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Thread: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

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    1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    Friday, June 20th, 1969

    1. Stone Free/Are You Experienced/Stone Free
    2. Sunshine Of Your Love
    3. Fire
    4. Hear My Train A Comin'
    5. Red House
    6. Foxy Lady
    7. Like A Rolling Stone
    8. Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
    9. Purple Haze

    Soundboard Recording

    Vibratory 2 source Merge

    8mm Resynced

    Pro-shot film in circulation
    Last edited by Gypsy Eyes; 03-04-11 at 01:50 PM.

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    Last edited by billo528; 03-31-16 at 07:50 AM.

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    I was at this show, with my Dad and my twin brother. We sat on the light tower for most of the afternoon and through the evening. Dad had press/backstage passes (he ran a newspaper), so the light guys let us sit with them. There was a guy in front of us - on the lower part of the platform - with a huge studio-type film or video camera, sort of like what you'd see at a baseball game these days. I remember that the guy was filming all afternoon, and into Hendrix's set. I've never seen any of the film/tape, other than the partial copy of Fire. Do you know if it exists?

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs


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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    Friday 20 June 1969
    Northridge, Devonshire Downs, Devonshire St. & Zelzah Ave., San Fernando Valley, California, USA. JHE
    Concert - ‘Newport 69’ festival - at 22:30. The JHE were scheduled to go on at 20:00
    Support: Muscle, Southwind, Ike & Tina Turner, Don Ellis, Taj Mahal, Joe Cocker, The Edwin Hawkins Singers, Spirit.
    Promoter: Mark Productions
    Poster/program: Psyche text & Jimi portrait by unknown
    Audience: 50,000


    Stone Free (19)>
    The Star Spangled Banner (44)> (John Stafford Smith [music])
    <Are You Experienced (16)>
    Stone Free (19)
    Sunshine Of Your Love (32) (Jack Bruce, Pete Brown & Eric Clapton)
    Fire (63)
    Getting My Heart Back Together Again (29)
    Red House (58)
    Foxy Lady (71)
    Like A Rolling Stone (12) (Bob Dylan)
    Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (60)
    Purple Haze (80)

    Noel: “We were delivered to the area by helicopter…
    ….First thing I did was head to the caravan, it was packed out with about 8 Black heavy types all surrounding Jimi. He was petrified and he looked so relieved to see me come in. So I took charge and told them all to get out of our dressing room. And when we did go on Jimi just couldn’t get it together. He played with his back to the audience for 20 minutes then walked off. Maybe it was his way of saying to Jeffery, the heavies and perhaps even the fans, ‘Look! I’m terrible. You don’t want me, leave me alone.’”

    The Los Angeles Image (27 June - 10 July) ‘Hendrix Rules The Universe’ - review by Gene Rogalski and R.E. Maxson: “Hendrix concluded Friday’s concerts with a very unenthusiastic performance. Right from the start he seemed to be on a bummer (the audience wasn’t; they stood up and cheered when he came on stage) and digressed from there. He cursed the audience, calling them animals and teeny boppers (woe!) and got super uptight when people requested songs. He lost his cool…but was, in a sense, justified. When somebody pays to see a performance. they should be courteous enough to at least listen to it.
    On the other hand, no performer should ever let his shorts down. He’s there to ‘spread joy.’ so to speak. and he should do it - even if he is bummed out. People started leaving during Hendrix’s put-down, but those who think of him as some sort of godhead stayed to witness their savior crucify the audience. It’s a good thing he came back Sunday to shine.”

    Mitch: “What a tricky gig…we were being paid giant wads of cash. One gig. 45 minutes and the guarantee was well over a hundred grand... I don’t know, but I think someone spiked Jimi or maybe he’d taken something of his own and then someone had spiked him on top of that. It was a disaster…it was one of the worst gigs we ever played... Newport…was probably the first of what was to become the norm for festivals, in that the whole thing was more like an army manoeuvre - the spirit had gone out of those kind of events.”

