From the archives: A 1972 benefit concert rocked the San Diego stadium

From the archives: A 1972 benefit concert rocked the San Diego stadium
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Fifty years ago, the first KGB Charity Ball drew nearly 52,000 people to what was then known as San Diego Stadium for a concert featuring Quicksilver Messenger Service, the J. Geils Band and Foghat , among others.

It was the first stadium concert to allow fans onto the pitch. Tickets cost a modest $1.01 – to match the KGB radio frequency – and proceeds went to United Crusade (now United Way).

Extract from the Evening Tribune, Monday, November 13, 1972:

Fans rock the stadium for a charity concert

By Joe Cromwell

Who ever thought the likes of J. Geils, Jesse Colin Young and Dr. Hook would top The Beatles or Jimi Hendrix in an outdoor show?

It seems unlikely, but given the right time, price and place, anything is possible.

Radio station KGB’s first annual charity ball is now in the record books as the most popular rock concert in local history. The afternoon event drew 51,778 fans who migrated to the stadium in San Diego yesterday, costing the bare minimum to get in.

What made it even sweeter was knowing the net proceeds were going to charity – in this case, the 1972 United Crusade.

Although the price was cheap, the entertainment was not.

Well, almost.

“Fans rock stadium for charity concert”, Evening Tribune music review, Monday, November 13, 1972.

(Evening Tribune)

The J. Geils Band capped off the concert with some of the best boogies heard here in recent times. Guitarist Geils contributed loud, throaty instrumentals that had fans dancing and cheering throughout the Mission Valley resort.

Singer Peter Wolf was the drawing card, however, as he pranced, danced and jumped, looking like a combination of Rod Stewart, Ian Anderson and Mick Jagger.

Parodies of John Lee Hooker and music by Muddy Waters put the icing on the cake. The stadium bulletin board read, “The J. Geils Band — Oh Yeh.” Fans underlined the last two words.

In contrast, the performance of Quicksilver Messenger Service. With the exception of “Fresh Air” and “Whatcha Gonna Do About Me”, the band’s set mostly suffered from disorganization.

It didn’t seem like any of the band members knew what to do next, and besides, it didn’t seem like they cared. Without the Geils group, the evening could have ended on a bitter note. Literally.

Jesse Colin Young, formerly with the Youngbloods, brought his new band to town yesterday, showing local music fans where the Youngbloods talent lies.

Young, sitting on a stool and playing acoustic guitar most of the time, played many compositions not associated with him or the Youngbloods. The Beatles’ “I’ve Just Seen A Face,” Marvin Gaye’s “I Heard It Through The Grapevine,” and John Lennon’s “Imagine” all got the Young treatment.

Foghat, its members formerly with Savoy Brown, also debuted in San Diego. Their highlights included their current hit, “I Just Want To Make Love To You” and an encore rendition of Chuck Berry’s “Maybelline”.

The two remaining bands on the bill, Dr Hook and the Medicine Sow and Boone’s Farm, took time off but did little to impress listeners.

Dr. Hook’s big hit a few months ago, “Sylvia’s Mother,” got a faded treatment. This turned out to be the highlight of their wasted set.

California Daily Newspapers

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