Live at the Fillmore East

The crown jewel of 1960s rock palaces, the Fillmore East, hosted most of the great bands of the era.

Miles Davis was the opening act for some of Neil Young's Fillmore shows!

The Fillmore East didn't last all that long, from March 8, 1968 to June 27, 1971, but a ton of great music was played there. Pretty much every legendary 1960s band--except the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Cream, and Bob Dylan--graced the stage. Led Zeppelin; The Who; Pink Floyd; Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young; Elton John; Fleetwood Mac; Derek and the Dominos; Creedence Clearwater Revival; Santana; and the Doors rocked the 2,700 seat theater in the East Village, in NYC. Ticket prices, as I recall, were always affordable: $3, $4 and $5, and there were usually three acts on the bill!

King Crimson was the opening act for the Who when they played "Tommy" at the Fillmore. A few months later 'Crimson was opening for Fleetwood Mac, and Joe Cocker topped the bill. Miles Davis opened for Neil Young and Crazy Horse! How about the Grateful Dead, Love, and the Allman Brothers for $3?

I was lucky enough to see a bunch of bands there, and the place had a great vibe. The sound system was far and away the best of the time, and the psychedelic light show was awesome.

If you missed the Fillmore, no problem; a lot of great music was recorded there. Not just the Allman Brothers and Hendrix albums, everybody knows those two, here's a list of my favorite Fillmore albums:

Neil Young, "Live at the Fillmore East"

Taj Mahal, "The Real Thing"

Miles Davis "Live at the Fillmore East, March 7, 1970: It's About That Time"

"Ladies and Gentlemen...The Grateful Dead"

John Mayall, "Turning Point"

"Al Kooper & Mike Bloomfield - Fillmore East: The Lost Concert Tapes"

Joe Cocker, "Mad Dogs and Englishmen"

Jefferson Airplane, "Live at the Fillmore East 1969"

Laura Nyro "Spread Your Wings And Fly-Live At The Fillmore East May 30, 1970"

"Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention at the Fillmore East"

Were you there? Or were you a Fillmore West regular? Tell us about it!

About the author

Ex-movie theater projectionist Steve Guttenberg has also worked as a high-end audio salesman, and as a record producer. Steve currently reviews audio products for CNET and works as a freelance writer for Home Theater, Inner Fidelity, Tone Audio, and Stereophile.

 

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