TICKETS TORN IN HALF:September 11,1988-ERIC CLAPTON/ BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO @ Nassau The 25th Anniversary Tour featuring Mark Knofler on guitar
ROCK’S IN MY HEAD-CHAPTER 26: BLIND FAITH
As the hot weather arrived my part time job at the electronics plant turned into full time summer employment and that was the excuse I used for not going on my family’s first extended vacation. “I’m staying home to work”. Full time employment gave me plenty of cash to spend on my obsession: music, live music. Money Orders and Self Addressed Stamped Envelops became the norm for pay days, and tickets started arriving almost daily.
But as they sang on ever popular TV show LAUGH IN “what’s the news across the nation”, well, Warren Burger becomes CHIEF JUSTICE of THE SUPREME COURT and two weeks later he votes with the majority in ROE v WADE, establishing a woman’s right to an abortion. In late June I read an article about the STONEWALL RIOTS, a confrontation between gay rights activists and the NYPD outside the gay bar STONEWALL INN located in Greenwich Village. Sexuality, or the way folks thought about sexuality was changing right in front of our eyes, Women’s Rights, Gay Rights.
JULY 12,1969 BLIND FAITH
For some strange reason in the late sixties record companies coined the phrase SUPER GROUP, as in CREAM the first and then BLIND FAITH the most notable. TIME magazine even wrote about the “supergroup” as a “potent but short-lived rock phenomenon” which was an “amalgam formed by the talented malcontents of other bands.” The article acknowledged that groups such as Cream and Blind Faith “played enormous arenas and made megabucks, and sometimes megamusic”.Harsh words but somewhat true especially in the case of BLIND FAITH, JULY 12,1969 at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN.
To put BLIND FAITH in context, the week they performed at THE GARDEN, the song “IN THE YEAR 2525” by Zager and Evans was a Number 1 hit across the nation. Lord help us. So for what in today’s economic standards would be a meager $6.50 but was costly in ‘69 I ventured out to see the American debut of BLIND FAITH the “newest” SUPER GROUP featuring Eric Clapton (guitar/vocals) and Ginger Baker(drums) from the aforementioned “supergroup” CREAM, Ric Grech (bass and violin) from FAMILY and Steve Winwood(vocals, guitar,keyboards) from TRAFFIC, on a bill with FREE, and Delaney Bonnie and Friends. All to be showcased on a revolving stage set in the middle of the cavernous arena; which in hindsight, having the stage located where it was… was not a good idea.
A few of my thoughts on the performance are a bit cloudy, musically that is, especially the BLIND FAITH portion of the show as their first lp was still days away from hitting the shops and most of their live material that night was unfamiliar to the attending audience, especially me. It was believed that their musicianship when blended together should have perked up our ears, as these members were already “musical legends”. In hindsight one could say that these guys as a band hit the road a bit too early. Add to that, the sound system used that evening was atrocious.
The English group FREE kicked off their American career with an enthusiast set to which the audience responded in kind, some even positive. Most of their tunes were unfamiliar to this crowd as would be BLIND FAITH’s set.
This night was my second shot at seeing DB and F in only a month’s time. Again the sound system hindered their funky proselytizing but from where I sat they worked and wooed the crowd to its feet.They were a band on the rise.
Blind Faith on the other hand was dead in the water from the opening tune.They appeared underrehearsed, seemingly uncomfortable with each other on stage and then there was the poor sound system to deal with. About 18,000 people awaiting to hear songs they were unfamiliar with didn’t add anything positive to the mix. It was truly a “blind faith” on our part for showing up as only one song had been released by this “super group”. Being familiar with Traffic and Cream I was anticipating a blend of both from this outfit and Blind Faith did their Cream/Traffic thing as expected until tensions in the crowd grew and the show was ended by the NYPD. Ginger Baker the drummer, left his throne, walked to the edge of the stage where he hit a security guard (NYPD) who allegedly “manhandled” a girl. Show or the musical portion of the show anyway was over, now the dramatics began as the security team attempted to get the “supergroup” through the crowd surrounding the circular stage in the center of Madison Square Garden. From what I remember the NYPD who were slighted by Mr. Baker did little to control the crowd hindering the security attempt to exit the band.
Despite all this drama and a poor sound equipment, overall, this show was a great concert experience for my young concert days. Yes, sometimes the crowd IS the show as it was tonight and yes, sometimes the undercard (Free and DB&F) is better than the head liner.
