D is for Dave Clark Five Concert in Endicott, N.Y. Fourth of 26 posts in the April 2023 Blogging From #AtoZChallenge. Theme: Endwell: My High School Years — adding my story to the family history mix. Please join me on the journey.
One of the big cultural events of my high school years was the June 1966 Dave Clark Five concert at Ty Cobb Stadium in Endicott, N.Y.
For years, there had been rumors that one of the Britpop groups (maybe even the Beatles!) would perform in the Binghamton area — and plenty of concert promoters worked tirelessly to make it happen.
A Britpop group comes to town
Then just when we teens had given up hope, a miracle! A Dave Clark Five concert was confirmed and the rush to get tickets began.
In 1964, during junior high, my friend Jackie and I started a Dave Clark Five fan club – publicizing it locally and in the Albany, N.Y., area where my grandparents lived. I even wrote to the Teen Topics column of the Binghamton paper a couple of times to spread the word.
So, I could hardly believe that two years later, at 16, I would finally get to see the Dave Clark Five in person!
The venue was packed
As with most Sixties-era concerts, a massive crowd was expected – so a bunch of my friends parked near my house, and we walked over to the stadium together. News photos of the event show how packed the venue was.
There were some opening bands, then the Dave Clark Five came on to screaming, shouting mayhem – and performed for exactly 32 minutes, the press reported, before being whisked to safety in the Hotel Frederick. One fan made it onto the hotel roof, while hundreds below chanted, “We want Dave!” Two young women who fainted were taken to the hospital.
Where was I in all of this? Having gotten backstage at a Dick Clark Shower of Stars concert in junior high (where I got autographs and kissed singer Gene Pitney on the cheek), I was not immune to trying to at least see Dave Clark or one of the Five — if only through a hotel window.
So, I left my friends for a bit and went over to the hotel for a look. Amazingly, a side door was open, and I went up a short flight of stairs to the first-floor corridor — where fans were running this way and that and screams could be heard in the distance.
The end of my fangirl period
That’s as far as I got, though, before walking back out. The concert had been fantastic — the culmination of a regional dream to draw a big British group and a personal dream of mine to see the Dave Clark Five live.
But I realized the event had also caught me on the downslope of my fangirl period. The rock idol photos had come down from my bedroom wall, my enthusiasm had shifted to other interests, I was looking ahead to college, and getting backstage was no longer a priority.
So, I rejoined my friends and we walked together through the cool June evening reminiscing excitedly about the concert and happy to have been part of such a memorable, landmark event.
Up next, E is for Eugene McCarthy and the 1968 Presidential Election. Please stop back.
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