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Shows and Fights Twenty-Five Years Ago

Apr 13, 2008
Eiji Yoshikawa

I am trying to recall what I saw live in 1983 in New York City and the quick list I have made below looks quite interesting. Here we go.


• Spring : Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, Nassau Coliseum, NY.

• Lionel Hampton was coming home late every night to his apartment that was next to the West Side YMCA.

• Ray Charles concert : Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

• B.B. King concert : Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center.

• Spring : Film : “The Grey Fox” with Richard Farnsworth was released.

• Summer : Southside Johnny and Asbury Jukes, Pier Concert, NYC.

• Summer : Gary US Bonds, Pier Concert, NYC.

• June 16 : Roberto Duran won his third world title by defeating Davey Moore at Madison Square Garden. Muhammad Ali was in the ringside seat.

• July 4 : Dave Righetti of the Yankees pitched a no-hitter on Independence Day.

• July 21 : Diana Ross appeared at Central Park with an audience of 300,000. It was stopped by a storm after 15 minutes into the show.

• July 22 : Diana Ross appeared again at Central Park. The concert was held with more than 500,000 people.

• July 24 : George Brett of the Kansas City Royals got furious when George Martin of the Yankees said that Brett put too much tar on his bat as he hit a homerun in the 9th.

• Mr. Gene Palma, the street drummer who appeared in the film “Taxi Driver” by Martin Scorsese, was sometimes seen in midtown Broadway.

• Summer : Carl "Yaz" Yastrzemski of the Boston Red Sox played in Yankee Stadium for the last time before his retirement in the same year.

• Summer : Movie “Stayin’ Alive”, directed by Sylvester Stallone, was released. It was a sequel to “Saturday Night Fever”.

• Summer : Movie “Gandhi” by Richard Attenborough was released.

• August 2 : Jackson Brown concert at Madison Square Garden where Bruce Springsteen jumped on the stage and did a duet of three songs.

• August 6 : Simon and Garfunkel’s reunion concert at Shea Stadium.

• September 15 : Lightweight Champ Ray “Boom Boom” Mancini stopped the challenger Orlando Romero in the 9th round at Madison Square Garden.

• September 15 : Joe Frazier worked as the coach in the corner for his sons’ fights in Madison Square Garden after the main event.

• Fall : Clarence Clemons and The Red Bank Rockers show at Ritz.

• Fall : Nils Lofgren concert at Capitol Theater, Passaic, NJ

• Fall : Clint Eastwood’s “Sudden Impact” – Dirty Harry’s 4th version – was released.

• November : Grete Waitz, a legendary Norwegian runner, won the New York City Marathon.

• November 10 : Marvin Marvelous Hagler and Roberto Duran fought over 15 tough rounds. (TV)

• November : Met Miami Steve Van Zandt at O’Neil’s “Balloon” restaurant in front of Lincoln Center.

• November 20 : Opening day for “Marilyn : An American Fable” - one of the shortest-run musicals on Broadway at Minskoff Theater.

• November 25 : Heavyweight Champion Larry Holmes knocked out Marvis Frazier – son of Joe Frazier - in the first round. (TV)

• December : Pat Metheny’s gig at Seventh Avenue South, NYC

• December : Winton Marsalis at Sweet Basil, NYC

• December : On one windy cold night, a huge team of filmmakers was shooting “The Ghostbusters” at Columbus Circle.


• Summer : Los Angeles Olympics (TV)

• August : “Cats” the musical at Winter Garden

• August 1 : Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band’s “Born in the USA” tour at Brendan Bryne Arena, NJ

• August 3 : Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band’s “Born in the USA” tour at Brendan Bryne Arena, NJ

You may feel that you time traveled a quarter of a century as you read the list. If you also work on a list like this, by picking some span of years that you remember, it might be fun. I will talk about some of these events in the next column.

Eiji Yoshikawa is a retired Pro Boxer who majored inFrench literature and did his thesis on Jean Cocteau and Cinematography. He founded the "Peacemakers", Japan's first neighborhood watch, and spends much of his time visiting schools and communities teaching children about non-violence. In 2004, Japan Inc. Magazine called him the "Compassionate Pugilist". We are proud to offer "Letters from the Compassionate Pugilist" as our first guestcolumnist. Contact Eiji at or via email.

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