With an astounding 1.6 million people in attendance
Here a few moments that I wish we could hear:
Anything from the two weeks in 1967 when Joe Henderson was part of Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet
John Coltrane's set from the 1961 Monterey Jazz Festival with Wes Montgomery and his working quintet (with the live 'A Love Supreme' from Seattle in 1965 and this year's Village Gate recording from 1961, maybe someone somewhere out there has a tape of this that will see the light of day)
Elvis Presley live at Ellis Auditorium in Memphis from Feb. 25, 1961
Anything from the 1967 Magic Mountain Festival, which predated Monterey
Anything from the Beatles' last tour of the UK from December 1965 (the only time they performed 'We Can Work It Out' live)
The concert Miles Davis gave at Berkley in 1968 with Gil Evans
I have a sweet spot for the early years of rock and roll and almost none of that is on film. I'd especially love to see some of those late 50s/early 60s bus tours where you could see Buddy Holly, Dion and more all on one show. They would apparently frequently perform with each other because there wasn't a full band to play with them.
Or Bill Haley at his height. Those late 50s European tour shows were reportedly insane.
There are three concerts/live events I wish I could time-travel back to:
1. 1970 Isle of Wight Festival: Jimi Hendrix's last live performance. Jethro Tull, The Doors, Joni Mitchell and other great ones performed too.
2. 1986 Queen live at Wembley: I would have killed to see this live, for its musical as well as its cultural significance. And INXS as opening act? Yes, please!
3. 1995 Mariah Carey live at Madison Square Guarden: the most technically brilliant singer (arguably the best of her generation) at the absolute prime of her career. A vocal masterclass throughout. And the audience was euphoric!
Yeah, a million people is insane. I can't even handle 50,000 people. Maybe it's the influence of COVID but my first thought was, "super-spreader event!" 🧐
By the way, I wrote about (tangentially) that concert in Moscow last October, when I featured Scorpions' "Winds of Change." There's an excellent podcast (by the same name) about that song (one episode is about the concert) that I highly recommend.
On the flipside of that kind of pinnacle, there are the equally important origin stories...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pqpM-vN4HMY
Oh man, this footage is incredible. Peak Metallica popularity. Metal power. Amazing. Scary amount of white people. But yes, it's a great point. Cultural power is sometimes called "soft power" and it has real influence on world affairs. The culture wars could be, and have been, global.
First of all, going to a concert with 1 million people sounds horrendous. What if you were at the back??? As a Springsteen-head I’d love if we had better video from some shows in the late 70s. There’s also some jazz stuff from the early 40s that has been lost to time.
Truly amazing. Wish it could’ve prevented the rise of Putin and authoritarianism in Russia!