Tag Archives: Mountainlair

50 Dates in 50 Posts – Tour Stop # 23 – West Virginia University, Mountainlair Ballroom, Morgantown, West Virginia

** Special Note:  I would like to acknowledge and express my sincere thanks to site visitor and WVU 50-50 concert attendee Brad Stalnaker for going above and beyond by sharing memories and many items from his personal collection for this blog post. **  

50/50 Tour Stop:  # 23

Date:  November 14, 1981

Venue:  West Virginia University.  Mountainlair Student Union Ballroom (aka The Lair Ballroom).  1550 University Avenue.  Morgantown, WV.  26506.

Find it on Google Mapshttps://goo.gl/maps/zFFYSYuNz5C2

Venue Exterior

1980: 

23 WVU Mountainlair Outside View 1980 from Monticola Yearbook

Source:  WVU ‘Monticola’ Yearbook.  1980.  Pg. 1.

2015:

23 Street View Mountainlair WVU 2015

Venue Interior:

1980:

23 WVU Mountainlair Ballroom Interior View 1980 from Monticola Yearbook

Source:  West Virginia University ‘Monticola’ Yearbook.  1981.  Pg. 64.  Photo credit:  Unknown.

November 1969:

23 University of West Virginia Mountainlair Ballrooms Interior 1969 Muhammad Ali Photo

Muhammad Ali speaks to a packed house of WVU students at the Mountainlair Ballroom.

Source:  https://lib.wvu.edu/about/news/2015/06/23/muhammad-ali-visits-wvu-in-1969/

Opening Act:  There was no opening act for this concert.  Brad Stalnaker shares this anecdote about the resulting confusion on the night of the show:

“At about 9:30[pm] my buddy and I decided to go down and listen. When we got to the Lair EVERYBODY was still in the hall. The doors had not opened. We found out that GT thought there WAS an opening act, so they had not arrived yet.”

At the time, Larry Shaughnessy from the the West Virginia University ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper reported:

“More than a thousand rowdy fans packed the Lair Ballrooms Saturday night to see George Thorogood in concert, but George wasn’t there to see them.  Under the impression he was to perform after a warm-up band, Thorogood and the Destroyers were still on their way […] from their Friday night show in Columbus.  By the time George arrived and hit the stage, he was an hour and 15 minutes late and fans were angry.  At 9:30 the lights dimmed and the crowd roared in anticipation.”

Poster / Flyer / Handbill:  I have not come across a poster, flyer or handbill for the WVU 50-50 show to date.  Please get in touch if you have a scan that you can share.

Press & Promotion:

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Mountainlair Ballroom Advertisement Daily Athenaeum 1981 Oct 27

Source:  WVU ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper.  October 27, 1981.  Pg. 2.

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour West Virginia Daily Athenaeum Concert Ad Ticket Prices

Source:  WVU ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper.

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Morgantown West Virginia Concert Listing Calendar

Source:  Rolling Stone Magazine.

Ticket Price:  $5 for students, $7 for non-students.

Ticket Stub

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Morgantown West Virginia University Mountainlair Ticket Stub 1981 Nov 14

Attendance:  The official attendance for the WVU 50-50 show was 1,000.  The WVU ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper reported that “more than” 1,000 people were in the audience.

Set List:  

  • Who Do You Love?*
  • One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer*
  • Move It On Over*
  • Bad to the Bone*
  • Reelin’ and Rockin’*

* I am not able to confirm the order in which these songs were played, only that they were part of the Destroyers’ set list for this show.

Source:  WVU ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper.  November 1981.

Was the Concert Recorded?  Unknown.  Please get in touch if you have any information.

Concert Photos:

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Morgantown West Virginia Daily Athenaeum Concert Photo George and Crowd

Source:  WVU ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper.  November 1981.  Photo credit:  Dave Rodgers.

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Mountainlair Ballroom Concert Photo George Cowboy Hat 1981 Nov 14

Source:  Brad Stalnaker’s personal collection.

23 University of West Virginia Monticola Yearbook 1982 pg 74 George Thorogood 50-50 Tour Photo Whole Page

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour West Virginia University Mountainlair Ballroom 1981 Nov 14 Concert Photo 1982 Monticola Yearbook

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour West Virginia University Mountainlair Ballroom 1981 Nov 14 Hank Carter Photo 2 1982 Monticola Yearbook

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour West Virginia University Mountainlair Ballroom 1981 Nov 14 Hank Carter Photo 1982 Monticola Yearbook

Source:  West Virginia University ‘Monticola’ Yearbook.  1982.  Pg. 74.  Photo credit:  Unknown.

Concert Reaction:  

23 George Thorogood 50 50 Tour Morgantown West Virginia Daily Athenaeum Concert Review Headline Rock Lair for 2 1-2 Hours

Larry Shaughnessy of the Daily Athenaeum filed a very positive review of the Destroyers’ 50-50 show in West Virginia:  

“Not only was [Thorogood’s] voice at its best, but his guitar playing was even better than it is on his records.  His style is marked with energy, to say the least.  He duck walks, high steps, blesses the front row fans with his guitar and holds the mike out over the audience – while playing.

Those who missed the concert should not be too upset because if the rest of this 50 day tour is as great as it was here, George Thorogood is on his way to a long and successful career of ‘Saturday night jamborees’ in front of much bigger audiences.” 

Source:  WVU ‘Daily Athenaeum’ student newspaper.  November 1981. 

The WVU Vice President of Student Affairs received a letter of complaint about the lack of crowd control at the Destroyers’ Mountainlair Ballroom concert:

“Apparently the people in charge of controlling admission to the event simply gave up at some point in the evening and let everyone in…  Since there was no seating provided, the Ballroom was simply jammed from wall to wall with people.  Rhythmic bouncing or stomping that went along with the music made the floor move enough that it gave serious concern to my son and his date who forced their way out and left early…”  

Source:  WVU Archives.

Other Notes:  

Below is an unused backstage pass from the Mountainlair Ballroom 50-50 concert.

23-george-thorogood-50-50-concert-mountainlair-ballroom-wv-backstage-pass-1981-nov-14

Fate of the Venue:  The West Virginia University’s Mountainlair Ballroom was closed as a concert venue in 2009.  The Ballroom continues to host other live events.

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