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  #1  
Old 12-04-2012, 01:44 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Who Opens For Who?

I average a couple concerts a month and have recently been thrown by who was the opening act at double-billed shows.

The first was a Joan Jett / Paul (Bad Co.) Rodgers bill. We arrived close to the starting time because we really weren't very interested in seeing Rodgers. We raced through the gates in a panic when we heard "Bad Reputation" being played as we approached the venue. Maybe it's my taste in music, but I was dumbfounded that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were opening for somebody I had to look up on Wikipedia to figure out who he was.

The second was a show where Blondie opened for Devo. I love both bands and, in fact Devo put on a better show, but I really expected Blondie to be the headliner especially if you compare record sales and their broader fan base.

Were my expectations of who should open valid and has anybody else had this experience at other concerts?

Last edited by Elmer J. Fudd; 12-04-2012 at 01:45 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:21 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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I believe it was around Sept. 1980 at Rocklahoma!
A four band act: Sammy Hagar, Pat Benetar, Van Halen, Doobie Brothers (in that order).

I guess you could argue that Van Halen didn't open for the Doobie Brothers; but the Doobie Brothers were billed as the top act; but in reality Van Halen was reason for the show.

Good Times.
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  #3  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:23 PM
Enright3 Enright3 is offline
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Oh, and I didn't answer your question. I'm 100% with you. I liked DEVO; but Blondie definitely has broader appeal I would think. Same with Joan Jett.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:29 PM
Typo Negative Typo Negative is offline
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Originally Posted by Elmer J. Fudd View Post
I average a couple concerts a month and have recently been thrown by who was the opening act at double-billed shows.

The first was a Joan Jett / Paul (Bad Co.) Rodgers bill. We arrived close to the starting time because we really weren't very interested in seeing Rodgers. We raced through the gates in a panic when we heard "Bad Reputation" being played as we approached the venue. Maybe it's my taste in music, but I was dumbfounded that Joan Jett and the Blackhearts were opening for somebody I had to look up on Wikipedia to figure out who he was.

The second was a show where Blondie opened for Devo. I love both bands and, in fact Devo put on a better show, but I really expected Blondie to be the headliner especially if you compare record sales and their broader fan base.

Were my expectations of who should open valid and has anybody else had this experience at other concerts?
No way Paul Rogers, who played with Free, Bad Co, Queen, and The Firm w\ Jimmy Page, would open for Joan Jett. Joan is cool and all, and Bad Reputation is an awesome song, but Paul Rogers is a legend.

I agree with second. Blondie should have been the headliner. Unless you were in Ohio.
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  #5  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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I thought you wanted to know who was opening for The Who this tour: otherwise shouldn't it be who opens for whom?


(I know, I know.)
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  #6  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:39 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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I have heard that Jerry Lee Lewis somehow got talked into opening for Elvis.
During his last song, he poured lighter fluid onto the piano and set it on fire.
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Old 12-04-2012, 02:40 PM
foolsguinea foolsguinea is offline
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I think the confusion on Joan Jett and Paul Rodgers is that Paul Rodgers made his name (so to speak) in bands that weren't named after him. But yeah, I agree with Typo Negative that between Joan Jett and Paul Rodgers, he's the senior figure. He's not exactly known that well under his own name, so I guess it could go either way. But still, he's Paul Rodgers.
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  #8  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:41 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
I have heard that Jerry Lee Lewis somehow got talked into opening for Elvis.
During his last song, he poured lighter fluid onto the piano and set it on fire.
That scene was in the Dennis Quade film. The dispute was with Chuck Berry. Maybe all of the Elvis impersonators were booked up when they shot that scene.

Last edited by Elmer J. Fudd; 12-04-2012 at 02:42 PM..
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  #9  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:44 PM
carnivorousplant carnivorousplant is offline
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That scene was in the Dennis Quade film. The dispute was with Chuck Berry. Maybe all of the Elvis impersonators were booked up when they shot that scene.
Thanks. My informant was obviously drinking.
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  #10  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:51 PM
ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness is offline
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Originally Posted by carnivorousplant View Post
I have heard that Jerry Lee Lewis somehow got talked into opening for Elvis.
During his last song, he poured lighter fluid onto the piano and set it on fire.
In the version I heard he was opening for Chuck Berry. Either way, the Killer denies it, although he admits he'd "like to have got away with it."

