It was not just regulation Oregon mist, by the time we got to the venue, a natural amphitheater at the Oregon Zoo, the husband & I were greeted with the heavens opening up & the sheets of wet water drenched the 3800 concertgoers.
The crowd wrapped in plastic or covered with plastic, danced & sang along as the world’s best party band put on a terrific show. The Husband & I found a perfect spot, passed over by others for the lawn or the mosh pit. We stood under a large tree that mostly kept us dry, on a terrace above the majority of the audience. We enjoyed a clear view of the stage with all the umbrellas 10 feet below us.
In 1979, The Husband & I used to dance until closing, at Spokane’s only gay bar. When the B-52s were played we would sing along & dance with extra ardor. I have never stopped listening to this fun band in 33 years of dancing.
When the B-52s finished an extended version of Rock Lobster, their final encore, the rain stopped in an instant, of course.
We were invited backstage. Band member- Keith Strickland, who is my age, is super cute, lean & charming. He appears to be 2 decades younger.
Fred Schneider was enigmatic yet charismatic. He was just a week shy of his 61st birthday.
Schneider has released 2 solo albums, but neither of these albums were as successful as any of the albums created by The B-52's.
He is known for his quirky sprechgesang & distinctive swish. The B-52's were formed by Cindy Wilson & my good close personal friend- Kate Pierson with drummer Keith Strickland, guitarist Ricky Wilson (Cindy's older brother) & vocalist Schneider after a drunken night at a Chinese restaurant.
Late 1970s & through the mid-1980s, several nights a week were spent on the dance floor. I loved swallowing a Quaalude & dancing to the combination of dance & surf music of The B-52s. The band made a real impression with their singles Rock Lobster, Private Idaho & Planet Claire from their debut album in 1979. Wild Planet followed in 1980, followed by Whammy! in 1983.
In October 1985, the band members were devastated by the death of guitarist Ricky Wilson, from what was originally reported to be cancer, but was later revealed to be AIDS. The band's album Bouncing Off The Satellites (1986) was not a success, & the band went into hiatus. The B-52's returned in 1989 with the album Cosmic Thing, their biggest success, giving us the international hit- Love Shack.
Original members Schneider, Kate Pierson & Keith Strickland are all openly gay. Fred Schneider turns 61years old today.
I surmise that Debbie & Fred know each other. I sure would like to have them over for cocktails in the Boy’s Fort. That would be a kicky evening! It is 2012 & this summer Blondie & the B-52s will be playing a handful of shows together. How cool is that?
Here is a shot of me with my good close personal friend, the B-52s’ Kate Pierson. At 64 years old, she is still stunning & sassy & she can still shimmy like no other. It was a special night for the Post Apocalyptic Bohemian. Thank you to my blogger buddy- David of Domani Dave for helping make that memorable evening happen.