After haphazardly trying a few times in Google Earth, I finally found the location on Google Maps of what was probably the first real rock concert I ever attended. Back in September of 1972, I was 13 years old and just beginning to get serious about playing guitar. Thanks to an older brother, I was exposed to many bands I probably wouldn't have heard of at the time had I only paid attention to the usual radio fare. Along with guys like Johnny Winter, Rick Derringer, Mick Ronson—Rory Gallagher was a huge inspiration for my budding interest in guitar. We had a couple of his albums and were both pretty keen on how good he was, and how different, compared to some of the more well-known players of the time.
I had the great good fortune to see Rory Gallagher play in a tiny venue WAY out in the boondocks of central Pennsylvania. It was at a place called "The Lodge"; it was actually the lodge for a small-and-failing ski area. Local bands played there on the weekends; Harrisburg PA-native Dan Hartman played there at least a few times that I remember with his band The Legends.
The place was tiny—150 people pretty much packed the house. How they managed to get Rory Gallagher booked to play there will remain a mystery to me forever, I suppose, but it was an extraordinary event. Bands at The Lodge played at floor level, and there I was, a snot-nosed kid of 13, just starting to get serious about playing guitar, and one of my favorite inspirations was there blowin' the roof off the place. I stood about 5 feet away from him the whole time, through 2 hour-long sets and about another hour of encores. There was all the keg beer you could drink, they weren't checking IDs, and I was in heaven.Visit my arcane addition to Google Maps, and don't forget to click on the tiny little blue skier icon.