EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
All Time Top 10 Historic Rock Concerts 1968 -1972 #6
Fabulous Forum, Inglewood (Capacity: 17,000)
The year 1970 goes down in personal rock history as a classic highpoint within an already classic era of rock concert history with nearly half of my personal Top Ten concerts taking place in this year alone! So, to start them off: The Man; Jimi Hendrix!
This was the beginning US date of what would be his last US tour; the “Cry of Love” tour and this concert has literally gone down in history as one of his most memorable performances. It was also the debut of the Cry of Love band with the return of Mitch Mitchell on drums.Like many, Hendrix was/is my all-time favorite rock guitarist, but I also acknowledge him as one of my favorite composers and singers. I love Jimi!
So take feelings like those of adulation, praise, love and excitement of and for Jimi, the epitome of “Rock” and multiply by 17,000 and you can imagine the electricity in the air that night. Anticipation was high and so were we. We all dropped White Double Dome LSD; a soon to be proven concert enhancer and fave for the coming summer! We were observing the Tribal Psychedelic Law: Hallucinogenics are to be administered: 1) on any Fourth of July ending with a fireworks display and 2) if fortunate enough to be in attendance; at any Jimi Hendrix concert. So as law abiding citizens: we obeyed the law!
We had semi-backstage passes acquired from a former girlfriend’s father who was a close biz associate of the then owner of the Forum, Jack Kent Cooke. By semi-backstage, I mean we got in free, we had clearance, came in through the back, just like rock stars, but had no real designated seats!
My date was a girl I met a few days earlier; she was hitch-hiking back from the beach, I picked her up, we hit it off, I asked her if she wanted to go, she said yes and that was typical of how we hooked-up back then – easy, honest, no pretensions and with a smile.
To find seats, the group I came with had to split up; my date and I moved from vacant seat to vacant seat ’til we finally snagged great seats even with, and to the right side of the stage, the side Jimi performed.This was the best! Everywhere I looked people were smiling. Jimi had to have felt it, ‘cuz he gave us soulful performances in return. My viewpoint of the stage and the fans was similar to my seats at Anaheim and the Great Led Zep/Tull Concert of ‘69 in that while I had a great view of Jimi I also had a great perspective out into the sea of fans.
You could feel the awesome power Jimi possessed, the power he held in his hands, literally, as he stunned the population with sounds only he could manifest from an electric guitar.
When I try and relate the feelings experienced at these live events with these rock icons I will unfortunately never be able to convey the true high of being in the presence of them – it’s seems impossible, but I’ll try in an article devoted to just that in the near future.
Jimi’s death a few months later was truly tragic on many levels but for me I saw Jimi at a point of evolvement at this concert; he seemed to give off an almost reverent aura, maybe this re-invigorated tour opening night was a positive crossroads for him. I believe that had he not died he would have continued to be the innovator he always was. But he didn’t, so he was meant to perform guitar magic for his and our pleasure, benefit and amazement, leave a huge immortal stamp, and then go home.
My most sincere thanks Jimi, your music has provided me soulful strength and inspiration when needed. See ya – I won’t be late.
Lineup: Jimi Hendrix (guitar), Mitch Mitchell (drums), Billy Cox (bass).
Setlist: Spanish Castle Magic, Foxy Lady, Lover Man, Hear My Train A Coming, Message Of Love, Ezy Ryder, Machine Gun, Room Full Of Mirrors, Villa Nova Junction, Drum Solo, Freedom, Star Spangled Banner, Purple Haze, Voodoo Child (Slight Return), Keep On Groovin’, Voodoo Child (Slight Return).
Vintage Late ’60s Early ’70s HENDRIX Poster – 00individual’s Collection
All Time Top 10 Historic Rock Concerts 1968 -1972 #5 (ascending chronological order)
with Leon Russell, John Sebastian and Blues Image
06-14-70 Anaheim Stadium, Anaheim
“Sit back my children and you shall hear, of the legendary experimental concert that had us grinning from ear to ear,…” This was truly an altered state of consciousness concert event. By that I mean all parts created an alternate universe for a day.
