My Story of the Cars in Concert 1979

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Janet, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. cgw

    cgw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    You are describing my clothes every Friday and Saturday night until the mid 90's.

    Concerts (going on shaky memory now) before the mid 80's tended to have more laser shows. After smoking was banned, there was not anything in the air for the lasers to reflect from.
     
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  2. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    When I saw REO on the High Infidelity Tour in '81 (one of my first concerts) the guy next to me offered me a toke off a joint - and I was just 11 years old!

    I passed on it, but there were definitely people 'still smokin'.
     
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  3. notesfrom

    notesfrom Forum Resident

    Location:
    NC USA
    Also the 'Candy-O' song itself, which one would think would be Ric.
     
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  4. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    I saw them live in '79 or '80. It was about as exciting as watching paint dry. Loved the albums, but live they sucked.
     
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  5. kwadguy

    kwadguy Forum Resident

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Do you remember anyone saying to your dad "Dude...Don't bogart that Fresca!"
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2017
  6. zen archer

    zen archer Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston Ma.usa
    I think The Cars are unfairly maligned about their stage presence.. The Cars were a bar band in the Boston area.
    I dunno, I saw tons of bands in clubland of Boston. Stagecraft wise they were all pretty much the same. New Models were kind of exciting because Casey Lindstrom
    danced around a lot while playing guitar. The Neats in my avatar didn't move much in concert. A lot of bands stand around and just play. I guess some
    of my most favorite bands are boring live...hell Brian Wilson sat comatose the 4 times I have seen him, But I loved those shows.

    Tom Petty and Heartbreakers 15 years ago at Great Woods. They seemed pretty laconic, in fact they took so long between songs I don't know what those guys were doing.
    that was boring....I saw Bjork, her musicians consisted of 2 guys sitting at computers playing their Macs. that sucked, especially when people cheered?
    Unless you were seeing Prince, Springsteen, Peter Wolf, the Stones.....most bands are going to be some degrees of boring.
    I have seen U2, I wouldn't put them in my Top 10 shows. Seeing Bono over indulging doesn't make a good show in of itself. INXS was the same way. I loved those guys
    on record, but at the concert in 1987 I thought Hutchence was so full of himself that for me he ruined the show.

    Last concert I attended was Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives in Cambridge. Now Marty puts on a hell of a show! he is a natural!
     
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  7. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    I saw REO in the late '80s well past their prime in a half empty auditorium. They still used the cool dry ice when they played Keep on Loving You. Gary Richrath (sp?) played a 10 minute solo guitar solo and I kinda wondered why.
     
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  8. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    During the Musikladen interview Ric said that he doled out the songs "that really needed a good voice" to Ben and kept the others for himself. The liner notes of the Deluxe Edition of The Cars puts it another way: Ric sang the neurotic songs and Ben sang the romantic ones. I disagree with that characterization, as in my experience, pretty much all their songs were neurotic.
     
  9. Koobs

    Koobs New Member

    Location:
    Maryland
    Unfortunately, it a well known fact that the Cars sound much better if you are hopped up on Fresca. You were so close!
     
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  10. sbeaupre

    sbeaupre Active Member

    Location:
    MDI, ME
    I saw The Cars at The Paradise in Boston in July of '78. Their debut album had just been released, and it was a hometown crowd. The crowd was more than ready, but the band was lifeless and the show was a dud. When they played the Boston Garden two years later, we went both nights but only because Nick Lowe was opening. We left after Nick's set. That sounds extreme, but The Cars were that dull live.
     
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  11. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    I saw Greg Hawkes playing with Todd Rundgren on his brief A Wizard/A True Star full album tour and he did a great job. After The New Cars Todd must have enjoyed working with him enough to ask him back. I met him at that show and he had one of the cheap plastic wine glasses in his hand, but not drunk. I've never heard of any of the Cars having problems with substance abuse which is remarkable given the amount of candies in which their contemporaries imbibed.
     
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  12. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    I would have loved to have been in your shoes and seen them in Boston at that point in their career. My fantasy is that I would go knowing they wouldn't engage with the audience or move an inch onstage, but that they would put all their passion into their music, and with the songs, being relatively new, wouldn't be tired yet of playing them. I would get all of their autographs on the debut album and frame it on my wall.
     
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  13. xios

    xios Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Frederick, MD
    Saw The Cars in August 1980 in Columbia, MD. No opening act, started at 7:30 pm. Played 45 minuted total, including one song encore. No talking between songs. The sunlight starts to go at 8:15 or so at the end of August, and we were all in the parking lot and it was still light out. People were audibly upset about the show, asking for money back on the way out.
     
