When the Monsters of Rock tour came to Spokane in July of 1988, it was due to tens of thousands of signatures on a petition drive powered by Inland Empire rock n' rollers and spear headed earlier that year by Rock 106 KEZE Spokane's Best Rock. I was part of the movement being the afternoon drive-time guy on the station at the time.

Alexander Media
Alexander Media

The station's morning man in early 1988, Gary Allen, (G.A. on Rock 94-and-a-half in Spokanetown, currently, flapjack) scored an interview with a Lilac City favorite, Sammy Hagar, who absolutely loved playing Spokane and the feeling was mutual, about the upcoming Monsters of Rock tour and they somehow got on an idea about a petition drive to bring Van Halen's Monsters of Rock tour to Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium, if an impressive enough number of signatures could be amassed to convince management Spokane would support the show.

The Red Rocker pledged that if the station could get enough John Hancocks, they'd stop in Spokane and play a gig. We did and they did. Thirty thousand fans, at least, showed up.

On the bill, which started in Alpine Valley, Wisconsin, and came to Spokane on July 29, 1988, Kingdom Come started with a 40-minute set, then an hour of Metallica (right, Metallica FOURTH on a bill) followed by a little more than sixty minutes of Dokken, the Scorpions blasted for an hour-and-a-half and then Van Halen cleaned your clock for about two-and-a-half hours, give or take extendo solos.

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The local anchor on KHQ-TV mispronounced THREE of the bands names after a toss back from a live Joe Albi Stadium report the day of the show, giving the line up as "Kingdome" Come; "Metal-eeka" ; "Donken"; the Scorpions and Van Halen. The lady was 2 for 5.

The show could be coming back. Again.

It was good to go last year before the pandemic changed everything everywhere.

The Spokane Public School board will bring up the issue of allowing the concert one more time during a meeting tonight, board members will hear the details and could take action within a few weeks.

A gig would happen in late August, dubbed the "Monsters of Rock Reunion Concert" right before the 70-year-old stadium is set to be razed.

West Coast Entertainment is willing to pay up to $550,000 to cover costs associated with any delays, and the company also pledges to organize the transportation of fans, as the stadium parking lot is unusable. Other than Sammy Hagar somehow being involved, there are no details on a potential show lineup than can send the 70-year old stadium out in style.

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