With this post, Rock ‘n’ Rollers world-wide who have visited this site
“filled” the Anaheim Convention Center – capacity 9,000! THANK YOU!
This was my first indoor “arena” concert; so to commemorate these milestones
here’s a revised concert and culture review of CREAM and SPIRIT from 1968!
Top Ten Historic Classic Rock Concerts 1968 – 1972 #10
03-18-68 Anaheim Convention Center Arena (Capacity: 9,100)
Spirit was a local L.A./Topanga Canyon band, so to have them open for Cream was a real kick; hometown boys make good!
They were an exceptional band and ahead of the musical curve; these guys tapped into and presented an inventive and pioneering blend of musical styles and elements that would later serve as a career basis for other artists. They organically blended hard rock and jazz-fusion and psychedelic tinges with unique arrangements and melodic interludes and great diverse vocals and lyrics that touched on social and ecological issues.
This was my first indoor arena concert and I was thrilled. Our seats were mid-way back and mid-way up to the left of stage, you know the experience, you’re there, the music, sound and performances are great but the band members are these brightly-lit humanoids on stage – and even though the venue seemed huge; it was half the size of the Fabulous Forum so relatively speaking these were good seats! I can still vividly remember Spirit’s performance of “Fresh Garbage” and “Mechanical World” as well as Ed Cassidy’s drum solo.
I had just turned seventeen and this concert has always left a definite “flavor” in my mind; it was/is one of those memories that bring you right back to that era of experience – virtually all music can have that effect for one reason or another – but this was sideways from that, more emblematic of a period-shift or state of mind shift. It was the first realization of a world to come, of concerts like this becoming part of our routine, a world where we could regularly meet en mass with our Tribe.
Everything about it was exciting, even purchasing tickets at the little Ticket-Tron booths at major department stores – once you had your printed ticket in hand the event became real and the anticipation of the concert began to build so that by the day of the concert we were all really hyped and thrilled. It was like a Disneyland trip for Hippies – you were excited because you knew you were going to experience thrills, fun and righteous Rock ‘n’ Roll music – and we did.
The “Wheels of Fire” LP live cuts were featured and we were treated to lengthy jams plus “Sunshine of Your Love”; groovy! I was fortunate to experience live Cream! I mean this was Eric Clapton of the Yardbirds! I Loved the Yardbirds they were easily one of my favorite “rave up” brit bands and I’m very sad to say I never saw them live. The upside is that I saw Jeff Beck several years back at the House of Blues up on the Sunset Strip less than twenty feet from the stage and was blown away – a true Guitar God!
I had listened to “Wheels” “Gears” and “Fresh” so many times that they became the theme music for an incredible era – so to hear the songs live was truly a Far Out and memorable experience!
Spirit Lineup: Randy California (guitars, vocals), Jay Ferguson (vocals, percussion), Mark Andes (bass), John Locke (keyboards) and R. California’s step-dad Ed Cassidy (drums)
I could not locate a poster, ad or handbill for this concert – so I made my own –
not era accurate but the photo of Cream and the ticket prices are!