In 1995 I went to see a benefit show featuring Iggy Pop, The Offspring, Rancid, and Woodpussy (who?). Common sense and the posters all made it seem like Iggy would be the headliner. Everyone was confused when Iggy came on after Rancid. After his encore, he told us to stick around for The Offspring. Probably a last minute timing/logistic issue, as everyone was expecting Iggy to be the final act of the night.

Last edited by ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness; 12-04-2012 at 02:52 PM.. Reason: Ninja'd twice!
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  #11  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:53 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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I once attended a show where the Alan Parsons Project opened for Yes. Now, Yes is a fine band and I suppose it was all right that they were the headliner, but APP was quite famous in the 70s and 80s (especially since Alan was known not just for his own band but for working with even more famous acts like The Beatles). So in my mind it was a toss-up.

"Cool Story, Bro" Department: The funny thing about that concert was that we had free tickets (I was a member of the APP fan club) and they had misprinted the start time of the show on them, so by the time we arrived, APP had already played and they were getting ready for Yes. We mentioned this with great disappointment to the ticket booth guy, who got in touch with the fan club rep (we were by no means the only disappointed fans--I think there were about 6 or 8 fan club members present), and the next thing we know Alan Parsons himself is coming out to apologize to the fan club folks who missed the show. He invited us all backstage, and we spent the entirety of Yes's set hanging out backstage chatting with Alan, Ian, Stuart, and the rest of the band. So what started out as a disappointing evening ended up as an amazing and wonderful time being had by all. Since I'd seen the band perform several times previously, having to miss one half-hour opening set to spend two hours with the band was *totally* worth it.
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  #12  
Old 12-04-2012, 02:53 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by foolsguinea View Post
I think the confusion on Joan Jett and Paul Rodgers is that Paul Rodgers made his name (so to speak) in bands that weren't named after him.
An "unsung hero", so to speak? (Pun intended.) As I suspected my confusion was probably due to a gap in my interest level. I'm familiar with songs like "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "All Right Now" but I previously couldn't have named the band let alone the singer.
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  #13  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:00 PM
Doug K. Doug K. is online now
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Sometimes a double bill is a double bill and not a headliner with an opening act. When Styx and REO Speedwagon toured together they went as equals. Currently Styx, REO and Journey are touring together, also as equals.
When Reba McEntire toured with Brooks and Dunn some years ago they took turns going first, and did If You See Her/Him as a bridge between their sets.
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  #14  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:05 PM
sqweels sqweels is offline
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I'm guessing that in many cases it's the opening band's management that put together the tour and then cast about for an opening act. All the better if they manage to snag a particularly prominent one.
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  #15  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:11 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Sometimes a double bill is a double bill and not a headliner with an opening act. When Styx and REO Speedwagon toured together they went as equals. Currently Styx, REO and Journey are touring together, also as equals.
When Reba McEntire toured with Brooks and Dunn some years ago they took turns going first, and did If You See Her/Him as a bridge between their sets.
The Devo/Blondie tour was billed as the "Whip her to Shreds" tour so maybe they were taking turns opening.
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  #16  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:17 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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Elton John and Billy Joel have toured together. I think they alternate going first, too, and also sing some duets.
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  #17  
Old 12-04-2012, 03:58 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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When I saw them, Joel and John start out with duets -- with Billy Joel singing "Your Song" and Elton John singing "Just the Way You Are." Then Billy Joel left the stage for Elton, then came on later to do a solo set.
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  #18  
Old 12-04-2012, 04:53 PM
Evil Captor Evil Captor is offline
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Originally Posted by Elmer J. Fudd View Post
An "unsung hero", so to speak? (Pun intended.) As I suspected my confusion was probably due to a gap in my interest level. I'm familiar with songs like "Feel Like Makin' Love" and "All Right Now" but I previously couldn't have named the band let alone the singer.
Juke Box Hero? His best known song, I believe, is "Bad Company." He has had a LOT of hits. My fave: his cover of "Wang Dang Doodle" and "Tell Mama" from his Savoy Brown days. I'd say he's much better known than Jett who has not had all that many hits.

Last edited by Evil Captor; 12-04-2012 at 04:57 PM..
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2012, 05:30 PM
Made in Macau Made in Macau is offline
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The last 10 seconds of 'My Brother Jake' and all of 'Feel Like making Love' show his talent, and i'm not a big fan - it's just he can knock the socks of that style.

