I do not remember how I found about it, but my Dad got me tickets for a King Crimson concert at the Long Beach Municipal Auditorium (long since demolished, in favor of the huge Long Beach Arena, where I eventually worked as an usher). ($6.50 – see the scan!)
A friend from junior high school, Steve Edwards, was going to attend the concert with me. My dad took us there, dropped us off – and likely waited around for the show to finish – he must’ve instinctively known how loud it was going to be!
The totally unsuitable opening act was B.W. Stevenson, some clodhopper act that had a minor hit with a 45 called “My Maria” – just exactly the wrong band to open for the then-mighty King Crimson. I remember nothing at all about B.W. Stevenson’s act. I still see that LP in the $1 bins at swap meets.
What does remain in my memory, 38 / 39 years later? It was loud, probably the loudest thing I had seen to date. Seeing King Crimson perform the material from “Larks’ Tongues In Aspic” on a stage definitely helped me understand / digest the material. It’s true – the LP really threw me for a loop, sounding nothing at all like the previous incarnation(s) of the band. It would be safe to say that “I had trouble with it”, on first listen, at 14 years of age.
It also must’ve been the first place I had ever been (rock concert or otherwise) where people were openly “smoking dope” around me. Steve Edwards tried it, when a joint was passed to him, but I declined. Had I really already decided that I wasn’t ever going to smoke dope?
I had asked my older brother about smoking dope. In no uncertain terms, he told me it was a waste of time (the inference being that “only an idiot would want to waste time”). End of discussion.
14 years of age, becoming aware of my surroundings. How long is this story? Who are all of these other people? What am I doing here? Well, I am still going to school – having just finished junior high school (now quaintly called “Middle school”). The following fall, I would start high school.
During the summer of 1973, I was definitely starting down the trail of German music, Faust, Can, Amon Duul II, Neu…which other of these are any good? The covers all look pretty good, but at $4.99 and $5.99 each, I’d better be careful which ones I buy without hearing it first!
Tomorrow I will search my memory for anything at all about 1974 and 1975, my first two years of high school.