Thursday, July 26, 2007

Goose Lake Festival reassessed

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By STEVE SEYMOUR

It should be mentioned along with Monterey and Woodstock as one of the great outdoor rock festivals, but it isn't.

In fact, the Goose Lake International Pop Festival, held near Jackson, Mich., on Aug. 7-9, 1970, may have drawn more spectators than Monterey, plus it didn't rain like Woodstock.

The influential line-up included Jethro Tull, Chicago, the Small Faces featuring Rod Stewart, Mountain, James Gang and the Flying Burrito Brothers, plus Ten Years After and John Sebastian, fresh from their Woodstock appearances the previous summer. Michigan's best acts, like Bob Seger, Mitch Ryder & Detroit, Teegarden & VanWinkle, Frost, the MC5, Brownsville Station, the Stooges, SRC and Savage Grace were also featured.

Festival-goers had a weekend of highlights and variety. Friday's program included the classical baroque rock of the New York Rock 'n' Roll Ensemble,

Sebastian's "Darling, Be Home Soon," and Ten Years After performing "Sweet Little Sixteen." Saturday saw the original Stooges performing "1970" during their last time on stage together, while Mountain jammed on "Mississippi Queen," a hit from a few months before. Sunday's stage featured a batch of Michigan bands, including Savage Grace performing a killer version of "All Along the Watchtower." Jethro Tull closed the show.

The weekend was over. The bands played. There was no violence. In the end, tens of thousands of rock music fans enjoyed themselves and only a tiny percentage were arrested on drug charges. Yet publicity at the time created a negative perception of Goose Lake in the public consciousness which continues to this day.

The event was conceived by concert promoter Russ Gibb and construction executive Richard Songer. While many people were trying to replicate the Woodstock phenomenon, Gibb already had experience promoting the Detroit Rock & Roll Revival, held on May, 30-31, 1969, three months before the fabled upstate New York festival.

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Russ Gibb

The men spent months planning for the various contingencies involved in staging a major rock festival, including sanitation, health, security, traffic and parking. "We were concerned with the health and happiness of the crowd," Gibb told me in a recent telephone interview from his home in Dearborn.

Still, locals were opposed to the festival even before it happened. Jackson County Prosecutor Bruce Barton tried to obtain a court injunction declaring the festival to be a public nuisance, but failed.

Contemporary press estimates said as many as 200,000 young people were drawn to the Goose Lake event, held at a specially-built park on a 390-acre site owned by Songer.

One great stage was constructed in turntable fashion, which could be rotated in a few minutes, making the wait between acts a brief one. "People would get into mischief if there was too much time between sets," Gibb commented. There was also a huge tower for sound equipment. Gibb had a helicopter for transportation and ran the operation from a trailer on a hill overlooking the grounds.

"It was a major operation, like a little city," Gibb recalled. Goose Lake hired medical staff and security guards to accommodate the crowd.

Admission to Goose Lake was $15, although tens of thousands may have entered without tickets. Leaving may have been more difficult since the grounds were surrounded by razor-wire fencing.

Almost immediately, the festival was the subject of negative publicity regarding the use and sale of illegal drugs. Gibb said he was shocked when he saw headlines calling the event a "drug festival" or "pot party."

Gibb said Goose Lake representatives, including Attys. Bernard Fieger and Roger Craig, had conferred with state government officials to discuss law enforcement and other concerns. At that time, Michigan State Police Director Col. Fredrick Davids requested, and received, 60 passes to allow both uniformed officers and plainclothesmen to enter the grounds during the festival. Local authorities were reported to be reluctant to make drug arrests for fear of sparking a riot.

As the festival ended on Sunday, Aug. 9, 163 persons were arrested. That number represented less than one arrest for every 1,000 people who attended.

In the end, however, there were no violent crimes, no riots and no injuries related to drug usage.

Gibb sees media bias in the news coverage of the Goose Lake Music Festival. Although Billboard, the music trade magazine, praised the festival as "best run and organized," most were critical. "They lie by omission," Gibb observed. "For the news media the word hippie translated into drugs," he added.

Politicians were also quick to condemn. Gov. William Milliken pledged to help stop a festival planned for the next month while African-American State Sen. Basil Brown said drug laws would have been strictly enforced had the festival been attended by a largely black audience. In addition, State Sen. Lorraine Beebe called for a public hearing to discuss rock festivals, while the Jackson County prosecutor announced he would seek court action barring another rock festival at the Goose Lake facility.

While New York boasts the legendary Woodstock and California brags about Monterey, Goose Lake is rarely mentioned. Instead of being enshrined in the annals of rock 'n' roll history, the Michigan festival got a bad rap.

99 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was there from Rockford, IL and had a great time. there was a superslide that was always busy,someone pulled in with a small refrigerated truck full of Boones Farm wine that he sold for $1.00 per bottle. The weather was great, we smoked a little weed and drank some wine. I still have photos somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Jul. 2007; I had a great time at Goose Lake, consantly running into people I knew, and just enjoying the ones I didn't. The music was fantastic, going over the list here brings back memories! I DO remember being very thirsty and buying watermelon to keep from fainting away. All in all it was a very good time.I meet people all the time who admit to being there and liking it.

Anonymous said...

Glad to see the blog on Goose Lake. It did recieve a bad rap. Steve forgot to mention that Michigan passed a "Goose Lake" Law to outlaw future rock festivals. Not sure if that is still on the books, but if it is, they should shut down the Michigan International Speedway, which has overnight camping, for long weekends of redneck NASCAR drinking, but hey that's ok, those people are Republicans!

Had a great time at Goose Lake. Was a 15 year old high school kid who drove up with a friend from about 30 miles south. Was one of the highlights of my youth. Lots of great memories.

Anonomous - Tecumseh, Michigan

Anonymous said...

I was there and we had a great time. We ended up camping with the Hells angels MC club(were afraid to move) and we had a great tme camping there. The music was good and everything was fun. Glad I had the chance to be there.

Anonymous said...

I also remember the slide, but as I remember it, no one was sliding down, they just stood around the edge and jumped into the giant air mattress at the bottom. I was also hoping that someone could confirm what I saw. I'm certain that Iggy cut the crotch from his pants and painted his genitals red. Did anyone else see this?

Anonymous said...

I was there from. We hitch-hiked from Chicago. I don't think we had tickets and I only remember Jethro Tull and the showers and bathrooms with no doors. It was pretty crazy.

Anonymous said...

We were sophomores in college and looking for adventure. As I recall there was 6 of us, 4 guys and two girls (maybe, it is a little hazy). Dale, Bill, Jim and the rest - we set up tents and had a great time. I liked Mountain the best but who could argue with any of the others Cocker, Tull (one of my favorites at the Aragon), 10 yrs after, cooper, James gang- yes we smoked some weed (easier to get then beer) and drank. A lot of people had some problems and at least there was medical tents for them. Just a good time not a big deal - now we're old and don't keep in touch but the memory is good. Rock on ...

Anonymous said...

I went to Goose Lake with 3 guys I had just graduated from High School with. We were from Chagrin Falls Ohio, near Cleveland. Took my mom's station wagon. She thought we were going to one of the guys family cottage on a lake. It was awesome. We carried in several cases of beer and found a spot close to the stage. I remember Iggy Pop of the Stooges jumping over the wall into the crowd. There were lots messed up people and topless women but no violence. I find very few people our age have heard of Goose lake. Woodstock got all the press.

cranzie said...

