Welcome to My First Show, where we give bands a chance to talk about the first shows they ever attended -- no matter how uncool and embarrassing those tales may be.
Even though they play cover songs, you'd be remiss to think of The Mumbles as a bunch of guys in tie-dyed bandanas, playing half-assed Creedence Clearwater Revival and Journey songs.
No, they're on a different trip: Most often, you can find them playing at Lee Harvey's or Lakewood Bar & Grill, tearing through a mix of punk rock and new wave classics from the late '70s and early '80s -- everything from The Clash to XTC to Jim Carroll.
"We really just beat the hell out of the songs, and people seem to respond to it," says guitarist Darin Robinson. "There's a lot of jumping around and screaming at the shows. It's happiness, terror or anger. Probably a mix of all of those."
Robinson's got a couple of other projects up his sleeves, too: a Police tribute band called Regatta de Faux, and Underdog, a band he describes as "just original weirdness that three out of ten will tolerate and one out of ten will like and come see again."
It's an odd mix, for sure, but, after hearing about his first show experiences, it starts to make sense.
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What was the first show you remember seeing?
Judas Priest and Bachman-Turner Overdrive with Foghat headlining. My sister Diane took us. She was older -- she had seen everyone -- so, to me, it was like being taken to the a temple by a high priestess. The sound was huge. I was in heaven. Foghat was incredible. Judas Priest was touring behind Stained Class, and the crowd really didn't like them at all. One thing that stands out is that Rob Halford was just starting the S&M/biker bit -- but, for some reason, I think he was wearing a tutu or something weird like that. Anyway, it seemed to confuse and anger the people showing up just wanting to get high and sing "Slow Ride." I didn't know who Judas Priest was at the time, but I loved them. I had Sad Wings of Destiny within days of that show.
What was the first show you paid to see? Was it something you can brag about now?
The Who at the Cotton Bowl. I remember almost nothing but the freezing, sad, miserable weather. And I had the flu. It's still just a swirly, hazy memory. Pete Townshend destroyed his guitar -- I do remember that. I think Billy Squire opened. This would be before he ruined his career with the "Imma dance around the room alone" video.
What do you remember about the first show you played with the Mumbles?
It was a New Year's Eve show with free h'or dourves and an open bar. The h'or dourves bit is important to the story in as much as I remember watching the crowd slowly devolve from a happy NYE party crowd to a unruly mob of drunks that hadn't eaten enough but were just hammering booze and dancing in an aggressive fashion, right up on us. The place was packed, people were screaming along to every song. Some guy exposed himself to his girlfriend while dancing. Some girl sat down and threw up. People were falling down. Surreal is a good word for the evening; not a single shred of intellectual high mindedness or "art," just a pure, dirty, loud rock show. Kind of perfect from our perspective. Kind of why we keep doing it. Good times, indeed.