Thursday, July 7, 2016


One of the things I regret most about having to cancel this summer's trip to New York and New England is that Marti and I will be missing the opening night of the Boston Symphony Orchestra's season at Tanglewood. We have great recollections of that venue in the Massachusetts Berkshires -- in 1977 it was site of our first date. Even before that, my buds and I would go there for classical and rock concerts, most memorably, Bill Graham's two seasons of The Fillmore At Tanglewood: 1969 and 1970.

Designed in 1937 by Eliel Saarinen, the fan-shaped Shed and surrounding lawns were the first configuration of their kind in The United States. There had always been small bandstands in public parks, but nothing on this level -- over 5,000 seats in the Shed alone. This afforded the BSO a permanent open-air structure in which to perform every summer. Tanglewood took its name from Nathaniel Hawthorne's "Tanglewood Tales," written in 1853 while he lived in a cottage on the estate. The property was donated by Mrs. Gorham Brooks and Miss Mary Aspinwall Tappan to the Berkshire Music Festival/ Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1937.

Bill Graham was the Master of the Triple Bill. This is one among many I caught in the summers of 1969 and 1970. I was into all three of these bands. It's a beautiful Day featured David LaFlamme playing a five-string violin. He had been a soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra.

The inimitable Ian Anderson. We'd walk up to the edge of the shed to check out what the crazy man was doing.

The Who performed highlights from "Tommy" sandwiched between new and older songs. My favorite band in that era.

What a concert. Forty-six years ago tonight! I can still smell the weed smoke wafting above us and this seminal rock music ringing in our ears.

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