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First US show for Cream and The Who that most fans don’t know about!

creamwhoIt’s hard to believe that  it’s a little known fact
that two of the biggest bands in rock history  made thier American debut perfoming in a weird series of concerts at a NYC movie theatre for promoter Murry The K. This was during a transitional period in the career of  popular disc jockey and radio personality Murray The K.  

Murray departed from his solo act and vocal group presentation and made a valiant attempt to capitalize on the new sound and face of rock by booking self-contained electric bands. Nevertheless, the show billed as “Murray the K presents Music In The 5th Dimension” marked the end of an era.

The shows took place over 40 years ago in 1967 from Saturday March 25th to Sunday April 2nd at the RKO 58th Street Theatre in Manhattan. There were five shows a day starting at 10 in the morning and lasting till after midnight.

Mitch Ryder headlined.

Don Lehnoff: It actually wasn’t “Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.” At the insistence of his producer, Bob Crewe, Mitch was embarking on a solo career andweappeared as the Mitch Ryder Show. I was part of a 10 piece band hired to back Mitch up … 5 guys from Baltimore, 3 from the Chicago Loop who opened the Ryder shows, plus a trumpet from Florida andguitarfrom New York. The “Wheels” declined the opportunity to be augmented with horns, so they parted company.

Hedging on his bet, Murray booked two soul acts – Wilson Pickett and Smokey Robinson. Smokey, even though advertised, never appeared.

Don Lehnoff: Smokey Robinson was hired for the show as advertised, but at the first rehearsal I sat in the audience seats andwatchedRobinson, still wearing his trench coat, arguing on stage with Murray the K. At one point Smokey stormed off the stage andup the aisle to the exit, not to return. It was my understanding that he walked out on the show because Mitch Ryder was billed above him, but I can’t swear to that. In retrospect, that would be considered absurd billing … but this was the high point in Ryder’s career and he was being seriously hyped by the serious hype machine of Bob Crewe. We headlined everywhere we played, with the one exception of a concert in Chicago where another Creweproduct, The Four Seasons, was billed above Mitch.

Nobody cared that Smokey no-showed. The Blues Project with a very young Al Kooper and The Young Rascals appeared, and two very historical moments in rock went down when The Cream (yeah it was Cream, but they were billed as The Cream) andThe Who both made their American debut. Bothbandswere billed as “Direct from England.”

The Cream did two songs per show, “I Feel Free” and “I’m So Glad” or “Spoonful, then The Who destroyed their instruments at each performance.

Pete Townsend of The Who: “We were smashing our instruments up five times a day. We did two songs – the act was twelve minutes long and we used to play “Substitute” and “My Generation” with the gear – smashing it at the end, and then we’d spend the twenty minutes between shows trying to rebuild everything so we could smash it up again.”

Don Lehnoff: What Townsendsaidin that quote is totally true. Keith Moon’s kit was set up on a raised platform on wheels … just a big wooden dolly. At the end of “Generation” they would crash the gear and Moon always flipped over his tubs and cymbals. As soon as the front curtain closed, their roadie would rush in and pile everything up on the dolly andwheelit straight back into a small scenery room back stage where he had set up a little work shop. With drills, screws, clamps andthe like he would piece everything back together in time for the next show. The banddecided it wasn’t worththeexpense of shipping the abused gear back to England, so on the 28th andfinal performance they boosted the smoke pots into explosive bombs and almost literally blew up the amps. A stage hand with a fire extinguisher had to be summoned to put out the fires.

Pete Townsend: We didn’t really know what was going on and we didn’t take it very seriously. And when it got to the last day, we all put funny masks on and went in and sat and listened to (Murray The K) with these masks on. I remember he asked us to take them off, demanded we remove them.” They didn’t. Turns out a lot of acts that Murray claimed were his best friends really weren’t. In fact many didn’t even like him.
Ronnie Spector: “The Beatles were only putting up withhimbecause he was a big New York disc jockey, but they thought it sucked that he called himself the fifth Beatle and they couldn’t wait to get rid of him.”

