I want to see Pat Travers this weekend, but I can’t.
Sure, I could probably whine to my wife and have her watch the kids solo, but then you have to prioritize the other factors. In this case, Traverse is playing at a biker rally about an hour away.
I’m not saying that I’d get into a rumble, I’m just saying it’s a biker rally. Since I don’t drink and I don’t ride a motorcycle, it wouldn’t be the best environment for me.
The other aspect is the venue-which I’m sure isn’t really a venue like you’d visualize-but it’s probably some biker’s farm land where he’s gotten a few grand invested in a stage, generator, and whatever is on the rider for Pat Travers’ contract. With the recent rain we’ve had, that field is probably a muddy mess
So I’ll stay home tonight, letting another artist that’s burned a hole in my past slip by.
All of this leads me to another artist-one that really didn’t have much of an impact with me years ago-but now I’m enjoying at least one track from them immensely. Get ready to dish out some southern-fried ridicule, because that band is the Outlaws.
How did I make the leap from Pat Travers to the Outlaws? Well, one was a fixture in that important middle school period of musical development while the other was around during that same time, but I chose not to pay attention to them.
Or maybe I did, to some extent, and I just didn’t realize who they were.
The song “Green Grass and High Tides” has been swimming around in my head for the last few years, the result of catching the song on a classic rot radio station and wondering “Who’s this?” I caught it in the middle, during the song’s extended guitar solo which just destroys. I mean, it’s up there with “Freebird” if you ask me, but without the radio burn.
I snagged it along with a couple other classic rock staples while I was parusing the internet.
Then it occurred to me: I’d seen the Outlaws live in concert at the age of 13.
In fact, The Outlaws were part of the package on my very first concert ever. That concert-part of an awesome festival that used to take place at the state fairgrounds-was called the Iowa Jam. The name was lifted from the legendary California Jam, except it wasn’t in California and it was held at the same place where later on in the summer they would do butter sculptures and judge livestock.
On that particular year, the Iowa Jam featured The Outlaws, UFO, 38 Special, and April Wine. Many of you may be scratching your head now, but this line-up would be considered hot shit for the day. UFO and The Outlaws were on their way down, but April Wine just scored a hit with “Just Between You And Me” and 38 Special finally took off with “Hold On Loosely.”
With that being said, this was the last Iowa Jam as the crowd was not as big as they needed it to be to stay profitable.
I knew nothing about the Outlaws back then. Their logo looked too country for me and I vaguely remember them being a hairy bunch.
But now as I become familiar with “Green Grass And High Tides” and its nine plus minutes of southern rock noodling, I wish I would have paid attention the first time around.
Here's a video of the song from the same tour that I saw them in.
There's a part two to this video as well, but I'll leave it to you to seek it out if you're all jacked up on Billy Beer and so inclined to view it.