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40 Years Ago Today (3/25) New World Tour

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On this day in 1983, 3 college buddies and myself set out from Cullowhee, NC towards Charlotte in a 1967 Rambler to see Rush, some of us for the first time.  We stopped off in my hometown and picked up my then still in high school little brother.  Tickets were $12.50.  I'm pretty sure that we bought them in advance but its been a long time.


Our excitement built as we waited in the parking lot outside the Coliseum (the old one on Independence Blvd.)  We could hear sound check and could not wait to get inside.  It was "festival seating" then and when the venue doors opened, there was quite the crush to get in.  I had a brief sense of fear as we were pushed along, remembering that The Who concert tragedy in Cincinnati had only been about 3 1/2 years prior.  Things settled down the further we moved down the concourse and we took seats in the lower level about where mid-court would have been for a basketball game.


Jon Butcher Axis was the opening act and we all concurred that he was a sort of Jimi Hendrix wannabe.  My little brother was actually familiar with him and would later turn me on to his 1984 album, Stare At The Sun.


Well, the show was great.   We all freaked out when Geddy sang "one likes to believe in the freedom of baseball" .  Being poor starving college kids, not knowing where our next beer might come from, I don't think any of us actually bought anything at the show.  All I have to show for it is my ticket stub and some articles downloaded from The Charlotte Observer years later.  My brother remembers buying a t-shirt that he says lasted until he was stationed at Hurlburt Field, Fla. (USAF).  The only camera I had then was a Nikon 35 mm that I wasn't about to lug around all day and night so there are no photos.  I did download the concert bootleg a few years ago off of Dime.  It is quite muffled and isn't quite complete but its better than nothing at all and it took me back to that evening the first time I listened to it.


Sadly I've lost touch with two of these friends.  I did purchase some SIgnals 40th anniversary t-shirts a couple of weeks ago and sent one each to the remaining friend and my brother.  This morning I wear it proudly and remember.  




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