Some notes on the JS Keswick show

· Jefferson Starship Home Page· CIA · Jefferson Starship Message Board Main ·

Posted by Rich on 04/21/02 - 21:22:45
IP: Browser: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; AOL 4.0; Windows 98; Compaq)

Message Body

Since Dave and others have already commented on the JS performance and setlist for the 4/16/02 Keswick Theatre show, I thought I would fill in a few blanks on the events that occurred that night. Dave had made plans to meet Ethel, Ray, Liz and Cricket at the Keswick Tavern which is located across the street from the theatre. Dave and I arrived at approximately 4:15 PM. At that time, there were a group of Doors fans at the side stage entrance waiting for Ray Manzarek to come out and autograph various items such as records, CDs, books, T-shirts and underwear. The band had not yet arrived but we did run into John Murray, the JS road manager and soundman for the tour. We asked John if he had seen Ethel, Ray, Liz, Cricket or a tall fellow with a black suit and large black hat. Unfortunately, John had not seen any of the A-Deckers.
After checking inside the theatre with JS's equipment manager, Mike Eisenstein, we proceeded to the Keswick Tavern. As we approached the Tavern, we started to hear the sound of glass breaking as it hit the floor, laughing, screaming and the general roar of disorder and chaos. As we entered, we finally realized that the touring A-Deck group had arrived at the tavern 3 or 4 hours prior to the scheduled meeting time and that the disturbance was coming from the general area of their table. As Dave and I approached the table, we could hear the sound of glass and potato chips crunching under our shoes. I slipped on one half of a hamburger roll but was able to maintain my balance and avoid falling to the floor.
It was great meeting-up with the touring A-Deckers. Ray was face down in a cheeseburger that was missing the top half of the roll. Twelve empty bottles of beer and a few shot glasses were scattered around his plate. Ethel greeted us with her warm smile but spilled a large glass of red wine on Dave's black JS T-shirt. No harm done since you could hardly see the stain when it dried. Liz and Cricket both staggered to their feet and gave us big hugs. We wiped the catsup and worcestershire sauce from our shirts, pulled over some chairs and sat down for some pre-concert dinner, drinks and conversation with our fellow A-Deckers. I must admit that the Quaker staff at the Keswick Tavern were very cordial and showed a great deal of tolerance. Every 15 minutes or so, a staff member would come by with a broom and sweep away the food, bottles and other debris that had fallen from the table. They told us it was OK as long as we were not one of those Amish bastards.
Chris finally arrived at 5:30 PM. I became a little nervous when Chris walked in since all eyes were upon him. The brim of his black hat caught the edges of the entrance doorway and almost knocked it off his head. As Chris approached the table, I thought about what the staff had said about the Amish. Chris was greeted by myself, Dave and all of the touring A-Deckers, with the exception of Ray, who was still asleep. Ethel, being the caring person she is, had turned his head to the side since the cheese had started to clog his nostrils. Since there was no more room at our table, I was going to ask Chris to sit at another table for dinner. This would permit us to continue to behave in a bizarre and unruly manner without letting the staff know that we were socializing with the Amish. I knew it was Chris's intention to be on his best behavior this time but I could only think back to the events that occurred after the last JS concert at the Keswick. My request was not needed since the staff seated Chris in the back of the restaurant which seems to be the preferred location for the Amish in a Quaker community establishment.
At 7:00 PM, we decided it was time to go to the theatre. Ethel woke Ray up, wiped the cheese and catsup from his face and introduced him to Dave and I. Due to Chris's late arrival, he was still in the process of eating dinner when we decided to leave for the theatre. Liz asked the waitress to put our bill on Chris's tab and we all quickly left for the Keswick Theatre.
Since we had all ordered tickets early, we were all seated together in the first 2 rows. This made it easy for group photos and general conversation among the A-Deckers before the show started. Chris finally made his way to the theatre. He received some dirty looks and quiet derogatory comments from the Keswick Quaker staff but kept his cool since he was determined to see the JS show and not give them any reason to eject him from the theatre. Ray Manzarek came on first and did a fine 45 minute set which seemed to calm the crowd. As the opening chords of St. Charles flowed from the stage, I knew we were in for a great show. Dave and I had started the recorders and were ready to settle in for another classic JS performance. The touring A-Deckers were a little wobbly but in high spirits and ready to take in the show.
Everything seemed to be going very well through the first 5 songs unti Marty started "Count On Me". Marty usually comes out to the edge of the stage for certain songs and he did just that for "Count On Me". All of a sudden and without any prior warning, Liz sprung out of her front row seat and grabbed Marty's leg and started to pull him down off the stage. I guess the moment got the best of her and she would not let Marty go. Marty, the consummate professional, tried to carry on as if nothing was happening. Ethel and Ray quickly got up and tried to pull Liz away but this initially seemed to make things worse. In an attempt to get a better grip on Marty, Liz sunk her teeth into Marty's calf muscle. Marty had to finally acknowledge that something was wrong and attempted to pry open Liz's jaw and release himself. The combination of Ethel and Ray pulling one way and Marty pulling the other finally loosened Liz's grip and she was pulled away. As soon as her grip on Marty was terminated, she then realized what she had done and apologized to Marty, Ethel and Ray. Dave and I were worried that the resultant noise from this incident might have ruined someone's audience tape of the show. Just to make sure that Liz would not loose it again, we took Ray's advice and tied Liz to her seat with some extra recording cables we had. This seemed to do the trick for the remainder of the show.
