Over 21,000 people turned out to hear Joe Tex, King Curtis, Sonny and Cher, Sam and Dave, the Rascals, and Aretha Franklin in a benefit concert for the Martin Luther King Memorial Fund, sponsored by Atlantic Records, June 23 at New York’s New Madison Square Garden.
Doors Concert Starts Riot in Long Island, Rolling Stone (1968)
Three persons were injured and two arrested at a Doors concert on August 3, following a melee that broke out towards the end of their performance in Long Island’s Flushing Meadow-Corona Park. Some 200 persons in the audience which filled Singer Bowl to capacity began breaking up the wooden chairs in the orchestra section as the group was completing its last two songs.
A number of them then rushed to the stage forcing the Doors to flee, leaving their equipment behind. A witness said some persons, armed with pieces of chair, began beating the equipment on the stage before private guards could stop them. Police then moved in and more scuffling broke out when some teenagers being herded outside tried to get back in.
Three teenagers, two girls and a boy, were taken to a hospital to be treated for head wounds and bruises. One of them was under arrest for purportedly punching and kicking a patrolman, and at least one other man was under arrest.
"I can work with pretty near any blues singer there is, I don’t care what kind. As long as they play the blues, and, uh, rock and roll, I can work with them."
Not many blues players could make that kind of claim, but Otis Spann, whose piano playing was the driving force in the Muddy Waters band for nearly 20 years, could speak with authority. More than almost any other blues instrumentalist, he brought a unique combination of forcefulness and sensitivity to his playing, and whether he was accompanying Chuck Berry or Little Walter or Sonny Boy Williamson or Buddy Guy he always indicated his sympathy for their style by some subtle variation in his approach. He left his mark on every record on which he played, and when he died this month at the age of 40 there was no one to take his place.
Some friends of Otis Spann’s were recently asked, separately, to talk about him. They included Muddy Waters, bassist Willie Dixon, drummer Sam Lay and guitarist Mike Bloomfield.