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.
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.
June 16, 1967 ~ The first Moneterey Pop Festival debuts at the County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. It’s the first of the big festivals and many consider it the beginning of the “Summer of Love.” Dig it.
England gets it’s first taste of Jimi Hendrix. It’s at The Saville Theatre — The Who and The Beach Boys are there. So is John, Paul, George and Ringo.Jimi gets together with the band just before they hit the stage and tells them they’re going to do “Sgt. Pepper’s.”
December 11, 1968 ~ The Rolling Stones record their Rolling Stones’ Rock and Roll Circus TV special – and then bury it for nearly 30 years.
The Boys organize and headline the event, which is played under a grungy circus tent for invited guests, most of whom wear yellow ponchos. Among the acts preceding the Stones’ performance are Jethro Tull, The Who, Taj Mahal, and assorted — well — circus acts. Also appearing: The Dirty Mac, a one-time grouping of Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchell.
The recording takes far longer than expected, lasting until 5 o’clock the next morning. The special never airs: rumor has it that Jagger is so disappointed with the Stones’ showing that he kills it. This decision holds until October 12, 1996, when it is finally shown at the New York Film Festival and is released on video.
40 years ago ~ December 3, 1979 ~ before The Who concert at Riverfront Coliseum in Cincinnati, 11 people are trampled to death and dozens are injured in a rush to enter the arena. “Festival seating” is the way of the day at big concerts back then. That all ends with the resulting controversy (and lawsuits) as promoters rethink the practice.
November 20, 1976 ~ After Keith Moon passes out at his drum kit, The Who pull a fan from the audience to take over.19-year-old Scot Halpin is the lucky fan chosen to complete the set at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. He does an admirable job on the three remaining songs – “Smokestack Lightning,” “Spoonful,” and “Naked Eye” – and takes a bow with the group.
Rolling Stone names him their “Pick-Up Player Of The Year.”As for Moon, management blames jet lag, but it probably has something to do with the horse tranquilizers he ingested.