TICKETS TORN IN HALF:October 12,1970- ROCK RELICS AUCTION@Fillmore East This was a Rock RELICS Auction which was scheduled to have “Surprise Guests”.The Auction itself was a blast hosted by WNEW-FM Dj John Zacherle. A professional auctioneer monitored the bidding. Guitars, clothes, posters, drum heads, sticks, etc, etc were all auctioned off with the proceeds going to “candidates for peace”. Guest acts included Edgar Winter, Mongo Jerry, Elvin Bishop (with the Pointer Sisters) Jake and The Family Jewels, and David Rea.To this day I still have the program with all the prices the items sold for.
ROCK’S IN MY HEAD- CHAPTER 29: WOODSTOCK
Joni Mitchell did not attend WOODSTOCK. Her agent DAVID GEFFEN in his ultimate wisdom thought it would be best for her to remain in the CHELSEA HOTEL in Manhattan resting up for her appearance on the DICK CAVETT television show the following Monday night. The afternoon of the Cavett taping, surprise, many of her friends, those who performed during the legendary weekend arrived to sit in on the taping.They were David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Jefferson Airplane.
In the months and years that followed the giant festival, it would be the “Woodstock” song that Joni Mitchell had written about the gathering which she composed on the basis of reports from her then boyfriend Graham Nash, plus what she saw on television.
I didn’t go to Woodstock, thought about it and planned to go with 3 friends but decided against it at the last minute. I never regretted giving the tickets away. No doubt the music was amazing but I enjoy the modern convinces of food, bath, etc. Festivals are not made for me, or me for them. I’d much rather be in a small club seeing a few bands then be in a large, muddy field hearing (might not be seeing) many, many groups. However, The WOODSTOCK MUSIC AND ARTS FESTIVAL was a pivotal moment in history circa 1969.
As a historian I studied who played and when they played, what they played, how much they were paid, the weather they played in, the traffic problems in getting the artists to the stage,as well as the hundreds of filed news reports which later documented the financial dilemma of the festival ,and ultimately,information regarding the movie. So here goes, whether you want it or not…
Originally the promoters established a cap set at $15,000 per artist (band) to perform, except Hendrix ($18,000) which was a story unto itself.
After being denied permits for the original site (Wallkill, NY), which was near WOODSTOCK (hence the name) the promoters of the festival found a good soul of a farmer located in BETHEL (White Lake),NEW YORK (43 miles away from original site) named MAX YASGUR who received $10,000 to lease the land (damage estimate to his fields was over $50,000).
Ticket prices were advertised as $6.00 a day (single day tickets) or $18.00 for the entire weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday). Prior to the event 186,000 tickets were (reportedly) sold. (My math: tix sales $3,348,000…band fees $139,825)
Looking years hence, one “bargain” group for the festival would be SANTANA, paid a measly $750.00 as they were unknown act managed by Bill Graham. And then there was IRON BUTTERFLY for not showing up to collect a $10,000 fee, which was a hefty price to pay a band on a sharp decline. The WOODSTOCK movie would have been 4 hours longer if IB showed up and played IN A GADDA DA VIDA.
The first band to agree to perform, and given a hefty fee ($10,000) as well as being offered a prime spot in the line up, was CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL. Until that agreement the promoters found it difficult to find any band to perform. Once CCR was announced the other “big named” acts signed up. A note of importance: CCR under the leadership of John Fogerty refused to be taped for the movie and Fogerty bitched about the GRATEFUL DEAD “putting the crowd to sleep” prior to CCR hitting the stage.
Friday Aug.15th- THE LINEUP
Richie Havens 5:07 pm – 7:00 pm
Swami Satch 7:10 pm – 7:20 pm
Sweetwater 7:30 pm – 8:10 pm
Bert Sommer 8:20 pm – 9:15 pm
Tim Hardin 9:20 pm – 9:45 pm
Ravi Shankar 10:00 pm – 10:35 pm
Melanie 10:50 pm – 11:20 pm
Arlo Guthrie 11:55 pm – 12:25 am
Joan Baez 12:55 am – 2:00 am
Richie Havens ($6000) 5:07-7:00PM
Richie Havens opened the festival with a rousing performance. He was asked to continue playing by the promoters as other acts were delayed due to the traffic problems, the roads leading into the small upstate New York town and the major highway feeding it were at a virtual standstill. Knowing he had run out of tunes, Havens improvised a tune he called “FREEDOM” which is actually an old spiritual known as “MOTHERLESS CHILD”.
From The Prison
Let’s Get Together
From The Prison (reprise)
Minstrel from Gault
I’m A Stranger Here
High Flying Bird
I Can’t Make It Anymore
With A Little Help From My Friends
Strawberry Fields Forever/Hey Jude
Freedom (Motherless Child)
Next up was SWAMI SATCHIDANANDA (7:10-7:20PM) who offered his blessing to the masses in the audience.
SWEETWATER ($1,250) (7:30-8:10) Actually Sweetwater was scheduled to open the festival but were stuck in traffic and had the pleasure of an additional stop requested by NYS Troopers. These conditions slowed their arrival to be the first ACT to perform but they were the first BAND to play and what do they open with one might ask:
For Pete’s Sake
Why Oh Why
Let The Sun Shine In (from Hair)
Oh Happy Day
BERT SOMMER (fee unknown)was “the hair” from the Broadway play HAIR. Bret was once a member of THE LEFT BANKE before landing on The Great White Way . He penned a few tunes for The Vagrants (Leslie West’s band of old). Bret on his own( with a few side men) offered a ten song set.(8:20-9:15)
The Road To Travel
I Wondered Where You’d Be
Things Are Going My Way
And When It’s Over
America (Simon Garfunkel tune)
A Note That Read
TIM HARDEN: ($2000) 9:20- 9:45 plays a very short set. As short as it was it was a great set of tunes. Mr. Harden was overwhelmed, reportedly due to his heroin addiction and his fear of performing, after seeing the massive crowd out front.
