Bob Carlton just sent me an email listing his favorite songs of summer, including the fact that Janet Jackson was his first concert. This set me thinking about my first concerts and my memories of summer songs.
I have written about this before, but my first concert was at the ripe old age of 8 when I saw Peter, Paul, and Mary at Constitution Hall in D.C. However, the first “real” concerts of my youth were Lynard Skynard at the Nashville Speedway and Joe Walsh at Municipal Auditorium in Nashville. I miss those old Municipal Auditorium shows. It was a small venue, only seating around 8 or 9 thousand in the upper decks, with another thousand or so on the floor. The floor was always “festival seating,” which was a euphemism for “standing room only.” All sorts of behaviors were seen on the floor, some I approved of and others I didn’t, but you could get right up to the stage and have a great time.
The Joe Walsh show was great in that he had just produced Dan Fogelburg’s “Souveniers” album, and he brought Fogelburg on for a half hour acoustic set. No one knew who Fogelburg was at the time, but the music was great and it started my phase of appreciation for Dan.
As for songs of summer, the one’s I remember most clearly are “Smoke In the Water” by Deep Purple (I preached on this not too long ago), and Don Henley’s “The Boys of Summer.” I also remember my summer on staff at Frontier Ranch, a Young Life Camp in Colorado, where we seemd to listen to Michael Martin Murphy and Jerry Jeff Walker over and over again, most particularly a song called “I Want To Go Home With The Armidillo.” Who knows why?