Been trying to find some footage of the Goose Lake concert. Found some on Youtube.
Then I found this blog...wow
This concert was better than Woodstock in many ways.Though Woodstock made history and they many that went to Goose Lake probably feel like it was imagined or something. In spite of how many people attended, I never met another person in person who actually was there.So finding this blog was mind blowing..to use an old term.I remember the Boone's farm,the open toilets and very very cold showers that gave you a huge rush!
I hitch-hiked up there from Chicago with a friend, lost her with in a hour. OD'd on something, managed my way out of that tent and some really kind guy took care of me. He was back from Nam and spent a whole day helping me look for my friend. Clothes, shoes,I lost lots there, but it was fun.
I am now 55 and I would give anything to ride back in time to this concert.

cranzie said...

Oh and yes, there was NO violence at this concert! Perfect in every way.

Anonymous said...

Heard about Goose Lake from a DJ (was it on WLS?) and drove up with a friend and our two girl friends from Galesburg, IL. Got there almost a day early and decided to go over to Windsor for the day.

Called my grandmother (in Detroit)from the bridge to say 'Hi' and she called my mom to say we were going to Canada to avoid the draft.

She later sent pics from the Free Press that she said showed me and some others skinny-dipping in the lake. (I never admitted it.)

Good Times....

Joan said...

Wow! 38 years! I sure don't feel that old! I was fresh out of high school and remember this was the first time I saw a naked man (my little brothers don't count)! Remember everyone had a great time, listened to the BEST music. I hate that people dismiss this incredible event! I have a panaramic picture of the "Nest" someplace, along with pictures of our little tribe. I don't remember being that skinny.

cranzie said...

Happy Anniversary to all that lived through and enjoyed those wonderful days back 38 years ago.My best friend and I went there and she passed away very young in 1975 at 21 yrs of age. She most definitively would have a smirk and a chuckle about it being that long ago!I wish that all my friends could have gone with us.Marlene and I were the brave ones in our tribe..go anywhere at anytime is how we lived back then. We lived for the moment in those days and so carefree.
Goose Lake Festival is something never to forget.
I wish there was a way to get some photos on a site...because my memory is slowly getting bad.
The people there were great and the music fantastic!
lol @ being that skinny...me too!
Getting old and a bit fluffy here remembering the good times.

Anonymous said...

awesome!..i remember begging my mom
and dad to let me go..as long as
there were no drugs or alcohol they
said!...(right!)..my best friend
and i took his parents station wagon and drove up from angola indiana....was there all three days!..remember being very stoned
on hash and watching ten years after!..38 years ago!..man i wish
i could go back!!...goose lake forever!!!!!.....dave in indiana

Mitch said...

We left Evansville, IN , three guys on a mission of discovery and WOW did we find it at Gooselake. We brought nothing...food, water, nothing! For food I visited a Hare Krishna tent twice a day to listen to their message in exchange for a cup of peanuts and raisins.
OK, I was there for the food. The festival was an experience in do what you want...no laws! But no one died and the result was a good experience for all!

Anonymous said...

We left Evansville, IN , three guys on a mission of discovery and WOW did we find it at Gooselake. We brought nothing...food, water, nothing! For food I visited a Hare Krishna tent twice a day to listen to their message in exchange for a cup of peanuts and raisins.
OK, I was there for the food. The festival was an experience in do what you want...no laws! But no one died and the result was a good experience for all!

Anonymous said...

I was 13 and I came with my 14 year old friend who got the tickets, which were some sort of poker chip type things. I had 20 bucks, a sleeping bag and a lid. We got a ride from a couple of Pontiac motor cycle gang guys in a Black 1955 Plymouth who drank Boones Farm all the way there.
I expected maybe a few thousand people. I'll never forget when I realized how many people were actually there.
I also survived on watermelon. And I remember the lake with a lot of silt and mud but people swimming anyway.
You had to be there to understand.

cranzie said...

Being so young when I went there, thinking of what you would be eating for the next few days was the farthest thing from our minds. People shared food and other libations of sorts with everyone.
Yes there were tickets in the form of poker chips! Wouldn't you love to have one of those now?
When back at home I slept for a week afterward. My parents were in Europe that week, so it was an easy go of it.
The nice thing about the murky swimming, was there were a lot of showers to get clean with..even though it was freekin cold as ice.
All in all, it sure was beautiful there...wasn't it?

peterhanson said...

...hitched from Boulder, fueled on some odd koolaide....flat broke but was able to get through the razor wire in the back of an empty dump truck along with a dozen others...starved but spiritually sated....

Muffy said...

I also was at Goose Lake. It was one of the best concerts ever! We didn't pay to get in. They had a bus going in and out about once an hour I think, bringing people in for free if they were willing to work. Make hamburgers etc. My ex and I got on the bus with another friend of ours and after the bus made it thru the gates it stopped to avoid running over people in the roadway and someone opened the back door of that bus and they all jumped out and took off into the crowd. We followed! Shame on us looking back on it.. but we did it. I don't remember any razor fence. We left without a prob and spent the night in a makeshift tent we'd brought with us and had set up across the road from the concert. The next day we found a hole in the fence and walked right in. Leaving again to spend the night in the tent. Next day we went for that same hole in the fence and it was guarded by some motorcycle gang charging people to get in.. ugh! lol We had no money what-so-ever.. but they let us in anyway in exchange for a warm bottle of Sprite. It was a hot day and it was wet with flavor... so that's what they got! lol That last day.. people were taking showers and walkin out thru that whole crowd naked as jaybirds! I was flippin out! LMBO! It was so hot that I was tempted to do it myself but knew too many people there from our hometown and didn't want to have to face them after the concert was over if I had, so we kept our clothes on! Hahaha! It was the best time ever.. with great music. The ban against rock fests was for all of Michigan. Gov Miliken said no more rock fests longer than 1 day because too many young teenagers took off for the concert and were gone all weekend after their parents said no. Parents were calling the Gov saying if anything happened to their kids at this thing, they were going to file suits against the state of Michigan for letting it happen. No one died that I know of so it was all cool.. lol We took peanut butter and jelly with us and that's what we ate all weekend. I remember one guy walking thru the people.. wearing only a pair of tennis shoes, holding a small bag in one hand and a sign in the other hand that said.. "Acid.. 1.00!" (What a trip!) When the concert ended, those working the stage told everyone the police were outside waiting to bust anyone with drugs on them so don't take it with you when you left. People had garbage bags full of weed on the way out.. giving it away! They didn't want it on em when they walked out of that gate. Can't blame em! lol We didn't see anyone pulled over when we left the area. We didn't get pulled over, either. I'm still wondering how much weed they found left behind by everyone that was afraid to take it out of there! LOL Only 1 day festivals were allowed after that one. Another festival no one mentions was in Saugatuck, Michigan in 1969. I can't remember who all was there but do remember The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown played there and he came out with some head gear on his head on fire to sing that song! That Rock Fest was 2 days long. We also went all the way into Ohio for a weekend Rock fest at a place called Bull Island.. or Blue Island? We did pay to get into Saugatuck Fest.. and expected to pay in Ohio.. but someone that had already been in and out of there and had a pass to get back in, driving a van, picked us up and gave us a ride in! Yippeee! Nuthin better than a free concert.. especially when it lasts all weekend! lol Goose Lake rocked big time! It was something I'll never forget. I believe it was as big as Woodstock.. just a change in band names is all. Peace out, People! I'd go back if I could, too!

wildfirex15 said...

