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Xtazy
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1977 was a transitional year in many respects. It was the Summer of Punk, of course. Led Zeppelin returned to the U.S. and showed they were so huge that they basically were a genre unto themselves...no mere label like 'hard rock' or 'heavy metal' or 'blues rock' could contain them. Pink Floyd showed with their concert at Anaheim Stadium that they were rapidly becoming Roger Waters and his slaves...a bunch of morose sourpusses.

Most of the new bands on rock radio were corporate schlock...Boston, Kansas, Styx, Foreigner, The Babys, etc. As for the old guard, most of them were on a treadmill to oblivion by 1977...Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Ted Nugent, Foghat, Blue Öyster Cult, Jethro Tull, Chicago, Elton John, Bad Company, Black Oak Arkansas, Nazareth, at al.

Lynyrd Skynyrd was about to have their tragic end. Queen was going disco. 

There were signs of life from some newer hard rock/metal bands...Thin Lizzy, Scorpions, Judas Priest, Motörhead, Heart and UFO. But primarily the excitement for the future came from punk and two bands I saw for the first time in 1977. Van Halen's shows at the Whisky I have already talked about and I saw them for the third time in August of 1977. It was the waning days of summer and I was just about to start my sophomore year of high school.

That last week of summer also included the Runaways & Weirdos gig at the Whisky August 26, Kiss & Cheap Trick at the Forum August 28, Fleetwood Mac at the Forum August 30, and ending the summer with a bang, AC/DC & The Dogs at the Whisky August 31.

It was my first time seeing AC/DC and I think this was AC/DC's first U.S. tour. This was the real Bon Scott-era AC/DC. Pure adrenalized power rock. The tightest bands I have ever seen were James Brown, ZZ Top, and AC/DC. You could set your watch to Phil Rudd's right foot and Malcom Young's right hand. Bon brought Angus out on the Whisky floor on his shoulders. Malcom's and Angus's guitar sound was one of the best I had heard up to that point...a nice, thick roar with loads of sustain.

Seeing AC/DC and Van Halen at the Whisky in 1977 really was the announcement that the 1980s had arrived. Tragically, Bon Scott only had a year and a half left and wouldn't live to see the 1980s.

@badgeholder you were doing sound or lights at these shows right? Were soundboard tapes made?

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Hey Strider. As always, I'm amazed at how many fucking shows you have seen! Shit, I don't know how I missed AC/DC at the Whisky. I only worked for VH, so I can't speak to any tapes made of the other shows. I hate to say this but I never recorded any of their Whisky shows. Of course in retrospect I wish I'd recorded all of them. But they kinda saw it as "taking" from them, like Paul's grandpa in A Hard Days Night selling 8 X 10's. You also saw Tom Petty at the Whisky too, right? 

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30 minutes ago, badgeholder said:

Hey Strider. As always, I'm amazed at how many fucking shows you have seen! Shit, I don't know how I missed AC/DC at the Whisky. I only worked for VH, so I can't speak to any tapes made of the other shows. I hate to say this but I never recorded any of their Whisky shows. Of course in retrospect I wish I'd recorded all of them. But they kinda saw it as "taking" from them, like Paul's grandpa in A Hard Days Night selling 8 X 10's. You also saw Tom Petty at the Whisky too, right? 

Yeah, Tom Petty & Blondie at the Whisky in February 1977. But for every show I did manage to see, there were a ton I had to miss...especially ones that fell on school nights when I was younger.

It just so happened that the summer of 1977 was a fruitful time for shows and I was lucky to cram a few in before school started. From P Funk and Led Zeppelin in June to Van Halen and AC/DC in August. You gotta strike while the iron's hot. You never knew when a band would break up or someone would die.

Case in point...the Lynyrd Skynyrd, Ted Nugent, REO Speedwagon all day blast at Anaheim Stadium that summer. Can't remember the exact date but it was on a Saturday. Either Labor Day weekend or sometime in August.

Some girls were planning a pool party that day and invited my friend who was going to the show with me. He decided to ditch the concert and sold his ticket and he tried to get me to do the same and come with him to the party.

He said we could catch Lynyrd Skynyrd next time...that there was plenty of time for concerts in the future. My reasoning was the opposite. We lived in California where there was constant sunshine and millions of girls and swimming pools. There would always be a pool party to go to in the future.

But there was no guarantee on how long a rock band would last.

He went to the party. I went to the concert. You know the rest of the story. He was kicking himself in the head after the plane crash October 20, 1977.

Edited by Strider
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