[I'm going to take the next few weeks to adjust the current "acts I've seen live" theme. What will follow for a month or so will be artists I've seen, that haven't previously been featured in this long series, who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They'll appear in order of their induction, and I'll mostly avoid comments ... I'll just post some relevant videos.]
Eric Clapton, inducted 2000. (Cow Palace, 1974.) My wife and I started going to concerts together in 1974. First Dylan and The Band, then a Day on the Green headlined by CSNY and The Band. Clapton finished that streak off. I looked forward to this one, as a fan of Clapton since the 60s, and as someone who worshipped (and still worships) Layla. 461 Ocean Boulevard came out about the same time, which I liked. But my memories of the concert aren't overwhelming. Mostly I remember, accurately or not I can't say, that George Terry played way too many guitar solos given the presence of Clapton. Eric was 29. Here is the song he opened with that night.
Bonnie Raitt, inducted 2000. (Concord Pavilion, 1982, 1991.) When we saw her in 1982, she was touring behind Green Light. The next year she was dropped by her label. When we saw her in 1991, she had 4 Grammys in her pocket, and had released Luck of the Draw, which was as good as what people thought Nick of Time accomplished. Both concerts were top notch ... whatever else went on, she was consistent on stage for us. (For context, my favorite Bonnie Raitt album came out in 1975.) She was 31 the second time we saw her.
Talking Heads, inducted 2002. (The Boarding House, 1978.) A club date soon after they released their second album, More Songs About Buildings and Food. Compared to what came later (think Stop Making Sense), this was a stripped down, elemental set. They were 26, 27, 27, and 29. Here are the first two songs from our show:
The Ramones, inducted 2002. (Davis Coffee House, 1979; The Warfield, 1980.) The first show was in a little place ... well, it was called the Coffee House. The next year they had moved up to a 2300-seat hall. They were great both times, although obviously I'd give the nod to the dinky club date. They were 28, 28, 30, and 30 at that first show.