Rock & Roll Repast: My Most Fun Concert Ever

Posted: August 11th, 2023 | Filed under: Music, Rock & Roll Rewind | 3 Comments »

I’m a rock & roll lifer. I got stories, lots of stories. Here’s one.

There are many reasons why some concerts are more memorable than others.

Of course, there’s the music, which can be special beyond expectations. Or, an unknown opener that blows you away.

But, it could be something peripheral. Somebody you hooked up with that night. Or broke up with. An accident on the way home after the show. Something else going on that you are bummed you missed, after you find out about it the next morning. A drunk throwing up on you during your favorite tune.

I remember just a few aspects of a show by The Youngbloods at Louisville Gardens around ’71 or so.

Yet I’ve always called it my most fun concert ever.

Rotary Connection was the opening act, featuring Minnie Riperton. (Who happens to be Maya Rudolph’s mom.) I got nothing else for you about their set. No other memories about that.

The Youngbloods, whose name one must assume came about due to prime mover Jessie Colin Young. (And a possible homage to the oh so naughty ’57 Top 40 hit “Young Blood” by the Coasters, written by the estimable threesome of Doc Pomus, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Young was always fond of doing covers.)

Other members of the then trio were Lowell Levinger and Joe Bauer. Jerry Corbitt, a founding member, had already split the band.

They were moderately successful, mostly due to Young’s soothing voice. They had one hit, “Get Together.” Plus a couple good albums, including my favorite “Elephant Mountain.” I always loved the tune “Darkness Darkness.”

I saw them a couple times. At Bellarmine’s Knights Hall either before or after the Louisville Gardens show. Maybe another time.

On the way into the show, I ran into Stuart Greenburg, who was until then just the younger brother of a HS chum Jimmy. And there he was outside the hall with his GF, handing out candy. (Which some passed on, thinking it might be dosed, not unusual in that era.)

The years having narrowed our ages, we ended up hanging out. I soon realized I had more in common with him during that era of the counter culture than his brother.

That realization had happened once before when at Atlanta Pop in the summer of ‘70. I ran into Harry Kranz, the younger brother of Marc and Bruce, who had been in my HS club.

Here’s what made the Youngbloods show unique and so fun.

There weren’t a lot of folks at the show. Fifteen hundred or so in the 6000 seat venue.

It was very laid back.

At some point during the Youngbloods set, people started dancing in front of the stage. Like it was a sock hop. And chatting up the band, making requests.

Soon enough, Young stopped the show, said something to the effect, “Hey, we’re going to take a quick break. You all move all these chairs in the front rows out of the way, and let’s turn this into a dance party.”

That’s exactly what happened.

We danced. Threw lots of requests up at the stage, many old rock & roll songs. The band obliged.

It was all a big smile.

Not a lot of concert videos of the group live. But I did come across one, which is actually not the Youngbloods.

It’s Jessie Colin Young doing his hit, with another gaggle of musicians in 1984. Some of whom you might have heard of. Roger McGuinn, Richie Havens, John Sebastian, along with three members of The Band. Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm.

That looks like a plenty fun evening itself.

— c d kaplan

3 Comments on “Rock & Roll Repast: My Most Fun Concert Ever”

  1. 1 Keiley Caster said at 3:04 pm on August 11th, 2023:

    52 years ago I met the person who eventually led me to the woman I married at The Who concert in Carbondale, Illinois. We are celebrating our 50th Anniversary this weekend, August 12

  2. 2 Michael Brown said at 5:16 pm on August 11th, 2023:

    I was also at this show. My memories are a little fuzzy but I think there was a power outage so they played acoustically for a while.

  3. 3 Mark Stanton said at 1:23 pm on August 18th, 2023:

    Wasn’t at this show but I thought I would comment on the topic – my most fun show. 20 years or so later, also at Louisville Gardens – the Moody Blues. I was a relative newbie in town and met with a small social group for Friday after work happy hour. It was at a restaurant/pub located in an old brick house a block or two from the Gardens. I could not convince any of my friends to attend so I went myself. Found a guy in front who sold me his extra ticket for face value of $20. Turned out to be first row center stage. I enjoyed a great show with a new friend from the best seat in the house.

Leave a Comment