Flashback~Forget About it-Friday

Do you remember the new wave group the Romantics? You know the one that sang the songs “What I Like About You” and “Talking in Your Sleep”? I saw them in concert when I was in high school. Not only did I see them in concert, but my friend Susan and I had personalized tee shirts made up with “The Romantics” written on the front and our names on the back. I bring the Romantics’ concert up because the fact that I actually saw them almost made me reconsider whether or not I would make this category a Forget About it instead of a Flashback. Thankfully, they weren’t my first concert, so here we go:

Flashback-First concert.

To be literal, the very first concert I attended was Santana some time in the early 1970’s, but I have absolutely no memory of that (I think my parents didn’t want to pay for a babysitter) so I can’t really count it.

The first concert I remember and will proudly claim as my first was Rick James at Kings Dominion Park. This was 1981 or 1982. To this day, I cannot believe my mom allowed me to go to this show. This was back when Rick James was still Rick James. He was nasty before Prince knew what nasty was. I was 14. Too young for nasty. I remember he had the Mary Jane Girls opening for him. My friend (once again Susan) and I had no idea what Mary Jane stood for. I think we might have been the only people there who didn’t. I still remember how much fun it was singing along to all of his songs–even if I had no clue (which I didn’t) what they were about. Street Songs had just been released and “Super Freak” was a big hit. Good times!

Check out Rick’s over-the-knee boots! Such a trendsetter! RIP.

My brother and I were latchkey kids. This meant we often would fend for ourselves when it came to after school snacks and dinner.

Forget About it-Foods I ate.

My top three:

Steak umms. This photo is of the 2010 version. So glad they are still available. Hate to think that the next generation would miss out on eating cardboard that is thinly disguised as meat. Worked for me at the time though! A little oil, a pan and voilà– dinner!

Thankfully the Slim Jim is also still available. Hard to find something as satisfying as dehydrated meat in stick form. And they packed a whopping 9 grams of protein per stick! Now that I think of it, Slim Jim may have been the prototype for today’s very popular protein bars.

And finally, every diet has to have a staple. Something that is good to eat day or night; frozen or at room temperature. For me that was the Hostess Suzy Q. Here’s how the Hostess website describes the Suzy Q.:
“For more than 40 years, sophisticated snack cake connoisseurs have been licking their fingers while mouths full of crème filled Suzy Qs delight their taste buds.”
Oh yeah they do!

Okay your turn. What was the first concert you attended? How about foods you regularly ate as a child?


26 responses

  1. My first concert was one of the following two. I can’t remember which came first, but they were both very entertaining for the era:

    Loverboy opening for Journey.
    Vanity 6 opening for The Time opening for Prince. (I think this was probably the equivalent of your Mary Jane Girls/Rick James experience. There were lots of wasted on the young “wait – what is he signing about? Is that even legal?” looks thrown around).

    As for afterschool snacks, it was primarily something from the Little Debbie family, usually Swiss Cake Rolls. Or, I would take regular Kraft singles, and cut each slice into 4 squares, to make little “sandwiches” on saltines. All consumed while reading comic books or Mad magazine, and watching the last half of General Hospital. Ahhh, good times.

    • Shan, I have serious concert envy! I would have loved to have seen Vanity 6, The Time and Prince back then. My husband also saw that lineup and remembers it fondly.

      I didn’t become introduced to Little Debbie until I moved to Georgia, though I imagine her products were available in Virginia. We were a Hostess family. Big Wheels, Ho-Ho’s, Twinkies and the aforementioned queen of them all–Suzy Q.–were what we ate.

  2. It’s Great to be a Georgia Bulldawg!

    I had to get that out of the way.

    I somehow doubt your parents would have allowed you to attend Rick James if it had been anywhere other than an amusement park. lol

    The country group Alabama was my first solo concert. I must admit, when the show was over my father was standing in the concourse. He probably just dropped us off and went to park and bought a ticket. I still count it as my first un-chaperoned concert.

    Tyson microwaveable chicken patties and Top-Ramen noodles were staples of my latch-key nutrition. I still eat the Ramen.

    From the junk-food department… I love Oreo’s. Best excuse to drink milk I know of.

    • It is indeed great to be a Georgia Bulldawg! I agree.

      I am sure you are correct about the amusement park part of the equation. The other concerts I remember seeing when I was in high school–The Police and The Cars–were when I was a few years older and even then I think parents drove us.

      My daughter loves Ramen noodles. Does that mean she’ll be throwing me under the bus on her blog in a few years? Probably.

  3. You mean Mary Jane is not referring to the cute black shoes we used to wear?
    First concert=Duran Duran. I cried and screamed for Simon & Nick Rhodes with my parents standing next to me covering their ears and rolling their eyes.
    Food=Is Tab a food? It was for me. Pop Tarts and Jolly Ranchers sticks, watermelon flavor were my sweet treats of choice and Fritos w/Lipton Onion Soup Mix dip were my salty faves.

    • Oh yes Mary, that’s what they were named after–the shoes. I think he occasionally toured with Buster Brown too, but they were busy for that show.

