Who else rocked Folsom?
November 19, 2005 3:39 PM   Subscribe

Just saw Walk the Line, which opens with Johnny Cash's performance at Folsom Prison, and I was wondering: what other bands (of any genre) have also played prisons and for what reason? I guess mental institutions count, but only if they're for the criminally insane ;-)
posted by ibeji to Media & Arts (22 answers total)
Don't know if it's in the movie but Johnny also played San Quentin.
posted by captainscared at 3:51 PM on November 19, 2005

Metallica shot one of their videos at San Quentin.
posted by Uncle Glendinning at 3:58 PM on November 19, 2005

The Cramps performed at Napa State Mental Institution in 1978.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:01 PM on November 19, 2005

One of my faves, the Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra, played Rikers in NYC a while back.

Antibalas, in the vein of their inspiration, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, are quite political; I expect that's why they played Rikers but I cannot imagine why any prison warden in their right minds would allow them into the gaol.

BB King Live at the Cook County Jail is a classic.

You might also want to check out Bread & Roses. Founded by Mimi Farina, it puts on shows for people incarcerated in the San Francisco Bay area.
posted by docgonzo at 4:05 PM on November 19, 2005

The Sex Pistols released an album recorded live at Chelmsford Prison.
posted by mboedick at 4:13 PM on November 19, 2005

BB King also played San Quentin.
posted by gleuschk at 4:32 PM on November 19, 2005

Cable (the UK guitar band, not the US heavy metal Cable) did a gig at Brixton prison and released parts of that as an EP entitled, inexplicably, Live At Brixton Prison EP. It contains a cover version of San Quentin.
posted by nylon at 4:36 PM on November 19, 2005

The band Rudimentary Peni recorded their 'Pope Adrian the 37th Psychiatric' album while the lead singer was in a mental institution in England. Closest I can think of.
posted by frankie_stubbs at 4:40 PM on November 19, 2005

Steve Earle played a concert at the Cold Creek Correctional Facility in Tennessee in 1996. It was part of his probation after his own drug-related prison sentence, and (I believe) it aired on MTV.
posted by boomchicka at 5:02 PM on November 19, 2005

I believe Merle Haggard played San Quentin. Richard Pryor did a gig in a prison as well.
posted by yerfatma at 7:03 PM on November 19, 2005

Bob Dylan played for Rubin "Hurricane" Carter at Clinton State Prison in NJ.

[off topic] Does anyone know where I can find the duet from "Walk The Line" that went something like "I've got arms... (Johnny) and I've got arms...(June) I've got lips...(Johnny) and I've got lips...(June)." I think it was called "Wastin' Time," but I can't find it on IMDB, Google or iTunes. I think it was the only song in the movie that I had not heard before.
posted by Frank Grimes at 8:17 PM on November 19, 2005

posted by captainscared at 8:19 PM on November 19, 2005

I believe Rage Against the Machine has played in a prison
posted by kashmir772 at 9:39 PM on November 19, 2005

Do fictional concerts count? The Blue Brothers played a prison (that they were in) at the very end of the movie...
posted by web-goddess at 10:34 PM on November 19, 2005

Hawkwind played Wandsworth Prison in 1973 (and all the prisoners totally tripped out I bet).

And, Jesus, so many great musicians have played Folsom Prison. Those prisoners that are doing life bids there are so lucky.
posted by Falconetti at 10:54 PM on November 19, 2005

I know Santana has played in a prison, I'm just not sure which one.
posted by PenDevil at 2:10 AM on November 20, 2005

Frank Grimes, there's a video of Time's A Wastin' at iFilm.com...

I found Carl Smith's recording here, but it's looking like Johnny & June may have only done the song live, if at all: it makes a good story, but the movie takes liberties. Anyone know for sure?
posted by ibeji at 6:28 AM on November 20, 2005

John Lee Hooker rocked Soledad.

The Sex Pistols rocked Chelmsford Prison.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 7:12 AM on November 20, 2005

Chris Smither talks about playing prisons from time to time during his live shows. Apparently it's a fairly frequent happening, but the entertainment is usually of the proselytizing variety.
posted by The White Hat at 9:01 AM on November 20, 2005

Glen Campbell. He was an inmate at the time.
posted by wryly at 10:53 AM on November 20, 2005

There’s a clip of a news report about Public Enemy at Rikers Island at the beginning of “Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos,” but I’m not sure if they performed or just met with prisoners or something.
posted by hilker at 1:20 PM on November 20, 2005

That Cramps gig StickyCarpet mentioned is legendary, and the bootleg video is batshitinsane and highly worth watching.

A couple of years ago, a couple of "artists" staged a re-enactment of the show. You know, like people who dress up like Civil War soldiers? I think the idea was that, instead of glorifying a war with a re-enactment, they should glorify something life-affirming...you know, like a Cramps gig at a mental hospital!

I don't mean to sound so dismissive, because actually I think this is a pretty cool idea. I mean, beats dressing up like your Confederate granpappy...

Here's the website for the project.

(Dear artists: while you're at it, will you please re-enact this gig? I didn't have a chance to make it, having been nine months old.)
posted by Ian A.T. at 4:14 PM on November 20, 2005

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