Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Live Music in the Fall of 1983

Text © Robert Barry Francos, and display advertisements
Images from Internet

The following information is taken from printed material I found while clearing out stuff I’d collected and am now disposing. This shows what a bustling scene there was in the fall of 1983. I have picked shows from ads at my own discretion, and it is not necessarily the full listings for the space, nor an endorsement of the band (i.e., does not automatically mean I like them). Comments printed in parentheses are from the ads.

Thu, Oct. 23: Macambos – The Brood (from Maine) – Headless Horsemen (w/ ex Fuzztone members) – Combo Limbo
Fri, Oct. 24: Iron Curtain – White Zombie – Rat At Rat R – New Marines (Special Guest)
Tue, Oct. 28: Golden Dawn – Jing – Vernon Reid’s Living Colour – Random Facts
Wed, Oct. 23: Giant Metal Insects – Ritual Tension – Greg Ginn – Gone
Sun, Nov. 2: CMJ’s Marathon 2-2: Beastie Boys – Crying Out Loud – Damage – Honeymoon Killers – Offbeats – Random Facts – Rat At Rat R – Ritual Tension – White Zombie

City Gardens, Trenton, NJ
Sat, Oct. 25: Robert Hazard
Sun, Oct. 26: Bad Brains – Dr. Know/Das Yahoos – Serial Killers
Fri, Oct 31: Halloween Party: Gene Loves Jezebel – Until December
Fri, Nov 7: Love and Rockets
Sat, Nov 22: Peter Murphy (formerly of Bauhaus)

The Ritz
Thu, Oct. 23: Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Rat At Rat R ($12.50 advance/13.50 day of show)
Sat, Oct. 25: The Fall – Splatcats ($12.50/13.50)
Mon, Oct. 27: Free! See the Cro-Mags live and be in a movie! You will be admitted at 10 AM-11 AM to stay until 11 PM.
Thu, Oct. 30: Bachman Turner Overdrive ($12.50/13.50)
Fri, Oct. 31: A Halloween Spectacular: The 10th Anniversary Reunion of the Dead Boys – Smashed Gladys – Angels in Vain ($15.50/17.50)
Sat, Nov. 1: Robyn Hitchcock & the Egyptians – Beat Rodeo ($12.50/13.50)
Thu, Nov. 6; Fri Nov. 7: The Ramones ($12.50/13.50)
Sat, Nov. 8: The Richard Thompson Band – Guadal Canal Diary (2 shows by popular demand) ($14.50/15.50)
Sun, Nov. 9: Rock Hotel Show: Motorhead – Cro-Mags – Dark Angel ($12.50/13.50)
Thu, Nov. 13; Fri, Nov. 14: Iggy Pop ($14.50/15.50)
Sat, Nov. 29: Sam Kinison (limited seating)
Sun, Dec. 6: Slayer – Overkill

One of the interesting things to note is the prices, as listed by the Ritz. At the time, these were seen as expensive, but not compared to now, even when weighted against today’s dollar vs. then dollar. Plus there were no exorbitant ticketing service fees that ripped off the attendee, though one had to go down to the actual venue to pick the tickets up.

In the case of these shows, I must admit that I did not see any of them, though I went to shows regularly during that period. There are a few I would have liked to attended, such as the Ramones (duh), the Brood/Headless Horsemen, Greg Ginn (my ’80s West Coast bands experience is kind of limited), the Splatcats (Yod!), the Dead Boys, Richard Thompson, and Iggy; there are other bands that I would have had no interest in then or now, like the Beastie Boys (sorry Ant & Ricky), Slayer, Gene Loves Jezebel, or Peter Murphy.

Point is, there was a lot going on back then, and it was a great time to be seeing live music in the area.

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