(How Can We) Hang on to a Dream
If I Were a Carpenter
Reason to Believe
You Upset the Grace of Living When You Lie
Speak Like a Child
Snow White Lady
Blues on My Ceiling
Simple Song of Freedom
RAVI SHAKAR ($4,500) played for about a half hour (10:00- 10-35) and I can’t really spell the ragas he played but he played three.
MELANIE: ($750) plays at 10:50-11:20 in place of THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND who refused to play in the rain. Hmmmm, strange, an acoustic ensemble afraid of the water. So MELANIE steps up and offers the following set list:
Close to It All
Mr. Tambourine Man
Tuning My Guitar
Birthday of the Sun
ARLO GUTHRIE:($5000)11:55- 12:25AM
Coming into Los Angeles
Wheel of Fortune
Walking Down the Line
Arlo Speech: Exodus
Oh Mary, Don’t You Weep
Every Hand in the Land
JOAN BAEZ: A pregnant Joan Baez was paid $10,000 bucks to close out Day 1 aka The Folk Segment.
Oh Happy Day
The Last Thing On My Mind
I Shall Be Released
Story about how the Federal Marshals came to take David Harris into custody
Sweet Sir Galahad
Drug Store Truck Driving Man
I Live One Day at a Time
Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South
Let Me Wrap You in My Warm and Tender Love
Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
We Shall Overcome
Saturday Aug. 16th DAY TWO SCHEDULE
Quill 12:15 pm – 12:45 pm
Country Joe McDonald 1:00 pm – 1:30 pm
Santana 2:00 pm – 2:45 pm
John Sebastian 3:30 pm – 3:55 pm
Keef Hartley Band 4:45 pm – 5:30 pm
Incredible String Band 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Canned Heat 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Mountain 9:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Grateful Dead 10:30 pm – 12:05 am
Creedence 12:30 am – 1:20 am
Janis Joplin 2:00 am – 3:00 am
Sly & Family Stone 3:30 am – 4:20 am
The Who 5:00 am – 6:05 am
Jefferson Airplane 8:00 am – 9:40 am
QUILL (12:15- 12:45)
They Live the Life
That’s How I Eat
Waitin’ for You
COUNTRY JOE McDONALD – solo (1:00- 1:30PM)
Heartaches by the Number
Ring of Fire
Rockin’ Round the World
Flying All the Way
Seen a Rocket
“Fish” Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
SANTANA ($750) 2:00- 2:45PM
You Just Don’t Care
Fried Neckbones And Some Home Fries
JOHN SEBASTIAN ($1000) 3:30- 3:55PM
John Sebastian was there as a spectator, one allowed to pitch a tent in the backstage area. When the managers realized they had a huge time lapse after SANTANA they asked Sebastian if he would sing a few ,offering to pay him $1000.00 Before that moment he had no intention of performing but said okay. With no true (rehearsed) set list and a BORROWED guitar he hit the stage, loaded as all get out in his tie dyed outfit. One thousand bucks for a five song 25 minute set. Not too shabby, and a great way (after the movie) to revitalize his career.
How Have You Been
Rainbows All Over Your Blues
I Had A Dream
Darlin’ Be Home Soon
KEEF HARTLEY BAND: (4:45-5:30) ($500.00)
The first question most ask is: WHO?. KEEF Hartley was a drummer of some renown having taken the drum throne in RORY AND THE HURRICANES when RICHARD STARKEY aka RINGO STARR left for greener pastures. KEEF later joined forces with JOHN MAYALL playing drums on Mayall’s solo endeavor THE BLUES ALONE. At Woodstock , their FIRST American gig, KHB performed as a Big Band complete with horns, ala Blood Sweat and Tears.
Think It Over
Too Much Thinking
Believe In You
Rock Me Baby
Medley: Sinnin’ For You, et al.
THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND (6:00-6:30)($2250.00) Imagine you are the acoustic ISB at Woodstock,it’s late Saturday afternoon and you are called upon to perform for a crowd that is in PARTY mode. Good luck, especially since you refused to play Friday night in the rain.Karma is a bitch.
Invocation (Spoken Word)
Come With Me
When You Find Out Who You Are
It’s early Saturday evening and everybody is here. It’s time to BOOGIE. Hey, after The Incredible String Band you could get thunderous applause for tuning up for an hour and get the crowd going.
CANNED HEAT 7:30-8:30 ($6500)- to me this is a huge fee to pay the band as Harvey Mandell replaced Henry Vestine on guitar only a few days before.
I’m Her Man
Going Up The Country
A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town
I Know My Baby
Woodstock (Refried Hockey) Boogie- (45 minutes long)
On The Road Again
MOUNTAIN: ($2000.00) (9PM-10PM)
Blood of the Sun
Theme for an Imaginary Western
For Yasgur’s Farm (named later)
Beside the Sea
Waiting to Take You Away
Dreams of Milk and Honey > Guitar Solo
Dirty Shoes Blues
THE GRATEFUL DEAD: (10:30-12:05) ($2500.00)
Rumor has it that this was one of the worst Dead performances. Mid show they stood without playing, just tuning up for ten minutes.
