— Days Without Shea —

Johnny Winter, Shea Stadium concert for peaceWe wrote about the Shea Stadium Festival of Peace, held August 6th, 1970.

The original post from last year inspired alot of comments. There were some rumors floating around that Jimi Hendrix had performed or was supposed to perform.

I have never done this before but I thought it would be great to publish some of the comments in a separate post. So little has been written about the Festival: clearly one of the most exciting and little known events in Shea Stadium history. Who better to share the experience with than the folks who were there?

Here are some highlights:

Indeed, many people were pretty buzzed so fuzzy memories would be common. I was quite young so still "un-buzzed". No Hendrix, but a young Tina Turner certainly made an impression in the binoculars on a 12 yr old boy!
The biggest confusion about Jimi stems from the fact that he played at the earlier Winter Festival for Peace at MSG but could not make the much larger Summer Fest.
Many of the biggest rock acts of the era were there and Joplin was not truly a surprise guest as she announced she'd perform on The Dick Cavett show a few nights before the show.

The choosing of the date was no coincidence: Peter Yarrow (of P,P&Mary) produced both shows and the proceeds were used to finance Anti-War political candidates.

The show did go on for 13 hrs and finished late at about 11:30pm: anyone who doesn't remember probably left early. And yes - during CCR's performance, the first tier was bouncing up and down so much they stopped playing and asked the people to sit down. I know this because I was in the first row btwn Home-3rd and a bit scared at the time!

No one has done much to preserve the memory of this truly historic show and piece of SHEA history!!! (thanks to KINGMAN tho)

Any one ANY more info PLEASE contact me at bebopnjazz(at)gmail(dot)com.

I was 14 when I attended the concert, I had never used drugs at that point and I can tell you Hendrix DID NOT perform, just a rumor. The music was great. This was the first concert I ever attended and it made such an impression I went out and saw every other concert I could after this one. Janis, Steppenwolf, CCR were huge stars at the time and all performed fantastic sets. Poco was great. Johnny Winter and James Gang rocked. Paul Simon performed solo. Let me tell you I have seenover 150 concerts since this first one and only 6 or 7 can measure up . IT WAS FANTASTIC

I was at the show. Hendrix did not perform. This was my first "city" concert and I loved every bit of it. I still have the Newsday ad for it and my ticket stub. For those who were there, It was myself and my friend Matt who folded down the upper balcony seats to spell PEACE it 125' tall letters. Peace to all

I was at the show with the good fourtune to have an all access pass to be on the stage field and backstage. It was all that's been said and then some for me. I did not see Jimi onstage or backstage at all. I did however come out of the Mets dugout right where you were sitting and pose for a photo with Janis taken by a fan right behind it. If anybody knows of this photo please contact me, I am listed in Nyack N.Y. BTW I am the young man intervewed at Shea in "The Beatles Anthology" This can be seen on Youtube by pluging in Beatles Shea 1965 It is in the clip that is 9:57 long.

I attended the shea stadium peace concert and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. The music was terrific, Janis, Steppenwolf, Poco all very memorable. No Jimi H. I had seen him at Randalls Island in July. I recall leaving near dusk summertime (not 11PM). I had a deeply moving experience of peace and love not to be repeated. It was amazing. Would love to see us do it again.

I was there also. Left NJ about midnight and slept in the car in the parking lot with my girlfriend. We were some of the first to gain entry and therefore had great seats. Stage(s) were sort of a revolving dumbell where, while one stage had a live act playing, the other was being broken down/set up for the next. True non-stop music. The music was fantastic and I too wonder about the lack of coverage for such a great event with so many top rock stars. I recall them stopping the music when the tiers began to sway due to everyone stomping their feet to the music. I believe the deal was to extend the concert (due to the number of bands and surprise guests) if we would literally stop rocking Shea. (I also thought it ended closer to midnight or beyond but it was almost 40 yrs ago, so...). Particularly vivid was when Big Brother was about to play and Janis ran out to the stage unannounced to sing with them. The place went nuts. Really wish this concert would get the coverage it deserves. Did no one really record any of this concert? And yes, no Jimi. Anyone recall any other unannounced guests?

