Dublin’s Boomtown Rats surfaced at the London Gardens in March of 1980: my first live show of the new decade.
They had been an obsession of mine over the previous 2.5 years since I had picked up their debut 45, the charging and furious “Lookin’ After No. 1,” on a trip to the UK in ’77.
At this point, they were three albums in, superstars in the UK, and just coming off an international smash, “I Don’t Like Mondays,” which went Top 10 here in Canada.
I kicked off a boatload of ‘80s gig-going in this freezing arena on a bitterly cold night (the bolt opposite of the Bob Seger steambath at this venue in 1978… so much for insulation), warmed up by an engaged and energetic Rats fronted by an animated Bob Geldof (“Sir” and Live Aid were years in the future).
My pal “Special Guests”—then of London, Ontario, now of Leeds, UK—who you first met in Episode 3 on The Ramones, returns with his recollections and reflections on the evening.
Stay tuned for onstage pyjamas, photo awkwardness, and how our present shapes the memories of our past.
See the original 2010 blog entry here.
NEXT PODCAST: I have already recorded episodes covering the next two live shows I saw post-Rats (EP 3, no.7—Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Ramones with The Demics and EP 10, no.8—Once In A Lifetime: The Heatwave Festival ) and done a podcast discussing the two shows I was slated to see that fall but were sadly cancelled (XTC in November and Bob Marley in December, as featured in EPs 9A & 9B, no. 20b—Waiting In Vain: 22 Performances I Missed).
So, my next podcast jumps into 1981 and the sole live gig I saw that year: the first of three Police Picnics, hosted by the titular group.
It was the second of four consecutive summers where I went to a big open air festival. While those other fests were more degenerate and adventuresome affairs, this was a more pop-and-pizza/June-Cleaver-style experience for us.
And while free of mind-altered shenanigans, this first Police Picnic is long on great music and at least 3 killer sets including one by the original Specials playing one of their last gigs and my finally getting to see Iggy Pop for the first time.
Special Guests also attended this festival and kindly stops by once again to share his memories of that day.
Come back next time for pelting patrons, a crowd-shocking performance, and Catherine O’Hara sightings.
Episode 15 (Concert no.009) The Police Picnic 1 with The Police, The Specials, Iggy Pop, Killing Joke, The Go-Go’s, Nash the Slash, John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett, The Payola$, Oingo Boingo, and the David Bendeth Band: The Boiler, The Grove, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, August 23, 1981
Get a sneak preview by reading the original 2010 blog entry here.