JETHRO TULL: “My God…or How I developed a dislike for a great band…”

“This Was” JETHRO TULL: released (US)February 1969 Even with it’s unusual cover photo and liner notes so hard to visually decipher, I loved Jethro Tull’s first lp “This Was”. The music was incredible. Blues,folk, jazz, and rock all thrown together in a mix which made my 17 year old ears perk right up. The calendar had just turned to 1969(February) and this album was a fine addition to my ever expanding collection. I remember going to TSS which had a great record department to purchase “This Was” and “Fleetwood Mac” (Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac). From that afternoon, both pieces of vinyl found heavy rotation on the turntable in my upstairs bedroom.

So, here we are going into Spring of 69 and a new “favorite” guitarist joins my ever expanding list, MICK ABRAHAMS. Excitement filled the air in my tiny room every time that LP was played. CLIVE BUNKER on the kit, GLENN CORNICK on the bass, the flute and vocals of Ian (and Mick vocals) that album was a joy to listen to. Alas, my neighbor saw JETHRO TULL at STONY BROOK UNIVERSITY and again at FILLMORE EAST with JEFF BECK (July 69) and broke the news to me that MICK ABRAHAMS was out and a new guitarist was in, MARTIN BARRE. Geez, I was disappointed but my neighbor (3 years older than I) whom I considered to have had impeccable taste in the music told me the new guy was good.

“Stand Up” JETHRO TULL: released September 1969STAND UP is released in September 69, the second JETHRO TULL album, the first with MARTIN BARRE. It’s a bit different and I found listening to it quite enjoyable, but it wasn’t “This Was”.

NOVEMBER 1969: At one of the notorious weekend parties at a friend’s house, with TIME WAS being played in the background someone suggests we, the group, get tickets to see JETHRO TULL. I threw in my 11 bucks for two seats.

December, 1970 FILLMORE EAST:FAT MATTRESS up first, a band which was basically Noel Redding the ex-bassist for Hendrix’s Experience now playing lead guitar and fronting the group.They were terrible. (The band disbanded a few weeks later, with Noel walking out during the American tour) .GRAND FUNK RAILROAD was loud, very loud, fast and did I mention loud. There was a hair flowing lead guitarist running about on the stage. Geez, these schmoes got an encore and then another encore…WHAT? The Fillmore East crowd begging for multiple encores? Grand What? It was unusual even with my limited concert experience to see a support band called back more than once. Then, JETHRO TULL hits the stage with NOTHING IS EASY, a great opening tune. “Bouree”, “A New Day Yesterday, “My Sunday Feeling”, “Fat Man”, “Dharma For One” , “For A Thousand Mothers” along with a tune or two to which I was unfamiliar. Overall, a nice set by a band I was willing to see again.

April 70  Jethro Tull’s third album “Benefit” is released and I add it to my collection but overall was not too impressed with it.

May 1970: On a train with a large group of 12 friends we are off to the FILLMORE EAST late show featuring JETHRO TULL, supported by JOHN SEBASTIAN and CLOUDS, a strange mix of artists for his May 22 bill. CLOUDS a power trio from Scotland who shared management with Jethro Tull landed the opening slot and proceeded to assault our ears with their loud music, if that’s what it could be called. They were followed by JOHN SEBASTIAN, complete in his stoned out Woodstock tie dye outfit playing acoustic guitar, and harmonica. From a power trio to a stoned acoustic singer, we were mesmerized. Now, throw in JETHRO TULL as the closer. JETHRO TULL was now a five piece outfit, adding John Evans on piano, and the band was playing tunes from the recently released BENEFIT album along with the traditional STAND UP songs and a new one with a long diatribe introduction by IAN ANDERSON, “My God”. I pined for the THIS WAS era tunes and the only one they played this night was DHARMA FOR ONE(15 plus minutes) which is the drum solo.”Nothing Is Easy”,”My God”,”To Cry You A Song”, “With You There To Help Me”, “Sossity…”,”Reason For Waiting”, “Dharma For One”, “We Used To Know”, and “For A Thousand Mothers”.

JULY 17, 1970: RANDALL’S ISLAND FESTIVAL: Tull played the identical set as of the FILLMORE EAST show a few weeks ago.

