Summer Jam – Classic Rock Throwback Thursday
July 29th, 1973. I was 17, had just graduated high school and was preparing to enter college life. The home I grew up in, was situated just less than 10 miles from the Watkins Glen race track.
The biggest gathering of people at a rock concert in the world was happening almost at my doorstep, and I wasn't there. It was dubbed Summer Jam, and the final count of attendees was around 600,000. That's a lot of people. Much more than the promoters had planned on. They sold 150,000 tickets, and the rest got in for free.
Roads leading up to the race track were jammed. People abandoned their vehicles and walked in. It was crazy chaos.On stage, that 600,000 strong rock-n-rolled with The Band, The Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead.
I regret not going to the concert, but maybe it was for the better. My Dad was on sheriff's patrol at Summer Jam, and he said you could barely move around. It was difficult should an arrest have to be made, or someone was injured and had to be taken to the hospital. Unless there was a really serious offense, there wasn't much he could do.
A couple of days later, after everyone had gone, my Dad and I went back to the track. It was a sea of garbage. Hard to describe unless you were there. Not many talk about the event that for a long time, stood as the largest gathering of a rock concert in the world, in little 'ol Watkins Glen, NY.
Taker a look at this video recalling a journey of a few concert-goers to Summer Jam - a concert that is one for the history books.