50/50 Tour Stop: # 47 (Concert # 48)
Date: December 8, 1981
Venue: Popejoy Hall. 203 Cornell Drive. Albuquerque, New Mexico. 87131.
Find it on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/iF2EC7NESgm
I do not have a photo of Popejoy Hall’s exterior as it looked in 1981. I would be much obliged to anyone who can point me to a good picture from that era.
Photo credit: http://hypnotherapyacademy.com/location-accommodations/
Source: Screen grab from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLcgn8W_oq8
Opening Act: Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble.
Above: Photo of Stevie Ray “Vaughn” from the New Mexico Daily Lobo. December 14, 1981. Photo credit: Bill Wechter.
In a short, post-show interview published in the New Mexico Daily Lobo, SRV says that this was his first-ever performance in Albuquerque. When asked about his connection with George Thorogood, SRV says that he’d played with Thorogood once before in Austin. “Nice man, always looks us up”.
Poster / Flyer / Handbill: I have not come across a poster, flyer or handbill for the Popejoy Hall show to date. Please get in touch if you have a scan that you can share.
Press & Promotion: Several ads and concert listings for the Albuquerque 50-50 tour stop appeared in area papers, including the University of New Mexico’s Daily Lobo campus newspaper.
Above: Popejoy Hall 50-50 concert ad from the Daily Lobo. December 3, 1981.
Above: Popejoy Hall 50-50 promo article from the Daily Lobo. December 3, 1981.
Excerpt: “Popejoy Hall will never be the same after this one, and I seriously doubt that Big River and PEC (the people who are bringing us all of this) will ever get a rock-n-roll performance in that hall again, so get it while it’s hot”.
Above: Newspaper ad for the George Thorogood and the “Defenders” (sic) show at Popejoy Hall on December 8, 1981.
Above: Popejoy Hall 50-50 concert listing from a Santa Fe area newspaper.
Ticket Price: $9.50
My sincere thanks to blog visitor and concert attendee Ted M. for sharing this photo of his Popejoy Hall 50-50 ticket stub!
Attendance: Unknown. Popejoy Hall currently has a capacity of 1,985.
- House of Blue Lights
- Kids from Philly
- Who Do You Love
- I’m Wanted
- Cocaine Blues
- One Way Ticket
- One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer
- It Wasn’t Me
- Bottom of the Sea
- Night Time
- I’ll Change My Style
- Madison Blues
- Can’t Stop Lovin’
- The Sky is Crying
- That Same Thing
- Bad to the Bone
- Move It On Over
- Nobody But Me
- No Particular Place to Go
- Ride on Josephine
- Reelin’ and Rockin’*
* The last song is unconfirmed. On the concert recording, Thorogood does his customary encore routine of asking the crowd if there are any obscenity laws in this part of town… but the recording fades out right at the point when the song is (seemingly) about to start.
The music portion of the Popejoy Hall 50-50 concert was just over 2 hours long.
It is interesting to note the introduction into the set list of three songs – Bad to the Bone, Nobody But Me, No Particular Place to Go – from the then-still-eight-months-away Bad to the Bone album (released in August 1982).
Source: Concert recording.
Was the Concert Recorded? Yes. A bootleg audience recording exists of the Popejoy Hall 50-50 concert. See the track listing above.
Above: George Thorogood on stage at Popejoy Hall as part of the 50-50 tour. Photo credit: Bill Wechter.
In a follow-up article published in the New Mexico Daily Lobo newspaper, Bill Wechter provides a first-hand account of the Popejoy Hall 50-50 show from the side of the stage:
“Thorogood was running in and out for encores. He’d come in from the stage soaked in sweat, looking ragged out. There was this imaginary line right where the flies [the space above the stage where scenery and lighting hang out of audience view] met the stage. He’d hit that spot coming off and it was like, “Whew!” He’d wipe himself down, catch his breath, pick up another guitar, get that set up, get a running start, aim for that line and when he’d hit it, he’d start it up all over again. The man was a pro to the point. He’s done it 47 times in a row. The man knows what he’s doing.”
The Daily Lobo review notes that “people were dancing in the aisles”, “everyone was having a good time”, and “overall it was a good show”.
Albuquerque Journal music writer Dwight Loop’s review recounted the Popejoy scene as follows:
“For pure rock ‘n’ roll excitement, this show was one of the year’s best. The crowd roared the moment the athletic Thorogood strolled on stage with his Gibson guitar and didn’t stop for two hours… The aisles quickly filled with those wishing a closer look at the animated Thorogood. Thorogood duck walked, pranced with Mick Jagger-like moves, played the guitar behind his head, kneeled and laid down on the carpeted stage, and anointed the heads of those in the first row with his guitar – all within the first few numbers”.
Other Notes: None.
Fate of the Venue: Albuquerque’s Popejoy Hall continues to function as a venue for concerts. The hall underwent an extensive renovation in 1996 to improve lighting, building acoustics and the in-house sound system.