This is a different kind of post/review/flashback whatever you want to call it! This was November 23, 1989. If you do your research, you would learn that this day was Thanksgiving in America. But I wasn’t in the US at the time rather I was spending some time abroad for College in England. What was so great about this time period for me was the music. Think about it – THE BEATLES? BLACK SABBATH? ENGLAND! But during this time period, there were bands beginning their careers, (LONDON QUIREBOYS, THE ALMIGHTY) and some bands from the US, like SKID ROW were enjoying fame like no other by the British press (KERRANG) and the fans were rabid.
Also, there was no internet, tape trading was still happening, and if you wanted to get concert tickets you looked into magazines, your local record stores, and relied heavily on your friends. But when I caught wind that ALICE COOPER was coming for an Arena Tour, I had to get my tickets to Wembley Arena. But what was also special, he was doing a rare club appearance at the MARQUEE club where he couldn’t have his full stage show. But there were no tickets that could be bought. So how the hell do you get into the show? Simple, you had to bring a bag of trash. But how did that work as a ticket? Simple, can’t you remember what is album was called back in 1989?
Since they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in England, I got up early in the morning because the Marquee club barely held 500 people if I remember correctly. And those who got there early and stood in line all day would get in, as long as they brought a bag of trash. But, you had to go to the Marquee in the 2 weeks before to get a special Alice Cooper Trash Bag to bring your trash in to the venue. So taking the tube from my flat in Kensington to the lovely Charing Cross Road, complete with a bag of trash was quite amusing. Walking up to the marquee club there were maybe 30 people in line so far. SCORE! I was the first of my friends to the venue but one of them showed up. Keep in mind, it’s November in England, a tiny island. It’s cold! I mean damn cold! I have on jeans, tee shirt, leather jacket (yes, I had a leather jacket) and it was cold. There was a café 2 doors down we kept running into so we could get coffee and use the loo.
After waiting all day, Thanksgiving Day, in the cold, we got into the venue. I was maybe in the 3rd row but as the crowd filed into the building, the 3rd row seemed like the front row. Punters were sweaty now as the cold outside was a forgotten memory as the heat filled the air. Alice shortly stormed the stage and those crazy Brits started bouncing about and somehow I levitated a few rows back. It was wild! Alice played all of this classics, a bunch off of the new album, and the crowd ate from the palm of his hand. A small club, no insane lights, no insane props, just a downsized Alice Cooper show highlighting his music and engaging the crowd. I was blown away even though I ended up towards the back when all was said and done but shortly after this night was the concert at Wembley and the full stage show, props, etc. and this was the first time I was able to see Alice Cooper live.
But why did I choose to write about this now? Just over the weekend I was sorting through a bunch of boxes in storage and I came across the Tee Shirt from this concert (see below)! As you can see, it’s date specific and yes, I was there! So happy for the times that I have experienced music in so many areas, venues, levels, and am grateful for a life as such!
Mark - HardRockCore
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