Steve Wiley Remembers His First Eric Clapton Concert
When I walked into the KTDY studio this morning (July 6th), I said to Jaycee & Debbie Ray, "Guess what I was doing on this day in 1974." Debbie Ray piped up, "You were probably on your way to an Eric Clapton concert." Yep! my first one! First stadium concert, too. He was headlining the inaugural event in a concert series called "Summerfest at the Stadium," in Suburban Buffalo, NY. Three friends and I drove five hours from a remote spot in the Adirondack Mountains to Orchard Park. The concert tickets were $8.50 apiece. Keep in mind, this was 1974. The opening act was "The Band," another of my longtime favorites. Martin Scorsese made a movie, called "The Last Waltz" from their farewell performance. "Slowhand." was late taking the stage. He was, by his own admission, "F&%king drunk, and ready for trouble." It was disappointing The next time I saw EC perform live was 14 years later in Denver. He'd been to rehab, was on his 25th anniversary tour. The difference was like night, and day! I've since seen him perform in New York (on my birthday), a couple times in Houston (1 w/ Steve Winwood), and 6 times in New Orleans. They were all excellent!