What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Something I Once Believed That I Now Know to Not Be True - Three Dog Night Captured Live at the Forum

The Myth:  Three Dog Night was so hugely popular that they could play The Fabulous Forum early in their career.

The Reality:  They were opening for Steppenwolf.

The Forum

For a long stretch, the Fabulous Forum in Inglewood, California was the premier concert/sports venue in Southern California.  I spent many summer nights there in my youth.  Tailgating with the fine bouquet offered up by Boone's Farm Apple Wine.  Occasionally with some Annie Green Springs.  No corkscrew needed.  Even now, when I visit the venue, that feeling of (not so) innocent youth returns.

Saw a bunch of great shows there.  Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Frank Zappa, George Harrison, Grateful Dead, etc etc etc.

The venue fell out of favor when that hideous Staples Center opened in Downtown Los Angeles. I'd rather drive to San Diego  or Anaheim than see a show there.  Crappy sound.  Exclusive luxury boxes to show off the haves to the have nots.  Their special section has fancy food and wine.  The cheap seats have crowded public spaces and McDonalds.

When you were at The Forum, there was no class separation.  The rich and the poor sat in the same bowl.  From the last row to the front, you were part of one single unsegregated crowd.  And besides, the ushers wore togas!

The Forum has recently reopened as a concert only venue.  I haven't been there since the refurb, but I hear The Forum is Fabulous once again.

So this brings me to Three Dog Night.  At the time, playing the Forum was the pinnacle of success.  Long before stadium shows, this was as big as you could get.  This is why releasing a live album supposedly recorded at your sold out show was a good idea. 

Three Dog Night Was Captured Live At the Forum (Dunhill 1969)

The album cover sports some nice photos of a sold out crowd. 

But take a look closely at the back photo.  The adoring fans rushing the stage while one of the Dog Nights moves closer.  The stage, obviously is from a well trodded permanent stage at another venue.  Arenas didn't have wood floor stages like that.  Security at The Forum would probably have beaten those teenage girls to a pulp.  Chances are nobody was even paying much attention to the opening act.  The venue was probably not even full by that time.  My hunch is that this photo was probably taken at the much smaller general admission Hollywood Palladium.  In fact, I doubt that any of the photos, save for the ones with the house lights on,  are from the Forum gig.  

And a side note, Chuck Negron lives up the street from me in Sherman Oaks.  Read his book - Three Dog Nightmare.