      I definitely consider Tab a food. As a matter of fact, it might even be part of the food pyramid. Pop tarts-check, Jolly Rancher sticks-check, Fritos–buzzz. I involuntarily gag at the first sniff of a Frito. Other than that I could have survived at your house happily.

  4. Just found your site. Great reading so far. I like your Flashback stories. Good stuff.

    What struck me right off the bat was that Santana was your first concert as was mine. Early spring of ’78 at the Fox in Atlanta. I do remember it well as I was ‘of age’ back then so its on par with your Rick James experience.

    Another great concert memory was driving over to Athens one Monday nite when they just started having bands play in Legion Field next to Creswell and Russell halls circa 1984-85. REM played for free and played all these songs we’d never heard before. Turns out it was all of the yet to be released Fables of the Reconstruction album. Really cool.

    As for vinyl, I still have ALL of my albums, though I’m having problems with my old turntable and can’t play any of them at the moment. I own the Romantics album with ‘What I like about you’ and numerous B-52 records as well. A few friends of mine are going to do a ‘Vinyl Night’ soon at our local pub which should a blast. I am jealous of your Rock Lobster 45 btw. Wanna sell it?? lol.

    As a fellow latch-key kid, I ate and cooked just about anything, and still do today. Pimento and Cheese sandwiches with Chocolate milk was a fave of mine. Quick to make and filling if you ate several as I did!

    Look forward to checking out your site more in the future. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting Paige! I loved going to concerts at Legion Field! Two of my favorites were Los Lobos and the Psychedelic Furs. I was in Athens at the time you saw R.E.M on Legion Field, bummed I missed that one! Though I saw them many times at other venues. And the Fox Theater, what a wonderful place. I can’t even begin to list all of the great shows I have seen there.

      Sounds like your latchkey kid cuisine was much more sophisticated than mine! Kudos to you! 😉

  5. Seriously, I didn’t go to a concert until I was a freshman at UGA. My mother wouldn’t allow me to go to any. She told me, “You’re too young to get involved in drugs,” when I asked if I could go to the Police concert when I was 14. Yep. She equated going to a concert with using drugs. I nearly responded that if I wanted to do drugs I could easily buy them in homeroom at my high school. Fortunately, I held my tongue, or I probably would’ve been shipped off to a private school, and my life would have turned out much, much different.

    So, my first concert was Elton John, and I was 18. It was good, but not nearly as cool as The Police would have been. The Go-Gos opened, too.

    As for food, what I ate reveals a great deal about why I never fit in as a child. I remember liverwurst. Yes, my mother made liverwurst sandwiches for me and I ate them. Between those and the deviled ham sandwiches, it’s a wonder any kids talked to me in elementary school. Thank goodness I woke up one day and told her: no more. On the plus side, I apparently was never anemic as a little kid.

    I also remember really, really, really wanting to have PopTarts. Mom would never ever buy them. She said they had no nutritional value whatsoever. C’mon, Mom, that’s kidspeak for DEEE LICIOUS!! So when I went off to college, and to freedom, I bought a box. Guess what? In addition to no nutritional value whatsoever, PopTarts have no real taste, either. She should have just bought a box back then, let us Bock kids try ’em. We would’ve stopped whining immediately upon sampling the darn cardboard Tarts, and been happy with our bagels or Cheerios.

    Ahhh, memories. 😉

    • The Go-Gos opened for Elton John? Wow, that’s quite the bill. I did see the Police on that tour–Synchronicity. Good show. Sorry your mom kept you from it. 😉

      Don’t think I have ever tried liverwurst. But when you are raised on Steak umms and Slim Jims why experiment? I have to take issue with your review of Pop Tarts. I am thinking you probably just didn’t try the right flavor. And did you eat them warm or cold–makes a big difference. Seriously, it is sweet that your mom made a point of keeping you healthy and safe inside and out.

      • Oh no, The Go-Gos opened for The Police. It was either 1981 or ’82.

        Hmm…I know I’ve tried blueberry PopTarts recently. I probably tried chocolate back in the day. And I know I tried ’em warm and cold. To put it in perspective, my mom used to make us beignets and homemade doughnuts. So she sort of spoiled us. I shouldn’t make her sound like a monster. She really wasn’t.

        The funny thing about the whole “drugs” thing was how out of character it was for her. She wasn’t a bible-thumper or a worrywart, so it just came out of left field. I guess I should have elaborated in the story. Several years later, she also told me I was going to burn in Hell for drinking, as she held her fourth glass of wine for the evening. Sometimes my mom made some rather strangely hypocritical statements. Did I mention she also didn’t believe in God? I still loved her. She just was a bit of an enigma! 😀

  6. My first and only large venue concert was Boston around 1977-1978 at the Omni. It was great but I was too young for any of the accessories that most of the concert participants seemed to be enjoying. After that – chuckle – it was the Commodores at Stegman Coliseum. They drug Herschel out for a special appearance. After that I settled into the smaller and frankly much better Athens music scene. And yes, I was there for REM at Legion. I was right in front of the stage.