I was there at goose lake with a friend for one day of the madness, it was great. we were able to sneak in after another of our friends who worked putting the fence up around the place told us where there was a place we could get in. the first thing we saw was a couple of sheriffs officers and we thought we were in trouble but they did not seem to care about unpaid admissions. the next thing we saw were persons running around naked or almost so. the bands were up on stage playing to the crowd on the hill and the music was so loud. we were back a ways from the speakers but I still remember the music being so loud. there were people swimming nude in the lake and people willing to share drugs and food and company and comfort if it was needed. som great people there along with great bands playing great music, it gave us great memories of our teenage years. they banned any more rock concerts of that sort after that in Michigan. that was too bad for all those who were not fortunate enough to experience it but makes the experience for us that did so much more precious and memorable.
I would like to see someone set up a ( REMEMBERING GOOSE LAKE ) website to see what kind of responses and experiences you would hear about.
well heres to the great people, great bands, great music, and great memories of goose lake.

rock on! wildfirex15

cranzie said...

Checking in,love the comments and the memories that we all can still remember,lol.
I must be getting old because when I tell my kids,ha!grown and in their 30s now, this thought of 'wow they just don't make concerts like that anymore' comes to mind...hehehe

Anonymous said...

I was there sitting directly under the spotlight tower on the left side far out in front of the stage. On Saturday, I remember a guy monkey climbing up the girders of the tower to the second level and rocking out there to the jams. He was on the railing and jumped and then realized he had jumped (you could see his body go stiff in mid air as he fell). He landed on a cooler beside me and everyone thought he was dead. Turns out he just busted his ribs and was knocked out. The music stopped and they parted a path through the sea of people so they could come in and cart him out.

Also remember a guy standing butt naked all day long with a round stone in each outstretched hand held up as though an offering to the sky while staring continuously at the sun. This was all day long and I would imagine he got serious retina damage and is now dead and/or totally blind. At night, he switched over to the moon.

Also remember a fat girl wandering through the masses dressed only in a pleated skirt and otherwise topless. She was twirling a baton as she meandered, and when you are loaded and a young lad, this leaves an impressive image burned deep into your psyche.

I remember the Pepsi hot air balloon, which you could use as a reference to where you were. Also remember people skydiving into the concert. Without it, it would be easy for me to get lost.

I remember the huge joint they rolled out of a newspaper and passing it out into the audience. I remember the auction of the huge meerschaum pipe to raise money to free John Sinclair. I remember them turning that huge turntable stage and the bands already being hitting as the volume started ramping up.

I remember Felix Pappalardi of Mountain cranking those deep fart bucket bass notes that sounded like a vacuum cleaner and you could feel it coming up from the earth through your feet.

I remember meeting and sitting next to Paul Harvey's (the rest of the story...) son and partying all weekend.

There was zero stress and no negative vibes whatsoever inside the huge chainlink fence surrounding the grounds.

Goose Lake International Rock Festival was probably the best time I have ever had in my life. So different, so bizarre, so good.

Anonymous said...

I hung out with guys older than I, so I was soooo underage at the festival. I remember very little of the music as I was completely and entirely wasted 24/7.

But what I do remember is that is was FUN AS HELL!!!

Be well...

Chris
Austin, Texas

Anonymous said...

Remember it well. My two friends I took off without a ticket from Carmel, Indiana with the attitude that we are not missing this for the world. We got in the first time through a hole in the fence which was soon watched over by a local biker gang.. so we jumped the fence the second time around and landed in a camp site of people from our hometown.. what are the odds??? Met my girlfriend who came down the next day.. found her too in the mass of people attending the event.. what are the odds???
We camped out without blankets, tent or food. Remember the people next us sharing their food with us after looking over with hungry looks on our face. Don, Dick and myself had a fucking good time there and is one of my fondest memories from those times of better living through chemicals.
Thanks for remembering and posting on here. It was such a fine event that gets no respect.

Anonymous said...

Remember it well. My two friends I took off without a ticket from Carmel, Indiana with the attitude that we are not missing this for the world. We got in the first time through a hole in the fence which was soon watched over by a local biker gang.. so we jumped the fence the second time around and landed in a camp site of people from our hometown.. what are the odds??? Met my girlfriend who came down the next day.. found her too in the mass of people attending the event.. what are the odds???
We camped out without blankets, tent or food. Remember the people next us sharing their food with us after looking over with hungry looks on our face. Don, Dick and myself had a fucking good time there and is one of my fondest memories from those times of better living through chemicals.
Thanks for remembering and posting on here. It was such a fine event that gets no respect.

Anonymous said...

Remember it well. My two friends I took off without a ticket from Carmel, Indiana with the attitude that we are not missing this for the world. We got in the first time through a hole in the fence which was soon watched over by a local biker gang.. so we jumped the fence the second time around and landed in a camp site of people from our hometown.. what are the odds??? Met my girlfriend who came down the next day.. found her too in the mass of people attending the event.. what are the odds???
We camped out without blankets, tent or food. Remember the people next us sharing their food with us after looking over with hungry looks on our face. Don, Dick and myself had a fucking good time there and is one of my fondest memories from those times of better living through chemicals.
Thanks for remembering and posting on here. It was such a fine event that gets no respect.

Anonymous said...

To the earlier poster, I was also under the spotlight tower on the left side of the stage and saw the guy come off the railing. After all these years, it's good to know that he lived.

A friend and I had hitchhiked up from Cleveland. I was 15; she was 17. Probably one of the crazier things I did back then, though I still don't regret it.

Hieronymus said...

I was 16 Drove there from Hamilton Ohio in my 56 Olds I remember a guy with a huge brass plumbing pipe with hash. It was a heavenly memory. Blue mescaline

Anonymous said...

I drove my daddy's pickup truck with a camper top from Alpena, MI and took 3 girlfriend's and one guy. What a TRIP! It was 3 days of total rock n' roll, partying and playing like never before in our lives. The freedom was crazy. A guy kept driving his harley through our campsite totally nude except for his boots. I remember standing in a water line for what seemed like hours! I cut my foot pretty bad on a tent stake and thought it was much worse than it was, being high it looked that way. I still have the scar and its now a reminder of the good ol' days. Chicago was my favorite band that played. But I loved them all. I too remember the guy jumping off the tower. I do have some pictures. My mom painted "Goose Lake" above the camper door before we took off. If she had known it was going to be drugs, drugs and more drugs she wouldn't have let me go! Wish I could do it all over again, but I'd have taken less drugs so I'd remember more.

Liz said...

So long ago. - I hitchhiked there too from Holland, MI with three girl friends. Had a great time. Slept under a bus. Brought some food along, but not much; the Hari Krishnas had a free food tent. I don't even remember a fight, much less violence. We all had tickets but when we arrived everyone was going through a hole in the fence so we just joined them. Thanks for reminding me of one of my great "childhood" memories.

Mr.G said...

