Warm Beer, Stale Bagels and Toothless Groupies — a Day in the Life of an Opening Band

There are a million tales from the road. For our 200th post, we thought we’d share this one with you.  

July 18, 1990, found Manitoba’s Wild Kingdom in Asbury Park, NJ, the 3rd and final night of a short stint supporting a band that we won’t name here, but it rhymes with Elle Mae’s Buns. Nights 1 and 2, in Harrisburg and Jim Thorpe, PA, both had the same results, with MWK completely blowing the headliners off the stage, in front of packed houses who had never heard of them.

Set time rolls around, MWK is ready to take the stage, when all of a sudden the roadies start breaking the stage down — before they play a note. The club manager explained to the angry devotees that the headliner refused to follow MWK! There were about 1,200 people there, all but about 30 of them to see Elle Mae’s Buns, so the manager had the proverbial gun to his head — he’d have a riot on his hands if Buns cancelled at that point. But the few, the loud, the Manitoba crowd was not giving up, and threatened to make the band play acoustic in the parking lot if need be. A compromise was struck, and MWK played AFTER the headliners. The Buns drum kit was actually still up when they played; JP had to set up off to the side. Even with the stage monitors already on the truck, they still knocked them dead in Asbury.

Set list from 7/18/90:
• 1. The Party Starts Now
• 2. You Had It Coming
• 3. Haircut and Attitude
• 4. Prototype
• 5. The Perfect High
• 6. Minnesota Strip
• 7. New York New York
• 8. Speedball
• 9. Fired Up

— Salvi C.

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