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  14. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    Although Elliot Easton was/is a great guitarist and people talk about him, Greg Hawkes never seems to get his due for his significant contribution to the Cars sound. One cannot imagine songs like Let's Go without his unique wonderfully weird keyboard playing, and I think, more than anything else, his keyboard sound is responsible for the group being considered "new wave." His playing has always reminded me a little of Devo's sound, in the best possible way.
     
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  15. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    Was the audience upset because they played for a ridiculously short period of time or because of a bad performance (or both)?
     
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  16. michanes

    michanes Member

    Friends saw them at this show in South Bend, 1980 when we were all 15, and the one thing I recall them saying, repeatedly, "they only played for 50 minutes."

    in '79 and '80 marijuana use peaked by high school seniors in the period from '77 to now (and recent years have matched that peak) according to the long-running University of Michigan Monitoring the Future study.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    Nowadays it would be unthinkable for a headlining act to play for only 50 minutes. 3 hours seems to be standard for any big act (Stones, McCartney, Springsteen, Petty, etc). The Cars, even early on, had enough material to play at least for 90 minutes. If they played their entire first album, that would take care of 35 minutes, and, according to various band members, the Cars (not Milkwood or Ocasek and Orr) did covers of I Did it Again (by Soft Machine), a Roxy Music song, and numerous other tunes. That would have taken up probably 15 minutes, adding up to. Oh yeah, 50 minutes. Yikes.

    If they had stretched out their songs, which they could have easily done (come on, give Elliot Easton a few bars more of a guitar solo), they could have done a 90 minute set, but they seemed intent on playing them exactly as recorded.
     
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  18. The Panda

    The Panda Forum Mutant

    Location:
    Marple, PA, USA
    Back in the 90's, I missed seeing Kirsty MacColl (who I loved) playing acoustic in a small venue.
    I found out later she said goodnight after 40 minutes and with one encore, the show was over just shy of 45 minutes. The club owner told me later he'd never had so many angry audience members.
     
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  19. Oatsdad

    Oatsdad Oat, Biscuits and Abbie: Best Dogs Ever

    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Setlist.fm has setlists for 4 1980 Cars shows. 2 claim they played 17 songs, 1 says 16 songs, another says 7 songs.

    Setlist.fm is far from an unimpeachable source, but at least this gives us some potential data about the shows.

    If they did 16-17 songs, it'd be really tough for them to crank through that set in 45-50 minutes - unless they gave the songs the Ramones treatment! :D
     
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  20. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    I could see an opening act playing for 45 minutes (and depending on how good they were I might prefer that short of a set), but for any headliner I think it shows disrespect to the audience. That $8.50 ticket for the Cars may seem cheap to us now, but back then that was a lot of money.
     
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  21. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    Yes, but given the number of people on here saying they only played for 45-50 minutes, it seems like the setlist.fm shows might have been more of an exception than a standard. Maybe they played longer because they knew they were being aired live or recorded? On all the YouTube videos I've seen of them live, I've never seen them rush through a song, which seems remarkable given that a lot of (most?) bands speed up the tempo when they play live.
     
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  22. cgw

    cgw Forum Resident

    Location:
    Upstate NY
    I saw Elvis Costello a couple times in that same time frame and I remember at least one of the shows being about 45 minutes. It is very noticeable when the artist plays less than an hour.
    (I saw Elvis a few years ago and his encore was longer than 45 minutes - that is noticeable also)
     
  23. Terrapin Station

    Terrapin Station Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC Man
    I saw them a few times in the early days and I enjoyed them. They didn't dance around or have big explosions going off or anything, but I don't require that.

    When you go see Dylan live, or just about any jazz artist, etc., they're not dancing around or having explosions go off either.

    Heck, I saw Miles a number of times and he'd turn his back to the audience, hunch over, and just play (and then in the 80s sometimes he'd turn around to play some inscrutable keyboard stabs). Intense shows, though, because they were so good musically, and even with Miles being so audience-unfriendly, that was part of his persona. He had such incredible charisma that it worked.
     
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  24. Janet

    Janet Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    United states
    Just curious: when you saw them, did they play for only 45-50 minutes? I honestly can't remember how long they played when I saw them during the Candy-O tour.
     
  25. Khamakhazee

    Khamakhazee Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    Mu Aunt and Uncle saw them many years ago, maybe around that same time, and actually left the concert early. They told me it was the worst concert they had seen because they just stood there like mannequins. I did become a fan of their music because of them however.
     
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