The 1980s were a pretty dark time in Oklahoma City history. In fact, I think the only positive thing to happen to our city during that entire decade was Huey Lewis and The News name dropping us – and about half of all other American cities – in his 1984 classic “Heart of Rock and Roll.”
You know how it goes…
“Tulsa, Austin, Oklahoma City… Seattle, San Francisco, too.”
As a result of that act of charity, Huey Lewis had the red carpet rolled out for him when he performed at Zoo Amphitheater on a Saturday night in May of 1984. In fact, OKC fans were so pumped and excited to see the legendary frontman that they disrespected his opening act – the late, great and legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Check out this Facebook post that Huey shared earlier this week:
For giggles, I decided to search through The Oklahoman’s archives to see if they had any write-up about the show, and they actually did! Check out this concert review written by Gene Triplett. He actually notes the poor treatment Steve Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble received from the crowd:
Huey showed exquisite musical taste in choosing guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan as his opening act.
“Hot dog!” said Huey of his guest performer. “We’re gonna’ play about 10 dates together. We asked for Stevie specifically. I’m a big fan of his. He’s my favorite cat right now.”
Unfortunately, the majority of the crowd didn’t share Lewis’ enthusiasm for the young rock-bluesman from Texas…
His scrambling, incredibly articulate riffs and solos recalled all the gifted blues-rock heroes of a bygone era (Hendrix, Michael Bloomfield, the heydays of Johnny Winter and Eric Clapton), but few people seemed to care and he wasn’t called back for an encore.
Much of the crowd seemed more concerned with the long lines at the beer taps. And those lines were lengthy indeed, since a new rule bans ice chests or plastic containers of booze brought from home. It seemed the concessionaires failed to anticipate the increased demand for alcohol, and the thirstier members of the audience were forced to do a lot of waiting.
Say what you want about Oklahoma City’s music culture. It’s not the greatest and is many notches below the scene in places like Tulsa and Austin, but we sure are good at being dicks to musicians! I think we booed the Smashing Pumpkins off the stage when they opened for Guns N Roses in the 1990s, and who can forget the very-deserved treatment we gave Staind frontman Aaron Lewis just last year. Concert goers were braving long beer lines during that one, too.
Anyway, if you were at the concert, I guess share your memories in the comments.