45 years ago today...
- From: Walter Karmazyn <walterkarmazyn@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Fri, 01 Jun 2012 18:20:16 -0700
6-1-67 Tompkins Sq Park in the East Village. My first live experience with Grateful Dead. I've posted about it before, just a mention here. God Willing and the creek don't rise, I'll mention it again in 5 years.
Here's from somebody on dead.net who did a bit of research on the gig:
Found some interesting info and context about this show in the Voice that came out the following week. Two days before (Memorial Day), there was a disturbance in Tompkins Square after the park foreman, having received numerous complaints from elderly Ukrainians in the neighborhood about 20 or so hippies sitting on the grass and playing musical instruments in violation of park regulations, lodged a formal complaint with the police. When a couple of cops arrived and ordered the "kids" to leave, the hippies laughed and kept playing. The cops called for reinforcements; so did the hippies, to the tune of about 200, all singing with locked arms. The cops moved in with nightsticks and carted a fair number off to the Ninth Precinct.
It turned out that the Ninth Precinct commander, who had spent the previous year attempting to build goodwill with the hippie community, had been off on Memorial Day. He spent much of the following day meeting with the community in an effort to repair this goodwill and, as a result, the patch of grass in question was designated a troubadour area.
That night (Wednesday), The Group Image played the bandshell in the park. No cops were around. A group of Puerto Rican youths, upset by the hippies' now apparently permanent presence in the park, began throwing rocks and beer cans at the group. The Group Image was forced to stop playing and beat a hasty retreat. At the same time, a meeting was being held at the Forum restaurant on Avenue A to announce the formation of the East Village Defense Committee. The Ninth Precinct commander was present and much anger and many questions were directed at him, based generally upon the improper police action of the previous day.
The Voice article continues:
"June began on Thursday, and the Grateful Dead were in town and, despite some rumble rumors from the Puerto Ricans, the prospects for peace looked promising. A happy, scruffy parade of 80 marched down St. Mark's Place, complete with police escort, to present the Dead with a white carnation key to the East Village, graciously accepted by Pigpen. And the Tompkins Square bandshell rocked with San Francisco glory until a noise complaint was lodged in the late afternoon. Rather than tune down, the Dead turned off."
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