My Concert Ticket Stub Collection Post 1
Updated: Mar 18
Ah, the concert ticket stub. Depending on what you drank, ate, smoked, or snorted at the concert itself, it could be the only memory you have of the event. This simple little piece of paper that lets the world know, "I was there!"
As someone who has meticulously kept every stub from every concert he's ever been to (with a few rare exception such as when The Catalyst kept their beautifully and artistically designed stub for a Dropkick Murphy’s show - I’m still mad about that), I have to say that modern technology has been a real bummer. Gone are the days when you go stand in line with all the other excited fans, waiting for 10am so you can go into the Warehouse and get your little admission to a few hours of Heaven.
Nowadays, you just sit online, all alone and stressed out that stupid Ticketmaster's website will screw you over -and it will!- and how much are they going to charge in fees. They don't even tell you how much a ticket will cost until they're actually on sale!! But, I digress. Once you're finally through the tortuous process Ticketmaster subjected you to, you're left with either a print out of your ticket -very big and ugly- or just a digital ticket to put in your phone's ''wallet.'' It's very displeasing from an asthetic point of view in this collector's opinion.
I miss being in line and conversing with all the other fans, some of them blasting music from their car to reflect the band that they’re there to get tickets for. “Who you here to get tickets for?” “Pantera? Cool, me too!” “How about you over there… who you here to get tickets for?” “REM, huh?…Well, uh…. hmm.. have fun at that, I guess.”
Now, time for me to start writing about my concert experiences and share photos of the ticket stubs and other memorabilia I may have acquired/purchased during the show. Despite what I said above about keeping all my tickets stubs, I don’t have any proof of being at the first two concerts of my life. I have a good excuse though! The first concert I went to was in 1980 - when I was under a year old - and I, oddly enough, have no memory of it. My mother carried me in her arms at a Mickey Gilley concert at the King City Fairgrounds. I haven’t been able to find a single bit of information about the concert online, so I am not hopeful that I’ll acquire a setlist, a newspaper clipping, or anything else about the show. But I’ll continue looking.
My second concert was a Willie Nelson show in either 1986 or 1987. It was after a San Francisco Giants game which I have no ticket stub for. Honestly, I was there as an avid baseball fan and only knew “On The Road Again” at this point in my young life. I remember telling my dad that I was bored during the concert. Man, if only I could go back in time and relive that with the appreciation that I currently have for ol' Willie Nelson!
So, onto the concerts that I actually have ticket stubs for!:
THE BEACH BOYS
September 24, 1988. Redwood Amphitheater (Great America)
The Beach Boys concert ($5?!?!) is what I really consider my first concert. It was, at least, the first concert that I chose to go to and was excited to see. Now, I have a hard time calling this ‘The Beach Boys’ since Brian Wilson wasn’t there, but I didn’t understand any of that drama when I was eight years old. I just knew that these were the guys who sang all my favorite songs. I’m not exaggerating.
In 1988, there were a lot of different styles of rock music becoming popular and I heard them all constantly, but none of them interested me. This new Guns n Roses thing didn’t appeal to me whatsoever and all the metal bands looked and sounded like women. I enjoyed the oldies station when I was with my mom, but I never obsessed over it like I did The Beach Boys. They really were the be all and end all of my musical taste.
I truly don’t remember a lot about the concert - it was thirty-five years ago - except a little argument between a woman next to me with the woman in front of her. Something about the woman in front getting up and dancing thus blocking the woman’s view who was next to me. My dad and I were here, and I think he brought a friend, or a girlfriend, or someone with him. I don’t recall. I vaguely remember a lot of bikini clad women on the stage during what may have been California Girls, but I can’t be sure.
GEORGE STRAIT | PAM TILLIS
August 8, 1992. California Mid-State Fairgrounds
This is one that I don’t have much recollection of and no ticket stub for. I couldn’t find much of anything about the show online. My Aunt took me, Grandma Ruby, Great Aunt Janie, cousin Monica, and a couple other family members to this concert and I remember that I really enjoyed it. It was the annual California Mid-state Fair and I have a Polaroid of me upside-down on one of those Velcro walls. I wish I remembered more. I also wish I had spent more of my concert money going to see country shows because I really love all that older country music nowadays. Oh well. Can’t change it.
DAVID BOWIE | NINE INCH NAILS | PRICK
October 21, 1995. Shoreline Amphitheater
When I found out that Nine Inch Nails, a band I had recently fallen in love with, were coming to town, I was thankful that David Bowie was with him. Not because I wanted to see Bowie -I’ve never been a big fan- but because that would make it much easier to get my dad to take me to the show! Sure enough, it did the trick.
