Hip tunes from high times.

Jefferson Airplane
Grant Park, Chicago, 1969

The concert was a free tribute to the protesters at the Democratic National Convention in 1968. It took place in the old Grant Park Music Shell, right across Michigan Avenue from the Conrad Hilton Hotel, ground zero for the protest riots. I think it was May - there was still a slight chill in the air and the Shell was still boarded up for the winter.

It was very crowded and there were no seats, so visibility was pretty limited. Most of these pictures were taken by shooting blind with the camera held high above my head. I barely caught the occasional glimpse of the band, but the real show was the audience. Always fun to see thousands of hippies show up for free music, and Airplane was the quintessential hippy heroes - Haight-Ashbury and all that.

Click images for larger

You can see from most of these shots that there were people hanging everywhere. The guys in uniform on stage are Andy Frain rent-a-cops. See Grace and (probably) Marty.

I couldn't see much detail from my vantage point I finally got a clear shot of the stage, but they mostly have their backs turned.

People were climbing the PA scaffolds and up on the roof of the Shell. That's when the cops showed up to insist they not do that. The police were properly booed, but there was not a lot of tension about them since the climbers were pretty obviously doing stupid things that were likely to get them injured. This guy looks like he was carrying a massive tape deck or something.

At least here's a face shot of Grace.  (See higher res version- 280k)

Salute this.

Of course it's always about the blonde. Note the Hilton Hotel in the background.

return to Kissing the Sky