I read a post here by 80smetalman and it reminded me of seeing Blackfoot at the Hammersmith Odeon in 1982. It was one of only three visits I ever made to the venue, but I would read Melody Maker or Sounds every week and see ads for bands playing there and desperately want to go, but I was a kid with no source of income, hence only those three visits.
Blackfoot were quite the thing at the time at school, there was a lot of people into them but only two of us went, myself and guy called Andy who I haven’t seen or spoken to for 35 years, so I have to go on my own recollections. We had seats in the balcony but still had an excellent view and everybody stood up when the band came on, which seemed weird as I thought that would be the sort of thing the people downstairs would do as we actually had a better view sitting down, but it was a rock concert of course so everybody should stand up, I was young and inexperienced, I didn’t know these things.
The gig that night was amazing, the band were tight and seemingly had boundless energy. I believe the Live album they released, ‘Highway Song Live’ contained some of the tracks form this gig, it was recorded on a 1982 UK tour so it is very likely. As far as I know the track list on the night was:
01 Gimme gimme gimme
02 On the run
03 Wishin well
04 Dry county
05 Lady turn on a red light
06 Rollin’ and tumblin’
07 Fly away
08 Good mornin’
09 Too hard to handle
10 Road fever
11 Train train
12 Highway song
This sounds about right but I can’t be sure.
There are videos on youtube labelled as Hammersmith 82 but I think, from the comments, that they may actually be from 1980 as I don’t remember seeing any cameras at the gig. They do, however look very familiar, especially the knee length denim coat worn by Rickey Medlocke. The ticket below isn’t mine but I do have this very vague recollection that the gig was postponed for some reason, hence the date being re-written in pen, but it was a long time ago so the memory is hazy.
I bought a sweatshirt at the gig and I think I wore it home on the train afterewards, unfortunately, about a year later, it went ‘Missing’ off the washing line and I never saw it again. This was the image on the front of it, I think it had tour dates on the back:
I think we should have a look at those videos (which aren’t great image quality) that purport to be Hammersmith ’82, and some others from the same year.
From 1979 to 1982 Blackfoot released a trilogy of almost perfect Southern Rock albums, and finished up with a live album that incorporated the best of their output and their live performances.
- Strikes (1979)
- Tomcattin’ (1980)
- Marauder (1981)
- Highway Song Live (1982)
I still have my copies of the middle two albums, but I’d probably say that Marauder was my favourite of all their albums, though there are plenty of great tracks on the others. It was all killer and no filler:
Good Morning 3:34
Payin’ For It 3:35
Diary Of A Workingman 5:33
Too Hard To Handle 4:00
Fly Away 2:56
Dry County 3:42
Fire Of The Dragon 4:03
Rattlesnake Rock ‘N’ Roller 4:00
In 1982 I had to choose which albums I bought very carefully as I had no money at all, being 15 years old, and choosing to buy Marauder was a big thing. I bought Tomcattin later, even though it was released earlier and never bought Strikes. I’m pretty sure I had a copy of the live album at some point but I’ve no idea what happened to it. So the cost of going to the gig and buying a swetshirt as well as a programme (I think so anyway, I recognise it) had to be quite a considered thing.
As a result of eveything above I’ve been listening to Marauder again today and it brings back all sorts of memory snippets, nothing worth writing down, just general fragments of nostalgia. Above all though it reminds me what a bloody good band they were.