high school years

Power Station – July 12, 1985 – Nashville Municipal Auditorium

Maybe I didn’t get to see Duran Duran on the Seven & the Ragged Tiger tour, but I was going to see the only Duran Duran guy who mattered…John Taylor! I was 14, it was the summer after my 9th grade year, I had just gotten back from Europe, and wow, did I think I was cool.

My mom drove me and a couple of my BFFs up to Nashville. It was the days of the General Admission Municipal concerts & we got there at like 1:00 in the afternoon to get in line to get in. I remember feeling the most excited I had ever been – I was convinced that John Taylor was going to see me & whisk me away with him. After the longest 7 or 8 hours I have ever spent, I was finally directly in front of the most beautiful man in the world – I even got pictures! Unfortunately one of my friends passed out (from the sweaty heat, not the hotness of JT) & we had to go to the concession stand with her. I watched the rest of the show from the back & saw so many guys dressed up like John Taylor that I ended up not minding being back there at all.

Simple Minds with The Call – April 3, 1986 – Vanderbilt Memorial Gym, Nashville

It was the height of The Breakfast Club mania & all you heard was “Don’t You (Forget About Me)”. Of course I LOVED it, and once again my mom drove me & my friends to the show. I also liked “Everywhere I Go” by The Call, although all I remember about their set was how big the lead singer’s balls looked. I don’t remember much about Simple Minds either. I do recall feeling relief that there were a lot of other weirdos out there like me because there sure weren’t in my boring hometown.

INXS with the Del Fuegos – August 13, 1986 – Jackson Hall, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, Nashville

This remains to be one of my all-time favorites.

My best friend & I drove up the day the tickets went on sale & got 8th row seats – we were ecstatic, but we ended up with a blowout on I-24. Some guys came & put the spare on (my mom was fond of saying “They could have kidnapped & killed you” for months afterwards). Unbelievably, my parents let me go to the concert with her without any chaperones. We had no idea where to park – these were not the glory days of downtown Nashville. It was scary for 4 clueless teenaged small town girls, especially when an old man in a car starts driving beside y’all really slowly asking if y’all need a ride. I think we flat out ran down Deaderick Street to TPAC.

It was the Listen Like Thieves tour…Michael Hutchence was PERFECT. My favorite songs were all played. We were in such a heightened state afterwards that we ended up getting in a BMW with some strange rich boys from Brentwood & riding around with them because they had wine coolers! I’m sure those guys thought they had it made the way we sucked down those coolers, but as we’re riding down Union St, we see Michael Hutchence walking out to the bus!! We screamed like banshees, jumped out of the car, ran in front of cars to cross the street to him & he blew us kisses & said he loved us! Swoon! We hung around & saw all of the band come out. Total heaven.

I still can’t believe we got in that car with those guys. Footloose and fancy-free were we.

a-ha with In Pursuit – Sept 18, 1986 – Jackson Hall, Nashville

My mom actually went to this concert with me and my friends. We had 3rd row seats & had the most fun flirting with the a-ha (remember “Take On Me”?) singer. He really enjoyed my mom! I have the pictures that prove it. That’s about all I remember about that show, except it was on the night before Fair Day so we all wore our a-ha t-shirts to the fair. I miss Fair Days.

Duran Duran with Erasure – July 18, 1987 – Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville

I went to this show with some friends, but I can’t remember who they were. Our seats were in the back under the pavilion – it was my first time at Starwood, a place I would come to know very well. Unfortunately Starwood is now closed – it was sold to some real estate company who will build houses on the land. Boo! Anyway, all I recall from Erasure’s set was the guy’s balls were hanging out of his leotard outfit for most of the show (I must have been obsessed with balls back then). Duran Duran were disappointing, just because it was only John Taylor, Simon LeBon & Nick Rhodes. I would have loved to have seen the original lineup back then. I have had a few chances to catch them here when they all 5 got back together recently, but my heart just wasn’t in it anymore.

Billy Idol with The Cult – July 22, 1987 – Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville

This was my first “real” concert experience. By this time, I had 2 distinct groups of friends: the goody-goodies & the druggies. Guess who I went to this concert with? What I remember from this show…Ian Astbury, The Cult lead singer, mooned us because no one was into them, I almost died of embarrassment because my ex-boyfriend Thomas was trying to hang all over me in front of this local band, Walk the West – I had a huge crush on the drummer. They were sitting behind me & I just knew Thomas made it even more obvious to them that I was in high school with his immature antics. I got a cigarette butt from Steve Stevens, Billy Idol’s guitarist. The most exciting thing happened after the show. We heard on the radio that The Cult were going to be at Cat’s Record Store at Hickory Hollow to sign autographs, so we went & got to touch actual rock stars! We got to sign a petition to bring U2 to Nashville while we were there. I stole one of the signs over the petition & displayed it proudly in my locker during my senior year.

U2 with the Dbs – November 28, 1987 – MTSU Murphy Center, Murfreesboro

I went to this with my boyfriend at the time. That night several parents of my friends were out-of-town, so we were planning on staying at one of their houses. We ended up doing acid & having a good trip at the show. Our seats were with my best friend in high school – we both loved loved loved U2. I can remember screaming/singing along to “Gloria” and every other song. After the show, we went to a party somewhere, I don’t remember much except we ended up going to my friend’s to crash & when we got there, her sister told us her parents had unexpectedly come back, so that was out. We drove out to the damn boondocks to another one of my parentless friends’ house. I remember watching some of “The Princess Bride” and then going back to bed with my boyfriend. I started getting paranoid that her parents were going to come home like my other friend’s did. So we left. We ended up sleeping in his car at the rest pull-off on I-24 right past Manchester! The scary thing was I found out later that that exit was a popular coke deal place, as well as an anonymous gay men fuck fest location. We were lucky we didn’t get murdered or something.

Depeche Mode with OMD – May 24, 1988 – Starwood Amphitheater, Nashville

My last concert of my high school years! I couldn’t believe my parents were letting me go to a concert on a school night!! I missed seeing Sting, Tears for Fears & who knows who else because of that stupid rule. I had been a hardcore Depeche Mode fan for 3 years, since I bought one of their tapes in Germany. I went with my best guy friend & his girlfriend. I got random strange old guys to buy me beer & had a blast. Both bands were great. I can still remember some parts of that concert – it was a good one. The crowd was fantastic – a bunch of freaks in black swaying to Depeche Mode just like me!








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