so as to create a backlog of material and, in doing so, decided that I wanted to define a scope for the series (can you tell I’ve been a project manager?).  Among the decisions I made was that each show I was going to write about either had to have a strong review component, a story to tell or a situation or element that would allow me to riff on an idea or theme Continue reading

005. What’s In the City: NFG’s Second Annual Halloween Bash with The Regulators and The Sinners, November 2, 1979

Looking suspiciously like a business card, this is the only ticket that I have for a show from this period featuring a number of local acts that I would go and see live, back in the day.

005. What’s In the City: NFG’s Second Annual Halloween Bash with The Regulators and The Sinners, The Polish Hall, London, Ontario, Canada, Friday November 2, 1979, $3.

For those who have been reading my series so far, the marquee names that appear above must be engendering some serious head scratching. Who?? Continue reading