Britain's ultimate live music fan

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Ray Morrissey has been to more than 5,000 live concerts.
Ray Morrissey is a rock fan. But not just any old rock fan. According to the BBC he is Britain's most prolific concert goer. In 35 years Ray Morrissey has been to more than 5,000 gigs. And he's critiqued every one of them in a long series of little notebooks which he has now put on his web site.


Ray Morrisey


Andrew Bowman

Comments [20]

Gary Gogel

How are you doing?
Sorry to be so late in answering, but I've been in FL dealng with family problems. Johns Rabun died Dec 17th 08 in Costa Rica and there's an online wake. Gogle his name to read, and drop me a line.

Feb. 26 2009 11:37 PM

Yes...late 70s...the ethereal vocals of Jon Anderson and the magical visuals of the band playing on stage In The Round...
I fell in LOVE with the band...their lyrics, sound, and artistry... the Yes concert experience is the ultimate!

Dec. 12 2008 04:08 PM

YES at Madison Square Garden, Feb 1974. I was 12! My folks, who were actually pretty strict and old fashioned as compared to my friends folks, let me travel into NYC from central NJ - on the train - with 5 or 6 friends. We were worthy of their trust, we didn't get into anything other than the music. The experience was just as big as the music was.

Dec. 11 2008 06:34 PM

My first concert was at the Academy of Music in Manhattan in 1971. It was also recorded as part of a live album of Johnny Winter and Rick Derringer. Edgar Winter joined them on stage. It was a Southern Rock/Goth/Glam show, black velvet and denim. I was 15 as were my classmates Larry and Paul. We took the LIRR from Long Island to Penn Station. I think this is the cab ride where the driver charged us individually. The venue later became the Palladium (I even performed there myself in a band and a fashion show), now NYU dorms. My dad used to go to the same location in Vaudeville days.

Dec. 11 2008 01:42 PM

I was a freshman in high school. It was the fall of 1981 a friend from my football squad had an extra ticket. That day I skipped practice and went to Shea stadium to see The Who and The Clash. We had field tickets, so there were no seats just an open field. We entered onto the field from a tunnel, The Clash were playing "London Calling"

Non the less I had to run extra laps when I returned to football practice the next day, but from that day forward I would never be the same.

Dec. 11 2008 01:12 PM
Travis Moore

I remember that you did like the Velvet Underground. I remember you sitting in a tent in Dumerston, Vt. furiously playing Lou Reed songs.

Dec. 11 2008 12:50 PM
Travis Moore

I think I saw some of those Zappa concerts with you, and the Doors, and the Jefferson Airplane. I remember you always did like the Underground.

Dec. 11 2008 12:46 PM

Blues Project, North Shore High School, Glen Head, NY, 1967. Don't know who was responsible for this enlightened booking(especially for those days on conservative Long Island), but it was a great show, with Al Kooper and Danny Kalb blazing away in the school auditorium. Simon & Garfunkel did a pre-fame gig there a few years earlier, which I'd missed, although I did manage to get to their NRBQ/Flock show, another wonder, in 1970.

Dec. 11 2008 10:46 AM

My first concert was the Osmond Brothers. I remember being very frustrated that I couldn't hear anything because so many girls were screaming. Having performed in lots of community theatre productions, I couldn't understand why anyone would behave like that at a performance.

A number of years ago, I took my daughter and her friend to a Britney Spears' concert and had the same experience.

Dec. 11 2008 09:43 AM

My poor mother - she took me to my first concert when I was 13... Poison and Tesla at the Meadowlands (in New Jersey, of course). She wore headphones the whole time while my best friend Amy and I rocked out. Thankfully my tastes have evolved since then!

Dec. 11 2008 09:42 AM

My first concert, that I remember, was Michael Jackson in 1988 at the Meadowlands during the Bad tour. I was 11 and it was a birthday gift from my dad. It was amazing!

Dec. 11 2008 09:40 AM
Karen on Long Island

My first concert was in the 50s in Fort Worth, TX. The draw was Ricky Nelson. I screamed throughout the whole show, could barely see his face, but was sure he was looking straight at me. The opening act was Anita Bryant, who, for those of you too young to remember, was a Miss America who became more famous for her rabid homophobia. Ironically, after the show, my friends and I found ourselves surrounding her to protect her from autograph seekers who were pressing her against a wall. A truly memorable event from over 50 years ago

Dec. 11 2008 09:29 AM

Woodstock. Yeah, Woodstock. I was 18, and honestly I don’t remember if it was the first concert I went to, but it's the first one that stuck in my head. I wasn’t at Live Aid, but with all due respect to Ray, I’d nominate Woodstock’s Saturday night show. As I recall – and this is all from memory, so don’t hold me to it – the night was led off by Canned Heat, followed by the Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Mountain, Sly and the Family Stone, the Who, and Jefferson Airplane. It was Sly who got us jumpin’. Then there was Abbie Hoffman, stoned on acid, taking the mic to tell us about John Sinclair, and Pete Townsend batting him in the head with his guitar. And Grace Slick and Janis jamming at dawn. And it didn’t rain.

Dec. 11 2008 09:17 AM

I was 12 in 1977 when my parents took us to see Captain and Tennille from the last row of the grandstand in Syracuse at the NYS Fair. It rained and we were about 2 miles from the stage. Thankfully, I moved on and saw some amazingly great shows in college, REM and The Clash standing out above many.

Dec. 11 2008 09:09 AM

I was 11 when I saw my first concert in 1976: Elvis Presley, at the Columbus, Ohio stop of his last concert tour. I remember Elvis singing "Polk Salad Annie" with a sweat-rag tied babushka-style around his head. My mother boosted me up to stand in my seat so that I could see and then made her way to the front so she could have a better view of Elvis...

Dec. 11 2008 08:46 AM

My first concert was Electric Light Orchestra, with Wishbone Ash and Journey (pre-Steve Perry) opening, 1975 at the Capital Centre (or whatever it was called then) in Wash DC. The opening bands showed more of what Rock was all about than ELO, of course. But ELO had quite a show. And one couldn't help getting a little high just breathing in there :)

Dec. 11 2008 08:41 AM

My first concert was PiL at the UMASS Amherst concert hall in 1988. Johnny Rotten was drinking vodka from a giant bottle and half way through the show, threw up on the crowd. I was totally freaked out by the number of frat boys who had come-- I thought I was going to a punk mecca.

Dec. 11 2008 08:13 AM

My first concert was the Grateful Dead back in the 70's. It cost $4 and they played for 4 hours. I am not sure you can get that kind of value for your dollar now!

Dec. 11 2008 07:36 AM

I had box seats to a Richard Marx show in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the time, it was amazing - I was with 10 other friends and we screamed our heads off the entire time. Do you remember "Right Here Waiting"?

My musical taste has changed considerably but I like having that as my first taste of live music.

Dec. 11 2008 07:02 AM
Gary Gogel

My first real rock show was a small outdoor festival north of Miami Florida in 1968. The headliners were Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention and the Jimi Hendrix Experience. It was an astonishing show but the music of that period that made me a true rock fan was the Velvet Underground.

Dec. 11 2008 06:45 AM

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