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“Where Were You?” – Jetboy w/Bang Bang opening, at Wolfgang’s, in San Francisco [August 2, 1985] – michaelconen “where were you?”

And now, something completely different: one of the earliest shows for me to be assigned to cover for BAM Magazine in mid-1985. I had only been to the venue once or twice before this date; deciding to catch Nona Hendryx performing there, the year earlier Where Were You? Nona Hendryx at Wolfgangs, San Francisco CA [July 12th, 1984], but I would find myself attending several more shows there, in the coming months. At this point in time, metal bands of all stripes were featured in both editions of BAM (in the SF Bay Area edition, as well as the LA Edition) quite regularly. Jetboy were gaining quite a bit of attention, and being courted to sign with a major label, around this time, performing at numerous clubs around the Bay Area, and in L.A., where metal bands were far more popular.

My original prints of the band that were handed over to BAM were rendered not useful for publishing, at the time. All these years later, I have had an opportunity to work on them, digitally, and they look much improved, in many cases. In fact, one reason I had not published them earlier, was because I could not actually place the date of the show, until after carefully inspecting the images, and finding evidence of the opening band for this appearance, Bang Bang, whose kick drum featured the group’s logo/name:

I only shot the two images above, of the opening act, as I could not make my way down to the stage area, by the time I had arrived, but during the break, I made my way down to a couple of spots on either side of the stage, from which to shoot the headliners. This experience would prepare me for shooting shows in the coming months, as I now knew what to expect – for the most part – at this particular venue.

I rarely attended metal shows, by this time, but the environment in the club shows was a welcome change from the larger venues that I had been used to seeing bands play in (mid-size halls, arenas and stadiums). Here, the fans had a lot more interaction with the performers, and bands had to really work the audience, to get the desired effect:

My only other Bay Area metal music experience, prior to this show, was going to only gig I would manage to attend at The Kabuki Nightclub as a guest of a former boss at the Rainbow Records that I worked at, at the time. He was friends with one of the opening bands, Anvil Chorus on a bill with headliners, Alcatrazz , featuring the soon-to-be heavily touted Yngwie Malmsteen I had hoped to bring along my camera to that show, but was told “absolutely no cameras allowed” by the headliners, unfortunately.

A few good frames were salvaged by the digitizing and (obvious) editing of the shots from the Jetboy show. Without further ado, here is a selection of the better images captured on this night….

Lead vocalist Mickey Finn:

Guitarist Fernie Rod:

Guitarist Billy Rowe:

Bassist Todd Crew:

Unfortunately, as is often the case, I could not get an angle to get a clear image of the drummer on this night. Instead, I will finish with the last few shots that turned out alright, in my estimation:

Additional links for further reading:

Jetboy Wikipedia page:

Interview with Jetboy members surrounding the controversy over Todd Crew’s unfortunate death:

Memorial page for Todd Crew:

Jetboy official website:

Alcatrazz Wikipedia page:

Anvil Chorus Discogs entry:

Partial Kabuki Nightclub concert history:



While many of you who arrive here, to look at these photographs may get turned off to my use of watermarks [thinking they ruin the image], let me explain why I choose to do this.

No one paid for my camera equipment but me. No one paid for the film I used to take these photographs.  On occasion, when I free-lanced for a free monthly newsletter, and they published a photo of mine, the payment for each photograph barely paid for the fuel to get my vehicle to the show [when I *did* have a vehicle], and the film I used on that night. 

Not too many of my photos were published, at the time, because the artists I chose to capture images of, were not hugely popular then.  Hence, the old dictum, Supply and Demand; I had the supply, but the demand [pre-Internet], was not there. You can argue the relative merits of the quality of my work, and that is precisely what a blog offers:  a venue for discussion.

Back to the watermarks: no one is subsidizing my time to scan and then clean up the images I am presenting here. Start to finish, each negative will take approximately an hour-and-a-half to reach proof quality which is what you will see here.  This is my labor of love, and until there is some measurable return on my efforts, what you see is what you get.

As always, constructive criticism is welcome, here, in the comments section, or directly to me, at [email protected]