Beginning with my first concert I never once entertained the idea of throwing away my ticket stub. I knew these things were important, they were souvenirs of not only a specific event but also of a time in my life, and it’s interesting to look at them all laid out chronologically.
But it wasn’t always so. At first I kept the spent stubs in a small white plastic tub, almost a mini-Rubbermaid with no lid, along with my other most-treasured items. Like the piece of my front tooth that got chipped off when Brad Hebb punched me through a window, and the beads that my long-lost grandfather gave me to give to my girlfriend when I accidentally met him (for the first time since I was an infant) over beers one night when we briefly lived next door to each other in a trailer park.
Because the ticket stubs were just sitting loose in a box, I sometimes had to write info directly onto them, depending on how it had been torn (like this one). I didn’t like this one bit – I was defacing historic artifacts – so soon after this show I went out and bought a photo album, the kind where you peel back the plastic and affix the photos to the sticky pages underneath. I stuck all my ticket stubs in there in order and added a little note underneath each one recording the headliner/opening act, the date and venue, and who I went to the show with.
I am now about to fill my fourth photo album, each one bursting at the seams with tokens of a life spent inside bars, theatres, concert halls and stadiums.
I’ve recently come to regret that I didn’t write little show reviews and include them in the albums; it would have added so much to these tomes. In addition to capturing my immediate memories of things long-since passed out of my mind it would have showed the development of my writing style and frankly, my handwriting.
And though it’s an opportunity long since lost the regret has basically led to these stub memories, so there’s that at least.
Now, on October 2nd, 1984 I was at my sixth-ever concert, it was my second time seeing Toronto headline at the Moncton Coliseum, and in retrospect it was a pretty nifty bonus that I got to see Tom Cochrane when he was still just the nameless vocalist in the very cool Red Rider.
Like, not even Tom Cochrane & Red Rider, it was just Red Rider. Opening for Toronto.
I don’t really remember too many specifics about the show itself. I doubt at the time I would have been familiar with even Red Rider hits like White Hot or Lunatic Fringe (were those songs even written yet?), but I do know I had a great time.
Similarly, most of my memories of Toronto* blend with the other two times I saw the band, both times made much more memorable as a) one being my second-ever concert, and b) the time I opened for them at Barrymore’s playing bass with The Gutterboys. I liked the band just fine with their K-Tel-ready power chord hits like Get It On Credit, Girls Night Out and Your Daddy Don’t Know, stuff that would make me shudder today if not for the nostalgia factor.
But again, with this being so early in my concert-going life I was enamoured with every strum of a live electric guitar no matter how cheesy it may have been so I know I had a blast, pumping my fists in the air and going through a Bic lighter or two. I walked out of the coliseum drenched in sweat from an evening of excited eyes-wide raging, that I can promise you.
Sometimes I really, really miss those days.
*I certainly recall that at this concert the lead vocalist was performing despite having a broken leg.