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Our own mini Woodstock, back in 1972

September 6, 2009

peach-tree-rock-festival-poster.jpegMost of today’s Live Wire deals with a music festival in Rockingham back in 1972 — the Peachtree Celebration — which drew tens of thousands of people to the grounds of the N.C. Motor Speedway to hear (and watch) acts like Alice Cooper, Three Dog Night and the James Gang.

It was a huge event for this area — a kind of one-day Woodstock — but there’s only a minimal amount of  information about the festival online.

peachtree-celebration-poster.jpgYou can check here and here for some attendees’ reminiscences and even some snapshots from that time. One guy talks of having ridden his bike to Rockingham from Whiteville, where he was a rising high school senior. Another guy remembers the sweltering late-August heat did Poco in after its set so the band couldn’t do an encore. He remembered the MC announcing, “Poco is puking!”

Meanwhile, go here to see photos of that day’s performance by a little-known, but well-received all-girl hard-rock band called Birtha.

ticket-stub-from-peach-tree-concert.jpgIn the top poster, you’ll see it talks of the event being “a hit of fresh air and sound,” playing on the drug term, and, from an Observer report of the show, it sounds like there was plenty of pot around, as well as some LSD.

I didn’t find any video from the festival but if you want to see and hear what some of the festival’s artists looked and sounded like then, check the following YouTube videos from 1972 or thereabouts:

*Alice Cooper, doing “School’s Out,” his mega hit which had just been released at the time of Peachtree.

*Three Dog Night, doing “Black & White.”

*The post-Joe Walsh James Gang, doing “She Runs, Runs, Runs.”

*Fleetwood Mac, doing “Spare Me a Little of Your Love.” (If FM doesn’t look/sound like the FM you’re used to, well, that’s right. This was that band’s earlier incarnation.)

*Poco, doing “Just For Me and You.”

*Rory Gallagher, doing “Going to My Hometown.”

The festival was put on by a group of people, including Fayetteville attorney Tony Rand and Fayetteville accountant Lyndo Tippett. Rand would later become a state senator and he’s now the Senate majority leader. Tippett would eventually become the state’s secretary of transportation under Gov. Easley.

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