It's always interesting when you see someone who is all big and famous now after you saw them do their act when they weren't. You could pretty much foretell what would happen to them by the way they acted then, however. The number of stripes on a zebra doesn't change when it gains 100 lbs.
I saw Short Pants do his act just after his first album had come out. I was fairly intrigued with his music; intrigued enough to pay to go see him in this small auditorium where I lived. The only song I absolutely could not stand was Piano Man. I mean, give me a break. "He's talking with Davy / Who's still in the navy." And, "They're sharing a drink they call loneliness." You've just got to want to puke, eh?
So, the midget played five or six songs and then said, "Well, I guess I'll play this one, since everyone seems to want to hear it. But I'm really sick of it." I knew he was speaking of this evil keyboard tune, so I yelled out, "Why not just skip it?"
I guess the sound in the room was not good for where he was sitting, because he got this look on his face that would have scared small children, turned on his bench to face me, legs dangling, and said, "There's always some asshole yelling Rock and Roll at me. Well, buddy, you've got it in your pants just like I do. Knock yourself out."
Needless to say, I was chagrined. Here I was trying to offer helpful criticism and this vertically challenged ass-wipe was taking it totally the wrong way. But, he had the mic. And now Ms. Brinkley is getting a real tall glass of dick. Serves him right.
I wrote a short piece about this under that link. But the interesting thing here is that you could have foreseen that Stevie Nicks would turn into a moaning gypsy-assed cow without a thought in her oft-cocked head even then. The brains in the outfit were definitely in Lindsey Buckingham's head and you could see him sweat over every lick he played. I must admit, Ms. Nicks looked pretty damn good back then, but she and I were both quite high. And quite thin.
This was one of the most painful things I've ever seen. Tom Waits was no one when I saw him open up for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention in the same small auditorium where I'd seen Bill Joel not that long before. Come to think of it, Zappa's band was pretty much of an unknown to most of the world at the time, but I just want to tell you what happened with Waits.
I don't think anyone I was with had ever heard of Tom Waits at the time. And these were some fairly sophisticated folks, as I'm sure you already guessed, since they were hanging out with yours truly. So Waits came out and sat behind this piano over in the corner. He started singing Diamonds on My Windshield and one of my best friends got up and left. By the time Waits had done 3 or 4 piano songs and switched to the guitar, over half the crowd had left. The ones who were left were not pleased. There were some boos.
I didn't understand this reaction, myself. I was enchanted with this scruffy bastard. I'm just glad he didn't let these sorts of things bother him too much. But you could pretty much tell he wasn't a guy who gave a shit about that sort of stuff. You could tell this wasn't his first time to get dissed by a crowd.
I could tell you other stories about the Chicago Transit Authority, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, etc. And I could say, "I'll update this as I think of more." But that's always a damn lie on this site, isn't it?