MiM
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  #20  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:38 AM
filling_pages filling_pages is offline
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How it works for bar shows is that one band (or their booker) sets up the show and then pulls other bands on as opening acts. I always figured that's basically how it works on a larger level as well.

(In other words, what I think sqweels meant to say.)
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  #21  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:49 AM
Nava Nava is offline
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How it gets set up also depends on whether it's a concert series rather than a tour; many towns in Spain have concert series during their fiestas, some in the week or weeks prior. Those are set up by city hall: multi-act sets will be set by similarity. Sometimes the performer that goes last is unknown to the majority of the locals but it's a Big Name within that particular kind of music, whereas the people performing first are much better known locally.
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  #22  
Old 12-05-2012, 12:56 AM
Peremensoe Peremensoe is offline
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In festival or mega-tour shows with more than two bands, the last one performing isn't necessarily meant to be the climax; they could be the 'cool down' after the highlight. Having the 'biggest' band play next-to-last also spreads out the departing crowd some. Alternatively, Big Name may have just decided they wanted to get the gig done and split, so they picked their own spot.
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  #23  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:52 AM
Meurglys Meurglys is offline
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Back in 1998 I missed the first 15 minutes of Pere Ubu's set because I had barely heard of Yo La Tengo and still can't believe they were the headliners!
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  #24  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:11 PM
Nuveena Nuveena is offline
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Juke Box Hero?
Is a Foreigner song.

I saw Tina Turner and Elton John in concert. A lot of people left after Tina performed. Elton did not look happy that night and did not do any encores.
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  #25  
Old 12-05-2012, 06:28 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness View Post
In 1995 I went to see a benefit show featuring Iggy Pop, The Offspring, Rancid, and Woodpussy (who?). Common sense and the posters all made it seem like Iggy would be the headliner. Everyone was confused when Iggy came on after Rancid. After his encore, he told us to stick around for The Offspring. Probably a last minute timing/logistic issue, as everyone was expecting Iggy to be the final act of the night.
That doesn't sound too crazy to me. '94-'95 seemed (at least to me) to be the peak for Offspring, although I guess the follow-up to Smash did well. At any rate, I was a sophomore in college at the time, and you just couldn't get away from that damn album. And, I'm ashamed to admit, the only thing I knew of Iggy Pop at the time was that "Candy" song. I rectified that situation in the following years, but I think among young people, The Offspring had better name recognition than Iggy Pop.
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  #26  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:12 AM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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This summer Earth, Wind and Fire opened for someone I can't remember (and my Google skills are weak because I can't find who.) and I was like "Whoa! That's backwards."

Last summer Pet Shop Boys opened for Take That's reunion tour. (Ouch!)

Earlier this year One Direction were the opening act for Big Time Rush, which are a Nickelodeon boy band (not to take anything away from Big Time Rush; they're very talented and pretty much a cash cow for the channel judging from the couple shows I've been to. And Logan and Kendall are good huggers. [My contribution to the "cool story, bro" category]). 1D were already HUGE on the internet before their album even being released in the states. As I was filing into the venue some little girl was whining to her mom "Why do we have to watch the opening act?" and I thought "You are going to feel like an idiot in two months when when they explode everywhere." Which they did.
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  #27  
Old 12-06-2012, 12:25 AM
voguevixen voguevixen is offline
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Originally Posted by Peremensoe View Post
In festival or mega-tour shows with more than two bands, the last one performing isn't necessarily meant to be the climax; they could be the 'cool down' after the highlight. Having the 'biggest' band play next-to-last also spreads out the departing crowd some. Alternatively, Big Name may have just decided they wanted to get the gig done and split, so they picked their own spot.
Interesting point.

