The year was 1981.
I was 13 years old.
My Girl Scout leader organized a field trip and I surely begged my parents to let me go. It was going to be my first concert. I was a devoted fan of this band for easily 25 years and I was known in my troop to verge on obsessed with them. Who could this band be? Popular bands in 1981 were Hall & Oats, Journey, The Go-Gos, The Tubes and Squeeze. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loved all these bands, and The Tubes would have been a strong contender for my first concert, but alas, they weren’t THE band that held my fascination.
You’ve got to understand, until I heard of this band, I listened to the Beatles and Elvis. I was voluntarily cloistered in terms of popular music, and Billy Squier was downright shocking to me! But I was taken, not with Squeeze, not with Journey.
I loved Oingo Boingo.
It could have had something to do with the enormous crush I had on a boy who also liked Oingo Boingo, but this band really changed my concept of the boundaries of music. I saw them for the first time on Halloween night at Universal Amphitheater in Hollywood. Typical of an Oingo Boingo show on Halloween, people in the audience were dressed up in costume. One guy came as the Pope – and continued to do so for another 10 years or more – and another person was dressed as a big Tylenol capsule with a cyanide warning on the side. My friends and I wore Boy Scout shirts. I was in heaven. Many years later I went to their final Halloween show down at Irvine Meadow’s Amphitheater and my friend and I had procured back stage passes. How times had progressed for us!
What was your first concert?