Newport Jazz Festival
Newport Jazz Festival Lineup 1968
Program and festival lineup courtesy of http://newportjazzfest.net/
*Note: if you were there and would like to share your memories, pictures or tape please send it firstname.lastname@example.org
My friends Russ, Tim and myself ,Joe Capone , hitchhiked from Niagara Falls , New York to Newport thinking we were going to see Dylan , on hunch of false rumor. Finally arriving at festival around mid afternoon Friday , we along with hundreds of others partied into the night. Sleeping in the grass close by . As we were led in for concert we got choice seats about eight rows from stage near right center . I sat on last seat of row. Remember Baez , Bickell and a few acts Rambiln Jack Elliot and some jugband . Then B. B . King came on and we were thrilled, about midway through set audience started a chorus of we want Big Brother. We want Janis , We want Janis. As 17 and 18 year old guys we had no clue what was going on ? Thinking of rudeness to Mr. King we just weren't raised that way. As B. B. And mates left stage a giant roar was heard and all hell traveled through the audience . This incredible energy brushing me as she went by ,jumps on stage and I'm literally mesmerized. It's JANIS ... It was love at first sight, holy cow. Whatever anyone says about Joplin she was 100 pounds of sexual energy. She takes a swig of her whiskey, and starts off with ",Piece of my heart. " Are you kidding me , no way that tiny girl can make that sound. But she does... and so so much more. Nearing 50 years ago its still indelibly etched in my soul and mind. When she gets to "Summertime ", 10,000 guys and gals are ready to follow this aura back to California. Folk say hello Rock . Her voice sounds like syrup mixed with a fast current. Janis Joplin can shake the blues out of a stone. As she encores " Like a Ball and Chain ,"it's very dark and close to midnight and this sea of people are bonded. Long live Janis is the roar... I was lucky to see her five more times before she passed into her metamorphosis of love. Best, Joe Capone...