Gold Rush Festival

Gold Rush Festival

Country Weather – “Over and Over”
October 4, 1969

Gold Rush Festival

     It's October 1969 and you've heard  all about that Woodstock Music and Art Fair back east, but you were on the west coast. You still are. You hear about a one-day festival coming up in Lake Amador, which is about 50 miles southeast of Sacramento.  The price is $3 for the day. Very reasonable. You look at the line-up. Not bad. Not bad at all:
  • Santana
  • Taj Majal
  • Bo Diddley
  • Albert Collins
  • Kaleidoscope
  • Al Wilson
  • Southwind
  • Ike and Tina Turner
  • Sons of Champlin
  • Country Weather
  • Linn
  • Cold Weather
  • County Daybreak
     You knew about Santana before Woodstock and knew they were pretty good. There wasn't anything like Ike and Tina Turner at Woodstock. Nor a Taj Majal. Nor an Albert Collins.

     This could be a very nice day in the country. It was.

     If there is a criticism of Woodstock's three-day line, it is that given the year and perspective, there were no black bands as such. There  certainly were black performers and there were bands playing blues and blues/rock, but there was no Taj Majal. No Albert Collins. No Al Wilson. And certainly no Ike and Tina Turner. One must imagine the impact Tina would have had on 400,000 people that day, on the album that she surely would have been on, and the movie she absolutely appeared in.

Robert StrandGold Rush Festival

     Robert Strand promoted the event and 40,000 people showed up. He and his family were the financial backers.  Strand was the manager of Country Weather, one of the bands that appeared. He describes the event as a perfect combination of location, music, stage, PA, and weather. He recently assisted in a video report of the event. That video can be found on YouTube in four parts. Here is a link to Part 1. It is a wonderful story by someone who humbly tells the story with lots of detail. Lots of specific information.

     Unfortunately, there is no video or recording of the event.

Remembrances of the…

Gold Rush Festival

Gold Rush Festival

     James Hackworth was 22 years old when he and his wife and two kids attended the Gold Rush Festival. His memories include, "...people jammed the banks of Lake Amador to sunbathe, drink wine, smoke marijuana and listen to an all-star roster of musicians at the Gold Rush Rock Music Festival. Since the crowd was peaceful, Amador County sheriff’s deputies chose to ignore the drug use and skinny-dipping. ...I remember looking over a sea of people and everyone was really happy and full of enthusiasm.  The music was the catalyst that drew us together. It really was a time of believing in love and peace for humanity.” [Messynesschic dot com site]

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2 thoughts on “Gold Rush Festival”

  1. I was 17 when I cruised up to the concert on Friday night with a friend. We were ripped but I can’t help but think I would have enjoyed the concert (and memory) more if I was sober. Bo, Tina and Santana rocked. and it seemed like everyone I knew from South Sacramento was there. Awesome that you are keeping this moment alive. The weather was perfect. for swimming.

    1. Thanks Nick for sharing your memory, even a hazy one! As someone who only recently discovered and was amazed at the dozens of other 1969 festivals that had line ups as good as Woodstock, I want to get it out there that people like you had some great times. Thanks again.

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