All artists had to start somewhere, whether it be at a bar or restaurant, or even on a street corner, chances are you’ve probably seen a band or musician perform before they hit it big. Several years ago I saw Eric Hutchinson open for a local musician in San Diego and it would be another few years after that he would release his debut hit, “Rock and Roll.” In this post we will learn about the venues and first gig details of some of your favorite bands and shine a little light on them before they were stars.
It has been often told that The Beatles played their first show at the Cavern in Liverpool. Formerly known as The Quarrymen, the band then consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Stuart Sutcliffe, and original drummer Pete Best. The truth is they debuted in Hamburg, Germany where they held a 48 night residency that consisted of four to six hour long sets. The five your men had to crowd together on the small stage while neighbors made noise complaints. Their first performance took place in 1960 and the Cavern performance happened after Sutcliffe left and shortly before Best left.
The club that first hosted alternative punk band, The Pixies probably inspired their hit “Where Is My Mind?” when the club mistakenly billed them as ‘The Puxies.’ Being in their home town of Boston, support came mostly from close family and friends. The popular band debuted in 1986, just two years before the release of their most famous song. It’s safe to say that The Pixies will never be accidentally referred to as The Puxies again.
AC/DC is known for creating music that is meant to be turned up, but that wasn’t appreciated by the older club manager who booked the rock band for their first act in Sydney, Australia. Although it was New Years Eve 1973, that didn’t mean anything to the manager. It is said that he disconnected power to the band’s equipment several times, trying to make a point about the loud ruckus. The old man’s frustration didn’t keep AC/DC from becoming one of the most successful bands of all time.
Many artists had to weather the storm of pre-fame and rejection, but it did not keep them from pushing on and doing what they loved. Whether they were living off bread or sleeping in cars, they didn’t get where they are today without a little struggle. After all, its the struggle that inspires most successful people to keep from giving up.