My Worst Concert Series . . . .
by David J Boldinger
I have been to many Melanie concerts, and loved them ALL. I wouldn't be able to pick one concert out as my favourite - they were all great experiences.
However - the worst is easy…
October 1972 - Manchester Hardrock. (UK)
I got to the venue nice and early, some other 'fans' were there already. One was playing a tape of "Garden In The City", well; I remember 'Lay Lady Lay' being played. There was a 6 year-old boy who reminded me of the fifties, a bit scruffy, dirty face and clothes and bucket in hand, chasing cars as they drove in to the car park, "Car wash, mister?"
Sorry, I side-tracked, I'm a bit impressionable, I still remember this, so I thought I'd share it with you. The venue had only just been built and opened a week or two before Melanie's gig there. The staff (bouncers) were really trying to live up to the name - 'HARD'. One was making people drop their bags ( I mean drop - not put) to the floor, ensuring any electrical gear (tape-recorders) be wrecked! Okay, no tape recorders is understandable, it was the way he was enforcing the rule, as if he was trying to pick a fight!
I sat in my seat, and there were two ventilators in the low dark ceiling, and didn't they make some noise! Melanie said "All I can hear is a ventilator!" The lighting was totally out of keeping with Melanie - it was more of a disco hall than a concert hall. Melanie asked the audience to join in with her for "Ring The Living Bell" - so the multi-coloured spots were turned on the audience - "Gimmicks!" Melanie exclaimed.
The microphones wouldn't stay in one place! One dropped off and dangled down, "That one's for the feet", Melanie joked. From backstage, a boy appeared to rectify matters…. He placed the microphone back in it's holder, but didn't bother to put the microphone-stand back where it should have been, Melanie called for him to reposition the stand and was ignored, "No?" Melanie queried and then struggled, with guitar on lap, to do it herself!
The sound system would have been better; turned off! There were big horns which gave the guitar a husky effect, and her voice too much echo.
That was a good lesson on how not to have a concert venue be!
by Harold Cohen
So we weren't at the first Woodstock so we decided to go to the 25th year reunion. My wife and I were only married for 2 yrs. at the time. We took my daughter and went off to Woodstock. This was the real venue, not the more well publicised event of the weekend. Friday we set up camp behind a bar about 1-2 miles away. I hate camping by the way, but there I was and it wasn't that bad. The bar's claim to fame was that Hendrix's father hung out there 25 yrs earlier.
Saturday, we walked down to "Yasgur' Farm." I am not to crazy about walking, either. It was ok though. About an hour into my backache, we got a ride on this guy's pickup Did the hangin' thing in a field, watching acts on this little stage, while the big stage was being built. I don't remember any of them.
Oh, it rained. It rained the rain from HELL. I am not to crazy about rain and being a mudman is not my favorite way to be. 30,000 people and 6 portajohns do not a happy camper make. My 15 yr old, designer label daughter, Heidi, was moderately amused by the dirty hippie people, and ageing boomers, and somehow she of all people stayed clean.
I never knew that summer nights were so cool in the Catskills, and wet and muddy did not a happy camper make. We made it 4 songs into Melanie and we left. (Only my bud Jim and his 8 yr. old Marty made it 'til the wee hrs. of the morn. Jim's wife, Anne left before dark, with Heidi.) Jim was the only one who stayed. Jim was the one who really didn't want to go.
Walking, a longer way than the way in. Walking, wet, muddy, hungry. I hate hunger! But then again, it was not as bad as it could have been. There was a campsite ahead, with showers. The hot water did not work and the water was from a deep well. My bedding had gotten wet. Not my best Melanie concert.
One afterthought. My wife has this Chiuahua, Nikita, that went with us. She was in heat. There was this dog named Littledog who gave his all, to no avail, to provide the puppies my wife wanted so. Nikita was the star of the day, for those who saw the show, she and Littledog provided. They were on the right track, but couldn't connect. This was probably Nikita's best concert.
My actual e-mail address is Hcohen1@compuserve.com and my name is Harold Cohen. My wife is Beth.
by Steve Elm
Melanie was scheduled to perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London.. I was so excited as I had tickets. It had been nearly seven years since I had last seen her.
I was already anticipating cancellation because I have a history of cancelled Melanie shows...either she was having a baby, or some other reason...
Anyway, I venture out on this rainy autumn night, full of anticipation....
I get to the site, full of excitement and trepidation, only to have my fears realized...there were signs on the locked doors saying "Melanie concert cancelled"...My heart sunk..."I knew it"...
I stood around for a few minutes, checking out the reaction of the other saddened punters...many of whom showed no indication that they were leaving...
I thought "stupid hippies...the show is cancelled. What do you think? She's going to show up anyway and sing on the steps for free?"
So, I left...got the tube home.... The next morning I wake up, open the newspaper, and there is a picture of Melanie singing for her fans on the steps of the Royal Albert hall for free...THAT was my worst Melanie concert.
By Pete Martin
I had saw in the Tampa Tribune a small ad about a free Melanie concert at some small park in Ybor City, in Tampa. I would guess it was the fall of 1993 or 94. We read the ad, and decided to go and the date was written on the calendar for the show in about 6 weeks. I had seen Melanie some time back in the 70's at some all day and night music event at some park on Long Island and thought this would be fun. So the day of the show, wife and I arranged a babysitter and headed off from Bradenton to see Melanie, for free. We were ready and knew all the words again to the old songs because I had bought new cd's to replace all my old LP's that were so scratched and worn out. Yep, I set up the old turntable and dug them out from the back of the closet.
We drove up to Tampa and had a nice dinner at the Columbia, and walked over to the park. My wife was wondering why all these young kids in black, and pierced 'anythings' were all over the place. We get inside the park and I'm starting to notice the same, nobody is our age (we were 35 in 1994), but these are kids all looked 17-20 years old. I was amazed at Melanie's new following. Well we soon found out why Melanie cancelled, The New Attraction for the free show is now Marilyn Manson! We stayed, we saw, I didn't know what to think. . . . but the wife did and it's wasn't good.
It's funny now to mention it to people that we saw Marilyn Manson, whenever a discussion about concerts or musicians would arise. For those who do not know who Marilyn Manson is, I would say he's a 'Gothic' style rocker. For example, Ozzy Osborne times 10. We both stayed at the show, and had a good time; It was educational to us understanding the younger generation's quirk's.
Melanie again has been reborn today when I heard the song 'Smile' from the new CD Crazy Love. Sept. 26, 2002