The BLIND FAITH set list is from a bootleg which has circulated for some time:
Had To Cry Today
Can’t Find My Way Home
Sleeping In The Ground
Well All Right
In The Presence Of The Lord
Sea Of Joy
Do What You Like
Means To An End
Overall,I witnessed the act known as Led Zeppelin a total of eight times over eight years (1969-1977),from the first album through their last official tour of the US. I bought all the albums up to PRESENCE. After that record I stopped buying their albums until the recent (vinyl) re-mastered collections. Every time I attended their show, each one was a unique experience. This band of four changed musically throughout the years, gaining momentum and a rabid fan base with each new release. From a blues based band which rose from the ashes of THE YARDBIRDS, a band playing for recognition as a new unit and up to the mega-band which could sell out many nights in a row at the WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA in a moments notice,they were truly something to behold, collectively.
January 12,1969: LED ZEPPELIN is released.I almost burnt that record out. It replaced JETHRO TULL’s “This Was” on my turntable.
(1)May 30,1969@Fillmore East: For me the first time and in the best place in NYC, FILLMORE EAST was THEE venue to see LED ZEPPELIN. The talk since late January was how this band from England, the undercard on the bill, destroyed IRON BUTTERFLY which was the headliner for this weekend of shows. The buzz was that Led Zeppelin left IB stunned in the wings awaiting to hit the stage,left only to play their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA to the chagrin of many. The schism is now widened as a new sound is in town. One must know the background of LED Zeppelin to understand how this one weekend enchanted the NY crowd.
For those who only know of the power and popularity of Led Zeppelin of later days, let me take you back to a time before their very first album hit the stands.
Jimmy Page was one of the “three”, the Triumvirate of Rock Guitarist Gods who moseyed through a British band of some renown named THE YARDBIRDS. This band, legend states took their name from Charlie YARDBIRD Parker, was somewhat known in the USA, but more popular in their homeland of Great Britain. Without giving the long history of the Yardbirds let’s just say they got a CRAWDADDY (a club) gig when the spot was vacated by THE ROLLING STONES, a band on the move. Eric Clapton was the YARDBIRDS guitarist at that time, one who became uncomfortable with the band veering away from it’s blues roots by heading into a pop direction. Clapton leaves and suggest Jimmy Page take his spot. Page was the “go to studio guitarist” at the time and didn’t want to vacate that profitable role, so PAGE suggested JEFF BECK who took the gig.
With BECK’s influence the YARDBIRDS moved toward a psychedelic route with fuzz tones, feedback, and his overall guitar virtuosity. By 1966 JEFF BECK was voted Melody Maker’s GUITARIST OF THE YEAR.When the bass player drops out of The Yardbirds JIMMY PAGE steps in for a spell. When a new bassist is recruited PAGE stays on for a BECK/PAGE “new” dual guitar attack approach. Beck gets sick, misses a few gigs and ultimately leaves the band to Page.With the lead singer Keith Relf’s alcoholism and the band not having any more hits, as well as with the rise of CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, soon most of The Yardbirds disappeared, leaving Jimmy Page with the name. To fulfill some contractual commitments,with a new manager PETER GRANT on board, the band hits the road as THE NEW YARDBIRDS.
Page had recruited TERRY REID as vocalist but he, with a new MICKIE MOST contract, could not leave. Reid suggested a friend, ROBERT PLANT who brought along his drummer friend JOHN BONHAM. Page called his studio buddy JOHN PAUL JONES for bass and keyboards and after a short tour of Scandinavia, the NEW YARDBIRDS hit the studio to record what would become LED ZEPPELIN’s debut.
The album is released January 12,1969. Some of the tunes hit the New York FM airwaves before but especially immediately after the band’s now legendary performance as the opening act for IRON BUTTERFLY at FILLMORE EAST January 31 and February 1, 1969. This is Led Zeppelin’s first US tour. My buddy Pete attended one of those shows that weekend. He raved about this new band who blew Iron Butterfly off the stage, leaving Iron Butterfly to play just one song, their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA, and according to Pete, Led Zeppelin came back out due to the booing of Butterfly and the calls for “MORE” Zeppelin. I have never been able to verify that but Pete said it, so…it must be true.