It also depends on the target audience demographics as well. This summer I went to a multi-act concert show put on by a happening radio station geared towards people much much younger than my friend and I who attended. I wanted to see The Wanted and convinced him to come along because Maroon 5 was also playing. Most of the stuff was like "Gym Class Heroes" (I think is their name) where we were like "OK, let's go get a drink." We got in late and I honestly didn't know what point The Wanted would be playing and was relieved to see we didn't miss them, though they only sang 4 songs. My friend was like "Now we only have to sit through Wiz Khalifa to get to Maroon 5." And I said "I would assume Wiz will be closing?" He was baffled by that and sure enough Maroon 5 followed The Wanted and Wiz closed and the crabby middle-aged white people skipped out of the arena ahead of the crowds and there was a Taco Bell truck giving out free tacos outside. "Everything went better than expected!"
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  #28  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:49 PM
madmonk28 madmonk28 is offline
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My favorite opening act is Hendrix opened for the Monkees and the crowd was giving him the usual lack of respect opening acts get.
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  #29  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:51 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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My favorite opening act is Hendrix opened for the Monkees and the crowd was giving him the usual lack of respect opening acts get.
Urban Legend.
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  #30  
Old 12-06-2012, 01:56 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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I don't believe you read your own link Stu.
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  #31  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:11 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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I don't believe you read your own link Stu.
You're right. My bad. So conditioned to seeing the DAR story that I zigged when I should have zagged.
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  #32  
Old 12-06-2012, 02:24 PM
StusBlues StusBlues is offline
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More to the point, Bruce Springsteen was scheduled to open for Anne Murray in 1974. Midway through Springsteen's set, it became obvious that the crowd wasn't there to see the Canadian songstress, and she wisely left before her set.
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  #33  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:51 AM
irritant irritant is offline
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Common sense and the posters all made it seem like Iggy would be the headliner. Everyone was confused when Iggy came on after Rancid.
This makes zero sense to me. The Offspring at the time would have been touring on a massive hit record and multiple alt-rock radio hits, whereas Iggy hadn't released an album in two years, and that album, [i[American Caesar[/i], hadn't even charted. Why would he have been the headliner? A year later, Rancid might've been the star act.

Was this show the Rock For Choice Benefit Concert at the Hollywood Palladium on December 8, 1995 by any chance? It's amazing what the internet can tell you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I think among young people, The Offspring had better name recognition than Iggy Pop.
They probably had better name recognition with older people too. I mean, Iggy is a legendary figure in punk, but his closest brush with superstardom was probably when they used "Lust for Life" in those cruise commercials.
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  #34  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:00 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Originally Posted by ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness View Post
In 1995 I went to see a benefit show featuring Iggy Pop, The Offspring, Rancid, and Woodpussy (who?). Common sense and the posters all made it seem like Iggy would be the headliner. Everyone was confused when Iggy came on after Rancid. After his encore, he told us to stick around for The Offspring. Probably a last minute timing/logistic issue, as everyone was expecting Iggy to be the final act of the night.
As others have said, it seems pretty likely that The Offspring were intended to be the headliners.

No cite, but I remember reading a quote from Iggy Pop where he said that he always seemed to be second on the bill...but that he'd continued to hold his place as second on the bill for decades, while some of the headliners he'd played with in years past (he specifically mentioned Bread) have faded away.
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  #35  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:33 PM
Martian Bigfoot Martian Bigfoot is offline
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Who Opens For Who?
No, The Who is on first.
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  #36  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:41 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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No, The Who is on first.
Do you remember who did the rock band version of "Who's on First"? I haven't heard that one since the heydays of Dr. Demento.
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  #37  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:45 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Do you remember who did the rock band version of "Who's on First"? I haven't heard that one since the heydays of Dr. Demento.
There was a "Who's On Stage?" sketch on Animaniacs back in the 1990s.
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  #38  
Old 12-08-2012, 12:50 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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There was a "Who's On Stage?" sketch on Animaniacs back in the 1990s.
The one I remember would have been from the 70s. The bands included The Who, Guess Who, Yes, and a few others I can't remember.
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  #39  
Old 12-08-2012, 01:10 PM
blondebear blondebear is offline
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Simon Townshend once opened for The Who (the opening act got stuck in a snowstorm), so it was a case of part of The Who opening for The Who.
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  #40  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:01 PM
Tamerlane Tamerlane is offline
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Originally Posted by ChockFullOfHeadyGoodness View Post
In 1995 I went to see a benefit show featuring Iggy Pop, The Offspring, Rancid, and Woodpussy (who?). Common sense and the posters all made it seem like Iggy would be the headliner. Everyone was confused when Iggy came on after Rancid. After his encore, he told us to stick around for The Offspring. Probably a last minute timing/logistic issue, as everyone was expecting Iggy to be the final act of the night.
Yeah, like others this one doesn't surprise me. While I would have been there primarily for Iggy, The Offspring were big back then ( never much of a fan myself - good with the catchy hooks, but kinda seemed a self-parody of a punk band at times ).

