Friday, November 04, 2005

This is my first drible about something that happen a long time ago. There was a concert in southern Indiana in 1972, around Labor day. I was kind of like Woodstock but with newer acts for that time. I'm blogging this because the concert that I remember was a wonderful event and not how the Evensville press has made it out to be in wikipedia.


Here it is, from memory, the list of bands that played, that I can remember.
  • Foghat
  • Black Oak Arkansas
  • Flash (kind of like Yes)
  • Gentle Giant
  • Cheech and Chong
  • Brownville Station
  • Bob Seger
Damn! I know there were more than that but I can't remember. Around that same time period there was a group that was calling themselves "Fleetwood Mac" but they were found out for the fraud they were and forced to stop that act. I think they played at Bull Island.

For all you partying people from around Indianapolis and the central Indiana area, you will remember that the very next weekend there was a concert at Bush Stadium. But that's another story.

Anyway, Bull Island was the largest party I have ever attended. There were an estimated 300,000 people there according to the Indianapolis Star, The Evansville newpaper, and another news paper that I can't remember. The people who put this concert on lost their asses because the powers that be kept then from setting a time and a place for the event. No one in our government wanted another Woodstock! Well Damn them we did! Much to the chagrin of poor Gov. Otis Bowen and his counterpart in Illinois. Assholes all. My hats off to the people who pull this thing off. Everytime they set a time/place a judge would pull the ol injuction no function bullshit. So somehow these guys got an island out in the Wabash River that was unreachable by Illinois, who had jurisdiction over it. There was a road that went down to it from Indiana. Genius! If you read the Estabishment newpapers or wikipedia(which is actaully the Evansville newspapers depiction of the events) they'll tell you how awful the condition were but if anyone has ever done any camping it was about like that.

The concert was supposed to last three days and start on friday. I believe the ticket price was $17.50 but it was a free show when I got there on saturday. I had to park my car on the Interstate 64. I will probably never see an intersate highway turned into a parking lot again. As a matter of fact, I bought an old 1956 chevy impala 4 door($50) just to drive to the concert were ever it was going to be. There were 4 of us who went down there. I remember that I was going to hitch a ride but my girlfriends brother suggested that we drive the car. The reasoning for me was, it was being broadcasted that you could not park for twenty mile of the concert, so why drive. I wasn't that bad , we only had too walk about six miles off the interstate. I was concerned that they would tow my car but that was completely unfounded.[pause]

Thursday 11/3/2005

So here it is, it's Saturday afternoon, Labor Day weekend, and the sky is cloudy and ugly looking but it doesn't look like rain. We get our stuff out of the car and head out to the show. We're already moved by the amount of cars we see, knowing that there's going to be one hell of alot of people here. I vaguely remember the walk in. I do remember passing by an old farm house with people on the porch talking to some fellow concert goers about where the bast place was to buy stuff in Griffin, IN, and asking how far away it was. Seems like we passed a store but ...... We got to what was once the entrance to the show. It was destroyed. We continued on till we reach the stage. It was unforgetable, unimaginable, and wonderful. It was Woodstock. It had that same feel. Everyone was very happy to be there and all the people were "groovy". I haven't said that word for 30 years but it is the only way to desrcibe how the people felt about each other. [pause] I just tried to do a google for groovy and the closest I could come to a definition was "The Oldhippie's Groovy site". The site offers counterculture stuff but it would be impossible describe how it felt to be groovy. Sounds pretty stupid to those younger than me or those of my generation who were not.

Friday 11/4/2005

Got a comment from catherine calspa. It would appear that catherine likes kissing? I think I've forgotten how. It's been so long. That's another story.
It's not that I'm not happy, hail yeah I am. I'm close to 50 and unlike when I was in my twenty's or thirtys, a relationship with someone is not a priority. Maybe that would change if I found the right person? I hope not, lol.

I'll be back, later.


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Anonymous said...

Was talking about it with a friend tonight. Mostly a vague memory. One band we did recall was Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes.
Others, was Foghat there, I seem to recall them.
Perhaps Richie Havens, or maybe that was Woodstock and they just seem to blur together.

