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May 05, 2007


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Jack Kelley

I was there Friday and Sunday nights. Led Zeppelin drew us in. I remember Blood Sweat and Tears but not Tull.

Plant did play with the lyrics; his rendition of "Lemon Song" creating quite a stir amongst the Ladies.

We slept in a park Friday night and just drove back down from Lynn, Mass the town next to Swampscott on the North Shore that Sunday.

Lots of music that year at Boston Garden, the Common and the old Tea Party. I was 21 and just home from Nam. It was a great year.


bill Ives

Jack - Thansk for your comments. We slept in the woods behind the hillside overlooking the site. The year before I was up there and we were the only ones there so we slept in the car. This time it was a party. It seems there were thousands there. People were in a good mode and I did not see any trouble only good times. I also remember the changed lyrics by Robert Plant. It was the first time I heard the song so I thought they were the regular lyrics. It was a greta year for music in Boston - There were also the free concerts in Cambridge Common. I have some pictures of people dancing there. Bill


Thanks to Bill Ives, I've rediscovered some of the stuff I've been searching for of that great weekend. I grew up in Gloucester, Mass., near Lynn and Swampscott, on Boston's great North Shore. I hitchhiked to Newport with a friend, where we met at least 20 other members of our gang. I had tickets to all three days, and recall fondly Tull, BS&T and, mostly, Jeff Beck, who had Rod Stewart singing lead and Ronnie Wood on bass on Friday night. Saturday afternoon, the Mothers of Invention played and also John Mayall, who had "The Turning Point" band, John Mark and Johnny Almond (and no drummer). That afternoon, Roland Kirk played and blew away the rock audience by playing two saxes at once. That night was Sly.
The next afternoon, James Brown played. That night, the finale, included BB King, Johnny Winter and Zeppelin. Winter and BB jammed after their shows, and what a spectacle, those two great guitarists, so different in so many ways, blasting away on stage. Zep was tremendous, and luckily I saw them several more times, and even a few years ago as Page and Plant. I bet I did not spend $75 the entire weekend. Fantastic.

bill Ives

Pete - Thanks for your comments. I remember Kirk ad Zepplin the most. I did not have tickets but listened from the hillside overlooking the site where it was 24 hour partying. We slept (?) there also on the ground with many others. Bill


Well. I was there, and I had a ticket. I remember sitting in those chairs and watching Jeff Beck. Rod Stewart was amazing. I still have the booklet from the show. There are a lot of specifics I do not remember (Which really proves I was there, I guess??). If people, like me, want to know who they saw, I can fill you in. I am, now, much more into jazz. I remember Roland Kirk blowing us away. I know I saw other groups, but the jazz men were unfamiliar to me. I am pretty excited, now, to think that I saw Miles Davis, etc. I remember sleeping on a hill overlooking everything. We didn't pay to stay, and no one harassed us. We were just out of high school, and my friend "borrowed" her parents other car without mentioning that we were going out of state for the weekend. I too, missed Woodstock. So, I'm glad to hear it was not as good as Newport. I still go to Newport, for the past 3 summers. Very different. It's OVER by 8 at night.But then, I need more sleep now too. You said you found the original location. Can you tell me where it was? Near the airport? I think one reason it was so good was because Geo. Wein (sp) is a professional and had been putting on good shows for good musicians for a long time. Thanks so much for these posts. I enjoyed the memories.

bill Ives

bd - Thanks for your comments. I was on that hill also - both in 68 and 69. I agree that Roland Kirk was amazing. In 68 there only a few people. take a look at the two original posts for all the details but here is what I found out from a town librarian -

"I went back last year to find the site were the 1968 and 1969 festivals occurred. I was planning to write a story about the experience. After driving around Newport and looking at likely terrain, I took some pictures at a spot that might have been it but later found was not right. I asked around town and was directed to one of the local librarians, Lynda Bronaugh, who was around at the time. She was not in that day but we exchanged emails. Here is what she told me:

“It appears to have been held at Festival Field until it left Newport. Girard Avenue was in place at that time, and the ground does slope before it reaches Girard, so you probably were sitting on the slope west of Girard.” The old site now contains a shopping center and apartments.

Red Puccoon

Roland Kirk levitated the event with Volunteered Slavery

bill  Ives

Red - I was blown away by Roland Kirk more than any one else. I can still picture the scene. Feel free to let me know more about your experience if you want. Bill

Bill Ives

This comment came from Roger who lived in Portsmouth RI at the time. It was placed in another blog post so I wanted to place it here to be part of the record. - I'd like to update and correct some of your history on that concert. I having been a part of what transpired that evening and was a apart of what ended up taking place. The part about security being non-existent is false As in any concert there were fence jumpers and the concert had police as security dressed in riot gear. I was at the fence and debating on weather to jump it also with my friends when a few others did go over. As they were running across a small section of the open field the officers tried to stop them. Instead of just taking them away two of the officers threw one of the offenders down and started beating them with their night sticks which at that point started to enrage those of us watching this..Warwick was on stage and singing at the time. needless to say the crowd started yelling and screaming at the officers doing the beating and everyone started to get real mad because there was no need for that sort of action. I'll never know how many but I will say this all of us at the fence started pushing and pulling until that section of the fence collapsed and the rush that in came through was amassing. I will say this the on slot wasn't intended to get in for nothing it was to get our hands on the officers doing the beating. One officer was reached and took a bad beating from the crowd and the others ran for their lives. It at this point got so out of control that the concert was stopped Mrs. Warwick was escorted off the stage and the crowd took over the field. One of my fondest memories will be that concert and it was around 11:30 that night and the crowd owned the stage, and I can still see the crowd of people all over the stage and others milling around some staying some leaving but the song of the night that night as I was leaving GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. lol. This is the truth and I will always miss that period of my life. What a nice world we lived in back then despite the turmoil of the times that brought the changes we live in today. I'm proud to have been a part of the history of those times. Roger a resident of Portsmouth RI at that time. Hope this sets some of the record straight.

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