ROTT: Squeeze’s Final Concert?

Many moons ago, I discovered the band Squeeze, and within a year, they were breaking up. The year, of course, was 1982. And of course, we all know that Squeeze broke up for about three years, and then got back together with the release of the album Cosi Fan Tutti Frutti.


But in 1982, the band seemed to be history, after dismal sales of their album “Sweets from a Stranger,” an album that I always liked, btw.

So, having discovered the joy of going to concerts, I went to Nassau Collisseum in November 1982, probably driven there by my friend and concertmate Ann. And being dutiful, I bought the t-shirt to memorialize the band’s last concert. Except that it wasn’t the last concert. The farewell urge allowed for a second goodbye concert, followed by another final concert at a festival in Jamaica, I think.

But, no matter. The band was going to break up. I was just glad to have a chance to see them in concert, having just discovered them and their entire discography. There were some snotty people behind us who didn’t like the opening band, because they mumbled too much. The mumblers, were, btw, R.E.M. Then, another band took the stage, and the complainers didn’t like this band either. This band was actually breaking for good–the English Beat. Who doesn’t like the English Beat?

SqueezeShirt2Then, Squeeze took the stage, and the complainers didn’t seem to like them either. Why did they come?

In the end, it was a pretty good show. At the time, R.E.M. was really not a known commodity. And I had the shirt to prove it. I  have this blog entry under Rememberance of Things Tossed, but, it might actually be worth money, so I am looking into selling it. Anything above $20 will seem like a victory for my years of hoarding.

Meanwhile, I have hoarded a ton of music as well. After the band split in 1982, Difford and Tilbrook did an independent project that sounded a lot like a Squeeze album. And they put out many albums since their 1985 reunion (the concert for which I attended in the same Nassau Colisseum) and I have most of them, despite the poor publicity for them and all the lineup changes to the band. But I think for a lot of people, the band’s best work is considered to be before the “Last Orders” in 1982. Ask anyone for a Squeeze song title and it’s going to be “Tempted” or “Pulling Muscles from the Shell,” not “Hourglass” or “Melody Motel.”

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