Did you ever go to CBGB? You know, that club in downtown New York that played host to so many punk bands in the 70s, 80s and 90s?
Do you remember what it was like to feel the press of the bodies around you, smell the smoke floating in the air, to see the sweat dripping off of Joe Strummer as he and The Clash blasted through a set?
Can you recall those memories? Can you recall the feel? Can you wrap yourself in a sweet blanket of nostalgia?
I never went to CBGB. Hell, I haven't even been to New York City in my adult life - I think I was in the Big Apple once when I was younger. In fact, the first concert I ever attended was Ferlin Husky at the Hearing Auditorium in Fairbanks, Alaska. I was maybe eight or nine at the time.
After that I saw Warrant at the same place. They were still riding the high of Dirty, Rotten, Filthy, Stinking, Rich and thought, for some reason Fairbanks, Alaska would be an excellent place to promote it. I guess it worked. They put out a couple of more albums with some success.
For the most part, large bands didn't come to Fairbanks. Why the hell would they? Aside from snow, darkness and ball-chilling cold temperatures there wasn't much there.
Fairbanks has grown considerably since then.
Aside from a short stints in the San Francisco and San Diego areas, I haven't lived very close to large venues. And, due to my often off-beat taste in music, rarely do the bands I enjoy come very close to me.
I took advantage of my times in both areas, mind you. I went to Lallapalooza in San Diego and then saw Hate Dept. in San Francisco. I missed opportunities to see bands in both places; Nine Inch Nails in San Diego and Bauhaus in San Francisco.
Ten years in Kansas did little to help me.
My wife and I made trips to Lincoln, Neb. to see bands like Hank III, J.B. Beverley and the Wayward Drifters, an home grown Mother Fucking Saints, to ease our need for music.
Locally we went and saw bands in area bars and taverns.
While those were great, nothing compares to the opportunities missed. I never got to see Black Flag, Bad Brains, Bad Religion, The Misfits (with Danzig), The Clash or any other great punk rock band that influenced the music of today.
Does it mean I have missed it, this musical revolution? No, not at all.
See, there is still a ton of influential, awesome music coming out. There is still so much to be heard; so much to be sung; so much to be performed.
The challenge for me, as it has always been, is to get out and find it.