Featured Guest is where I interview cool people I have crossed paths with from artists, musicians, actors and more. Guitar supermaster Tim Murray sat down with us to discuss some of his favorite classic rock band shows. It was really interesting to see his collection of tickets of concerts from the 1960’s onward (Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Allman Brothers, etc.) and listen to his memories of favorite shows. Tim is my dear old friend and has rocked guitar in my band at live shows and studio sessions. He is the owner of The Guitar Workshop in Charlotte, North Carolina. If you are looking for a guitar instructor look no further, Tim and company are the best you could ask for. Tim just lives for music, and never ceases to amaze me with his playing and ethereal understanding of the craft. The Way Back machine begins as he took us back to March 3, 1968 with none other than the late, great James Marshall Hendrix.
JIMI HENDRIX (March 3rd, 1968 Columbus OH. Notice the misspelling on ticket “Jim, Hendrick” which he bought from Sears. Ticket cost was $3.00)
“Two concerts I saw that are the most important to me. 1968 Here is my ticket for a Jimi Hendrix concert. I love the way they spelled Jimi Hendrix by the lady who filled it out. I also love the fact that it only cost three dollars. Three dollars to see Jimi Hendrix. That was in March of that year. In May of that year was, again the way she filled it out was ‘The Cremes’. I had two tickets for Cream it was six dollars. Those were the two concerts I saw before I came to Charlotte. That was in Columbus, Ohio at the Veterans Memorial. At the Hendrix concert Soft Machine opened up for him and in Columbus there was a local band called the Four O’Clock Balloon. Then I moved down south to Charlotte. The first concert I went to in Charlotte was Charlotte Coliseum Jazz Festival was June 28, 1968. Whats important about this was that the acts that day were Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention. In 1970 I went to the Atlanta Pop Festival, there was Ten Years After, Hendrix, Procol Harem, Poco, Mountain, BB King, Ritchie Havens, John Sebastian, Chambers Brothers, Allman Brothers, Johnny Winter, It’s a Beautiful Day, Grand Funk, Spirit, Hampton Grease Band and others. It was three days, three days for fourteen dollars. Jimi Hendrix did the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ on July 4th. Then there was November 16th 1972, Elton John in concert. Poco and JJ Cale in July of ’72. Hot Tuna, Taj Mahal,The Byrds, Mark Alman and Sea Train April 15, 1972, that was up in Duke, ’72.”
LED ZEPPELIN (June 9, 1972 Charlotte Coliseum)
“I saw Led Zeppelin twice, on Led Zeppelin 2 and Led Zeppelin 3. The first time I saw them they were doing LZ 2, I don’t have the ticket stub for that one but I found the advertisement for it on the internet recently. But they weren’t the big band they later became they were just starting. The first time I saw Zeppelin was in ’72. It was very good, it was a very small stripped down stage. The second time they came out and did "Stairway to Heaven" before it was released."
“Actually out of that group the Jeff Beck group was my more favorite one that broke off from the Yardbirds. Jeff Beck is still the man. I wish I had my Jeff Beck tickets. I saw him play in the Jeff Beck Jan Hammer band at the Park Center and then I saw the Beck, Bogert and Appice at the Park Center. Jeff Beck is a seventy year old wiz.”
THE FACES, ROD STEWART, FREE
"Rod was very fun. That’s why I liked Rod so much. I saw them twice with Ron Wood when Ron was still in the band and... fun. Had a great time, good rock n roll. Had a great audience rapport. The first time I saw them Free opened up for them and that was Paul Rogers, you can’t beat that.”
LAMAR WILLIAMS AND THE FUNGUS BLUES BAND
“In the Allman Brothers after Barry died there was a bass player named Lamar Williams who took his place. This was the band Lamar was in in Charlotte. It was called the Fungus Blues Band. The trumpet player in the band was one of my school mates, a guy named Stanley Graham. Stanley used to let me sit in with his band when Lamar would be playing bass so I played guitar with the bass player from the Allman Brothers (laughs). “
So you were at the Skynyrd show in Charlotte, NC at the old coliseum when Ronnie fell off the stage?
“I must have thrown that ticket away (laughs), they got maybe a song and a half into the set and he was drunk and fell off the stage and broke his collarbone. They came out and did ‘Freebird’ for about 20 minutes. The Marshall Tucker band was semi friends of mine, they were from Spartanburg, South Carolina and I worked at a music store off Freedom drive. I interviewed Toy Caldwell back then so when I saw them with Skynyrd they were still called the Toy Factory. After they did that they got their record deal and became the Marshall Tucker band. But Ronnie fell off and broke his collar bone and they had to take him away to the hospital that night.”
WHICH ONES INSPIRED YOU THE MOST AS A MUSICIAN?
“All the guitarists, every one of them has something to offer. The Dixie Dregs was probably the best band I had ever seen. Just how tight they were and just the musicianship of the band. Mahavishnu Orchestra, the first time I saw them play. They opened up for the New York Rock Ensemble down in Columbia South Carolina. I was standing on the side of the stage watching them play and that was overwhelming the power that band played. John Mcglaughlin is still to this day probably, I don’t know, I keep saying he is the best guitar player I have ever seen but technique wise nobody can touch that he knows when to play quiet and he knows when to play just with intensity. He makes his guitar talk like nobody I have ever seen. He and Tom Emmanuel are probably the two best guitarists I have ever seen in terms of technique.”
