Bandshell On The Mall - June 8, 1967
June 08, 1967
free afternoon concert
Attendees of this show
Barely remember but it was unbelievable with acid all over the place (I think). I was 15.
free acid i mean - orange sunshine in liquid form in punch
was across the street (central park west) at museum (of natural history) doing high school project...walked into park and followed music..been following ever since...
I remember Stanley Osley was giving out hits of acid from a backpack. This was my first trip. Been traveling ever since.
I was asked this weekend at Loadstock, a friends party in Maplewood, NJ, by two kids of my college friends, "Did you ever attend a Grateful Dead concert?" "Just, one and I died at it!" "Which one? What happened?" "I was just 14 and walking back from my summer school that I had to finish because I was expelled from 8th grade and I heard a concert on a hot day on June 8, 1967 and saw people dancing to some unusual music! It was the Grateful Dead! Since it was so hot I went behind the band shell to see if the sprinklers were turned on (unlike everyone else they were not)! So during the half-time break I went up to Jerry Garcia and suggested that he announce that we should go down to the Bethesda Fountain and cool off! However, the fountain was shut down for repair so for the first and last time in the universe, about 500 hippies and others went swimming in the Central Park Row Boat Lake, which is basically a sewer! When there were only about 50 people left swimming I took one last running dive on the right side and hit a submerged stanchion (a metal pole with a concrete base that is used to hold up those red velvet ropes at movie lines) across my solarplexus and thoracic diaphragm, which knocked out the wind in my lungs! I motioned with my finger to my mouth to a couple of hippies about 20 yards away and they waved back indicating "Far Out!" As I went under water I heard beautiful music and saw the most vivid colors and was thinking of 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' as through the water I saw the tangerine trees and marmalade sky by a bridge by a fountain! 'Wow I'm dying and it's cool!' But then I heard a voice within me say: 'Not Yet Man!' And with one final effort I put my hands above my head and pulled down and broke through the water and took a breath of air! I went home to my apartment on East 75th Street and snuck in through the garage to avoid the doormen as to not get into trouble! But ever since that event, I have not been afraid of Death - one could say that since June 8, 1967 I have been gratefully dead! In reality, I experienced an automic reaction, which happens during oxygen deprivation and allows one to relax, especially during an event where the wind gets knocked out of you!"
My friends son said, "Dude, you mean you are the one that suggested to Jerry to go swimming‽ That was one of the most famous concerts of all time and has come to be known as 'The Exodus Concert' because everyone made a mass exodus from the band shell and went swimming! Dude, do you know what you did‽"
Actually, I never thought any recording was made of it and even though it was legendary in my mind, I kind of thought that no one else would have known about it!
I could not even find it on http://www.dead101.com/concerts.htm!
Nor here - http://www.goodbear.com/1967setlists.html!
Nor here - http://www.songkick.com/artists/528035-grateful-dead/gigography?page=214! Found it HERE http://www.dead.net/show/june-8-1967 and signed in as MFE!
And here: http://archive.org/post/386866/the-music-is-hip-in-central-park-june-8-1967!
Apparently, the new HDCD version of Live/Dead has an announcement added to the end of Dark Star that was Jerry telling everyone to go down to the fountain to swim! Now my karma has found me . . . sort of like discovering that I am my own great grandfather!
I called my friend and he said he read about this in an Rolling Stone article but I have not been able to successfully search it on the internet beyond these posts. Needless to say this Exodus Concert was a Darśan or an Epiphany! Life was not the same after that experience of the Grateful Dead! And for that I am Grateful!
June 8, 1967 Central Park Bandshell, New York, NY Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead played another free afternoon gig in Central Park. The Cafe Au Go Go was impressed at how free concerts in the park generated fans at the club, an important lesson in San Francisco rock and roll economics. [not on Deadlists]
Be the Peace! Be the Love! Be the Music! ☮♥♫ ! ‽∞ॐ