Undercover police officer grabs microphone while The Who are performing Tommy
Historic concert program for The Who at the Fillmore East on May 16-17, 1969, three months before their triumphant performance at Woodstock. The program measures 5.5 x 8.5 and features many vintage advertisements for The Who single 'Pinball Wizard,' Led Zeppelin’s debut album, and the Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals. Also scheduled to perform with The Who are Sweetwater, It’s a Beautiful Day, and the Joshua Light Show. In fine condition.
The night of May 16, 1969, marked one of the more memorable events in the venue’s history. In the middle of The Who’s highly anticipated ‘Tommy’ set, a man ran up on stage and grabbed the microphone. Pete Townshend, as was his style when people rushed the stage, acted accordingly and landed a quick on the man’s rear. Unbeknownst to Townshend, the band, or anyone else, the stranger was Daniel Mulhearn, a NYPD police officer in civilian clothes who stormed the stage to evacuate the crowd: a fire had broken out in the building next door and smoke was entering the venue. Townshend was later arrested for his actions, but the charges were dropped and the Who’s second show was postponed until Sunday night, May 18th.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the closing of the now legendary Fillmore East. Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, John Lennon, Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, The Band, Derek and the Dominos, the Allman Brothers Band and so many more performed at the Fillmore, most on several occasions. Unlike its counterpart the Fillmore West in San Francisco, which was a ballroom (it was a former dance hall) like most music venues were at the time, the Fillmore East was a theatre and it was a totally different experience for both the artist and the audience. Going to the Fillmore East was going to the theatre... a theatre that was built originally for vaudeville shows, which was perfect acoustically and seating wise for rock concerts. With the addition of a custom-made sound system and the visually mesmerizing Joshua Light Show (Joe's Light's later), it was a concert experience like no other. The Fillmore East itself is gone now, though its legend lives on and anyone who was ever fortunate enough to perform or attend a concert there can attest to the magic that occurred in that much missed theatre.