Blimp Time-Hop: ZZ Top Makes Portland History At CCCC In 1977
It's is a mighty significant anniversary for Portland, Maine. 44 years ago today, the very first event happened at the Civic Center. And it is of course quite fitting that here in Blimpville, the first event was a rock concert.
On March 3, 1977, WBLM welcomed ZZ Top for the inaugural night of rock at the CCCC on the Worldwide Texas tour. That “lil’ ol’ band from Texas” was on the road in support of their album, Tejas which featured the songs It’s Only Love and Arrested for Driving While Blind. The band that had the honor of opening this historic show was Maine’s own, The Blend. So, technically they are the first band to play Portland's largest indoor venue.
Unfortunately, we can't seem to find the Portland setlist. But, you know what? It's very likely that what ZZ played went something like it did on St. Patrick's Day in Boston a couple weeks after our first ever Cumberland County Civic Center live show.
Longtime friend of WBLM, Andrew Govatsos was the concert promoter. Listen to his memories of bringing this show to the Civic Center before work on the new venue was finished. The seats weren't even fully installed yet. He's a wicked character.
We really wish we could find a copy of this historic night in Blimpville. But hey, check out this live concert from Birmingham, Alabama one month after the 1st Civic center show in Portland on April 3, 1977. The recording starts out rough then it gets better. If you were at our show, this will get your memories flowin', bub. Enjoy.
Here's a great example of why Jimi Hendrix spoke so highly of Billy Gibbons as a guitar player. Hallelujah, it's a rippin' version of Chevrolet from the Cap Centre in DC from 1976.
We count 20 shows in Maine and 10 shows in New Hampshire from 1975 to 2019. There's no doubt that Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Frank Beard love to bring the Texas boogie to Blimpville.
Here's the setlist and poster from the first Maine ZZ show in Lewiston 46 years ago.