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A Walk Down Memory Lane: The Houses of the Holy

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The 7/13/69 jam session occured at the Singer Bowl (not The New York State Pavilion where the 8/29 & 8/30/69 shows were held). Here's a good shot of the Singer Bowl stadium (the amphitheatre someone mentioned in a previous post was a completely different venue):


Here are a few press reports of the Singer Bowl jam at the Vanilla Fudge & Jeff Beck show on 7/13/69:




Here's a picture of the inside of New York State Pavilion (where Zep performed on 8/29 & 8/30/69):


Here are some shots of the exterior of the New York State Pavilion:





Here are a few other shots of the Fair grounds:



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These are all just a couple of minutes walk from the New York Mets' former Shea Stadium where their new residence Citi Field resides now. Just to the right of the expressway (Van Wyck) you see on the right side of the photo.

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Laurel Park's Not History But Has A Century Of It

By: Rick Snider | 10/13/11 | Examiner Sports Columnist |

Laurel Park has seen more revivals over the past century than a country preacher. Maybe there's another one coming.

The thoroughbred track is celebrating its 100th anniversary Saturday, and in that century Secretariat, Seabiscuit and Led Zeppelin graced its oval. Kent Desormeaux rode a world record 598 winners in 1989, including one during which both his boots fell out of the irons in the stretch.

Not bad for a track that started as a fair meeting and was the state's fourth-best venue -- maybe -- for many decades.

Laurel drew 50,000 during the 1950s, when its international race attracted Russian horses during the Cold War. By the 1980s, the "faithful 5,000" were the only ones rattling around the aging facility.

But track owner Frank De Francis turned Laurel into the "Maryland Miracle" shortly after his 1984 arrival. Behind giveaways and gimmicky bets, big TV screens attracting sports fans and simulcasts that allowed patrons to wager on races across the country every two minutes, Laurel became the lion of Mid-Atlantic racing.

Bowie closed in the mid-1980s, ending the famed winter racing that attracted trainloads of New York and Philadelphia gamblers. Timonium shortened its "spa" summer meeting, and Pimlico essentially became the Preakness Stakes festival each spring. Meanwhile, Laurel chugged along like a nickel claimer trying to earn enough to pay for its oats.

Too bad Maryland legislators were a decade late in approving slot machines. Neighboring states grew fat off their slot earnings as tracks. Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia choked Maryland racing into submission, luring away its top stables and riders.

But those tracks will never have Maryland racing's history, which dates to 1743 and featured galloping through the cobblestone streets of Annapolis. George Washington's diaries mention his betting losses. Maryland raced while Kentucky was just an open prairie.

Secretariat was among five Triple Crown winners that scored at Laurel, and immortals Kelso, Seabiscuit and Spectacular Bid also raced there. The first international race in the United States began there. The Maryland Million day for state-sired progeny -- meant to bolster the breeding industry -- became a national trend.

Jockeys Chris McCarron, Sandy Hawley and Desormeaux started Hall of Fame careers in Maryland, while trainer King Leatherbury ranks third in career victories nationally. Even top musical acts played on the track apron, from Jethro Tull to Led Zeppelin.

Sadly, Laurel's grandstand is largely empty again; bettors now wager on the Internet or from off-track parlors. The crowd no longer swarms to the paddock to watch trainers give final instructions to jockeys or see how horses warm up in the post parade. It's now mostly a numbers game -- minus the insider tips of the Nathan Detroits and Lemon Drop Kids in the stands.

Still, there's nothing like rooting home a long shot, flashing the winning ticket to buddies while heading to cash in at the window.

That's why Laurel remains, maybe for a century more.


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While at the Forum of Inglewood(LA Forum, Great Western Forum, etc.) yesterday for the Foo Fighters concert, I snapped some photos for this thread. It's from a cellphone camera, so excuse the quality...or lack thereof.

The intersection of Prairie & Manchester in Inglewood.


The Forum from the southeast corner of the parking lot looking northwest.


