I saw Fugazi when I was 13, Dead Moon multiple times back when there would be only 20 people in the audience, and countless other bands that when I look back on it I feel lucky that I was so into music and got to see so many shows before the world ended.
Best show I ever saw though was back in 2008 at the grand opening of Galpin Auto Sports. My girlfriend (now my wife) had some kinda press invite and since we heard there would be free food and drinks and they would be unveiling some new cars as well as some famous picture cars like the Batmobile and shit like that, we decided we’d cruise and schmooze. One of the best things about L.A. is sometimes you get to go to weird-ass parties where you don’t know anyone and eat up a bunch of free sushi. Anyway slated to perform was Camp Freddy which I guess is like a cover band with Dave Navarro and some other guys. We hung out and looked at some cars and talked to random people and ate and drank our way around the facilities. Camp Freddy ended up going on around 10 which is pretty late on a Wednesday in L.A. and by the time they hit the stage the crowd had dwindled to about 50 people. They come out, do their thing and it’s fine ya know and they play songs like “You Really Got Me” and some other hits. Then Steve Stevens comes out and they do “Rebel Yell.” I’ve always loved that song and we’re pretty drunk by this time and its kinda like watching really good karaoke. Then Mark Mcgrath comes out and we start to laugh cause it’s Mark McGrath and he does some shit I can’t remember buy I’m reminded of that video where the kid yells “Sugar Gay” and Mark tries to fight him.
Now Macy Gray appears onstage and she sings “7 Nation Army” by The White Stripes, the absurdity of L.A. and the free drinks are really starting to kick in and I’m kinda laughing at the whole thing as I look around and the crowd is getting smaller. Then, Slash comes out with Cypress Hill and they do “Rock Superstar” which isn’t my favorite song but I love Cypress Hill cause back in high school they were like the ultimate crossover hip-hop weed smoking band. And then Steve Jones comes out and they do like “Anarchy in the U.K.” At least that’s the version of this story I tell myself. Steve Jones is wearing a hoodie and has his back to the audience and you wouldn’t even know it’s him but I know it’s him cause I’m a rock & roll aficionado and plus he and I were on Marc Maron’s podcast together.
Then Ozzy comes out! Holy shit! The Prince of Darkness himself is there like 5 feet in front of me and there’s hardly anyone there at this point and they all blast into “Crazy Train!” I’m laughing so hard at this point that tears are running down my face. Some of these guys are childhood heroes of mine so half of my brain is really digging this and the other half is thinking about all the shit gigs I’ve played to 20 people or less. These thoughts, mixed with the free sushi and the booze and Ozzy Osbourne singing “Paranoid” with Slash on guitar, and my future wife and I dancing together 5 feet from them combined to be The Best Gig I ever saw!
Oh yeah, here’s the proof too: