Having a career on the radio affords you many benefits. One of which is many opportunities to not only see concerts but meet and interview the musicians. Some of those greetings involve going having backstage access. Depending on the level of the “access” you could roam free among the roadies, the groupies, or in many cases their families. I’ve met, interviewed, and attended many concerts over my 34-year career. Those stories are for another time.

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My very first concert took place before I was even on the radio. It was Asia at the Brendan Byrne Arena on August 25, 1983. I was 15 years old. The memory is as fresh as the last concert I attended. That was Steely Dan at The Met in Philly in 2019. The opening act was Chris DeBurgh. His hit single on the radio back then was a song called “Don’t Pay the Ferryman”. He later had a huge hit called “The lady in Red” in 1986.

Asia was an English supergroup on tour to support their hugely successful debut album. The band consisted of vocalist and bassist John Wetton of King Crimson, guitarist Steve Howe and keyboardist Geoff Downes from Yes, and drummer Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In the early 1980s, there were 3 cassette tapes I could not stop listening to; Cheap Trick Live at Budakon, AC/DC Dirty Deeds, and Asia’s debut album. By the way, I did buy a concert shirt at the Asia show. For the longest time, I thought I had lost it. Not the case. A mutual friend of my younger brother and I forwarded me a picture of him wearing my Asia concert shirt. She later forwarded me another concert shirt he “borrowed” from me. That concert memory for another time.

Rich DeSisto

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