The Forum Club entrance, where Jack Nicholson and other club members would hang out before Laker games and concerts. The 1998-1999 season was the last season the Los Angeles Lakers played at the Forum.


The tunnel entrance to under the Forum. This is where the band would enter and exit the Forum. Kids would line up here before and after concerts watching the limos come and go. In fact, if you wanted to see them leave, you had to leave the concert during the encore or else they'd be gone from the Forum before you could get outside from your seat.


More to come...

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Laurel Park's Not History But Has A Century Of It

By: Rick Snider | 10/13/11 | Examiner Sports Columnist |


Thanks for this, Sam. This is really close to my house (I pass it on the way to one/from of my fave wine stores :) ). Saw Simon and Garfunkel there back in the stone age... A shame it's fallen on hard times. Hope it's not too late to do something about it.

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Please pardon my primitive cut & paste skills !


ahh, the site of my first and only led zeppelin meet up, a zoso magazine adverstised gathering, there were like five people there. i think we all just sort of didnt know what to do, but call it a day. or maybe i was late.

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Beyond classical, at Kleinhans

By Jeff Miers


The hallowed walls of Kleinhans Music Hall have long resonated with the finest symphonies beneath some of the most revered batons in the world of orchestral music. But if you were born after 1970, or are a recent transplant to Buffalo, there is an alternate history of Kleinhans that you are likely only familiar with through hearsay, if at all. Indeed, the home of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has witnessed some of the greatest rock concerts of the past 40 years. The acoustically pristine and aesthetically stunning music hall was once a must-play venue for the biggest rock and pop acts going.

"In the '70s, if you didn't play Buffalo, you didn't go on tour," says Mike Montoro, promoter with BPO Nation, a new organization seeking to return Kleinhans to its glory days as a venue with a full, year-round schedule. "The deal was, you played Cleveland, Buffalo and Toronto, and when you played Buffalo, you played Kleinhans."

Montoro knows. Working with local independent promoter Festival East in the 1970s and early '80s, Montoro either booked or witnessed a list of performers that should make the jaw of any discerning rock fan hit the floor: Elton John, Led Zeppelin, the Guess Who, Derek and the Dominos, Yes, Chicago, Aerosmith, the New York Dolls, Humble Pie, Gentle Giant, Traffic, the Grateful Dead, the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Peter Gabriel all played Kleinhans.

"I remember seeing Gentle Giant play Kleinhans, the same week that Frank Zappa released the 'Joe's Garage' album," says music fan Greg MacDonald of Buffalo. "The show was completely packed, people were way into it, and it was just a rowdy, wonderful night of fantastic music. I recall the sound in the room being just plain perfect. And then, after the show, I went to crash over at my buddy's house, and he pulled out the brand new 'Joe's Garage' vinyl, slapped headphones on my head, and said 'Check this out.' A night I will never forget!"

BPO Nation, the brainchild of Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Chairman-Elect Louis Ciminelli, is looking to do many things -- fill the best-sounding room in Buffalo during nights when the venue would otherwise remain dark, bring new audiences to the orchestra and the building, and raise money for the BPO (after concert expenses are paid, all profits go to the BPO).

But perhaps more than anything else, the new entity hopes to let Western New York music fans in on what seems to have devolved into one of the area's best-kept secrets -- Kleinhans has an incredible history, and it's a story that should be an ongoing one.

"My main desire for BPO Nation is to develop a future audience for the BPO," says Ciminelli. "That's number one. I want to foster ticket buyers for the BPO, and I want to reintroduce concertgoers to this amazing building. This is an earned-revenue strategy, certainly, because as far as finances go, the BPO is always struggling. But it's more than that, too. My first-ever concert experience was seeing Led Zeppelin at Kleinhans. This is not something that it's possible to forget.