Al Aronowitz: “Everybody hated Murray, hated him for his power and success, hated him because he screamed and hollered and wore tight pants, hated him because he forced his ego down your throat like a hard-sell used car dealer who makes it seem like you’re going to buy the car anyway, but you’ve also got to take him along as part of the deal.”

Murray’s young fans, the kids, dug him, but the young punks known as The Who thought he was a joke.
Pete Townsend: “(Murray) used to complain because he had what he called his personal microphones, which used to come in for a bit of bashin’. And so we used to actually get daily lectures from him about abusing his personal microphone, which we thought was pretty funny.”

Roger Daltrey broke a total of 18 microphones during the entire run. To the Who and some of the other new acts Murray was like the strict school principle and they were the punk kids. Backstage it was chaos; Ginger Baker was drunk from first show to last, there were LSD trips, flour fights and flooded dressing rooms. As great as the show was on stage, the show backstage was the real rock androll experience. The new wave of rock stars were driving Murray crazy.

This brings it all back to Wilson Pickett, The Wicked Pickett, who had seen it all and didn’t like what was going down.

Don Lehnoff: Wilson Pickett was more or less the model for the new Ryder band, withRyderbeing marketed as the “blue-eyed soul” version. We even covered some Pickett tunes in our show. They even took Mitch down to the Apollo one night to sit in with Pickett on a later show. Pickett’s drummer at that time was Buddy Miles.

Pete Townsend: “Wilson Pickett called a meeting because we were using smoke bombs as well, and he felt that we were very unprofessional, and that the smoke was affecting everybody else’s act.”

The thought of Wilson Pickett lecturing KeithMoon with Murray the K, Mitch Ryder, Eric Clapton, Al Kooper, andPaul Simon hanging aroundin the background is mind boggling, but it happened.

My buddy, a teenager at the time, only worked at those shows selling candy so he could see each and every performance. He told me that on the last night, after the final performance, Wilson Pickett gave Murray, all the acts, the stagehands, and yes, even the candy vendors, a bottle of Scotch, and the party began. The golden era of huge holiday rock shows that started with Alan Freed and continued with Murray the K ended . . . with The Wicked Pickett.


Pete Townsend quotes from Musician Magazine.
The late Al Aronowitz quote from his website, The Blacklisted Journalist
Ronnie Spector from the New York Daily News

Here I would like to share some memories from Walter Rossi, who at the time was a twenty year old guitarist in Wilson Pickett’s backing band.

What is not mentioned in this article is that Sonny & Cher were the opening act followed by a Canadian bandcalled “Mandela” withmy friend the late Domenic Troiano on guitar. We were doing 3 shows a day and a matinee on Sunday. One of the nicest people was Ginger Baker (Cream’s drummer).

Wilson Pickett was headlining and right before us the Who played and yes, Pickett did complain about the smoke and the mess the Who left behind but at the same time he was also very much entertained by their performance.

 I’ve tried to find footage of that show many times with no success.

I got back with Pickett in 1989 andrecorded  an album with him entitled “I Want You” at the Morein Heights Studios,  was great to see him again after more than 20 years.

 This was one of music’s most important shows and it is frustrating to know it didn’t get more coverage than that. Meanwhile  I am left with such great memories

Walter Rossi

Visiting my Aunt in the big city from our suburban home in Long Island, my mother, younger brother and sister and myself,  a  beginner 12 year old garage  rocking  obsessed rock  fan were walking down a midtown city street when by chance we passed a rather large movie theatre with a sign advertising that Murray K show. I already had the Who’s Happy Jack album, (UK it was called A Quick One), andI also had Fresh Cream. When I saw the words “Direct From England, The Cream and The Who” I went into a classic Long Island teenage whining attack “We have to see this, you don’t know what this is! I’ve heard all about these guys, I have their records” My pleas were granted as we and my reluctant staid very Upper East Side Aunt entered the movie theatre for an afternoon matinee. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Who would have thought that during a random weekday afternoon we would be witness to rock and roll history in the making.The theatre was maybe a quarter filled and there was lots of space between the groups of those music fans lucky enough to have checked out this little advertised concert series.  The article says they showed footage of the bands in between acts, but I remember they also showed Kung Foo movies and other random film clips.

