Rolling Stone Magazine has a feature on the Top Ten Opening Acts as polled by readers. Now I don’t pay attention to a lot of what happens on the music scene, but yeah, me! I knew everybody on the list. How could you not with names like Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Prince, and Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Opening acts are those guys that get on stage before the main liner. You know, the ones you might listen to or turn to your friends and ask “Who are these guys?”, while you count down the minutes until the main act. Go through this list and have a blast from the past. Honesty, it’s hard to believe some of these folks were simply opening acts given the status they hold today.
In 1972 Steve Wonder opened for the Rolling Stones. According to the Rolling Stone article, the Stones were at their peak while Wonder was still somewhat unknown. Apparently this tour changed that and if you click on the link to the article it’ll lead you to an amazing medley of “Uptight (Everything’s Alright)” and “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.”
I’m not going to tell you who was number 1. Suffice it to say I was really surprised. At the same time, I wasn’t surprised by why this opening act didn’t do well with this particular group. Go take a look and see. Tell me if you were surprised.
The whole article is an amazing list of Who’s Who and links to some awesome songs. It’s a walk down memory lane for some and an introduction to some of rock history’s greats for others.
Now number two on the list has been pounding in my head all day. In 1982 The Who went on a tour billed as their last farewell. They’ve had more concerts since, but hey, at the time they thought this was it, we’re packing it in. Opening for them was The Clash. Feel like dancing? How about a little Rock the Casbah!
By the way, read what Robert Plant has to say about Led Zeppelin’s first gig in the US. It made me laugh and think to myself, “Me, too.” (In my dreams, okay?)