"So many fantastic rock artists have played the building, because it was once the most prominent venue in Buffalo," Ciminelli continues. "I'd like people that come to these concerts -- like Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, for example -- to realize that the BPO is a great band, too. I was lucky enough to take music appreciation classes in high school, and to realize that so much of the rock music we loved from the late '60s and '70s was based on Bach. If you listen to Zeppelin or Yes, you can hear that the music has movements, just like a symphony. Great music is great music."

Toward that end, Ciminelli enlisted Montoro to begin booking artists who might draw open-minded listeners to Kleinhans, in the hope that the venue would become a regular stop for them. Earlier this year, BPO Nation presented Graham Parker and Garland Jeffreys, as well as a supergroup featuring jazz heavyweights George Duke, Marcus Miller and David Sanborn in Kleinhans. Coming up are Cyndi Lauper and Doctor John on Tuesday, iconic Yes singer and keyboardist Anderson and Wakeman on Wednesday and Joan Baez on Nov. 4.

Plans are also afoot to merge the rock and classical worlds with one of the most incisive and far-reaching late 20th century pieces -- Frank Zappa's "The Yellow Shark."

"When George Duke played here, I spent several hours with him after the show, just listening to him talk," recalls Montoro. "He was remembering his time playing with Zappa, and he said, 'Zappa changed my soul, and my whole approach to music.' That is such an amazing statement. Back in the '70s, it was hard to appreciate Zappa, but I think time has proven him to be such a complete genius. We are hoping to do 'The Yellow Shark' here to possibly introduce people to that side of his work."

Ciminelli says that the BPO and Music Director JoAnn Falletta have been working with the Zappa Family Trust to make this performance happen. "JoAnn loves 20th century music, of course, and this Zappa piece is certainly right in her wheelhouse," he says.

Montoro recalls former BPO principal conductor Lukas Foss as "a real rock guy, a man who loved the best, most adventurous rock music."

"Foss knew Bobby Weir of the Grateful Dead, and he called him and asked the Dead to do a concert with the BPO. This is now an absolutely legendary, near-mythical show that seems to be the one Grateful Dead show that was not recorded by anyone. To this day, people call Kleinhans on a regular basis hoping to track down information on this early-'70s gig. It really did happen."

Of course, so much has changed since the glory days of the rock music industry, which lasted from the late 1960s until the early '80s, when, Montoro said, "Prices more than tripled for the acts themselves, and independent promoters were simply priced right out of the business."

Bringing back the days when Kleinhans had very few dark nights on its schedule will be an uphill battle, but it's one both Ciminelli and Montoro are more than willing to fight.

"Buffalo has so many things to offer from a cultural standpoint," Montoro says. "The BPO and Kleinhans are two of the finest of those things."


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Maple Leaf Gardens reopened to public

CBC News | Nov 30, 2011


Hundreds of people lined up to get into the iconic Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Toronto, though the crowd was made primarily of foodies instead of hockey aficionados.

The retail centre in the renovated building, which includes a Loblaws store, a Joe Fresh clothing outlet and LCBO, opened at 8 a.m. ET Wednesday.

William Patton was first in line, having spent a chilly night waiting in the cold.

"Well I'd like to see what they've done inside of course, naturally," he told CBC News. "Who wouldn't?"

CBC reporter Colin Butler said one of the only throwbacks to the arena's past was a sculpture of a maple leaf made from some old blue seats.

"The exterior remains much the same but inside, that's what's different," he said.

That didn't stop hundreds from attending.

Butler said the lineup to get into the former home of the Toronto Maple Leafs stretched almost from Carlton and Church streets to Yonge Street, a distance of some 300 metres.

Hockey rink will open in spring

However, the rink will eventually be home to a hockey team again.

Ryerson University is constructing an athletic centre that will feature a rink and a 2,600-seat arena, scheduled to open in the spring. The school's hockey team, the Ryerson Rams, will call the building home.

The Gardens closed in 1999, when the National Hockey League's Maple Leafs moved to the Air Canada Centre. The team had used the arena for almost 70 years. It was also a popular concert venue.

