Red Hot Chilli Peppers, from left to right, John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, and Flea, April 14, 1989.
The drummer is not shown in the image - it was either D.H. Peligro or Chad Smith.
Friday night rock concerts in Shafer Court at VCU were free. The beer truck was about 20 feet away from the stage. A glass of beer was a buck in the 1980s (students could drink beer at 18 then). The concerts began with set up around 4 pm and the music began at 5 or 6 - lasting until about 8 pm when people headed off to parties in the Fan or in the VCU dorms. Most of the concerts were organized by the student concert committee which began in the late 1960s bringing local and national acts to not only Shafer Court but to the Franklin Street Gym and the Mosque (now the Landmark Theatre).
The Red Hot Chili Peppers, who played here on April 14, 1989, were one of hundreds of local and nationally known bands who performed on the brick stage in Shafer Court. That stage stood about where the elevator is in the "new" VCU Shafer Court Dinning Center. The stage was built in 1960 and was demolished in 2002. There is a historic marker on the ground commemorating the stage and the concerts that took place there - its about 30 feet back from Shafer Street just to the right of the Shafer Street Playhouse.
The 1980s were the peek years for the Friday night rock concerts with local bands like the Awareness Art Ensemble, The Good Guys, Death Piggy, and The Bobcats playing often to large crowds.
The Richmond music scene needs to be documented - if you are interested in learning more about its history, VCU Libraries' Special Collections and Archives' holdings include a full run of Throttle and the Richmond Music News and other alternative publications documenting Richmond's music scene through the decades.
- Ray B.