My dad and I, along with my high school bestie, Shawn, excitedly headed up to the show in my dad’s truck. I was wearing my dad’s old, black leather jacket with too many weird belts and straps and buckles on it. I remember not quite knowing if I looked cool or stupid, but I’m pretty sure it was the latter looking back at it from my forty-three year old brain. But, that’s okay.
Some of the main memories I have of the show is my dad ridiculing Shawn for getting excited when Bowie played, “The Man Who Sold the World.” Shawn exclaimed, “He’s playing a Nirvana song!” Well, my dad couldn’t take that and had to set him straight! “Nirvana covered that song! It’s a Bowie song!”
I also remember Trent Reznor at one point stated with all the elegance a dark and doomy brand new rock star could muster, [to the fans] “Fuck you all. I don’t need any of you.” Or, at least that’s my memory. I’m sure I’m paraphrasing. What I do remember about whatever he said though, was that it wasn’t very nice since we’re paying money for him to be able to say it. To his credit, when I saw him again five or six years later, he told the crowd, “I love you all.” I guess he grew up, or at least figured out that he DOES need fans if he wants to keep eating food.
Oh! And I just remembered that I was chatting with a college girl. She and I decided to go down to the front of the lawn together. I was SO nervous having this beautiful older girl with me and I had no idea how to act. I just kept asking if she wanted to go back up to where we had just come from. I think, for some reason, I was trying to be chivalrous and get her away from the dangerous mosh pit, but, looking back at it now, she just wanted to have fun up near that excitement. Why did this guy she just met keep trying to take her away from it? Needless to say, we parted ways during the show and I have no idea who she is.
From this concert:
GREEN DAY | THE HI-FIVES
December 14, 1995. Oakland Coliseum
When I first heard the song Basket Case, I was instantly in love. I was fourteen at the time and this band looked and sounded exactly how they needed to look and sound to get my adoration. I bought Dookie and immediately loved it. Well, okay, I wouldn’t admit it at the time, but I loved the first seven or eight songs, then there were some meh ones, and it ended kinda strong with F.O.D. But, I was still hooked.
I didn’t understand a thing about musical genres (I just heard ‘good music’ or ‘bad music’) but my dad called this band ‘Punk Rock.’ I found that interesting because I had friends who tried to get me to like punk and I always hated it. Like… on a deep level. I REALLY disliked everything about it. It always wound up in the ‘bad music’ section of my brain.
But this Green Day band, they didn’t sound like that other punk stuff at all. This was melodic, every song sounded different, they didn’t look like they needed a shower, and they dressed like normal human beings. Thinking about it now, I suppose all that is how they managed to get massively popular. They were still sorta holding onto the punk sounds (maybe... kinda... a little?) but it was watered waaaay down -enough to be able to get into the minds of kid’s far outside the punk scene.
Anyway, the concert itself was not that amazing. I remember trying to tell myself that I was enjoying it, but they were just super sloppy and seemed like they needed to be playing in a little club somewhere and not in a giant coliseum. It seemed like they were rushing through their songs at a faster tempo than they were written. Perhaps that was the little bit of punk they still had left in them? Either way, I still enjoy the first half of Dookie and a few select songs from the next two albums, but I wrote Green Day off many, many, many years ago when that irritating “Minority” song came out. For as much as I obsessed over their music for a couple of years, it’s amazing how one song turned that switch off right away.
OZZY OSBOURNE | KORN | THE DEFTONES
February 25, 1996. Oakland Coliseum
My dad wanted to go see Ozzy and I was excited to go with him. I didn’t listen to Ozzy much, but I had a healthy respect for him and knew some of his songs well enough. As for Korn, they were a band that people I knew liked and they tried MANY times to get me into, but it just didn’t stick. It was just merky, complainy, and annoying music to my ears. The Deftones, at this point in my life, I hadn’t even heard of.
So, Deftones opened. I remember the singer having dreadlocks. I think that’s all I remember.
Korn played Korn music. The one thing I really remember is during one song my dad and I looked at each other and said, “Did he just say ‘I’m a faggot’?” Turns out, yeah, that’s one of their songs. Ok, we hadn’t heard such frank lyrics about that subject before. So, it was quite bizarre. Needless to say, this didn’t make me a Korn fan. Little did I know at the time, but I'd be obsesed with Korn within a year. Though, looking back, I still am not sure why.
And finally..onto Ozzy!! And… unfortunately, I don't have a single memory of it. I don’t know why. I’m searching my brains and there’s just nothing. I know I liked it a lot, but that joy isn’t attached to anything concrete in my recollections. If that changes, I’ll come update this.
