Fantastic Bills...

Fantastic Bills...
Authored By John Nicholson
When I look at the Day on the Green shows at Oakland Coliseum in the 1970s and 80s, they were some of the best line-ups of bands. I wonder what happened to the idea that the promoter loaded the bill with popular bands. They didn’t try and short-change the fans. In 1975 you could see Robin Trower, Peter Frampton, Dave Mason, Fleetwood Mac, Gary Wright all on the same bill. How fantastic. The photo on the back of Trowers live album was taken there.

These days, it would be one or two of those #1-selling artists. In 1976 Boz Scaggs, Tower Of Power, Santana, Jeff Beck, Journey, Nils Lofgren was a superb line-up. The ambition was to give the audience a strong show and the artists were presumably not bothered by being on a bill alongside top bands, quite the reverse. It was great exposure to play to 80,000 people.

1977 across Memorial Day weekend saw The Eagles at the peak of their powers, likewise Heart, Joe Walsh, Steve Miller Band, Atlanta Rhythm Section and Foreigner. Incredible. Not a bad band. And all for $5-$7. The difference of culture is profound and the whole show was played out in burning sunshine.

Call me an old romantic but fans seemed to matter more intrinsically. There wasn’t a thought of exploiting the punter for as much as possible. Bands played longer tours and were confident live performers, supported by large amounts of cocaine in many instances. I was 5,000 miles away and didn’t have a chance to see any of the many great shows. How different it was over here in the rain, though Genesis at Knebworth was a fine collection of bands.

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