I think it was early 1974 when ZZ Top played in Niagara Falls. My hearing has never been the same after I found myself with my head in one of the speakers.
I just realized when this was. I had just moved to San Diego in late '73, and then remember it wasn't that long before I saw that ZZ Top was playing in some club, I don't remember the name...somewhere near the PCH. They must have been on a tour, and you saw them in Niagara.
I took my new first wife to see them, and remember thinking "Wow, they're touring now. I have seen these guys playing school dances and teen clubs in Houston. Home town boys are doing GOOD!"..
Little did I know just how good they were gonna do.
Yes, ZZ Top was not that well known then and this may have been their first big tour. I think they had had some hits which must have paid for the sound system. The sound was cleaner than I'd ever heard before at a concert. I was reviewing the concert for a Buffalo alternative newspaper. The concert was at the fairly new Niagara Falls Convention Center. The Convention Center was part of an urban renewal project that was supposed to save the NY town and it didn't.
They sounded great and have been playing just about the same thing ever since. I still like it. They did contribute to midrange hearing loss, something many of us who had headphones then or put their heads in the speakers, have learned about as we "matured".
cool stuff. I grew up with a lot of Chet Atkins music in my parents house. But then there was also Boots Randolph, Herb Alpert, Jimmy Reed, and Willie, too.
Seeing Atkins and Jerry Reed made me think of other pickers who were pretty good and also had a lot of mainstream commercial success. I mean, just because someone had their own television shows doesn't detract from their talent.