The revamp of the building, however, has been a drawn out, years-long process fraught with controversy and complications as Ryerson, Loblaws and Torontonians debated about how the space would be used.

While the arena is slated for a grand opening in May, the bleachers are still just concrete slabs with wooden railings and worktables are still strewn above in the stands. But there are glimpses — the floodlights on the ceiling and cables at centre ice that will support the scoreboard — of what the complex will look like when crowded with students.

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It's been mentioned here and at other Zeppelin sites, but they played at the Aerodrome in Schenectady New York during the summer of 1969. I was 14 at the time and my father was a police officer for the city. The Aerodrome used to hire the local cops for security and my dad worked both Zeppelin shows. He also was bodyguard for Janis Joplin when she played there, picking her up at the Albany Airport after she flew in and stayed with her during her time here before her shows. He told me she was swiggin' Jack Daniels out of the bottle and offered him some, which he refused. My dad told me she was "really a nice young woman".

When you're 14 in 1969 and your father is a cop, you have no shot seeing any of these people. My father did let me hang out in the parking lot for Zeppelin's afternoon show though. I heard them but didn't see them when they played the 'Drome.


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Sydney Showground 1882 - 1997.

The Royal Agriculture Society arena event that became known as The Royal Easter Show at Moore Park until it was re-developed as Fox Studios and relocated to Olympic Park at Homebush.

I'm somewhere in the group shot of the crowd at 0.17.

Led Zeppelin 1972, were the first of a short list of performers to play there along with Abba 1977 and Kiss 1980.

Not until 1992 did concerts reappear at the venue.

Presented as The Big Day Out the inaugaral event (the first year was Sydney only), with The Violent Femmes as the headliners.

Rage Against The Machine played at the last Big Day Out in 1997.

Reggie, please tell me..how good was this show?

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As I saw my first LZ concert here on May 14, 1973


Municipal Auditorium still festers, despite renovation next door

By Michelle Krupa, The Times-Picayune

January 07, 2009, 9:55PM

As throngs of music lovers pour into the refurbished Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts tonight for the playhouse's first show since Hurricane Katrina, another once-grand, city-owned gathering space at Louis Armstrong Park will remain dark.

More than three years after the flood, the Morris F.X. Jeff Sr. Municipal Auditorium remains a ruined shell of the Italian Renaissance Revival structure that for decades played host to some of New Orleans' most important events, from operas and dance recitals to graduation ceremonies and Carnival balls. City officials shy away from suggesting when it might reopen.

Though the 6,000-seat auditorium sits on high ground in Treme, its basement, like the ground floor of the Mahalia Jackson Theater, flooded in Katrina, causing major damage to electrical and mechanical equipment, said Cynthia Sylvain-Lear, the city's deputy chief administrative officer. A retaining wall also buckled in the storm, allowing rain to pour in through the roof, she said.

"There was water from below and water from above, " Sylvain-Lear said.

Though city officials quickly tapped $200,000 in federal money to stop further deterioration of the crippled building, efforts toward its full restoration have lagged as other recovery projects took precedence, Sylvain-Lear said.

"We prioritized public safety first, " including police stations and firehouses, she said, adding that community buildings like libraries came next. "The theater had specific priority because the performing arts groups just didn't have other options, and for them to survive, they really needed the expanded ticket sales."

Architects and engineers hired to plan the restoration of public facilities across the city have continued working on plans for the Municipal Auditorium, Sylvain-Lear said, but the project remains far from the top of the list. She declined to speculate on how soon the curtain may rise again.

As the auditorium has festered, the Mahalia Jackson Theater has seen $22 million in renovations, including installation of a cutting-edge sound system, a digital cinema screen, enhanced lighting, a new orchestra shell and a state-of-the-art ballet floor.

Tonight's New Orleans all-star revue, featuring the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Kermit Ruffins, Ingrid Lucia and others, kicks off a week of performances by artists including songwriter and producer Allen Toussaint with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and gospel singer Yolanda Adams with the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, violinist Itzhak Perlman and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo.