 I head heard of those huge Murray The K Doo Wop and early rock androll reviews at the Fox theatre in Brooklyn with groups like the Ronetts and the Crystals. But that era had been over for a few years and Murray and his shows had disappeared into oblivion. The K man was trying to change withthe times but his new shows just didn’t catch on or draw much of an audience. Can you imagine seeing all those just amazing bands for five or six dollars. My sister even remembers when security had to pull a frenzied female fan off the stage, as she ran up to hug a very young cape wearing Roger Daltrey. Daltrey was spinning around with this cape while also twirling the microphone in a wide loop, a move he has been doing for years to come. Cream was amazing as well. A young Clapton playing his legendary psychelisized Fool SG is an impression burned into my brain. We saw Mtich Ryder, the Blues Project and many others, but unfortunately missed the great Wilson Pickett and the Young Rascals. My Aunt Sonny got tired of holding her hands over her ears as I practically had to be dragged out of the theatre.

 I’m not sure if Simon & Garfunkel or Phil Ochs showed up, don’t remember Sonny & Cher. I think the Young Rascals played another night.Townsend  says they did  ”Substitute” and “My Generation” but I distinctly remember them doing “Happy Jack”. It also says that on the poster. History in the making!  

47 comments to First US show for Cream and The Who that most fans don’t know about!

  • I remember all this very well…I was there…I was Wilson Pickett’s guitar player. Was an awsome show!


  • I was 16. It was my first concert. I could not believe that I was in the midst of history being made. The Who did “Happy Jack” and “My Generation” at my concert.It has left an indelible mark on my psyche!
    Steven Leeds

  • Ross Mason

    This was my first concert and I clearly remember when Cream came on stage the wall behind the stage had a giant pitcher of cream being slowly poured out then it reversed and went back into the pitcher. I could believe the next band busted up those nice instruments. I had no idea “Who” they were at the time!!! Sad to say, the reason I went was to see Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

  • Fuzzboxman

    Most at time were not in the know. But how could you know. Ryder put on a hell of a show.

  • I was there. the show started durin the afternoon. The place was nearly empty. But ther Who put on the best and the last act. “My Generation”. Even though I was more of a soul music fan and I wanted to see Mitch Ryder perform “devil in a blue”. For $2.50 – $3.50, I had a seat in the 5th row. I still remember Pete townsend was wore a striped black and white top. Wilson Pickett wore a Purple jump suit. Mitch ryder wore a white tights and a blue pirate jacket. The RKO is no longer there but the history is still alive..

  • T Walsh

    I was there also! I had seen The Young Rascals at Murray the K’s World. I wanted to go to see the Young Rascals. My older sisters got the tickets and we took the train in from Long Island with two of my sisters high school friends. When we arrived at the theatre I saw the billboard and counted the bands. All these bands for a few bucks! I thought I was seeing just the Young Rascals. I recognized the names, Mitch Ryder, Wilson Pickett, Smokey Robinson, The Blues Project, Simon & Garfunkel and the Blues Magoos. I had no idea Who “The” Cream or The Who were. I enjoyed the Young Rascals but were blown away by Cream & The Who. I believe (it has been a long time) Ginger Baker had a stack of drumsticks and was bouncing them one at a time off his drums and letting them fly into the audience as souvenirs. My favorite song of all time remains, “Sunshine of Your Love”. I have taught both my sons how to play it on guitar. They play it better than me now and they love it. Great Memories!!