August 3, 1970: WOLLMAN SKATING RINK in Central Park, JETHRO TULL is supported by HAYSTACKS BALBOA  a band playing their very first major venue gig, and it showed.  JETHRO TULL open up with “To Cry You A Song” followed by the almost identical introduction to “My God” as Anderson did in May. Ian Anderson tried to entertain the crowd with dialogs between some songs but I found this nonsense to show him as a weird dude and getting weirder by the moment. That night I lost all momentum to follow this band any further. ”With You There To Help Me”, “A Song For Jeffrey”,”Sossity, You’re A Woman” (loved it), the obligatory “Dharma For One” (about 15 minutes) and the traditional closer, “For A Thousand Mothers”.

April 29, 1971; JETHRO TULL @ New Paltz It was Spring Break and TULL was one of the major acts performing in the gym. The sound was muffled, the nonsense between tunes unbearable, and it was hotter than hell in the hall.

May 5,1971: JETHRO TULL at FILLMORE EAST, from a cancelled show last month.Yuck.

May 71 AQUALUNG released and Tull goes to MSG, I did purchase the lp, gave it a few spins and traded it away. Didn’t even consider buying a ticket for The Garden show.

May 72 THICK AS A BRICK: Nope/done

2020: Ian Anderson is still going and I only have the first two Tull records in my collection but did add an incredible THIS WAS (live) recorded by MICK ABRAHAMS THIS WAS BAND. Also, filed away are the two BLODWIN PIG records.


March 10,2020 @ Madison Square Garden,NYC

A Golden Anniversary is a great way for couples to celebrate a half century of loving companionship. But, golden anniversary record releases are a different story, compounding that a “50 Year Celebration” of a band’s music might be difficult to pull off. The Stones, sure, they are still somewhat relevant, Herman’s Hermits, not so much. Yet when it was announced that THE BROTHERS, surviving members of the various incarnations of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND sans DICKEY BETTS would be performing at MADISON SQUARE GARDEN aka THE WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS ARENA, I was in for the “celebration” from the get-go.
This ALLMAN BROTHERS obsession for me goes back 49 years and 47 shows ago to March 13,1971 when my college radio station partner and I got tickets from Columbia Records to see JOHNNY WINTER AND. Well, the review for WINTER went out the door the minute I heard the twin guitar approach with dual drummers of the ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND. The vocalist was amazing. The late show even better than the early show.Magical. Hence, that night’s performances became an integral part of one of the greatest live recordings LIVE AT FILLMORE EAST.
So many years later,March 10, 2020,with a group of different players but somehow the music performed this night touched me almost as much as it did in ’71.
The pre-show discussions overheard though out the sold out house included “Why just THE BROTHERS? Who owns “the name” ALLMAN’s?”, “What will they play?”, “Who will sing vocals?”, “Where’s Dickey?’”,“Who will sing Blue Sky” and of course , “Will we catch this Corona thing?”
Remembering a snippet from an old BUTCH TRUCK interview of yesteryear, Butch stated that he envisioned a time when the music of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS would tour ala the DUKE ELLINGTON ORCHESTRA without any original members.Hmmmm.So here it is.

The lights dim precisely at a very professional 7:30 pm with a slight moment or two to plug in, tune up and hit the opener of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND debut album, the SPENCER DAVIS tune “Don’t Want You No More” which tonight just like on the album morphed into “It’s Not My Cross To Bear” complete with a portrait of Gregg on the screen AND his lead vocals looped in with guitarist/vocalist WARREN HAYNES. The applause at the end of the selection(s) was deafening, but not as loud as the whoops and yells when we heard Warren say, “ 1,2,3” the intro to the BLIND WILLIE MCTELL song “Statesboro Blues”,a signature tune for the original band. DICKEY BETT’S penned tune “Revival” from the second lp was next, followed by “Trouble No More”, “Don’t Keep Me Wondering”, “Black Hearted Woman”, “Dreams”(fav of mine), and a smoking “Hot ‘lanta”. CHUCK LEAVELL, a member of the post-Duane ensemble was introduced for “Come and Go Blues”,”Soulshine”,” Stand Back”, and ultimately “Jessica” complete with his amazing piano solo closed out the first set.
With that said, my buddies commented that if the evening was over at this point the ticket price of over $200.00 was well worth it.