(The Who August 12th, 1997 Blockbuster Pavilion Charlotte,NC)
IF YOU COULD GO BACK TO ANY ONE OF THESE SHOWS AND GET TO SEE IT AGAIN WHCH ONE YOU PICK?
“(Laughs) The one I would pick would probably by the Who. The first time I saw the Who I had to leave before it was over for various reasons. That was with Keith Moon on drums. The second time I saw the Who watching Pete Townsend play guitar brought tears to my eyes he was so good. It was such wonderful music. I could say Cream, Hendrix, Zeppelin, The Stones, The Who, I don’t know. I’ve always wished I’d seen Queen. I would have loved to see Queen. I never saw Jefferson Airplane. I would have loved to see them play. I saw Chet Atkins and Les Paul play a duet show. I never saw Sabbath. I saw the Scorpions, Dio and Deep Purple on one tour. I saw Jake E. Lee in California at the Namm Jam. “
HALL AND OATS MEMORIES:
“When I was with Rick Bowles Tommy Wolk was our bass player on our album and he was T-Bone in the Hall and Oats band. In 1983 I hung out with them and they were very nice. John Oats was kind of distant and didn’t talk much but Darryl and I had good conversations. Great band. He’s one of the best singers that exists. Still doing it, he’s gotta be in his late 60’s. Great singer live."
WHO DID YOU MEET AND YOU SAID ‘ARE YOU IN RATT?
“I met Tommy Lee. He was a very nice kid back then. He was very tall and very pale. He didn’t have all the tattoos. I was doing a Christmas Telethon down at the Radison. Apparently they were staying at the Radison because the night before they had opened up for Autograph. The Autograph guys were walking around and I was practicing classical guitar and these two shoes walked up and stood right in front of me. I looked up and the guy looked like Frankenstein. He was real pale, young guy and he said ‘That sounds real good.’ I looked up at him a couple of seconds are said ‘Are you in Ratt?’ and he said ‘No I’m in Motley Crue, my name’s Tommy Lee’ and I said ‘Hello Tommy, I’m Tim.’ His girlfriend at the time came by and that was Heather Locklear and Heather immediately went into bar Pomodoro and Larry Sprinkle went in to talk to her. You know Heather Locklear is a Lumbee indian? She is yeah.”
(Todd Rundgren November 2nd,1973 Spartanburg, SC Memorial Stadium, Ticket price was $4.00)
“This one is a special ticket right here. Todd Rundgren, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. The first date of that tour, it was a home coming concert. They had the “A Wizard A Star’ album. When we got there we went in and found Todd playing to a tape recorder. After the first set they came back out and the second set they played tunes off Utopia’s first album. Utopia came out and played their first set ever. They were all dressed up in Egyptian outfits. The drummer’s set was in a motorcycle styled frame. On June 24, 1973 that was the second time I saw Pink Floyd at the Blossom Center an indoor place up in Cleveland. They were doing the ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ tour. “
(Pink Floyd June 24,1973 Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio)
(Rolling Stones July 6th, 1972 Charlotte Coliseum )
“I saw the Stones July 6, ’72. Stevie Wonder opened for them. We saw from the mezzanine which was kind of behind the stage but they had an enormous carpet that was a big dragon, that was probably twenty by twenty at least. Their lights were behind them and went up and they had mirrors and came down. That was when they were young and it was incredibly good. It was the classic one from Gimme Shelter,they were doing all of their blues tunes. It was great. That the reason for being. The Stones, Rod Stewart the Faces, the Chuck Berry inspired stuff I love to play that, that’s what inspired me ever since then. That’s rock n roll. I couldn’t see Keith because I was behind him the whole time. “
FAVORITE SHOWS OF ALL TIME:
“Poco would be one, Kenny Loggins believe it or not, when Firefall opened up for him. That would be one of the most amazing concerts I had ever seen. The Beatles in Crosley Field didn’t even register because you couldn’t hear them and it was kind of like I was just in the same baseball field with them. The Yes show when came out of the “Close to the Edge” tour was one of the most amazing things I had ever seen. The Elton John concert back in those days in 1971 or 1972 when I saw him. Cream and Hendrix, Hendrix all three times when I saw him. The second time I saw him which was after the Monkees debacle (when Hendrix opened for the Monkees in Charlotte,NC ). He said he would never come back to this town but he did because the money was too good. Chicago opened up that show and Terry Kath was there. He was Mr. Psychedelic burning guitar so Jimi was always kind of putting on a show to top Terry Kath in that one because Terry was burning on it. The third time I saw him was at the Atlanta Pop Festival and he did the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ with the fireworks shooting off that was pretty special. Then the Rod Stewart and the Faces concert when I saw them down in Clemson, and Free opened for them and that was one of my favorite concerts of all time. I like that rock n roll.”
(Cream ticket May 14th, Columbus, OH. Notice the mispelling of the band's name is 'Cremes'. Ticket price at the time was $3.00)
(Various tickets from Tim's collection)
Thank you Tim for joining us tonight and great talking with you. Thank you for all the music you bring our way. You can find Tim at Guitar Workshop or onstage any random night somewhere bringing the rock. – G