“And I love the songs of Phil Ochs [the American protest singer of the 1960s and ’70s], although that’s not in the show yet.”
Back in the day, if there was a protest in the offing, you could guarantee that Phil Ochs would be there. Even in Chicago, at the Democratic Party convention when the police riot exploded and all the performers chickened out, Phil was there (as were the MC5).
Today, thanks to you-know-who, there’s an upsurge in protest music. It’s not just the usual suspects either – there are many young performers getting involved. Alas, I’m not really familiar with these new voices so I’ll write a column about the ones I remember.
Read more at…Where’s Phil Ochs When We Need Him?
Gunfight At Carnegie Hall, the last album protest singer Phil Ochs released before he took his own life on April 9, 1976, contains songs recorded at his infamous, gold-suited, bomb-threat-shortened Carnegie Hall concert in New York City on March 27, 1970, 47 years ago today.
It was the most notorious performance of his career, and I happened to be in the audience.
Spring in the city
I was just 16 and visiting New York City with my best friend Lisa. The two of us were suburban antiwar hippie chicks who loved Ochs and his music. Although we had yet to see him in concert, we listened to his albums for hours and knew his songs by heart. He was no Bob Dylan, of course, but songs like “I’m Not Marching Anymore” and “There But For Fortune” were heartfelt and evocative and could move you to tears. He had a funny side, too, which came out on silly, self-mocking songs like “Love Me, I’m A Liberal.”
It didn’t hurt that, unlike Dylan, Ochs had a conventionally lovely voice and was really cute in a scruffy, sincere, heart-on-his-sleeve kind of way.
Read more at…Remembering Phil Ochs’s ‘Gunfight at Carnegie Hall’
Cream (also making their American debut) were booked together with the Who, although Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were delayed until the second show on March 26. Smokey Robinson was on the poster, but the Motown star had gotten into an argument with Murray at rehearsals and dropped out of the show. Meanwhile, special guests on certain dates included Simon & Garfunkel, the Blues Magoos, the Young Rascals and Phil Ochs.