Contributed by: Jay
Friday, 3rd October, 1980
Seattle Center Arena, Seattle, Washington
Don't have the setlist, only my ticket stub. Was my fourth or fifth concert ever and will never forget what happened whether you wanna believe it or not. Anyone that knew the Seattle Center Coliseum (now called Key Arena) knows how this could happen. During the show some dude decided to climb up one of the girders on the ceiling of the Coliseum to get a better view (I assume). He fell into the crowd (either during or right before, still being debated) while The Kinks were playing "Catch Me Now I'm Falling". I recall during as everyone thought it was part of the show until security showed up to clean up dude and the people he fell on. No one was killed believe it or not. I KNOW the story to be true. Whether any of the band members will admit to it in public is another question. In private, I guarantee they all remember it!!!
Contributed by: Rick
The events described by Jay actually took place on October 3, 1980 at the Seattle Center Arena (the hockey rink). The man was trying to sneak into the concert by climbing in through the ceiling. He stepped onto a suspended ceiling tile which broke loose, causing him to fall into the crowd who were standing on the main floor. The gatecrasher suffered only minor injuries. Four others were injured, one with a serious compression fracture of the spine (according to The Seattle Times).
As I recall, The Kinks were performing "All Day and All of the Night" at the time. It was toward the end of their main set, before any encores. They finished the song but then the house lights came up and the concert was cut short. This was my first concert ever and I had a clear view of the entire fall. He fell face down, as if crawling, with arms and legs flailing. The ceiling tile floated harmlessly into the stadium seats like a Frisbee.
Ray Davies mentioned the event in a 2006 interview with Seattle Weekly: "Yes, it's true. A fan fell out of the ceiling trying to sneak in. I'd love to say it was while we were playing '(Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman,' but I don't think it was. It happened at the arena. I saw the body land. He was OK. He walked away. A few people got their arms broken or something."
The Kinks did return to Seattle on September 4, 1981 at the Seattle Center Coliseum (Key Arena). They played one of the longest shows in the band's history to make up for the previous abbreviated appearance. I don't have the set list either but it was certainly an epic concert!
Contributed by: James Holden
I was at the Seattle Arena show where the guy fell thru the ceiling! It was indeed during "All Day and All of the Night" torwards what must have been the end of the show. Seattle music lore will tell you it was during "Catch Me Now I'm Falling", but this is not true. This guy did indeed sneek into the show. I also snuck into this show with a friend! We banged on the side door of the Seattle Arena with a rock until a security guard opened the door. My friend and I immediately ran passed the guard as he grabbed another individual that was sneaking in! I was fourteen years old and remember being bummed that there wasn't an encore. I remember it was a really good show. I believe the highly energetic Angel City opened the show!
I also was at the Seattle Coliseum show the next time the Kinks came thru Seattle. It was indeed a long show and the band was full of energy! I was a bratty teenager and I remember the stage setup had an area where Dave Davies could walk out on a catwalk while playing guitar. I kept untying his tennis shoe and he eventually stomped my hand. I found it funny.
Saw them a couple years later at the Seattle Paramount and it was another stellar show! Wish I could relive those carefree days!
Contributed by: David Dawes
It was All Day & All of the Night, but it was very early,
about 3 songs in, 4 at most.
Contributed by: Jef Jaisun
I was at the October 3, 1980 in Seattle, covering it for the
Bellevue, WA Journal-American, a (now late) suburban Seattle
newspaper. (Wow...that was 35 years ago!)
The sneak's involuntary skyfall occurred towards the end of the show.
I saw him tumble, injuring four people below. Most of us who
witnessed the dive reacted the same: WTF? By the time it happened, I
was the only local music photographer still in the building
(doubtless because I was a Kinks fan, not merely an assigned photog
for one of the larger daily papers). Ray noticed the commotion and
immediately stopped the show. He apologized for having to do so, but
correctly deferred to the safety of the fans.
Attached is a scan of my column of October 10, 1980 (the column was
weekly, so this was my first shot at a review/comment). This is
probably as accurate a description of the incident as you're likely to get.
My photo of an injured fan being attended to accompanied the review,
even though a security goon tried to keep me from shooting. (When he
stuck his hand up in front of my face I swung the camera under his
arm and got the shot.) Unfortunately, our newspaper archivist cut my
photo from the tear sheet, but I have the negative in my files. In
subsequent media articles it was revealed that the floater and his
friend had found a way to climb up on the roof of the Arena, break in
and were on a maintenance catwalk when the dummy lost his balance.
Btw, the line towards the end of the piece should read, "that some
IDIOT would actually try it before the night was over." I didn't get
to set my own type in those days.
E-mail Dave Emlen