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Twenty-nine years ago tomorrow – 5/16/79 – the Police played the long-gone Roxy club on Cass Street in Pacific Beach. Broadcast live on 101.5/KGB-FM, the performance was widely bootlegged, the most common version being San Diego d’Amour.

Several websites offer the entire bootleg, including dimeadozen.org, jimihendrixforever.blogspot.com, and rapidshare.com. One site, fisica.unlp.edu.ar/materias/FG1/tradelist/19790516a.txt, claims to have the first-generation radio-station reels. “This is from station tapes, logo on them and all, given to me by a station employee in 1998 [and] taken directly from their reel-to-reel.”

Two songs into a 13-song set, just before “So Lonely,” Sting tells the crowd, “Nice to be in San Diego. I thought it would be warm. It’s too cold for us.” Near the end of the night, during “Roxanne,” he announces, “You know we are live on the radio on KGB-FM 101.5, which makes it even more important that you sing and show all the folks out there what they missed.” The ensuing cheers peg the volume meters into distortion.

After the approximately one-hour set, Roxy operators were reportedly dismayed to find graffiti on the theater’s wall murals that included Marilyn Monroe and W.C. Fields. A brief article in the San Diego Union didn’t specify the nature of the messages, other than to say they were “amorous.” A theater worker was quoted saying, “We cleaned a lot of lipstick off Marilyn.”

– Jay Allen Sanford

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Comments

Karl May 16, 2008 @ 1:11 p.m.

I am not sure I understand the purpose of this article. Is there not enough new local music that we need to talk about what happened at a concert 29 years ago? Each week does Blurt have a concert from 40 years ago listed? A past show might be interesting to a few people, but I think the majority of us are curious about the now.

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Donny May 16, 2008 @ 2:58 p.m.

Maybe some of us that were around back then want to hear about this kind of stuff! When i read this story it brought back great memory's of that night!

Thanks Jay!

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Jay Allen Sanford May 16, 2008 @ 7:12 p.m.

Out of over 100 Rock Around the Town blog posts on the Reader site, one of the most-viewed entries is "50 Historic San Diego Concerts 1917 - 2005." Local Eric Rife is finishing his documentary film about the history of the music scene in San Diego, and Blurt contrib/Shambles singer Bart Mendoza is working on a book chronicling the city's rock and roll history. There appears to be a lot of interest in this sort of thing - hence the occasional Blurt! Seems worth noting that the only Blurt this week so far to earn website comments is THIS one -----

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Seahag May 19, 2008 @ 10:29 p.m.

People (kids) that weren't around then aren't gonna dig the articles. Folks that were there, will. Keep 'em coming please.

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Josh Board May 20, 2008 @ 12:36 a.m.

I love reading these, but I'm a music nut. I have to agree with carl. I'm biased, because part of me wants to see MY blurts run. Not Jay talking about The Police playing a show from decades ago.

A perfect example of my feeling on this, would be if the front section of the Reader, ran stories about (not the band), but the police in San Diego, and what kind of drug bust they made in 1978. When, they could report the drug bust at SDSU now.

Which would people be more interested in reading? Which would be more relevant?

Of course, it's enjoyable to see the section the Reader runs that does show various stories, and ads, that ran in the publication from various years past. Maybe a section like that would work a lot better.

Or, perhaps, these types of blurts stay in Jays blogs. Where, I love reading 'em.

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