Thursday, November 4, 2010
On April 11, 1981, my cousin and I saw Utopia at the Palladium in NYC, or should I say, he saw Utopia. I only heard them. My eyes were closed and my head was resting on the seatback, as I suffered through a fever of 104 degrees. I refused to stay home.
Years later, when Jimmy Page toured with the Black Crowes, I shlepped my flu-ridden body, with clogged ears and swollen glands to the balcony of Roseland and toughed it out for what I think was a pretty good show. All I really remember was trying to swallow some water with what felt like a gourd lodged in my throat.
Unfortunately, the older we get, the harder it is to ignore symptoms, especially when you're a world-class neurotic like myself. This week began the week-long residency of The Black Crowes at the Nokia Theater, and as per usual, I thought I'd try to see a show or two, as this band never fails to excite me in a live setting. I thought my recent illness had been on its way to some other poor soul's body. I had been feeling good and looking forward, not only to the show but to seeing my friend who had never seen the band before.
I am disappointed to report, that 45 minutes into the show, whatever had knocked me down for 5 days last week, paid a surprise visit like a tsunami, though there is the theory that the breaded codfish sandwich I had at Walker's was more likely the cause than a relaspe.
We ran out of the theatre like breaking out of jail. This feeling of dread, with chills, headache and an overall sense of imminent death continued through yesterday and last night, hence the missing post.
My apologies to all readers, and especially to my friend, who made the long trip here for some of the worst company in the shortest amount of time she has ever experienced.
For the record, The Black Crowes, who mix up the set list every night, performed what I'd like to call, my "dream set list," adding insult to injury.
You can check it out if you care at www.crowesbase.com
One more story, if I may.
One of the earliest Black Crowes performances I attended was in 1992 at New York's Beacon Theatre. The Dirty Dozen Brass Band was the opener. I was with my friend Sal and we both thought it was one hell of a show. The band did play a "new, unrecorded song," called "Exit." It was a riff-heavy rocker, that from 10 rows away, seemed like the greatest thing ever at the time. For years, that song haunted me. I couldn't find it on any bootlegs, and over the years, through many performances, I never got to see the band perform this song again.
In 2006, The Black Crowes released a 2 CD set called "The Lost Crowes," featuring all the songs they recorded for the 2 albums that should have been released in the mid-nineties, but never saw the light of the day. "Exit" was part of those sessions, but was inexplicably left off this collection. (At the time, I made a mental note to tell Chris Robinson off if I ever got the chance.)
The band has since reintroduced "Exit" to their live set, but it's rare.
They opened the second set with it on Tuesday night. I was already in fetal position, shivering in my bed. Feel sorry for me? Just a little?
I found a video of the Beacon performance from 1992, but this version from 1995 sounds better.
Hopefully, I'm back for good.