WOW ! The Goose Lake Festival is
forever etched into my mind as one
of the best experiences of my youth.I drove up with 4 friends from Chicago, 3 guys/2 girls.We took my dad's Ford station wagon and my buddie's Pontiac packed with
food,drinks,and enough herb to last
the weekend.The music was fantastic
and the revolving stage kept it coming.I remember on Saturday night
while Mountain was playing ,"Theme From an Imaginary Western", this drunken biker dude was harrasing Felix Pappalardi and jumped up onto the stage, and Felix knocked him right off into the crowd with the end of his Bass, while still singing the lead vocal part.That was awesome !!!! CHICAGO was also great. I also remember Boone's Farm,and riding the slides. If I could go back in time,I'd do it again.

Floatingclouds said...

Wow! I totally forgot about this festival. Googled it today trying to find the bands that played. I was a runaway living on the streets of Berkeley. So was my boyfriend. We decided to hitch across the country to attend this concert. No money or possessions. We got in free and had a spot very close to the stage. The bathrooms were foul and clogged up and became unusable. There was also no drinking water available. Some people were very loaded on drugs. A guy was dressed like a cave man and roamed around grunting and holding his crotch and swinging a club. The music was fantastic and I remember Iggy and Ten Years After and John Sebastian quite well. We were given lots of free drugs. We did not take any, but saved them in a film container to sell later to finance our trip back home. We sold them all. Met some nice college kids from Cincinnati who put us up in their apt. for quite sometime afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I was there from Melrose Park, Illinois and it was an epiphany for me. I was constantly high on whatever was going around; cigarettes become more important than cash and were used for negotiating food and drug deals. I remember looking up one night and thinking, 'Oh my God. I'm just like everyone else!' There went the idea of growing my hair long to be different--which I was back in Melrose. It was a great time and the music was fantastic. I can't remember sleeping. I also remember waiting to get into one of the portajohns and someone screaming inside that he was shitting his brains out; he was serious. He thought his head was draining out of his ass. I saw another guy shoot up cyrstal meth into a tatoo on the iside of his arm that said "For You Mom"!

Unforgetable and unrememberable.

Jonathan SuperStrait said...

I was a student at Western Michigan University, (alumni class of 1972). My girlfriend Sue and I drove from Kalamazoo to the concert in my 1961 VW MicroBus. It was painted Red/White/Blue with a multicolored top. We were there for the whole concert. I remember Iggie Pop came on stage with a full Nixon mask. Does anyone else remember that? I have in the past found Mountain performing Mississippi Queen at Goose Lake on YouTube. The Cops were reported to busting people for drugs after they left the concert. As a result people were giving away drugs at the gate, you could get anything. Since all our drugs were gone and my multicolored bus stuck out like a sore thumb we declined. We did see quite a few vehicles pulled over by the cops. I alway thought it was strange that I never got stopped since my bus really did stick out. As it did not have 4th gear we had to drive the interstate home in 3rd gear with a top speed of 45 MPH.
What a great time it was and the Bands were amazing!!

I also went to a Sunday concert around the same time frame (1969 to 1971 at the Michigan State University campus. It was a one day, Sunday, $5 concert with John Sabastian, Jefferson Airplane, Chicago, and others. I have never been able to find anything about that concert in all my internet surfing. Can someone else help with that?

What a great time to be young and really alive.

Floyd said...

I was a 17-year-old film crew gofer when we got the call to go do Goose Lake. My job was to sit directly in front of the stage with a single mic connected to a Nagra tape recorder. I recall Tull playing Friday night, as I was too wasted to catch my favorites. I spoke with Russ about a year ago; he says he still has the video laying around his place somewhere in a pile of VHS tapes. I'm also in touch with Tom Wright, who actually built the site. Come visit my blog for more memories.

Anonymous said...

I was there, too. Had the time of my life, I think. The whole year of 1970 is pretty hazey. I don't remember how I got there or how I got in-I went with three pals from Indy. I seem to remember "stands" along the road to the hospital that were, openly, selling orange barrell sunshine, purple haze, blue tips, red devils, etc. I also remember Mountain singing Mississippi Queen and the mountain of pot that was left behind when we were advised that the law would be waining outside. It was a wonderful life, then.

Idele said...

As we prepare for the 40 year salute to Woodstock here in Jerusalem my mind wanders back to Goose Lake which actually took place a year later.

Yes, I had just finished summer term at MSU and was looking for work. The contractor Richard something hired me to be his secretary but discovered I couldn't type so he made me a security guard on the stage and a ticket attendant at the gate. I have the Detroit News special supplement as well as photos and my old Goose Lake tshirt now in shreds. I too remember naked people, open toilets, lots of drugs and the music. We were our own nation state with the police outside the gates just waiting to pounce.

I ended up on the planning committee for the Michigan State rock festival as well with photos too if anyone is interested. Today I am a radio journalist and writer who is,yes, working with the Woodstock Revival concert taking place here in Jerusalem August 5th.

Idele Ross

Bob said...

It would be great if those with photos could have a way to share them on this website.
I have been working on putting together a CD with my favorite song from each artist.
Can anyone help me find a source for John Drake Shake, Mighty Quick or Suite Charity?
I have an original wood coin required at the gate along with a poster.
Does anyone remember the kid who climbed the sound tower and jumbed as John Sebastian tried to talk him down?

Idele said...

I agree. I do have these photos like one of the guys parachuting into the park and everyone watching them and the articles written about the Festival. It would be wonderful if someone were putting together a book about, say, Michigan rock festivals. I also realized after looking at my photos that the MSU festival where I was on the student planning committee took place BEFORE Goose Lake which I think is a condominum neighborhood now.

Bob said...

Bob suggest that you all check out this article "Goose Lake memories
Why Michigan's most important rock fest remains an obscure footnote in rock history"
at:
http://metrotimes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=13036

Anonymous said...

Wow, can't believe I found this. I was there, lived in Jackson and went with a friend and made many more there. One of the best times of my life and still have my original stamped ticket that looks like a poker chip. When we got there, ended up walking in with some other folks and kept the chip for memories. Surprised I didn't loose it as screwed up as I was for the next 3 days...lol
Larry - 08-09-2009

Anonymous said...

posted some photos : more to come when I can find them... slides so they have been digitized and put up on Flickr...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanoverdon3/sets/72157621875737905/

Anonymous said...

I was not there then but I'm there every weekend now during the summer. It's now Greenwood Acres Campground, 1100 sites. The stage is now the Rec Center and the light towers are still standing.

Tina said...