Similarily I remember a show where Pere Ubu were opening for a ( I think ) Bossanova-era Pixies. Seemed slightly heretical and a local music critic mused on whether the Pixies felt a little embarrassed in that scenario. But even in the rarefied world of college radio the Pixies were undeniably a bigger band than cult faves Pere Ubu, despite the latter's seniority ( I love both ).

Last edited by Tamerlane; 12-08-2012 at 02:02 PM..
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  #41  
Old 12-08-2012, 02:33 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Do you remember who did the rock band version of "Who's on First"? I haven't heard that one since the heydays of Dr. Demento.
It was The Credibility Gap. Link goes to cartoon version since the original was from a radio show circa 1970 later put out as an album track. The troupe was Harry Shearer, Richard Beebe, David L. Lander and Michael McKean, obviously the genesis of Spinal Tap.

This summer Squeeze and the B-52s toured together. All the local promotion was for the B-52s. If you weren't paying close attention you wouldn't know that Squeeze was on the tour. But I checked the Internet first and found out that they were alternating leads. Sure enough, the day I saw them the B-52s came out first and the venue was still half empty. I'll bet there were huge numbers of highly pissed people who showed up late to miss the opening act and got screwed.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:45 PM
Obeseus Obeseus is offline
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Neither one exactly a legend, but back in the days when I was going to about any concert that came around, I saw the Greg Kihn Band open for Rick Springfield. I would have thought Springfield would have opened, but it was Kihn. Most people left after Kihn finished, leaving lots of empty seats with the majority of the remaining audience teen girls and old ladies.

Last edited by Obeseus; 12-08-2012 at 02:46 PM..
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  #43  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:54 PM
mcgato mcgato is offline
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Do you remember who did the rock band version of "Who's on First"? I haven't heard that one since the heydays of Dr. Demento.
I saw SCTV do a version of it, but I think it had been done before them.
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  #44  
Old 12-08-2012, 03:54 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Originally Posted by Exapno Mapcase View Post
It was The Credibility Gap.

This summer Squeeze and the B-52s toured together. All the local promotion was for the B-52s. If you weren't paying close attention you wouldn't know that Squeeze was on the tour. But I checked the Internet first and found out that they were alternating leads. Sure enough, the day I saw them the B-52s came out first and the venue was still half empty. I'll bet there were huge numbers of highly pissed people who showed up late to miss the opening act and got screwed.
I saw that show in Saratoga Springs and as everyone expected Squeeze went on first to a half- filled venue. I didn't know they were taking turns. A lot of weirdos in beehive dos who showed up halfway though Sqeeze's set don't know how lucky they were to see the show on that particular date.
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  #45  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:43 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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I saw SCTV do a version of it, but I think it had been done before them.
I dunno. Here's a clip from 1981. The relevant part starting at about 4:00. Poor quality, but comic genius.

Last edited by Leaffan; 12-08-2012 at 08:44 PM..
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  #46  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:51 PM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I dunno. Here's a clip from 1981. The relevant part starting at about 4:00. Poor quality, but comic genius.
Cute, but a direct ripoff of the Credibility Gap. And they acknowledged the homage. Their skit ends, "Write? If I could write, I wouldn't have to steal this bit!"
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  #47  
Old 12-08-2012, 08:58 PM
Colibri Colibri is offline
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I thought you wanted to know who was opening for The Who this tour: otherwise shouldn't it be who opens for whom?
I actually saw The Who open for The Doors once.

Of course, this was in 1968 and the Doors were a much bigger act at the time, especially in the US.
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  #48  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:13 PM
Elmer J. Fudd Elmer J. Fudd is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
What? The Doors had a problem with "opening"?
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  #49  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:16 PM
Lamia Lamia is offline
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Join Date: May 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
I actually saw The Who open for The Doors once.
If you think that's strange, consider this: on their previous tour of the US, The Who opened for Herman's Hermits. Seriously.
Quote:
Of course, this was in 1968 and the Doors were a much bigger act at the time, especially in the US.
No cite for this rock and roll anecdote either, but IIRC Pete Townshend has said that seeing girls in the audience going crazy for Jim Morrison on that tour is what gave him the inspiration for the song "Sally Simpson".
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  #50  
Old 12-08-2012, 09:30 PM
Leaffan Leaffan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
I actually saw The Who open for The Doors once.

Of course, this was in 1968 and the Doors were a much bigger act at the time, especially in the US.
Yeah, you've mentioned this before. You bastard!
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