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Random Rockness
January 23, 2015

Written by Patrick McNamara

Growing up, my dad (who recently retired after 32 years on the police force) always mentioned that he saw The Beatles play in concert in Chicago and for whatever reason I never really pressed him for details. So I set up a phoner to try and expunge his hazy recollections about the show and preserve them for the sake of history.

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy retirement schedule to talk to me, Dad. I’m recording this call, alright. So don’t send me to jail or anything for not telling you.


What year did you see the Beatles?


How did that happen? Do you remember?

We knew they were coming to town and my sister Sue’s best friend’s older sister had a contact to get tickets.

A contact? Just, like, someone on the inside?

She knew someone who had a way of getting tickets. I don’t remember how.

And you were how old?

I was 15.

Was this your first concert?

My first major concert. They used to have concerts at my high school with fairly big names like Chad Mitchell from the Chad Mitchell Trio, The New Christy Minstrels, a couple of local rock bands, and I had gone to those but nothing that was big enough to go downtown for.

15 was the same age I was when I went to my first real concert.

Really? Where did you go?

I saw Smashing Pumpkins at Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

You mean Aragon Brawl Room?


So who did you go to the show with?

Sue, Claudia, and Claudia’s older sister Paulette.

You and 3 teenage girls, huh.

(laughs) It was my sister and my sister’s friends. They all had cooties.

How did you get there?

The sisters’ older brother volunteered to drive us down there.

He didn’t have a ticket?

He didn’t want to go.

He didn’t want to go???

Don’t forget, in those days, the Beatles were considered somewhat wild men as far as groups go.

This was the same year John Lennon said they were bigger than Jesus.

How much was the ticket?

$5.75 [roughly $42 today adjusted for inflation]

Wow. Was it General Admission?

We had seats. But everybody stood on them. So it kind of defeated the purpose.

I’m sure it was sold out, right?

When we got there there was a line of people completely surrounding the Amphitheater. It was this huge old barn type of place.

They used to have boxing matches there, and way back in the day they had those six day bicycle races.

Remember the Chicago Cougars?


The hockey team? The World Hockey Association?


They played there. The rival of the NHL. Bobby Hull was the big star after he left the Blackhawks. He played for Winnipeg.

But back to The Beatles.

They played two shows that day. We went to the afternoon show because we heard it would be safer to go to the afternoon show.

What do you mean safer?

The International Amphitheater was in a somewhat sketchy neighborhood and it wasn’t the greatest area at night.

Where was it?

Do you remember where the old Stockyards were?

Not really. [The Stockyards closed before I was born]

Remember The Jungle?

Yeah. I read the Cliffs Notes to that in high school.

The Amphitheater was close to there. 42nd street. They had all kinds of events there. I competed in a lot of karate tournaments there too.

My Dad

[that's my dad kicking some guy in the neck]

So, The Beatles.

I remember lining up for the show outside, they had this regular door, not the big double doors you go into, it was just a side door, which might have been an indoor exit, and every now and then somebody affiliated with the stadium would open the door and look outside and all the girls would just start screaming thinking it was one of The Beatles.

That’s great. What was the make-up of the crowd like?

My memory was the girls outnumbered the guys like 10 to 1.

Mostly teenagers?

I didn't see anybody that wasn’t a teenager.

Were there opening bands?

Bobby Hebb played. His big hit was “Sunny.”

The Ronettes played. Their big hit was “Be My Baby.”

And The Cyrkle. They were from Chicago and their hit was “Red Rubber Ball.”

I remember at one point, I can’t remember who was playing, but the crowd started chanting “We want The Beatles...we want The Beatles.”

That’s the double-edged sword of opening for a band like The Beatles. It’s great exposure but you’re kind of in the way.

You remember when Jimi Hendrix opened for The Monkees and got booed off the stage?

I know that story, yeah. So then The Beatles came out.

Yeah. This was before all this big stage stuff with the lasers and smoke and everything else. I remember right before they came out, the announcer said “Ladies and Gentleman, The B….” and that’s all anybody heard for the rest of the concert. Everybody was screaming from that point on. You could hear maybe two or three bars out of every song.

There’s a funny picture I found that shows a cop with his fingers in his ears.


So then…. whoa…. hold on... there’s an echo in my phone. Hold on. Whoa. Why is it doing this? It’s playing back my own voice back to me.

That’s usually a bad connection.

So... oh my god I keep hearing myself. Hold on. Whoa. This is intense.

Call me back.

[I call him back]

OK. So The Beatles come out.

They walked out carrying their guitars and I can’t really remember what songs they played.

Well, since I’m a really good music journalist I found the set list they most likely played that day.

Was “Love Me Do” on there?

Not according to this.

