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