A new old John Lee Hooker – Live in Gardner MA, 1974 (Who Else Played At Down In The Dumps?)

On June 19, MVD will be releasing a DVD called Cook With The Hook, which captures blues great John Lee Hooker live in concert in 1974. It looks like a cool archival project. Hooker was still going strong then, performs 6 songs over the 45 minute set, including “Boom Boom” and “Sweet Sweet Thing.” In fact, his career would stretch out another 25 years and include Grammy wins and Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction before passing away in 2001.

My question however is about the show that this DVD comes from. The press materials state that it from a day-long festival in Gardner, Massachusetts called “Down In The Dumps,” which was held apparently in the city’s landfill. I was curious about who else played at this concert but I couldn’t find anything in an Internet search. Anyone know anything about this show?

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About Michael Berick

I am a longtime writer, and lover, of music and pop culture. I have written for Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angeles Times, the LA Weekly, the San Francisco Chronicle, Cleveland Scene and more places (that I wouldn't take up more of your time mentioning now).
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2 Responses to A new old John Lee Hooker – Live in Gardner MA, 1974 (Who Else Played At Down In The Dumps?)

  1. Philip Leger says:

    I was the chair of the Crossroads Concert Group that organized that concert. It was all day noon to midnight event that cost $2 to get in. I can fill you in on all the details about the concert and the orgainizing group. Send me an email address below and we’ll talk. Phil Leger

  2. Philip Leger says:

    John Lee was playing at the Speakeasy in Cambridge, MA that night. That’s is why we were able to get him to an afternoon showtime. He showed up in a Cadillac w/ his guitar. The Fabulous Rhinestones from CT actually backed him up. He worked out his set list w/ them. He did a 1 hour show. We paid him and away he went down the road. The other bands were Worcester area based and local bands. One popular last local band, “Zargut” was the last band up around 9pm. We got enought money up to pay the sound man and band to extend the concert from 10-midnight. It was a fun time for all. We had approx. 6k people attend the 12 hour show for a entry fee of $2. If interested, I can talk about how we ended up at the dump. Phil Leger phillie@gis.net

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