Music! Music! Music!

Posted by Frankly Francis on October 6, 2009 under Music/Musicians | 8 Comments to Read

“Without music, life would be a mistake” – Fredrich Nietzsche

Music has always been a large part of my life.  It helps me connect the dots.  In my early years I was trained and played the trumpet, and then moved on to the French horn.

April 1, 1972 was my first rock concert.  Dr. John opened for Emerson, Lake & Palmer at the venerable Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo.  Wow!  Don’t think I’ll ever forget that concert…Life Changing Implications.

I took up the bass guitar and began my career as a Rock Star with my band, Shoko.  Notably, I had the opportunity to perform with Chris Kinkade, who happens to be an incredible earthling (singer, actor, harpist & holistic healer), along with Bob Kinkel (Co-Founder of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra & a guy who took what we were doing a little too seriously, thankfully).

Frankly Francis, Chris kinkade & Bob Kinkel

Frankly Francis, Chris kinkade & Bob Kinkel

But in my case, alas, it turns out that I can appreciate music much better than I can perform it.

Maybe it’s the fall air, maybe just dredging up some memories, but I decided to jot down the artists that I’ve seen perform (including some thoughts as I deem appropriate) to share with you.  It’s been a nice exercise – one that you might want to enjoy doing yourself.

Like how when you hear a particular song, it will remind you of a moment in time or an event that happened, concerts can also walk with us through life.  At least many do for me.

I’ve left off classical, jazz, gospel, opera, and musicals from the list.  I’m sure that I’ve missed some, due to age or other mind-altering influences, but here (in alphabetical order) it ‘tis:

54-40 – 2X
Aerosmith – Multiple shows, but Stephen Tyler’s voice was never once solid
The Alarm
Randy Bachman (of The Guess Who and Bachman Turner Overdrive)
Marcia Ball
Better Than Ezra
Black 47
Blood, Sweat & Tears – 2X
The Blow Monkeys
Blue Oyster Cult – 2X
Bow Wow Wow
David Bowie – Perhaps my favorite concert of all
The Box
Garth Brooks – No. 3 Daughter’s first concert
Jimmy Buffet
The Byrds
Bruce Cockburn
Joe Cocker
Collective Soul – First time was great, the 2nd time is known as “The Collective Disaster”
Crash Test Dummies
The Cult
Burton Cummings (of The Guess Who)
The Del Lords
Mickey Dolenz (Of The Monkees) – Tried to meet him as a boy, but got to as an adult
Dr. John – First concert, then got to meet him many years later
Duke Jupiter
Emerson, Lake & Palmer – 2X
Mark Farner (Of Grand Funk Railroad)
The Forgotten Rebels – Mickey DeSadist where are you?
Gov’t Mule
The Grapes of Wrath
Great Big Sea
The Guess Who
The Headstones
The James Gang
The Jeff Healy Band
Ken Hensley (Of Uriah Heep)
Humble Pie – Peter Frampton was still playing lead guitar
Iron Maiden
J. Geils Band
Jethro Tull – 2X
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
Tom Jones
Kid Creole & The Coconuts
Level 42
Living Colour
Lover Boy
Lynyrd Skynyrd – A couple of times before they fell from the sky
Chuck Mangione – Sadly & ironically, a couple of his musicians fell from the sky in Buffalo not too long ago
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
The Mighty Mighty Bosstones
Missing Persons
Kim Mitchell (of Max Webster)
Montrose – Sammy Hagar was lead singer at the time
Moxy Fruvous
National Velvet
The Northern Pikes
Ted Nugent
Our Lady Peace
Pegasus – Mark Freeland – Thanks in a big way!
The Pretenders – Debbie & I had the lower right box at Shea’s – incredible!
The Psychedelic Furs – Many times.  No. 2 daughter’s first concert.  Years after that, finally got to have a smoke with Richard Butler
The Pursuit Of Happiness
The PushStars – Ah, those shows were always fun
The Ramones – No. 1 Daughter’s first concert.  Next time around No. 2 daughter saw them.  Both were under 10 years, but I told them some day they would fully realize the importantance of seeing the Ramones
Leon Redbone – Saw a few times and who is he anyways?
Patti Rothberg – Debut release party at our club.  Went nowhere and neither did the club
Savoy Brown
Southern Culture On The Skids – No.2 Daughter was asked on stage to toss chicken at the audience
The Spinners
The Spirit Of The West – 2X
Split Enz
Spooky Tooth
The Stampeders
The Stereophonics
Talas – Many, many times and many thanks for the memories
The Tea Party
Tears For Fears
They Might Be Giants – 2X
Three Dog Night
Timbuk 3
The Tragically Hip – A few times.  They were supposed to play at our club, but…
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra – My first real All Access Pass!
Pat Travers
The Trews
The Tubes – 2X.  Once in Buffalo, Once in LA
U2 – Saw them in a bar May 1982
Universal Honey
Uriah Heep – Saw multiple times.  Still one of my all time favorite bands
The Violent Femmes
The Watchmen
The Wild Strawberries
Hank Williams III – His Grandpa must be proud
Johhny Winter
Trisha Yearwood
Z.Z. Top – Saw many times, always good