I was not at the festival as i was too young. I will ad some little tidbits to what happened to the park after the festival. In 1973 my family found a nice year-round trailer park in Leoni twp. It was the former site of the Goose Lake International Music Festival. The park was called Greenwood Acres and was owned and operated by the same man who organized the festival, Dick Songer. In 1973 the stage was already enclosed and turned into a recreational center for the kids in the park. It had pool tables, pinball machines, ping pong tables and so forth for the kids to enjoy. I remember walking in the first time and seeing how the floor of the rec center in the middle was round and you would take two steps up to it. Then i realized that the floor was a big circle and it wasn't fixed to one position. You could tell it would revolve. This being the old stagefloor. This building was big. When you walked out the back door (which would have been facing the field where the audience was sitting) There was 4 huge I-beam towers that rose about 60-80 feet high. These were the towers for the lights and speakers. Dick Songer had put another beam connecting two together and hung huge round swings to these. These swings would fit 6 people in them and were billed on the park pamphlet as being the worlds largest swings. The park also had a motorcycle track on the west side of the park directly across from the field. The restroom buildings all around the site were still there in 1973 as was the large slide located in the northwest corner of the park. I hung around with Mr. Songers son for a few years as well as the son of the people who owned the farm where the site was. The family name of the farm was Wolfingers. Mr. Songers property was just to the west of the site on Greenwood road. Mr. Songer use to have horses you could rent and ride that was how i get to know his kids an Wolfingers family. I remember in the summer Mr. Songer would show his recording of the festival in the rec center on the anniversary of the festival. He did this for about 3 years from 1973-1976 then people at the park starting commenting on all the sex and drugs in the film so he didn't show it again after that. I use to have a shirt from the festival as Mr Songer still had many of these and you could get one from him, I wish i still had it but that was many moons ago. The Large slide was removed in 1977 after a lady from the park hurt her back on, she hurt her back because she had been drinking and at the foot of the slide was a 3 foot deep pit you would fall into. The pit was filled with foam but somehow she hurt herself so Mr. Songer ended up filling in the pit and closing the slide. The park was a great place to grow up at and i only wish i could have been a few years older because i know i would have gone to the festival. In later Mr. Songer had a zoo where the old motorcycle track was but that only lasted about 5 years then that was closed off. I last went to the park in 1992 and the rec center is still there as well as the towers. I know i didnt add anything about the concert but i just wanted to let all the readers know that a part of their past still exists there. I wonder why they haven't reckognized it more in the annels of music history. Also i wanted to ask if anyone has any pictures of the festival they are willing to share. I am also trying to find video of the show but havent had any luck. Maybe someone can help me on this. Thank you and groove on everyone. PEACE Harold DeKiere

LeeFromGR said...

Gibb was shocked? I have never seen so much dope in one place in my life! The music was fabulous and the vibe and weather were stellar but the dope was a memorable part of this festival! The parking lot off to the side was a drug flea market with menus often listed on the sides of vans and tents (i.e. Red Lebanese, Afghan Primo, brown mesc, Michoacan). There was a guy walking around who had an insulated mini trash can on his back (like a papoose) with a large funnel welded to the bottom with a rubber hose and gas mask attached to the funnel. He had about a half pound of smoldering weed going in the can and wandered about putting the mask on anyone who was game for a real choker of a hit. The anticipation of running into police gauntlets was so high that people were giving away drugs left and right Sunday night. Two of us slept on bags of lousy Indiana ditch weed for pillows. There was a guy wandering about with a flag that simply said "Opium". You gave him some money and he ripped you off a piece from a softball size hunk he carried. Does anyone remember the guy falling from the sound tower during the Burrito Bros set? How about the icky vibe that the Stooges let loose when they came on stage, set their guitar and bass against their amps for feedback and simply left for a couple minutes before returning and starting the music part of their show? I'm still seeing things 39 years later!

Don Hanover said...

there is a set on flickr
you have to be signed in to view it due to content...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hanoverdon3/sets/72157622022723752/

if this gets to to something other than the set click on from Don Hanover III
or.. a web site...VERY SLOW to load 100 photos and music...
http://web.me.com/hanoverdon3/hanoverdon3/Goose_Lake_International_Music_Festival.html

grphxman1 said...

With all the retrospectives of Woodstock going on for the 40th anniversary it saddens me that Goose Lake doesn't get more POSITIVE press. I remember the negative press during and after the GL Festival but I knew it didn't resemble the concert my friends and I had attended. Lately it seems that the press has reassesed their coverage of Goose Lake. Recently I finally got around to reading David Carson's highly acclaimed "Grit, Noise, and Revolution: The Birth of Detroit Rock 'n Roll". The book was thoroughly researched and a very enjoyable read. I was dismayed though, by his chapter on Goose Lake. He describes how concertgoers were met with a scene reminiscent of Attica Prison because of the chain-link fence topped by barbed wire. He talks about lines of people lined up at lemon-ade type stands to buy and shoot up meth. Booths selling works and herion with used needles littering the ground. People going without food and medical care. He quotes the LA Free Press reporter as saying, "Instant slum, overcrowding, all the disadvantages of a ghetto-recreated folks, for your listening pleasure." Was there drug use at Goose Lake? Absolutely! Even heroin? Yes, because this was right around the time that smack was making serious in-roads into lily-white suburbs. My friends and I brought several dozen penny-caps with us along with a few ounces of hash (for personal use). As for the hellish scenes described in the book, with quotes from Dan Carlisle and Dennis Frawley...I didn't see that. Does anyone seriously think that similar things didn't go on at Woodstock?

Anonymous said...

About 5 of us squeezed into my Volkswagon (Blue Max) from Athens Ohio and Ohio University. I remember some dude had a tank of nitrous oxide at the top of a slide.....fun stuff. Also remember bringing plenty of Boones farm (didn't have to bring any drugs....it was one stop shopping) but saved a plum for Sunday mornin and it was heaven. Saw a guy walkin around on Saturday sayin "Ballbat....50 cents a hit!!"....funny stuff. No violence....no arrests for us.... a friend with another group from Portsmouth Ohio was at the OD tent for a while....some bad brown mescaline....didn't bother me. 40th anniversary of Woodstock brings it all back.....I'd say about 300,000 were there....revolving stage was a bitch....you could hear the last song of a group then someone like the New York Rock and Roll Ensemble...starting their first song.....Mountain and Rod Stewart were great....was Mott the Hoople there?....it's almost like Woodstock.....if you remember it then you weren't there!!!

Ken said...

I was there as well. great time and unless i just happened to be in all the wrong or right places (depending on your point of view) there was widespread drug use. of course i never used any but my friends did.

Anonymous said...

i remember that gigantic joint that was passed around,the time the crowd parted like the red sea to allow the owner of the property and his family to come from the back to stage front,a naked couple so beautiful and innocent looking holding hands just standing there listening to the music,and the corwd being spent after witnessing a set by 'james gang' that was magic,'jethro tull ' was next and got pissed because the crowd was exhausted.i remember the sunburned naked guy who was working the recovery area oblivious to his nakedness or his short comings.

cincymove said...

I was there with friends, had our car towed by police for parking along the road. I don't have any photos if anyone has them can they email to me at cincymove@aim.com, Thanks,

Anonymous said...

I loved the Goose Lake festival. I drove there with my buddies from Northern New York. I have a vivid memory at the lake. I wade over to a pretty girl washing her long dark hair and ask to borrow her soap. Later, I'm lounging with the other hippies sun drying on the beach. The pretty girl is there too. We chat briefly. She leaves. I follow her perfection with my eyes as she walks away. She looks back at me. She is beautiful...
I coulda, shoulda, woulda, but didn't (get up and follow her).
Almost 40 years later I still see that event as a portal into an alternate universe that could have been my life..alas, a door I didnt walk through. But hey, I was 19. The door I ultimately opened
worked out and basically life has been good.

Check out the movie "Taking Woodstock" While not perfect, it comes close to capturing the Goose Lake vibe.

Radar said...