Lind Gray said...

Hi all...I can't believe I found something on this concert...first of all it took us 16 hrs to get there from ohio...we parked in the median of the highway and just walked off and ended up hitching a ride in the back of someones pickup. We found our friends who were in an old green school bus and it was absolutely crazy. We were tired from the drive, so we tramped down some tall grass between the buses and made a campfire and crashed. Well...I was asleep and didn't know that the fire went out and it looked like a blank, someone in a pickup truck thought they would drive through it and over me!!!!
It took a concerted effort to get me with my broken ribs and all through that crowd and to the red cross tent. They wanted to take me out in a helicopter, but it started to rain, so they took me out in a jeep and all the way to evansville in to the hospital. So, I'm the chick that got ran over by the pickup truck in Bull Island....At the time, i was probably some sort of a celebrity. interviewed on the radio and newspaper while in the hospital, plus many gawkers walking by my room to stare at the "chick ran over at the big concert"
Cheech and Chong later used the incident in their schtick....referring to being high...
Glad to see someone else remembers this concert...I tell people this today and they refer to me as Forest Gump....

Jordan said...

Rode up on the back of a motorcycle (this was a good choice)from Birmingham,Alabama. Had a great time. Seems that even though there were those profit minded there was no serious gouging and in general a communal & generous spirit. Cheap everything and lots of it. The "looters" if I recall were more Robin Hoods than robbers. They literally tore open the semi trailers and began throwing food and cigarettes out to the crowds of hungry people. We caught several cartons of smokes and used them to barter for ... Some of the bands that I remember were same as had been mentioned plus a great band called Bang.( I wish anyone who had recordings of these guys would share- I can't find any) Also Bertha(all girl band) We were camped about 1/4 mile from stage. We were able to get so close I'm sure only because we were able to get in on the bike. I know that they either played a tape of Mountain or Mountain played..I think it was a recording it came on early the first morning(Saturday)I think the Eagles played. This was an amazing experience of course and wonderful that we all lived through it. I have more info that I would love to share with folks if anyone else wants to hear. Fun fact: We all had nick names..I could go on.

Lots of friendly and topless girls.

Hubcap said...

Remember me and three other buddies went down ther from Brooklyn Indiana lot of traffic made it in the place ,remember driving down dirt road and guys were screaming where they had shot up some powered bleach, once inside we set up camp at a old farm fence we streched a tarp on top and that was our home for 4 days.first night this bunch made camp across the way from us and had a big bon fire going all of a sudden this guy starts jumping over this fire naked and jacking off swear to God.uYou could see this guys legs just blistering with every jump.One of my buddies said if i didnt have any more than that i wouldnt be showing it ,but he had no clue what he was doing,finally some of his buddies got him and was calling for a medic.Seeing no food was around there came a guy in a truck selling watermelons I got one on the way back I dropped it what a bummer so I bought a bunch of white crosses end of hunger,so many memories that week end. Those were the days .

ant said...

I was only 15 when i got a ride with my older brother in the familys gremlin. We parked on the intestate and that was the last i saw of him. Being alone i sat about 100 yards from the stage.
I still have several clips in my scrapbook. The $20 show was supposed to feature Black Sabbath,joe Cocker, allman bros,john mayall,Cheech & Chong, Black oak arkansas,Rory Galagher,Ballinjack, Amboy dukes,Bob Segar, Bang, Doors,Albert king,mike Quatro, Gentle Giant, Eagles, Chambers brothers,Boones Farm, Slade, Delbert and glenn and Ravi Shankar.
I remember being bored with Ravi and watching Nugent shoot flaming arrows into his amps while wearing only a loin cloth and swinging like Tarzan whilst playing guitar.
Most of the top acts cancelled probably due to weather and an unruly crowd. Towards the end i remember people burning trucks and barns. There was a shortage of matches so i traded a light for a joint all weekend.
The Gremlin got towed so I hitchhiked back to Springfield Ohio with ony $3. That vending machine soup once sold in gas stations never tasted so good.

