Overnight Express: In Case You're Not Sick of Me Going on About Tom Petty...
I know, I know, I have a problem. I'm seeking help, I promise. OK, I'm not. But if you worship at the church of rock & roll, Tom Petty makes a decent bishop. This week's discovery, courtesy of Wolfgang's Vault , is a full-length Heartbreakers concert recorded at Houston's own Music Hall in December 1979, about a month after a little album called Damn the Torpedoes came out. Like Blondie almost said, streaming is free. If you're a member, that is - sign up here .
Petty scholars well remember Torpedoes as the album that proved to MCA Records he was a worthwhile investment. Everyone else remembers it for "Here Comes My Girl," "Even the Losers," "Don't Do Me Like That" and a not-so-minor flash of genius he decided to call "Refugee."
Longtime Houstonians, meanwhile, will recall the Music Hall, which once stood at 810 Bagby (current site of the Hobby Center), as the venue that hosted shows by Ella Fitzgerald and Dizzy Gillespie - who were reportedly busted backstage gambling, along with the show's promoter - King Crimson, Vanilla Fudge, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, the Cure, Liberace, Boston, Styx and a few others. When the Music Hall wasn't occupied by out-of-towners, it was home to the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet and Theater Under the Stars. There's lots more information about the Music Hall and its companion, the one and only Sam Houston Coliseum (Beatles, Beastie Boys, Houston Wrestling, etc.), here.
And, as always, Petty's Buried Treasure show is airing all day today on XM Radio channel 2. This week's he's got T. Rex, Muddy Waters, Elvis, Gram Parsons, Nazz (look 'em up), Dave Clark Five, the Ventures, Fats Domino, Manfred Mann (singing the blues), Rod Stewart ("back before Rod turned into something else"), Carl Perkins, Bobby "Blue" Bland, the Quik, Alan Price (original organist for the Animals, "I Put a Spell on You"), Arthur Conley, Badfinger, Beach Boys, Elmore James and the Kinks. I'm pretty sure some of these people played the Music Hall or Coliseum too. Help me out, people.
All right. No more Tom Petty for at least a week. Pinky swear. - Chris Gray
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