Hello to all you fellow fans of The Connells! My name is Rob Perry and this is a story about how I came to attend my first Connells’ concert.
While living in Goldsboro, NC during the late ’80s, I’d listen to the major rock station of the area, WRDU 106.1 FM. One Sunday morning in the Spring of 1988, the sultry DJ, Kitty Kinnin played “Scotty’s Lament” and talked a little about The Connells being a local band on the rise. I’d never heard of them before but I instantly loved the song and the following week made the trek to the mall to purchase “Boylan Heights” and “Darker Days”.
After listening to these two records for a few weeks and becoming fully enthralled with the Connells’ sound and lyrics, a moment of musical epiphany occurred. Now kids… back then, the radio was our primary source for music news. I remember hearing about an upcoming high‐school‐graduates‐only, alcohol‐free celebration that Wake County NC was offering as an alternative celebration option to the recent grads. The advertisement proclaimed that The Connells would be playing and that the event would be held at Dorton Arena in Raleigh.
So, I thought… Oh, joy! I had yet to see The Connells in concert and I thought that I may never get another chance (yep, my 24‐year‐old mind was working overtime back then). The opportunity of a lifetime had just presented itself. But considering I wasn’t a recent HS graduate, how would I ever make my way into the venue? What to do? What to do?
I decided to call the advertisement’s “for more information” telephone number and ask how I could attend. I spoke with a very nice woman but she did not seem to understand why I would want to attend the celebration just to see an alternative rock band, especially one hailing from within the greater Raleigh area. My pleading to attend got me nowhere until she finally mentioned that the only other people that were allowed inside the celebration were the volunteer chaperones. Volunteer chaperones? Sign me up!
So I volunteered, and the day of the concert I reported to Dorton Arena as requested. I was told by one of the managing volunteers to help police the pit area in front of the stage (I assume because I was one of the younger and more physically fit volunteers). That was obviously fine with me because, you know, the closer to the band the better!
The concert ended up being great. The Connells put on a great set and the crowd was fun. It was officially my first Connells show and it was free. Boy was I lucky? Yep, I’d say so!