June, 1973


June, 1973

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.

This entry was posted in 1973, England, King Crimson, Listening, Live music, Progressive Rock, Record Collecting, Record stores, Ultimate Collection and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to June, 1973

  1. postpunkmonk says:

    Edad! B. W Stevenson opening for King Crimson? To quoth the T: “I pity the fool!” I remember “My Maria.” Garden variety top 40 70s sludge. Unfortunately, I was not exposed to King Crimson until many years later.

    My first rock concert with dope smoking was the second I attended: Rock “Superbowl” with The Police/The Fixx/The Animals in early 1983 on the awful “Synchronicity” tour. What a hellish experience that was. The pot smelled awful, people were wasted and throwing food, pizza, beer all over the place. I removed myself from my “friend” [who was drunk] and decamped to the extreme far end of the stadium to dig in and wait for the blissful release at show’s end – as far from anyone else as I could get. I vowed never to see a stadium show again! Twelve hours of sheer abusive misery! And the music sucked on top of that; adding insult to injury. I had avoided the last Police album and only had seen the videos which were clogging MTV 24/7. Since there wasn’t a video, I had never heard “King Of Pain” before! No loss.

    I made the decision to never get high at an age so young, I can’t exactly remember when. It helped that my parents didn’t drink, though my mom smoked cigs. I plainly saw that mostly stupid people had “habits,” [my Mom included] so it was one more way to differentiate myself from the pack [whom I abhorred]. Years later one person I knew who had smoked dope later told me that she regretted it and thought that it had “made her stupid.” Your brother gave good advice. Besides, you were already hooked at an early age, like me, on the best drug out there; music! Speaking for myself, I am addicted to music because it was the way I could experience emotions and feeling, since I didn’t receive these from my family. Art was good too, but not as visceral as music.

  2. ronkanefiles says:

    All hail Jim Kane (1948 – 2011)!! I got to return the favor by giving the same message to his youngest daughter. Too bad we have such a visible ‘age gap’, Jim-san. We should actually figure it out: Is Brian my oldest reader? (Older than me, hey!); are you my youngest reader? Since almost nobody comments, except for you & Brian…I like your description of your mother smoking cigars – mine smokes cigarettes; hence the double-bagging of the masterfile.

  3. postpunkmonk says:

    No! My mom didn’t smoke cigars. I always used “cig” slang to mean cigarettes. Fewer letters.

  4. Brian Ware says:

    Am I really the elder curmudgeon amongst us? That’s a responsibility I won’t take lightly. Back to KC, I know I’ve mentioned this before, but has anyone ever seen KC with an appropriate opening band? Three times for me in the 70s, opened by – 1. a lame local Christian rock group, 2. Dion Dimucci (actually pretty good), and 3. my most surreal – Black Oak Arkansas and Sweathog. Duuuuude!!

    No interest in dope for me either. Observing my peers getting stoned and stupid eliminated any interest on my part. Yep, music will always be the best.

  5. Bob Gaulke says:

    Enjoyable post, RK 🙂

  6. postpunkmonk says:

    Since I’ve only seen KC in the 90s/00s there were no opening acts. Thank goodness!

  7. ronkanefiles says:

    And I thought I saw K.C. too late!

  8. UTranger says:

    While searching around looking for the date of this concert I found your post – I was at that show, too. Had TOTALLY forgotten who the opening act was, but have long remembered the guy getting booed pretty soundly by the Prog Rock audience in attendance. Thanks for the memories!

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