    Paul Takakjian (fan, photographer): “The conditions were really bad ‘cause the people were rioting: they were breaking the fences down. By the time Jimi came on it was quite late, [the weather] was very cold, and he was obviously not totally there mentally. He was really, really pissed off at people because my impression of him was he was very stoned and he was also very angry because the audience was really unruly. I think it was just one of those things where nothing was clicking. He played as I recall a very short set and left the stage with a lot of people scratching there heads like, ‘This is the great Jimi Hendrix’?”

    Ken Wray (fan): “My dad took my twin brother and me to the June 20, 1969 show... It was my first live show of any kind. My dad ran a local newspaper, and managed to use that connection to not only get us in to the festival, but also to obtain backstage passes. We wandered around backstage a bit, then went out into the crowd to see the bands.
    We ended up sitting on the light tower directly in front of the stage; dad used the backstage passes to convince the light crew to let us sit up there. We must have looked pretty weird, dad had picked us up straight from work, so he was wearing a suit and tie. My brother and I were 13, dressed essentially in our Sunday best, including the wing tips. We couldn’t stop staring at all the freaks, who couldn’t stop staring at us. We were all blown away by Hendrix (including my dad, who kept babbling on about how Hendrix was some kind of musical genius, throwing in Mozart comparisons)....
    Standing in front of us on the light tower was a guy [Peter Clifton] with a huge studio-style video camera. I remember him having problems trying to follow Randy California/Spirit, who went on right before Hendrix. He was asking the follow spot guys what Hendrixs stage moves would be like, would it be as difficult as California (who went running all over the place) and them replying that Hendrix pretty much stood in one place. I remember peeking over his shoulder to see the close-ups through his view finder during Hendrix’s set…”
    Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write interviewing people who can't talk for people who can't read."

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    Newport ’69, With Jimi, CCR, Cocker & Co

    1969's second edition of the Newport Pop Festival was opened 47 years ago, on 20 June, with a Friday night headliner by the Jimi Hendrix Experience that took place just nine days before their final performance.

    The three-day event hosted appearances by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joe Cocker, the Byrds, Eric Burdon, Jethro Tull, the Chambers Brothers, the Rascals et al. With audiences said at the time to total between 150,000 and 200,000 across the weekend, the festival also featured the blues of Albert Collins, Albert King, Taj Mahal and Johnny Winter, the psychedelic rock of Love and Spirit, the soul of Marvin Gaye, Ike & Tina Turner and Booker T and the MGs, the traditional rock of Steppenwolf and Three Dog Night, the pop of Brenton Wood and the Friends of Distinction, the gospel of the Edwin Hawkins Singers and much more.

    Newport 1969 2The festival took place, as this splendid period poster shows, in Devonshire Downs, which was located in Northridge, in the north San Fernando Valley, California. The sheer scale of the event grabbed headlines in the US and beyond, but within a few weeks it would be dwarfed by Woodstock.

    Newport '69 was deemed a success, but it was far from a happy experience for all concerned. It was policed, with no great subtlety, by the Hell's Angels, and inadequate food, drink and restroom facilities and poor sound. Indeed, the City Fathers of Northridge banned any future festivals from the area.

    “Once again violence has severely mauled the face of rock,” reported Rolling Stone, “with several hundred persons injured in rioting outside Newport '69, [in] what probably was, in attendance, the world's largest pop festival.”

    Newport 1969 3Hendrix's performance on that opening night was widely seen as a low point. “I think someone spiked Jimi,” said Experience drummer Mitch Mitchell in Johnny Black's Eyewitness Hendrix book. “Or maybe he'd taken something of his own and then someone had spiked him on top of that. It was a disaster. I kept thinking, 'This is weird, all this money...' One of the worst gigs we ever played.”

    Happily, that prompted the band's return for the festival's Sunday night closer, in a two-hour show featuring Burdon, Buddy Miles and others that, conversely, passed into folklore as one of the group's landmarks. Los Angeles Times critic Pete Johnson was moved to write that the audience “may have heard the best performance of their lives.”

