Wednesday, December 30, 2009



12/30/88 Hot Tuna @ The Fillmore - San Francisco, CA

I remember what we did on our night off now...We went to see Hot Tuna at The Fillmore. I think it was an acoustic show. Another nice surprise where everything just fell into place. The Fillmore was awesome. I know it's not at the original location and it may have moved since I was last there. I'm not sure. Free apples!

12/30/89 Grateful Dead @ Oakland Coliseum - Oakland, CA

We actually planned ahead this time and bought tickets in advance for the night before New Year's. I flew out west with a couple folks from work on 12/28. We stayed at the wonderful Jack London Inn. Unexpectedly, my roommate and next door neighbor decided to drive cross-country and meet us there. We weren't aware of this plan until they showed-up on our doorstep. I recall being woke up by some hippie playing a really bad version of "Sugaree" just outside our window by the pool. We managed to get locked out of our room at one point, only to discover our next-door-neighbors could easily crawl across the balcony and into our room. Note to self - always lock the balcony door.

A fine, fun show. The highlight may have been the opener of "Bertha->Good Lovin'" - a combo they used to play all the time in the late 70s but had dropped in the 80s. First time in about 8 years for that combo. Sweet! "Jack Straw" to open the second set was an odd surprise. Sort of the calm-before-the-storm of the frantic "China-Rider" that followed. They closed with Dylan's "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," which was one of those just-exactly-perfect moments. Overall this was probably better than the New Year's show, but that's pretty standard, really.

Another of my favorite shows. The band was sounding great...I was in California again...I was surrounded by my best friend, my neighbor and my favorite co-worker-buds. And we still had NYE to look forward to. Great night.

12/30/06 The Slickee Boys/The Howling Mad/Chelsea Graveyard and the Screams at Midnight @ The Ottobar - Baltimore, MD

Another Slickees reunion - this time at The Ottobar. hmmm...maybe this was the one where my friend came up from NC? Could be. Incidentally, my NC friend is the same one that drove cross-country for the above Dead show. He's a trooper, that one.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009



Oh, I'm fine. Thanks for asking.

12/29/88 The Grateful Dead @ Oakland Coliseum - Oakland, CA

The first time I ever traveled for a show. My first time in California. I went out with a co-worker. We had tickets for New Years Eve, but not this night. We had come all this way, so we had to at least try to get in. This is always the hottest run of the year. Tickets are incredibly hard to come by. We wandered around the vending area for a couple hours, but didn't have any luck. Disappointing, but not surprising. The show was about to start, so we decided to just head-out and see if we could find a place to stay.

Walking back to the car we walked past the loading dock of the arena. As we were walking past the ramp that goes under the arena, a couple of guys were walking up in our direction. As they walked by we heard one of them say "I'll be back in a few minutes. I need to get rid of these tickets." Ummm...hello...excuse me.... 5 minutes and $20 later we were on our way into the show. That Grateful Dead magic comes through again.

There was nothing terribly special about this show, but then again it was only my 5th show, so it was all special. I got to meet Willie the usher - someone who was a bit of an Oakland Arena fixture, as I would discover in the coming years. A few firsts for me, including "Sugaree," "Mighty Quinn" and "To Lay Me Down." Completely general admission. Something unheard of for a big arena show on the east coast at the time (thanks to The Who @ Cincinnati). The whole night was an unexpected treat.

After the show we were too tired to go find a place to stay, so we just slept in the rental car in the parking lot. You were allowed to do that back then. The next day we picked up my college buddy, Tom, at the airport. I forget what we did all day, but we ended up camping somewhere up in Marin that night. Setting up a tent in the rain = no fun. 3 of us in the small tent wasn't great either, but it beat sleeping in the car again. The next day was New Year's Eve, which I've discussed in a previous post.

This was by far one of my all-time favorite trips.

12/29/95-01-05-06-07 The Slickee Boys @ various locations

The Slickees usually do 1-off reunion shows between Xmas and New Years. I don't have the patience to review them all, but here's a one-liner for each:

12/29/95 @ 9:30 Club Washington, DC

My last show at the old 9:30 Club. I was furious it was moving. This show was a combination great time and total bummer.

12/29/01 w/The Beatnik Flies @ 8x10 Club - Baltimore, MD

A bunch of my old friends I used to see The Slickees with back in the mid-80s came up for this one. Just like the good old days.

12/29/05 The Mojo Room - Baltimore, MD

Tiny, dark, grubby club in a questionable part of town. The stage area was smaller than my living room. I have the print-at-home ticket for this, but it's a .pdf and I'm too lazy to convert it.

12/29/06 @ Iota - Fairfax, VA

We got there before the opening band came on, but the show was already sold-out. We hung out at the bar in the connected restaurant where we could hear, but not see the band. About 2/3 through the show, they let us into the main room. At full-price, of course.

12/29/07 @ Ottobar - Baltimore, MD

My best old college roommate came up from NC for this one. I love The Ottobar.

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