Steve Wiley’s First Eric Clapton Concert, July 6th, 19##
I've been an Eric Clapton fan since I was 12. My first time seeing him live was shortly after my 18th birthday. It was a big disappointment. He was scheduled to headline the inaugural event in a concert series called "Summerfest at the Stadium," in Suburban Buffalo, NY. It was 43 years ago, today, July 6th, 1974. Three friends and I drove five hours from a remote spot in the Adirondack Mountains to Orchard Park. We must have had "Country come to town" written all over us. A con man fleeced us out of $5.00 each for incense & a book about Bhuddism before we got to the gate. Keep in mind, this was 1974. The concert tickets were $8.50 apiece. The opening act was "The Band." They were great! They called it quits a couple years later. 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 wasn't a good show. To make matters worse, my friend damaged his father's car leaving the parking lot.
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!