What A Festival

43 years ago exactly, Mike Williamson and I made our way to the Atlantic City Pop Festival to take in the big three-day event which was held two weeks before Woodstock and was, up until that time, the largest three-day rock festival ever held. We met up with Hobo, whom you might recognize from these pages, so there were at least three big Habs fans in the crowd of 150,000.

There were other Orillians there as well, and we managed to grab a ride back home with some of them in their Volkswagen van.

We paid 15 bucks for our tickets, and readers of a certain age should recognize most or all of the lineup which included Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Creedence Clearwater and a whack of others. (Although Sweet Stavin Chain on the first day doesn’t ring a bell).

I met a girl there from Washington D.C. and the plan was for me to go home with her and then on to Woodstock, but it never happened. I think I was too tired and hungry for any new adventure, and a ride home with friends seemed perfect. Plus I barely knew her.

Atlantic City

12 thoughts on “What A Festival”

  1. What a lineup!! Kudo’s Dennis. Of course they’re all in Nursing Homes or pushing up daisies now…so you got in when the getting was good!

  2. Funny stuff, Habsdoc. Yep, they were young and fresh and wrinkle-free, and not trusting anyone over 30. Hah! It’s just weird that I’ve remained young for so long. Maybe it’s the Cheez Whiz.

  3. Seems just like yesterday Brother! I don’t remember the band you mentioned but on the first day there was a three man band called Aum & they in my mind were great.
    Cheers from the East!!!!

  4. I think it was quite a summer, Mike. Do you remember you and I going to Varsity Stadium to see Blind Faith and Delaney and Bonnie? I think it was that same year.

  5. B. B. Kind – I like it!

    What a lineup to end all lineups.

    I never heard of them before. Here they are…


  6. Mike McKim, I have a small Arthur Brown story. I was in a club called Klook’s Kleek in London, England a year before Atlantic City, and saw John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers play that night (with Mick Taylor as guitarist). At one point, Mayall welcomed Arthur Brown, who was in the audience, and everyone cheered.

  7. Dennis – John Mayall is still performing at age 78 as I saw him at my local performing centre in Oakville, Ontario last year. He made a joke ? on stage he has to keep touring thanks to a recent separation/divorce……

  8. Thanks Martin. I’ve also heard that Mayall collects vintage porn photos from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

  9. Wow….you still have the ticket?!!??!! Along with the photo of some of the Orillia people, I’m also going to send you a picture I took from the back of the main stage of BB King playing to 150,000 people…..knowing Grant Fullerton from Lighthouse got me backstage and who should I find there helping out hauling amps and equipment but Mike Williamson who had also got back there. The stage was brilliant….a rotating circle so that the next act could be set up ahead of time while the performing act was doing their thing facing the crowd…..then, when they were done, the stage would turn 180 degrees and the next act would be up and running, usually within about 10 to 15 minutes. On Sunday afternoon I was close to the stage in the audience with a lot of the Orillia crew when the stage revolved and Zappa and the Mothers were standing there staring back. Some guy with hair down to his waist in some strange duds 3 people away from me checked them out and remarked.”Man, what a bunch of freaks!”

  10. Great Brad. Your emails and comments are full of surprises. Mike tells me he also helped Jefferson Airplane set up. Yes, I kept the ticket stub and lineup. I’ve always been fairly good about keeping things like this, and I’m really happy I still have my Beatles stub.
    I never got backstage like that but I had a great time meeting people, especially a gal from DC. I also didn’t bring a sleeping bag and the nights were a bit cool but I made it through.
    Your emails are great, your memory is better than mine, and I hope you keep ’em coming. I remember when I skated with your sister at public skating for a couple of turns when I was about 12 and I was in seventh heaven for about a week.
    Can’t wait for these photos. Holy smokes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *