July 28, 1973
"Summer Jam" - final/last "Mountain Jam": 11-06-70b  - billing: GD; Allman Brothers Band; The Band
Beat it on Down the Line
Brown Eyed Women
Box of Rain
Here Comes Sunshine
Looks Like Rain
Playing in the Band
Around and Around
China Cat Sunflower
I Know You Rider
Eyes of the World
Sing Me Back Home
Not Fade Away
Johnny B. Goode
Attendees of this show
2 weeks before my wedding. was all of 20 years old. still married after 34 years to the same woman. car fender kicked in as we arrived, somewhat drunk partyer. lost a fuel line on the way out and when i tried to get back to my car, which should have been a short walk, took a wrong turn and wound up walking for miles.
I THINK WE GOT THERE WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON....I THINK.......ME AND OBE AND HIS COUSIN IN MY TRIUMPH GT-6 WITH THE STEAL UR FACE LOGO PAINTED ON THE HOOD.......GOT TO DRIVE IT ALLTHE WAY AROUND AND AROUND THE TRACK 3 TIMES....WHAT A WAY TO START THE WEEKEND.......FRI NITE BOB WEIR KEEPS TELLING EVERYBODY THAT THIS JUST A TEST........RITE!!!!!!A FOUR TO FIVE HOUR TEST........MY BRAIN WAS TESTED BY SOME REALLY GOOD RED WINDOWPANE.........THE CROWD MOVED IN VARIYING CIRCLES.........WHAT FUN IT WAS NAVIGATING MY WAY TO THE FRONT OF THE STAGE........SATURDAY....... DAMN IT'S HOT.......I WAS IN SOME KIND OF MELLOW EUPHORIA........SEEMED LIKE THE DEAD WERE TOO......A WONDERFUL DAY CEPT FOR THOSE POOR SKYDIVERS COMING DOWN IN FLAMES..........THE LATE NIGHT JAM WAS A JOY TO BEHOLD........NAMED MY FIRST IRISH-SETTER PUPPY AFTER THE BROS SONG JESSICA..........STILL HAVE ALL THE MEMORIES......... WHAT'S UP WITH THAT....LOVE TO ALL ................................THE ROSE
parents away on vacation , some older guys i was gettin weed from had tickets . let see stay home , work or go to a show and party ,. took the later ,lots of first that weekend, got stoned on acid came back lost my job but gained a life long love of the dead and the times.
A saga of epic proportions - both in getting there which was a 2 - 3 hour hike after getting out of the car, with all roads gridlocked, getting to the front of the stage early Saturday am over, under, around and through 500,000 sleeping people, the concert itself with all the goodness and weirdness, and then getting back together with fellow trekkers Sunday am in Ithaca for breakfast in a downtown diner - almost shell shocked, or post orgasmic or whatever you want to call it, an altered state after all the multi dimensional navigating. The concert was abso-flooging-lutely the best I have ever been to compared to anybody else - Janis, Jimi, the Grape, Chambers Bros, Vanilla Fudge, Country Joe, Santana, NRPS, CSN&Y, Neil Young. It was off the chart on a number of levels, and will stay with me for the rest of my life.
Counting the "soundcheck" the day before as my second Dead show, this was my third!
I must admit that I saw many better Dead shows in the following years as far as their performance was concerned, but I'm so glad to have been part of this historic event. Not as culturally signficant as Woodstock (which I was too young to attend) simply because Woodstock had already happened, but this was a great good-vibe time all around, and it was amazing be among 600,000 people and not notice one bad scene (no fights, violence, etc...) the entire time! It seemed that everyone knew we were here to relax and have a good time and treat each other well as kind human beings, despite the size and density of the crowd, and lack of available amenities.
Could it have happened this way now? Even a few years later? I doubt it. If greedy corporations hadn't allowed people to bring in their own food and liquids as is the practice today, this could have been a disaster, because this festival had been set up to serve 150,000 people, not 600,000. But fortunately, the corporations hadn't taken hold in that manner... yet... and fortunately the promoters were smart enough to let the throngs in for free (like the original Woodstock) instead of keeping them out and creating riots... the tickets had already sold out anyway...
My friend and I were still teenagers in high school, and we had only just barely gotten our "learners permits", so fortunately we were smart enough not to attempt to drive. We paid for a sleazy fly-by-night one-off bus service that advertised in the back of the Boston weekly alternative entertainment rag (The Phoenix) for a round trip to the festival in a funky old school bus. We never found it for the return home. When the music finally ended early Sunday morning we made signs that said "Boston" and got picked up by some cool folks from the area quickly enough.
After breakdowns and long traffic jams, our funky old chartered bus lumbered into the festival. We staked out our blanket space near the first row of speaker towers in the crowd before the "soundcheck" started, which was like a whole surprise festival day in itself! With the 20/20 eyesight I had back then (those were the days), I could even barely make out the musicians on stage from there, and the sound was quite good! Got a few hours sleep that night right on the field under the stars in my sleeping bag. We didn't even bring tents!
People kept pouring in and filling the spaces around us, but never did I feel claustrophobic. It was a sea of kind humanity. I didn't sense any of the selfish aggression that seemed to define a portion of concertgoers (and more of our society in general) in later years. There didn't appear to be masses crushing to get toward the stage upfront. A lot of people were up there for sure, but mellow and relaxed. Even the heavy drinkers just lay back and took it easy, instead of getting arrogant and into others faces.
In the late hours of the show, during the after show jam following the Allman's closing set, there were unopened cans of food all over the muddy ground in the field everywhere. People were setting up cooking fires and communally sharing in what others couldn't drag out of the mud with them. The downpour earlier (during The Band's set) had turned the ground to mud and waterlogged everyone's belongings, making some things (blankets, sleeping bags...) very heavy and difficult to carry!
I'm not going to do much of a review of the music, it's all been said before. As they say, it was "all good". I just wanted to report a little on my vibe of the experience. I'm so glad I made it!
There was to have been a West Coast version of this gig: Summer Jam w/Allman Brothers, Grateful Dead and Waylon Jennings at Ontario Motor Speedway. I think it was to be the same month.
I bought tickets mail order (would've been my first Dead show) and still have tucked away the A3 size flyer to stick in the car window to gain parking. I presume that Watkins Glen either scared the California authorities or ticket sales were very poor, and it was cancelled. Hats off to the legendary Watkins Glen crowd though! Sounds like a ripper of a weekend!
I re-constructed the whole show over a 2 year period and it's complete with all available audience and soundboard recordings as well as some old 8mm video footage converted to DVD (In color too) everything that was recorded and that I could track down is in my journal. Just amazing! I was too young to have attended but my parents were there and so I made that for a Christmas gift for my father. Only 2 exist on the planet and I'm giving one to Levon Helm for his memoirs.
Just thought I'd share that with you as a "piece of mind" that someone has a comprehensive compilation of such a monumental event. newspaper clippings, ticket stubs and all.
due to copyright issues this is NOT for sale or trade. this is all legal public documents that anyone with time and effort could do themselves so no laws were broken.
hard to beleive, this past monday, july 28th was the 35th annevasary of the summer jam.. WHEW!!
As a young 18 yo, this was a life changing event. Although I was a bigger Allman Bros fan at the time, the whole event was awesome. From the 18 hour trek from LI, (normally a 8-9 hour drive), to the nice girl from NJ who had zero inhabitions. I don't remember too many details, but the experience itself was monumental.
we left at sunset--too many people for too little music--you needed to be at least within a mile of the stage to heart anything...