The Dead’s lifeless show pissed off John Fogerty who with Creedence was scheduled to go on next but The Dead put everyone to sleep, he said.
Turn On Your Lovelight (45 minutes)
CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL (12:30 AM-1:20 AM)($10,000) Crazy money but these swamp rockers were huge that summer.
Born on the Bayou
Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)
Bad Moon Rising
I Put a Spell on You
The Night Time Is the Right Time
Keep on Chooglin’
JANIS JOPLIN (2AM-3AM)$7,500
Raise Your Hand
As Good As You’ve Been To This World
To Love Somebody
Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
Can’t Turn You Loose
Work Me Lord
Piece Of My Heart
Ball and Chain
SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE(3:30-4:20 AM)$7,000
Sing A Simple Song
You Can Make It If You Try
Dance To The Music
I Want To Take You Higher
THE WHO (5AM- Sunrise 6:05)$11,200 (fee is questionable) Abbie Hoffman made a surprise cameo and met Pete’s boot.
Heaven And Hell
I Can’t Explain
It’s A Boy
Eyesight To The Blind
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
*Abbie Hoffmann Incident*
There’s A Doctor I’ve Found
Go To The Mirror Boy
Smash The Mirror
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take It
See Me Feel Me
Shakin’ All Over
JEFFERSON AIRPLANE “Good morning people” 8AM -9:40 ($7500)
The Other Side of This Life
Somebody to Love
3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds
Won’t You Try / Saturday Afternoon
Eskimo Blue Day
Plastic Fantastic Lover
Uncle Sam Blues
The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil
Come Back Baby
The House at Pooneil Corner
Sunday Aug. 17th (Day 3)
Joe Cocker and The Grease Band 2:00 pm – 3:25 pm($1,375)
Jam (without Cocker)
40,000 Headmen (without Cocker)
Something’s Coming On
Do I Still Figure in Your Life
Just Like a Woman
Let’s Go Get Stoned
I Don’t Need No Doctor
I Shall Be Released
Something to Say
With a Little Help from My Friends
Country Joe and the Fish 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm($2500)
Rock & Soul Music
(Thing Called) Love
Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine
Sing, Sing, Sing
Friend, Lover, Woman, Wife
Silver and Gold
The Love Machine
Ever Since You Told Me That You Love Me (I’m a Nut)
Short Jam (instrumental)
Rock & Soul Music (Reprise)
“Fish” Cheer / I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag
Ten Years After 8:15 pm – 9:15 pm ($3250)
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
I Can’t Keep from Crying Sometimes
I’m Going Home
The Band 10:00 pm – 10:50 pm($7500)
Don’t Do It
Tears of Rage
We Can Talk
Long Black Veil
Don’t You Tell Henry
Ain’t No More Cane on the Brazos
This Wheel’s on Fire
I Shall Be Released
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
Johnny & Edgar Winter 12:00 am – 1:05 am($3750)
Mama, Talk to Your Daughter
Six Feet Under the Ground
Leland Mississippi Blues
Mean Town Blues
You Done Lost Your Good Thing Now
I Can’t Stand It (With Edgar Winter)
Tobacco Road (With Edgar Winter)
Tell the Truth (With Edgar Winter)
Johnny B. Goode
Blood, Sweat & Tears 1:30 am – 2:30 am ($15,000)
More and More
Just One Smile
Something’s Coming On
I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know
Sometimes in Winter
God Bless The Child
And When I Die
You’ve Made Me So Very Happy
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young 3:00 am – 4:00 am ($5000)
Stephen Stills said, “This is the second time we’ve ever played in front of people, man. We’re scared shitless.”
(Set One – Acoustic)
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
4 + 20
You Don’t Have To Cry
(Set Two – Electric)
Long Time Gone
Sea Of Madness
Find The Cost Of Freedom
Paul Butterfield Blues Band 6:00 am – 6:45 am (fee unknown)
Born Under a Bad Sign
No Amount of Loving
Driftin’ and Driftin’
All in a Day
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright
Sha Na Na 7:30 am – 8:00 am($700)
Get A Job
Come Go With Me
(Who Wrote) The Book of Love
At The Hop
Duke Of Earl
Get A Job (Reprise)
Jimi Hendrix 9:00 am – 11:10 am($18000)
Message of Love
Hear my Train a Comin’
Spanish Castle Magic
Gypsy Woman/Aware of Love
Voodoo Child- slight return
The Star Spangled Banner
Jimi Hendrix – $30,000 for two sets plus $2,000 for expenses. Note- There was a cap of $15,000 per artist at Woodstock so a deal was made for Hendrix to play two sets, an acoustic set and a set with his band.Actually he made $18,000.
Blood, Sweat & Tears – $15,000
Joan Baez – $10,000
Creedence Clearwater Revival – $10,000
The Band – $7,500
Janis Joplin – $7,500
Jefferson Airplane – $7,500
Sly and the Family Stone – $7,000
Canned Heat – $6,500
The Who – $6,250 (also reported at $11,200 but Variety claimed that number was inaccurate)
Richie Havens – $6,000
Arlo Guthrie – $5,000
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – $5,000
Ravi Shankar – $4,500
Johnny Winter – $3,750
Ten Years After – $3,250
Country Joe and the Fish – $2,500
Grateful Dead – $2,500
The Incredible String Band – $2,250
Mountain – $2,000
Tim Hardin – $2,000
Joe Cocker – $1,375
Sweetwater – $1,250
John B. Sebastian – $1,000
Melanie – $750
Santana – $750
Sha Na Na – $700
(photos and clippings may or may not be from WOODSTOCK. Just representations of artist which performed there.)
TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 9,1969-JEFFERSON AIRPLANE/JOE COCKER&The Grease Band @ FILLMORE EAST
IT’S BEAUTY THAT KILLED THE BEAST: It’s a week before those “3 Days of Arts, Music and Fun” aka WOODSTOCK that Fillmore East hosts Jefferson Airplane and Joe Cocker., both acts which would be stars on stage and later screen. SPONTANEOUS SOUND, a one man percussionist (if that’s what he was) ran amok on the stage, banging, hitting cymbals, drums, bells, the works, with long hair flowing and with no shirt; What an idiot, I thought. After his fifteen minutes of fame was over I was both confused and amused. Joe Cocker was up next and having had his first LP on heavy rotation in my room, Cocker turned out to be not what I expected at all. He was a visual experience, hands gesturing as he sings, yet this British white dude sounded like Ray Charles. Familiar cover songs he introduced were played and each seemed to take on a new persona, they became Joe Cocker tunes: LET’S GO GET STONED, FELLIN’ ALRIGHT, BYE BYE BLACKBIRD and of course WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS.
The AIRPLANE was a trip, really a trip. I had been waiting a long time to see these guys, since that NEWSWEEK article and that conversation with my neighbor many months ago and now here I was. As the final scene from the King Kong movie played behind the band, they tuned up and “It wasn’t the airplane, it was beauty that killed the beast” and away we went with Ballad of You, Me and PoohNeil with The Glenn Mc Kay Headlights behind the band projecting images on the screen.The amps cranked up really loudly, three vocalists, a bass player who stalked around, a drummer who with his cowboy hat looked like a sheriff and a guitarist making the strangest feedback. Was I high or where they THAT good? They were that good.
CHAPTER 23: AT SEVENTEEN
They say it’s your birthday, It’s my birthday too, yeah
They say it’s your birthday, We’re gonna have a good time
I’m glad it’s your birthday, Happy birthday to you
What a way to celebrate my 17th birthday with two tickets to see THE DOORS on January 24, 1969 at Madison Square Garden. New brown corduroy slacks, brown boots, a new overcoat, with a few extra bucks in my pocket from my folks as a birthday gift and away I go. A new pack of Marlboro Reds, train fare, money for the food after the show at the diner, I was psyched to go to another live show. But on the train ride in, the “problem” soon reared its ugly head as I had a girlfriend who was more excited about seeing Jim Morrison and chatting with her friends about Jim Morrison on the train ride in and again on the way home than celebrating my birthday.
In THE GARDEN the stage was set in the middle of the arena and as the lights dimmed, The Staple Singers appeared first. Beautiful mood and music is the best way to describe what The Staples did. Even with a poor sound system their set was fascinatingly simple, elegant and spiritual. I was awestruck. After a rather extensive intermission, THE DOORS with a bass player (Harvey Brooks) appeared on stage, and adding a small horn section for a few tunes this being their Soft Parade days. According to The Doors faithful, this show, one of the band’s first attempts at an arena rock show, was one of their finest. That night included songs from The Soft Parade, as well as Tell All The People, Love Me Two Times, Spanish Caravan,Back Door Man, Light My Fire, Five To One and When The Music’s Over
The Doors were, to my limited live experienced ears, musically okay, but not what I had anticipated. I expected a great rock band. Jim Morrison was an idiot, or was it just me? Nah, he was an idiot, hindering an otherwise good band with his “poetry” and rants. One interlude by Mr. Morrrison was something about him sitting on a fence, “and boy, do my balls hurt”. Musically my night was made by really digging The Staple Singers and developing a true appreciation for what they did. They were one cool group with a smooth, unique sound. Needless to say the Staples did not fit into the conversation on the return trip home. And neither did my birthday which seemed to have been overlooked. So as the song goes, TURN OUT THE LIGHTS…
February 1969 a group of us went to see the film MONTEREY POP in the local movie house. It was a night of enlightenment for me. The Who fantastic, Otis Redding was the MAN, Big Brother and The Holding Company’s feedback guitars with Janis Joplin singing, Country Joe and The Fish, the harmonies of The Mamas and The Papas, the horns of Hugh Masekela, Jefferson Airplane and according to all my compatriots Jimi Hendrix was the star of the show and rightfully so. I took this movie experience more as a lesson in what I was MISSING, new horizons to be explored and I was excited, oh so excited to start the exploration.
At this time I am in a relationship with a girl, one who I had an on and off again kinda thing going for the last few months. We dated a bit in the spring and summer of 67, she being the one I listened to SGT PEPPERS at her house while playing whiffle ball. She was a bit of an athlete playing softball and a cheerleader at the local high school. We parted company at the start of the school year as I saw her being driven home by an older neighbor. They soon became an item as my Mom would have said. Cool. We saw each other at house parties and occasionally at Hullabaloo. Then we met up again in the spring at my buddy house where he was having one of his notorious bashes with bottles and bottles of alcohol sent to his house by a friend of ours who worked making deliveries for the local liqour store. George’s goal tonight was to get the girl who caught his eye to be his date for our school (not hers) Semi-Formal Dance, a semi-big thing. He needed the alcohol to get up the nerve I guess. Bingo, as I was smoking a smoke outside he ran out shouting “YES, She’s going”. Cool. The party proved to be another fun night, a classic with guys falling down, guys throwing up outside, girls laughing at idiot guys. The usuals, me being one, stayed back to clean up before his parents would arrive home which we figured to be about 2 AM. A few girls stayed also. Spotless. Now my “used to be” girl asked me to walk her home. At her door she told me what a great time she had and we should get together soon. She said, “Call me”. Confused? Oh boy was I. A few days later, I had new arrangements for the SEMI FORMAL SPRING DANCE of 1968.
