A ripping New Years Eve concert from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers taped in Santa Monica, CA in 1978.
My first ever concert was seeing Tom Petty on April 19, 1977 in Wheeling, WV when I was eleven years old. The Heartbreakers—who were in the charts at the time with their second album and the “I Need to Know” single (which I thought was the greatest song ever recorded except for “Live and Let Die”)—were the opening act for the Doobie Brothers, who I just hated. Tickets were like $4.
Speaking of doobies, this occasion also marked the very first time I smoked weed. My friend and I were so stoned that we went to the area behind the stage—where no one was sitting as the area was roped off—and fell asleep. Yes, sound asleep at a loud rock concert in a hockey arena! The trouble was, during the Doobie’s set, during the obligatory big 70s drum solo, the drummer did this thing with an electrified gong that he touched with a “magic sword” that caused massive electrical bolts and sparks to fly out of it (out of the gong).
This was a hell of a way to wake up out of a stupor, believe me. It was obvious after the fact why that section had been cordoned off. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were amazing, though!