I hitchhiked from Goshen, Indiana, to the festival with another friend of mine(Doug Eash). When we arrived at the enterance one of the ticket takers would not let us enter unless we drank some of his Electric Koolaide. So we did! I remember 10 Years After was playing & then the next day we woke up next to the OD tent. We had a great time & the music was magic! Radar

Anonymous said...

Was 18 at the time, with 3 of my friends we left St. Louis in search of the Goose Lake Music Festival. As I reminish about that week-end, it was a very peaceful time with every one in our area sharing what they had brought, whether that was food, drink or other. Saturday morning the older gentleman (nude) with his sign over both sides of his body dancing through the crowd with all of us creating a hugh train behind him. I remember the naked girl that shared my sleeping bag that night. What a great time, great music and great memories! Thanks

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
I was there and we had a great time. We ended up camping with the Hells angels MC club(were afraid to move) and we had a great tme camping there. The music was good and everything was fun. Glad I had the chance to be there."

Bullshit. I as there. The "Hell's angels MC club" weren't. This was probably some guys in leather, fucking with some dipshits. Pretty funny.

John Olsen
Chicago

Nickname unavailable said...

correction: I was there.

John O

Anonymous said...

"I was there sitting directly under the spotlight tower on the left side far out in front of the stage. On Saturday, I remember a guy monkey climbing up the girders of the tower to the second level and rocking out there to the jams. He was on the railing and jumped and then realized he had jumped (you could see his body go stiff in mid air as he fell). He landed on a cooler beside me and everyone thought he was dead. Turns out he just busted his ribs and was knocked out. The music stopped and they parted a path through the sea of people so they could come in and cart him out."

I remember this vividly. Were't The Litter playing when this happened? Well, if they were't, I still remember how the guy on the PA got everybody to make way for the ambulance, without any problems. This was a very fine time.

We camped out on some farmer's property prior to the festival opening up. The farmer drank a bunch of wine or something that was loaded with pills of all sorts. I have no idea what happened to him. At least at the time, we were told it was the guy who owned the property. It was a regular tent city.

I was seventeen at the time. A perfect age for rock festivals.

John O again
Chicago

Anonymous said...

correctionL weren't

jim said...

Did we party or what!!!!!!!!Over 20 of us went up on bikes & cars from the Ligonier , Lake Wawasee area of Northern indiana.We got Bozoed big time .Two buds had just got home from Nam we hopped i my "70" SS454 Chevelle w/ other friends in tow.One of the first thing we did was some tab T.started walking on the outer edge of the Goose Nest. Found the ladies showers walked right in had a great time for i don't know how long.The slide was a good time saw some biker on the slide w/ his bike. He didn't do to well what a hoot.We camped down at OD Swamp.One mornimg someone let off an M-80 wat to early. I raised up one of my buddys that was home from Nam was gone . I looked around, couldn't find him . He was under my car with eye's as big as silver dollars. Mountian playing "Never in my Life" jacked me up.Chicago doing 25 or 6 to 4 i remember the crowd getting up ,and rushing at the stage till it was solid people going crazy .That's all for now. Hope everyone has a very hooter X-mas, later got to run Jim ,Lake Wawasee

Anonymous said...

I just got out of highschool and was dating a guy name Rick. 4 of us had heard about the festival and drove out there before they had started any contruction of the stages etc. That was indeed a strange night to remember, it was like we found 10,000 frogs plucking rubberbands. Yea I know you had to be there. Then we went back for the concert. What a mind blowing experience. I to remember the guy on the motorcycle wearing only his boots. Does anyone remember the flat bed trailer parked on the main drag to where the concerts were? I think we sat there for 1/2 day just staring at people. We had a 2 person tent and we were pitched right next to a Kent State van that could give you just about anything you wanted..
Does anyone remember the 400 lbs guy that came running through the crown during Chicago? He was high on something and it was like he was a raging bull and it took like 20 guys to take him down.

I wish I could go back, and see the people I met and feel the love and peace that was everywhere no matter who or where you were from. No one was bogue and everything was farout and groovy.
We did wear flowers in our hair.

Denys from Detroit

Myrna Jacobs said...

My husband and son were there. It was hot and dry and we were staying in our VW van. I didn't use any drugs then but knew it was rampant. I visited friends in their tents and well, didn't like it as much as maybe I should have.

My son got sick from drinking something in someone's tent (coke? coffee? alcohol? ...not sure) and we left. I was happy to be gone.

I know.. what was i thinking bringing a child! duh

Johnny said...

There's a full video of this festival on a few bit torrents sites Google it & download it. Maybe you can see yourself

http://www.seedpeer.com/details/2976185/Goose-Lake-International-Music-Festival.html

marylulu said...

i was 21 went with 8 people brought all our own drugs. but put our tent up next to open city medical tent where all the people that OD'ed on the bad drugs were freeking out. but ran into friends and stayed in their tent it was a time and era i'll never forget sooo much good music and fun!!

Anonymous said...

So glad to see so many had such a great time at Goose Lake. My dad was the owner and promoter for the Music Festival. We, his daughters want to celebrate the 40th anniversary. This festival with its one of a kind stage needs to have the recognition it deserves. It was the second largest of its kind right behind Woodstock. We hope some music magazines will do some hype. We will be offering replica T shirts and the original admission chip on Ebay. Look for us in 2-3 weeks. Goose Lake ROCKS!

cincymove said...

Sounds Good To Me !!!

Anonymous said...

Hey to everyone and a big thank you for all the response, Goose Lake was a really cool event. My dad tried to do a great thing for young people and got a bad rap. So we, the family of the owner and promoter are offering via ebay a 40th anniversary t shirt along with an original entry chip. Check it out they look awesome. Hope to get a few music stations in on the recognition of the festivals 40th anniversary too.

Idele said...

Dear Anonymous,

I wish you would provide an email since I was your dad's first secretary in the trailer that served as his office. When he discovered I couldn't type he made me a security guard - at the gate and in front of the stage with the Hells Angels - He might be interested to know that I have been a broadcast journalist (computers really help)for 30 years in Israel. I also serve on the organizing committee for something we call Salute to Woodstock every year. And I still have my Goose Lake tshirt moldy smelly and in tatters though it may be and my strong memories.

Idele

travis davidson said...

hello! yeah me and a buddy went and we met up with my girlfriend and her brother(her mother wouldn't let her go with me)so we met up there and just plain partied for 3 days.... it really was great. we came from detroit and it was good to get away. the flying burrito bros. were excellent and i didn't think i liked them. after all i went there manly to see the 5 and seger,and of course " the stooges" i'm down here in georgia now but "detroit rocks" peace to all,travis******

Anonymous said...

i grew up in jackson michigan when i found out about this concert my friend and i decided to make some money there . we talked a truck drive friend, my neighbor to go to ark. and buy us a load of watermelom.we bought 40000 pounds set up a big tent i borrowd from the jackson county sheriff possy, my dad was a member. we set up the tent 2 days ahead of concert unloaded the watermelons and sold the 40000 pounds of melons in 2 days at 1 dollar per slice. had a great time made some cash, meet some people got a buzz. one of the best times of my life. we were the only ones with watermelons so if u ate melons u got it from me. peace

turbotazz said...

a follow up to last post. im the watermelon guy i sold and gave away i should have said some people needed water so on the end of the first day started giving lots of melon away had apocket full of money so it didnt matter. welcome emails from satisfied customers melon that is lol turbotazz @aol.com

Anonymous said...

