Making stuff as a founder of Avocado. Former music-maker. Tuna melt advocate. Started Google Reader. (But smarter people made it great.)

First concerts thread.

A few of us at Google we're discussing Hammer's blog over email and it came to light that his was the first concert one of us attended. Other Googlers joined in as Billy Joel, Anthrax, Public Enemy, Milli Vanilli, Cypress Hill, Bon Jovi, Rush, and Yanni were mentioned. My response was the following:
Jeez, people. Three beautiful words.

Seals And Crofts.

If you didn't get the 70s, they confounded you. They were my first concert. I've been messed up ever since.

They looked like this.

A true story: Seals and Crofts insisted that they be given time after each concert to speak to interested fans about their Baha'i faith. Dash Crofts' wife's sister wrote a poem after viewing a documentary on abortion, which Jim Seals put to music. The result was an anti-abortion song called "Unborn Child" written from the view point of the fetus.

I listened to them every day. I know all of the lyrics and melodies off of their greatest hits album and I assert no lyrics in the history of commercial pop radio can match the florid exuberance of their single, "East of Ginger Trees" - to wit:

Go east of your dream and farm. Let peace and silence spin your yarn.
What harm can befall thee in yon wilderness of clove?
Go on east of ginger trees. Go soft and silent like the breeze.
With ease be off and wander in yon wilderness of clove.
Go on past the goldenrods, where fools and angels lose their odds.
And gods of our ancestors did immerse themselves in clove.
Go on toward the crimson shore, beyond this life of metaphors.
Where doors of understanding's house decorates he them with clove.

It ends with "lions roaring in the forests of knowledge and wisdom, and whales swimming in the oceans of life." Seriously. And I LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT.

Oddly, my parents wondered why I got interested in Dungeons & Dragons and role-playing. Huh.
Quite a few bits of my Google code have been composed while they crooned in the background. I've half a mind to name my first-born Understanding's House Decorates He Them With Clove. Yes. Re-read those lyrics again.

I'm blowing thru the jasmine in your mind, I hope. (Dear Mom and Dad: kidding about the being-messed-up-by-them part.)

What was your first?
posted at April 14, 2006, 3:18 AM


  • At 8:45 AM, Anonymous dad said…

    Grown--ups go to the theatre, our first was "Fiddler on the Roof"at the Oriental Theater on Grand Avenue in Portland,OR. We didn't fully undertsand it because we were such rubes; what did we know of diaspora?! We loved it and were inspired by it. You on the other hand were about 4 or five and it was at the Paramount Theater on the other side of the river and a complete cripple named Danny opened for Seals and Crofts playing the mandolin while lying on a table front and center stage. We had you stand in your seat just 4 rows back in order to take it all in. Seals and Crofts opened with "Humingbird" which was your favorite at the tiime and you seemed to think that they had come to play just for you. A single line from some of their songs can be 'stand alone' poetry. "Where doors of understanding decorates he them with clove" just one. My eventual favorite was "King of Nothing" which may explain why I didn't waste any tiime on 'chaotic evil' , but didn't prohiibit you from such foolishness.
    We did screw you up, but we did a pretty good job of it. You on the other hand are an aberration of your own making; so live with it.
    Your Mother loves you.

  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger magpie said…

    Let me first say that I'm horrified that you've admitted this in public.

    My first concert, of course, perfectly encapsulates the era I grew up in and whose fashion I still wear - Duran Duran at the Forum in 1987 with the opening slot filled by Erasure.

  • At 9:41 AM, Blogger Cali said…

    My first concert was some early 80's one-hit-wonder band who's name escapes me at this moment.

    Second concert: Disco Diva Cheryl Lynn(e), ("Got to be Real,") New Year's Eve 1982, at a gay bar in Sacramento. This was during my "Fag Hag" period.

    Third concert: Willie Nelson. In a downpour. Soaked to the skin. Most fun ever.

    Most recent concert: Dealership, baby! ;-D

    I'd highly recommend seeing Boston if you ever get the chance. They (even though they are all old now) really put on a great show. Also, Hank Williams, Jr. He was the CMA Entertainer of the Year for several years running for a very good reason.

  • At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Hasan Diwan said…

    Queen, at Wembley in 86.

  • At 10:10 AM, Anonymous dad said…

    It's killing my brain wiith curiosity to know 'just what does Magpie look like as she stands there "horrified" in retro dated gear?!'

  • At 7:38 AM, Blogger Mike Sugarbaker said…

    Seals and Crofts look exactly like 3/4 of all the bands in Portland today.


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