So now you are up to date on my relationship status. The girl from the SUMMER OF 67, and me, as Mom did say, “were an item”. It’s now February 1969 and we are going to different high schools. Her older brother a recent graduate of University of Maryland with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration had volunteered for service in the U.S. Army, ultimately being sent to Vietnam. With a spare car in her family she would occasionally meet me up at my high school dismissal.
One day late February, she had no activities after school and arranged to pick me up. I would blow off work as we expected to go riding around in her car. I exited school from the usual side door, headed over to my favorite smoking area behind the buses for a quick puff. Walking toward her car, my girlfriend’s best friend came out of the car and said, “Larry is missing in action”… My heart dropped.
The strange phenomena here is my Mother, only the night before said she was thinking about my girlfriend’s brother and hoped all was okay. Mom actually asked “Did your Mom hear from him lately?”
A few day later the soldiers came to her house to deliver the worst news, February 26, 1969, he was killed in action. A death in the family. I didn’t know what to do. We spent many of the next few nights secluded in my basement, seated quietly.
On The Shelf: IN SEARCH OF THE LOST CHORD 1967 AND THE HIPPIE IDEA- DANNY GOLDBERG
Wow, name after name after…you get the idea. This document takes the reader behind the scenes for a comprehensive look at 1967 and as the title suggests, “the hippie idea”. The time line alone, for me, is the gem. Reagan is governor of California, the first Human Be-IN takes place, The first SUPER BOWL, Surrealistic Pillow is released, the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour hits the air. The Fugs’ ED SANDERS is featured on the cover of LIFE in an issue about HAPPENINGS. “Penny Lane/ Strawberry Fields Forever” is released.Adam Clayton Powell, Jr is denied a seat in Congress, as LBJ announces the draft lottery, and on and on. Names, dates, places, all fully researched, many sources quoted. Needless to say the history buff in me loved every word. All 280 pages.
(A review) 1967 was the year of the release of the Beatles’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and of debut albums from the Doors, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, and Janis Joplin, among many others. 1967 was also the year of the Summer of Love; the year that millions of now-illegal LSD tabs flooded America; Muhammad Ali was convicted of avoiding the draft; Martin Luther King Jr. publicly opposed the war in Vietnam; Stokely Carmichael championed Black Power; Israel won the Six-Day War; and Che Guevara was murdered. It was the year that hundreds of thousands of protesters vainly attempted to levitate the Pentagon. It was the year the word “hippie” peaked and died, and the Yippies were born.
ROCK’S IN MY HEAD: CHAPTER 19- THE SUMMER OF LOVE:
“If you’re going to San Francisco,be sure to wear some flowers in your hair…If you’re going to San Francisco, Summertime will be a love-in there”
So sang SCOTT McKENZIE, a true one hit wonder himself but what a hit it was. This so called “anthem” arrived on the airwaves May 13, 1967, and was used as an invitation “across the nation” as a way to publicize the upcoming “charity” concerts called THE MONTEREY INTERNATIONAL POP FESTIVAL June 16 to June 18, 1967. This 3 day event was organized by PAPA JOHN PHILLIPS who incidentally wrote the aforementioned tune, LOU ADLER who produced the tune, along with a host of others who planned this weekend showcase as a way to sanctify “rock” music, similar to the way the Monterey Jazz Festivals gave legitimacy to that genre. All proceeds would be given to charity. Artists were expected to play a 40 minute set without a fee, however their flights, accommodations, etc, would all be first class.
The song becomes an instant radio hit ,#4 on the BILLBOARD charts, and while estimates vary, thousands celebrated rock music that weekend in a fair grounds 120 miles south of San Francisco. Yet, the tune transcended its purpose. The imagery of the song provoked and encouraged thousands of listeners to attend “the party” which would become THE SUMMER OF LOVE in San Francisco.
HOW DO WE GET THERE? Well, not directional or travel arrangements wise but rather how did this LOVE thing happen?
Well, The BEAT poets of NORTH BEACH, SAN FRANCISCO could be considered the fore fathers of the movement with their non-conformist attitudes while rejecting materialistic values.
Then there was the celebration entitled the HUMAN BE-IN at Golden Gate Park in January of 67, an idea of MICHAEL BOWEN the avant-garde artist and co-founder of THE ORACLE, a premier “underground” newspaper which announced the event. This Be-In inspired the play HAIR: The American Tribal Love -Rock Musical by Rado and Ragni. Also, TIMOTHY LEARY asked the attendees to “turn on,tune in,drop out”.About 30,000 attended.
The mainstream media picked up the story, highlighting Tim Leary, the drugs (LSD and mushrooms), the clothing and the music. These photos and images were shown on the nightly news. TIME magazine ran a cover story on THE HIPPIES and even CBS NEWS had a special report in August.This influx of “flower children” arrived to the 25 square block area of San Francisco with the cross streets , the intersection of it all, HAIGHT-ASHBURY.
