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Castle Farms


was an outdoor concert venue in Charlevoix, northern Michigan. Castle Farms was the setting for my first rock concert (and probably my second, third, eighth, eleventh, etc.). The first one was the Doobie Brothers, and since I kept the ticket stub, I know that the date was July 4, 1980.

Let me think about some of the bands that I saw there.

Heart, a sister act from Seattle. I confess, I loved 'em.

Blue Oyster Cult. I thought they were boring. Strangely though, now when I listen to their music I like it: "Godzilla" is great, as is "Cities on Flame with Rock 'n' Roll."

J. Giels Band. Maybe the best show I saw at Castle Farms. Although that could be because I was front row center.

Molly Hatchet, lame. Lynyrd Skynrd light.

Bob Seger. Good. I wish it was better, because I love Bob Seger, and he's one of the few artists from those days that I still listen to now.

Ted Nugent, OK. I have to say that I think Ted Nugent is an ass. But I must qualify this remark. Almost any opinion that Ted Nugent has, I disagree with. Even so, I feel that if I met Ted Nugent and sat and talked with him, I would end up liking him. And I love his guitar sound. But it wasn't the best concert.

Eddie Money. As I recall, he was warming up for Foreigner. It should have been the other way around. Eddie Money was the shit, while Foreigner was the snooze.

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. Awesome. They were the warm-up band for somebody, can't recall who.

The Police, very nice. but by that time, the seating system had changed, it was all reserved with barriers everywhere. Back in the day, if your eardrums could take it, you could make your way to the front. You didn't have to stay, but it was nice to have that option. I saw the Cars also with the new reserved system. I have to say that I much preferred the old way. Festival seating I think it's called.

I remember once, driving a whole crew up there in our old Chevy station wagon. As we drove we worked on a case of Olympia beer. I can't believe what a fool I was. What if the cops stopped me? A car-full of kids, all with open beers?

The swan song of our old band, Lyzzy Bordyn, took place the night of an REO Speedwagon concert at Castle Farms, which meant that there were not as many people at the party we played at as there might have been. After all these years, I still haven't forgiven REO Speedwagon for this, and I try to make them the butt of jokes whenever possible.

All in all, I'd have to say that I have good memories, even of driving home with my ears ringing (the sound was so loud you could feel it).


Driving While Blind

Thanks for this story. It hits home. I, too, remember driving home with the ringing so loud I couldn't hear the stereo. and as I said at mondo marco, you should post this at the Castle group site on FB.

Re: Driving While Blind

Actually, maybe you should just post a link to this article there, to draw in more readers from the home town that aren't aware of your internet posting awesomeness!

Re: Driving While Blind

Good idea, Jim, because I think my text is a little long for Facebook, which likes 'em short. Thanks for the kind words.


Mitch Ryder

Danny Joe Brown and Foghat...I was backstage. the only reason I would know that.Foghat sucked...played 3 songs that lasted about an hour...


Re: Mitch Ryder

That was from me...Jill


Let me guess, "Fool for the City" and "Slow Ride." Thanks for stopping by, Jill!

December 2018



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