I grew up on the southwest side of Chicago. That probably doesn’t relate to this in any way other than I swear, I had Motown in my blood. I married and moved to the western suburbs, where the music was shall we say, far less than Motown. When my two boys were about eight and ten, I took them to their first concert, The Jackson’s. The venue was a smallish place by todays standards, it was called Mill Run in Niles Illinois. I really needed to introduce them to the type of music I loved , so I was probably more excited about it initially than they were.
There really wasn’t a bad seat in the house, well, except for the sporadic giant column here and there. Yes, we did have one of our seats by a column but we quickly changed seats so the two kids had an unobstructed view. I had the the obstructed view but I didn’t even mind. The theatre was in the round and even in the back we were still pretty close to the stage. It was 1978 and the Jackson’s had given up the name Jackson 5 because they had split with Motown, who owned the name Jackson 5. They had left Motown in 1976 and had also left Jermaine behind who had married the daughter of a Motown executive and stayed to further his solo career.
Replacing Jermaine in the group was another brother, Randy. So, the five now consisted of Jackie, Tito, Randy, Marlon and Michael. Michael was about 19 at the time. I remember the atmosphere at Mill Run that night, it was so exciting. My sons loved it, especially the dancing. They sang Enjoy Yourself, Do What You Wanna, and others that I can’t recall. But, it doesn’t really matter because this was one of those teen idol groups that was such a phenomena of the 1970’s , it was the first black group that appealed equally to white audiences. Granted, we were in the minority that night, but so what? We were all there for the same reason; to dance in our seats, hum or sing along with the songs, and watch this kid Michael, dance his legs off. So glad my sons got to hear my type of music at a young age, before their taste in music became tarnished with God knows what.
Not to gloat but I had these songs in their original vinyl version but this Ultimate Jackson 5 http://amzn.to/1t0lJTN is pretty darn good. I am an Amazon affiliate so I do get a very small commission id you click through and purchase from my site but sometimes you can find this in good used condition as well.
3 responses to “The Jacksons circa 1978; my two son’s first concert”
I am unbelievably jealous of my dad for that. I wish so much that I had the opportunity to see Michael Jackson in concert. He is not even part of my musical generation but, I love him.
I loved your comment. It’s so funny that as a parent you never know what is going to stick in your kid’s mind when he/she is young, and of course, you hope it leans more toward the good things. Ah…those great childhood memories. So nice that as an adult you have those too, like my son.
One of the scariest days of my life…just kidding Mom! At 10 years old, the crowds and noise were a little intimidating, but its one of my favorite memories as a kid, something I’ll never forget. I’m extremely bothered about the other issues surrounding Michael Jackson and unsure if we’ll ever know the truth, but his music has made an undeniable impact on us all. I feel fortunate to have been able to see him perform so young in his career. Thanks Mom!