On This Day in 1977: The B-52’s make their live debut

Tuesday, February 14, 2017
On This Day in 1977: The B-52’s make their live debut

40 years ago today, a band based in Athens, Georgia finally took the big step they’d been working toward since the previous October and played their first live show…and, no, we’re not talking about R.E.M.

The B-52’s legend goes like this: in October 1976, Fred Schneider, Kate Pierson, Keith Strickland, Cindy Wilson, and her brother, Ricky Wilson, shared a Flaming Volcano at a Chinese restaurant in Athens, GA and soon found themselves in the midst of a jam session. Blame it on the alcohol or the camaraderie, but the end result remains the same: The B-52’s were formed, their name taken from a type of beehive hairdo, which had taken its name because it resembled the nose cone of the aircraft known as the B-52.

Mind you, it took a few months for the newly-minted fivesome to get themselves together enough to perform a real concert, and when they did, it was at a Valentine’s Day party for their friends, so it’s not as though it was at a paying venue or anything, but it hardly matters: by the end of their performance, they’d proved themselves to be a real band. In short order, they were playing around the area, and by 1978 they’d recorded and released their first single, “Rock Lobster,” which turned them into cult sensations. Over the years, their album sales would enter platinum territory, with their 1989 album COSMIC THING taking their success into the stratosphere, appropriately enough.

Long story short, if you’re alone this Valentine’s Day and you’re feeling angry and bitter, just think of today as the anniversary of the first-ever B-52’s concert. Not only will it cause you to turn that frown upside-down, it’s liable to inspire you to dance this mess around, too.