Twenty fabled moments in Denver music, #6: Black Crowes spitting incident at 7-Eleven

Backbeat is continuing to count down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today we take a look back at the time when Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson spit on a woman at 7-Eleven because she had the audacity not to recognize him.

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Two months after getting kicked off ZZ Top's tour in May 1991, Chris Robinson, the twenty-something frontman of the Black Crowes, was on a late-night mission to acquire beer after a show in Denver. The beer run reportedly ended with Robinson spitting on a woman and walking off with two cases of beer.

See also:
- #7: DJ Quik show at Mammoth turns into melee
- #8: The Jimi Hendrix Experience's last show
- Twenty Fabled Moments in Denver Music archive


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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music, #7: DJ Quik show at Mammoth turns into melee

Backbeat is continuing to count down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today we take a look back at when an early-'90s DJ Quik show at Mammoth Events Center turned into a bit of a melee.

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"But still my story ain't over cause I got one more to tell/And the people of Colorado, they know it well/It was all in the news, and if you don't remember/I had this show I did in Denver." So begins the last verse of "Jus Lyke Compton," one of the standout tracks from DJ Quik's 1992 album, Way 2 Fonky. The song is a hatchet piece about infamous shows the rapper had played in places like Oakland, St. Louis, San Antonio and Denver, where he appeared "in a bunk-ass skating rink," as he put it.

See also:
- #8: The Jimi Hendrix Experience's last show
- #9: Pantera fans riot at Mammoth Event Center
- Twenty Fabled Moments in Denver Music archive

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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music, #8: The Jimi Hendrix Experience's last show

Over the next few weeks, Backbeat will finish our countdown of the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, we take a look back at Barry Fey's Denver Pop Festival, a three-night musical event in June 1969 that culminated with the final appearance of the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the outfit led by the legendary guitarist, who would have been seventy years old today.

By Mark Sanders and Dave Herrera

The mere fact that the Jimi Hendrix Experience played in Denver is itself remarkable -- even more so when you take note of the fact that the band essentially broke up at Mile High Stadium, just after playing the Denver Pop Festival on Sunday, June 29, 1969. There was also clash between the crowd and the police that involved tear gas at the three-night festival, which was a landmark event for then burgeoning promoter Barry Fey, who was only doing one show a month at the time.

See also:
- #9: Pantera fans riot at Mammoth Event Center, 1997
- #10: Nirvana's first post-Nevermind show here, 1991
- #11: Bob Dylan crashed in the Mile High City, 1960
- Twenty Fabled moments archive
- The Jimi Hendrix Experience's Are You Experienced turns 45
- Top Five Excellent Jimi Hendrix Songs You Might Not Know
- Jimi Hendrix's 70th Birthday: Thirteen revealing quotes from the man himself
- Hendrix at 70: Jimi was headed for jazz fusion and hip-hop, not Earth, Wind & Fire


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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #9: Pantera fans riot at Mammoth Event Center

Backbeat is counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today: A look back at when Pantera played at Mammoth Events Center in the mid '90s and fans took their fury out on the venue.

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See Also:
- Vinnie Paul on Rebel Meets Rebel
- Losing Dimebag Darrell was never part of the Damageplan
- #10: Nirvana's first post-Nevermind show here, 1991
- #11: Bob Dylan crashed in the Mile High City, 1960
- 20 Fabled moments archive

You know the situation's serious when concertgoers are ripping out urinals from the walls. That's what happened at a Pantera gig in 1997, when a packed venue of kids got restless and the result was a pissy waterworld in the men's room, broken barricades and a near-catastrophe on stage. Pantera frontman Phil Anselmo possessed an angry charisma that fueled the band's uncompromising sound, which was nihilistic and brutal, and the group had an incendiary live show to match, as evidenced by Pantera's January 30, 1997 show at the Mammoth Events Center (now the Fillmore Auditorium).


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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #10: Nirvana's first post-Nevermind show here, 1991

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Nirvana came back to town for a show at the Gothic Theatre with Dinosaur Jr., fresh off of recording Nevermind.