I know they didn’t sing their early ones like “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” and “She Loves You.” The little bit I remember was the songs that had a little louder beat or whatever you want to call it because if they were singing ballads nobody could hear that.

It’s funny you go to a show where you literally can’t hear the music.

That’s why I always say I saw The Beatles. I never heard them. I saw them.

I also found out that 4 days before this show they released “Revolver.”

Oh, really?

That’s your favorite Beatles album right?

That or “Rubber Soul.”

Do you remember anything else about the show itself?

I remember they hustled us out of there very quickly because they had another concert that night. I don’t remember any souvenir stands. I don’t remember anything where you could buy merchandise or anything like that. I think I would have remembered that.

Did they sell merch like they do now back then?

I don’t think so. I think the guys who started that were country western guys because that’s been going on there forever.

That will be our next interview. So was seeing The Beatles the best show you’ve ever been to?

No. It wasn’t the best show I’ve ever been to. It was the most exciting event I ever went to. Because it was an event. It just wasn’t a concert. It was “The Beatles,” you know? I remember when we went back to school, we were so cool. The kids said, “You saw The Beatles? You saw The Beatles?” And then as I got older it was “Oh, really? You saw The Beatles before they broke up? That’s kind of neat.” And now when I talk to people my age they say, “Wow. You actually saw The Beatles?”

The myth grew. Why do you think they’re generally considered the best band of all time?

They had great marketing. They had great PR guys. They had a lot of great music. And they always adapted. Their music was constantly changing. Did you get my email by the way? [referencing gift ideas for my son’s birthday]

Yeah. I got it. So if this wasn’t the best concert you’ve ever been to, what was?

(long pause)

Garth Brooks. He was flying around the crowd on wires. It was fantastic.

The Beatles didn’t have any of those high tech tricks.

They just walked out on the stage carrying their guitars and played. Not only that. They shared microphones.

It would never happen like that today.


Final question, Dad.


What ever happened to all your Beatles records?




(sighs again)

You know I had to get that one in there.

Yes, you did.

PostScript: when my brother was around 9 he was told in church that The Beatles were Satanic so he went home and smashed my dad’s entire original Beatles vinyl collection on the post of my sister's bed while he was at work. It has never been forgotten.

Just Announced
January 23, 2015


1/25 Slutever, Froth, Skin Town, Globelamp, Dream Boys, Joel Jerome, Prettiest Eyes, Vaya Futuro, No-Fi, Ariel Beesly, Vox Disco, The Planters @ The Well
1/26 Wolf Alice, Beginners, Moors, Sabila Sabila, Jimmy Tamborello (of DNTL - DJ Set) @ Bardot
1/28 Blackbird Blackbird, Puro Instinct @ The Sayers Club
2/04 HAIM @ The Grammy Museum
2/04 Cage the Elephant @ The Observatory
2/06 A-Trak, Com Truise, Body Language @ The Echo
2/07 TULIPS, Bloody Death Skull, So Many Wizards @ The Echo
2/08 Warpaint @ The Roxy
2/14 Nous Non Plus @ Bootleg
2/14 Tijuana Panthers, Massenger, Loose Nerves, Chill Child @ The Garage
2/17 Slutever, Lisa Prank @ Pehrspace
2/18 NO PARENTS, ContraFang, So Many Wizards, Travesura @ Bootleg
2/27 King Tuff, Sonny and the Sunsets @ Mack Sennett Studios
3/05 Eleanor Friedberger (The Fiery Furnaces), Cotillon @ The Echo
3/06 Cheap Girls @ The Observatory
3/07 7Seconds @ The Observatory
3/12 Guantanamo Baywatch, Meat Market, The Memories @ The Smell
3/15 Carl Barat and The Jackals @ The Observatory
3/15 The Wombats @ The Observatory
3/24 Rubblebucket, Vacationer @ The Echo
3/24 Yonatan Gat @ The Smell
3/25 Talib Kweli, Immortal Technique @ House of Blues Los Angeles
3/26 Immortal Technique, Talib Kweli @ The Observatory
3/27 King Khan & BBQ Show, Sheer Mag @ Jewels Catch One
3/27 Max Graef, Sage Caswell, Cooper Saver @ Jewels Catch One
3/27 JEFF The Brotherhood @ Troubadour
4/04 Kaki King @ Hollywood Forever Cemetery
4/07 Marching Church @ Jewels Catch One
4/25 Reptar @ Bootleg
4/29 Mastodon, Clutch, Graveyard @ Hollywood Palladium
4/30 Jose Gonzalez @ The Regent Theater
5/01 Bright Light Social Hour @ Bootleg
5/02 Dr. John Cooper Clarke @ El Rey Theatre
5/02 The Decemberists, Lucius @ The Greek Theatre
5/12 The Wombats @ The Fonda Theatre
5/20 Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds @ Orpheum Theatre
5/27 Neutral Milk Hotel @ Warner Grand Theatre
5/28 Mae @ El Rey Theatre
6/03 The Mountain Goats @ Mayan Theater
6/18 Misfits (performing STATIC AGE) @ The Observatory
6/19 Misfits (performing WALK AMONG US) @ The Observatory
6/20 Misfits (performing EARTH A.D.) @ The Observatory


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January 22, 2015

Works best if you blast it.

