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I can't even remember how many bands I saw at the Rainbow... literally. Definitely saw Metallica before they hit it big. Also saw Accept, Megadeath and W.A.S.P.

I'm not entirely proud of all those...

Don't be too embarrassed, we've all got a few rock skeletons in our closets. 

My family owned an Italian restaurant across the street from the Rainbow. I got to know Barry pretty well and often delivered food across the street for the bands. It was a great time!

Thanks for the great post, James. It seemed clear that Barry loved the Rainbow (and he must have loved your family's cooking, too). 

The "spectacular PA" you reference was created by Denver's own ListenUp, which had previously worked with Fey and Chuck Mortis on the sound system at the legendary downtown nightclub Ebbets Field. Interestingly enough, ListenUp's corporate office is now located just down the street from the Rainbow site, at 5295 E. Evans...

Thanks for the comment, George. I didn't know that ListenUp did the Ebbets Field system. 

The Rainbow was the defining concert venue for those of us in high school in the 80's. Sure, Red Rocks got all the press, and really big shows were staged at Folsom...but if you wanted to storm the stage when Gordon Gano and the Violent Femmes put on a blistering show, or be front and center for Stipe and REM, the Rainbow was THE place. We had no idea how fortunate we were to have a venue like this, we just assume that this is the way music was done.

Hi Tom, thanks for the comment. Denver was very fortunate to have a venue like that. While it was always fun to complain about Barry Fey, Feyline and the Rainbow bouncers, they really did bring some amazing acts through the Mile High City (and were generally pretty cool about parking lot hijinks). 

Hey Brian,

Great article. If you want to see actual mug shots of Mugger and Tom Troccoli from that night, check out Series 1, Box 2, FF80 of the Tom Hallewell papers. Thanks for the blog!

Thanks for the heads up, Noel! I'll be digging those out today.