Well I’ve done it. I started this project sometime in 2009; blogging sporadically when I went to see a band. At the end of 2011, I decided to cover all of the concerts I have attended , and started blogging every day on 1st January 2012, using my ticket stubs and programmes as a guide. I then worked through each band/act (roughly) alphabetically; I finally got to the letter “Z” a week or so ago.
Over the years I’ve written about many great bands from different genres; ranging from ABBA to Z Z Top, covering Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Who, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones along the way. In total I have written 1,387 posts about 1,352 bands or acts. During the year 2014, my blog was viewed 94,488 times by 44,627 visitors; each visitor averaging 2.12 views. My top 25 bands (the ones I have written about, and hence seen, the most) are: Status Quo, The Who, Yes, Genesis, Lindisfarne, The Groundhogs, Wishbone Ash, Hawkwind, Uriah Heep, Eric Clapton, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Jethro Tull, Elton John, Roy Harper, Thin Lizzy, Slade, Deep Purple, Penetration, Rod Stewart (including The Faces), Rory Gallagher, Roxy Music, Queen, The Hollies and U2.
Looking back I realise that my early posts are not as well presented, nor as detailed as the more recent ones. I have definitely got better at doing this over the years. There are also many inconsistencies (which now annoy me; but there you go … I should have planned and designed this project more carefully at the outset). I wish I had been more precise and consistent in the categorisation of bands and the way that I have recorded dates, venues, ticket prices, setlists etc. Some times I have included more than one concert in a post; depending on my interest in the band, or how important I think they are. For “major” artists like The Stones, The Who and Dylan, I have written about every single concert I attended. So in the case of The Stones the blog statistics tell me I have seen them 17 times, and likewise the statistics say that I have seen The Who 22 times. Actually, however, there are some duplicate posts (e.g. I have written a post on the Who at Live Aid, and then also written a separate post on the Live Aid event itself, which also mentions the Who). I think I have actually seen The Who 19 times and the Stones 12 or 13 times. The blog tells me that I have seen Status Quo 31 times, and the total is actually close to 50; I combined some concerts because there were so many. Sadly, this makes it difficult to use the blog as any sort of database of concerts, or to get any precise measures out of it. One day I may go back and try to recategorise things, to make it all consistent, but that would be a big job. For now, to be honest I’ve become a little tired of doing it, and I am looking forward to a little rest from my blogging activities.
Many thanks to all of you who have followed me and encouraged me on this journey. Thanks to those who commented along the way; particularly Mitch and Neil, Jeff, Dawn, Hockey and Tony. Thanks to Mitch for sending me many great images from some of the concerts, and providing setlists. Thanks to John for reminding me of some of the gigs we went to many years ago, and for providing insights into rock’n’roll in the USA. Thanks to Norm and Will for having better memories than me and keeping me right about some of the gigs. Its frightening how poor my memory is becoming. Thanks to Doug for help on Jethro Tull and to Ian, Dave, Terry, Pete, Gilly and all the other people who came to see bands with me over the years. Still some bands out there to see. And thanks to Marie, Ashleigh, David and Laura for coming on family outings to concerts over the years. Oh, and thanks to WordPress for providing a great platform on which to do this. And apologies if I have forgotten to mention anyone; my memory really is going ….
I’ve enjoyed writing about the concerts. It has forced me to try to remember the details. Where there was a gap (and there often was), the internet has been amazing in helping me find reviews, setlists and line-ups of the time. Sometimes I had to guess things; often I got things wrong. The exercise has reminded me of some great concert experiences, and allowed me to create a record which I can refer to, and remind myself of happy happy days and great bands. I’m not even going to try to think about which was the best concert, or the best band. They have been so many great experiences :)
I am now going to spend some time thinking of what to do with this blog, now that it is finished. I did think of converting it into a book, but I’m not sure that would work. What I would like to do is to use it as the basis of a lecture course on the history of rock music, or more precisely perhaps, the history of rock performance. I’m going to spend a little time thinking about how I might pursue that particular avenue.
I will of course, continue to blog as and when I go to concerts. So this isn’t really the end, just another chapter to the blog.
Thanks again. Time for a rest, at least for a few days …