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63 Celebrities Recall Their First Concert Memories

Image: André

Few people don't remember their first concert. It's a rite of passage of sorts. Maybe that was the day that your eyes were first opened to the joy of music, live and loud. Or maybe it was a night of tweenage rebellion, capped off by a ride from mom and dad. Perhaps it was both. 

In the linked article, Vulture asked celebrities of all ages what their first concert experience was. Some of them are now famous musical acts themselves, and they relate how their first concert was a seminal experience that inspired them to become what they are today. Here are a few examples: 

Sting: "I went to see Jimi Hendrix. I was 14. Well, I’d never seen a black man before, or ever seen anyone play a left-handed guitar before, and it completely blew my mind. It blew my worldview away. And it’s why I’m a musician. It was in my hometown in Newcastle, in the north of England, a little club called the Club of Gogo, tiny room. I was right next to the stage, completely in awe. He was like an alien from another planet. Maybe he was."

The Beastie Boys' Mike D: 
"My first concert would be the Clash, at the Palladium on 14th Street. I was 12 or 13. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Well, they’re one of the best bands ever. I just wanted to see the music. I was only focused on the music. They were, at the time, as far as I was concerned, the best band in the world. So I was really happy to see them. I was a little kid, so I went with my older brothers."


 James Taylor: "A North Carolina Symphony Orchestra concert in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, in the early 1950s. And Peter, Paul and Mary in North Carolina. My friend’s family took me along. Well, I didn’t know until some years later that music would be my main chance for finding a place in this world. I was just impressed. It’s what you get from a concert with live music. These days, music is ubiquitous and in the background, but when you go to a concert with like-minded people, it sweeps you away and creates an instant community."

Read 60 more stories from celebrities of their first concert experiences here.

My first concert was the Beatles at the Olympia Stadium in Detroit. It was an enormous venue. You couldn't hear a thing unless you covered your ears. I loved the entire experience. I do understand why the Beatles stopped doing concerts, though. No one could hear them. Anyone could have come on stage to impersonate them and no one would have known better! Looking back, the Beatles could have avoided all that mess with booking smaller venues...
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