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Concert Stories



Michal Leach

(My Daughter)



My First Concert


       I was seven years old when I went to my first Rock and Roll concert. I was very

excited because I got to stay up late. The name of the band was Toilet Boys and the

drummer, Eddy, had put our names on the guest list. My dad knew all of the band

members because he had taken many pictures of them for their album covers.

My mom had given me earplugs in case it got too loud for me.


       When we got to the club, Continental, our hands were stamped after they made sure

that our names were on the list. And the bouncer than told my dad jokingly that I couldn’t

drink. Another band was just finishing up as we were making our way towards the stage.

That was really hard to do because it was really crowded and I was so little that it seemed

like the whole state of Texas was there.


       We were right in front of the stage when the band went on stage. When they started

playing I put on my earplugs because I thought it was going to be too loud but after a few

minutes I took them out. It wasn’t that loud because I stood right in front of the singer.

The club was loud and alive with music and people and it was really amazing. On stage

the band was doing some really freaky things; like the guitar player had fire coming out

at the end of his guitar and he was also blowing fire out of his mouth, using the end of his

guitar to light it. He blew it so big that the ceiling caught fire but the people at the club

were prepared and put out the fire with fire extinguishers right away. Everybody in the

club was coughing a bit but the band kept on playing. They had never stopped.


       I got home at almost two o’clock in the morning and this is my memory of my first

Rock and Roll concert.



The Led Zeppelin Story


The Led Zeppelin Story

 I found out my wrist was fractured four days before the concert.

November 1975, Zeppelin was playing a Monday and a Friday show, I had tickets for Monday. Sitting in the doctors office after my x-ray the doc says "Son, we're gonna' have to immobilize that arm for three months". Cast over my fingers and all the way up to my shoulder. I thought about it for a minute then held my arm up in front of my face like I was holding my camera, then held it like that for two hours while they put the cast on me. Verdict: I can hold my camera, but can't really use my cast arm for much else.

 Monday six a.m., it's raining (Seattle) and I'm getting my gear ready to go. Skip school, check. Camera and all the film I could buy with after school job money, check. Grab a plastic milk box from behind the Dairy Queen on the way to the bus stop, check. Get to the Coliseum about eight a.m., twenty or so people have spent the night under the eaves of the building to stay out of the rain but no one is on line cause it's out in the rain. Walk up to the tape line that marks the beginning of the line and plop down my milk box and have a seat. I can hear people moaning and groaning because now they have to get up and go stand in the rain because of "that fuckin' guy". Ended up being friends with many of the people that I met on line that day. Hardcore line sitters are a tight group and I saw them at many shows that I attended after that day.

Rained until lunchtime stayed grey the rest of the day. As it got later, the crowd got more and more anxious. Six p.m. the doors open, I run up to the first cop I see "what's in the bag" he says. Before I can answer, the crowd gives a shove and I'm ten feet inside the building already. Start running like hell for the stage, trip, tuck in my camera, land on my cast (which cracks), come up still running, did'nt miss a step. Get to the railing in front of the stage, park myself stage left in front of some equipment (someone must be standing there). After what seems like hours the lights go down. Get my camera ready, guess at the focus and f-stop "ladies and gentlemen led zeppelin", pow, the lights go up and there is Jimmy Page arms folded, bowing to the crowd and looking directly into my camera. Click.

Awesome night, awesome show, pretty sure they played for at least two hours. Played most of Physical Graffitti and plenty of older stuff. Some of the crowd even started blocking for me so I could take shots without getting crushed.

Rating: 10 out of 10

The Public Image Story



1982 Public Image was finally coming to town!  Never got to see the Pistols tour, they self destructed in San Francisco before I had a chance.

I knew Terry the promoter for the upcoming show at the Showbox so finagled my way into a pass of sorts. He told me he still has the prints I gave him when we spoke recently.

Day of the show I showed up in the afternoon and just walked in the front door, no one stopped me or asked who the hell I was or anything which I still think was odd, stuck around for the sound check, half an hour before they opened the doors I found a good spot in front of the stage and waited.  

When they opened the doors a thousand punk rockers came flying right at me, funny sight that. I got a lot of “how the fuck did you get here so fast” from a number of my friends, I just shrugged and said I run fast.

X-15 opened, did a hot set, waited for what seemed like forever, then Public Image comes out. First thing Johnny eyeballs me and walks straight over to me and takes my camera away. To this day I can’t remember what I was thinking most, “shit, Johnny Rotten is going to bash me over the head with my own camera”, or “alright!, Johnny Rotten is going to bash me over my head with my own camera”. Anyway, he’s looking at my camera and turning it over in his hands when he hears shouting coming from behind him , turns and there is Terry the promoter and I guess Public Image’s road manager  waving and yelling “no Johnny it’s O.K” and a few other things. Eventually they impart to him in sign language that A: I can take photos, and B: that I will not use my flash during the show, and C: don’t bash that guy and give him back his camera.  Johnny looks pissed but gives me back my camera, wags his finger in my face and proceeds to ignore me the rest of the show. You can tell when the performer is going out of their way to make sure that you don’t get a proper shot. Hell I didn’t care, I was just happy to be there. So I worked around it.

Just when the band got ready to start I heard a commotion to my left and turned in time to see a very agitated photographer being escorted to the door. It was that girl from the Rocket who was always slagging off my work. I don’t know what felt better, knowing that I was the only one allowed to shoot the show, or watching her get tossed.

Long story short, great show, took a mess of shots that I am VERY happy with. By the way, I’m totally redoing the Public Image gallery in the spring. Check back then.

One more thing that’s kind of about this concert. I did a gallery show of my work about a year later at the Roscoe Louie gallery (that’s a whole story on its own, believe me) and one of the prints I chose to hang was of some punkette onstage with Johnny singing. Instead of contacting me, she sicced her Bellevue lawyer on me “you must do this, and cease this”  and by the way give us a print. I was so pissed I went straight to the gallery and cut her face out of the print and replaced it with a sign “your face here”. I know I mailed it to her with a comment about how this print will never exist in any other form, Fuck You, and some other not so nice comments about punks from Bellevue. Never heard another word about it either. So, when you see the image in the Public Image photo gallery in the spring it will make sense somehow.