Memory:Michael Hutcheson

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This fan memory was written by Michael Hutcheson.

The show I saw was in Virginia Beach, VA in 1980 at a club, I believe, called Peabody's. After an uninspiring opening act the boys calmly walked out on stage... Gary picked up a glass of wine from the top of his amp, took a long drink from it and set it back down along side some beers. They went into the first song and, of course I was totally blown away! I remember Gary standing on one leg through half of one of the first songs. Don't know why that sticks in my mind but it just seemed like such a casual thing to do. Ray was standing right out front next to Derek playing the most intense "in your face" bass guitar I'd ever heard in my life and with such incredible ease and precision.

This was at a time when rock music was in a transitional period and it struck me that their "look" on stage was a mixture. Derek looked the traditional long-haired '70s singer while Ray seemed to be sporting a decidedly punk look and Kerry had on a white shirt and vest.. very conservative looking. I could care less what musicians wear but it did strike me as interesting. Of course they covered just about all of the Civilian album as well as lots of other material. Derek brought out the balalaika for "Playing the Game" and my night was made complete when they did "For Nobody". The vocals are absolutely incredible on that song... one of my very favorites. John's drum mix was sonic ! His kick drum sounded like a cannon going off.

For me it was a truly inspiring night and one I'll never ever forget. Those guys are five of the finest musicians I've ever had the pleasure to see perform. If they ever do a reunion concert or tour I'll be there no matter what the cost or distance to travel.