Ken Leighton 2:46 p.m., Oct. 15
42 years ago today: Pink Floyd's 1st San Diego concert
42 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 (note poster below lists Floyd as "special guest").
Presented by the ASUCSD Program Board in conjunction with Sunrise and KPRI, tickets cost $3.50 for the general-admission show, which started at noon (gates opened at 10am).
"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.
"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."
SETLIST: Astronomy Domine, Interstellar Overdrive, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, A Saucerful of Secrets, Cymbaline, Green Is the Colour, Careful with That Axe Eugene, Grantchester Meadows, Embryo, The Violent Sequence, Heart Beat Pig Meat, Atom Heart Mother, Fat Old Sun, Alan's Psychedelic Breakfast, Corrosion, More Blues
The band returned to San Diego one year later -- 10/17/71 -- to play a show at the old Convention Center that became widely bootlegged.
10-17-71 – Pink Floyd at Convention Hall/Community Concourse: One of the most widely bootlegged concerts of the vinyl era, collectors of ROIOs (recordings of illegitimate origin) at www.pf-roio say of this concert:
"This is post-Syd pre-Dark Side Floyd at the height of their jamming power...each instrument is clear and, for a change, Rick [Wright]'s organ is played up in the mix."
"Possibly the best currently available show from the fall 1971 shows...'Fat Old Sun' is the extended version, with an extra verse sung before the jam."
"PF shows off their quad sound effects. The music fades out and somebody enters through a door, walks around in the room opening doors with different sounds behind them. After a while, 'Cymbaline' fades in again."
Among the many bootlegs available of this performance, From Oblivion appears to have the closest to a complete setlist, now available on CD and frequently auctioned through eBay. The show was opened by the band Finnegan.
SETLIST: 1. Careful With That Axe, Eugene 2. Fat Old Sun 3. Atom Heart Mother a) Father's Shout b) Breast Milky c) Mother Fore d) Funky Dung 4. Embryo 5. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 6. Cymbaline 7. Blues Jam
Here’s the group’s take on “Fat Old Sun” that night: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMGbwnB
9-16-72 - Pink Floyd at Golden Hall performing Dark Side of the Moon.
SETLIST: 1. Speak To Me, 2. Breathe, 3. On The Run, 4. Time, 5. The Mortality Sequence/The Great Gig In The Sky, 6. Money, 7. Us And Them, 8. Any Colour You Like, 9. Brain Damage, 10. Eclipse, 11. One of These Days, 12. Careful With That Axe, 13. Echoes, 14. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
4-25-75 - Pink Floyd at San Diego Sports Arena
SETLIST: 1. Raving and Drooling, 2.You Gotta Be Crazy, 3. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts I - V), 4. Have A Cigar, 5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (parts VI - IX), 6. Speak To Me, 7. Breathe, 8. On The Run, 9. Time, 10. Breathe (reprise), 11. The Great Gig In The Sky, 12. Money, 13. Us And Them, 14. Any Colour You Like, 15. Brain Damage, 16. Eclipse, 17. Echoes
4-14-94 – Pink Floyd at Jack Murphy Stadium: "I could easily smell the burning stench of our failed drug laws," wrote Reader columnist Allan Peterson about Pink Floyd's first San Diego concert in 19 years. The immense scope of the elaborate show, with all its effects, movie screens, inflatable animals, and (excellent) quad sound, is not what ranks this show (sans the "real" Pink, Roger Waters) among great and historic local events.
Rather, it was the stirring performance of "The Great Gig in the Sky." Peterson says, "Singer Durga McBroom's take on that classic piece was seamlessly compelling and contained all that one could hope for: longing, sadness, acceptance, raw beauty...the terrifying immediacy of mortality, the telling reality of loss."
I felt the same chill down my spine during the rendition and, eighteen years later, that's "the moment" everyone I know who was there still raves about.
Bootleg aficionados apparently agree, usually ranking this date, and that performance of "Great Gig," among the best of the entire U.S. tour.
SETLIST: 1. Astronomy Domine 2. Learning To Fly 3. What Do You Want From Me 4. A Great Day For Freedom 5. Sorrow 6. Take It Back 7. On The Turning Away 8. Keep Talking 9. One Of These Days 10. Shine On You Crazy Diamond 11. Breathe 12. Time 13. High Hopes 14. Wish You Were Here 15. Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 16. The Great Gig In The Sky 17. Us And Them 18. Money 19. Comfortably Numb 20. Hey You 21. Run Like Hell
Here’s “Astronomy Domine” from the show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GkBWeu...
And “Hey You”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSV3i_...
And “What Do You Want From Me” from the same concert: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4l0-6s...
A few Floyd solo shows have happened in San Diego as well:
Dave Gilmour, June 20, 1984 - SDSU Outdoor Amphitheatre, with Mick Ralphs (Mott the Hoople), Mickey Feat, Gregg Dechart, Raff Ravenscroft, Jodi Linscott, and Chris Slade.
SETLIST: Until We Sleep, All Lovers Are Deranged, Love On The Air, Mihalis, Cruise, Short And Sweet, Money, Out Of The Blue, Let's Get Metaphysical, You Know I'm Right, Run Like Hell, Blue Light, Band Introductions, Murder, Comfortably Numb
Roger Waters, September 23,1987 - Radio KAOS tour, Sports Arena, with Graham Broad, Paul Carrack, Doreen Chanter, Mel Collins, DJ Jim Ladd, Andy Fairweather Low, Katie Kissoon, and Jay Stapley.
SETLIST: Tempted (Squeeze song composed and performed by Paul Carrack), Radio Waves, Welcome to the Machine, Who Needs Information, Money, In the Flesh, Have a Cigar, Pigs (Three Different Ones), Wish You Were Here, Mother, Molly's Song, Me or Him, The Powers That Be, Going to Live in L.A., Sunset Strip, The Fish Report with a Beat, Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert, Southampton Dock, Arnold Layne, If, 5:06 AM (Every Stranger's Eyes), Not Now John, Another Brick in the Wall Part 1, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, Nobody Home, Home, Four Minutes, The Tide Is Turning, Encore: Brain Damage, Eclipse
Roger Waters, June 19, 2000 - Coors Amphitheatre
SETLIST: In The Flesh, Mother, Another Brick in the Wall II, Keep Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert, South Hampton Dock, Pigs on the Wing, Dogs, Welcome to the Machine, Wish You Where Here, Shine on You Crazy Diamond I-IX, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Breathe, Time, Breathe reprise, Money, Every Strangers Eyes, Perfect Sense I, Perfect Sense II, The Bravery of Being Out of Range, It's a Miracle, Amused to Death, Brain Damage / Eclipse, encore - Comfortably Numb, Each Small Candle
Roger Waters performs The Wall, May 13, 2012 - Valley View Casino Center
And of course the Pink Floyd Experience comic book series was created and published in San Diego in 1992, courtesy of Hillcrest-based Revolutionary Comics, home of Rock 'N' Roll Comics. All five issues were collected in a graphic novel last year by Bluewater Productions.