Note, sometimes, I just save emails that I enjoyed particularly, or as notes for a future article. The grammatical nightmare below, is just a stream of consciousness ramble, of myself recollecting some details about working at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles from the time I was 16 to about 20 years of age. As a young aspiring musician, I couldn’t believe my luck at being able to see the contemporary great performers that I did. Apologies in advance for the formatting. First email in Conversation is at the bottom)
Yeah man. Well, for me, top ones were a four night Los Lobos / Santana jam session that had like EVERYBODY on stage as a guest, that was four days of BBQ’s, music out in the park, guitars, and then every night, a bigass Los Lobos Santana jamoff concert with the whole fucking place dancing.
The Gypsy Kings. They’re still one of my favorite shows, and what I think about when I think about EVERYBODY dancing at a concert.
Reggae Sunsplash, man, the air, thick with smoke, dancing in the aisles, and just a litany of awesome jams, it was like a reggae Pandora for a week straight. Outside they had the rasta booths with jerk meats and chew sticks and we’d always get everything free cause were there there after hours helping out.
I’ve told ya about johnny cash a million times. He brought out his whole fam. June, the Carter family singers, and they went through ALL kinds of AWESOME tunes. Never saw females play stringed instruments so awesomely in my life, or since. They were a real act to see.
Bela Fleck, cause of the bass! Wooten!
Ray Charles, now THERE was an awesome show man. He led like a bandleader should. I remember being most impressed with how he led the band.
James Brown, with his whole orchestra, fucking BAM with the funk all night man. The whole show. I got to see James brown play.
Bryan Setzer was good.
B.B. King, got to meet him, got to strum Lucille once. Got a pic from him too.
Santana played EVERY year, it was always a highlight. Think spotlights filled with smoke. . . from the very back of the theater to the front.and DANCING
Prince, just awesome. Again with the dancing.
I got to work at the Ahmanson theatre for a season, and saw the stagecoach run. That was fucking incredible, even though I didn’t care for the show. Working there showed me how the big money lives.
Still tons I’m sure I’m forgetting. Jackson Brown, who I love, the G3 Summit, Joe Satriani who I hate but goddamnit he put on a show, old glam rockers with HUGE pyrotechnics, just tons of madness.
So much fun.
And that’s not even starting with any of the shit WE did while we were there. There were nights that they would leave the whole stage set up, and if we didn’t have gigs, we would sleep over at the theater and have the whole place to ourselves. THAT was incredible.
At this time, I was playing 100 shows a year. Average about a show every other night. Then weeks FULL of Greek theater music. I think its why I’m so stubborn about music.
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 9:55 AM
I want to hear the good. Because there aren’t too many bands I would want to see bad enough to suffer through a Blink 182 concert.
Sent: Friday, March 22, 2013 9:53 AM
Only the worst ones. Dude, Michael Bolton, Live, TERRIBLE OLD MAN JAZZ where they made us wear green sweaters cause it was nicer, hmm, who else, Cyndi Lauper, who I love, but seeing her chew out her musicians and butcher her own songs was awful. Tina Turner, who showed me how much you can fake emotion on stage. Taj Majal, whose wife tried to get me fired, and was a total asshole, Kenny G who I couldn’t stay awake for, Morrissey, Blink 182, 311 (hate them), and every wanky pop band that was hot at the moment or R and B crap like blackstreet, jodeci, oldies concerts full of cholos etc. causing buncha fucking hooligans to tear up Griffith park, The Dixie Chicks, never seen a spectacle like that crowd, ew country pop concerts (I think I remember Shania Twain and Garth Brooks) I just plain forced myself to forget about.
But the good STILL outweighed the bad. Way more good, too many to name.