Contests & Giveaways
January 20, 2015

We have a pair of tickets to give away to see THE CHURCH at El Rey Theatre on Friday, February 27!

For more information and tickets, click here.

For a chance to win, enter your name and email address below. Only one entry per email address will be accepted. Winner will be randomly selected on 2/25. Good luck!

Recommended Show
January 20, 2015

Written by Patrick McNamara

Let’s talk about some good bands playing this week in a casually cool laid-back manner and then move on with our day knowing that for a few brief moments we procrastinated together productively.

#1. Andrew Bird - Largo - Tuesday - January 20 - 2015 A.D.

Everybody’s favorite violin playing rock star (but Owen Pallett and Kishi Bashi may have something to say about that) returns to Largo. He’s Andrew Bird. You can’t cage his goodness. You can only hope he doesn’t fly away.

#2. Potty Mouth - The Echo - Wednesday - January 21 - 2015 A.D.

Potty Mouth are a band of four women from Northhampton, MA who want to play their good goddamn poppy punk rock for you at The Echo tonight. File Under: post-grunge (a meaningless genre just invented by me tee-hee!) - RIYL: a good goddamn time

#3. Twin Shadow - Troubadour - Thursday - January 22 - 2015 A.D.

Twin Shadow has been sexing up your suave pop reality since 2010. See this smooth troubadour sling his super solid goodness at…….. Troubadour.

#4. Plague Vendor - The Echo - Friday - January 23 - 2015 A.D.

Bam. Buh-Buh-Buh-Bum. Bam. Buh-Boom-Bam.*

(*listen to the song, man)

#5. FIDLAR - The Regent - Friday - January 23 - 2015 A.D.

Raucously delicious punks FIDLAR (Fuck It Dog Life’s A Risk) plays The Regent. Not that big of a risk ponying up 13 bones to see this one. WORTH it.

Band We Like
January 19, 2015
Photo Cred: Max's Mom

Written by Patrick McNamara

New Paltz, NY’s Quarterbacks make lo-fi twee pop that’s perhaps best enjoyed on chill days when life seems particularly sweet. Oh, sure. These songs are filled with such sad subjects as heartbreak, pain, longing, Poughkeepsie etc. But it’s all played so nice and genuine that you can’t help but feel a little bit better about things before these guys are done.

So who are these guys? I know their first names are Dean + Tom + Max and I’d tell you their last names (and try to either confirm or deny that any of them ever professionally slung the pigskin) but the band doesn’t have a Wikipedia page that’s been lovingly crafted by suspect sources………..... yet. But I can tell you that Quarterbacks have several releases for your streaming enjoyment on the World Wide Intrasphere. And the music is the most important thing, right?

I can also tell you with 100% confidence that on February 10, 2015 A.D. Team Love is releasing the band’s new nineteen song album (don’t let that figure alarm you - Quarterbacks songs are super short - this isn't "Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness Part Deux") that’s cryptically called “Quarterbacks.” Below are two perfectly likeable songs from it. But remember, there’s more lo-fi twee pop goodness where that came from and Aaron Rodgers is better than Tom Brady.