In addition to the revival of the Mahalia Jackson Theater, about $5 million has been pumped into replacing lighting and restoring the grounds of Louis Armstrong Park, the 32-acre sanctuary of lawns and lagoons off North Rampart Street at the edge of the French Quarter.

Though the festivities mark the culmination of the restoration effort, quarreling continues over who will foot the bill. Local tax dollars have paid for the bulk of the work, and Mayor Ray Nagin has said the Federal Emergency Management Agency owes the city about $20 million in reimbursements.

But so far, FEMA has committed to pay only about $9.5 million. Under federal law, the agency must repay local governments for the cost of returning facilities damaged in disasters to their prestorm function, though not for upgrades.

Very early estimates for repairing the Municipal Auditorium set the cost at $7.9 million, Sylvain-Lear said. But she cautioned that structural and electrical damage to the building far exceeded that at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. As architects and engineers dig deeper into its problems, the sum is likely to grow and probably will eclipse the theater's price tag, she said.

FEMA has earmarked just more than $4 million to repair the auditorium, including the initial mitigation money, spokesman Andrew Thomas said. FEMA will consider all requests by City Hall for reimbursements, he said.

Built in 1929 for $2.5 million, the Municipal Auditorium was intended as a memorial to World War I veterans. Its elegant gathering spaces soon became a center of civic life. Rex and Comus hosted concurrent balls there, and their courts held the traditional Mardi Gras night meeting there.

Through the years, the building also welcomed auto shows, hockey games and conventions. Along with nearby Congo Square, it hosted the music festival that grew into the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, and in 1996, it served as the temporary predecessor to Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

Known originally as the Municipal Auditorium and Exhibition Hall, the building was renamed in 1994 for Morris F.X. Jeff, a teacher and coach who established recreational and educational programs for black children before integration of the city's public buildings and programs.

. . . . . . .

Michelle Krupa can be reached at mkrupa@timespicayune

I will be attending Randy Jackson's Music of Pink Floyd at Mahalia Jackson Theater next door on May 15, 2010... I will and have always looked at this building (Municiple Auditorium) growing up with fondness. I attended many events here, but that night to see Led Zeppelin is the one that holds the dearest memory for me

Deb, I attended the Randy Jackson show too! I thought it was excellent. I also went to the Zebra anniversary gig not too long ago (maybe a year or so) , but that was a downer for me.

Did you happen to attend the August 29th 1971 gig Zep did there at Municipal? Wish there was a recording of that show. I'd kill to hear it based on the gigs they did surrounding that period-Zep was on fire! How ironic that it is the exact date of Katrina!! 34 years later......Isn't that crazy?

My last visit inside the Municipal Auditorium was Jimmy Page, Sept. 1988. I think they are STILL "renovating" it (since the storm), I pass it everyday on my way to work.

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Reggie, please tell me..how good was this show?

G'day Rock!

I posted this on another thread when I first joined a few years ago.

Every year I listen to The Rovers Return.

Led Zeppelin – Sydney Showground

February 27 1972 2.00pm

It was a balmy summer's Sunday afternoon, rain clouds had threatened all morning but thankfully never eventuated.

My good mate Muzza and I jumped on the train and headed into the city.

We arrived at Central Station and walked the couple of miles to The Sydney Showground, more accustomed to holding Rodeos and such rather than rock concerts.

Thousands of people had gathered estimated at somewhere between 26 and 38 thousand.

They threw the gates open about 15 minutes before it started.

The stage was set back about 50 yards from the boundary fence, the stands were full except for a handful of VIP's sitting on the grassed area.

Several fans tried to join them but were tackled by the cops and escorted back to the stands.

The band ripped into the Immigrant Song and pandemonium broke out when we charged on to the field and the cops didn't know what had hit them and gave up the chase.

As fast as it started it ended with everybody just stopped and sat down all at once for a few seconds then started going off.