I was there and I remeber these acts. Johnny Winter and with Rick Derringer Poco Credence Clearwater Steppenwolf Pacific Gas & Electric Janice Joplin Peter Yarrow (of Peter paul & Mary) John Sebastian Sha Na Na The Rascals The James Gang 10 Wheel Drive Al Kooper Richie Havens miles davis (I believe) Three Dog Night

I was there - we arrived around 11 - I remember early in the day: Havens, I'm petty sure Joan Baez made an appearance, 10 Wheel Drive did their hit "Are you Ready?" and had everyone up bopping in unison--- so hard the stadium actually "bounced" and for a moment I worried it would self destruct! ( I was standing on the brass rails between sections!)Fritz, Mike and Manny and me made it all the way to the end- I remember almost falling off the upper level, after going up there to ignite an organic substance: far left field, top row, furthest end seat (chosen just because!)and on my way down hit the rail kind of hard and almost flew 60 feet down to my seat! :) It truly was one of the best days of music ever- Creedence, The James Gang, Janis and Steppinwolf were in peak form and made the night. Janis had her hair dyed like the flag! it was a day to remember and am so amazed it is nearly forgotten. NO FILM, NO RECORDINGS? At the time we said it was our Woodstock, all neatly packed into 1 day, no mud, no cars! The subway delivered us to and from(at 14 the summer before, according to my parents, I wasn't "heading up the country"!)

I attended this show with several friends. I was 14 at the time. Hendrix was indeed suppose to play, but in fact did not. I also remember the grandstand tiers moving up and down as we were on the top decl about 3 or 4 rows back. It was very scary, but I do not remember them stopping the show for an announcement. I do remember the acts listed above, and some of them I had forgetten about. It was a great show, I tell people about it but no one I know really has heard about it. Its a shame no more information is available. I remember it was a big deal for my parents to let me go with friends to a show like that at 14yo. Who would trust their 14 yo like that TODAY?

I was 18, living in Queens, and I was there. Jimi was on the scheduled list of performers, but didn't show. I definitely remember James Gang, Pacific Gas & Electric, Staple Singers (terrific!) and Creedence rockin' the house to end it.

[July 30, 2008 7:40 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Louis G said

I was fifteen and went a bunch of friends. Music was great. Myself and my friend Matt R. were the ones who folded down the seats to spell "PEACE" in the upper right field seats. It was my first concert, many more were to follow during the golden age of rock

[October 19, 2008 9:26 PM]  |  link  |  reply
tgvas said

I was there, for I think 12 or more hours, and Jimi did not make it, Janis cried on stage about Jimi because he had died a month or so prior to the event.
Janis preached about how bad drugs were, to stay away from them and she was dead soon after the show.
Best showing was CCR.

[April 19, 2010 10:44 AM]  |  link  |  reply
jon said

I was there for the whole day...15 y.o. kid with my two best friends. Rascals also played (didn't see them mentioned yet.) I'd seen PG&E a couple days earlier at The Fillmore East...did Grand Funk also play Shea that day or was that just the PG&E Fillmore show? I also seem to recall that Janis and Johnny Winter came out together and ran across the field to the stage...am I mistaken? I could be just remembering the guitarist from Big Brother and just thinking of the long hair...but I thought it was Winter. Definitely recall the cement tiers shaking so bad from the dancing crowds that they stopped the show to ask people to calm down. I also recall the police themselves throwing free sandwiches up to people because it was too hard to try and get to concession stand and people were starving by nightime. And Poco....I think I was one of maybe ten people screaming when they introduced them. Poco's first album had JUST come out and almost no one knew who they were....but they KILLED!! After the first couple of songs the crowd was wild for them. One of the best concert events I've ever attended....and I've attended MANY (pro musician, radio DJ, music journalist 30+ years.) I think the Shea concert corrupted my life :)

[June 6, 2011 12:06 PM]  |  link  |  reply
Jack said

I went to this concert with my cousin Chris who left early. I stayed for the whole thing. One group that played that no one has mentioned is the Paul Butterfield's Blues Band. Jimi Hendrix was not dead as stated by tvgas, he died 9/18/1970 concert was
8/6/1970. Janis was gone on October 4. I remember that day well, we heard about it during school and couldn't believe they were both gone so quickly.
It is really amazing to me that so little is online about this great show.

[July 28, 2011 10:26 PM]  |  link  |  reply
enoch doyle jeter said

was at shea for festival....woodstock the year before....amazing show. joplin stunned us all. wasn't arlo there..?
must look at the old newspaper ad in the old scrapbook. thanks for having this forum...really one of the great shows of all time. peace

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