With psychedelic music and drugs prevalent, one could only predict that the future of THE HAIGHT would not be so rosy or happy. Homelessness, drug abuse, poverty became rampant. The BEE GEES even wrote a song, MASSACHUSETTS, in response to what was happening in SAN FRANCISCO, a ditty about someone who lost the vision, the hope, and was homesick.
Yet, the SUMMER OF LOVE despite its misgivings gave us a great soundtrack for that time and for years to come: THE WHO, JIMI HENDRIX, BIG BROTHER and THE HOLDING COMPANY, COUNTRY JOE and THE FISH,THE ELECTRIC FLAG,QUICKSILVER MESSENGER SERVICE,STEVE MILLER,MOBY GRAPE,HUGH MASEKELA,THE BYRDS,LAURA NYRO,JEFFERSON AIRPLANE,BOOKER T and THE MG’s,OTIS REDDING, THE BLUES PROJECT,BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD and the organizers of Monterey Pop THE MAMAS & THE PAPAS.
See you next time…CHAPTER 20:1968-BE INS and TEACH INS and ASSASSINATIONS
ROCK’S IN MY HEAD: CHAPTER 18: AND THE JUKEBOX KEPT ON PLAYING…
“There’s something happening here, what it is ain’t exactly clear”, Stephen stills wrote in the 1967 song FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH.
The music of the 60s famously captured the countercultures activism and ethos of those times. Music can inspire, it can galvanize and fuel movements, it can spread the key messages for social causes. However, do we define the music that the artists create or do the songs they sing about the social issues defined us? Sometimes it’s both as its almost impossible to separate the art from the artist.
In my generation’s time the biggest example of music affecting culture had to be the music of the Beatles. Their music created an iconic shift in our culture. Take a look at photos in any high school yearbook before 1964, and you will see the American middle-class males all have really short haircuts. However in just one years time, everyone’s hair was a little longer. The Beatles were influencing culture, as a matter of fact they changed the entire culture. Fortunately during that time the music scene was not as fragmented as it is today. With about only five popular radio stations and/or TV stations( in NY) everyone heard the same songs. It was truly broadcasting in a “broad” sense of the word as opposed to today’s “narrow” casting. Music mobilized people and songs became anthems as music was one of the strongest ways to influence our generation.
By ’67 I was an avid reader of magazines, books, news weeklies, most somewhat politically skewed to the left, well as left as I could get away with in my household. Even my newspaper of choice was the VILLAGE VOICE, a weekly out of Manhattan. My high school’s reading assignments, the general novels assigned, the poems, did little to excite me, but I read what I was asked to read, mostly. But then, I read Ralph Nader’s UNSAFE AT ANY SPEED which intrigued me. His invitation to the auto makers to produce a safer machine was researched so well, and his requests and suggestions to the industry and to the government made so much sense. Yet no one did anything about it. The CORVAIR car, transmission gear positions on cars, safety to pedestrians, wind shield standards and seat belts.WOW, simple safety. That year Nader was “the man” to me.
THE SUMMER OF LOVE: 1967
A news item came across the screen the other day (2017) declaring that JEFFERSON AIRPLANE’S album SURREALISTIC PILLOW was certified Platinum, I’m talking a few month shy of it’s 50th anniversary of its release. That’s a long haul. The LP went GOLD back in July of 1967, THE SUMMER OF LOVE, finally platinum in 2017.
50 Years ago “it” was all over the press: San Francisco and the “SUMMER OF LOVE”. The SF Chronicle was the first to depict that designation to which I am sure they regretted almost immediately. But, WHAT WAS THAT SUMMER OF LOVE LIKE?
I was 15 and it was no summer of Love for me, summer of Confusion might best describe my circumstances. SURREALISTIC PILLOW was on my turn table yet I actually had to look up and research what the heck “surrealistic” meant and how the hell did it apply to a pillow. This was too far out.
Summer of ’67 nearly 100,000 kids head to San Francisco’s HAIGHT ASBURY with “flowers in their hair, flowers everywhere”. It is time to “turn on, tune in, drop out”. This coincides with young adults declaring rock and roll was here to stay, it was not some phase we would grow out of. Rock was to be our music, an essential part of our being, the way we expressed ourselves. I’m in, I ready to volunteer. Frank Sinatra, not for me. Even the sounds recorded at that moment in time changed. Listen to JORMA KAUKONEN’s feedback on PILLOW. It was new, unique, and different.We took this music, our music seriously, and so did the musicians who made it . Singles were fading fast as bands/musicians sought to make a statement or two. Albums became the rage. Musicians experimented and so did we.
Our radio changed. AM stuck to the hit parade format. Recent legislation stated that AM stations could no longer simulcast on FM, so the clearer sounding FM was free to experiment and experiment they did. The AM dj’s catch phrases, their gift of gab would not survive the coolness of the FM disk jockey playing THE DOORS Light My Fire (extended version).And in June of 67 The BEATLES released Sgt. Pepper’s which had no singles on it. Truly the listening teens were FM bound.
