As promised, this week’s Top 5 is for bands you would have loved to have seen but now the opportunity has been taken from you or wasn’t even an option by the time you were born. I don’t think much more really needs to be said about it, so let’s all get to listing!

Lynyrd Skynyrd: I know a tribute band currently tours under this name and by all accounts they put on one hell of a show, but man, what I wouldn’t give to have seen the original lineup in some hot, sweaty Jacksonville divebar back in the day.

Lynyrd Skynyrd – The Ballad of Curtis Lowe

N.W.A.: Scariest hiphop band to ever bust into the mainstream. Truth be told, back in the day I would have been afraid to have gone to one of their shows, but given the chance today, I’d be there with a cup of sippin’ whiskey and a faux-gangsta lean.

N.W.A. – Straight Out Of Compton

Jimi Hendrix: Jimi didn’t invent feedback, nor was he the first to successfully harness it, but nobody did it better. Fuck Jim and Janet. The true god of the hippie generation was Jimi.

Jimi Hendrix – Little Wing

Sex Pistols: I know, it’s cliche, Sid wasn’t even an important part of the band. It’s true, but he played an important part of my, albeit naive, childhood, and I’d love to have seen that live. I guess this could also have simply been called “Punk”. I would have loved to have seen the punk scene in the ‘70’s.

Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant

Robert Johnson: IMO he’s the father of damned near everything in music that makes my dick hard. I listed him last ‘cause he is the beginning and the end of this subject for me. If Doc Brown showed up in my driveway with that sweet, sweet DeLorean and said I could travel back to see one show in the past, it would be to the 1930’s for a chance to see Mr. Johnson play his guitar.

Robert Johnson – Terraplane Blues
Robert Johnson – Come On In My Kitchen


  1. Lynyrd Skynyrd: I too would choose them….with Ronnie Van Zant of course. I have seen the official cover band as well, even back when they still had 3 OG members but still not the same

    Johnny Cash: Circa 1968 or so, before Luther died but after he started straightening hisself out. This would be huge cause he was doing “The Johnny Cash Show” which means I would also get to see Carl Perkins, Maybelle and the remaining Carter sisters as well. Which brings me to….

    The Carter Family: Would love to have seen the original Carter Family. All country music and bluegrass goes back to them.

    Hank Williams: Obvious choice

    Son House: I actually would prefer to have seen him during the blues revival of the 60s. I don’t know if the ever played together, but a dream show for me would be Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mississippi Fred McDowell, and Son House all playing together sometime in the 60s. Another reason for seeing him in the sixties is I don’t think I would survive walking into a 1920’s juke joint.

  2. Lynyrd Skynyrd
    Allman Brothers
    My parents are from lower Alabama and I grew up listening to this type of music. I spent my middle school and the beginning my of high school years hating this music and being so embarrassed of where I was from. The Drive-by Truckers made me understand “the Southern thing” and I wish I could see the bands my parents loved in their prime.

    Elliott Smith
    I started listening to him a couple years before died, but I don’t think he came to Atlanta or Athens during that time.

    Other than that, it’d probably be a tossup between a ton of artists from the ’50s that I also grew up listening to. I’m not feeling very creative so I’m sure once some other people post I’ll agree with everything posted.

  3. Black Flag (Pre Rollins)
    The Replacements (84-85)
    Uncle Tupelo
    Yabby You
    Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers

  4. Siouxsie & The Banshees – never went when i had the chance, many regrets

    13th Floor Elevators – too young and born in the wrong country

    Dr & The Crippens – ridiculous small english hardcore band that i went to see not once but twice and managed to miss on both occasions despite the clubs being very very small, alcohol may have been involved

  5. Uh, can I have a top 25 instead?

    How about 5 for before I was born/very young:
    1. The Replacements
    2. Sam Cooke
    3. The Clash
    4. Elvis Presley
    5. The Minutemen and/or fIREHOSE

    And 5 for having disbanded in the last couple of decades:
    1. The Vitreous Humor
    2. Kill Creek
    3. Chisel
    4. At the Drive-In
    5. Sparta

  6. Refused
    early Grateful Dead
    Frank Zappa
    Waylon Jennings
    Phil Ochs

  7. a lot of these are obvious but here goes….

    -johnny cash
    -Skynyrd-(with Ronnie of course)
    -Grateful Dead
    -John Lennon
    -Blind Melon (With Shannon Hoon)

  8. Husker Du – Was going to see them in Omaha in ’87, but they broke up the night before after their Columbia, MO show.

    The Replacements


    Material Issue

  9. 1. Replacements w/ Bob Stinson
    2. Uncle Tupelo
    3. The Byrds w/Clarence White
    4. Townes Van Zandt
    5. The Smiths

  10. MC5…DAMN!
    I even run around with a MC5 patch on my jacket…for some reason I didn’t even think about those bands that make that “boppin manic simplistic jive” as Lester Bangs put it! Dolls, Ramones, Velvets, Stooges, Sonic’s Rendezvous Band,…

  11. Here’s a thread where us old guys win, since I’ve seen a decent number of legendary acts that are no longer around, but…:

    The Replacements – I lived in the midwest in the 80s and so saw most of the notable bands, but somehow never had an opportunity to see them.

    The Minutemen – My friends and I learned that D Boon had died when husker du announced it from the stage and then played 20 minutes of angry feedback and noise.

    The Velvet Underground – I’m old but not _that_ old.

    Joy Division.

