Posts Tagged ‘60′s’
The late ’60s was a period of intense protests and unrest that culminated, musically speaking, with the largest live event in history: Woodstock, 1969.
Abbie Hoffman, a member of the Chicago Seven, during the show probably felt too householder so taking advantage of a break in the Who’s performance, between “Pinball Wizard” and “Do You Think It’s Alright?“, felt free to climb on stage and show his disappointment with the incarceration of John Sinclair’s White Panther Party,who was arrested for giving two joints of grass to two undercover cops and just been sentenced to ten years in the Michigan State Penitentiary. He had just enough time to grasp the microphone and shout: “I think this is a pile of shit while John Sinclair rots in prison …”, when Pete Townshend, The Who guitarist, assaulted him by hitting his Gibson on the back warding him off with a shove on the face, saying: “Fuck off! Fuck off my fucking stage”.
The rest of the band was amazed, so Pete took up the microphone and delivered a typical expression of that time: “I can dig it” and toned the next song, but probably the thing irritated him beyond measure so that soon after, to the audience, said: “The next person that walks on stage is gonna get fucking killed, alright? You can laugh, I mean it!”.
Then Pete said that Hoffman simply violated the “sanctity of the stage”, namely the right of the band to give their best without the distractions that are beyond the purely artistic performances. Townshend said to share the protest outlined by Hoffman, but in that moments performance has a number one priority and therefore he would throw anyone who interfere with the show, regardless of what he have to say. Hoffman downplayed the incident, calling it “non accident” as Townshend accidentally bumped into him.
Unfortunately it all happened during a change of film and there are no filmed records as evidence, what remains is an audio track that The Who themselves included in “Thirty Years of Maximum R & B” (Disc 2, Track 20, “Abbie Hoffman Incident”).
“A Doors concert is a public meeting called by us for a special dramatic discussion. When we perform, we’re participating in the creation of a world and we celebrate that with the crowd.” In light of this definition is easy to understand how the Doors refused to join the biggest personalities in the music of those years at the mega event considering the Woodstock Festival far from the philosophy of the band.
The words of Jim Morrison well explained what people would expect from a Doors concert, an event where is exactly the same Lizard King to guide the onlookers and keep them by the hand. Electricity and unquestionable charisma of the shaman-singer alone was worth the ticket price, but certainly an added attraction was made by the unpredictability, due to the multiple facets of his personality.
Fortunately, Jim was surrounded by great musicians and performers, often darkened to the general public by his cumbersome presence, and likely himself realized that as he never yielded to the blandishments of those who wanted to turn him in a solo singer: one of them, Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and bass player, also proved to be an excellent singer, and the the same Jim offered to him the ability to show all his talent in a concert in Amsterdam in 1968.
On that occasion the Doors were to perform after the Jefferson Airplane and, between the joy and amazement of the outstanding fans, Jim Morrison, in a heavily altered state raided on stage during the performance of Plastic Fantastic Lover. He began to dance to the tune of the song and the band from San Francisco began to play in gaining momentum following Jim’s dizzying dancing until he fell, unconsciousness, at the foot of Marty Balin.
Obviously he was not able to support the concert with his band, so Ray Manzarek, reluctantly, had to replace him at the voice for the whole concert, however, getting an unexpected response from the public.