Anonymous said...

I can remember Suzi Quantro, Sha na na also playing there. My most vivid memory of the music was when the drummer from Black Oak did a long drum solo sans sticks, he played with his fists. Another memory was the naked guy stumbling around the crowd cussing. I went there with no money in my pocket and came back with 60 dollars. If i ate, i don't remember it, i don't think i slept either. 3 days of fun.

Anonymous said...

joe cocker was to play there he flew over and saw the crowd and wanted more money,years later he played evansville,In and got thrown in jail for breech of contract!

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah-we were there-myself & 9 others right out of HIGH SCHOOL. We were close enough to the stage, close enough to the trailers & the water-we had two tenst & dug a latrine that became a big hit! (maybe a little to close to that). We met a dude named VIc -he had a big blue school bus & we perched up there on lawn chairs most of the time. The bands I do recall were Brths (they had balls), Black Oak Arkansas, Brownsville Station, Amboy Dukes, I recall Cheech & Chong for sure & Bread -last day. I think Melanie played bu- I do not rememeber it all. Hey people we had it all right there, we really did change a few things,and we really were a peaceful, fun loving, crowd. Best to all my brothers & sisters who were there!
It was great- we should do it again- CAN SOMEBODY please get ii to gether & I will help!

Anonymous said...

WOW, I will never forget my time at the bulls Island concert as long as I live at the age of 19 years old!

when all six of us arrived we walked at least two miles aside vehicles parked along the Interstate. As we walked into the area we passed an RV with some guys on top selling hashish in a huge block. I thought this is the place to be no cops and nothing but a sea of people. People walking around selling acid like you wouldn't believe. WHAT A TIME.

We found a great place to sit within forty yards of the stage nearest the river. There was a tent just behind where people over dosing ended up for some reason. I saw a female in the tent apparently in bad shape but couldn't tell you how she came out. People were climbing the scaffolding where the lights were mounted. They held up the concert a few times being warned to get down or no bands would take the stage. Some people were smart enough to place flags on tall polls to be located or find their way back to their original place. When I looked up the hill all I could see was a crowed of people for as far as you could see. AMAZING!

The river was full of the naked swimming having a blast. A good time for A BATH and site seeing for sure.

Took a dip myself.

We smoked so many joints I couldn't begin to count enjoying ever moment of it.

Black Oak Arkansas was awesome and the rest of the other bands too from what I can remember. then the terrible rain came, and with no forethought of food, water or a change of clothes it became difficult being hungry. We did find one guy selling plain hot dogs for a buck but they soon disappeared. Due to the conditions we left on the second day but those two days will last in memory forever.

Anonymous said...

I was one of the guys on top of the semis. We climbed on to one of the semis and the driver just bailed out and disappeared into the crowd, we had a hatchet and chopped a hole in the top, sent one guy inside and he handed up sixpacks of pop and bagged hot dog buns and napkins! we threw them to the crowd. they pressed us so hard that we were a bit nervous until i said, throw the pop as far from us as you can, and we did, to good effect. I saw one guy get smacked on the head with a six pack from about 35 feet from the truck, he went down and I hoped he was ok but didn't see him get up, but the crowd was pretty thick at that point!
What a crazy weekend. I will remember it forever! I oriented toward California after 72 - 76 in the USMC and hardly ever run into anyone who has heard of it! Doobie

Furnas said...

I was in Myrtle Beach S.C. when I heard there was going to be a concert at a place called Bull Run in Indiana. Naturally I had to go. A buddy and I hitched up to Indiana for the concert and arrived early Friday Morning. We took a wagon ride that was shuttling to the Island and hopped off about half way. We followed the river until we came to some people swimming and joined them for a swim. Later we followed the river to the island and didn't meet any resistance getting to the area where the Bandstand was located.
I was one of the last individuals to leave the site. I decided to use the only port a john in sight before leaving the island. When I opened the door and looked inside, the human waste was at least two feet above the toilet seat. I used the woods.

rooster said...