Reporting on the “happenings” changed also. The cigar smoking, shirt and tie wearing newsman suddenly had long bushy sideburns, bell bottom jeans, smoked a joint and wrote from the heart. Journalism,the reporting of the news was way different from what it was only a few months before. Slanted as it might have been, these new writers helped me develop a better understanding of culture and politics. An example would be RAMPARTS magazine, which started as a Catholic Quarterly, but now in ‘67 it was a full blown anti-establishment rag. It’s articles raised the hair on the back of my neck; Vietnam, the CIA, The Black Panthers. And then the NewYork Times Best Sellers List had names like Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and other non-traditional authors topping the charts. Hail, hail to THE CLASS OF ’67.These “New Journalists” led me to read authors who influenced the new generation: Lincoln Steffens, Ida Tarbell, and many other so called “muckrackers” as Teddy Roosevelt named their genre.
So what was 1967 through the eyes and ears of a fifteen year old boy? Well, January 15 the very first SUPER BOWL was held with a television audience of 60 million folks.The Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10. Interesting to note that according to all research this singular event catapulted the NFL in viewership which in turn drew advertising money to football. The cost of a 30 second SUPER BOWL ad in 67 was a mere $37,500.
By February my neighbor, a guy I tried to get to take me to see the Lovin Spoonful told me about a new group he saw at Stony Brook, a local university. The band was Jefferson Airplane, yes, same group I read about in NEWSWEEK. Now, I was more than interested in that band.
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in February 1967 thereby establishing the “succession” to the Presidency which was vitally important as our Vice-Presidency had been vacant at least 16 times through our short history. This Amendment gave us a clear path to what steps were needed to take place, especially after the death of JFK when we had a void. This would prove to be politically significant in subsequent years.
In April Muhammed Ali, aka CASSIUS CLAY the Heavy Weight Champ who became a CO, was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title for refusing induction in to the US Army.
THE SIX DAY WAR (June 5-10) occurred just as we were finishing our school year. The Arab Forces were defeated and Israel took possession of additional territories. This news item intrigued me as I knew little if anything about the Middle East which we had studied this past year history class, but not like this.This was for real. My knowledge or lack thereof about the Middle East would soon change.
Thurgood Marshall became the first black Supreme Court Justice in October. These events made ’67 an interesting year. Monterey Pop was held (June), Otis Redding died, and SGT.PEPPERS was released. We listed to Sgt. Peppers almost every afternoon that June at my girlfriend’s house,with the music blasting through the speakers from her brother’s stereo which she placed in the front window while a group of us were playing whiffle ball in the street. Life and relationships were simple then.
My 45’s record collection seemed to grow by the end of each week: The Letter by the Box Tops with Alex Chilton on vocals is still a gem today, Light My Fire by The Doors (the edited radio version of course), The Rascals lovely Groovin’, Little Bit Of Soul, Kind Of A Drag, Expressway to Your Heart, Soul Man, Incense And Peppermints, Somebody To Love,and Whiter Shade of Pale just to name a few. However, I used more of my limited cash on albums: The Doors(first), the aforementioned Jefferson Airplane’s Surrealistic Pillow, Moby Grape’s first, The Beatles Sgt. Peppers, Jimi Hendrix Experience, The KinKs Something Else,The Doors Strange Days (which my dad bought for me),Cream’s Disraeli Gears, The Who Sell Out, The Rascal’s Collections and The Soul Survivors, which I was led to believe by the guy behind the counter at the local RECORD RACK sounds “exactly” like the Rascals.This proclamation was not necessarily true and another story all together. By years end I included the newly established ROLLING STONE magazine to my mandatory reading list .
By end of 1967 heading into ’68, listening to FM radio and watching television rock was not enough for me. Like every other red blooded discophile I was drawn to the fire of live music. Having no true curfew I started to attend The Hullabaloo, a local teen club in the neighboring town of Lindenhurst. A true TEEN SCENE club serving 15-20 year olds with an affordable $2.00 cover. Their stage hosted a few bands each weekend (Friday and Saturday nights), many were local garage style combos, with a few noted National acts tossed in…The Vagrants, The Hassels, and Vanilla Fudge just to name a few.
During this period I saw The Critters (Younger Girl; My Dyingly Sad) at the local Roll N Ice, followed by Every Mothers Son (Come On Down To My Boat, Baby) at my 10th grade dance, The Good Rats (pre-TASTY) at a high school art show(1968), and a WMCA (NY Radio station-THE GOOD GUYS)sponsored “Sock Hop Show” featuring The Left Banke (1967). And of course Long Island’s own The Vagrants (Leslie West), and The Hassels (Billy Joel) regularly played at the aforementioned Hullabloo.
At home I played Rubber Soul and Revolver over and over again. Two of my favorite albums at that time and probably my two favorite Beatles albums of all times.
See you next time….Chapter19:THE SUMMER OF LOVE. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org
John Lennon’s statement that The Beatles were “bigger than Jesus” caused quite an uproar with some radio stations refusing to play Beatles records. Living in liberal New York the noise of Anti-Beatledom was minimal, basically non-existent. As liberal as the politics of my home state might be, the radio stations were quite conservative, only playing the “hits” that had been tested in the minor markets. NY Radio would wait until others lesser known band’s song became a hit across the country before giving it a shot on the air. But not with The Fab 4 who seemed bigger than ever. The Beatles still had the instant hits.
REVOLVER was my most played album of 1966, and TAXMAN was a favorite song of mine from that collection, what a great opening tune. Years later I found that that song written as such still needed a hook during the recording process. Someone suggested, after watching an episode of the TV program BATMAN, that THE BEATLES replicate the BATMAN theme chant into TAX MAN. Hence, BATMAN became TAXMAN.