Just Announced
January 16, 2015


1/20 Andrew Bird @ Largo
1/21 Castro, Potty Mouth, Harriet Brown @ The Echo
1/22 Paul Collins' Beat, The Rich Hands, Maniac, Pool Honeys, Telephone Lovers @ Alex's Bar
1/22 Brenmar, Sasha Gohard, DJ Spinn, Dem Ham Boyz, Yung Satan @ Los Globos
1/24 GRMLN @ Origami Vinyl
1/25 Cult of Youth, Bestial Mouths @ Complex
1/28 Band of Horses @ The Observatory
1/28 The Hood Internet @ The Observatory
2/05 NO PARENTS, The Lovely Bad Things, Feels @ The Smell
2/05 Cage the Elephant @ Tower Theatre
2/06 Cage the Elephant @ Tower Theatre
2/07 Jesse Harris, Henry Wolfe @ Bootleg
2/07 The BlueBonnets, Death Valley Girls, Jane Lee Hooker @ El Cid
2/07 Vessel, Container, Oil Thief, Jock Club @ Jewels Catch One
2/10 Corners, Adult Books, Death Valley Girls, Girl Tears @ The Echo
2/11 Mrs. Magician @ Acerogami
2/12 The Blow @ The Satellite
2/12 Corners, Dirt Dress, Adult Books @ The Wayfarer
2/13 Cherry Glazerr, LA Witch, The Frights, Buttertones, Tete @ The Echo
2/13 Trash Talk, Ratking @ The Observatory
2/14 Riff Raff @ House of Blues Los Angeles
2/14 Joyce Manor, The Garden, Upset @ The Glass House
2/15 Horse the Band, Taken, Satchmode @ The Regent Theater
2/15 Sparks @ The Theatre at Ace
2/20 Never Shout Never, Hayley Kiyoko, Me Like Bees @ The Observatory
2/22 Billy Idol @ The Observatory
2/22 Body Language, Sonic @ The Observatory
2/22 Cage, Sadistik, DJ Halo @ The Observatory
2/25 Flight Facilities @ The Fonda Theatre
2/25 Langhorne Slim @ The Hotel Cafe
2/26 How To Dress Well @ The Observatory
2/27 Jon Brion @ Largo
2/27 Flight Facilities @ The Observatory
2/27 Hannibal Buress @ The Wiltern
2/28 The Garden @ Jewels Catch One
2/28 Slow Magic @ The Observatory
3/01 Machinedrum, Objekt @ The Roxy
3/03 H.R. (Bad Brains), War Machine @ Whisky a Go-Go
3/05 Santoros, Plague Vendor, The Frights, NO PARENTS @ The Observatory
3/07 Dead Meadow @ Bootleg
3/07 Howlin' Rain @ The Observatory
3/07 Viceroy, Phantoms @ The Observatory
3/07 Sweater Beats, Rochelle Jordan @ The Roxy
3/11 Kevin Devine and The Goddamn Band, Dads, Field Mouse @ The Observatory
3/11 Mat Kearney, Parachute, Judah & the Lion @ The Wiltern
3/12 The Velvet Teen @ The Satellite
3/12 The Twilight Sad @ The Wayfarer
3/13 Mall Walk, Girl Tears, Corey and the Castaways @ Silverlake Lounge
3/13 WAND, Death Valley Girls, Walter TV, The Gooch Palms @ The Echo
3/13 Ewert & The Two Dragons @ The Hotel Cafe
3/13 Sweater Beats @ The Observatory
3/14 Single Mothers @ Bootleg
3/14 Cam Meekins, BranVille @ Los Globos
3/20 Trash Talk, Ratking, Lee Bannon @ The Echo
3/21 Klingande @ The Fonda Theatre
3/21 Tweedy @ The Theatre at Ace
3/22 Moon Duo (members of Wooden Shjips) @ The Observatory
3/22 Tweedy @ The Theatre at Ace
3/24 Moon Duo (members of Wooden Shjips) @ Los Globos
3/25 Magic Man @ El Rey Theatre
3/25 River City Extension @ The Observatory
3/25 Quantic, DJ Vadim @ The Roxy
3/26 IAMSU, Rome Fortune @ El Rey Theatre
3/26 Broncho @ The Echo
3/26 River City Extension, Wild Reeds, Air Traffic Controller @ Troubadour
3/28 IAMSU, Rome Fortune @ The Glass House
4/02 Guster @ The Wiltern
4/04 Yonder Mountain String Band, Ben Sollee @ House of Blues Los Angeles
4/05 A Winged Victory for the Sullen @ El Rey Theatre
4/10 Elliot Brood @ The Satellite
4/14 Stromae @ Club Nokia
4/14 Alt-J, Jungle @ Santa Barbara Bowl
4/16 WAND, The Mild High Club @ The Wayfarer
4/18 Electric Wizard, Satan's Satyrs @ The Observatory
4/21 Tigers Jaw, Lemuria, Somos @ The Roxy
4/23 Tigers Jaw, Lemuria, Somos @ The Glass House
4/28 Matt & Kim @ The Fonda Theatre
4/28 Waxahatchee, Girlpool @ The Roxy
4/29 The Soft Moon, Skull Katalog @ The Observatory
4/30 Matt & Kim @ The Observatory
4/30 The Soft Moon, Skull Katalog @ The Roxy
5/09 Hidden In Plain View @ The Roxy
5/14 Melody's Echo Chamber @ The Roxy
5/15 Earth, Kylesa, Russian Circles, Schedule TBD, Bedemon, EyeHateGod, OM, Pallbearer, Cave In, Tombs, and more! @ The Observatory
6/13 Steven Wilson @ The Wiltern
08/10 Fall Out Boy, Wiz Khalifa @ Hollywood Bowl


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