Devo (“Planet Earth”)

This is one of the most memorable concerts for me! It was their 1980 tour of “Freedom of Choice,” and I saw the show in San Francisco. I was up against the stage, wearing my yellow Devo “protective gear,” an old-school bicycle helmet and sunglasses that blinked red (with a wire I ran down my sleeve to control). The whole crowd was “de-evolutionized.” Video quality here is poor, but the memory is strong.

The Jam (“That’s Entertainment”)

The ironic title says it all, and the minimalist lyrics paint a vivid landscape that gave birth to the English punk scene. I find it somehow reminiscent of The Ramone’s earlier “Now I Want to Sniff Some Glue,” an American version of a similar sentiment, perhaps? I LOVE the acoustic punk of this song by The Jam, one of their best cuts ever (IMHO)!

The Ramones (medley) Live @ the US Festival

  1. “Do You Remember Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio”?
  2. “Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment”
  3. “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School”?
  4. “I Wanna Be Sedated”

I was there for all 3 days of that festival, and then again the next year… amazing bands, amazing vibes, both years!! The Ramones rocked it hard there in ’82, as did The Clash in ’83. And yet, there was nothing like seeing The Ramones live in a club at night, more their ambience. I even saw them at CBGB, which isn’t the only punk scene that has bitten the dust… :/


Elvis Costello (“Pump it Up”)

I remember dancing like that in high school when I saw Elvis doing it to this song… he influenced not only music (and possibly dancing?) but also a whole generation of music lovers! In college I went to see him play at Boz Scagg’s brand new club, Slim’s, in the SOMA district of SF, still a sketchyish neighborhood at that time. The show was spectacular, of course, but guess who came out as an unannounced musical guest…. Nick Lowe!! The place went mad. They played and sang together, obviously performing “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding” among others.