Thursday, February 11, 2016

Baltimore Is Rocked !!!

 The Beatles’ only visit to Baltimore was on Sunday, September 13, 1964. They performed two shows at the Civic Center, to a total of 28,000 fans. The best seat in the house cost only $3.75. 

The support acts were The Bill Black Combo, The Exciters, Clarence 'Frogman' Henry, and Jackie  DeShannon. 

During the day, two girls attempted to have themselves delivered to the venue in a large box labelled 'Beatles fan mail'. Their efforts were thwarted by a guard in charge of checking all deliveries. The Beatles stayed at the Holiday Inn after the second show. Police officers on horseback restrained the fans from storming the building.

Led Zeppelin, playing to a capacity crowd of nearly 13,000 at the Civic Center Sunday night, amply demonstrated how it became the number one British rock band after the death of the Beatles as a group.
Led Zeppelin has been known primarily for heavy electronic rock. One of the most pleasant parts of the concert Sunday night was an acoustic interlude with drummer John Bonham laying out and Page, Plant and Jones (playing mandolin) seated before microphones at the front of the stage. They did several songs, including Going to California and Tangerine, the highlight of which was the tight interplay between the mandolin and guitar.
After this demonstration of their versatility the group settled into their more familiar material – Dazed and Confused and Whole Lotta Love.
These tunes – very loud, tough and driving rock and roll – are what made Led Zeppelin’s name. Plant’s amazingly mobile voice, as variable an instrument as Page’s guitar and capable of almost as many special effects, is used to its greatest effect here – uncannily echoing the guitar phrases of turning up in the ensemble sound in unexpected but usually correct places. On the strength of this interweaving effect of voice and guitar, Page and Plant probably could get by as a duo.
For his part, Page has curbed his zeal for excessively long solos – although he uncorked one on Dazed and Confused, that was outstanding mainly for its length, in favor of more pungent statements. He also has given up fretting with the mike stand, an early device and now bows the guitar strings, brandishing the bow high in the air after sawing away at the strings to conduct the after-notes  echoing through the speakers. Page and Led Zeppelin have both come a long way since their first appearance in this area at the Laurel Pop Festival in 1969. (Balt. Sun, June 1972)


Immigrant Song, Heartbreaker, Black Dog, Since I've Been Loving You, Stairway to Heaven, Going to California, That's the Way, Tangerine, Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, Dazed and Confused, What Is and What Should Never Be, Moby Dick, Whole Lotta Love (medley incl. Let That Boy Boogie, I Need Your Love Tonight, Hello Mary Lou, Heartbreak Hotel, I'm Going Down, Going Down Slow), Rock and Roll, Communication Breakdown.

Read more about Zappa right here...

Baltimore's Frank Zappa at the Baltimore Civic Center in April 1969

Geddy Lee of RUSH sings the Canadian National Anthem on July 13, 1993
at Camden Yards in Baltimore
Baltimore was the site of the oddest pairing in music history! 
Sha Na Na & RUSH !?!
On September 13, 1974, Neil Peart, Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson of Rush stepped out in front of a room full of older Baltimoreans. These "Greasers" in leather jackets with their ladies wearing bouffant hairdos and poodle skirts were there to relive teenage years in the form of 50's nostalgia group Sha Na Na!
Instead of doing the hop, they first got blasted by RUSH at full volume. Geddy Lee screaming over Alex's rocking hollow body guitar atop Neil's frantic rhythms. Also on the set list were early renditions of Anthem and By-Tor. I'm sure they went over well... lol. Rush were booed and they only returned to Baltimore many years later.

"Well, when I first toured in '74, on of the earliest ones was opening for Sha Na Na at a Baltimore high school. And it was my 22nd birthday. They didn't like us [laughs]. That was one of the worst matchups in history, until, five years later, let's say, when Blondie opened for us [laughs]. Bad choice" - Neil Peart

"It was a long time ago, the first tour in fact in 1974. We were playing at a university in Baltimore. It was just before the show and we came out to sort of peak around to look at the audience before the doors opened and they came in. And we saw that the girls were dressed in little white socks and long skirts and all the guys had greaser hairdos. It turned out to be one of these '50s sock hop things. We went on and were wearing satin pants and big high boots. And we started with 'Finding My Way' from the first record. They just sort of stood there and stared at us. Then by the second song they started to rumble. By the fourth song it was 'BOOOOO.' Get out of here! Get off!' So of course we turned everything up a little bit and continued to play. Then finally the promoter said, 'Thanks guys. You're done.' But they were nasty. They were really pissed off. I'm sure if we would have kept going they would have thrown their greasy combs at us." - Alex Lifeson

RUSH in Baltimore, May 7th, 2013

Gene Simmons of KISS at the Baltimore Civic Center July 13th, 1976

KISS doing a rare club gig at Hammerjacks on their Revenge Tour 1991

Baltimore's own KIX!!! At Hammerjacks 1992

Possibly the greatest live band to have ever graced the stage of clubs across America.
These boys fearlessly performed with precision a host of the most difficult rock songs ever from bands such as
From left to right
DJ Glass (bass) Greg Orem (Guitar) David Van Landing (Vocals) Tommy O'Steen (Drum) Dave White (Keyboards)
"After years of touring and “bad decisions,” the band broke up in 1990, even as it was still packing venues. “We thought there wasn’t a future for us,” David VanLanding.

The Boss in Baltimore!!!
How many great bands have played this venue?