  • stan friedmann

    saw danny kalb ( blues project) at katz’s deli last night. we shared some memories and pastrami. great guy. great guitarist. I was at one of those brooklyn shows. went on all day. and there were travel movies of australia as a warm up. unreal.

  • Rolling Stone

    I saw the show the day The Blues Magoos were the guests. Some of the acts–Rascals, Simon and G and the Blues Magoos–only played one day. The others played the five shows a day. I stayed for four of them. Cream played Sweet Wine and I’m So Glad at each show I saw. In between shows, they played some horrible movie which I guess they hoped would clear out the theater.

  • Michael Danzig

    I remember it well, we went to the be-in in Central Park on Easter Sunday, March 26 and after to the RKO theater. We couldn’t believe it wasn’t packed; in fact, the afternoon show we saw was about one-third filled — The Who and The Cream were great, but Wilson Pickett singing his hard soul music walking up the aisle with a long microphone cord, standing two feet away, that’s a memory etched in stone. It’s great that this unbelievable even is being remembered on the net. It was truly a remarkable afternoon.

  • Frank

    I was at this concert…they gave out copies of the Mitch Ryder album before the show…when Mitch Ryder came out all the wise guys in the audience (which was everyone) starting skimming the albums like frisbees across the theatre. When the sax player got hit in the mouth, they stopped the show…Murry the K came out an chastised the audience and after that we all behaved.

  • Tom Meister

    I was 14 years old, hair to the middle of my back, a young hippie who loved rock n’ roll. The Catholic Youth organization sponsored the bus trip into the city to this my very first rock concert! The entire price including the ride was $3.00. THAT concert baptized me in the world of drugs, sex and rock n’ roll!!

  • John Whitney

    Was at the same concert as Frank, we were a given Murray the K album. Recall the show being stopped when Mitch Ryder and his group were welocmed with the albums being flung. Wislon Picket, the Who & Cream are great memories.

  • Yep I was there, but where I cant tell you seems like there were alot of shows, I remember the subway was so hot and crowded that I was rubbing up on this woman with a massive boner and I think she was lovin it! I was a 15 year old virgin. but I remember those albums flying all over the place what a riot!, both the Cream and the Who smashed their amps up at the end of their sets and I threw a ring at Keith Moon,( I hope I didnt hurt him!) I dont remember WIlson Picket, yeah Mitch “Devil in the Blue Dress” remember, but that was the start of rock and the end of soul, the black performers got axed out by Hendrix and they hated him for it, race would dissapear only Sly Stone would have the class to create something great, and the Chamber Brothers and the Isleys later would but all those soul acts stayed in Harlem and the Fillmore east was soon to be born, with a rock and roll that made history. Got to send Norris here he was with me. Hah hah hah!

  • Eric

    I was 12. As I remember it, they gave you a free album if you showed up for the 10 o’clock show. As Mitch Ryder played, the audience began to throw the records at the stage. The horn players were dodging records as they played. Murray the K stopped the show and screamed at the audience. He said he had never had an audience like this. I think the kids didn’t like the records but I still have the Isley Brothers side they gave me. A great time to be a teenager.


    I was 13. Got the free album and saw all of the mentioned acts. I also remember Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and a few others not mentioned. Still the best $3.50 I ever spent!

  • rob

    I went to the High School of Art and Design, which was around the corner. When I saw who was playing, I decided to bring my cousin Karan from Montreal to see it. We couldn’t understand how the Who would be playing another show after smashing their instruments! There was also a band called the Mandela that performed… I thought they were great… never heard about them again.

  • sa

    I was there! I’ve wanted to find some evidence that these shows actually existed :-) and I just found this site. I knew about Clapton and Cream and was excited to see them except when they played all you could hear was noise! The headliner and, it turns out, most exciting and listen-able act was Mitch Ryder. Apparently, some of the acts only played certain days/shows because Simon & Garfunkel and others were not at the show I was at.

