Concert Stubs: The Cars - Aug. 18th, 1984
McNichols Arena, Denver CO

The Cars 84 

Tour Promoting Album: Heartbeat City (1984)

OK. This is actually a continuation from the Go-Go's from the night before. This was the only time I ever saw two shows back-to-back when I was a lad. I mentioned that we followed the Go-Go's limousine. Well, we lost it eventually. BUT, we knew that all of the big touring acts stayed at the Fairmont in downtown Denver. So, we all piled into the car early afternoon on Saturday and headed down to the Fairmont. We just HAD to try and meet the Go-Go's. Well, we got down to the hotel, and took the elevators up to 22nd Floor (I think that was the floor that all the "stars" stayed on).

When we got to their floor, we realized that they had already left. Piles empty beer bottles, room service trays among other things were piled outside of their rooms. Well, we were extremely disappointed. So disappointed in fact, that when we got down to the lobby, we didn't even really notice the guy in a leather jacket checking into the hotel. It took a few minutes, before my bud Kyle goes, "hey, wait a minute, that's Ric Ocasek". We were so intent on meeting the Go-Go's that we totally forgot that we had Cars tickets for that night.

Well, we rallyed at the car back in the parking garage to decide what to do. Since we were basically kids, we didn't want to attract too much attention. A couple of us (Kyle and I) decided to go back into the hotel to see if we could scout out where Ric was, and try and get some backstage passes. You see, Kyle and Jay's aunt, Maxanne, worked for Elektra at one point and knew the Cars personally. Jay and Kyle had met them on the Shake It Up tour a year or so before. So, we had an "in" so to speak.

Alright! Kyle and I get back into the hotel. We meet some folks in the elevator who said that Ric was up by the pool. We headed out there. Jay handed me a cassette case to get signed. We talked to Ric for a few minutes. He signed the case, then gave us the name of the road manager for the backstage passes. Well, that was really cool. As we were heading out to the car, we were basically "kicked out" of the hotel by security who had finally noticed our hanging around.

Jay, the only member of our quorum who had not been into the hotel yet, went into the hotel and did get ahold of the manager. He was able to secure only TWO backstage passes. CRAP! There were six of us who wanted to get backstage. Well, all of us being good friends, we decided that Jay would go backstage, since he was the one who drove us down there AND was able to secure the passes. Since Kyle, Tony and Jim had already been backstage at the Shake It Up tour, they gave up the experience to Mike and I. A-HA! But there was only one pass for the two of us. Well, it was then decided that one would get to go backstage, and one would get to keep the pass as a souvenier. We would decide by flipping a coin after the show to decide who would go backstage.

Fast forward to the show. I want to say that Wang Chung opened this one. We got there kind of late due to the backstage pass fiasco at the hotel, so we basically caught the last song from them. The Cars opened with Hello Again, but their programmed synths were off. The whole song ran off-beat. They eventually corrected it, and rocked the house for the rest of the night. This was 80's big-touring-money-decadence to the max. A huge stage with all sorts of interesting lighting set-ups, stage props etc. You could tell this band was on top of the world.

Well, the show wound up, and there we were. Mike had seats across the arena from us because he bought tickets late. Well, we waited, and waited and waited. No Mike. The security was getting ready to throw us out. Jay had really no option. He handed the backstage pass to ME. Oh yeah, I thought I was king of the world!

The security herded us to a special section for the pass-holders. Eventually they led us backstage, into the waiting area. We got to talk to David Robinson, Greg Hawkes and Ben Orr. Man it was really SWEET! This was the only time during that era that I got to go backstage. It was certainly an experience, and most definitely worth it. After about 30-minutes, they started booting all of us out. We headed out to my truck (the band hauler and concert-going machine). I sadly turned my pass over to Mike. But, At least I WAS THERE. Heh, heh, what a great day. Being backstage with one of the biggest bands during the 80's heydey.

Were you at this show? e-mail me at and tell your experience/comments. I will post them here.