concert memoirs pt. 17 - guadalcanal diary, naked raygun & rem

Guadalcanal Diary w/Timbuk 3
9/17/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

The opening act is, mainly, remembered for their one hit, ‘The Future So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades’. However, they were still an interesting band to watch play live. Just a guy and a gal and a boombox. Their hit song might not have gotten too big by then, because most of the crowd seemed to be indifferent to what Timbuk 3 was playing.

But the real stand out moment of the night involved Guadalcanal Diary and my friend, John...

And this is an excellent example of the quickness of John’s mind.

So, Guadalcanal Diary had taken the stage and John and I were right down front. It was a somewhat light crowd for the show that night. The band was in good form and rockin’ right along.

They were about to play their version of the campfire sing-a-long ‘Kum-Ba-Yah’. The band was quietly playing as the lead singer was introducing the song. He was talking in a calm and reserved manner. He said we should all hold hands. We all stood there.

He shouted, “I SAID HOLD HANDS!”

Without missing a beat, John fired back, “F@#K YOU!”

The singer was taken aback momentarily then he laughed and the band played the song.

No one held hands.

Naked Raygun
9/21/86 First Avenue w/John Ticket Price: Unknown

Seeing as how I’m virtually certain that the time John and I saw Naked Raygun open for Husker Du was the only time we’d seen them in the main room, this show was most likely in the 7th Street Entry. Which is the best place to see Naked Raygun. Small, intimate, dank, sweaty, loud. John and our friend, David, took to referring to it as the “particle accelerator’. An apt name if I’ve ever heard one.

I have to say that Naked Raygun always put on a great show. I’ve seen them a few times and have never been disappointed.

As sometimes happened in those days, you’d get someone in the crowd that didn’t understand the whole slam dancing thing. They’d either think it was a free pass to knock some people’s heads together (that was usually some knuckle-headed frat boy) or they’d get pissed off and start a fight. I think the latter was the reason for a little scuffle that broke out on the dance floor that night.

Pat Woods, the lead singer for the local band Man Sized Action, was in the audience. The fight broke out and Pat, who was a pretty big fella, muscled the two knot heads to the floor. He held them there while the bouncers made their way over to boot the morons out.

Once the scene had settled, one of the Naked Raygun members stated, “There’s no extra charge for the floor show.” And the band played on...

10/14/86 Roy Wilkins Auditorium w/John Ticket Price: $13.50

This was an increasingly rare larger venue show, but REM was special.

REM was promoting their ‘Life’s Rich Pageant’ album on this tour. The band still hadn’t hit it mega-big, but they were well on their way. I seem to recall that they had an additional guitarist along and I think he was Peter Holsapple of The dB’s. However, I’m not entirely certain.

The show was good, if not the most memorable. It was the encore that I remember most. The band came back out and started playing a Bruce Springsteen cover.

Let me tell you, John and I had just about had it with the “Boss”. Never big fans of his in the first place, we had endured about two or three years of the Springsteen adoration. People all drooling over him and that overrated “Born in the USA’ album. Jesus Christ! We’d had enough of that shit!

So what does REM do? They play ‘Born to Run’. John said, “The hell with this! Let’s go.”

Incidentally, I believe it was for this concert that John and I lined up at the ticket counter at Dayton’s in downtown St. Paul to get the tickets. I’m not sure how long we waited, but once we’d purchased our tickets John commented on how stupid it was to queue up so long for tickets. He vowed never to do it again.

We never did it again.

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