TICKETS TORN IN HALF July 17,1970: NY POP FESTIVAL @RANDALLS ISLAND
JULY 17: NY POP FESTIVAL @ RANDALL’S ISLAND The promoters of this event, as crooked as they were, thought they could recreate the Woodstock festival on Randall’s Island, an island in the middle of the East River. Many of the “scheduled” acts did NOT show up and the local radical groups made the atmosphere worse by encouraging gate crashing. One saving grace about this weekend was that at least there wasn’t any mud like Woodstock but this was a disaster nonetheless. Delaney Bonnie and Friends did not show, No Richie Havens, no Ravi Shankar (Thank goodness) and the band I was anticipating, one of the head liners for Saturday night, TONY WILLIAMS LIFETIME WITH MILES DAVIS AND ERIC CLAPTON was nowhere to be found, actually the band did not exist, shows you how crooked these promoters were. Joe Cocker cancelled but Sly and The Family Stone was to be his replacement. Sly, as usual was late, so late that the crowd would still be waiting.They didn’t show either. That was a sham and a scam. The bands that did show played quick, mostly uninspiring sets, knowing they were NOT getting the promised big paydays or paid at all. Many bands felt a kinship to the audience which got angrier at every announcement canceling the next act. It was getting real nasty fast. Grand Funk played a few recognizable tunes then a drum solo which seemed to last for days. John Sebastian was well….John Sebastian. Cactus showed some promise, Ten Years After (yes again) did their usual set, and the NY Rock ENSEMBLE closed out the evening. Bottles were thrown at the stage, a garbage can set afire, etc, etc. We were supposed to camp out with our group of friends but heeded the warning in the crowd to GET OUT, so home we all went.
NOTE: My remaining ticket, the Jimi Hendrix night, was sold on eBay years later for $250.00 cash.