Best Live Albums

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Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo

Live Albums

Ted Nugent Double Live Gonzo

Blog 5

This blog is an ode to the great live albums of the 1970’s. Every band had released a live album and everyone was listening to them.

Most of them came out around the time I moved to Ogden. This was in 1974, between Grades three and four. We moved so my mom could be closer to her job at Maloney Steel, where she was a secretary, and, once again, we lived in Calgary Housing, which is subsidized housing in Calgary.

I lived on 26A Street and, just like Calgary Housing in Forest Lawn, kids pretty well had run of the place. You could go out any time of day and there would be 10 other kids to play with and, much like Forest Lawn, we had very little parental supervision and, therefore, we were like feral children raising each other.

26A Street was tucked below a hill we called South Hill. We called it South Hill because it was a hill and it sat on the South edge of Ogden.

There were a few kids on South Hill who earned the reputation as being tough but, tough or not, most of them loved to fight, and they especially liked to fight me, so I ended up fighting a lot of them.

I don’t know why they liked to fight. Maybe it was the Hells Angels Club House on South Hill that gave them a certain swagger, or maybe it was the drag racing facility a few kilometres to the South, which was called Shepard Raceway that got their engines revved up.

The Hells Angels Club House was an ugly concrete bunker surrounded by chain-link fencing with razor-wire on top. It looked sort of like a small prison. It usually looked abandoned but on the rare occasion I would walk by and see motorbikes parked inside the fencing.

Shepard Raceway didn’t have an oval but it had a quarter-mile drag strip. Many kids spent their Saturday nights at the raceway in the summer, and if you weren’t there you could at least hear the roar of engines echoing in the distance through the long summer night.

When I first moved to Ogden I was forced to fight two kids from South Hill. The first was Trevor. I didn’t even know Trevor and I have no idea what I did to piss him off but one warm, spring night I was in my bedroom on the second floor of our duplex when I heard a kid outside yelling at me to come out and fight.

I looked out my window and saw about 10 kids standing in my yard and they wouldn’t leave until I came out to fight. I went down and fought and beat Trevor up. Later he told people he lost because I cheated. He said he had key marks on his face, implying that I had a key between my knuckles, which I used as a weapon. The stupid crap kids come up with.

Anyway, my second fight was with another South Hiller. Kids tobogganed on the hill between my house and South Hill. A South Hill kid named Kenny started pushing me around at the bottom of the hill and we fought it out to a draw.

Both Trevor and Kenny were one year older than me, and we later became friends.

Kenny was a great guy. He was funny and I think he went on to become a trucker. 

One of the toughest kids in our neighbourhood was Blair. He was two years older than me and he lived on South Hill.

He never caused me any trouble because I steered clear of him and he barely took notice of me.

I remember one summer night me and two of my friends, Dean and Dean, were hanging out at the end of my street, I would have been about 14 at the time, when Blair drove past with a couple friends. There were these French teenagers playing Frisbee under the lights and when Blair drove by the Frisbee hit Blair’s car.

I didn’t think anything of it but about two minutes later Blair came walking up the street with his girlfriend and another friend of his.

Blair called out the toughest of the French kids, who seemed really eager to fight, and they both started to go at it. The French fellow was smaller than Blair and put up a pretty good fight until Blair put him in a head lock and ran his head into the grill of a car a few times. The French fellow crumpled to his knees and rested there in the fetal position. Blair then proceeded to boot him in the ribs a couple of times before walking away.

What attracted my attention as much as the fight was Blair’s girlfriend. It was one of the three Brown sisters who lived on my street. The sisters were goddesses and I didn’t know Blair was going out with one of them. I was sort of shocked and remember thinking he was the luckiest guy in the world.

I don’t know why, but the Brown sisters were rarely seen but when they were, it was as if the clouds opened and the angels began to sing.

I remember one time I saw the youngest Brown sister, the one Blair was going out with, come out of the store across from my Junior High School. When she walked by she said hi to me and I remember being struck with how the sun made her green eyes twinkle in the bright noontime sun. I wondered if she was human or some sort of alien sent to torment the men of the world.

Anyway, when I got back to school I told my friends I had just seen one of the Brown sisters but I don’t think they cared because I don’t know if they had ever seen any of them.

I figured the Brown sisters would be famous one day but I have no idea whatever became of them.

I think Shepard Raceway closed in the late 70’s, to be replaced by Race City, which had an oval.

The Hell’s Angels Club House might still be there, but I sort of remember hearing that it was shut down five or ten years ago.

Also, there was another South Hill kid I used to fight all the time. His name was Neil, and if I had a penny for every time we were sent to the office at school for fighting I’d be rich.

With all this said, I never considered myself much of a fighter. I won a lot of my fights but I also lost quite a few. I always figured that if you couldn’t beat me up then you weren’t that tough.

Here is a website with pictures from ShepardRaceway: 

http://www.dragracealberta.com/Calgary_Shepard.html

Here is Rolling Stone magazines Best Live Albums of AllTime: 

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/readers-poll-the-10-best-live-albums-of-all-time-20121121

It’s a travesty they don’t include Cheap Trick, Live at Budokan, or Ted Nugent, Double Live Gonzo.

Anyway, here’s Ted singing Free for All. I would have preferred Great White Buffalo but it has curse words in it.

http://youtu.be/jS7NIMbDnD4

All attachments will have to be cut an pasted. 

 

 

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  • sueb
    December 06, 2012 - 09:19

    D@mn straight, Cheap Trick Live at Budokan! Loved that album, still do. Great column.