Younger Enthusiast, I cannot overemphasize how unprofessional the past was. In 2016, putting on a concert is a science, literally: people have written dissertations on the subject. (Okay, it’s a soft science.) But in 1973–and this picture is from the Watkins Glen Festival on 7/27/73*–no one knew what they were doing, ever.
The promoter of the show (Bill Graham) wanted to protect the band from numbskulls; he just didn’t know how. The high stage is only half the equation. You also need a moat filled with enormous security guards. Otherwise, as pictured, there will be boosting.
At least two people in this photo are using cell phones.
99% of being a Rock Star was enjoyable, but this bullshit? Here’s the analogy: one of you breaking in to my home while I wrote. Keith Richards was completely right to whack anyone who got onstage with his Telecaster.
Speaking of Rock Stars: the Dead’s crew were probably a little rough with the guys, less so with the girls, but if you pulled this shit on Led Zeppelin then you’d be dead.
Thanks for the help, Number 12.
*Wait, this might be RFK. I don’t give a shit. It’s definitely ’73. Listen to the Watkins Gen soundcheck.