© 2024 Louisville Public Media

Public Files:
89.3 WFPL · 90.5 WUOL-FM · 91.9 WFPK

For assistance accessing our public files, please contact info@lpm.org or call 502-814-6500
89.3 WFPL News | 90.5 WUOL Classical 91.9 WFPK Music | KyCIR Investigations
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Stream: News Music Classical

Rock & Roll Rewind: My Most Fun Concert

c d kaplan is a rock & roll lifer. He’s got stories, lots of stories. Here’s one.

There are many reasons why some concerts are more memorable than others.

Of course, there’s the music, which can be special beyond expectations.
Or, an unknown opener that blows you away.

But, it could be something peripheral. Somebody you hooked up with that
night. Or broke up with. An accident on the way home after the show.
Something else going on that you are bummed you missed, after you
find out about it the next morning. A drunk throwing up on you during
your favorite tune.

I remember just a few aspects of a show by The Youngbloods at Louisville
Gardens around ’71 or so.

Yet I’ve always called it my most fun concert ever.

Rotary Connection was the opening act, featuring Minnie Riperton.
(Who happens to be Maya Rudolph’s mom.) I got nothing else for
you about their set. No other memories about that.

The Youngbloods, whose name one must assume came about due to prime
mover Jessie Colin Young. (And a possible homage to the oh so naughty
’57 Top 40 hit “Young Blood” by the Coasters, written by the estimable
threesome of Doc Pomus, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. Young was
always fond of doing covers.)

Other members of the then trio were Lowell Levinger and Joe Bauer.

They were moderately successful, mostly due to Young’s soothing voice.
They had one hit, “Get Together.” Plus a couple good albums, including
my favorite “Elephant Mountain.”

On the way into the show, I ran into Stuart, who was until then just the
younger brother of a HS chum Jimmy. And there he was outside the hall
with his GF, handing out candy. (Which some passed on, thinking it might
be dosed, not unusual in that era.)

The years having narrowed our ages, we ended up hanging out. I soon realized
I had more in common with him during that era of the counter culture than his brother.

Here’s what made the Youngbloods show unique and so fun.

There weren’t a lot of folks at the show. Fifteen hundred or so in the 6000 seat venue.

It was very laid back.

At some point during the Youngbloods set, people started dancing in front of the stage.

Like it was a sock hop. And chatting up the band, making requests.

Soon enough, Young stopped the show, said something to the effect,
“Hey, we’re going to take a quick break. You all move all these chairs
in the front rows out of the way, and let’s turn this into a dance party.”

That’s exactly what happened.

We danced. Threw lots of requests up at the stage, many old rock & roll songs.
The band obliged.

It was all a big smile.

Not a lot of concert videos of the group live. But I did come across one,
which is actually not the Youngbloods.

It’s Jessie Colin Young doing his hit, with another gaggle of musicians
in 1984. Some of whom you might have heard of. Roger McGuinn,
Richie Havens, John Sebastian, along with three members of The Band.
Rick Danko, Richard Manuel and Levon Helm.

That looks like a plenty fun evening itself.

Observer of the Passing Scene: Pop Culture and Sports. Writer. Film Critic. Curmudgeon. Rock & Roll and Louisville Cardinal fan.

Can we count on your support?

Louisville Public Media depends on donations from members – generous people like you – for the majority of our funding. You can help make the next story possible with a donation of $10 or $20. We'll put your gift to work providing news and music for our diverse community.