Category Archives: 1980

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

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020b. Waiting In Vain: 20 Performances I Missed, 1980-2011

nxtc handbill london 1980XTC at Centennial Hall, London, Ontario, Monday November 24, 1980. Too bad the show never happened (Thanks to MZ for the scan of her handbill).

You’ve got the warm ticket in your hot little hands, anticipation is building, and you just know it’s going to be a great experience and a fun night out.

But it doesn’t always work that way.  Shows get cancelled or artists are pulled from advertised lineups owing to illness or personal emergencies.  Or ticket demand is too high — or too low.  Or shows go ahead but it is you that is ill or can’t afford to get yourself there (as you’ll see, that’s a popular one for me during my university years). Or the weather turns crap. Or rides vanish. Or someone joins a cult. And on it goes. Continue reading

008d. I’m Not Angry: The Heatwave Festival (Part 4), August 23, 1980

008d. I’m Not Angry: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 4 ) with the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile featuring Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, and more, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday August 23, 1980, $20.

In Part Three, I covered the evening sets by the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and the Attractions.  This fourth and final installment examines my being left stranded in the middle of nowhere with only a few dollars in my pocket and the variety of adventures that ensued during my odyssey back home.

I arrived back at the faraway parking lot probably somewhere short of midnight, with the post-show, second evening party in full swing.  I was dreading having to meet back up with Doofus and That Guy.  Trying to imagine the level of obliteration they would be in by this point was a depressing scenario to ponder but, oh well, this was my ticket there and back.  Or was it? Continue reading

008c. Once In A Lifetime: The Heatwave Festival (Part 3) with the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello & the Attractions, August 23, 1980

008c. Once In A Lifetime: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 3) with the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello & the Attractions, and The Kings, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday, August  23, 1980, $20.

In Part Two, I covered the daytime sets by the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, as well as what happened once I made it through the main gate with Doofus and That Guy. Part Three focuses on the evening sets by the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and the Attractions (and The Kings, sort of). 

The fourth and final installment, concerning being left stranded in the middle of nowhere with only a few dollars in my pocket and the variety of adventures that ensued over the next day or so as I tried to make my long way back home, will be published this weekend.

Following the top flight sets from the Pretenders and The B-52s came the Talking Heads for what I hoped would be a performance on par with these two preceding acts.  I had been following the NYC foursome to varying to degrees for a few years, beginning by seeing a small piece on them in Rock Scene magazine in the mid-’70s. Continue reading

008b. Dance This Mess Around: The Heatwave Festival (Part 2) with the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile, Teenage Head, and more, August 23, 1980

In Part One, I discussed the hurdles I faced in getting to the festival, on a variety of levels. Part Two covers the daytime sets by the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile featuring Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, as well as what happened once I made it through the main gate with Doofus and That Guy. Part Three, covering the evening sets by the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and the Attractions, will be published on Wednesday.

008b. Dance This Mess Around: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 2) with the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile with Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday August 23, 1980, $20.

Myself and my compadres — Doofus and That Guy — entered the performing area through the main gates after being frisked by cops.  We came in with a big group of people who we had been hanging with — you know, the You Touch It, You Drink It crew featuring The Haggard Julia Phillips. Shortly thereafter I got separated from the other two. Continue reading

008a. I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down: The Heatwave Festival (Part 1), August 23, 1980

Visually, this is one of the most interesting tickets I own as well as one of the largest, measuring 6″x3″ (and you can add in another inch for the missing end stub). The design encapsulates the contrasting, cut and paste punk/new wave visuals of the time. $20 may seem like a huge bargain to 2010 eyes but it was a pricey gig back then.

008a. I Can’t Stand Up For Falling Down: The Heatwave Festival (Pt. 1) with the Talking Heads, Elvis Costello & the Attractions, the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile featuring Nick Lowe & Dave Edmunds, Teenage Head, and more, Mosport Park, Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada, Saturday August 23, 1980, $20.

NOTE: Today’s entry is the first in a series of four that I will be posting over the next few days. Part One deals with all of the obstacles involved in my actually getting to the festival  — both strategically and literally — as well as contexutalizing the gig in terms of both my life as well as the times in which the festival took place. Part Two, covering the daytime sets by the Pretenders, The B-52s, Rockpile, Teenage Head, The Rumour, and Holly and the Italians, will be published on Monday.

An all day festival! And just a few hours away! Featuring many of the best bands of the day! The first major outdoor punk and new wave festival, anywhere! And for only $20!

Everyone’s going to want to go, right?!

Er, not so fast there, Various. Continue reading

007. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Ramones with The Demics, May 20, 1980

I do not have my ticket stub for this show.  In its place, here is a handbill for the concert, forwarded to me by a friend, gleaned from somewhere on the internet.  These handbills were plastered all over downtown London for weeks prior to this much-anticipated gig.

007. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: The Ramones with The Demics, Centennial Hall, London, Ontario, Canada, Tuesday May 20, 1980, $7.

In my previous piece on The Boomtown Rats’ gig from March 1980, I discussed how time and hindsight afford one a contextual luxury that is impossible to posses during any particular era’s here and now.  This 1980 Ramones concert, with returning locals the Demics as opening act, is a perfect case in point.  At the time, I simply enjoyed this night out as one pretty thrilling concert, but in retrospect I see it as being part of each artists’ aspirational home stretch.  It felt like a new beginning in a season of anticipated triumph, but it was really one of the last moments of a closing door. Continue reading