It is now Memorial Day weekend of 1969, a new beginning for a group of us as we copped tickets (5 bucks each) to see Led Zeppelin at Fillmore East, the early show on a Friday Night of a Holiday Weekend.The crowd outside on line awaiting admittance to the sacred hall was a buzzed. Finally, in and seated, house lights go down and BOOM, Woody Herman’s Big Band was way too cool. Followed by DELANEY,BONNIE and FRIENDS with the beautiful RITA COOLIDGE, oh my. The JOSHUA LIGHT SHOW afforded a great back drop, something that I had never witnessed before. Then, “OHHHHH, I CAN’T QUIT YOU BABE” with a power chord which shook me to the core. This tune followed by Dazed and Confused, White Summer, How Many More Times, a drum solo, and the crowd cheering “MORE,MORE”… The encore was short, yet loud, COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN.(Contrary to any set list including on Zep’s website, the band did not open with THE TRAIN KEPT A ROLLIN’)
(Show #2)August 30,1969@ NYS Pavilion (Former World’s Fair Site
My END OF THE SUMMER celebration show was to finish the season where it started with Led Zeppelin exactly three months to the day of my first experience seeing the band live. Tonight would be LED ZEPPELIN, BUDDY GUY &JR. WELLS and RAVEN (August 30,1969). Originally to be held at The Singer Bowl this show was rescheduled for the opened air, standing room only, former site of New York State Pavilion at The World’s Fair. This night would prove to be a totally different experience for me. Standing Room Only, first come first in, no reserved seating and I was very reluctant. Yet, we got there early enough to be one of the first in line, standing outside prior to opening the doors, hoping to find a viewing spot in front, maybe at mid stage. When the doors opened, we got a spot stage right, in front of where I knew Jimmy Page would stand. RAVEN (not the metal band of years later) was as most opening acts would be, an opening act and forgettable when they finished their set but Buddy Guy/ Jr. Wells was a great addition to the bill. Buddy played angelically, and nasty as sin when need be. At one point a balloon from the audience was bounced to him mid song to which he captured and used as a slide on his guitar. To my amazement the balloon did NOT break. This spot where we were standing became dangerous as LED ZEPPELIN time grew nearer, and more so as the show progressed. About the time they performed MOBY DICK, I had had enough and was up stairs walking around the balcony area having given up our prime location. And yes, this IS the show where Bonzo collapsed on the drums to end the night. The set list was similar to the May show @ Fillmore East. NOTE: My ticket stub is featured on the LED ZEPPELIN website.
October 22,1969 LED ZEPPELIN II is released.
(Show #3)September 19,1970: Led Zeppelin @Madison Square Garden.One year later from when I last saw them and the boys have hit the big time doing an unusual afternooon/ evening performance with one show at 2pm and then another at 8pm. We had four tickets for the 8pm show, where they opened with IMMIGRANT SONG. Geez, the band was so good and getting bigger by the moment. With two albums under their belt, and the third LED ZEPPELIN III to be released a few weeks after this gig.
October 5,1970 LED ZEPPELIN III is released.
(4)September 3,1971: Led Zeppelin @ MSG This was advertised as a “2 and1/2 hour show with no opening act” and became a disaster of an evening almost immediately. SOLD OUT in a matter of hours. The show was marred by a huge protest mob (riot) developing outside due to “overpriced” tickets $5:50 – $7:50. Inside we were treated to a (dangerous) fireworks show as some idiot was tossing M-80’s from the upper balcony toward the ceiling in the Garden, each exploding just before it landed close to those seated below. Then the stage collapsed.Show over, lights on. Didn’t know if I wanted to experience that again.
November 8,1971 LED ZEPPELIN IV is released.
(5)June 15, 1972: Led Zeppelin @ Nassau Coliseum was advertised as a 3 1/2 hour show and as I was still shaking from the MSG fiasco (9/3/71) less than a year ago so I had NO intentions of going to this venue to see Led Zeppelin especially in this new arena which made headlines by have the Nassau PD bust scores of concert goers in the parking lot for drinking (tailgating) and smoking before a GRATEFUL DEAD show only a few weeks before. BUT at the Todd Rundgren show only a few days before, my girlfriend found two tickets for LZ next to the gear box in my VW. Strange as it sounds she did not place the tickets there and to this day I still never found who or why, but we went to the show, with me looking over my shoulder the whole time. (Great review by Robert Christgau in NEWSDAY- see LZ website for setlist and review of this 2 night stand.)
March 28,1973 HOUSES OF THE HOLY is released.
Rolling Stone: Gordon Fletcher (June 7,1973)
For me, Led Zeppelin began as the epitome of everything good about rock: solid guitar work, forceful vocals and rhythmic backing, devotion to primal blues forms, and most of all, thunderous excitement on stage and vinyl. But as superstardom came to them, so too came the gradual evaporation of those qualities from their sound. In the same way that the Rolling Stones evolved into a senior, “safe” bizarro-perversion band, Led Zeppelin has become a senior, “safe” heavy-metal band. But by its very nature safety cannot coexist with heavy-metal fire and macho intensity (or bizarro-perversion, for that matter), which is probably why Houses of the Holy is one of the dullest and most confusing albums I’ve heard this year.
So with that note by Mr. Fletcher for an album released a few weeks before we enter the HOUSES OF THE HOLY aka Madison Square Garden for my sixth time seeing LED ZEPPELIN, who are probably the most popular band in the world at this moment in time.