What shows had meaning for you?  Please feel free to share.  I enjoy discussing this subject.



  • David Herer said,

    Thanks for the Memories. I’m surprised you missed the Rolling Stones concerts in 1975. The first in Memorial Aud stands as my favorite. Buffalo has a fine history of presenting and spawning artists.

  • Steve Headrick said,

    I was at many of those same concerts! Strange, you say?

    In fact I remember distinctly seeing Shoko play at my 8th grade dance – They ROCKED! (and the school administrators all looked strangely befuddled!)
    Wasn’t there a mirrored hat involved?
    (It was only ?? years ago – I should remember more clearly…)

    I definitely remember Leon Redbone – Cindy Cashdollar is STILL amongst my favorite guitar players, and probably one of the best lap steel players to ever have graced this planet. (check her album “Slide Show”, if you’d like to see why I hold such a high opinion . . . )

    I remember alot of the shows, in fact, and have set up a sort of “concert scrapbook” with scans of my tickets, and ads for the shows that I have kept through the years on Facebook…. U2 in May of ’82 – Uncle Sam’s!

    And: you know that Leon Redbone and Frank Zappa were never photographed together, right? coincidence? . . .

  • Steve Headrick said,

  • Steve Headrick said,

    “Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of fuel.
    Sentimental people call it inspiration, but what they really mean is fuel.
    I have always needed fuel. I am a serious consumer.
    On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can
    run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio.”
    – Hunter S. Thompson (1937 – 2005)

  • Chris Kinkade said,

    Ah yes, music. My favorite subject. First you are far too modest, you were a living breathing rock star and you lived it 24/7. We had a blast. I saw some of those shows with you. Aerosmith with Johnny Winter, remember that one? I was so high I had to crawl under a parked car until I got my bearings. I think we had to call your Mom to come and get us, lol.

    Uriah Heep? Forget about it. That was one amazing night.

    I still love music of all kinds. Still find it is what gets me up every day. I just wish I was 17 again, just for one gig.

  • Rhiannon said,

    Adrienne’s first concert was the Psychedelic Furs. And (sigh) the PushStars! Good times. loved being a groupie with you (waldorf and statler were born). You have seen a million concerts dad!! That list is impressive.

  • Frankly Francis said,

    Chris – Thanks for your kind words & yes, you’re right about Johnny Winter – added to the list.

    One – Of course you’re right and have updated the post to reflect No. 2’s first show

  • Frankly Francis said,

    Steve – Love the Hunter S. Thompson quote, along with the memories shared! I do remember seeing Cashdollar perform w/Leon. And it is interesting that he and Zappa were never photographed together…