On June 15, 1985 I was 14 years old going to see GBH, Decry, Corrosion of Conformity, Love Canal, and HVY DRT at the Olympic Auditorium in beautiful downtown Los Angeles, California. Back then shows like this were $7.50 in advance and $8.50 at the door. Sure, that doesn’t seem like much now but with inflation that turns out to be $19.91 in 2018 money. I’m sure it’s less than what you would pay to see GBH or Corrosion of Conformity these days but I wouldn’t really know about that and this show began my journey of getting into shows for free.
Okay, this isn’t really the beginning. The first show that I didn’t have to pay for was a month earlier with the UK Subs, The Exploited, Agression, RKL, and more. I got into that show for free because a band I knew – V.O.A. from Glendale, California – was opening the show and I went with them. I also had a box of the brand new RKL record, Keep Laughing, to give to the band. I’m pretty sure that I’ve previously mentioned that, at that time, I would skip school and go to Hollywood to hang out/work at Mystic Records, right? Well, if I haven’t mentioned that in the past, now you know.
It was great, I’d answer the phone, pack mail order, and even go to the bank to make deposits. One time I was going to the bank to make a deposit and a bunch of cops pulled and got out of their cars with shotguns and handguns drawn! Holy shit, the bank is being robbed! Then I realized it was the bank next door to the bank that I was going to that was being robbed. Hell, now the bank that I was going to was completely safe because who is going to try to rob a bank when there’s dozens of cops outside with weapons drawn? Yeah, I’m kind of getting off track with this bank robbery stuff. But so what? You’re probably already looking at the photos anyway.
Back to the GBH / Corrosion of Conformity show… I showed up early (I still kind of do that) and was hanging out by the side entrance to the Olympic when I saw “O” who I had met when I interviewed Decry a few months earlier at a McDonald’s near Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. In case you don’t know, O is legendary. He’s been around since the 80’s (obviously) taking photos, skateboarding, playing in bands like Olivelawn, Fluf, and Octagrape and producing bands like Decry and Blink-182. Somehow O remembered me and asked if I had bought a ticket yet. I told him that I hadn’t. He opened the gate and said, come on in! Fuck yeah! He then told me if anyone asks what I was doing there (since it was still before door time for the show) to tell them that Gary Tovar told me it was okay for me to be there. Sidenote: Gary Tovar was the owner of Goldenvoice who put on these big shows in LA. Tovar would later go to jail for drug smuggling, passing along Goldenvoice to his partners in the company who would later create the Coachella Festival.) This was fucking great; I was getting in the show for free! Remember, I was 14 at the time and $8.50 would be almost $20 in today’s money…who wouldn’t want to have an extra $20 even now!.
I’ve kind of gone on a weird tangent so I’ll save the story of when Mike Dean from Corrosion of Conformity stayed at my apartment in Atlanta and I woke up to empty bottles of Cisco wine (you kids can look that one up yourselves) for the next time I see COC.
Oh shit, I promised that I’d mention the time I saw Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society at the Denver airport…and now that I’ve done that. On June 10, 2018 GBH, Fireburn, Mystery Actions and Bad Sons played at Cobra Lounge in Chicago, Illinois. On July 17, 2018 Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity and Telekinetic Yeti played at the Forge in Joliet, Illinois. All of the bands performed numerous songs at each sold out show (which, if you read any of the “review” above, I obviously got into for free).
Here’s the photos from GBH, Fireburn, Mystery Actions & Bad Sons:
These photos are from Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity & Telekinetic Yeti: