Kingman and crew are off for a summer siesta. Here is some required Summer Shea Reading...
Now that the last concert has been played at Shea Stadium, Loge13 is going to spend a few days remembering the rich rock and roll history spawned in Flushing.
Of all the posts I've written on Loge13, perhaps the most fun was the item I wrote about the Shea Stadium festival For Peace, which occured August 6, 1970
. Neither I nor many longtime Met fans knew much (or anything) about this little documented concert, which featured some of the hottest acts of the post-Woodstock day.
As I wrote last year, the show was held 25 years after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. To recognize the anniversary, organizers staged a 12–hour anti-war
concert at Shea Stadium. Very little exists online or in
literature about this show. There was no concert film and I have never
seen any concert footage from the Shea Peace Festival. Some of the hottest acts of 1970 appeared at the gig, including:
- Creedence Clearwater Revival
- Janis Joplin (surprise guest)
- Johnny Winter
- Paul Simon
- The James Gang
and many more. There are rumors that Jimi Hendrix was there but as you'll learn, Loge13 commenters have cleared up this urban legend.
The show began at 10:00 AM and ended by 11:00 PM that night.
Here is Poco’s set list from that night. By their own accounts, Poco rocked:
- Pickin' Up the Pieces
- Just in Case it Happens
- Grand Junction
- Consequently So Long
- Don't Let it Pass By
- Nobody's Fool
- El Tonto de Nadie, Regresssa
Janis Joplin did make a surprise appearance. She was in New York and
had just filmed a Dick Cavett TV appearance with her band Full-Tilt
Boogie. Sadly, this was one of Joplin’s last appearances. Less than two months after rocking Shea, Janis Joplin was dead.
My post last year produced a pile of comments from folks who were there and are
still looking for audio or visual evidence of the massive gig. One
commenter started a WikiPedia page on the subject, so perhaps in some small way, Loge13 helped keep the memory of this fantastic afternoon alive.
According to the Wikipedia entry:
The importance of these concerts were manifold. First, unlike the
for-profit Woodstock Music & Arts Fair which became increasingly
political as it unfolded, the Festivals for Peace were the first large
venue U.S. events which were produced with the sole intention of fund
raising for political, and specifically anti-war, purposes: not unusual
later but not seen prior to 1970. Secondly, again in contrast to Woodstock
where performers insisted on being paid handsomely, Peter Yarrow and
Friedmann were able to convince the top acts of the day (including many
that were paid at Woodstock like CCR, Hendrix and Joplin) to donate
their time and performances to the Festival for Peace shows just months
This may have been the first time that some of the world's most
famous rock acts came together to aid a specific socio-political agenda
in such large venues and The Summer Festival for Peace was most
certainly larger and earlier than other more publicized benefit
concerts. It pre-dated The Concert for Bangladesh (August 1, 1971), Farm Aid (September 22, 1985), and others by a year and more.
And where were the Mets August 6, 1970? They were in St. Louis, losing to the Cardinals 3-0. Tom Seaver (16-6) took the loss and Tommie Agee went 2-4 with a stolen base. A couple future Mets in the Cardinals lineup: Joe Torre (0-3 with an error) caught and a young Jose Cardenal played centerfield. You may remember him as the old Jose Cardenal.
Tomorrow I will post some of the amazing eyewitness accounts of the festival for peace left by Loge13 readers. If anyone is interested in further researching this wonderful moment of Shea history, please drop me a line.