After a couple of songs Robert said "Hello Sydney, I hope it doesn't rain and we have to stop, if we don’t we'll all blow up!" and the throng erupted.

We were about 10 yards from them centre stage

One of the many highlights was when they played Bron-yr-aur Stomp and the whole crowd clapped along with the chorus in perfect time, a real "you had to be there moment".

I left there with a feeling that I was part of something special that day and it only seems like yesterday, even though it will be 40 years ago in a couple of months that The Mighty Led Zeppelin landed in Oz.

Set List

1. Immigrant Song

2. Heartbreaker

3. Black Dog

4. Celebration Day

5. Since I've Been Loving You

6. Stairway to Heaven

7. Going to California

8. That's the Way

9. Tangerine

10. Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

11. Dazed and Confused

12. What Is and What Should Never Be

13. Moby Dick

14. Rock and Roll

15. Whole Lotta Love (inc. Boogie Chillun - Hello Mary Lou - The Rover - Let's Have A Party - Lawdy Miss Clawdy - Going Down Slow - The Shape I'm In)

16. Communication Breakdown

17. Organ Solo / Thank You

Edited by Reggie29
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Deb, I attended the Randy Jackson show too! I thought it was excellent. I also went to the Zebra anniversary gig not too long ago (maybe a year or so) , but that was a downer for me.

Did you happen to attend the August 29th 1971 gig Zep did there at Municipal? Wish there was a recording of that show. I'd kill to hear it based on the gigs they did surrounding that period-Zep was on fire! How ironic that it is the exact date of Katrina!! 34 years later......Isn't that crazy?

My last visit inside the Municipal Auditorium was Jimmy Page, Sept. 1988. I think they are STILL "renovating" it (since the storm), I pass it everyday on my way to work.

Well, if you were at Randy's The Music of Pink Floyd event I was on stage. My son had graduated that day from Tulane and Randy was kind enough to get me front row tickets as my son loves Pink Floyd as do I...anyway I was on stage singing "Another Brick In The Wall" and my son was mortified as a few of his professors were in the audience and there was his Mom on stage singing away to this song.

I had heard from a couple of people that the Zebra anniversary gig was not their best, but I wasn't there.

I sadly did not get to see Led Zeppelin there in 71 :( ....but I made it 73. :hurrah:

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  • 3 weeks later...

Led Zeppelin 68/12/30 Gonzaga University, Spokane Washington.......

Kennedy Pavilion: more than athletics

Old athletic center hosted bevy of musical acts

By Alyssa Hickert

Published: Friday, April 23, 2010

Updated: Friday, April 23, 2010 16:04


Gonzaga Archives photo

In the 1960s, Kennedy Pavilion (now the Martin Centre) hosted many popular bands and acts, including Cheech and Chong. The Pavilion was constructed in 1965, and was named in response to the Kennedy assasination two years earlier.

It's easy to forget, in the midst of all the activity on campus and the changes to Gonzaga, that the school has offered students a place to learn, live, and grow for decades. Some things — like every student's desire to lay out in the sun at the first sign of summer — have not changed (old yearbooks, in fact, are filled with pictures of these vitamin D deficient students); on the other hand, certain aspects of Gonzaga have certainly transformed with the times.

A prime example of this fact is the Charlotte Y. Martin Centre: Initially constructed in 1965, the building was christened the "John F. Kennedy Memorial Pavilion" in response to Kennedy's assassination two years earlier.

Although Gonzaga was certainly not the only institution to dedicate property to Kennedy — it actually became quite the trend to do, in the aftershock of the assassination — the pavilion's dedication is emblematic of Gonzaga's presence in the 1960s.

