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My favorite Red Rocks memory also involves The Police - the 80's band not law enforcement. The Police played 2 shows at Red Rocks during their reunion tour in 2008. The friend of a friend got me backstage during a soundcheck. I met Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers. That was a good day.

Shelby, that really does sound like a good day, even by the pretty high standards that Red Rocks sets up on any given day! Thanks for sharing that with us. 

I was at that Jethro Tull concert. My memory is that the police were dropping the tear gas at the back of the amphitheater and the wind blew it all the way down to the stage. The show stopped a couple of times, once when opening act Livingston Taylor (James' brother) was performing, causing him to leave the stage early; and once when Tull was playing. I was sitting about halfway up from the stage and had to use my jacket as a face mask to breathe through to keep from feeling the effects of the gas. Ian Anderson said in a Rolling Stone interview that summer that the police wanted to cancel the show but he pleaded with then to let Tull perform, otherwise there would be an even bigger riot. But despite it all I thought it was a great show. Another rock show riot before this was at Mile Stadium during the Denver Pop Festival in 1969. They had to evacuate Jimi Hendrix from the stage in a moving truck to avoid the melee on the infield.

On a more tranquil note, my high school graduation was held at Red Rocks. I was in the school band, so I like to tell people that I've performed at Red Rocks.

Jimi's show was hardly a melee he had to be "evacuated" from. I was at stage right a few feet from Jimi and Noel had quit playing, dropping his bass, he quit the band that night. Then Mitch stopped while Jimi kept playing. Three guys came out and took him offstage and I was standing by those steps at that time as they tossed Jimi into the back of the truck.
You can read the story in Univibes "Jimi Plays Denver" issue where I am interviewed about it. It was reprinted in Experience Hendrix magazine May/June 1999 also. It is also in the wayback machine website.

Hi Bob - Thanks for the firsthand account of that night - primary sources are golden in our business!. Also, had no idea that was Noel Redding's last show with Jimi.

Great article, thanks Brian!!

Thank you, Brooke!

Hi Jude - Thanks for the first hand account. The research I did definitely jibes with that account with DPD dropping gas from helicopters and the gas just making its way down the amphitheater. All the accounts I read praised Anderson, and the rest of the band, for not high tailing out of Denver and performing under pretty difficult circumstances.

Thanks again for sharing your first hand account (in this business we call that a primary source and it's really the gold standard of research!). 

No Red Rocks memories, similar to the Red Rocks and Mile High Stadium riots: 1. Chicago summer of '70, riot at a free Sly Stone concert at Grant Park . Rock concerts banned from Grant Park within a week.
2. Ravinia, north suburban Chi. area summer of '70, unrest as many sneak into a Janis Joplin concert. Ravinia doesn't ban rock.
3. Albuquerque '77-78, vandalism at a Jimmy Buffet concert. Rock banned from this city owned venue.
What other cities had similar disturbances and how did city government react ?

Those were turbulent times to be certain! Thanks for sharing your memories with us!


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