(6)July 28, 1973 LED ZEPPELIN @ MSG open with ROCK N ROLL and while my handwritten notes in my journal are limited this very performance was filmed for the THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME. However, this is the stop (NYC) on the tour where $203,000.00 was missing from the band’s hotel safe. Also MSG had decided it safer to sell all tickets for the 3 shows via Money Orders sent to the box office(SASE) rather than deal with the nasty crowds at the box office.
(7)February12,1975: LED ZEPPELIN @ MSG Opened with ROCK AND ROLL, No QUARTER, SONG REMAINS THE SAME,DAZED AND CONFUSED, STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN,MOBY DICK, WHOLE LOTTA LOVE, BLACK DOG, HEARTBREAKER
February 24,1975 PHYSICAL GRAFFITI is released.
March 31,1976 PRESENCE is released.
October 1976 THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME is released.
(8)JUNE 14,1977: LED ZEPPELIN (8th and my last time)@ MSG The NY radio station WPLJ gave away LED ZEPPELIN buttons celebrating the bands six (6) sold out shows.This will be a 3 hour extravaganza when it starts as we were delayed an hour before the band took the stage. In total they played 18 songs opening with THE SONG REMAINS THE SAME, had an acoustic set thrown in for good measure, the obligatory Moby Dick, Jimmy Page violin solo, Achilles Last Stand, Stairway to Heaven, Whole Lotta Love and closed out with Rock and Roll. This was the last US tour for the original foursome.
September 25,1980 Drummer John Bonham dies.
No matter how many rumors hit the streets, no matter how many times it might be said that LED ZEPPELIN is reuniting, I can’t or won’t go see that band. John Paul, Robert, and Jimmy playing with PHIL COLLINS hurts my ears, and Bonham,Jr… well no thanks. RIP Led Zeppelin and thanks for the memories.
CHAPTER 24: DAZED AND CONFUSED:
Just before I cleaned out my high school hall locker for one last time, with me anticipating the long needed summer break from a pretty smooth junior year at school I saw a Fillmore East ad in the Village Voice announcing a Led Zeppelin performance for Memorial Day weekend 1969. That ad, combined with having had “Led Zeppelin” on my turntable for what seemed like an eternity (since February), I contacted my concert going friends and we all agreed “this is the one”. Running down to the local drug store I purchased a $20.00 money order, and with a Self Addressed Stamped Envelope (SASE) enclosed I mailed the package out to 105 Second Ave, NY requesting four (4) seats for Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, Delaney Bonnie and Friends, and the headliner, LED ZEPPELIN, scheduled for May 30, 1969.To my surprise the tickets arrived a few days later, as did my friend’s who also requested four, we had eight tickets in total.
For those who only know of the power and popularity of Led Zeppelin of latter days, let me take you back to a time before their very first album hit the stands.
Jimmy Page was one of the “three”, the triumvirate of rock guitarist gods who moseyed through a British band of some renown named THE YARDBIRDS. This band ,who legend states took their name from Charlie YARDBIRD Parker was somewhat known in the USA, but more popular in their homeland of Great Britain. Without giving the long history of the Yardbirds let’s just say they got a CRAWDADDY (a club) gig when the spot was vacated by THE ROLLING STONES, a band on the move. Eric Clapton was the YARDBIRDS guitarist at that time who became uncomfortable with the band veering away from it’s blues roots, heading into a pop direction. Clapton leaves and suggest Jimmy Page take his spot. Page was the “go to studio guitarist” at the time and didn’t want to vacate that profitable role, so PAGE suggested JEFF BECK who took the gig.
With BECK’s influence the YARDBIRDS moved toward a psychedelic route with fuzz tones, feedback, and overall guitar virtuosity. By 1966 JEFF BECK was voted Melody Maker’s GUITARIST OF THE YEAR.When the bass player drops out of The Yardbirds JIMMY PAGE steps in for a spell. When a new bassist is recruited PAGE stays on for a BECK/PAGE new dual guitar attack approach. Beck gets sick, misses a few gigs and ultimately leaves the band to Page.With the lead singer Keith Relf’s alcoholism and the band not having any more hits, as well as with the rise of CREAM and JIMI HENDRIX, soon most of The Yardbirds disappeared, leaving Jimmy Page with the name. To fulfill some contractual commitments,with a new manager PETER GRANT on board, the band hits the road as THE NEW YARDBIRDS.
Page had recruited TERRY REID as vocalist but he, with a new MICKIE MOST contract, could not leave. Reid suggested a friend, ROBERT PLANT who brought along his drummer friend JOHN BONHAM. Page called his studio buddy JOHN PAUL JONES for bass and keyboards and after a short tour of Scandinavia, the NEW YARDBIRDS hit the studio to record what would become LED ZEPPELIN’s debut.
