Some big names this week, although in 3 1/2 cases out of 4, they were opening acts.
John Entwistle, Winterland, February 1975. Or John Entwistle's Ox, which is how they were billed. The Who bass player fronted this band, which included Robert Johnson on guitar (not THAT Robert Johnson). Not a lot of memories on this one ... like most people, I was waiting for the headliner, the J. Geils Band, who I was seeing for the first of four times. Johnson was a guitar wunderkind who had auditioned to replace Mick Taylor with the Rolling Stones when he was 23. I certainly had no idea who he was at this concert, but he blasted his way into my heart with this track from 1978:
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Oakland Coliseum, July 1977. Day on the Green show, headlined by Peter Frampton. I've written about it several times. Here's the song we all wanted to hear, recorded at that show ... less than four months later, the plane crashed.
John Lee Hooker, Keystone Berkeley, February 1980. Tiny club, he opened for Muddy Waters. The man was ageless. He was in his 60s when I saw him, and he lived another 20+ years, still releasing albums into the 21st century. Also in 1980, he turned up in a pretty popular movie, and no, he didn't lip-sync:
The Gossip, the Fillmore, June 2000; Bottom of the Hill, February 2001. When I said 3 1/2 of these artists were opening acts, the Gossip is the 1/2. I first saw them opening for Sleater-Kinney, and their performance, led by the amazing Beth Ditto, was as good as any opener I have ever seen. When next I saw them, they were the headliners.