Hey Goose Lake Fans LOVE to read all your comments....Keep it up lets celebrate 40 years. See our shirt on ebay cool shirt with a free authenic chip( the ticket to get in).

Wear it around show your support or just wear a cool shirt. Thanks hope to see you all at ebay.

The Book Guy said...

I hitchhiked from St. Louis, MO. I had just had my first festival experience the month before at Atlanta. Who knows who I actually saw in Michigan, but I do distinctly remember John Sebastian, the Stooges (Iggy is God), Jethro Tull, Brownsville Station and Mountain. I have vague memories of Ten Years After, Flock, Savoy Brown, Joe Cocker, Chicago and James Gang.
I don't recall the stage revolving, but I do recall an overall very pleasant experience. One thing I do have firm memories migt make for a article on psychology.
I noticed that one food stand was so overwhelimed with cranking out the hot dogs to the hungry masses that they weren't tearing the food tickets as they redeemed them. They were just tossing them into a bucket and when it was full they dumped it into a pile outside next to the stand. I noticed this and retrieved a huge fistful of untorn food tickets. It was far too much for me to consume that weekend and I was up there by myself, because none of my friends were interested in going. So I proceeded to give the tickets away. At least I tried to. To my utter amazement there were no takers. After trying to give the tickets away for 10 or 15 minutes I just gave up.

robert gibki said...

i was there i was 17 years old itook a whole hit of clinical 4 way acid we got pulled over on the way in and other friends who were caravaning in other cars thought we were arrested some how miraculouslly we were let go and not caught with all kinds of drugs on us ithink they let us slide cause we were all young those were special times and i always felt we kinda got ripped off on goose lake as far as the notority woodstock got all the press but it was awesome !!!!!

Jim Thompson said...

As far as skinny-dipping, I met a friend's boss who told me he was on the camera crew there and basically he ended up filming just that. Kids in the water. Apparently the director was William Dear (Harry And The Hendersons), so I'm guessing a lot of film footage could still exist. I'm looking for audio recordings from the festival, too.

Anonymous said...

WHAT A GREAT EVENT!!!!!!!!!! THE SITE, THE MUSIC, THE ORGANIZERS, THE COPS, IT ALL WAS COOL. ACTUALLY EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT "EXCEPT" THE GUY WHO FELL OUT OF ONE OF THE LIGHT TOWERS AND WAS TAKEN AWAY IN AN AMBULANCE. I WATCHED HIM JUMP AND IT WAS NO ACCIDENT, HE WAS JUST TOO HIGH, IN "BOTH" SENSE OF THE WORD. SURE MISS THOSE DAYS.

Anonymous said...

It was a great experience for sure (as much as I remember anyway LOL) I had the chance to go as a high school student but with the negative press my parents were very hesitant especially my dad. He kept bringing up his concerns and I would argue against them. Finally he said he was worried someone would slip heroin in coffee and I knew I had him! I told him I promise not to drink any coffee while I was there and I was off!
I remember running the gauntlet of cop cars on the way in. They pulled over 2 cars in front of us and 3 behind but we made it in. Got into the gate and went to the information booth. Asked where we could pitch a tent. The cute girl behind the counter said she had no idea but some good opium coming to the booth in minute and in my mind the concert was on!
Great music alot of high people (including me) Came home with my dad's family tent trashed as they told us to then in a parking lot with oiled sand.
Great memories love the site here!
Alaska Joe (originally from Saginaw)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I was there. I remember working in the food tent giving away food like corn on the cob. Fond memories of listening to Jethro Tull looking up at the stars in the sky. Always told people that i never made it to Woodstock, but went to Michigan's version at Goose Lake.

bucaneer said...

Went with the redhead of my dreams (at that time) We were right next to the stage trippin' our brains out when the Airplane came on. Kids were throwing pills onto the stage, Grace picked one up and said "A white, who likes whites?" and threw it back into the crowd. The next one she said "I'll do this!" and popped it. Lisa and crawled under the stage where we found a trapdoor, opened it and Jorma Kaukonen, close enough to touch looked down and gave us the Thumbs UP. I was about 5 feet from Grace, IN HEAVEN !! After about 15 minutes or so Jorma looked at us and pointed down with his finger, so we ducked down and crawled back out. Amazing!!!! Hugh Goetz p.s. the readhead was Connie VanderHave aka Lisa Montage.

rondolce said...

Saturday afternoon I was tripping my 19 year old brains out in the heat and dust (which was the dustiest dust I've ever encountered). The people next to us offered me a sip of Boone's Farm (which I'd never had before) and I could feel the coldness washing the dust out of my throat. I'll always remember that moment. That and Mountain closing the evening!

alaskajoe7 said...

Wow Buccaneer must have been really tripping... I don't remember Airplane even being at Goose Lake!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I was there, now is the time for all of us to awaken again. Let us take back our country. Trust me, it is time.

Anonymous said...

It was my 18th birthday and one of my most poignant memories was sitting there in the beautiful night with beautiful people all around while Chicago was playing "Colour My World" ... I'll never forget it and will love you all forever.

almarks19 said...

I was 19, I won 2 tickets (poker Chips) on radio station WABX. My girl friend and I went with her sister and her boy friend.We live in Monroe Mi. about a hour away from Jackson. It was a great weekend that i can remember. Stayed high the whole weekend.Had our tent close to the lake and I remember a cop on his horse getting stuck in the mud. I ran and found some other cops they had to use their horses to pull the cops horse out. The music was great the people were great. It was the only place where you could sit on the toilet take a shit and watch a good looking bitch shower awesome. I went on line and got 4 tickets to add to my chip collection. I'll nver forget goose lake, oh by the way today is my 60th birthday so that was 41 years ago wow,,

Anonymous said...

Jefferson Airplane was not at Goose Lake. They were at the one a year earlier, in New York.



John

Anonymous said...

Went to Goose Lake with two buddies. Was back from Nam and looking for excitement. Saw most everything you would expect at a typical rock festival. Woke up one morning with a lot of people yelling near where we were camped.....naked people washing up in the lake. We bought bottles of Boone's Farm wine from some industrious guys (wish I had thought of it!!!) and we got hooked on drinking that crap from then on. We also bought what we thought was some good weed, but I think most of it was Kentucky 31 grass clippings. Saw a girl riding naked on the back of a Harley......never could get my girl friend to do that. Think I remember someone jumping, or falling, off a light pole somewhere up near the stage and the guy on stage saying something like, "Don't worry. That kid just busted his ass. He's not hurt." Looked pretty bad from where I was, but who the hell knows. Things were a little cloudy. Had a great time and remember we had to leave early to drive back to Cincinnati so we could go back to work at General Electric on Monday. Pissed me off.

Anonymous said...

i arrived at Gooselake via old VW van along with 3 friends. We arrived early as we ddn't have tickets. We camped outside the fence for two night prior to the start of the concert. I remember a wine jug being passed around at a huge bonfire. Hits of acid and whatever were being put into it and I don't remember much after that. Next. I remember lining the fence and we all counted to three and then hundreds of us scaled the fence even though there were mounted security on the other side who at first tired to stop us then gave up as there were too many of us. The concert music was great. I remember waking up one morning over by the lake and there were many skinning dipping and getting a fresh bath. Lots of drugs, good music but personally saw no violence. Greatest time of my life. My son found a bootleg video cd of Goose Lake rock festival. It is really pretty good and very similar to what was produced at Woodstock. I here estimates of over 200,000 people were there. Personally, I think it was over 300,000. There were those there that had attended Woodstock and though this was much better. It rocked!!