Just when we thought all of the incidents were behind us, another slightly less dramatic event occurred. Another A-Decker, Wayne, was moving forward up the isle trying to get some good photos of the band. He had a large flash on his camera about 12" in diameter. Each time he took a photo, an intense strobe of white light shot from the flash to the stage. The flash caused 5 to 10 seconds of blindness for anyone looking directly at the flash when it discharged. Several of the Quakers in the audience complained and the Keswick staff overreacted to the complaints. They grabbed Wayne and started to drag him out but Wayne put up a good fight. I heard the crowd yelling "fight back, fight back" and this seemed to reenergize Wayne in his battle with the staff. When Cricket saw the Keswick staff calling for reinforcements, she got up from her seat and made her way to Wayne's location in the isle. I must compliment Cricket for her quick response and dedication since all of the other A-Deckers, including myself, were too busy watching JS. Cricket explained to the management that she had experience in handling these types of situations so they let her proceed. I saw Cricket remove something from her handbag that seemed to shine in the theatre lighting. I then noticed that it was some type of medallion on a chain. Cricket began waving the medallion back and forth in front of Wayne's eyes and he seemed to immediately calm down. She then led him to a corner in the back of the theatre. It appeared to me that she had given him some type of posthypnotic suggestion. I quickly used the opportunity of Cricket's absence from her front row seat to jump in and take some unobstructed photos of the band. Upon Cricket's return back to her seat, I looked back and saw Wayne down on all fours in the back corner of the theatre chewing on something. At this point, JS started playing "Lets Go Together" which brought my attention right back to the show.
Just when I thought nothing else could happen, It did. JS had just come out of a hot version of "America" into "Volunteers". We all got up in the first two rows and rushed up to the front of the stage. I then noticed that Ray was holding Ethel's arm as she was pulling forward for some reason. In less than a flash, Ethel had broken loose from Ray's grip, jumped up on the stage and charged toward Diana's microphone. Diana was caught off guard and Ethel was able to pull the microphone away from Diana. She then started dancing around the stage singing "Volunteers". We all started stamping our feet, clapping and singing "Volunteers" The Keswick stage security immediately responded and started tackling Ethel. Ray had seen enough and jumped up on the stage to come to Ethel's aid. I turned around and saw Chris with a steaming mad look on his face but he continued to keep his cool. Dave and I would have helped out but we were too busy yelling "fight back" into Marty's microphone which he had pointed down toward the crowd. The Glenside Quaker police arrived, rushed the stage and took away Ethel and Ray in cuffs. Dave and I would have intervened to help Ethel and Ray at this time but we were very busy untying Liz and putting our taping equipment away.
As we left the theatre, I saw that Wayne was still in the back corner but he had his leg up in the air doing something that seemed to be irritating the Keswick staff. I guess Cricket had forgotten about him with all the confusion at the end of the show and had left him in an hypnotic state. Since he has posted to A-Deck after the show, I guess he is back to normal, if there is such a state for an A-Decker. Upon leaving the theatre that night, we watched Ethel and Ray being loaded in a police car. As the car proceeded down Glenside Ave., Dave and I heard the distinctive sound of horseshoes clapping against the pavement in rapid succession. From out of the alley, at a high rate of speed, came Chris in his wagon, cracking the whip and charging the police cruiser that was taking Ethel and Ray away. With a fury built by hundreds of years of Quaker suppression of the Amish burning in his brain, pent-up hostility from the Quaker mistreatment of the A-Deckers during the show and a general angry feeling about being stuck with the bill at the tavern, Chris waved his sickle in the air and headed right for the police car. Upon seeing the Amish war charge, the police car veered off the road and into a telephone pole. Ethel and Ray quickly jumped out of the car and into Chris's wagon and they rode off into the night toward the Philadelphia airport.
From what I understand from talking to Chris the next day, the fact that Ethel and Ray still had handcuffs on actually helped them get through airport security faster since they were not considered a threat. Ethel gave them some story about them both being into bondage. They were barely checked at all with the exception of having their shoes inspected for explosives. Apparently Ray had some joints lined up in his shoes. When the airport security fellow asked him what the thin white things were for in his shoes, Ray told him they were joint support inserts. This seemed to be a reasonable response so they let Ethel and Ray on the flight back to SF.
Add the above to Dave's review and setlist and you have the basic story of the JS Keswick show.    

For Further Reading

Jefferson Starship Message Board Main