The pavilion was an important feature of Gonzaga in the 1960s in another way: As regularly as it housed the basketball team, it also hosted innumerable rock 'n roll concerts. Probably the most famous of these events is the Vanilla Fudge concert in 1968, because Led Zeppelin — so new in popularity that fliers incorrectly advertised the band as "Len Zeffelin" — was the opening act (Those interested in this specific concert can visit www.gonzagabulletin.com for an article on Zeppelin).Understandably, the crowd at the Zeppelin concert was astounded and impressed, but Zeppelin was not the only burgeoning music act to take the stage at Kennedy Pavilion.

Other popular concerts included: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition, Iron Butterfly, Harpers Bizarre, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Cold Blood, Chicago, and The Doobie Brothers.

Many of these "psychedelic rock" bands did not come to the Kennedy Pavilion exclusively for Gonzaga students.

According to Bob Gallagher, the owner of 4,000 Holes Record Store, bands were filing through Kennedy by the herds.

"There were so many bands, sometimes as regularly as two or three times a week," he said.

Gallagher attributes this partially to the popularity of on-campus concerts at the time (especially for younger crowds), but also because Spokane was a regular place to visit as part of the touring gambit.

"The coast, over the years, has become the place to play — just straight along the coast. It used to be Portland, Seattle and Spokane. We got everybody," Gallagher said.

Of course, the pavilion also witnessed the growth of "local" bands like Paul Revere and the Raiders, which began in Boise, Idaho, and gained the most popularity in the Northwest.

Paul Revere and the Raiders, riding on the coattails of recently-acquired renown, came to campus in 1969 with the Beach Boys.

Even into the 1970s, however, the Kennedy Pavilion remained a popular locale, and the school used it increasingly to host a variety of entertainers — everyone from TheYoungbloods to Mason Proffit, Paul Butterfield to Cheech and Chong.

John Denver, who performed in October 1972, had a backstage interview with the Bulletin where he addressed the Rolling Stone's less-than-stellar reviews of his music.

"I pay about as much attention to their reviews as anybody else's. I like to read them and the good ones I believe, the bad ones I don't believe," he said.

Yet, Denver's "no harm, no foul" approach to music critiques also allowed him to talk with the Gonzaga student freely about other popular musicians at the time.

"David Bowie does a thing now, he comes on kinda like a screaming bowl of fruit — I don't mean that as a put down at all — but he does," he said.

Ultimately, what Denver wanted from his audience was a genuine response to the music, which is something the variety of talent at Kennedy Pavilion certainly provided.

"The problem was the floor," Gallagher said. "It was because of basketball. They had tarps everywhere and they never heated it. It was a great place for shows."

The pavilion generated enough energy in the crowd to maintain excitement in even the coldest of months.

Gallagher, who took full advantage of all the bands that visited Spokane and specifically the Kennedy Pavilion, could not say exactly which one was his favorite — so many of them were so good. He clearly remembered, however, the nice college-campus location that Kennedy Pavilion provided throughout its heyday in the '60s and '70s

"Kennedy was just a great place for everybody, whether it was buying joints out in the football field before shows, or just hanging out afterwards," he said.

Since that time, the Kennedy Pavilion has been christened the Charlotte Y. Martin Centre (after a generous donation made possible renovations that doubled its size), and although it still offers the enhanced recreational facilities for which it was originally constructed, it hosts far fewer bands.

Yet, as Gallagher pointed out, "We each have our day when we became aware of music, and that era is always priceless. But there's always a lot of good music in Spokane — good local bands and places to play. You think ‘doesn't anyone good ever come here?' but then you realize in hindsight that they were good, especially because there's a lot of sentimentality there, too."

And, even if the Martin Centre is no longer a major point on a band's touring map, the history of the Kennedy Pavilion contributes to the Gonzaga campus and the music scene in Spokane. In the end, it's like John Denver said 20 years ago: "The music that we're doing is getting better and so it's still growing."



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  • 4 weeks later...

The Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom has quite a story to tell.

Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom creates ‘Hall of Fame’

JASON SCHREIBER | Union Leader Correspondent


As part of an effort to rebrand itself and promote its history, the popular seaside music venue is now sharing its story through 13 banners that hang on the walls.