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When the members of Nirvana left an L.A. studio in June of 1991 and came to the Gothic fresh off of having just wrapped up recording Nevermind, an album that would usher out the hair metal era and formally introduce the world to alt rock, they may not have had any idea of what they were about to do for pop music. This was the summer before "Smells Like Teen Spirit" broke, and Nirvana was a lauded but still relatively unknown act when it returned to Denver for a show at the Gothic with Jesus Lizard and Dinosaur Jr..

This was the first show after the Nevermind recording sessions. Kurt Cobain, Chris Novoselic and Dave Grohl had just been in L.A.'s Sound City Studios -- the same studio where Fleetwood Mac mixed Rumours -- for two months recording their landmark album. Recording went slowly, though the band worked eight to ten hours a day laying down tracks.

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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #11: Bob Dylan crashed in the Mile High City, 1960

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Bob Dylan circa 1963, a few years after he hung his hat in Denver.

Did you know Bob Dylan once spent a summer in Denver as a then-unknown teenager with a fake accent, sleeping on a floors and gigging at the Satire Lounge? He was nineteen at the time. It was just a year after the young Robert Zimmerman adopted his iconic stage moniker and around the time he'd discovered folk music, Woody Guthrie and the travails and romance of hobo life. There was also the obvious Kerouac mystique. Dylan, enamored of this, yearned to shed his small-town Minnesota persona and embody a new one. What better way to do this than to hitchhike out West carrying only a guitar and a suitcase?

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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #12: Denver's "Red Elvis" comes home, 1985

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Rainer Mittelst├Ądt
Dean Reed in Germany in 1978.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Dean Reed (aka "Red Elvis") came back to Denver and didn't receive the warmest of welcomes.

Dean Reed was more than a Denver-born, Wheat Ridge-bred pop star. He was the self-proclaimed Red Elvis, a communist to the core whose ideals and good looks brought him more fans in the Eastern bloc than it did enemies back in the States. When he returned to Denver in 1985 after a 23-year exile, Reed appeared on a local radio show, finding a hostile audience at home and getting booted off the air. Reed was dead just a year later, thus cementing his rock-star odyssey as one of the strangest in Colorado (if not American) history.

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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music, #13: Ray Charles causes a ruckus at Red Rocks, 1962

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Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when a Ray Charles concert at Red Rocks in 1962 turned into a beer-can-tossing melee.

With the passage of time, our heroes become more heroic, if docile. Exhibit A: Ray Charles. Long before he was the avuncular old gentle genius of showbiz, Charles was a touring pianist and singer playing gigs and packing venues. On one such night in 1962, a drunken mob nearly destroyed Red Rocks over the star's reportedly half-assed performance and chased his band off the stage.

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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #14: Marc Cohn gets shot in downtown Denver, 2005

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at when Grammy winner Marc Cohn got shot in the head in downtown Denver during a car-jacking attempt gone awry.

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Marc Cohn might be a superhero. At least that's what you might gather from an incident he survived in Denver in 2005 in which he was shot in in the head and managed to walk out of the hospital just a day later. While winning a Grammy in 1991 as Best New Artist is a testament to his songwriting, this traumatic experience and the fact that he survived it and returned to making touring and making music is a testament to his tenacity as an individual.

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Twenty fabled moments in Denver music: #15: Grateful Dead's first time at Red Rocks in 1978

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Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and Bill Walton at Red Rocks with their sons July 1978.

Over the course of the next few weeks, Backbeat will be counting down the twenty most fabled moments in Denver music history. Today, a look back at the first time the Grateful Dead played at Red Rocks in 1978.

The origins of Colorado's jam band "scene" are pretty nebulous, but July 7, 1978, is probably as close to a date as you're going to find pinpointing its genesis, for that's the first time the Grateful Dead played Red Rocks Amphitheatre, and, by all accounts, it was a barn burner of a performance. Words like "legendary" and "monumental" are thrown around on internet discussion boards describing the first of a two-night stand in Morrison.

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