  • Kevin McCarthy

    I was at an afternoon show. The album I was given was by The Kingsman. After Murray threatened to cancel the show because of albums thrown at Mitch Ryder’s band standing on these tall individual risers, the crowd grew silent. Then as he walked off stage, someone threw one at him. But the show went on.
    Personal highlight for me came after the show as my friend and I stopped at Manny’s Music Shop around the corner. In the guitar section we saw none other than Pete Townsend testing guitars with none other than Roger Daltry watching. No one around. Being 14 and stupid, we did nothing more than walk up to them and say, “Great show.” They said, “Thanks. Glad you liked it.” And that was it. We just walked away in shock.

  • I was there. Shot 8mm film and took still photos, Met Pete, Eric and Keith Moon.
    I am selling copies of these now.
    Write me if interested. They are very raw but historic….

  • Stu Reben

    I did not remember which theater I saw this show at until I saw this article. I have told many people that I had seen the Who and Cream’s first performance on the same bill and no one believed it. I remember the Who being so original and talented and thought that the instrument smashing might actually hurt their popularity. WRONG!!! I also remember Cream’s performance, how talented these guys were, and how I thought they would be big stars. RIGHT!!!

  • Mike

    I was 15 years old and I actrually went with my Mother, she brought me to the show and she ended sitting outside while the show went on, she couldn’t take the loud music!!! I remember going back home and going to my local record shop and asking for the Cream and he looked at me and asked me “who are they” they never heard of Cream, I have been a Clapton freak ever since!!!

  • Ron

    I was at the shows as well. Mitch Ryder seemed always open with “Hold On I’m Comin” by Sam and Dave. I remember Buddy Miles playing for Pickett. The Cream and Who did two songs each. the Canadian group Mandala were on a self-proclaimed “Soul Crusade”. The Rascals also did their classic signature songs. Everything seemed to run fast and furious in the show. It is still a great memory (what little I can remember). It would be fantastic to find out if any footage was shot at these shows.

  • Brian

    Is there any live recordings from these shows? Sounds awesome!

  • fred

    I attended almost all of the murray the k shows at the brooklyn fox. I was in the air force and home on leave when the show was at the rko 58th sst. My ex girlfriends current boyfriend was an usher at the theatre. I remember seeing most of the acts. I do remember we went on the day the rascals played. They were my facorite group at that time. They played 2 shows that day if I remember correctly but they did a full concert at both shows. They did clear the theatre on those days, but since I knew the usher, he let us stay for both shows. My ex girlfriend went to one of the shows and when the who destroyed the instruments, she wound up with the bass drum head that said WHO on it. What a show and great memories

  • Larry Marks

    I was there too. I think I was at the first show. We waited all night on line, to be able to get in first! They showed lame movies for hours before the show started. The Show was amazing! Lots of acts. So cool.

  • wayne

    I was 15 at the time. I went three days in a row and stayed for hours. On the third day my mother said she wanted to go to see what I was up to. After a half hour or so she said she had enough and I dutifully went home with her. On the way out on 58th St. to the bus back home we passed Al Kooper and Ginger Baker walking together. She blurted, “THOSE are your heroes???” She clearly didn’t understand the music revolution occurring. Only that she didn’t the style.

    It wasn’t my first rock show. That was The Beatles at Shea in ’65. But it was one of the most memorable.

  • wayne

    Thanks for the memories!

  • Doug Rodrigues

    Would you know how I can/could get in touch with Don Lehnoff? he is quoted in some of the article above It was about the “Murry the ‘K’” shows in NYC in 1967. I was the guitarist in the Mitch Ryder band, in fact, it was my very first gig with him, I was 17. I still play the same Fender ‘no-caster’ I used with Mitch..Thanks for anything you can do to put me in touch with Don…..doug.