The album is released January 12,1969. Some of the tunes hit the New York FM airwaves after the band’s now legendary performance as the opening act for IRON BUTTERFLY at FILLMORE EAST January 31 and February 1, 1969, this being Led Zeppelin’s first US tour. Pete my buddy at Dubbings Electronics attended one of those shows that weekend. He raved about this new band who blew Iron Butterfly off the stage, leaving Iron Butterfly to play just one song, their hit IN A GADDA DA VIDA, and according to Pete, Led Zeppelin came back out due to the booing of Butterfly and the calls for Zeppelin. I have never been able to verify that but Pete said it,so…it must be true.
A few days later while at work Pete asked me to join him to see LED ZEPPELIN at THE SCENE a club in Manhattan. With little provocation I agreed to go to the Wednesday night show. But alas, the shows were cancelled due to John Bonham’s son falling at home in England and Bonham was needed there. So, I made due by purchasing LED ZEPPELIN and listening to the debut album, over and over again.
Meanwhile, the news was reporting that thousands of Americans were preparing to join across the nation during Easter weekend for massive demonstrations in protest to the war in Vietnam. On April 4th,1969 our United States combat casualties had now surpassed the totals for the entire KOREAN WAR and an end to The Vietnam Conflict was not in sight. During a four day visit to South Korea, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu told reporters he would “never” agree to a coalition government with the National Liberation Front (NLF). Then, President Nixon announced a plan to replace the hated draft system with a lottery that would induct 19-year-old boys first. The stakes for me and my friends have changed.This is getting real and fast.
Students rebelled at Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and New York’s Queen’s College with dozens being injured during these sit-ins and strikes. The 1969 spring semester had 292 American campuses hosting anti-war rallies; one-quarter of them included violence. The nation stood polarized between pro-war hawks and anti-war doves. I was all of 17 years of age stuck between a pro war dad and my neighbors dying in the jungles of SouthEast Asia.
In May, 300 hundred policemen in Berkeley, California cleared students out of a small patch of land called People’s Park. The incident sparked a week of violent protest. On May 16th, 2,000 Berkeley demonstrators battled with police. Rioting spread to other campuses while in Vietnam the gory battle for “Hamburger Hill” was reaching a peak.
The only good read for me that month was the May 26, 1969 edition of NEWSWEEK which featured Janis Joplin on the cover with the headline JANIS JOPLIN:REBIRTH OF THE BLUES. The story mentioned HENDRIX, BB KING, ALBERT KING, BIG MAMA THORNTON and a host of others.
It is now Memorial Day weekend of 1969, only a few weeks away from the burial of my girlfriend’s brother who was killed in Vietnam. Yet, it was also a new beginning for a group of us as we copped the 8 tickets to see Led Zeppelin at Fillmore East early 8 PM show on a Friday Night of a Holiday Weekend. A freshly cashed paycheck loaded my wallet, a pack of Marlboro Red, bottle of wine (purchased by an age appropriate friend) and a gift from Pete to help “lighten” up my mood and I was set. Four on the train, meeting four more there, we were a Rock and Roll army outfitted with new jeans, new Chuck Taylor high tops, and hair getting longer by the moment. “See you tomorrow, Mom”.
So “The Eight” had planned a beautiful start to a long holiday (Memorial Day) weekend. Orange Julius on West 8th for a bite to eat, a few head shop visits along our walk to Second Avenue, a record store here, and a shoe shoppe there (more on the shoes in September), and we strolled peacefully toward our East Village destination. Still not knowing exactly where we headed I followed the lead of the others and we landed up far away from our appointed destination but still with plenty of time on hand. Show time 8PM would find 4 of us in one section, with another four in another section a few rows back, but all eight in the house. The crowd outside on line awaiting admittance to the sacred hall was a buzzed. Finally, in and seated, house lights go down and BOOM, I fall in love. Rita Coolidge of Delaney/ Bonnie was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen,well that night anyway. The JOSHUA LIGHT SHOW afforded a great back drop, something that I had never witnessed. Woody Herman’s Big Band was way too cool. Pop would have been proud as I recognized a few of Woody’s tunes from our family’s record collection.
