Thirty-seven years ago today -- 10/18/70 -- Pink Floyd performed in San Diego for the first time at the Intercollegiate Baseball Facility (a.k.a. the Polo Field) at UCSD. Touring behind their Atom Heart Mother album, they had played the previous month for their largest audience ever -- over 500,000 people -- in Paris. Despite their popularity in Europe, Floyd was third on the San Diego bill, behind Hot Tuna and Leon Russell.
Tickets cost $3.50 for the general-admission show, which started at noon.
"There was a big marijuana protest on the grounds at the same time," recalls one-time concert promoter Dan Tee, a member of UCSD's Student Body Council at the time and one of the people behind the show. "About a hundred people were carrying signs and chanting 'legalize it, legalize it,' and it seemed like there were at least that many cops around too.
"[The protestors] weren't too organized, though. Before long, most of them were going into the concert instead of protesting.... We used a bunch of their [abandoned] sign poles to prop up a temporary fence that gate-crashers tore down to get into the concert."
The San Diego date was one of the few where the experimental song "Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast" was performed by the band. It lasted around 20 minutes.
"They actually sat at a little folding table and ate for part of the song," says Tee, "with tapes of voices and sound effects playing in the background."
The band returned to San Diego one year later -- 10/17/71 -- to play a show at Golden Hall that became widely bootlegged.