— Days Without Shea —

http://www.loge13.com/img/Peace%20Sign%20Sticker%20%285150%29.jpgIt has been a hoot to write for Loge13 over the years, covering everything from Shea Stadium's bathrooms to Citi Field's bathrooms and all points in between. Occasionally I even write about baseball although that is admittedly secondary. The goal of Loge13 was always to write about Shea Stadium, and along the way, Met fans and what makes us unique.

One of the great legacies of Shea Stadium is music and without a doubt the post that elicited the most feedback was about the Shea Stadium Festival For Peace, held 39 years ago on August 6th, 1970.

That date was the 25th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan. To recognize the occasion, organizers staged a 12-hour anti-war concert at Shea Stadium. Performers included Janis Joplin, CCR, Paul Simon, Johnny Winter, Poco and more.

My original post  received alot of comments from folks who were searching for info on the show. In fact, there is very little officially available about the concert. No footage or photos, no bootlegs. Thus Loge13 became something of a hub for folks looking to connect with each other and share memories...or at least confirm or refute rumors (no Jimi Hendrix did not perform that night). The comments left on Loge12.com have become an oral history of the show and provide some neat nuggets about Shea. For example, fans swear the Mezzanine section swayed up and down that night.

One reader created a Wikipedia entry about the show after I wrote my original post, which was cool, and solicited more details from commenters. Readers continue to find my post via Google and add comments. I harvested some of the best last year. In keeping with tradition, here are some more memories of Shea Stadium's Concert For Peace, posted since then:

Charles J. Biancheri said

Hey man I thought I was Dreaming and thought I was the only one there cause no one remembered. A concert to remember came down from CT at 15 best concert ever. I can remember the movement of the mezzanine will never forget that day. Am glad to see other people wont forget either. Were all survivors.


[September 28, 2008 2:38 PM]  
Gene Chiamulera said

I remember that concert. I was lucky enough to get on the stage with my friend & guitarist Paul Frehley. Some other acts that perfomed that day were The Young Rascals, Richie Havens, Dionne Warwick and I think the cast of HAIR. I remember my friend Paul helping John Kay from Steppenwolf change his guitar strings, later on Paul became better known as Ace Frehley lead guitarist of Kiss. I can't believe it was over 38 years ago.

Lisa Boyle Mevorach said

Thanks for all the memories. I went with my friend, the two of us saw the Jimi Hendrix concert the month before at Randall's Island. We were thrilled when Janis came out on stage. I believe she drank so much that she had a hard time completing her last couple of songs--it was an abbreviated set. John Sebastian and Johnny Winter were great. It was a real great and all American group of artists.

[November 16, 2008 6:43 PM]  
Richie J. said

I was at that show too. I got in for free as a marshall. It was incredible. The Rascals did not play but the next generation band with their guitarist eddie Brigati, I think named Bulldog played. when Ritchie Havens performed the tiers in the stadium were bouncing 3 feet up and down from the crowds getting into the music and stomping and jumping up and down. pretty scary, they had to tell the crow to calm down. Johnny Winter And came out when it started to get dark and tore the house down. Johnny and Derringer were incredible. When Janis joplin came out she was pissed at all the bright lights. She went off screaming that if " YOU DON'T TURN DOWN THOSE M***FUC#*N LIGHTS I"L HAVE THIS CROWD TEAR THIS HOUSE DOWN" The crowd went nuts...the lights came down and Janis sang her ass off.She was incredible. I really glad I got to see her perfornm since 2 months later she was gone and nobody has ever come along to replace her since. She was GREAT! OH and yes too bad . but definately no Hendrix...I wish but was still one of the best Musical Memories of my life . I could tell a million stories about that day and actually do whenever I get a chance 28 years later. Now I own a music store and wish music was like it was back then....Who knows? Maybe they will invent a new drug that actually makes you get into music again instaed of crack and hip hop Rap shit that just damages society.

Jack M said

I have been searching for ages to find info about this concert and it was like a Christmas present reading all this. I was 20 years old and attended with an old girlfriend and fellow "stoner"
from my neighborhood.
I have remembered most of the groups, especially Joplin who, amidst her drinking, shouted for them to turn out the lights, finally one last, "turn out the F---ing lights" and they went out, it was so magical! Poco totally rocked as did James Gang with Funk 49. John Sebastian, whom I had seen before, was so wrecked he spent a lot of time tuning his autoharp. There were so many people performing you just went from group to group. I remember the bottles of wine and the joints going up and down the rows, take a swig, or take a toke, and pass it on. We were next to the isle where NY's finest were there to keep peace and order. They sometimes joined in and other times just kept the free drink and such moving to the next person. They did ask people to stop the jumping, I do remember the stadium vibrating, I was on the second level behind home plate and could really feel the movement. No need to repeat the above comments, very accurate details of a truly fantastic day with nearly 12 hours of music and very little down time. I hope more continue to read this. One last note, I always referred to this concert as the "August Festival for Peace", which is why I could not find anything written about it for years. Maybe that could be included as a possible link to finding it. I do want to point out that I have all my vinyl from the 60's on up, still alphabetical, and I'd love to recreate the concert because I'm sure with over 900 albums I have virtually all the music that was played that day. Thank you to Eric for listing groups, and anyone else who can lists sets.

Elaine said

I came across on YouTube The Beatles at Shea Stadium in 1965. It was so exciting to see that because I was at that phenomenal concert. Then I thought about the Peace Concert at Shea which I also attended. I thought for sure a portion of it would be on YouTube.It's a shame because the Peace Concert was such a great concert. If I can recall, Steven Stills from Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young was also there. If that was the concert, I remember him to be quite obnoxious. Other than that, I remember it to be the mini Woodstock. Those were the days.

[April 10, 2009 10:58 PM]  |  
Don said

I was 15. Went with my 13 year old girlfriend. My sister asked me if I wanted tickets a few days before. We had great lower level (orange) seats on 1st base side. It was hot! The show and the sun. Went on all day with the great bands and acts.

[June 19, 2009 12:14 PM]  
Steve Nesich said

I was there with my younger brother and 3 other high school friends. We left New Jersey early that morning, with our sacks of food and drinks, getting on the bus to NYC, with all of the daily job commuters. After arrival at the Port Authority Bus Terminal, we got on the subway to Shea Stadium. What a great day it was! Close to 13 hours of music, fun and yes, a hot, beaming sun. (But we didn't care about that part.)

No Jimi. In fact, he wasn't even scheduled. Janis was a surprise guest. As was, I believe, Paul Simon. Amazing acts all around. And the tickets were cheap. I was amazed at how more than half the stadium was empty! (There probably wasn't much of a budget for marketing and promotion.)

The most memorable part of the day, however, is what this concert did to shape our thinking, as teenagers, about the insanity of the war in Vietnam and our responsibility to oppose it. Years later, we all talk about how that day raised our political consciousness in a matter of hours, helping us put together an understanding of this issue, through the vehicle of music.

I'll post more at another time about this great day: August 6, 1970.

[July 16, 2009 8:55 PM]
Ruby Harris said

I was there. Janis sang with Jonny Winter. Credence rocked the stadium. Peter Yarrow mc'd. Poco's first gig, James Gang's first gig, Joe Walsh changed a string during a long guitar solo.

[July 28, 2009 1:06 AM] 
Tommy said

It was a great show and I have never heard anyone talk about it on radio or in print. Grand funk railroad was also there. I also saw Janis Joplin at the N.Y pavilion of the old worlds fair in Flushing Meadow Park.

For more, visit:

Shea Stadium Festival For Peace

Festival For Peace Revisited


[September 18, 2009 11:40 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Hank said

Wow! What a cool thing to stumble across this site.
I was just 10 years old when I attended the Festival For Peace at Shea Stadium. I had the good fortune of being able to mill around in the press area in front of the stage courtesy of my mother's connections at Newsday, where she worked as well. I still distinctly remember standing a few feet away from Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul and Mary, while he was conversing with Paul Simon, as Yarrow was the MC for the day's event. Later in the day, a thin-as-a-rail and still fairly unknown Johnny Winter tussled my hair as he walked past to climb the stage, stopping momentarily to ask if I was enjoying myself. Sadly, I have virtually no recollection of Janis Joplin performing that night but still remember quite clearly the entire stadium (dangerously) shaking when CCR performed. What a day that was. I only wish somebody had taken the time to record or film the event. T

[February 23, 2012 11:24 AM]  |  link  |  reply
Carmen Cosentino said

Being and musician and packrat, I found a saved copy of the line-up (in order of appearance) of the Shea Stadium Festival For Peace. The list was numbered with * noted for great performances!
Peter Yarrows
Tom Paxton
John Sabastion
James Gang
Poco *
Al Kooper
Pacific Gas & Electric *
Mother Earth
Staple Singers *
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
The Cast of 'Hair'
Dione Warwick
Sha Na Na *
Richie Havens *
Ten Wheel Drive
Johnny Winter ** (first appearance of Rick Derringer)
The Rascals
Janis Joplin w/Big Brother*
Paul Simon*
Creedence C.R.**
Yes the Stadium moved, No I didn't see Hendrix there, it was a life long memory of a great concert of incredible musicians. I remember specifically Johnny Winter, Poco, and CCR just bringing the place to hysteria and the anouncement to "try to bounce up when the person next to you jumps down" which may be the all time most stupid anouncement EVER! Hope this was helpful to some and brought back memories to others. C

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