  • Fred Coker

    My ole mate Mike Forgione (still a great guitarist – check out the West Street Band in North Carolina, USA) , with whom I was in a band The Wildcats in the 60s in New York, sent me this Songheads ‘link’ with our past. We were 17 and 16 years old, and caught the train into the RKO Theatre in Manhattan. I think it was around our ‘Easter Holidays’ from school. We caught the concert with a line-up that included The Who, The Cream, Wilson Pickett, and two bands that were, for us, of cult status, The Blues Project and Mitch Ryder (of The Detroit Wheels fame). It was incredible and horrible at the same time to watch Keith Moon of the Who ‘destroy’ a massive, red sparkle Premier drum kit, it was fantastic to see and hear Mitch Ryder – SO SOULFUL, and Wilson Pickett with his big band that had two drummers. They played a Disney wildlife film during the intermission!! For us, it was a great year for concerts, having already seen the Young Rascals twice, and then in August, there was this group from England who followed Sounds Incorporated (every band needs a brass section SOMETIME!) at a gig at Shea Stadium. Let there be music, and dancin in the streets…

  • Lucille

    I remember it well. I was in the front row! Loved it!! Clapton’s rainbow guitar, the girl who ran onstage and hugged Pete Townshend. The Rascals! Oh, the good old days. It was a Sunday afternoon!

  • Julian

    Walter is misremembering some things. Sonny and Cher were not there, it was Jim and Jean singing “What’s it Got to Do with Me?”.

  • FF6

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  • Malcolm Boyd

    I went with my rock enthusiast friend Greg Trehubenko. We were 16 years old then, and I was just learning about the bands from him. He said that the Brit groups would take off and be all the rage. I was only familiar with Wilson Pickett and Mitch Ryder. Though I like the Rascals a lot, I do not remember that they played. I remember girls screaming, Ryder thoughing his shirt into the front rows of seats, the Who smashing their instruments, which I thought was wasteful. That may have been the same trip to the city when we poked our heads through the door to see a bit of the musical Hair with naked women. That was a thrill, too… That was the only time I ever saw those groups, but I went to a bunch of other concerts later….

  • John Whitney

    Was at that concert, third concert in the line of a multitude over that and the next decade none of which were far from bummers, other than two rock fests. Have flower garden of music I listen too. Was excited about seeing all on the bill, had been listening to all of them during some point prior to this show. The highlight was Wilson Picket in that pink lavender suit WOW! and doing Mustang Sally-the wicket Picket. Mitch Ryder and Murray were a show in themselves WOW! the flower children hurling the complementary LPs at the stage from the balcony and the good seats. Curtain closing Mitch and his band ducking the LPs, and the K coming on stage threatening close the show, not once but twice. Didn’t work as long as there were LPs in the audience the show was not going on. It did, the Who were great with the whole Keith Moon & pete Townsend thing, but the Cream were the Cream of the show almost perfect, Ginger, Jack & Eric did not miss a beat, smooth clean, loud and powerful!
    Blues Project with Al Kooper Steve Katz the whole horn/keyboard thing were evolving. Recall a group from Canada being introduced, were good, along with another group called the Chicago Loop introduced and playing. The weren’t quite right as a group or maybe they were the best they could be as a group. Show ended, and it was good as it got. Next year came back to NYC to see the Endless Summer and Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the Garwick. Now that would pizz of Wilson Picket, if he had to follow the Mothers after Absolutley Free.


    I remember this show but NOT like it was yesterday. Friends cannot believe the artists performing when I tell them. Cream and Who on the same bill with Mitch Ryder the headline act? Not possible. So did a search for Murray the K holiday show and found this site so can now prove I’m not crazy.
    Most of Murray the K’s shows were at the Brooklyn Fox Theater but this one was in Manhattan. Was 17 and took the train from Long Island. Two middle class Long Island Kids lost wandering around the city. On my day the Rascals performed but only every other show and we missed them. It was great reading how the Who salvaged their instruments.

  • A bunch of really expert facts here. I found it particularly beneficial, thanks a lot.