Well this is my story and I am sticking to it, because it is true. My buddy Mike and I hitched hiked down there from O'Fallon Illinois and although we got several rides the most memorable was the guy that said he owned the property. Mike and I just looked at each other and rolled our eye's. He said he had to stop at his son's house first which was a pretty big mansion looking house and then he drove us all the way up to the entrance gate stopping at each check point and talking with the cops. That was Thursday evening and we snuck on to the island that night and I startled the people sitting around a camp fire that were the workers. I ask if Mike and I could be included on helping to finish the stage in the morning and with a little sharing of some good Red Bud they agreed. The next morning right before they opened the gates we were putting up the fence in front of the stage and up comes our friend riding horse back with his wife and kids. I have plenty more great stories to tell of our four days down there but I need a break from this typing stuff.

Anonymous said...

i was there. nobody listens to people like me. eighteen, and i liked it. carry on. i dream of the times i had there. forty years ago. erie cannal soda pop festival was one of my wildest expierinceces. somebody test this old man whether i was there, i will prove it. so long ago. eally wild mike s love to all that remain

Anonymous said...

post my last comment

Anonymous said...

Pure Prairie League played saturday afternoon and they were great. Bertha and Foghat friday night great. Black Oak saturday. Amboy Dukes while sun came up saturday morning was awesome! thanks very much to the guys throwing pop and hot dogs from the semi; we needed it! can't remember much more. i thought it was pretty good crowd, some folks got together and stopped people that were selling bad drugs. people looked out for each other. i had a Great Time! Foghat, Amboy Dukes, and Pure Prairie League were my favorites. Three great performances.

Hamsco said...

I was 14 years old, and my friend and i hitchhiked from Louisville (without our parents permission).
We stayed for 3 days, hot and hungry. The hot dog buns were the only food for a day. Watched the bands,
swam in the river, and saw the truck burn for an encore. I still can't believe I did that at 14!

Hamsco said...

I also attended the Ozark Mountain Festival (with my parents permission) in 1974.
Much better organized. had a blast at both.

Anonymous said...

Was tossed to the curbside by my father on my graduation day.."time to grow up on my own" he said... and after a summer of selling acid at dane st.beach in Beverly my girlfriend becky threw me out...(she had a real job at a dog kennel and i ran out of my stash of LSD 25 to sell) so me and three of mY cronies all recent graduates from peabody high school drove my lime green Chevy van from massachusetts the 1,000 plus miles to Bull Island ... amidst the tractor trailer trucks on interstate crazy Sicilian best bud anthony Zappia passing two at a time from the middle lane at 3 am stoned out on hashish and mescaline...Yikes!!!!..when we hit that dead stop traffic jam about two miles before the entrance to the fest crazy tony came up with the insane idea to entrust the keys to MY van to some complete strangers who HAD tickets with the plan to jump the fence (hence save the $20 ticket price)...and (hopefully) meet them inside with the van and all our stuff in tow.....Miraculously the plan worked we found them and the van in tact and the money we saved on tix went towards more hashish and mescaline.....most of the next few days were a fog but I do remember a few sordid details....cheech and chong came out in the pouring rain and were so terrible they got booed off the stage...Ravi Shankar who I loved put people to sleep and several of the bands that I most came to see IE.Joe Cocker,Fleetwood Mac and Black Sabbath were no shows. But who could complain for a free concert...
Remember waking up in our campsite next to a very long line about 100 strong and thinking it a line for breakfast or the porto johns got in it....only to discover after a few minutes that it was a line for fast food smack....(stick your arm out at the end of the line,pay your $10, and get a quick fix...NO THANK YOU...). And yes I do remember the naked hippie chicks skinny dipping in the river.I may have missed Woodstock but from what I have heard bull island couldn't compare.....P.S. Made it home safely after a few extra days driving slow showed up at my parents house broke with my tail between my legs and ask

Anonymous said...

...continued....if my old bedroom was still open. So much for growing up on my own at 18...PPS. The answer was a conditional yes so i got straight went to work for my dad saved a few g's over the next 6 months and moved to California...