  12. Wish I saw Hendrix, Elvis, Sex Pistols and the Clash too. Lowell George era Little Feat would have been nice.

    As another winning old guy, I saw Skynyrd at the Bayfront Center on a Sunday night–the plane crashed the following Thursday. Saw Zappa once. Link Wray, though he was in his 70s. And lucky to see the Beat Farmers.

  13. Gram Parsons
    Townes Van Zandt
    Stones 72 tour
    Hendrix – preferably @ Monterey, that way I get to see everyone else there too

  14. The Highwaymen- Willie, Waylon, Johnny and Kris. a 4 in 1 deal.

    Screamin’ Lord Sutch– back in the Joe Meek days

    The Tallboys– Love the early Meteors stuff, but it’s the Tallboys tunes from the mid 80s that I keep coming back to.

    Thee Ultra Bimboos– I was in reach of seeing them in 2001 and just didn’t– I can only hope that one day they will be back.

    The Divine Horsemen- Chris D from The Flesheaters in his cowpunk days, you could also swap out the Divine Horsemen for Blood on the Saddle or Rank’n’File (or the Dils for that matter).

  15. Otis Redding-Needs no explaination

    The Band-Needs no explaination

    Elvis Presley-Needs no explaination

    The Allman Brothers pre-Duane Allman’s death-Needs no explaination

    Janis Joplin-Needs no explaination

    Oh,and autopsy, what’s out there now is a tribute band, but a fucking awful one. I’m a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan(and I would’ve loved to see ’em), but you’ll never catch me at a tribute band show. Fuck, they haven’t played Beale Street Music Fest in years. Last time they were here, half the audience left a couple songs in and Johnny kept saying into the mic, “C’MON! We’re Lynyrd Skynyrd! You LOVE Lynyrd Skynyrd!” Obviously, Memphis knows what’s real and what’s not. No bullshit. (My mom is from Jacksonville, I can say this with no shame)

  16. 1. Led Zeppelin, pre-Stairway
    2. Aerosmith, back when they were still using drugs and wrote their own stuff
    3. Neil Young with Danny Whitten era Crazy Horse
    4. Rolling Stones with Exile on Main Street line up
    5. Stevie Ray Vaughn

  17. cant believe no one else mentioned NWA since AIV. so it’s 1. NWA, 2. muddy waters, 3. dead kennedys, 4. billie holliday, and 5. …

  18. Re- Hurricane Natalie

    I hear ya on the current Synyrd. I too left a show before the mid point. For one they only play the radio songs, you won’t hear them play anything like give me back my bullets or Needle and a spoon. If they would mix it up with some album cuts that no one’s heard in a while it would be a little better. Personally I still wouldn’t be able to watch Johnny and his stupid hand gestures. He totally over emphasises as he sings….the whole thing comes across as fake and “most” of the crowd can tell.

  19. RE: Skynyrd

    Still doesn’t keep that frattastic fuck from yelling out “Freebird” at pretty much every show that drunken frat boys attend.

  20. 1. Lynyrd Skynyrd Pre-77. I saw them in 86 or 87. Allen Collins came on stage in a wheel chair that night. Just before he passed away.
    2. Frank Zappa
    3. The Who With Keith Moon
    4. The Allman Brothers pre 71
    5. Waylon Jennings.

    Could probably make this list about 100 long if I think about it hard.

  21. 1. Mississippi John Hurt.
    2. The Band, at the Winterland Ballroom on Thanksgiving Day, 1976.
    3. The Clash
    4. Uncle Tupelo
    5. The Beatles, at Liverpool’s Cavern Club.

  22. This is tough one for me since I listen to a lot of old old stuff. So instead of figuring out an overall top 5 I am going with my top 5 for this moment in time.

    1. Discount – I am not usually in to chick singers but Alison can fucking wail. I can only imagine the shows.

    2. Holidaysburg – I know it may be cheesy to list this one here but 1,000 Away came up on the random playlist this morning and I realized how much I miss chatting with Larry and that I never did get to see them play.

    3. Elvis Presely – Typical cliche on this one but hey I am a huge fan and Memphis Beat has renewed my fire for the King of Rock n Roll. Fuck MJ there is no other king besides Elvis.

    4. Johnny Cash – Not his last years even though that would have been kind of cool but the Folsom Prison years. I would have love to see him in the heyday.

    5. Waylon Jennings – This boy is near and dear to me. My daddy and him grew up less than thirty miles from each other and even attended the same summer camp. When he died from diabetes complications it was the day I realized my dad was mortal since he has diabetes as well. But I digress. I would have love to seen him when Willie went to Nashville and brought him back to Texas. I love him talking about his first show here in the Lone Star State. He said that he was used to playing in Nashville to a sea of cowboy hats and boots and he looked through the curtain, in Austin, and it was nothing but long hair. He turned to the stage hand and told him “Go get me that little red headed son-of-a-bitch so he can tell me what he’s got me into”. He went out and played and the crowd knew every song and he said it was one of the best shows he played. I wish I had been alive during that time for him and so many others.

  23. Hank Williams the first time he played the opry . . . 7 encores, or was it 9, of lovesick blues – nothing else quite like it.

    Link Wray and The Wrayman at some wild Washington DC bar around 1965 when they were puttin’ out all the cool Swan 45’s. I did see Link on his last tour at a tiny club and he was loud, loud, loud and played rumble 4 times, ace of spades 3 times, and covered Hank Williams and the Ramones . . . yeah, he was over 70 years old.

    Johnny Cash. Right on target with Luther in 1968!

    Robert Johnson for sure, but Charley Patton would do, and so would Blind Willie McTell.

    Elvis Presley. One of those crazed Louisiana Hayride shows from ’56. Breathe For Me Presley!

Comments are closed.