July 23, 1972 (Sunday)
Steel Pier, The Boardwalk
Atlantic City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
My wife (at the time) and me were weekending in AC at a hotel
from our home in Philadelphia. We knew Badfinger was playing so we planned to see
the show. I had been to Steel Pier when I was about 5 and was shocked at how decrepit
it had become. The place was an entertainment complex with a movie, access to the
ocean (changing room and showers), arcade which included feeding live chickens electronically,
and a vaudeville-like scenario.
There were several venues and I was shocked to find that Badfinger was going to be playing outside in a small chain linked fenced-in area facing the beach with a few rows of bleachers. If you came in thru the main Steel Pier Entrance into the building this was on the right side of the main building - it was not on the main outdoor stage which was over the water and where the horses jumped. I would say this was a jury-rigged area of sorts and perhaps short lived.
We were the only contemporary fans in the audience of LESS THAN 50. I believe they played at least twice that day. We saw them about 3 P.M. Most people at Steel Pier were tourists; they bought tickets for the day and followed the schedule from feature to feature. I believe the movie was the big event, but there may have been some other more mainstream performances inside as well. I was 23 at the time and it was all families in the audience with us there to gawk. At that time, I had never been to a show that wasn't all young freaks (hippies) as we called ourselves at the time.
Meanwhile, the time had come and the band wasn't there. In short order, I noticed a couple of young guys in cut-off jeans running from the beach soaking wet. I forget if they climbed the fence or came through a door. It wasn't much of a fence... and it was the band. Wet hair, no shirts, a quick towel dry and on to the show. It wasn't much. I do remember an acknowledging look, I think from Tom, but a short well-played set and that was it.
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