Arena Rock, A to Z: Day 4

9.18 Arena Rock

Growing up in Central Indiana was a relatively difficult place to be for concert tour stops in the 1970s and early 1980s. You see, in the early Seventies, the venues were the a couple of auditoriums, the Coliseum at the State Fairgrounds and the Indianapolis Convention Center, until Market Square Arena (MSA) opened in 1973. Finally, we had a world-class arena for my beloved Pacers, who were dominating the old American Basketball Association at the time, the long-defunct Indianapolis Racers of the old World Hockey Association and top recording artists who needed the big venue for their tours. Suddenly, there was an influx of artists who were outside the arena rock sound.

9.21 MSA
Market Square Arena
9.21 ACDC live at MSA 1979
I’m not kidding! Someone has posted AC/DC’s performance from my first concert! The camera had a much better seat than I did.

My first concert was Ted Nugent, AC/DC and the Scorpions back on August 1, 1979. Personally, I was there for AC/DC. I only had a passing interested in Uncle Perv Ted and no interest in the Scorpions. Six weeks later, right at the end of Cross Country season and before the beginning of basketball the following Monday, many of us runners celebrated our season by going to the Styx concert. For the next five years that I remained in the the state, I saw Tom Petty and Queen two times each, Elton John, Journey, The Cars, among several others. When MSA was finally knocked down in the new millennium, many memories went down with it. Except for one very important rock fact.

9.21 Ticket line
Presale ticket line for what ended up being the last Elvis Presley concert
9.21 MSA - Elvis Presley
Not mine! I did not go to the concert. No one in my house was a big Elvis Presley fan, though Mom loved Barry Manilow and Barbra Streisand

Today, there is a historical marker place where MSA once stood, telling the story of the grand old arena being the sight of Elvis Presley’s last live performance. Shortly afterwards, the King died from an overdose of various medications at the age of 42. Since I have become an adult, the King’s age at the time of his death has always shocked me. I guess people just seemed to be so much older than I was. But, Elvis was still a young man. Now, the whole thing just seemed like a sad story, which it is.

So, in honor of the my memory of Market Square Arena, I give to you my fourth list of the greatest Arena Rock artists of the Seventies and Eighties.

9.21 Night Ranger - Midnight Madness

  1. Night Ranger

Best Album: Midnight Madness

Best Song: “Sister Christian”

  1. Ozzy Osbourne

Best Album: Blizzard of Ozz

Best Song: “Crazy Train”

  1. Pat Benatar

Best Album: Crimes of Passion

Best Song: “A Little Too Late”

  1. Paul McCartney & Wings

Best Album: Band on the Run

Best Song: “Maybe I’m Amazed”

9.21 Peter Frampton - Comes Alive!

  1. Peter Frampton

Best Album: Frampton Comes Alive

Best Song: “Show Me the Way”

  1. Poison

Best Album: Look What the Cat Dragged In

Best Song: “Talk Dirty to Me”

  1. Prism

Best Album: Small Change

Best Song: “Don’t Let Him Know”

  1. Quarterflash

Best Album: Quarterflash

Best Song: “Harden My Heart”

  1. Queen

Best Album: Jazz

Best Song: “Don’t Stop Me Now”

9.21 Quiet Riot - Metal Health

  1. Quiet Riot

Best Album: Metal Health

Best Song: “Cum on Feel the Noize”

  1. Rainbow

Best Album: Rainbow Rising

Best Song: “Tarot Woman”

  1. Ratt

Best Album: Out of the Cellar

Best Song: “Round and Round”

  1. Red Rider

Best Album: As Far as Siam

Best Song: “Lunatic Fringe”

  1. REO Speedwagon

Best Album: You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish

Best Song: “Tough Guys”

9.21 Roadmaster - Sweet Music
Indianapolis’ own Roadmaster!
  1. Roadmaster

Best Album: Sweet Music

Best Song: “Sweet Music”

  1. Rod Stewart

Best Album: Every Picture Tells a Story

Best Song: “Ain’t Love a Bitch”

  1. Rush

Best Album: Moving Pictures

Best Song: “The Spirit of the Radio”

  1. Sammy Hagar

Best Album: Standing Hampton

Best Song: “Give to Live”

  1. Santana

Best Album: Santana

Best Song: “Winning”

9.21 Scorpions - Blackout

  1. Scorpions

Best Album: Blackout

Best Song: “No One like You”

That’s four days down with one more to go. See you tomorrow!

Author: ifmyalbumscouldtalk

I am just a long-time music fan who used to be a high school science teacher and a varsity coach of several high school athletic teams. Before that, I worked as a medical technologist at three hospitals in their labs, mainly as a microbiologist. I am retired/disabled (Failed Back Surgery Syndrome), and this is my attempt to remain a human. Additionally, I am a serious vinyl aficionado, with a CD addiction and a love of reading about rock history. Finally, I am a fan of Prince, Cheap Trick, Tom Petty, R.E.M., Hall & Oates, Springsteen, Paul Weller & his bands and Power Pop music.

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