Thursday, December 29, 2011


I had always thought that the biggest hairiest baddest lookin’ dude on the stage had to be the bass player. Whenever I looked at album covers, I could always spot the bass player. Like Geezer Butler for Sabbath or Felix Papparlardi for Mountain, I thought I could pick them out based on their hair, their sheer size and the mean scowl on their face.

But then I went to Moody Auditorium on the SMU Campus September 15, 1974. That was the night Gary Thain, the bass player for Uriah Heep, got electrocuted.
It was in the middle of either July Morning or Sweet Lorraine. Of course, we were there to hear "Stealin'", but we had to settle for listening to it on 8-Track going home.
Uriah Heep hadn't been onstage very long, just a few songs.
We didn't see any sparks or nuthin, just all of a sudden the stage lights flickered and the music stopped. Then crowd murmurs and the house lights came on and the show was over.
The Heep were supposed to come back someday, but I don't think they ever did....not that decade, and sadly, not with Gary Thain.

But the opener, Suzie Quatro, she stole the show.
We had gone to see Uriah Heep, but ran head-on into Suzie Quatro.
Suzie played bass. She was the biggest meanest hairiest person in the building that night.
Between songs, she would raise her right hand and give us the bird, and holler out "Fuck you’se Dallas!”. I’ve never seen that kind of animosity between a crowd and an audience, except maybe the night Leslie West crushed the first two rows at Texas Hall.

Susie says:
"Eat me raw through a Flav-R-Straw"


AnitaNH said...

I played this Mountain album practically to death back in high school:
Thanks for reminding me today.

bulletholes said...

i had that album too. And it took a while, but eventually I came to really appreciate "Theme for an Imaginary Western". its a greast song. I find myself humming it from time to time.
Hi Nita!

Peteski said...

I saw Mountain at Kean College. It was their last show (I think). We caught West coming out of the limo - my friend asked him,
"How are you going to play?"
He shot back,
"Like shit"

bulletholes said...

Peteski, I never saw Mountain, but I did see Leslie West at Texas Hall, the auditorium of the University of Texas @ Arlington. He was unbelievable.
I've been to Texas Hall 3 times-- Leslie West, Nektar and Dick Gregory-- though not in that order.

goatman said...

We saw Hendrix once dragging his tired ass through now-known songs, on tour.
Shortly after he checked out!