Tuesday, July 31, 2012

We Don't Take Requests

While listening to "The Who Sell Out" yet again, and becoming weak and useless during "Sunrise" yet again, I thought, "If I can only see Pete Townshend perform this song just once."

I've seen Todd Rundgren live, with and without Utopia somewhere in the low hundreds, and have always wished he'd perform "Fade Away" from 1978's "The Hermit Of Mink Hollow." Never happened.

So that's where this started.

Years of attending concerts, seeing favorite artists numerous times, always wishing for that radical set list change, is there one (or more) artists you've seen a number of times, just hoping to hear that one special tune that just never comes?

As our pal Steve Simels is wont to say, there are no arbitrary rules. So for example, if you've never seen Jimi Hendrix but own a fair amount of live performances, none of which contain a live performance of the song "Little Miss Lover," that's okay. I had always wished Bruce Springsteen had played "Valentine's Day" from "Tunnel Of Love" any one of the many times I had been there. It just didn't happen. Or in the case of bands like Led Zeppelin and Queen, with all of the bootlegs I've acquired over the years, neither "The Rover" from "Physical Graffiti" or a full-on "March Of The Black Queen" from "Queen II" has ever been attempted.

I'm keeping my Top 5 to bands I've seen a bunch and who tend to go deep with their catalogue.

Here are my 5:


Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please, remain seated.

I've seen the Stones a bunch of times, and they've wound up playing most of the obscure, but great, songs from my wish list. Songs like You Got the Silver, Moonlight Mile and 2000 Light Years from Home.

But I'd absolutely love to hear them play Winter from Goat's Head Soup. Yeah, I know that this song is Mick doing Van Morrison, and that Ron Wood couldn't possibly approximate Mick Taylor's gorgeous solo...but, still. Either that or She Smiled Sweetly.



Sal Nunziato said...


I almost chose "She Smiled Sweetly," then I remembered they pulled that out in 2002 at Roseland.

jeff k said...

If only Bruce played "Born to Run."

No, the song that jumps out at me is one that The Band probably would never have played — since they were pretty much done when it came out, although the second iteration could have done it.

So I'm left to imagine Sue and I in the audience when they strike up the opening notes to one of the greatest love songs ever written, "Right as Rain."

buzzbabyjesus said...

It's sad and pathetic that I never go out to see live music anymore unless I'm on the bill. I occasionally see a band at Maxwell's, but that's about it. For the most part I hate everything about the experience, except the music.

Sal Nunziato said...

@Buzz. I couldn't agree with you more, except when I say it, I get the hairy eyeball, like I'm some miserable curmudgeon who can no longer have any fun. Oh wait....

charlie c. said...

I just used the term "hairy eyeball" and in return got a . . . well, you get the picture. My favorite band? I was hoping the Grateful Dead would pull out Quadlibet For Tender Feet, but - alas, alack, it was not meant to be.

Anonymous said...

Hello all...no, please, remain seated.

Love that phrase: the hairy eyeball. However, at this point in my life, the only things that aren't hairy on me are my head and my eyeballs.

But, I digress...Sal, you're right about the Stones and She Smiled Sweetly. My memory: going the way of my head-hair.

So, for a back-up Stones wish-they'd-play-it-live rarity I'll pick Sitting On a Fence.


Teachers for Education said...

Ripple. It's not that the Dead never played it, it's just that I never got to see them do it live. It's not obscure or rare...just one of my favorite songs. I would have done anything to go to those Radio City shows in 1980! Sadly I was living in central California at the time and it was not to be.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Memo From Turner

buzzbabyjesus said...

Turning Thirty=Curmudgeon.

cmealha said...

I don't know why "FadeAway" is not considered magic in the same way that "Just One Victory" or "the Verb To Love" are. Absolutely one of his best and you would think perfect for him to do in concert. That's gotta be top on my list.

A walk in the woods said...

Great topic. (just yesterday I got a ticket to finally see The Who again for the first time in almost 20 years.... I've been on a huge Who kick and could not resist it, despite a) 2 members dead, b) $100 ticket price and c) Pete & Rog are a combined 233 years old...

My top 5 list might be...

Paul Simon, "Everything Put Together Falls Apart."

Van Morrison, "Fair Play." (at least that was it, until I actually DID hear him play that live, 2 years ago)

Marshall Crenshaw, "Starless Summer Sky"

Bob Dylan, "Buckets Of Rain"

Prince, "How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore"

Your list looks good too. Man, the Stones have a lot of old nuggets that would be great to hear, like the one you referenced. I'd also kill to hear them play "Moonlight Mile" live.

William Repsher said...

The time I saw Bowie, I fought back a profound urge to yell out, "Cygnet Committee"! It would blow my mind if he ever played that live later in his career.

