In the FX comedy series Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll, Denis Leary’s Johnny Rock and John Corbett’s Flash are the Jagger/Richards of an early 1990s New York City rock band called The Heathens. The duo are reunited after two and a half decades apart when Rock’s long-lost vocalist daughter comes seeking him out while attempting to break into the music business. Corbett, who has been playing guitar since he was a teenager and has toured and recorded with his own band, is perfectly cast as this fictional axe slinger. The lifelong rock and roll fan shares the five most memorable concerts he’s attended.
Bob Seger/Ted Nugent
“It was my very first concert when I was 16, I saw Ted Nugent (left) open for Bob Seger (right) in my little town of Wheeling, WV, at the Capitol Music Hall. I remember the pungent aroma of marijuana for the first time. I was young and had never smoked it and I remember walking in thinking, ‘That’s cool incense that they’re burning.’ I didn’t understand theatrics and at the end of it, Nugent collapsed James Brown-style after playing a red-hot solo and I was worried he had a stroke. Someone came out to help him up and he of course threw them off and started jamming again.”
“I saw Glen Campbell around the ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ years and I went with my mom. We lived five blocks from the Capitol Music Hall and it’s this great ornate old theater that holds under 2,000 people. So we saw Glen Campbell and he had one of those white Elvis jumpsuits on with the big collar. It looked like it was made by the same guy and he had cool sideburns and hair. He played a cool Ovation and I always wanted one and he was just a great guitar player. My mom was super excited and she liked two guys—Elvis and Glen Campbell. That was a cool concert, just to be hanging out with my mom.”
“I snuck into the Capitol Music Hall through a side entrance and the show was sold out. I saw a great band called Angel. Dude, it was such a great show. I was a big Kiss fan and I think they were on the same label. Angel was in all white and they had a magic act, where they would appear on stage. There were a lot of theatrics like Spinal Tap and I remember them getting in a box at the end and disappeared David Copperfield-style.”
“I’m 16 and I get a job at the Capitol Music Hall guarding that same exit door that I snuck into a year or two earlier. I get there at one o’clock and the band rolls in. My boss tells me that they want me to hang with these guys and get them whatever they need. I’m 16 and I know stuff like ‘Dust in the Wind’ from the radio, but these dudes are not even 10 years older than me and they’re just like some of the cool dudes from my hometown that played guitar. Then these guys I’ve been hanging out with all afternoon go upstairs and hit the stage and become these music gods.”
“It’s about 1983 and my girlfriend got four front row tickets to Springsteen at the Universal Amphitheater. You were not allowed to take photographs but I brought in a 35-millimeter camera and snapped off some shots and got some really good photos. At that particular time, ‘Dancing In the Dark’ was out and as the show is getting ready to start, a security guard comes up to us and wanted to know if Bruce motioned to my girlfriend, would she be willing to get on stage and dance. And while she didn’t get picked, we were just sitting there wondering if she was going to wind up dancing with Bruce Springsteen in front of 100,000 people.”