Wed. March 28, 1967 I was on Easter vacation and my drummer Lenny (we all had high school bands) and I went to the RKO Keith theater on 58th and 3rd Ave to see the Who the first time they ever played the USA. It was the Murray the K, a famous NY DJ (sometimes known as the 5th Beatle) Music in the Fifth Dimension Show.
Murray the K
It started at 10:15 in the morning, Acts on the bill included the Blues Project, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Wilson Pickett (Buddy Miles was on drums) Wilson Pickett, the Young Rascals The Young Rascals, The Mandala, the Chicago Loop, Simon & Garfunkel, Jim & Jean, Phil Ochs, The Blues Magoos and the Hardly Worthit Players. Booked but not to perform were Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
They would perform 2 or 3 songs, then they would show a movie about two Australian truckers driving across the outback or some other grand Z movie.
It was great to finally see my heroes! The Who performed I Can’t Explain, and My Generation with a smash up, and the next show they played Substitute and My Generation with a smash up. Cream played I’m So Glad
The show lasted 12 minutes and they played 5 shows a day staring March 25th and ending April 2nd 1967. Roger Daltrey broke a total of 18 microphones during the entire run.
It was an odd grouping of talent and a number of the bands did not do the early shows. That was fine with me because I really only wanted to see the Who and Cream.
This newspaper article is from the New Music Express in April 1967. I do not know the exact date, but they make reference to releasing in England Pictures of Lily on April 21, 1967
The RKO Keith The theatre originally opened as the KeithAlbee Vaudeville Theatre on December 20th, 1928, on the same site as Proctor’s Pleasure Palace Palm Gardens, which dated back to 1895 and was demolished to make way for what F.F. Proctor termed his “Greatest Triumph”. Thomas Lamb was the architect, using the Mexican Baroque style. Against a blue evening sky, the effect of twinkling electric stars and projected drifting clouds evoked a romantic feeling of sitting in a Spanish garden. The entire building was once designated a city landmark. Jack Benny, Bob Hope and other entertainers of the day played the Keith’s. As an ironic twist, in 1966, before the Murray the K show, RKO closed the 58th Street and put a sign on the marquee that said “Go to the RKO 86th Street for the Best in Entertainment”. The 58th Street was sold and demolished for a 39-story luxury building. Underneath the building is a McDonald’s Townhouse!
To make up for its loss, RKO built a new twin cinema on 59th Street, which is now also ancient history.
Speaking of the Cream, my sister Denyse who had completely different taste in music than I had come home from a visit to England with a bunch of records. One of them was the 1st John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers album and another was Fresh Cream.
She handed them to me and told me to take a listen but I probably wouldn’t like them. Boy was she wrong.
Another interesting tidbit about my sister Denyse, she was at the recording session of SWABLR. I don’t know why she was there but… Cream-SWABLR
In another post, I will tell you about another LP given to me that changed my life.
One last thing, I want this to be an interactive site. I would love to hear your stories, remembrances, etc. Please post comments
See you next week!