Friday, March 23

Friday's, Greensboro, NC 1981 (guest post)

The dB's
Greensboro, NC
Oct. 20, 1981

audience recording (sound quality VG) - see upgrade HERE

BIG THANKS to the taper and ALL PRAISE to fantom for the share!
Like this one? G-R-E-A-T shot of the guys. 
I'm guessing 1981 or '82.
I am very enthused about receiving and sharing this amazing show. It's the blog's first musical contribution since launching, from fantom, veteran blogger and big-time dB's fan (his comments about the show are below). Fantastic performance, and the sound quality is just right for a show like this (there's persistent, but not annoying, chatter).

No less than Peter Buck of R.E.M. helps set the scene in describing the venue (from an interview with David Fricke in 1990, taken from R.E.M. - The Rolling Stone Files, p. 114):
“There was a place in Greensboro, North Carolina, called Friday’s. It was a pizza parlor, and the guy had bands play. It was an L-shaped room; you could see through the bar to the ovens, with the guy with the long stick with pizzas on it, and see us, too. He’d charge a dollar, we’d get 150 people in there, and we’d get the door. People would let us sleep on the floor. There were clubs like that in every city.”

Outside Friday's, long ago, on a busy night
Rusty Moore / LoudFastPhoto
(check out more excellent photos by Rusty Moore here)

A groovy flyer from Friday's
fantom says:

"This is the dB's on their first real national tour ("a bare-bones affair, with band, equipment, and road manager Jim Ford all packed into one non-stretch van" that "went as far west as Kansas City", swinging through their home state. The crowd's psyched, the band is excited. Check out particularly the interplay on 'The Fight'. Pal Mitch Easter makes a special appearance on 'Louie Louie' when it still sounds kinda fresh. 

"This set has a lot of overlap with the show recorded a few days later at the Cat's Cradle (, dipping into both material that the members recorded solo or in pre-dB's combos and in one case, what they would release after leaving the band - as well as choice covers. I believe my source recorded the concert himself and despite a bit of chatter between tracks, it shines through well.

"This leg of the tour was also captured the previous night on video It seems pretty clear from the set's length and encores that the dB's must have been the headliner at Friday's, but a number of R.E.M. gig databases list the dB's as opening for R.E.M. at the club that night. Granted R.E.M. had released their debut single of 'Radio Free Europe' to acclaim a few months earlier, but the dB's had released their first full length at the start of the year and just returned from a long summer recording session for their second in London and were playing to the home crowd."

01 Intro
02 (I Thought) You Wanted To Know
03 Bad Reputation
04 Dynamite (cuts out mid-song)
05 Big Brown Eyes (cuts in)
06 I Feel Good Today
07 pH Factor
08 Ups and Downs
09 Nothing is Wrong
10 The Fight
11 If And When
12 Black and White
13 Big Time
14 Judy
15 Tomorrow Never Knows
16 The Summer Sun
17 Storm Warning
18 Excitement
19 Time Has Come Today
20 We Were Happy There
21 Happenstance
22 Neverland
23 (bring Mitch on)
24 Louie Louie*
25 Death Garage*
26 Let's Live For Today*

(wanna burn it? good place to break b/w Discs 1 & 2 would be after track 14…)

MP3@192 (best available quality)
Alt. Link

The dB’s:
Chris Stamey – guitar & vocals
Peter Holsapple – guitar, keyboard & vocals
Gene Holder – bass
Will Rigby – drums & backing vocals

*Mitch Easter - guitar & backing vocals on last 3 songs 


  1. fantom - Interesting note about the "who was the support act?" confusion. There's no logical way this is a support-act-length set (unless it was a double-header kinda thing, with one band starting a lot earlier than usual).

    Far more likely is that R.E.M. played support for The dB's on this night, since in fall of 1981, R.E.M. had only released the Hib Tone single (not even the Chronic Town EP yet), so they were a coupla years away from up-and-comer status.

    R.E.M. fans who don't know the full history probably miss the fact that The dB's got started before R.E.M. and were mentors to them in the early days. It was only later, when R.E.M. had the good fortune to catch on nationally, that they asked The dB's to play support for them.

    1. I don't think R.E.M. had the repertoire of songs or fan base at the time of this show. Probably around mid-1981, I saw R.E.M. at a place called "The Station" in Carrboro, not far from where the Cat's Cradle is now. It wasn't much larger than the Cradle was then on W. Rosemary. The show wasn't nearly as crowded as the dB's show on the 24th. You could walk close to the stage at any given time, and most of the crowd probably didn't know who they were as they were standing in groups talking. Not much dancing either, Michael Stipe was doing the most of that between his singing.

      A recent Let's Active post named Mitch Easter as being from Athens GA since he produced R.E.M.'s early recordings.

      BTW, didn't Peter Holsapple play keyboards for the B-52s on their SNL appearance?

      - Cuda

  2. Peter has played studio and live sessions with LOTS of groups (not just R.E.M. & Hootie & The Blowfish, the latter being his "bread & butter" gig for many years). So I wouldn't be surprised at all if he played keys with B-52s for SNL.

    At some point, I'll be doing a post on the many points of contact between The dB's & R.E.M.; that's going to be a fun one...


  3. 30 years later, I can still remember hearing on the college radio station about this show. I was 16 and didn't have a car yet and all my friends were to into "crotch-rock" to consider taking the drive (which was 45 miles away). In 1982, I was able to see Chris Stamey preform Charlotte. I'll finally be able to hear this concert. Thank you!

    1. Hey Warren - Thanks for this and your other comments on the blog. Glad you're enjoying so many of the posts (yours is the first comment about Stands for deciBels Revisited; good on ya!).

  4. Hey Rob! First off I am in love e your blog! I love the LX solo stuff and the dB's soundboard stuff is amazing! Just thought I should let you know that the Bowery Ballroom show Jan 2007 (I always thought they played there 12/06 but anyway) link takes me here (and not to the appropriate place).

    I look forward to downloading more fanboy wet-dream shows soon!!

    Thanks Rob!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Bill.

      Try that link again; should work now.