Great (Nearly) Forgotten El Paso Concert Recordings From The Past
El Paso has seen its share of fantastic shows; but not every show was recorded back then. Nowadays it's easier to record a show on your show; but back then, you were lucky to stumble upon a live recording from El Paso. Thankfully we were blessed by the internet gods (and some truly amazingly devout fans) that there DO EXIST old vintage recordings of concerts back in the day. Shows like...
Iron Maiden (1987):
Easily one of the greatest metal bands that has existed, El Paso is no stranger to a great Iron Maiden concert (they've been coming since 1981). In February 1987, Iron Maiden came to El Paso as part of their Somewhere On Tour...tour. They played 14 songs & while the quality isn't great, all 14 songs ARE there for true Maiden fans to check out.
Aerosmith (1988): "America's Greatest Rock & Roll Band"... "The Bad Boys From Boston"... they are without a doubt one of the biggest bands from the US. The last time they came to El Paso was back in 2004 (and I think they need to return at least one more time). But thankfully a recording of a past El Paso show DOES exist; their 1988 Permanent Vacation Tour ran through El Paso on February 10th, where they performed at UTEP's Special Events Center.
Scorpions (1996): The Scorpions are true rock/metal gods. They've been around since the early 70s & they're still rocking today. So it's no surprise that they would eventually make their way to El Paso. And they did. In fact on June 5, 1996, while on their Pure Instinct Tour. There was originally an actual cd made of that very show but, it's very hard to find. But you can still very songs occasionally appear on YouTube.
KISS (1984-1985): One of the biggest names in rock history, the last time KISS was here in town back in 2020 (and it would be the last show we would see for a while). But during the height of their career, KISS did quite a few shows including 3 years in a row (1983-1985). While there's no audio of their 1983 show, there IS a recording not just for their 1984 performance at the County Coliseum,
but also their 1985 performance at the El Paso Convention Center.
Alice Cooper (1980): Good ol' Alice Cooper... he's been the star of a couple KLAQ events (like 2017 Streetfest). But before Streetfest, he's made appearances since 1976 but the one I'm highlighting is his 1980 appearance. During his Flush the Fashion Tour, a very young Alice Cooper performed 18 songs during his new wave era at the County Coliseum. You can find a partial recording of the show on YouTube.
But there DOES exist a cd that has the whole performance. We know because... we played the entire thing for Halloween...
Van Halen (1981): The mighty VAN HALEN. David Lee Roth DID come back to El Paso but Van Halen, the last time was over 25 years ago in 1995). But during the PEAK years for VH, El Paso was lucky to see them between 1980-1982 WITH David, Michael Anthony, Eddie & Alex Van Halen. And we're even luckier today to know one of their shows exists in its entirety: their whole Oct 7th, 1981 Fair Warning Tour performance can be found in a playlist on YouTube. And on a Van Halen dedication site, there exists audio of that concert along with a VERY old KLAQ interview with Alex.
Ozzy Osbourne (1982): Ozzy needs no introduction... he's the Prince of Darkness, The Madman, The Wizard of Ozz... IT'S OZZY man! El Paso only got to see Ozzy a handful of times (a total of 6 times). And one of those times, not only did Ozzy come to town, but the late great Randy Rhodes was here too. And there DOES exist a copy of the 1982 performance so we can hear the late great Randy again.
Dio (1983): Ozzy wasn't the only front man from Black Sabbath El Paso got to see. The legendary Ronnie James Dio came to El Paso the very next year in 1983, (which ended up being the first of 8 times that Dio would come to town). He performed a handful of Sabbath & Rainbow tunes & of course stuff off of Holy Diver. While not the BEST sounding recording, it is proof that Ronnie did rock El Paso (and still does today).
The Rolling Stones (2006): One of the biggest names in rock n roll, The Stones are one of those bigger than life bands. They only came to El Paso twice: 1994 and then a decade later in 2006. Both shows were at the Sun Bowl. While there's no footage of the 94 show, there IS of the 2006 show. It's mostly audio but the whole concert can be viewed (or rather HEARD) on YouTube.
Elvis Presley (1976): Of course I can't talk about legendary names in rock n roll without bringing up...The King: Elvis Presley. I did mention that Elvis came to El Paso a total of 3 times during his career, and one of those times, an entire album was recorded right here in El Paso. Still pretty wild the fact the album was literally called... El Goes El Paso.
Will we see more recordings dug up and released online for us to hear? As long as there exists super fans & rock fans out there, I think we absolutely will.