The banners were tacked up in April and each carries the name of a famous artist who entertained at the ballroom and helped transform it into a destination for big names like U2, Led Zeppelin and the late George Carlin, who holds the record for the most sellout shows during his 30 years of performing at the beach.

It’s the Ballroom’s version of a “Hall of Fame,” featuring shows that represented a significant period of change or growth over an 85-year period leading up to the year 2000.

“Some people are blown away by bands that played here,” said Andrew Herrick, the ballroom’s marketing director.

The banners are just one piece of the ballroom’s plan to create a new look and feel for the estimated 125,000 people who come through the doors of the venue each year.

They don’t necessarily highlight the best shows that have taken place there because music is subjective, Herrick said. Instead, they highlight shows that shaped the ballroom’s history, beginning with Duke Ellington, whose performance in 1936 represents the big band era and the first time a national touring act came to the area, he said.

With so many talented performers gracing the ballroom’s stage over the years, deciding on which acts to include on the banners was tough. It was even more difficult because the ballroom wanted to make sure that each banner had a specific date for the performance. Jimi Hendrix and The Who performed at the ballroom, but because their exact dates couldn’t be nailed down, they weren’t included.

“We wanted to make sure we had the dates so it was authentic,” Herrick said.

Ellington’s banner is followed by one for Louis Armstrong, who was reprimanded by then-ballroom owner John Dineen after the jazz singer removed his jacket during a performance in 1941.

Dineen made Armstrong put the jacket back on for the show, which also came at a time when “check dancing” was growing in popularity.

The arrival of Simon & Garfunkel in 1966 introduced the ballroom to rock.

“What really turned this room around was the foray into rock,” Herrick said.

While they represented a period of soft rock, Simon & Garfunkel paved the way for future rock bands like The Doors, who performed in 1967. Janis Joplin earned her banner on the ballroom wall for her performance in July 1969, which came just one month before she played at Woodstock. Herrick described Joplin as an act that was “more of the, ‘You never know what you’re going to see here.’” Led Zeppelin played the first of two shows at the ballroom a month after Joplin and defined the real rock era at the venue.

“Led Zeppelin sort of represents what this room is. Rock bands love it,” Herrick said.

Another banner features Jethro Tull, whose performance was historic in many ways and was described as a turning point for the ballroom. The show held on July 12, 1971, was booked just before the band’s album “Aqualung” took off and became a huge success. So when the band arrived in Hampton, fans began rioting as they tried to get into the ballroom. The riot prompted the National Guard to be called in and the ballroom was shut down for three years. The ballroom later reopened with comedian George Carlin, who left his mark on the ballroom over three decades.

“He represented this growth in comedy that nobody had ever thought about,” Herrick said.

“Every show we ever did with George Carlin was almost sold out.”

By 1981, U2 had made its way to the ballroom, representing the arrival of the biggest touring band in the world. Herrick said tickets to U2’s show cost just $6.25.

Following in the footsteps of Carlin, stand-up comic Jerry Seinfeld appeared at the ballroom in 1988 just before he signed his deal with NBC and became a household name with the success of the TV sitcom “Seinfeld.”

The band Phish, which came to the ballroom in 1991, also has a spot on the wall because it changed the scope of independent music.

But the show that grabbed the most attention nationally, and the one that is considered the most emotional in the ballroom’s history, was Bob Weir & RatDog on Aug. 9, 1995.

The performance by Weir, the former rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead, came on the same day of Jerry Garcia’s death. Media and deadheads from across the country descended on the ballroom for the show, which quickly sold out.

“The music was healing and powerful,” Herrick said.

The final banner on the wall is dedicated to Godsmack’s show in 1999. The band from Massachusetts was chosen because it represents a local band that made it big nationally, and it was the first time that the ballroom tried selling tickets online.

The ballroom hopes to add more banners to the walls in the future as its story continues.

“We’re looking at doing this for a really long time,” Herrick said.


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