Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Jefferson Airplane, Yes — Gaelic Park in 1971

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    • #2057

      I came across an eBay item that surprised me–a recording of The Grateful Dead from their live performance at Gaelic Park.  For a minute, I thought it might be a different Gaelic Park. But no, it was Riverdale’s Gaelic Park and the Grateful Dead was just one of a bunch of top bands that played in our neighborhood 50 years ago this summer:

      The Manhattan College newspaper ran a couple of stories about the concert series.  Here is part 1 and here is part 2.

      An excerpt:

      Daly described what the general atmosphere was like at a given show.

      “Once inside you were on your own to find a seat. We always got somewhere in the front … towards the front of the middle of the pitch,” said Daly. “You had the field covered in people … On the left if you looked up people were just sitting on top of the fences … there wasn’t a free spot to be seen.”

      She recalled marijuana and bottles of cheap wine being passed around the crowds at many of the shows.

      “The scent of weed, as illegal as it was, permeated the air. There were no police on duty as far as I could tell or even thought to look for.”

      Fifteen thousand concert-goers filed into Gaelic Park on Aug. 26, 1971 to see the re-scheduled Grateful Dead play. Carman Moore’s review of the show, featured in the Sept. 2 edition of the Village Voice, captured much of the feeling at the park that day.

      “Last Thursday it happened in the drab little Riverdale soccer field Howard Stein has managed to turn into a summer rock mini-festival. It reminded me of a high school stadium I used to know – low stands, unfulfilled infield grass, mud holes here and there, beer sold at one end in some quantity. The formal shape of the concert was a general crescendo, light at the beginning and heavy-groovy at the end – not a shooting-star, call-the-law finale, just a heightened physical-emotional climate… the goods delivered as promised… sort of like good preaching in a church known to be a happy place.”

      The Dead played for hours, performing roughly 30 songs by the time the local curfew ended things just before midnight.

    • #2058

      This is so cool!  Thank you for sharing this with us.

    • #2059
      Thomas Casey

      Aug 02, 1972      Argent / Flash / Blue Oyster Cult

      Jul 13, 1972       The Allman Brothers Band / Captain Beyond

      Aug 06, 1971    Ten Years After / edgar winters white trash / Looking Glass

      I only recall Jefferson Airplane & Hot Tuna

    • #2060
      Peter Ostrander

      Went to a Young Rascals concert likely 1971.  Concert starter off on a sour note.  The bands agent comes out and stated that if anyone comes up to the stage or tries to come onto the stage the band was going to leave.   The noise of the boo’s was louder than any music heard that night.  The Rascals were a big name  band but they weren’t the Stones or Beatles for them to make such an announcement.

    • #2061

      And don’t ya’ just love the ticket prices:  $5 in 1971. I heard Dennis Elsas today on WFUV mentioning a concert at Forest Hills Stadium circa 1970’s, featuring Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bo Diddley, and Tower of Power, all for $5!  Those were the days for young music fans. Today, you have to be a doctor or lawyer to afford concert tickets.


    • #2062

      Great memory. I was at the Black Sabbath concert described in the poster – one if the few that I attended inside. I sat outside on the Waldo Ave wall for most others. At that time and age, I couldn’t afford more than one paid entry once in a while. Exciting times in Riverdale for sure!

    • #2063

      Found the recording online and it’s good quality so far!  Amazing to think that they played at Gaelic Park and not in Van Cortlandt

      Thanks to the non-profit Internet Archive

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