Music News

Paul Epstein’s “Let Me Take You Down (to the basement)” #8

Featured image for post: Paul Epstein’s “Let Me Take You Down (to the basement)” #8

Were you at this show?

Years ago, while working at Twist And Shout, a small piece of paper fell out of a record I had just purchased. I almost tossed it in the trash. However, I luckily turned it over and noticed that it had a cute illustration on it. When I looked closely, I was startled to see it was either a ticket or a small handbill for a concert at “Univ. of Col. Stadium.” It advertised Country Joe And The Fish, the Steve Miller Band, Buddy Guy, Sons Of Champlin and Tim Hardin. Wow, that’s quite a lineup. How is it I never heard of this event? 

Many years later, I was able to find an image of an actual poster for the event. Apparently on September 7, 1969 (less than a month after Country Joe’s career-making set at Woodstock) these bands played at what we now call Folsom Field (renamed after head C.U. football Coach Fred Folsom in 1944). 

There have been a handful of concerts at Folsom Field over the years, most consider dating back to The Grateful Dead’s legendary performance on September 3, 1972. This Country Joe show predates the Dead by three years; yet I have had an impossible time finding any first-hand proof that this show happened. I’ve never met anybody who claims to have been there, and I can’t seem to find any chatter about it on the internet. How is this possible?

I can only speculate that either it was canceled, or it rained, or that it was so poorly attended that nobody took notice. While possible, this seems unlikely- a week or two into the new semester at C.U., one of the stars of Woodstock heading an all-star line-up on campus. It seems like this show would have been a bigger deal. Which kind of brings me to my point…we here in Colorado are right in the middle of history. Sometimes it’s easy to forget, because history is such a slippery thing, and the minute turn of a news cycle or a major weather event can cancel or alter all memory and coverage of other events. Not that this was a world-shaking event, but it is surprising to me that there seems to be so little public memory or record of it. 

The poster is a cool design by an artist named Hess and has some interesting ticket outlet information at the bottom. The poster also makes mention of lights by spontaneity-I would love to know if this was a local light show company. All said, I prefer the sweet, homemade nature of the original ticket that fell from the album. 

Let us know if you were at this show.

– Paul Epstein, Co-Chair, Colorado Music Hall of Fame; founder/former owner of Twist & Shout; music historian and archivist

“I moved to Colorado in 1968 and started going to concerts almost immediately. I eagerly grabbed posters, flyers, ticket stubs, advertisements, concert recordings, pretty much any proof I could find that the event happened. In 1988, I started a record store called Twist & Shout, and my collecting of memorabilia went into even higher gear. Over the next 34 years, I had rare access to memorabilia of all types and sizes. Now that I’ve retired, the time seems right to start sharing these things, and the stories that go with them. So, every other Tuesday, I will ask you to Let Me Take You Down (to the basement) to check out some of the good stuff!” – Paul Epstein