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.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF:September 4,1984-G.B.H/The ACCUSED/NAPALM@SUNDANCE, BayShore ,N.Y.This was a local show in a small club featuring NAPALM, my sister-in law’s boyfriend’s band. I had no idea who or what the other bands were or did but I knew it must be a big event by the crowd outside before the show.Thrash, metal, punk, all very loud and somewhat entertaining.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF:August 17,2000 NEIL YOUNG w/ Friends and Relatives/Pretenders/Tegan and Sara@JONES BEACH, Wantagh,NY( Band: Spooner Oldham,Ben Keith, Donald duck Dunn, Astrid Young, Peggy Young)
(Neil Young & Crazy Horse cover)
(Neil Young & Crazy Horse cover)
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.)
ROCK’S IN MY HEAD- CHAPTER 27: GOD IS BACK IN TOWN
For the Summer of 69 the next concert up was CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL with TERRY REID and AUM, July 19, 1969 at FILLMORE EAST. With my kid brother, a fan of Creedence, at my side, I was there to see the undercard, Terry Reid, having loved both of his albums. San Francisco’s AUM opened the show and closed their set with GOD IS BACK IN TOWN, a song which was getting some air play at the time. Terry Reid hit the stage announcing that his favorite Les Paul guitar was stolen the previous night and he begged for its return. Despite not having his trustworthy axe, Terry had the place on its feet by sets end. Then the hit makers nicknamed CCR rocked the house. Dressed like rich hippies with flannel shirts, jeans and boots, these swamp rockers closed it all out with a 20 minute version of “KEEP ON CHOOGLIN”. Even with my limited experience I knew this band would not be playing for the East Village hippies much longer. Bigger pay days in shittier sounding, larger halls would be their destiny.
The very next night after CREEDENCE my girlfriend had invited two friends over to her house and we four sat in her mother’s bedroom to watch the APOLLO 11 moon landing on television. Amazing, the SPACE RACE is finally settled. But the events leading up to it were amazing. July 16 APOLLO 11 was launched,on the 19th it passed behind the moon to enter the lunar orbit, the 20th the Lunar Module separated from the command module and lands on the moon’s surface in THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY. On the 21st of July,1969 Astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon’s surface. Buzz Aldrin joined him a few minutes later. While that in itself is amazing my thoughts at that moment were “How do they get back to the module AND if and when they do, how do they get back to Earth? Yes is the answer of course as on July 24 they splashed down in the Pacific.
Estimates put the number who watched or listened to the Moon landing between 1/2 and 1 billion people around the world
Having dug Terry Reid so much at The Fillmore the weekend before we traveled to the Action House in Island Park, not far from my home, to see him again. While in a less than capacity house Terry was off to the side of the stage prior to his set when I engaged him in a conversation and found him to be just a delightful person, one appreciative of the crowd coming out to see him and he made me feel comfortable when I introduced myself to him. I must say I was a bit apprehensive but I needed to know and NO he did not get his Les Paul returned. His set that night was much longer than Fillmore’s and just as tasty.
It was about this time that the verdict came down convicting MUHAMMAD ALI, aka Cassius Clay, aka World’s Heavyweight Boxing Champ (stripped of his title), a Conscientious Objector, of draft evasion. AND Senator Ted Kennedy pleads guilty to leaving the scene of an accident, CHAPPAQUIDDICK, where his aide MARY JO KOPECHNE drowned. Teddy received a “two month SUSPENDED sentence”. Ali is convicted yet the politician Ted pleas….HMMMMM
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.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF July 26:1974 Souther, Hillman and Furay @WOLLMAN RING in Central Park: This newest of SUPERGROUPS ala CSN&Y was a dud, plain and simple, a dud. But we got to see if Richie Furay could play guitar, and yes he can.
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.
My ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND obsession began in March of 1971 at FILLMORE EAST and continued for the most part throughout the years up until the very end of the band for a grand total of over 50 perfomances. Funny as I calendarize my shows I found 3 separate shows for the same date JULY 21 in various years.
TICKETS TORN IN HALF- July 21
(ABB Show #6) July 21, 1971: ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND/ COWBOY @Wollman Rink in Central Park was an experience.Met up with a buddy in a tavern prior to the show. In the park the sun was shining brightly as the ABB hits the stage and they finished hours later in the calm of an early evening. Duane was in his element. Photos galore. Two shows that night,we had the early one.
TROUBLE NO MORE
DON’T KEEP ME WONDERING
DONE SOMEBODY WRONG
ONE WAY OUT
IN MEMORY OF ELIZ REED
YOU DON’T LOVE ME
(ABB Show #10) July 21, 1973 ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND @ Madison Square Garden, NY: The ABB even after the death of Duane and Berry were becoming a huge attraction on the circuit. This two night stand at MSG followed two sell outs with the Grateful Dead at RFK stadium , 80,000 seats each night, only a month before.
DONE SOMEBODY WRONG
SOUTHBOUND- (CHUCK LEVELL IS AMAZING)
IN MEMORY OF ELIZ REED
COME AND GO BLUES
TROUBLE NO MORE
ONE WAY OUT
TOU DON’T LOVE ME
LES BRES IN A MINOR
WHIPPING POST MOUNTAIN JAM
(ABB Show #15)July 21, 1996 ABB/ GOD STREET WINE @ Jones Beach The band open w/ Statesboro Blues to thunderous approval. I’m sitting at the top of the expanded amphitheater with a guy I finally got to attend any show with me and tonight we are seated amongst college kids, guys, mostly drunk who encouraged their girlfriends to go topless in the rain. And it rained.
YOU DON’T LOVE ME
WHAT’S DONE IS DONE
WORRIED DOWN WITH THE BLUES
CHANGE MY WAS OF LIVING
IN MEMORY OF ELIZ REED DREAMS
HOOTCHIE COOCHIE MAN
BACK WHERE IT ALL BEGINS
NO ONE TO RUN WITH
ONE WAY OUT
July 20, 1996: QUADROPHENIA @ MSG Not billed as THE WHO but rather as Pete, John and Roger with a host of others performing QUADROPHENIA in its entirety for Six nights at the World’s Most Famous Arena. Gary Glitter, Billy Idol, a horn section, Zak Starkey on drums (that was a huge plus), and all my buddies to see (for the fifth time) THE WHO (screw how they billed it) playing for the first time since 1989. An acoustic “Won’t Get Fooled Again” as one of the four encores and we got “Magic Bus” that night.