BOB SEGER AND THE SILVER BULLET BAND | THE BADLEY’S
April 12, 1996. Oakland Coliseum
I knew nothing about Bob Seger except for a few songs that my dad played for me, but he wanted me to go see the show with him and I was happy to do so. Over the years, my dad and I would take each other to concerts that the other one wouldn’t have thought twice about. It was a really special exchange of musical tastes that we shared. And, since he and I both felt our music on such a deep level, it was more than that. It was us bonding the best way that we knew.
I have no memory of The Badley’s, who opened, but I see written on the back of my ticket stub, “Hootie and the Blowfish wannabes. YUK!” So, I guess I’ll have to rely on those words from my sixteen year old self.
Bob Seger was solid. I have never delved into his catalog of music, so this was and still is my only real exposure to him, but he and his band were very tight and sounded great. I remember dancing with an ‘older lady’ in the aisle. Looking back, she was probably about the age that I am while typing this. I thought she was so old!
LOLLAPALOOZA 1996 - SCREAMING TREES | THE SHAOLIN KINGFU OF CHINA | RANCID | THE RAMONES | DEVO | SPONGE | SOUNDGARDEN | METALLICA (Those are the bands I saw but there were more on the bill for other stages).
August 2, 1996. Spartan Stadium
This was my second time to Spartan Stadium. I had gone there for a 49er/Patriots NFL game with my dad back in 1989. The game was supposed to be at Candlestick Park but the Oct. 17th earthquake cracked the stadium and it needed to be repaired.
This was my first festival show and boy, what a line-up! I was there for Metallica and Soundgarden, but, looking back, it’s cool that I saw The Ramones, even if it wasn’t really my thing.
Psychotica, a band that I got into right around this time, was the very first band on stage. Unfortunately, I, along with my friends Kelly and Shawn, were all stuck in traffic while Psychotica played. I never did get to see them play live. Bummer.
The band that was playing when we got inside were The Screaming Trees. I don’t remember anything about them. I wasn’t paying a ton of attention because there were vendors and other stages all over the place that were distracting me. Not to mention this was a huge football stadium, so it was pretty easy to focus on things other than the band playing. Mostly, I was just trying to figure out where I wanted to stand for the show as I weaved in and out of the crowd.
Turned out, this event lasted so long that I was all over the place for the next many hours while bands played. I saw Chinese monks (?) doing incredible athletic feats, saw Devo open with Whip It (at which point I left their stage and walked over to see Sponge on the second stage), ignored the terrible sounds of Rancid as best I could, walked all over the place while sorta paying attention to The Ramones, then wiggled my way up really nice and close to Chris Cornell for Soundgarden. Or maybe Soundgarden were before The Ramones. I don’t remember anymore. But either way, I was right near the front for Soundgarden.
It was the first time I had ever been up near the front for a concert and being able to look directly into Chris Cornell's eyes as he magnificently sang some of my most favorite songs is something that will always stay with me. At one point, I got thrown over the rail right in front of him while crowd surfing, so I lost my upfront position as I was led to the side of the stage by security. But, I managed to get sort of close again, just in time for Kim and Matt to leave the stage. Chris sat alone on a stool with an acoustic guitar. He then proceeded to play a solo rendition of Black Hole Sun - the song that got me into the genre of hard rock music in the first place. Seriously, when MTV played that new video, this band grabbed my musical attention like I never imagined was possible. Everything changed for me. And here Chris was, playing it on an acoustic guitar before my eyes. It was perfect. Like the whole world was at ease. Until Metallica came out and blasted my ears apart.
This was my first Metallica show and they had just disappointed me with this terrible album called, Load. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I’ve learned over the years that no matter what their latest album sounds like, they’re going to absolutely thrill in concert. I was still very new to concert going, but at the time, this was the most chaotic and brutal thing I had ever witnessed in real life. It was like a war was happening inside my ear drums and inside the mosh pit. I had never been in a mosh pit before, and I only kind of observed this one. I didn’t really think it was a good idea to jump into it. That definitely changed over the years, but at this point, I decided that finding a pocket of peopless grass was the best place for me to headbang and play air guitar.
Sitting on the curb after the show, I remember I couldn’t speak without my ears popping. And as this happened, I was suddenly unaware if my words were coming out at a proper volume. Was I screaming? Was I making a sound at all? I couldn’t tell, so I just tried to be quiet. I was sincerely worried that I had permanent ear damage. But no, it went away within a day and I was free to try to ruin my ears at many more Metallica concerts!
Alright, I guess that’s enough for my first blog post. Not sure if anyone will ever read this, but it was fun to try and remember stuff from these shows.