While the political innuendo of TAXMAN was not missed by me, ELENOR RIGBY did nothing for me. I later learned that not one Beatle played an instrument on that tune so that reason alone might subconsciously be why I didn’t care for it one bit. REVOLVER was the last album issued by Capitol with an altered playing order, that is one different from it’s UK counter part. In January of 1967 THE BEATLES had a new contract, one which specified Capitol records could no longer alter the tracks or the running order or remove tracks from Beatle approved albums. Just in time too, as Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band could have been quite different if Capitol Records USA had still had control over songs, sequence, etc.
The fashion of 1966 was basically CARNABY STREET and with that style came the introduction of the “mini skirt”. Imagine being a 14 year old boy in high school at a time where girls were required to wear skirts in school. Then the mini skirt arrives. “Thank you, Lord” our prayers were answered. Keeping ’66 in mind, that same year Pampers were introduced and the Dow Jones year end average was 785. And of course October of 66, THE MONKEES debuted on TV, an ersatz Beatle-esk band, which caught on with the teeny boppers, as we were then referred as.
To recap the year, January 1, 1966 started off with the New York City Transit Strike, a 12 day event pairing a fiery Mike Quill the NYTA union leader against the newly installed Mayor John Lindsey. Lindsey was no match for the tough Irish union leader. The Transit workers received a 15% raise and The TAYLOR LAW was enacted the next year.
In July, MUHAMMED ALI once known as CASSIUS CLAY declares himself a CO, a “Conscientious Objector”. This brought more attention to the VIETNAM War and to the opposition to this “undeclared” war. I started to pay more attention to radio news reports. According to FCC regulations at the time, each radio station MUST present the news “on the hour” with updates “on the half hour”. The 6 PM and 11PM television evening news were quite visual in its coverage of the carnage in Vietnam, actually upsettingly so. In September the long running whitbread television program THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET ended.
NEWSWEEK had a featured article in its December edition about BE-INS, as in Human “Be-ings”, that were called “happenings” in major cities, San Francisco being one such city. The author referenced the JEFFERSON AIRPLANE as “the most popular of groups”. This was duly noted in my brain.
The USA had 500,000 troops in Vietnam, NASA’s Gemini 10 left “Earth for 3 days in space”, cigarettes were required to carry a health warning on the side package, and Richard Speck killed 8 nurses in Chicago which the news of this scared the bejesus out of me. Speck was outdone a few months later by Charles Wittman who killed 14 and injured 31 by shooting from a tower at the University of Texas to the crowd below. Mass murders, Vietnam, all too much bloodshed on the news and in print.
We had sit-ins, be-ins, teach-ins and the popular films were THUNDERBOLT, DR. ZHIVAGO, and A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS. I was 14 closing in on 15 and my world was changing around me, rapidly.
For me in 1966 The LOVIN’ SPOONFUL was a band I most desired to see, I even bought a vest and a yellow shirt because I saw John Sebastian wearing one on an album cover. At one point I almost wished my eye sight would fade a bit so if I needed glasses I could get a pair like Sebastian’s.
Those big band albums from Columbia record club that my dad had, and the little kid 45’ records that my brother and I had soon met their shelf mates including: 96 Tears, Summer In The City, Good Lovin’, Paperback Writer, 19th Nervous Breakdown and Gloria (Shadows of Night). The album collection expanded as well adding Revolver, Pet Sounds, Blonde on Blonde, High Tides and Green Grass: Big Hits, Fresh Cream, Love, Animalism, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Buffalo Springfield and of course the debut by The Monkees. That Monkees phenomena was a story unto itself.
And then there was the beginning of rock music on FM radio in NY, WOR-FM, August of 66. I needed, I wanted an AM/FM radio.
See you next time….Chapter18: AND THE JUKEBOX KEPT ON PLAYING… . Comments? email@example.com
TICKETS TORN IN HALF: June 19, 1976-JESSE COLIN YOUNG/ AZTEC TWO STEP @ Wollman Rink in Central Park
Somedays you just need to be mellow, more laid back,more restful and this show was one of those days and nights for me, a night as in “extremely mellow”. I had just finished working full time as a history teacher in a suburban high school while also getting my Masters two nights a week.I needed a vacation but since a teacher’s salary was relatively nothing (in those days) I had to get a summer job as a laborer to get me through the 8 weeks without a paycheck and that would start in a few days. Tonight was my night of rest, my mini-vacation, and what could be more restful then a concert under the stars in the middle of Manhattan.
AZTEC TWO STEP, a duo, opened the show. Their first release was getting some air play, especially their tune about DEAN MORIARTY. Nice harmonies, but the “you do the bakin’ and I’ll do the makin” sort of lost me. So I relaxed as they played, I got mellower.
Thanksgiving of 1969 I saw The YOUNGBLOODS open for THE AIRPLANE at FILLMORE EAST. I loved that show. Now here we are about seven years later with the YOUNGBLOODS chief honcho JESSE COLIN YOUNG (who announced he was born in Queens) and his band. Geez, were they good,oh man, mellow folk rock with jazz overtones tossed in. The flute player was amazing on the opening number and helped with my mellowness, “Sunlight”, “Miss Hesitation”, and MERCY,MERCY, ME/ WHAT’S GOING ON…. ahhhhh and we weren’t done, there were plenty more songs yet to be played. Then the encores, as in many, and of course “Get Together” with FELIX PAPPALARDI , who produced the YOUNGBLOOD’S first album, on bass. It was like a night at a spa, mellow,so relaxed, I was ready for anything, except work on Monday.
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