  • Danny Sicardi

    I got to the fox at about 2 or 3 in the morning with my friend and guitar virtuoso Jack O’Brien. We waited until the doors opened for the 10AM show and got our free LP.
    We were there to see Cream and the Who. Every artist was good! I was just 17.

  • At the age of 15 we were part of the play hookey and hang out in the West Village gang. A lot of us went to the High School of Art and Design, and were from Queens and the other outer boroughs. We all cut school and went uptown together to see Mitch Ryder. Who were promoting Happy Jack, there was a dance contest, a free album included in the price of admission, Cream came out and started singing a Capella (intro to I Feel Free) the small crowd shouted Boo! we knew doo wop was dead and wanted no part of it ! Clapton burst in with his blazing guitar on top of it and History was made. In those few chords the torch was passed on And an ear ended for Murry the K! I went back the next day and ended up seeing, The Rascals, Blues project, Simon and Garfunkle, The Who, Cream , and they talk about woodstock, I was there and we were also at Atlantic city a week or 2 before… That inital buzz from the Murry the K show was never repeated..

  • At the age of 15 we were part of the play hookey and hang out in the West Village gang. A lot of us went to the High School of Art and Design, and were from Queens and the other outer boroughs. We all cut school and went uptown together to see Mitch Ryder. Who were promoting Happy Jack, there was a dance contest, a free album included in the price of admission, Cream came out and started singing a Capella (intro to I Feel Free) the small crowd shouted Boo! we knew doo wop was dead and wanted no part of it ! Clapton burst in with his blazing guitar on top of it and History was made. In those few chords the torch was passed on And an ear ended for Murry the K! I went back the next day and ended up seeing, The Rascals, Blues project, Simon and Garfunkle, The Who, Cream , and they talk about woodstock, I was there and we were also at Atlantic city a week or 2 before… That inital buzz from the Murry the K show was never repeated..

  • Steven

    Cream,terry Reid,moody blues concert poster baltimore,1968 found 10 of these posters- woodcuts after 44 years this is the only poster that proves terry Reid story

  • I saw a daytime show; there were 5 shows a day–short shows, but still, can you imagine a band doing even 2 shows a night now? (Except for club bands.) I came to see Cream and The Who. At the time, I didn’t care about most American bands; though I liked Mitch Ryder, the Rascals, and Wilson Pickett, and later loved them more and more. I don’t even remember them performing! I remember being bored through the Blues Project and Mandala. There were other acts on the bill, too, but it was the Brits who rocked the place. I was puzzled as to why The Who would destroy their instruments– seemed like an awful waste to me– but I was thrilled when Keith Moon threw his drumsticks into the audience. The Who are still my favorite band, though I’m not thrilled with the half-a-Who that I saw several years ago.

  • John T

    I remember a band called The Chicago Loop opening the show. The Who played Happy Jack, I Can’t Explain and My Generation. Cream played NSU, I Feel Free and Toad. me and friends came in from NJ and stayed from morning till night. It was an amazing show!

  • Bruce Oblad

    I went with one or two rock band buddies of mine to one of the matinées. We must have gone early on Saturday morning or afternoon. I remember The Blues Project, Cream, The Who, maybe Mitch Ryder, Jim & Jean, and Wilson Pickett. I think the Who had some dummy Vox amps on stage because when they jabbed their guitars into the speaker cloth, it looked like they left a dent in some styrofoam or other soft backing. Their real amps I think got tipped over onto some mats to protect them. Moon threw his drums into a big heap on his raised platform. The last was a floor tom that he flipped up high and rolling which crashed onto the pile. I doubt those guys could afford a new set of Vox amps for every show, so I suspect there were dummies and real ones. The smoke bombs were part of the act to simulate short circuits in overloaded electronics. The were pretty lame looking and obvious fakes. Alas we were all smitten and scarred for life. Cream and The Who became our idols. I even mastered the bass solo in My Generation. My buddy now owns The Fool. It’s the very SG that Clapton played that day. I’ve played it. It’s an exciting piece of rock history.

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