    Creedence Clearwater Revival (misspelled “Creedance” on the poster) came to Newport having headlined their own Hollywood Bowl show a week earlier, on a bill that also featured the Grass Roots and Lee Michaels, both of whom also played at Newport. As Creeence did so, 'Bad Moon Rising' was moving towards its No. 2 peak on the Hot 100.

    Like Hendrix, Cocker and others, CCR were bound for Max Yasgur's farm: in April, they had become the first band to sign up for Woodstock. Once that took place, Newport '69 was in the shade.

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    Cover piece on the festival and the promoter, Mark Robinson, by Kirk Silsbee in Ventura Boulevard magazine, published in 2013.
    FYI - $100,000 USD in 1969 is equivalent in purchasing power to nearly $700,000 in 2019

    Some excerpts:

    A 24-year-old Stanford graduate named Mark Robinson spearheaded Newport ‘69. “I was a nobody basically. I just loved music,” says Mark.... For Newport ’69, Mark booked 32 groups. “It was pretty simple. I made calls and got groups. I was a novice.”

    Before long, the young producer had so many commitments, he had to turn some down, including a legendary band. “Grateful Dead wanted to get in, but I didn’t have room. They called several times. I felt bad. I just couldn’t squeeze them in. They made it big after that.”
    Mark’s headliner was Jimi Hendrix—at the height of his career, and he agreed to pay him a whopping $100,000 (an unheard-of amount of money at the time.) He cut deals for between $2,000 to $25,000 for the rest.
    Bands were paid from the ticket sales, while Mark funded upfront expenses with $35,000 of his own money and contributions from friends and family.

    Despite Hendrix’s stellar performance, the killer line-up and the historic crowds, Newport ’69 is rarely mentioned in music history. Mark believes it’s simply a matter of being overshadowed by a better, bigger story.
    “Woodstock was a free music festival where people camped out on a New York farm for days. It rained, and people stayed, and that aspect of it became a national news story,” he says....
    "I was working throughout the festival. My 14-year-old brother probably saw more than I did!” He adds, “I may have a few old photos in some boxes, but I’d have to look for them.”
    The month after Newport ‘69, Mark enrolled in Loyola Law School. Although he lost money on the endeavor, he insists he has no regrets.

    Jimi Hendrix, as it turns out, also got lost in the mix, despite turning in what is considered by some music historians to be one of his best sets ever. He first hit the stage on Friday night. Just returning from Toronto for a pre-trial hearing for drug charges—which would inspire him to write the sardonic “Room Full of Mirrors”—he was in a foul mood. It was a short, listless set.
    “Thirty-three minutes for $100,000,” Barry muses darkly.
    Mark took action. “I called his manager and asked if he’d come back. Hendrix was a class act. His manager agreed to do it.”
    At Sunday’s comeback, the artist more than vindicated himself via a two-hour, improvised jam—especially on a scorching version of “Red House,” his psychedelic blues. “From what I understand, some of his band members later said it was their best performance ever,” he shares.

    Ike and Tina Turner opened the show Friday night, and by the time Jimi Hendrix jammed with Buddy Miles on Sunday afternoon in a session still bootlegged around the Internet, neighbors were calling the hippie invasion of the San Fernando Valley a "holocaust," cops and overdosed teens were in hospitals, and officials were looking to blame somebody.

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    To me 6/20/69 is very under rated. Cool setlist and well played if a bit short. Yes he had some issues with the crowd. Glad he came back on Sun 6/22 because those were some really cool jams with musicians other than the Experience.

    Similar to the saying the worst day on the golf course is better than the best day in the office. I think the worst Jimi shows are still better than a lot of other bands best shows. 6/20 is by no means the worst but is often overlooked and his comments to the crowd are mostly not cool this show is still worth checking out. As is 2/18/69 (the other show often maligned and oberlooked because of 2/24 and chas’s comments)

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    Re: 1969-06-20 'Newport '69', San Fernando Valley State College, Devonshire Downs

    I stumbled across this film from the festival, no Jimi, but same time-stamp as the 16mm Jimi footage. As it includes night time stuff, it really begs the question - was Jimi's set with the Experience filmed on the 20th? One would think so.

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