July 3, 1972 (Monday)
Akron Rubber Bowl
Akron, Ohio, U.S.A.
I don't remember a lot of the details. Hey, it was over 30
years ago and I was there more to see the Faces than Badfinger. I had totally forgotten
that Cactus opened. I was going to the University of Akron, and they were using their
football stadium (The Rubber Bowl) for concerts that summer to raise money for AstroTurf.
The Stones also were there that summer promoting their "Exile on Main Street"
album with opening act Stevie Wonder.
What I do recall is that Mike was not there drumming, but his replacement as seen from the cheap seats looked enough like him to initially fool me. Joey's arm was in a cast, with just his finger peeking thru the far end. I was amazed he could play at all. They did an extended version of a Dave
Mason song, which I did not care for ("Feelin' Alright"). The highlight for me was hearing "No Matter What" live. Still one of my all time favorite songs (not Badfinger songs, all songs), and it was great. I think they played about 45 minutes. I know they did all the hits (Baby Blue, Day After Day). The only other tune I recall for sure was "Sweet Tuesday Morning". Still a great memory, what's left of it anyway.
I was a 20-year-old Kent State student at the time and I liked both Faces and Badfinger quite a lot, as did my friend, Jim, who went to this show with me. I do not remember anything about Cactus - frankly don't remember them even now. I do remember the opening of Badfinger's set. It was a stunningly off-key rendition of "Baby Blue". At least that's how I remember it. The rest of the set improved and, since I now am finding out there's a bootleg of it, I'd like to track one down to see how my memory holds up.
At any rate, I have a couple of problems with Louis Jordan's recollections about tears in our eyes. It wasn't mace because mace in that form hadn't been invented yet. It was tear gas, dispersed by the cops (as they did in those days) from grenade-like canisters. There were some gate crashers at one of the uphill gates (the Rubber Bowl is truly a bowl, set into the side of a hill) and it was right behind my seat, some 10 rows up on about the 50-yard line. It was also not during Badfinger's set. The tear gas came rolling down into the stadium just as The Faces were beginning Jim's favorite, "Memphis". I glanced at him at about the same time as he glanced at me and we both were blinking our eyes with tears running down our faces. Someone above us yelled "GAS!" and we got up en masse and bailed out of the area. A big parabola of empty seats appeared right where the cops' indiscretion dumped the gas. About 10-15 minutes later, it had dispersed enough that we could return to somewhere near our original places. It was the only time I was ever teargassed ... and it ruined "Memphis".
I thought The Faces' set was great and, sadly, much better than Badfinger's. I guess that's why they were the headliner.
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