Have the Kinks or Ray solo ever played "Young and Innocent Days" -- I'd want to be there for that. A lot of Kinks songs actually.

Interesting note on "March of the Black Queen." Much like "Bohemian Rhapsody" would be hard to pull off with the vocal harmonies -- unlike BR, there is no one operatic section, so they couldn't put on a recording and leave the stage. One of the coolest things I've seen live was the Losers Lounge do BR in its entirety and absolutely nail that middle operatic section. I've rarely seen a crowd respond the way it did at the end, just a wild burst of applause.

Troy said...

"Decaf" by Cheap Trick

Big Jim Slade said...

I kept thinking I wanted to hear the Dead play The Wheel one more time, but each time I hear it on a Dick's Picks it sounds plodding and soporific. I think I like the idea of the song better than the execution. Sometimes the lazy gentleness of the song seems right, but other times...

Hey, that Bowie clip you put up sounds the most like I've ever heard him sound like early Stones!

Oh, what I would've given to have heard the '74 Crimson live with Wetton's wall o' bass!

Hairy eyeballs and curmudgeons of the world, bitch and reminisce!

I'm not a total hairy eyeball/curmudgeon - I've seen X and Los Lobos, then Primus so far this year. X may only play the old stuff, but I still love it. Los Lobos is still doing great new stuff. I missed Primus the first time 'round (I spent a lot of the 90s listening to 70s roots reggae, "world" music, and classical (rock me, Shostakovich), but I'm a fan now (bass player, can't help it, Les is more).

Bulletins From Mars Hill said...

I have a recording (Not a very good one) of Zeppelin doing the Rover. recorded at Madison Square Garden, from the boot Second Night in The Garden

Sal Nunziato said...


How great was that Losers Lounge show? I still talk about the middle section of BR. As for Queen, it always drove me nuts that the taped mniddle section was a dfferent key. I forgave the band for not being able to recreate the operatic part, but couldn't they tweak the tape so when they came back live it sounded like the same song?


In 1977, Zep would play the inro of The Rover right before playing "Sick Again," but they never played the song. If you have it, I'd really love to hear it.

Dave said...

Brian Wilson changes his mind about it seemingly every interview, but sometimes he lists "Friends" as his favorite BB album, yet the songs therein are woefully neglected live. I'd love to hear "Meant For You," (what a great opener it would be), "Anna Lee," or "Wake the World." Thee are all quiet songs, but still...

Paul Simon: "You Don't Know Where Your Interest Lies."

Jonathan Richman: "Abominable Snowman in the Market"

Bulletins From Mars Hill said...

yep that's the one I have from 77. second night at the garden. Intro into Sick again.
Sorry for the mix up.

Anonymous said...

I actually did get to see Bruce do Valentine's Day, to my great pleasure. Wish you'd seen it, too, Sal, because I understand. Special song. Finally got NYC Serenade after years of wishing since he did the whole record.
I'd pick the Dead with Jerry doing Ripple ( only happened once after 1981, and that was a Make-A-Wish foundation wish for a young cancer patient )The crowd reaction to the return of that song is like nothing I've ever heard.
Also, I'll add that I'd love to hear Dylan do Up To Me, though his voice couldn't do it justice. Maybe now I'd settle for the never- played " Call Letter Blues "
And I'd like to hear Lou Reed do the complete Street Hassle. He always cuts off the gorgeous part at the end.
And I'll second the Stones doing Memo From Turner, or Winter.
Finally, I'd do anything to hear Pink Floyd play The Final Cut in it's entirety, most of which was never played live by anyone in the band. I know, I know, you'd rather it was Obscured By Clouds in it's entirety, and I'd take that too.

Sal Nunziato said...

How great is "Obscured By Clouds" and why doesn't anyone ever say so?

Anonymous said...

I love Obscured By Clouds, wholeheartedly, passionately and unreservedly. That said, it's my seventh favorite Floyd record, but that's just because of how amazing the others are. I will totally agree that it's the most criminally under-appreciated one. Next, do a piece about the most criminally under-appreciated works by bands everybody already appreciates? ( You've probably already done that one, no ? ) Call it Obscured By Greatness and include a paragraph about that album. ( Or post a link to it, and write about all the times readers annoyingly suggest pieces you've already posted. )

mauijim said...

If ever Dylan would perform albums in their entirety like Todd and The Who have(and will be) doing, it is Blood On The Tracks. I recently visited my daughter at college and looked on her ITunes 25 most played songs list and to my great surprise, and delight, at the top were songs from Blood. Wow forget the grades, I did make a difference!
If only one song by Bob, make it Lily, Rosemary,etc. I don't think he's ever performed it.

Anonymous said...

Dylan's "Dirge" is the song I want to hear. After attending hundreds of his shows, have never heard it performed. I guess that's just the way things go..