The Concert for Bangladesh

August 1, 1971 ~ The Concert For Bangladesh” at Madison Square Garden in New York. George Harrison organizes the event to help victims of famine in that country. Performers include Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr.

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Midwest Rock Festival

… the affluent bohemians who paid $5, $6 and $7 per head turned on and tuned in to the ‘heavy’ and ‘message’ sounds.

Pierre-Rene Noth

July 25, 1969 — and a couple weeks before Woodstock and on the closing night of the second-ever Summerfest, a “rival” festival hit State Fair Park in West Allis. A few up-and-comers showed up. (sarcasm mine)

Slowhand and The Runt

Eric Clapton plays Madison Square Garden in New York City on July 13, 1974 and has a special guest for the encore — Todd Rundgren.

Unfortunately, The Runt’s guitar pickup isn’t working. So, Slowhand gives him his guitar, handles just the lead vocals and, at the appropriate breaks, just sits back and takes in Todd’s axework with everyone else.

Live Aid ’85

July 13, 1985 ~ Bob Geldof’s dream of an all-day concert at venues in the USA and Europe to benefit those suffering from the famine in Ethiopia comes to fruition.

The monster music event happens at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia and London’s Wembley Stadium with over 100,000 fans in the USA and 72,000 in the UK attending. The event is broadcast live across the world to an audience of around 2 billion people in 150 nations.

The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Paul McCartney, Tina Turner, Elton John, David Bowie, The Who, Queen, Eric Clapton and Bob Dylan all lend a hand.

Estimates are that Geldof and crew raise upwards of $50M. However, according to a story done by SPIN Magazine, it’s debatable how much actually reached those in need versus the pockets of Mengistu Haile Mariam, Ethiopia’s corrupt head of state.

Blind Faith at Madison Square Garden

Blind Faith kicks off their maiden US tour at “The Garden” on July 12, 1969. Their debut album isn’t even out yet but that doesn’t matter — it’s a sell-out mainly because of Clapton’s guitar-god star power.

There’s a bit of controversy and legend attached to the event. Near the end of concert, many notice one of Ginger Baker’s drum sticks shatter and fly off the edge of the stage. An eager fan jumps up to grab it and is mauled by a security guy. Ginger didn’t like the treatment of the fan, jumps off his perch behind the drums and uses the other good drumstick to lay some beats on the security guy’s melon. The ensuing melee causes the concert to end abruptly with Clapton, Winwood and Baker being escorted from the stage.

Rock legend.