A Concert My Dad Probably Never Forgot …
I went to see The Outlaws in September of 1978 at the Lenox Music Inn, which is actually in Stockbridge, Ma. I drove down from North Adams with a high school buddy named Pete Fields. I have no idea what happened to Pete. I haven’t seen him since I got out of the Army in 1983 and made a “nostalgia run” to North Adams, MA from Clinton, TN.
Green Grass and High Tides
The Lenox Music Inn is, or at least was at that time, an outdoor venue. I haven’t been there in over 40 years. I remember it as being essentially a huge field with a stage set in a corner. We drove down there in the old International Harvester Scout II I’d learned to drive on. This particular Scout was a two-wheel-drive model. This has a bearing on this story, so keep reading. I recall it being a trip of a couple of hours or so.
There Goes Another Love Song
Pete and I got there and found ourselves in line to park. We followed the instructions of the parking attendants and parked where directed. This was also in a field. Then we made our way to where the stage was set up and waited for the concert to begin.
During the concert, it started to pour … and I do mean, pour. The stage had a canopy over it, but it did not seem to be helping that much. Hughie Thomasson came to the microphone and said, “Well, shit! So, we can go home or throw some tarps over the amps and keep on playing.
The crowd roared, “Play!!”
Hughie Thomasson said something, like … “Well, all right!!”
They threw some tarps over the amps … and The Outlaws played on. Everyone got soaked. People were huddled under whatever they could find. Some folk had the foresight to bring rain gear. Many, including Pete and I, had not. But, we were having a blast anyway and enjoying the concert. The music was great. We thought it was really cool at the time.
After the concert, we got ready to leave. The entire parking lot was a mud hole! Everyone, and I mean, everyone was stuck in the mud. Some enterprising young man with a four-wheel-drive Jeep was dragging people out to the paved road for $50 a pop. Pete and I did not have $50 between us. So, I locked up the Scout, and we hitch-hiked back to North Adams.
It was probably kind of small of me, but as Pete and I left, I noticed the kid with the Jeep had blown his engine up towing so many people out of the mud. There was smoke boiling out from under the hood. I must admit I grinned a bit at that. Served the SOB right for taking advantage of everyone! $50 buck was a lot of money for a tow back then, especially a few hundred feet. Anyway, I am sure he made enough to get the Jeep’s engine rebuilt.
(Ghost) Riders in the Sky
I don’t remember what time we got back to North Adams. Parents were upset. My dad was angry because we’d left the Scout in Lenox (well … Stockbridge), and we had to go down and get it the next day. When we got there, someone had broken out a window and stolen the $20 Krako 8-Track player Id mounted under the dash. Other than that, all was well. It had dried enough that we were able to get the Scout out of the field and onto the paved road, and I followed my dad home.
Once An Outlaw
The Outlaws are an American southern rock band best known for their 1975 hit “There Goes Another Love Song” and the extended guitar jam “Green Grass and High Tides” from their 1975 debut album. They are also well remembered for their 1980 cover of the Stan Jones classic “(Ghost) Riders in the Sky”.
While The Outlaws are generally considered Southern rock, there are distinct differences in their approach and influences. The Outlaw’s primary similarity to other Southern rock bands is the dual lead guitar interplay, a defining characteristic of many Southern rock bands. However, the Outlaws’ mix of country and rock elements displays the vocal harmony influences of groups like Buffalo Springfield, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and The Eagles. Their use of three and four-part harmonies set them apart from their Southern Rock contemporaries, which usually relied on a single lead vocalist.
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2 thoughts on “Tunes for Tuesday: Ghost Riders?”
Our son and his buddy went to a Christian rock concert in Illinois, first time they’d been on a trip like that, and got caught in flooding. Even the Mississippi was flooding. I’d forgotten about that!
Ah! Such memories … and parental angst!