Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Who - May 25, 1969

A warm-up show for the most notorious concert at Merriweather the following summer (posting soon).

With a relatively unknown at the time Led Zepplin as the open act, what began with broken fences, rowdy crowds and overwhelmed secuity ended with memories of one hell of a show.  Although Zeppelin had only released their first album months earlier, they did impress some but not all.  Many recount that when The Who finally came on, they blew the opener away.  Their "Tommy" themed concert the following June drastically changed the venues booking of rock concerts for several years and became early 70's folklore.

Several recount how the Who's crew had to literally pull the plug on Zeppelin's set as they were over their time allotment for their set and the venue had a sound curfew.  Many would be able to sit miles away from the Pavilion and hear the shows - a benefit that would be short lived in the following years when engineers would comb the wooded area with sound meters evaluating the noise levels.  This resulted later in the exterior speakers mounted on the top rear of the covered Pavilion facing the lawn to be shut-off.  Many also mention how loud the group was that night and that fans were sitting on speakers with some hanging from the rafters.  Fences were breached, but this was nothing compared to the subsequent June 1970 show.

This audio is a track recorded at that memorable show - wish I had been there:

"I'm Free"

Get the original recording at iTunes - The Who - I'm Free


DJ Barry Richards Backstage at Merriweather with the Who 


  1. Chuck,

    Nice blog.

    I have many great memories of Merriweather and this performance was one of them. I was fourteen yeras old and living in The Cove apartments. I walked to the concert without a ticket. I was planning to just hang out with my sister and some friends in Symphony Woods and enjoy the music, you could do that back then.

    By the time I got there the gates were wide open so I walked right in. Somehow I managed to get into the pavilion and recorded a brief moment of The Who on Super 8 film. I probably still have that in a box somewhere.


  2. That is not the Who's manager, it is Bernie Block on the left,
    a rep. from Decca records & the photo was taken by

  3. Inwas at that show. It was incredible. I was we'll aware of Zeppelin having been a Yardbirds fan.
    I remember in their set the stage was pretty dark,with just a spot on Robert . The Who were fantastic in this period. A great memory

  4. I was there and it was fantastic show. On the ticket stub it read Lead Zeppelin. I was a huge Yardbirds
    Fan so was really anticipating the set. The Who were fantastic as always.

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  6. just so many memories I'm glad to have lived through the sixties rock on everyone