Jun 10, 2013

August 20, 1969: Aqua Theater, Seattle


Those who paid $3.50 to see the Grateful Dead rock group at the Green Lake Aqua Theater last night got as much satisfaction for their money as the old-timers who bought snake oil to cure cancer.
It's not that the Dead didn't play well, it's just that they didn't play. Nor did the other two groups booked, Sanpaku and The New Riders of the Purple Sage.
Two hours after the 6 p.m. opening time, a youth told the weary, drizzle-soaked crowd the gig was off. He gave no explanation. Today Craig Porter of Jasmine Productions in Portland said the show was canceled because of rain.
Porter said on the phone, "Like, it didn't come off last night, and like, it will tonight. You don't need any explanation."
He said something about the musicians' equipment missing two flights out of San Francisco. That may be. But planning is all it takes. Somebody just didn't care.
From 6 to 7 p.m. last night, musicians assembled their amplification equipment on stage, sawed wood to place under the many huge speakers, fooled with the p.a. system, and tore down a sagging, ripped sheet that apparently had been intended as a backdrop.
The near-capacity crowd milled about, trying to amuse itself. Someone was blowing bubbles. Another played a harmonica. At 7 p.m. someone yelled, "Are ya gonna play, or not?" The cry was taken up by the audience. Some cherry bombs exploded in the water.
Finally some rain fell - a few drops proved the highlight of the evening. Then the rain increased toward 8 p.m.
At last people were told to come back the next night (tonight). They could get rain checks at the gate or have their $3.50 refunded. So after they had waited two hours for the show, they had to wait in line up to another half hour to get out.
The concert tonight is set for seven. If there is a concert.

(by Carole Beers, from the Seattle Times, August 21 1969)

Thanks to jgmf.blogspot.com

After the canceled show on August 20, the Dead went to play at the El Roach biker bar:

The Dead did play on August 21:

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