Club Agora - November 29, 1970
November 29, 1970
"Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" tuning before "NFA" - first "Bobby McGee" - also: NRPS
Dead were originally scheduled to do two shows but equipment got in late and so only one long set? This club had a rocky history in the 70's (open and closed, open and closed) but is now the Newport Music Hall. Located across from The Ohio State University Campus on High Street. I saw lots of bands there in the 70's, before I left town. Columbus was never a great music town in the 70's, anyway.
Dead sold their PA to the club owners at the end of this tour, so a big chuck of the Dead PA was in use for some time afterwards.
Don't Ease Me In, Cumberland Blues, Beat It On Down The Line, Next Time You See Me, Morning Dew, Brokedown Palace, Me And Bobby McGee, Truckin'-> Drums-> The Other One-> Me & My Uncle, Casey Jones Dire Wolf, Good Lovin
None of the Post above is accurate. Equipment did not come in late. First show cancelled by mutual agreement with Rock Scully. It was an under 18 show and 0 tickets were sold. Everybody knew the Dead played all night and nobody wanted the 1,5 hour show! It was an experiment that was never repeated.
Also, no Sound System was ever purchased from the Dead! That never happened! Sometimes we traded equipment for larger speakers, while the band like smaller horns etc! But we did neither with the Dead!
Also, Agora changed hands to get management since Agora had built 13 clubs and did not have enough managers. It never closed, it just changed hands. They rented until the Newport purchased the building!
These are facts!
I have heard the same thing about this show, that there were two performances originally scheduled and then there was only one, the late show. I distinctly recall handbills promoting this show were circulating at local college campuses, and that the first show was canceled in favor of the second evening performance.
I attended many rock shows at the Columbus Agora club. Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Phillips, Joe Walsh, Badfinger, Bad Company, Argent, Spooky Tooth, Glass Harp, Pure Prairie League, most of them were mid-level touring acts in the early and mid-70's. After a while, the touring acts subsided, as the economics of music tours changed, and the Agora, while still booking touring acts, became more or less just another campus bar and dance club, with a house band called The Crowd Pleasers billed on the outside marquee. Eventually, the hall changed hands and is now the Newport City Music Hall.
But yes, there ABSOLUTELY were handbills promoting local and touring acts for the Columbus Agora which stated prominently that the club had purchased and installed a "Grateful Dead Sound System". These were posted all over the campus area (I remember the yellow ones stapled to the neighborhood bulletin boards).
Elsewhere on Dead Net, another poster suggests that the P.A. components were purchased from the Dead since the Agora date was the end of that leg of their tour. I heard several stories (authoritative or not) regarding this P.A. but I can confirm none of them, but the tales did indeed circulate, as did those handbills I mentioned earlier. Just one more piece of Dead lore trivia, I guess?
I will step up for good ole Javamaster here, please read my post above. There used to be posters and handbills available at Pearl Alley Discs( the great hippie record store) and Agora Pizza, which flanked the club entrance. The Agora was (still is!)located across the street from the Ohio State University Law School.
You can always believe your lawyer, right?
I purchased my copies of Europe 72, Wake of the Flood and Blues for Allah at the Pearl Alley Discs, I also bought my first two Bruce Springsteen albums there (before he became a real star), on the strength of a recommendation by the store clerk. So they had good taste there.
The Agora's were always College Dance/Beer bars on week ends. Concerts were on week days and sometimes Sundays. Crowd Pleasers were in early 70's. They are responsible for the best event I ever saw! They formed a line dance and went out of the Agora up two blocks to the Castle (which did not allow black people in) and went thru the bouncers up and around three levels gathering people. Then out the door and back to the Agora. They empied the room. The manager of the Castle ran down to the Agora and was yelling "I can't believe you did that". We called him a racist pig and from that day on Black students were allowed in to the Castle!
We did buy Procol Harums touring system from a sound company that was about to go bankrupt. It was put up on the markee and used to quel the Michigan/Ohio State riots. I do remember somebody saying on a flyer Grateful Dead sound system, but can't remember. Lots of people made flyers at other Colleges and put them up. There were posters, 5 color silkscreens and some of them were "fuzzy" put on by hand on a GD bear by Katt Graphics, a house full of hippy artists that did all the posters. They got taken to somebodys room as soon as they were put up!
The conversation about Agora and Pearl Alley has me super interested. I am searching for photos of the Agora and/or Pearl Alley from the early 70s for a video project. I can't find a photo of the record shop anywhere! I too own albums purchased there however, I am the second owner.
My first concert was at there at the New Port Music Hall in the 90s!
As I recall, there was a series of row houses that had been converted to small commercial storefronts just off High Street between 13th and 12th Streets (not sure about the precise location) just a half block north of the Agora theatre, check a Google Map. This row contained the aforementioned Pearl Alley Discs (where one could purchase concert tickets for some concerts), a used clothing store, an Earth Shoe (!)store, a student travel agency, and a bunch of other stores which came and went with regularity from the late '60's to early '70's. Pearl Alley Discs moved next to the Agora around '71 I'm guessing. Pearl Alley is actually the name of the small access street that ran behind the block. Columbus was not much of a proving ground for hip capitalism of the day, still isn't!