In 1973, in Watkins Glen NY, there was a rock festival which drew over 600,000 and was once in the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest audience at a rock concert. No, it wasn’t Woodstock! It was the Summer Jam at Watkins Glen. There were only three bands that played; The Grateful Dead, The Band and The Allman Brothers. Produced by the late great Bill Graham, there were 150,000 tickets sold at $10.00 each and the other 450,000 showed up for free!
On July 15th in Tampa at Skipper’s Smokehouse and July 29th at Kelly’s Live in Sarasota – Kettle of Fish, Berry Duane Oakley’s Jive Ass Review and Ship of Fools will come together to celebrate the 44th anniversary of Watkins Glen with these special summer jam shows. We asked Kettle of Fish lead singer, Dana Lawrence to give us the low down on these upcoming shows.
SP: How did this idea happen to do these shows?
Berry and I were talking about how we all play so much that we never get to see each other and he said we need to put together a local fest for us all to play. Then I thought back to how a friend and I talked about re-creating Watkins Glen about 5 years ago but it didn’t come to fruition.
SP: Did you immediately think of putting these 3 bands together for this?
Yes. We talked about this years ago, but since then Ship of Fools has blossomed as a terrific Grateful Dead tribute band, and my passion for the music of the Band has grown. That leaves the Allman Brothers to the man who knows them the best, it was a no-brainer.
SP: Do you plan to play the original setlists of each band that were played at the fest?
No. The biggest reason is we are each doing one hour. At the original show the bands all played for several hours each.
SP: Will the show be different in each venue?
Each band is doing a celebration of the original show so I’m sure there will be some surprises.
SP: Did you know it rained during The Band’s performance and they had to stop for a while, hopefully that won’t happen here! lol
July in Florida is too fickle. When we talked about doing this years ago, we wanted to do it outside and that became the deal breaker. Now we are playing 2 great venues that are inside. No rain, no overwhelming heat.
SP: Will there be any special guests? What can we expect to see at these shows?
Berry (Oakley) has promised some surprises that I haven’t spoken to him about yet.
SP: Will there be a tribute to Gregg for the Allman Brothers part of the show?
You’ll have to come and see.
SP: More great live music for our area! Support Live Music!
The listeners in this area are incredible and have a refined ear that make us musicians work harder and be more creative…and that’s great for musicians and listeners alike! Looking forward to a great vibe & a packed house!
photos by Vicky Sullivan/Rock the Lens Phtography, top photo-Watkins Glen Travel and Tourism, and free photo achives