    As for junk food, it was Pinwheels and Little Debbies at our house. My grandparents lived in Dalton and there was a Little Debbie outlet there. We would leave with grocery bags full of the stuff. It’s a miracle we are alive and well.

    • My husband apparently was at REM’s Legion Field show too. He said Jason and the Scorchers opened for them. I cannot believe I missed it! I have to ask my college roommate about this, she and I worked at UOG together, if I find out she was there…

      Access to a Little Debbie outlet, now that would have been heaven! I have an addiction to Little Debbie Nutty Bars–had to eliminate them from my diet back in ’93.

  7. Wow – I totally remember “Talking In Your Sleep”. And their hair in that video!

    My first concert was Tony Orlando and Dawn, around 1977, then Bee Gees and Village People (yep, gay even at age ten).

    Saw Fleetwood Mac then and several times since, up to last yr.

    Foods from back then? Licorice allosorts, still a favorite, and Wagon Wheels, which I saw again recently and seem waaaay smaller…

    • I remember watching the Tony Orlando and Dawn TV show. Never quite got why both women were called “Dawn.”

      I would have gladly gone to see the Bee Gees or Village People in 1977-I loved disco! Thanks for the comment Brahm!

  8. I’m pretty sure I was also one of the “saw REM at Legion” crowd. Wasn’t that right around when “Murmur” came out? I think I was a freshman then.

    My favorite lesser-known Athens band, that I probably saw more than any other, was Dreams So Real. They only put out two albums, which I recently discovered via iTunes (or amazon digitial) since the CDs were out of print and lost to time. Damn, I loved that band.

    Also, I completely forgot about Pop Tarts. That was definitely a top tier snack (in addition to being a damned fine breakfast). Didn’t like the fruity ones so much, but I could do some damage to a box of chocolate/chocolate or chocolate/vanilla icing. Plus, later in life, I was exposed to the miracle of s’mores Pop Tarts, which immediately went to the top of the Pop Tart Hierarchy.

    • I will feel a lot better if the REM concert was indeed supporting Murmur instead of Fables. I wasn’t in Athens when Murmur was released.

      I used to host a local music show on WUOG called “Sound of the City,” the Dreams So Real song “Everywhere Girl” was requested at least once a week. You weren’t alone in your love of them!

  9. Love this post!
    I am STILL all about Slim Jims, especially when we go camping!
    And it isn’t very Flashbacky- since it was only last year- but I had a BLAST going to see Def Leppard!!
    Thanks for stopping by Pajamas and Coffee!

    • How did the guys in Def Leppard look? Are they still rocking the ’80’s gear or have they modernized themselves a bit? Hard to imagine Joe Elliot without the Union Jack.

      Thanks for joining the conversation Marymac!

  10. I didn’t make it to the REM concert at Legion. I remember Shan wanting to go, but I had something else I had to do that night, so he went with his tennis buddy that was hooked on the band Yes (John, maybe?). I did, however, see REM at the 40 Watt playing under an assumed name a few years later when they released Lifes Rich Pageant. The guy I worked for at the time was in a band called the Surf (they lost in the finals of Ed McMahon’s precursor to American Idol) who got us in. Great show and songs.

    I did, however, see Los Lobos play at what we still refer to as “the Moses concert.” My wife (she was still a friend at the time, but soon to be girlfriend) and I went were sitting on the hill. Some guys near to us were smoking something and flipped their butts into the foliage between us. Next thing we know, the bush is on fire – a nice, healthy blaze – and the smokers are scrambling to stomp it out. We left soon after that, grabbed a bottle of wine, and drank it as we rode the night bus all the way around campus. Great night.

    • That’s quite a story! That Los Lobos show remains in my top five of the best shows I’ve seen. I would love to see them again but am afraid the experience wouldn’t compare.

      This ongoing conversation inspired me to Google “REM Legion Field” and sure enough (got to love Google) two shows were played in the mid ’80’s. Here are the links. The playlist from both shows are included. I was definitely in Athens on 4/22/85, can’t for the life of me figure out why I wasn’t at that show. If it turns out I was at that show, I am going to become very worried about my long term memory.



      Thanks for stopping and sharing your memories KCDawg! It’s always fun to connect with UGA alum.

    • Wow, I forgot the circumstances of that REM concert. You’re exactly right about going with Yes-Junkie John. Wasn’t the REM pseudonym “Hornets Attack Victor Mature?” And why do I remember that, of all things? (Although Calculus, which I don’t recall, is equally useless).

      Did the flaming shrubbery talk to you? Because that, you know, would be like a miracle or something.

  11. re: your Rick James flashback….

    wow. if you EVER see this post….. i was THERE!!!! Like u, I was there with my mom. I was looking on the ‘net to see if there was any video from that concert. i Googled ‘Rick James at Kings Dominion’, and saw your post. I so wish we had smart phones then. Rick James and Teena Marie was my first ever concert – I saw them at the Capital Center near DC (if you know that area). I had a serious crush on one Rick James, and imagined myself singing backup for his band.

    Thanks for your blog site!

    You may enjoy this —- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGeXlKjHvIw

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