Top Ten Bands I Wish I Had Seen:
My favorite musician in middle school and into high school was Dave Grohl. Once I heard In Utero I could not deny the greatness of Nirvana – I even taped a copy of my own CD just so I could bring my boombox (cassette-only, no CD player) along when I played pick up games of football and drove “range balls” at the elementary school.
Preferred time-frame: In Utero-era… or ANY.
Another instance of too late to the show (and an artist who was too early to go). Elliott’s music was introduced to me by my now-wife (we were dating at the time) back in college. He had already passed and From A Basement On The Hill was just leaked. My first taste was FABOTH and then Either/Or. Can an acoustic musician do any better than these LPs?
Preferred time-frame: Either/Or-era… or ANY.
My favorite band to come out of Minnesota and I was only a year or two too young to really be a part of their scene. A few reunion shows have happened, but neither time was I able to attend. Since the window appears to be closed for a long while (if not permanently), I will mark this name as a “miss” while I grow sad inside.
Preferred time-frame: Any.
Alice In Chains (with Layne Staley)
I could still see Alice In Chains perform today, and I’d probably go if the price was right, but not being able to see Layne will always leave a hole that cannot be filled. Towards the end of the Staley-era, the performances were rare and the likelihood of further output was slim. But my how great the albums were. Whether it was acoustic or heavy, sludgy, grunge (a la their self-titled disc), they could make anything work.
Preferred time-frame: Alice In Chains LP-era or MTV Unplugged.
Two of the greatest selling LPs of all-time and numerous other experimental LPs that drip of psychadelia and tackle the topic of human psyche, Pink Floyd will remain a legend. To be able to overcome a lead singer’s mental illness (and subsequent departure) and then totally change direction of the band is impressive.
Preferred time-frame: Dark Side of the Moon-era.
The greatest rock and roll act in history? Sign me up. Their discography is tight and their performances are legendary. I think I could stand the long waits (that may or may not have been ego-driven and drug-fueled) just to see them take the stage.
Preferred time-frame: Any.
My new-found love of jazz is well noted. In fact, in a top ten to be published later, Miles Davis has more appearances on it than any other artist. So it is no wonder why I would want to travel back and see him toot his horn.
Preferred time-frame: Kind of Blue-era through pre-hiatus-era (1975).
Jazz music lost a good one this year, and so too did I lose the chance to see a pioneer in person. Free jazz is not for all, but I love it, and I would have loved to see the man who made the term mainstream (or as close to mainstream as it ever got).
Preferred time-frame: Free Jazz: A Collective Improvisation-era.
NUMBER NINE?! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Settle down. You know when the Beatles stopped touring? August 29, 1966, just a few weeks after Revolver was released. This means that the exploratory, trippy Beatles never got a chance to play their music live. I love the Beatles from Revolver on, so if I went in a time machine and got to see them, it’d be for a version I’m not really all that fond of… but I’d still put it in my top ten.
Preferred time-frame: Final rooftop performance.
Mike Skinner (aka The Streets) made 3 masterpiece albums and only 5 total under the moniker of The Streets. His popularity in the UK was huge, but never translated to massive success in the US… meaning he didn’t tour much over here. Also, being late to the game, I never stood a chance.
Preferred time-frame: Everything Is Borrowed-era.