Anaheim (outdoor baseball) Stadium had just been host to a live Donny and Marie Osmond concert – all went well. So the venue powers-that-be decided to test a rock act next. Outdoor concerts were “happening”, so the idea was “festival seating” on the whole baseball playing field facing the stage at home plate with all the seats in the whole stadium vacant. Sounds cool, doesn’t it? It was. Now imagine staking your claim to Third Base, just 90 feet from the stage, early on with your good group of friends who have all dropped Double-Dome acid (a proven concert and all around fun enhancer) and everything’s groovy until gradually as the concert progresses you realize that there are helmeted police standing in all the front rows of the seating sections around the whole stadium (!?) The storm troopers stood motionless throughout the concert. Alternate universe? Absolutely! Maintaining reality under these conditions was not easy – but then the Who took the stage and the whole field was swept away to Rock Heaven!
The Who were riding high with two totally, historically awesome LPs at the time; “Tommy” and “Live at Leeds”. “Leeds” was/is still, easily the top live LP of all time! It was during the wondrously exquisite fully-extended version of “My Generation”, the part with the delicate echo breaks, that the crowd was so awestruck, so quiet; you could hear a jaw drop! I slowly turned and looked through the masses and realized and felt that not just my group at Third Base, or the group at Second, or Right Field, but everyone was on psychedelics! I mean Everyone! I had never before or since encountered a mass-mindset that created a sense of non-verbal communication and strange unity. We kind of had that back then on a daily basis even without drugs, it was called trust, but this was different, with the current “crazed killer-hippies” (thanks, Charlie) and “US National Guard student-killers” (thanks Uncle Sam) atmosphere, the lines were drawn and authority was like, “give us a reason”, guess what, we didn’t have one. That day we were above it, way above it; an alternate universe above it!
The truly great supporting artists; Blues Image, “Ride Captain, Ride”, John Sebastian, the heart and soul of the Lovin’ Spoonful, and Leon Russell, “A Song For You”, “Roll Away The Stone”, that led up to the Who were just right for the afternoon, but as early evening arrived it was time to cut loose and freak-out at one of the best (and in retrospect one of the most intimate) concerts, ever!
The Who played hits from “Tommy” and “Live at Leeds” and even with all of the incredible music we had enjoyed, they climaxed with the most perfect send-off songs in the history of rock concerts: “Summertime Blues”, “Shakin’ All Over”, “My Generation”, “See Me, Feel Me” and “Sparks”! It was as if the whole stadium was apart from this world and the Who’s sound was the exquisite energy that powered our wedge of the world and charged our bodies and minds. No shit! It was the coolest! We were all in total awe and exhilaration! I would like to try and convey this; on a scale of 1 to 10 on the “perfect meld of psychedelics and music working together to create a transcendent orgiastic aural and physical experience at a rock concert” meter, this was easily an 11!
On that day the Who created sound that was an aural psychedelic. Listen to the “Live at Leeds” cuts 10 thru 13 (the absolute best 30+ minutes of classic rock – the cream of the cream of LP endings also!!) Listen with earphones or just at high volume on a good system; you can hear the ambient sound around the Who awash in LSD-tinged elements throughout (ambient echoes) and is the best “substitute” for the reality of what we all experienced on that incredible day. Plus listen to the audience, – that’s right you can’t here the audience, even in the quietest of moments, that’s because of their reverence and appreciation of the live performance – it was like that exactly at this concert Whew! Gives me cold chills as I write this and it doesn’t hurt having it playing while I do!
I Love This Stuff!
Lineup: Roger Daltry (vocals, guitar, harmonica), Pete Townshend (guitar, vocals, keyboards, piano), John Entwhistle (bass, vocals) and Keith Moon (drums, vocals).
Setlist: Heaven and Hell, I Can’t Explain, Young Man Blues, Water, The Seeker, Overture, 1921, Amazing Journey, Sparks, Eyesight To The Blind, Christmas, The Acid Queen, Pinball Wizard, Do You Think Its Alright, Fiddle About, Tommy Can You Hear Me, There’s a Doctor, Go To The Mirror, Smash The Mirror, Miracle Cure, I’m Free, Tommy’s Holiday Camp, We’re Not Gonna Take It, Summertime Blues, Shakin’ All Over, My Generation, See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Sparks.