Anonymous said...

If ya weren't there, ya weren't. Where to start... Pushing Jeff Alexander's car the last mile with mine to get there. The sign inside the entrance that said 'Bomb Weed'. It wasn't, money wasted. Boons farm apple wine. Blotter Acid, Great Hash!!! Can you say NO2? Bathing nude in the "lake".
I think that it was Iggy who brought out the joint rolled out of a newspaper. I wasn't close enough to the stage to get a toke. As a senior in HS from Wyandotte it was quite enlightening. Meth? Heroin? I was already hip to that scene and never saw any of that shit go down. A dope fest? Fuckin'"A" right.
Sigh, watching a gal stir a vat of oatmeal standing there nude [her, not me].
Open City? Yeah, the blotter acid was WAY beyond anything I had ever encountered before. Not a bad freak out, something far different that to this day I can't really describe. Just something that I wouldn't care to repeat again but it is a part of the memories that constitute me.
Do it again pushing Sixty? Fuck yeah, in a heartbeat. No acid this time though, alas, I've gotten too old. As for the other madness?
Sigh, all those foxy babes ain't so hot anymore. I suspect that if we all knew what we do today it would have been one drug-fueled orgy, just don't tell your kids/grandkids that!!!
I'm not fried, but I'm an...
Old Hippie

2dogs said...

A special moment in time. Weed, Music, Women and Wine. Life was so good and innocent then. I miss it...

Anonymous said...

Hash, Chocolate Mescaline and a hit of blotter acid. I was there amongst Iggy Pop and all, sort of. I saw God. That experience has stayed with me to this day and formed the life I've lived. I'm grateful for it.

Anonymous said...

Lived in Detroit on Canfield near Wayne State. I signed up with Open City to work in the food tent. A group of us traveled there on an old schoolbus. It broke down on the way there so I hook up with a cute girl an walked a ways up the interstate. The minute she put her thumb to hitchhike we got pick-up by a car load of kids heading to the Festival. We didn't have tickets but just sat on the hood of a car and drove right in with no problem. My cousin and I designed some Goose Lake t-shirts and managed to sell out all that we printed. Wow wonder if any of them are still out there? Music,Drugs,Naked people,
Giant slide,remember it all. One friend of mine tripped all night Sat. but never moved from holding onto the antenne of a friends car. He's still a car nut to this day.lol What a fantastic weekend it was. I also remember the Sagatuck Festival and still have a flyer from it along with some old Grande Ballroom and Fillmore postcards. Vividly remember Procal Harem playing "Shine on Brightly", while a lightning strom brewed all around us for a totally awesome light show. All good times I'll never forget. Peace, Love.

bobbybluz said...

I was 17 and also living in Detroit. The schoolbus mentioned above belonged to John Martin, director of Open City and manager of the Norman James Blues Band that was one of the local opening acts. The bus was also carrying the band and it's equipment. I was one of the equipment slaves.
I don't remember the bus breaking down or much of anything else other than spending much time in the White Panther Party tent after consuming nearly every drug I had ever heard of. I also recall picking up several bags of weed off the ground after nearly everybody had left then hitch-hiking to Flint with some girls I met there. In all the whole thing was pretty much a giant blur to me.

Anonymous said...

I had just graduated from High School in Illinois. Went to Kickapoo Creek instead of going to my graduation, then hitched up Goose Lake. Had a blast at both, 17 years old and taking advantage of the time before starting college in the fall. Lots of great music, and friends, and yeah, drugs. Good times.
Leslie (now living in Oregon)

Anonymous said...

Each festival of that era had an impact on those who attended. Goose Lake fans might find some familiar chords in this article:

http://likethedew.com/2012/03/04/we-can-all-join-in-how-rock-festivals-helped-change-america/

bob from taylor,mi said...

I was parked in my 67 chevelle convertible just down from the giant slide. I remember being naked with about a hundred other people male and female playing with a frisbe in waist high water out in the Lake. I remember the old people from the lake out in they`re rowboats watchin us. We we`re so buzzed. Best time of my life!

Anonymous said...

Even though I'm now 65 years young I remember Goose Lake like it was yesterday. A week earlier I had the time of my life at Wadena Rock Fest in Iowa. Seven of my best friends and I took off for Toronto to go to see the Plastic Ono Band. We crossed the bridge at Detroit, were stopped at the Canadian side as undesirables, then pulled over on the American side of the bridge and watched nervously as the border police went through our van for over an hour looking for drugs. Frustrated at not finding anything, the police then brought us into a little trailer, one at a time, and stripped us naked (checking every orifice imaginable). Finally they gave up! We drove to the nearest rest stop, figured out how to get to Goose Lake and dropped the tabs of acid we had stashed in the hubcap
of the van. We arrived (tripping) early on that hot Friday afternoon. I remember the folks running the festival were really cool: My friend Allan Smith and I didn't have enough money to buy tickets so they gave us a job working hauling ice blocks to food stands. After riding in the back of the ice truck delivering ice for a few hours someone thanked us for our hard work, gave us some food coupons, and let us walk in and find our friends. The most vivid memory I had of the three days was during Mountain's set when a fan climbed onto the stage and Felix Pappalardi
tried to knock the fan off the stage. The fan grabbed Pappalardi's bass as he fell and I remember roadies leaping into the audience and bringing Felix's bass back to the stage. Goose Lake was a great experience! It ranks second to Wadena the week before as the greatest rock'nroll experience of my life. Forty-two years later I teach art at a private high school in Hawaii and have discovered that the former headmaster of our school had been at Goose Lake and the man I stand next to in our church choir had been to BOTH Wadena and Goose Lake. As they say, "Small World, Big Island!"

Anonymous said...

Anybody have pictures?..email them to gberghof@comcast.net...I want to do a book.I was there w/my friends Don and Mike from Pittsburgh Pa..We drove in Don's HS grad gift..a beautiful Purple Dodge Dart Demon 340 Duster...I lost my virginity there to a buxom lady named Jackie...Thanks Jack..Pinky,squirrel,you still on the planet..Don was so wacked on speed he ran for hours...In the tent with Jackie with bikers circling the tent outside...We gave a guy named Rick a ride home to Shadyside,(Pittsburgh) and he paid us with generous samplings from his golf ball sized Opium ball...loved that..anybody ever smoke Keef?..Loved that too..anybody that wants to write again it's gberghof@comcast.net...my name is Jay

UncleScroge said...

I was there too. Can't say anymore than what's already been said. You've all covered it all so well. Sure miss the good old days. Goose Lake Forever! UncleScroge

Uncle Scroge said...

Wow, what a trip! A half a dozen of my friends or so and I drove over from Flint and we were there too. It's really unfortunate that we don't ever have any concerts or festivals like this anymore. I mean look at all the great names that were there, not just a few, but a whole bunch. Can't add anything more to what's already been said, you've all covered it all so well. Sure miss the good old days. Goose Lake forever! UncleScroge