For set two the core of founding member Jaimoe(drums), Derek Trucks(guitar), Warren Haynes, Marc Quinones (longest tenured member on various percussion),Oteil Burbridge (bass), former member Chuck Leavell, once again shared the stage with WIDESPREAD PANIC’s drummer, brother of Derek, DUANE TRUCKS and keyboardist REESE WYNANS, a former member of STEVIE RAY VAUGHN’s band. The audience knew that at some point we would hear the familiar riff from the improvisation of a DONAVAN melody renamed “Mountain Jam” but never expected it to start the second set. This 20 minute exchange set the tone for the next few selections as each musician was given a chance to step out into the spotlight.DEREK TRUCKS utilized DUANE ALLMAN’s legendary 1957 LES PAUL GOLD TOP, the same guitar which was used during the recording of the first two ALLMAN lps as well as during the LAYLA sessions, the guitar which recently sold for $1.25 million, one of the top five most expensive guitars ever sold (according to Stringjoy). To further answer the question posed about DICKEY BETTS’ absence, CHUCK LEAVELL sang the next tune, “Blue Sky” (complete with a Franklin’s Tower tease) as did most of the 20,000 plus folks in attendance.Warren Haynes provided the vocals and guitar solo for a smoking hot version of a latter day ABB song ,“Desdemonia”.
Chuck Leavell’s piano introduction to “Ain’t Wasting Time No More” was met with cheers becoming an almost mandatory sing and dance along. It was party time in The Garden. Phones were out recording the event, beers were being raised toasting our great fortune. Smiles abounded. Chuck took his leave after this number. As long as everyone was standing, “Every Hungry Woman” kept the crowd enthusiasm going.
Warren strapped on an acoustic guitar,and with that the opening chords of “Melissa” changed the mood immediately. Derek’s beautiful electric exchange help calm the mood even further. The crowd was listening to each word, each note. This somber song made me reflect on how GREGG ALLMAN’s vocals will be forever missed but Warren was doing a yeoman’s job tonight. The applause for “Melissa” seemed to last forever.Gregg was smiling down on us.
A deep breath was taken by the band, a slight interchange, a few tuning notes and soon we were deep “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed”, followed by the Bo Diddley beat of “No One To Run With” and concluding with “One Way Out”.
The band returned to the stage with a short word or two from JAIMOE and as most in the crowd were yelling for “Whipping Post’ as the encore, the band with Chuck Leavell hit the notes for “Midnight Rider”.Beautifully done. Then, Oteil stepped forward and his thundering bass led us through “Whipping Post” complete with a “Les Brers In A minor” thrown in for good measure.The band meet at mid-stage, took a few bows, a few photos and the house light rose. #48 in the books.


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)
Dear Landlord
Something’s Coming On
Do I Still Figure in Your Life
Feelin’ Alright
Just Like a Woman
Let’s Go Get Stoned
I Don’t Need No Doctor
I Shall Be Released
Hitchcock Railway
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
Summer Dresses
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)
Crystal Blues
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
Help Me
I’m Going Home

The Band 10:00 pm – 10:50 pm($7500)
Chest Fever
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
The Weight
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
Mean Mistreater
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
Spinning Wheel
Sometimes in Winter
Smilin’ Phases
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
Helplessly Hoping
Marrakesh Express
4 + 20
Mr Soul
You Don’t Have To Cry
(Set Two – Electric)
Pre-road Downs
Long Time Gone
Sea Of Madness
Wooden Ships
Find The Cost Of Freedom
49 Bye-Byes

Paul Butterfield Blues Band 6:00 am – 6:45 am (fee unknown)
Born Under a Bad Sign
No Amount of Loving
Driftin’ and Driftin’
Morning Sunrise
All in a Day
Love March
Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

Sha Na Na 7:30 am – 8:00 am($700)
Get A Job
Come Go With Me
Teen Angel
Jailhouse Rock
Wipe Out
(Who Wrote) The Book of Love
Little Darling
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
Red House
Lover Man
Foxy Lady
Gypsy Woman/Aware of Love
Voodoo Child- slight return
Stepping Stone
The Star Spangled Banner
Purple Haze
Woodstock Improv
Villanova Junction
Hey Joe

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


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)
Donovan’s Reef
Heartaches by the Number
Ring of Fire
Tennessee Stud
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
Evil Ways
You Just Don’t Care
Soul Sacrifice
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
Younger Generation

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.