Then, “OHHHHH, I CAN’T QUIT YOU BABE” with a power chord shook me to the core. This tune followed by Dazed and Confused, White Summer, How Many More Times, a drum solo, and the crowd cheering “MORE,MORE”… The encore was short, yet loud, COMMUNICATION BREAKDOWN. The performance bar was now set for this 17 year old youngster on his musical journey. Sweating profusely we leave into the warm May air at a bit before midnight. Walking through the East Village, then Greenwich Village, we get a bite to eat,maybe a gift or two,then taking the E train to Penn Station in time for the midnight train. Arriving home I felt like a new person, never to return to the old one.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF July 17,1970: NY POP FESTIVAL @RANDALLS ISLAND
JULY 17: NY POP FESTIVAL @ RANDALL’S ISLAND The promoters of this event, as crooked as they were, thought they could recreate the Woodstock festival on Randall’s Island, an island in the middle of the East River. Many of the “scheduled” acts did NOT show up and the local radical groups made the atmosphere worse by encouraging gate crashing. One saving grace about this weekend was that at least there wasn’t any mud like Woodstock but this was a disaster nonetheless. Delaney Bonnie and Friends did not show, No Richie Havens, no Ravi Shankar (Thank goodness) and the band I was anticipating, one of the head liners for Saturday night, TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME WITH MILES DAVIS AND ERIC CLAPTON was nowhere to be found, actually the band did not exist, shows you how crooked these promoters were. Joe Cocker cancelled but Sly and The Family Stone was to be his replacement. Sly, as usual was late, so late that the crowd would still be waiting.They didn’t show either. That was a sham and a scam. The bands that did show played quick, mostly uninspiring sets, knowing they were NOT getting the promised big paydays or paid at all. Many bands felt a kinship to the audience which got angrier at every announcement canceling the next act. It was getting real nasty fast. Grand Funk played a few recognizable tunes then a drum solo which seemed to last for days. John Sebastian was well….John Sebastian. Cactus showed some promise, Ten Years After (yes again) did their usual set, and the NY Rock ENSEMBLE closed out the evening. Bottles were thrown at the stage, a garbage can set afire, etc, etc. We were supposed to camp out with our group of friends but heeded the warning in the crowd to GET OUT, so home we all went.
NOTE: My remaining ticket, the Jimi Hendrix night, was sold on eBay years later for $250.00 cash.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF JULY13, 1974: ERIC CLAPTON/ ROSS @ MSG (TODD RUNDGREN on encore) ERIC Clapton in recovery from a 3 year heroin addiction offers a new lp (released that week) and a single I SHOT THE SHERIFF which had some airplay. Most of the audience was again (as with BLIND FAITH) unfamiliar with his “newer” stuff so this could be scary. His new band included bassist Carl Radle from THE DOMINOS, DB& F, Dick Sims -keys and Jamie Oldaker-drums friends of Radle’s from TULSA COUNTRY CONNECTION with George Terry an unknown on guitar, and YVONNE ELLIMAN from the cast of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR added to enrich the vocals. They opened with EASY NOW from Clapton’s solo piece of 1970, followed by LET IT GROW, CAN’T FIND MY WASY HOME, LET IT RAIN, KEY TO THE HIGHWAY, BADGE, LITTLE WING, before hitting a new tune MAINLINE FLORIDA. Then they offered TELL THE TRUTH,BLUES POWER,HAVE YOU EVER LOVED A WOMAN,LITTLE QUEENIE, WILLIE AND THE HAND JIVE, GET READY, CROSSROADS, LAYLA, and PRESENCE OF THE LORD. Whew, it was good to have him back.
Note on ERIC CLAPTON: My first recollection of the guitarist ERIC CLAPTON occurred when I was about 14 (circa 1966) after he left THE YARDBIRDS. In one magazine or another I read about this guitarist nicknamed GOD who left the YARDBIRDS to join JOHN MAYALL, a name I never heard. I knew of THE YARDBIRDS from some singles and TV appearances. So I sought out this CLAPTON guy, even bought the BLUESBREAKERS “Beano” album and later found FIVE LIVE YARDBIRDS. The BLUESBREAKERS was not my cup of tea at that moment but the LIVE thing was. Then CREAM arrives with me picking up ANYONE FOR TENNIS (45) but not the first lp. DISRAELI GEARS hits the charts and its on my turntable constantly, followed by WHEELS OF FIRE. This guy is good.
ON THE SHELF: SMALL TOWN TALK- BOB DYLAN,THE BAND, VAN MORRISON, JANIS JOPLIN, JIMI HENDRIX AND FRIENDS IN THE WILD YEARS OF WOODSTOCK by Barney Hoskyns, DaCapo Press
Yesterday’s post was JUDAS! so I thought this a decent follow up to the exploits of one, Robert Zimmerman.
