Thirty Days in the Hole
November 6, 2014 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Help! I am trying to find the line up from a day at Summerfest a long, long time ago.

Set the wayback machine to the July 21, 1973.
The place: the lakeshore Summerfest grounds.
The weather: crazy hot.
The drug situation: Not good, heavily influenced by some sort of easily available “acid” that from the outside (thank god) appeared to be more of a PCP, amphetamine mix.
The result: trashing and looting of beer tents; massive bonfires fueled by said tents; huge mud puddles of broken open beer barrels; and the ultimate result of the calling in of the National Guard; teargas, billy clubs and over 300 arrests; a massive revamp of the Summerfest lineup in later years; and sweet, sweet (yet vague) memories for a large number of youths.

My question is: who all played that day? It was a single stage and I remember Humble Pie, and I know there was music from noon until well after dark, but I cannot remember any of the other acts. I know it’s a long shot, but this is one of the best hive minds I’ve ever seen.
posted by rtimmel to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Wikipedia says the Steve Miller Band was the opening act.
posted by carmicha at 2:02 PM on November 6, 2014

Google has the Milwaukee Journal archived. There seems to be a complete set of issues from 1973.

One quick hop found me: "In 1973 festival officials, worried that Summerfest was becoming a miniature Woodstock because of it's heavy emphasis on rock, decided to broaden the appeal of its entertainment lineup by including Sammy Davis Jr., Buck Owens and Van would up with a black eye that year when more than 300 people were arrested in a disturbance that broke out as rock fans waited for the group Humble Pie to appear".

At least your memory was correct there. =)
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:06 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Okay now I'm interested. This article supposedly pins the date of the concert at July 12th, 1973.

So I'm looking at the Milwaukee Journal from 7/11 (trying to find an schedule for the next day) and I get this, which shows the Humble Pie show as happening on the 22nd.

And, man, you kids had a great time....
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:17 PM on November 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's the MJS news article about all of the mayhem. The continuation page mentions other festival acts.
posted by carmicha at 2:21 PM on November 6, 2014

Best answer: Found it!

(Page isn't rotating for me so the link is a bit off, but scroll around).

Saturday July 21st
Rock Stage

1:00 Down Deep
3:15 Circus
5:25 Clicker
7:35 Soup

Main Stage

8:00 Humble Pie and the Blackberries, Jo Jo Gunne.

So now there's three printed dates for this show? Was everyone in Milwaukee County on acid that summer?

(Whoops, the previous MSJ link DID have Humble Pie on the 21st. That was the date and your memory was correct. Apparently I'm on drugs as well).
posted by JoeZydeco at 2:33 PM on November 6, 2014

Response by poster: I had no idea that Google has old newspapers. My afternoon is now shot.
posted by rtimmel at 11:42 AM on November 7, 2014

No kidding. I got rabbit-holed twice.

First, looking at old ads in 1970s-era Milwaukee. Then I started listening to Wisconsin-psych-blues-rock, namely Soup.

Heavy stuff, man.

It was also interesting to read that Summerfest wasn't prohibiting people from bringing their own liquor into the show, which certainly meant other contraband like weapons got in and, as OP mentioned, a particularly bad batch of angel-dust-laden drugs that made everyone freak out completely. It was bound to happen.

Oh yeah, and they blamed it all on "Chicago visitors", which explained why Summerfest was such a hidden secret to us Illinoisians back in the 1970s. All the out-of-state advertising got pulled back and we would up with Jane Byrne's ChicagoFest (which morphed into Taste of Chicago). Which all sucked and continued to suck. Milwaukee's dedicated festival grounds shames us every year as we eat overpriced corn cobs next to portajohns in the middle of the street.
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:00 PM on November 7, 2014

Oh, *plus* this was the weekend Nixon refused to hand over the Watergate tapes. History!
posted by JoeZydeco at 12:14 PM on November 7, 2014

« Older Music licensing when I have the only copy but...   |   A leave of absence from a secondment? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.