Unfortunately, the sound is a little creaky – but then, what would you expect; high school sound systems were better able to handle student assemblies, Talent Shows or the Christmas Sing with the Music Department Choir in 1967, not a band like The Doors.
It was really about bragging rights. If you were in High School or even College at the time – anywhere from 1965-1970, it wasn’t all that unusual to get some pretty legendary Rock acts playing at your gym dance or Auditorium on Friday nights. It was a question of which act you were going to get, and a lot of that depended on how well-heeled your Student Activities budget was and who was in town.
Kids going to school in Los Angeles were probably blasé about who would play at their school. At Hamilton it was Buffalo Springfield – at Beverly Hills High it was Love with Arthur Lee, or Velvet Underground – several other schools got The Byrds or The Doors. It was just one avenue of promoting yourself to your audience. And High School was the perfect place to do that.
So this gig at Danbury High in Danbury Connecticut wasn’t all that unusual at the time – the concert was from October 11, 1967 and, as the legend goes, wasn’t really for the students at Danbury, but rather for the Students at Western Connecticut State College who were celebrating Fall Weekend – which most likely explains why the emcee reminded the kids not to smoke during the show. Luckily, a forward thinking faculty member managed to secure a reel tape of the concert and kept it tucked away, save for a few copies made for students, over the ensuing years. There are bits that have wound up lost over time – the faculty member admonishing the kids to stay in their seats or be escorted out the building serves as a reminder that, high schools may have had some hip acts at the time, but they were still disciplinarians like everybody else.
Aside from the technical faults, it takes a little while to “get up to speed”, meaning the show may very well have been mixed by one of the students – and so whoever it was, was trying desperately to get levels right – so you go through a few awkward patches before things settle down. And Jim tended to overload the mic anyway . . .
An interesting chronicle of events which may have slipped your mind – or maybe you weren’t there, not born yet, drafted or just didn’t like the music. Still, a reminder that being a teenager in the 1960s was not that bad a deal at all.
Enjoy (don’t play loud – the sound is unpredictable).