Tag Archives: 1985 Power Station tour

Z100 press conference to announce Power Station dates

For today’s post I want you to sit and think back to May of 1985.

What comes to mind?

If you’re like me, you’re going through the possibilities in your head. Was Duran Duran especially active then? No…they’d already finished the Sing Blue Silver tour, and it was before they played at Live Aid. It was quiet as far that goes. Power Station though, wasn’t this right during that time??

Yes, yes it was. For me personally, Power Station was kind of like the band that kept me going. After all, John and Andy were both in it, and I will admit that I appreciated the heavier sound. It wasn’t until later this same year that Arcadia answered the Power Station record with one of their own, So Red the Rose. I don’t think I even knew Arcadia was about to be “a thing” in May of 1985. So, Power Station was “it”.

On this date in 1985, Power Station held a press conference on Z100 radio in New York to announce dates for their upcoming tour.

I don’t remember if this was simulcast to any stations across the country, but I do remember hearing the upcoming dates on at least one of my local radio stations. I begged and pleaded with the parental units. In 1985, I was 14. Surely I was old enough to finally go to a concert?!?

My parents weren’t quite so sure. Yes, they were pretty protective and strict. People think I’m joking, but I gleefully tell a story about my mom and how for the first ten or so years of my life, I wasn’t allowed to cross the street…in our neighborhood…without her standing outside to watch me, if not holding my hand tightly while I crossed. I’m really not exaggerating. Hearing the tales of friends taking the tube to hang outside of the studio where the band was recording or standing outside one of their homes seems very wild to me. I wasn’t even allowed to walk down my street without having a conversation with my mom first! (and no, I didn’t walk myself to school either. Are you kidding? gasp I had to cross several completely quiet, very safe, streets to get there!)

So, the jury was out as to whether I’d be allowed to go, and it definitely didn’t cross my parents minds that if they were so concerned, they could just go with me. Yet, fate had plans for me. I am the second youngest grandchild on both sides of the family. The title of youngest goes to my sister, Robin. Most of our cousins are ten years older than we are, and I even have one cousin that is only four years younger than my mom. In any case, I do have one cousin that is only a couple of years older than I am, and her older brother agreed to take us to see Power Station. So later that summer, I finally saw not only my first concert, but two Taylors on stage…and THAT is my memory of the Power Station tour!

Anyone remember listening to that Z100 press conference?

-R

Power Station at Irvine Meadows

Some of these dates in history take me right back to childhood, and this one is one of those. On this date in 1985, Power Station played at Irvine Meadows, in Irvine, California.

What is remarkable about this date, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that it was my very first concert. Ever.

There is very little I can share with you about the show, because my memory is horrible. I can remember sitting back pretty far—not quite grass—but certainly not orchestra, and I know that I went with my cousins. That in and of itself is strange, because at the time, I lived in Glendora, and my cousins lived all the way in Van Nuys, which is probably an hour and a half from Irvine.  (I know I fell asleep on the way home from the concert, that is for sure!)

I had spent the week with my cousin Patty, who had a massive crush on John Taylor at the time. Since my particular brand of Taylor was not a member of Power Station (Roger, in case anyone cares!), I pretty much just followed her lead. She was a year older, much more worldly, mature and wicked cool, so I figured she’d just know. Know what, I am not entirely sure….but I just knew she was on to something.  The day before the show, there had been an appearance at a record store in Van Nuys. I remember this because we’d convinced her mom—my aunt—to allow us to take the bus down to the store and wait in line.

I can tell you right now that my mom and dad would have never allowed such a thing. So, it was a good thing I was staying with Patty. Her mom worked during the day, and Patty was on her own. My parents also worked, but somehow, I didn’t have quite the freedom she did. I had a lengthy list of chores to do each day during the summer, and had to answer the phone whenever my mom called (she would ring, hang up and ring again so I’d know it was her) as well as babysit my younger sister – who is five years younger. Patty had none of that. She was free to ride the bus, sit out by the apartment complex pool….and talk to much older men she probably shouldn’t have about things I am positive my parents would have freaked out about.

Maybe my parents had something there, after all.

Anyway, I digress. We had gone to a lot of trouble to bake chocolate chip cookies in the shape of the letters “J” and “T”, with the full intention of taking them to John that day at the signing. I really don’t know what in the hell we were thinking. I suppose we naively thought we’d just walk right up to him with food and that there wouldn’t be a line or security or any of that. I didn’t know any better. I don’t even know how we were thinking we were going to transport the cookies without breaking them while riding the bus and holding our Power Station albums to have signed. In hindsight, it’s a good thing that the cookies were not only too thick and looked nothing like the letters “J” and “T”, they were also slightly burned.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I don’t bake.

We agreed to leave them at home, not embarrass ourselves, and just go to the signing. I can remember how hot it was waiting there. It was all fun and games at first until we realized the line was several blocks long and that unless John was planning an overnighter, he’d never get all the way through the line. We probably should have left much earlier – like the night before – to get a better spot. Even so, teenage optimism prevailed, and we soldiered on. It wasn’t too long before the line seemed to really move, entirely way too fast I might add, and then word got to us that John had just sped off, safely in the back of a limousine.

I felt so dejected that day. It was awful. I didn’t cry or anything, but it was then that I first realized how unfair fandom can be. Even when you have all the information you need, someone is always going to be there first. I don’t think that’s really changed much since 1985. Amanda and I experience it nearly every time we tour. We’ll choose to do one thing, and others will choose another, and typically – we choose wrong. (We are very good at that)  We’re rarely in the right spot at the right time, and while sure, there have been times (some frighteningly recently) where I’ve wanted to kick myself for deciding to drive home rather than use the information I’d been given to go and see if I could find the one person I wanted to see, or turning around to go back to a city we just left because someone tweeted their own whereabouts, overall I just have to laugh.  It’s all luck. Someone is always going to have better luck, more accurate information, or just have “more”.

I’m glad I didn’t give up on being a fan that day. It wasn’t John’s fault, of course, and in some ways – I’d give anything to go back to being that naive, very awkward 14-year-old standing in line for a signing. Sometimes 1985 doesn’t seem that long ago, and then other days, like today, it feels like a lifetime ago.

-R