“There’s a veil of secrecy around all this stuff,” the folk singer Artie Traum told me when I first visited Woodstock in the summer of 1991. “And for no particular reason, because there’s really nothing to hide. I don’t think there are any skeletons that aren’t already public. But one of the whole things that Dylan started was ‘Don’t talk to anybody.” (preface)
This book is small town name dropping at its best. ALBERT GROSSMAN being the star attraction, arriving as his way to escape the hustle and bustle that he brought upon himself,a way to escape those that despised him, he settles on a spread in upstate New York, BEARSVILLE, and consequently an entire army of like minded folks (pun intended) arrive a few years later, BOB DYLAN being the most famous.
They are all here in and around WOODSTOCK , the small town as the title suggest, some only visited, while others settled or “escaped” from drugs, money, spouses, or just for the serenity of what the surrounding had to offer.
MY LITTLE KNOWN FUN FACT THAT I LOVE: Gate Of Horn co-owner LES BROWN who with ALBERT GROOMSMAN opened that Chicago club in 1956:“Les Brown loathed him so much that, after Grossman’s death, he made a special trip to urinate on his grave” (p32)
Studying the members of BRITISH ROCK music I constantly read stories whereby as children the likes of ERIC CLAPTON, members of THE WHO,THE BEATLES, etc were confronted with the harsh reality of growing up either during or immediately after WORLD WAR II.Great Britain survived the war, victorious but bankrupt. The Empire would never be the same as WWII and its aftermath transformed Great Britain into something completely different and something very new. London especially, for it was bombed out during the onslaught of the German BLITZKRIEG (Lightning War). September 7,1940 was DAY ONE, the first night of 57 consecutive nights of bombings over the city of London. Three hundred (300) German bombers dropped 337 tons of explosives on the first night and as the fires spread throughout the city 448 civilians were killed. Terror was the weapon of choice employed by the Germans.
The British government imposed mandatory blackouts, therefore all television broadcasts were banned during the evening.Radio once again was in the forefront as the cheap alternative for entertainment. It was during this time that many more British radio listeners became familiar with American music.
We ,The Brits and The Yanks have a common language, had a common cause being allies during the war. Post War England had exposure to our soldiers and sailors and LIVERPOOL a port city found many US Navy men along with the American records they carried.
On British radio Traditional Jazz (Trad jazz )with its influences coming from boogie-woogie and the blues was very popular as was SKIFFLE ,especially Lonnie Donegan who rehashed American Folk tunes and was an inspiration to so many British youths, “Hey,I can do that”.
BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1955) and ROCK AROUND THE CLOCK (1955) two movies that showed teen rebellion set a post war generation off on a different path than their parents took to adulthood. During the late 50’s and early 60’s the radio was playing “new music” ,#1 hits mostly describing teenage desires. ELVIS, LIL RICHARD, BUDDY HOLLY, etc were heard on the radio and seen on many teen oriented tv shows especially OH BOY! . This show in particular promoted rock n roll. JACK GOOD its producer would later will be part of (American TV) ABC’s SHINDIG.
Homegrown BRIT HITS: August 1958: CLIFF RICHARD and THE SHADOWS with an original written by guitarist IAN SAMWELL, inspired by CHUCK BERRY, “Move It” is #2 on the UK charts.
1960: JOHNNY KIDD and THE PIRATES “Shakin’ All Over” is #1 in UK , this being a self penned tune by (Frederick Heath) JOHNNY KIDD and today it is a RnR standard.
1960: The British Blues scene develops with ALEXIS KORNER and CYRIL DAVIES, those artists influenced by MUDDY WATERS, HOWLIN’ WOLF, and ROBERT JOHNSON. And 1960’s we find the arrival of Beat Music.
This new RnR as seen in the movies and television, as heard on the radio, influenced the teens in lifestyle choices, fashion, attitudes, cars, motorcycles,and a distinct language of their own.
But what was so cool about the US to the Brit kids?
In America late 1940’s we had RnB, Blues, Jump Blues, Jazz, Gospel, Western Swing, Country (and Western). Bands had members rocking out on piano, sax, electric guitar, and an electric bass. Southern urban centers like Memphis, Nashville, Etc. became hot beds for music. Northern migration trends brought musicians from the south to the cities of Chicago, New York, Cleveland, Detroit, each city within close proximity of the other. However, radio was mainly narrow, that is, race music was played on traditional black stations. Later, there was a hybrid of styles.
