When I was writing The Other Times of Caroline Tangent, I thought a lot about which bands and artists to send Caroline and Jon back to see. And there were plenty who I considered but didn’t quite make the final cut for various reasons. Here’s a few of those which just missed out:
Elvis at his Comeback Special. Unsurprisingly, Elvis is one of the most popular acts which people say they would go back to see if they had a time machine. I really wanted to include his TV Comeback Special in the book, but I couldn’t find a good way to get Caroline and Jon into the TV studio! I could have landed them directly in that room, but the risk of being seen would be too high; I could have got Jon to bribe someone to let them in, but that didn’t seem to work; and perhaps most importantly, even if they had got into that show then they would have been filmed, and that could have led to Andrew asking all sorts of questions back in 2021!! (Unless they’d gone in disguise…)
Johnny Cash at San Quentin Prison: This was a truly iconic gig, but again, trying to get my characters into the prison would have been a nightmare! I had various ideas but all too far fetched. (One of which was to get Jon arrested several years earlier and then get him transferred to San Quentin prison nearer the date of the gig. But that would have been beyond even Jon’s dedication! And he would have had to get out again!!) A shame.
The Sex Pistols first ever gig. There’s an apocryphal story that does the rounds that if everyone who claims to have been at the Sex Pistols’ first gig was really there, then the room couldn’t have held that number! I decided this was just too cliche, even for Jon.
The Stone Roses at Spike Island in 1990. At one point, I considered whether Jon should try to capitalise on his time machine by visiting concerts which were never recorded/filmed and sell bootleg tapes; and this Roses’ gig is one of the most famous of such concerts. That storyline didn’t make the final cut.
Several festivals: I thought about sending them to the extremely muddy Glastonbury 1982 instead of the 2015 show they went to, as 1982 was when Van Morrison headlined (Caroline’s favourite singer). But Jon’s arrogance of wanting to see Kanye overruled that. I also thought about the 1969 Isle of Wight Festival, but Woodstock trumped that.
Other acts: The Rolling Stones (can’t believe I didn’t include them!), AC/DC down under when Bon Scott was still singing, an early Police gig, and I also considered Bob Dylan in Boston 1978 for a key part of the book. And then the more recent iconic acts such as Lady Gaga, Eminem, even Britney Spears, but they just weren’t “Jon and Caroline”.
Who else do you think I should have included??!