Tag Archive: Newport Music Hall


I picked this album up in the $5 bin at the Barnes and Noble at Polaris back around the Christmastime.  I had a gift card to B&N that my former boss had given me when I got promoted.  So I did a little Christmas shopping for myself while I was out spreading the holiday cheer.  I don’t know why the cover is so faded on this edition, but it isn’t just my copy.  I recently saw two copies in the used bin at Magnolia’s, and one was the same edition and the cover was faded too.  The other was a different edition and the cover was much brighter.  Oh well.  I try never to judge a CD by its cover anyway…

So this album is very similar to the other Joni Mitchell album, Blue, that I wrote about years ago.  And at the time, I remember mentioning many of the female artists I used to listen to in college that were certainly influenced by Joni.  And of all those artists, Natalie Merchant is the only one I still follow closely.  But the same chiquita who introduced me to Natalie also got me into Tori Amos (at least through her first four albums).  And I would say Tori is the one who most closely resembles Joni Mitchell in style…freeform song structures build around piano with a mix of jazz and classical influences.  And back in the day, when Tori was at the height of her popularity, the gang and I went to see her in concert…

Now, before the world wide interweb became a global phenomenon and people could order concert tickets from the comfort of their own home, people had to go stand in line at some random Ticketmaster outlet to get tickets.  So Tori announced a tour and a show at the Cleveland State Convocation Center (where I saw my very first concert, Pearl Jam) and the tickets were going on sale at 1o AM on Saturday.  So I was living two floors below Lord Bacchus at the time, and he was dating the Twins, who was also into Tori, so the three of us got up early and walked across the alley to the Newport Music Hall box office to get in line to get tickets, except there was no line.  Apparently the college students in the Bus were not as geeked about a Tori show in the Land as we were.  The guy in the ticket booth was an older guy, and he was cool about it and he said he would try to get in the system as soon as the tickets went on sale.  So he starts clicking away right at 10 o’clock and he looks up with a smile on his face and says “I think I just hooked you up!”  Well, we look and he had gotten us three tickets on the right center floor in the third row!

So the day of the concert rolls around and the three of us roll up to C-town.  Now, at the time Black Cloud and the Gear Head still had an apartment on CSU campus right above the YMCA.  Now, Gear Head would not have been caught dead at a Tori Amos concert unless Eddie Van Halen was playing guitar in her band, but Black Cloud had tickets (not sweet third row tickets like we had, but tickets notheless) and L.B.’s younger brother, Middle Bacchus, was also in town for the show.  So we all pre-party at the apartment, and then about an hour before the show we all walked over to the Convo.  At that point the group split up, and L.B., the Twins, and I walked down to the floor to our sweet third row right center seats where we could essentially make eye contact with Tori the entire night while she played the piano.  And it was a pretty awesome show from what I remember of it.  But none of us had cell phones yet, so we were unaware that before the show had even started, Middle Bacchus had purchased a hot dog from the concession stand and had begun to choke on it.  Like choke so seriously that the EMTs were called and he was rushed to the hospital.  Black Cloud strikes again!  So Middle Bacchus missed the whole show.  I don’t remember if Black Cloud went with him to the hospital or not, but I think he did.  In hindsight, its probably a good thing we didn’t have cell phones, or we probably would have felt obligated to leave too.

Other lists: “Help Me” is #288 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Ch-ch-changes: This album dropped two spots from its original position at #111 due to the rise of Kid A and If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears.

My favorite track: “Court and Spark”

Honorable mention: “Free Man in Paris”

A word from the Princess: I like this album.

Quote: ” I deal in dreamers and telephone screamers.  Lately, I wonder what I do it for?  If I had my way, I’d just walk through these doors.”

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Sticky Fingers

My connection to this album really begins with my love of the Guns.  I am sure I had heard the song “Wild Horses” several times, but the first time I really noticed it was when I saw Axl and Duff sing it with Gilby and Slash trading leads towards the end of the Use Your Illusion I tour video (on VHS baby!) back around 1992 or 1993.  About the same time, I remember buying a G n’ R import (read: bootleg) at the Record Den called “Guns N’ Roses Unplugged” that opens with a cover of “Dead Flowers” with Axl rocking out the vocals.  Then a year later Gilby put a cover of “Dead Flowers” on his solo record, “Pawn Shop Guitars” (it’s not quite as cool as the G n’ R version…Axl helps out, but he only sings on the chorus).  My freshman year of college I remember seeing Gilby on his solo tour and he played “Dead Flowers”.  It was at the Newport Music Hall, and he played in front of about 5 people, one of which was me and another of which was the Elusive One who had biked (read: bicycle biked) all the way from Denison University in Granville, Ohio to Columbus for the show.  Hardcore.  Slash played on that tour too, and I remember he had his trademark top hat on and he was wearing a shirt that said “Dopey says legalize it”.  Good times.

So I picked up this album back in December at the Half-Price books out on Brice Road (the east side where all the bad boys ((read: gang bangers)) hang out?) for $5.99 (minus my 10% teacher discount).  I was trying to kill time in between work and a late holiday cantata church choir rehearsal.  After leaving HPB, I remember stopping by the Evil Empire to grab a cup of coffee and seeing a pack of Newport cancer sticks laying on the prep counter…Old Man McConnell would have had us cleaning the lobby for weeks for something like that.  Actually we would have been fired.  Anyway, I don’t much like “the package”, but the album itself is really good.  Classic Stones at the high point of their career.

Other lists:  “Wild Horses” is #343 and “Brown Sugar” is #495 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All-Time.

Ch-ch-changes: This album dropped one spot from the original list due to the addition of CCR’s “Chronicle”.

My favourite track: “Dead Flowers”

Honourable mention: “Brown Sugar”

Quote: “And you can send me dead flowers [every morning/by the mail/to my wedding], and I won’t forget to put roses on your grave.”