See you next time….Chapter13: A CHANGE IS GONNA COME (1965) Comments? email@example.com
Ticket Stub Man:
According to my friends and family my obsession with music extends to an extreme level. It is not just the music that I love but LIVE music especially that I enjoy the most.Sitting at home listening to a recording or traveling in a car with the radio on will do once in awhile. But it is the excitement of a live show that hits the spot for me.Over the years and in the process of attending literally hundreds of shows I have accumulated many items of minor importance but tokens of remembrance of a time well spent…ticket stubs, programs, badges, bumper stickers, and the like. A few years back I decided that a few blokes on e-bay may enjoy one or two of my items more than the old mayonnaise jar which I used for storage of stubs found in my closet or records in my basement. So I experimented. And within a few weeks surprisingly I had more than $1000.00 (US) in my e-bay account. Flamin’ Groovies records, a poster, a flexi-disc and magazine went for about $75.00. A Grateful Dead 45 Compilation sold, A Cramps Picture Disc gone, DEVO 45,Johnny Thunders 45, a few CDs,Elvis Costello, Stiff Little Fingers,Raunch Hands, Raybeats, all gone. Easy money for the taking. With things going this smoothly on recorded things I ventured out with a few ticket stubs and concert programs and for sheer joy of my new endeavor I watched the final bidding develop on my screen. Fillmore East ticket stubs sold: THE WHO (6/6/69) $10.60; LED ZEPPELIN( 5/30/69)$ 61.77; DELANEY BONNIE AND FRIENDS w/ ERIC CLAPTON (2/7/70) $10.70 CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL $15.50. To a collector this may be cheap prices but to me, I didn’t pay more than $5.50 for any of those shows and I only sold a TICKET STUB for a nice profit. Hence, my buddy Joe dubbed me THE TICKET STUB MAN.
One morning I arrived at my desk to see my name plate removed and this one taking it’s place.
Then in another short burst of e-Bay activity I sold a few more items mostly ticket stubs and programs, etc…. and…Whew, my rent is paid. A Cat Stevens ticket, Blind Faith, Twisted Sister, The Clash, Led Zep, Springsteen, all sold in the next few weeks and sometimes the bidding was fierce. But then one morning I get an e-mail from a certain gentle men who owned a memorabilia shop in NYC across from Electric Lady Studios. The cat knows I have a certain item he needs for “his ” collection. A full size ticket, not a stub, for The Randall’s Island Pop Festival, Sunday Night , a festival in which Jimi Hendrix performed. He started the bidding at “a hundred” and when I said, “let’s see where it goes”, he determinedly stated “$250.00 Cash delivered to your office in the morning Fed Ex”. BINGO, SOLD.
The next morning my secretary told me a Fed Ex guy was here and he entered my office with a FED EX envelop in which I found five brand new $50.00 bills and a return FED EX envelop insured and addressed to him. The exchange was made and again THE TICKET STUB man made some quick cash. firstname.lastname@example.org
The Doors 1/24/69 MSG $122.50
Led Zep May 1969 $61.77
THE WHO June 1969 $10
Blind Faith July 1969 $51.75
Creedence Clearwater Revival July 69 $15.50
Led Zep 8/30/69 originally at Singer(on LZwebsite) $15.00
Delaney Bonnie Friends w/ Clapton Feb 1970 $10.50
Grateful Dead Program 5/15/70 $31.00
CSNY 6/6/70 $15.50
Ten Years After 6/25/70 $8.90
Byrds Sept 12, 1970 $6.00
Derek and Dominoes October 24, 1970 $15.00(program)/$44.00(stub)
Fillmore Auction $21.00 Stub
Fillmore Auction $24.00 Program
TYA MSG 11/13/70 Buddy Miles Express $5.00
Jefferson Airplane Nov 1970 $12.05
Derek and Dominoes Suffolk CC $20.00
Grand Funk RR/Humble Pie MSG 12/18/70 $8.25
Hot Tuna Jan 71 $5.00
Faces/Black Sabbath Feb 1971 $29.99Program/$19.99Stub
Allman Brothers March 13/71 $29.99
Elton John 4/8/71 $100.00(package4 Elton tixs)
Last Show (Allmans) $175.00
THE WHO at Forest Hills Who’s Next $15.50
Led Zep MSG Sept $28.50
Dr John/ Weather Report October 1971 Beacon $5.00
Led Zep 6/15/72 Nassau Coliseum $74.00
Cat Stevens 11/6/72 Philharmonic Hall NYC $18.50
Dylan and The Band 1/30/74 MSG $37.00
Rolling Stones MSG 6/25/75 $15.00
Kingfish (Program) Capitol Jersey 12/5/75 $14.00
Linda Ronstadt Capitol Jersey 12/6/75 $6.60
Fleetwood Mac MSG 6/30/77 $8.27
Frank Zappa Palladium Tix Stb 10/29/77 $7.00
Patti Smith Richard Hell CBGB Theatre $6.00
Ramones Runaways 3/24/78 Calderone $5.50
THE WHO MSG 9/13/79 $15.00
The Clash BONDS INTN’L 5/29/81 $41.00
John Entwistle 1/30/96 at TRAMPS NYC $5.00
Randalls Island Festival $250.00