What is your most fond musical memory.

One that makes you yearn for the ‘good old days.’

Mine took place in 1970. My grandparents were going on a world tour and I had their whole house to myself for 2 months. Alone at last!. I was 16. First thing I did was set up my audio system. Then I turned down the lights and put on the just released Grand Funk “Closer to Home’ album. I thought I was in heaven when ‘I’m your Captain’ came on. 10 minutes of Pure Bliss. To this day I get the tingles whenever I play that song.



I was lucky enough to see the Allman Brothers a couple of months before Duane died.  He blew me away totally.  I still get chills when I think about how good that concert was.  Ot was at the end of the tour that produced the Live at the Fillmore album.  I was hooked and went on to see every iteration of the band.  But nothing wil ever touch that first concert.  Weiting this makes me amile with my memory.


"Most" fond? I couldn’t possibly name just one, so I’ll name a few of my fondest, some out of nostalgia, some purely musical:


- My first, The Beach Boys (with Brian Wilson on Fender bass and falsetto vocals), at the San Jose Civic Auditorium, Summer of ’64.

- The Beatles at The Cow Palace in S. San Francisco, Summer of ’65.

- Also that Summer, the first public performance of The Chocolate Watchband (legendary San Jose Garage Band), at a private party held near the ocean somewhere just north of Santa Cruz. A gasoline-powered portable power generator for the guitar/bass amps and PA was placed in a hole dug in the sand, covered with a sheet of plywood.

- The Grateful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe & The Fish during the Summer Of Love (’67), in The Panhandle in Golden Gate Park, the stage being a flatbed truck.

- Cream at The Fillmore in 1967. I still liked them at that point in time.

- Ditto for The Jimi Hendrix Experience, though I believe it was at Winterland.

- The Who at The Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco in 1968, performing the "A Quick One While He’s Away" suite as their first set, assorted songs as their second.

- The Who performing the Tommy album, sometime in ’69 at either The Fillmore or Winterland.


- And The Band at The Berkeley Community in 1969, which completely re-calibrated my opinion of all the above.


And this was just in the 60’s. 😉


I can however cite my most transcendent live musical moment: while hearing Ry Cooder’s guitar solo in John Hiatt’s "Lipstick Sunset", Little Village performing on a sound stage in Burbank in 1992. That moment is the only one that approaches hearing for the first time J.S. Bach’s Concerto For 4 Harpsichords and Orchestra, during which I was transported out of this universe.


Around 1969. I was 16, played the drums. I was jamming with some guys I barely knew. Some new guy walk in, older than us, picks up the bass and joins in. Damn he was good, we all thought.

After he left one of the guys says, "That was David Brown, he plays bass for Santana". 4 jaws dropped.


Here's another: My dad was the track coach at USC. One day he calls me up and says, "There's some band called the Stoned Ponies, playing on my field in an hour or so, ever heard of them?"  Speed limit? What speed limit? I got two lovely photos of Linda Rondstadt, which I've posted here:


My "fondest" musical memory is actually the one that DIDN’T happen:

4 of us 18-year-olds crammed a weekend’s worth of camping gear, food, and (very) basic hygiene supplies in my buddy’s mom’s General. Motors something (I can’t remember but it was definitely not a Corvair) and headed to the Texas International Music Festival. The venue was just outside of Dallas, walking distance from a lake.

Our day begin with basic nutrition,and a high degree of enthusiasm as to what the musical and cultural possibilities were for the day. We rocked out, blues out, and cultured out as well as a group of naive, midwestern hot rods/going fast first, well-proportioned girls second, and music appreciation third guys could be. We briefily reviewed the talent line up on the way down, but it was somewhat vague at the moment. Early into the afternoon, we were getting a bit hungry and fatigued from the long-drice, short night the day before.

On the trek back to the campground, we heard a little ruckus off to our right, and curiousity moved us in that direction. As we got closer, and closer: "Hey, there’s people in the water." "And, HEY, they don’t have any clothes on!!". It was a moment later my eyes were riveted to a young lady who could have graced the cover of Playboy magazine -- right there, in front of me. One word: "Perfect." So, as any competant outdoor music festival participants would do, our clothes became optional as well. We could hear faint music in the backgroup, but too vague to be distrinquishable.

After several minutes of splishiing, and splashing and receiving numerous validations or our manliness, we threw on our clothes and headed back to the tent to dry off and partake in the mid-day food intake bit. Then, it was back to the venue.

We arrived dry, rested, and well-nurished just in time to see the previous group packing up their gear and carting it off the stage. Hours later, we could proudly say we saw some of the most notable bands of the day. Including some newcomers, like Santana.

A couple of days later, gear crammed back into the General Motors something, we were well down the road, reminiscing about the incredible times we had. One of the guys pulled out the line up of bands from the event. It was at that moment, we discovered the band we missed while "distracted" was -- LED ZEPPELIN.

I’m certain we would have been in awe being there in the same space, with 150,000 of our closest friends when Led Zeppelin took the stage. And, maybe, had some 50+ year old memories of the band that still hung around in our aging brains. But, I AM certain that I’ll never forget the skinny dipping.