Spanish Fly
Think It Over
She’s Gone
Too Much Thinking
The Halfbred
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)
The Letter
Gather Round
This Moment
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
Stormy Monday
Theme for an Imaginary Western
Long Red
For Yasgur’s Farm (named later)
Beside the Sea
Waiting to Take You Away
Dreams of Milk and Honey > Guitar Solo
Blind Man
Dirty Shoes Blues
Southbound Train

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.

St. Stephen
Mama Tried
Dark Star
High Time
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
Green River
Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)
Bad Moon Rising
Proud Mary
I Put a Spell on You
The Night Time Is the Right Time
Keep on Chooglin’
Suzy Q


Raise Your Hand
As Good As You’ve Been To This World
To Love Somebody
Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
Kosmic Blues
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
Everyday People
Dance To The Music
Music Lover
I Want To Take You Higher
Love City

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
Amazing Journey
Eyesight To The Blind
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
Acid Queen
Pinball Wizard
Abbie Hoffmann Incident
Fiddle About
There’s A Doctor I’ve Found
Go To The Mirror Boy
Smash The Mirror
I’m Free
Tommy’s Holiday Camp
We’re Not Gonna Take It
See Me Feel Me
Summertime Blues
Shakin’ All Over
My Generation
Naked Eye

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
Wooden Ships
Uncle Sam Blues
The Ballad of You & Me & Pooneil
Come Back Baby
White Rabbit
The House at Pooneil Corner



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 many of Joni’s friends, those who performed during the legendary weekend, arrived to sit in on the show’s taping.They were David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Jefferson Airplane.

In the months and years that followed the giant festival, the “Woodstock” song would offer the those not in attendance the general aura of the gathering. Joni Mitchell composed the tune 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, 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 for doing so ($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
Handsome Johnny
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:

Motherless Child.
Look Out
For Pete’s Sake
Day Song
What’s Wrong
Crystal Spider
Two Worlds
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
She’s Gone
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
Misty Roses

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
Momma Momma
Beautiful People
Animal Crackers
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
Amazing Grace

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
Joe Hill
Sweet Sir Galahad
Hickory Wind
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

TICKETS TORN IN HALF: July 26,1969:Terry Reid @ The Action House, Island Park, LI,NY

JULY 26: TERRY REID @ THE ACTION HOUSE, Island Park, NY Having dug Terry Reid so much at Fillmore East only 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, stolen from Fillmore East. His set that night was much longer than Fillmore’s and just as tasty.


JULY 19: 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 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, larger halls would be their destiny.

Set list for Summer of 69:
Born on the Bayou
Green River
Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won’t Do)
Bad Moon Rising
Proud Mary
I Put a Spell on You
The Night Time Is the Right Time
Keep on Chooglin’
Suzy Q

Terry Reid



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.

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

Blind Faith: Madison Square Garden, July 14, 1969 Review

Blind Faith Group Sings

New York Times, July 14th 1969

By Mike Jahn

Blind Faith, the British rock group succeeding Cream, which became very popular in the last few years, played an impressive opening Saturday at Madison Square Garden. 

Blind Faith presents Eric Clapton on guitar, Ginger Baker on drums, Steve Winwood, guitar and keyboards, and Rick Grech, bass and electric violin. 

The group packed the Garden in its first United States appearance. As usual, the Garden sound system was bad, and the breaks between songs were punctuated by indignant shouts to that effect. Considering the acoustics and the size of the house, Blind Faith did rather well.

Mr. Clapton and Mr. Baker play loosely structured, emotional music. Mr. Winwood leans toward tightly structured but soulful rock. Putting together such intensely individual artists as those three men is a risky business. Blind Faith emerges as more versatile and precise than either cream or the rival British group Traffic, but unfortunately not as exciting as either.

Mr. Winwood’s vocals were taut and effective as usual. Mr. Baker contributed an explosive, imaginative drum solo that was the emotional high point of the night.

Also on the program were Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, an exciting soul-and-gospel group from Los Angeles.


(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.)


(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.