Santa Clara County Fairgrounds - May 18, 1968
May 18, 1968
Northern California Folk-Rock Festival - afternoon concert - also: The Doors; Eric Burdon & The Animals; Big Brother & The Holding Co.; The Youngbloods; Electric Flag; Jefferson Airplane; Kaleidoscope; Country Joe & The Fish; Taj Mahal
Attendees of this show
While at this festival, which I think was the first in Nor Cal, my
room-mate Roger Ramjet and me heard that because the Santa Clara sheriffs dept. were stopping the gate chrashers and a free
concert was started accross the street where everyone was parking, we actually left the festival, and drove back to San Francisco and bought hot dogs and buns, and came back and
set up a venters stand, next to all the Hell's Angels and sold
hot dogs and chocolate mescaline. I think it was Country Joe that started playing on a flatbed truck and then it was most of
all the bands from the festival, except the Dead, that played for
free. Janis and Big Brother played pretty late if I remember right, and the Jefferson Airplane came on the make-shift stage
right around sunrise, as I was sorta climbing out of the back seat of a car after a wild time with a very beautiful young blond chick who was sooo afraid of getting pregnant (I always wondered if I sired a child at that free concert) I also remember drinking Southern Comfurt with Janis and some Angels during the night. The Hells Angels sorta did the security around the make-shift stage and they got free hot dogs....of course.
I don't remember the Doors playing at this free festival.
I also was at the free concert across the street. It was called the "be-in". It started as a protest because it was advertised that Led Zeppelin was to play at the SC Fairgrounds concert across the street. Lots of tickets were sold under this pretense. Zep was not playing, so we all protested. I got there about noon. The bands at the concert got wind, and starting showing up to put on free music for everyone. I wasn't there the whole time, but I remember Country Joe, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother. I heard that Hendrix played, but I never heard him. Maybe someone else can confirm that or not. I was able to hear the Dead across the street in the pay concert. The Angels showed up about 5pm, and promptly took over keeping everyone away from the performers. Smoked so much weed that day, can't remember when I left, though it was dark.
I have been doing some research, and I think the free concert was not May 18, 1968. I believe the concert was May 25, 1969. As mentioned above, it started in protest to Bill Graham advertising that Led Zeppelin would be playing at the concert, but they were not, and had never been even booked. The concert poster sold also had Zep listed. Led Zeppelin was billed on May 25, 1969, and was not there. Also, I rode my motorcycle to the Be-in and I had it in 69, not in 68.
Talked with a friend that was with me at the time. Our beloved Dead did not even play at the concert on May 25 the date of the Be-in. Jimi played, Big Brother and the Fish.