SHOW FULL TEXT
Support for WaMu comes from the Washington Jewish music festival. I turned a celebration of international Jewish music spanning genres such as hip op classical and bars and over November second through 12th information it w JM f.org .
And afterwards we actually got together with Jimi Hendrix my girlfriend who drove me there brought him back to her apartment that that.
It will. Mike thank you so much for your call from Prescott Arizona here’s Karen in Wheaton and Virginia Karen you’re on the air . Go ahead please .
Oh. All right thanks Kojo listen I just had the same kind of experience . I think we sort of all share that the first time I’ve gone to the Ambassador . I had a license but didn’t have a car so I depends on my friends , so I went with different friends but when there was a little area in the very back of the Ambassador Theatre , where they had like a strobe light and you can’t dance . So this particular evening I went with a friend Mark from school and I was 16 at the time , and we were , I guess is either we were at the very edge of it or we were dancing and all of a sudden I heard this this you know the sound of the music starting and and I all of a sudden everyone in Ambassador stopped what they were doing and says we we didn’t know who Jimi Hendrix was and I stopped and it was almost like we were you know zombies walking towards the stage everyone drop what they were doing everyone stood up who was sitting down on the floor . Because there were no chairs he brought blankets and walked towards the stage and we were completely member mesmerized . And as I remember I saw Jimi Hendrix twice once it think Meriwether post but I think he actually did set fire to his guitar that night if he at least traveled 6 party that night , which was really interesting . I’d never seen anything like that done , and I was .
Completely blown away.
I only say that because I have to interrupt. We have to move on , but you didn’t mention strobe lights and probably one of the innovative things that the Ambassador brought to the Washington music scene was like , what with those lights feels life .
They’re like chose were huge the the Ambassador was huge so they they span the entire staged the wall above the walls to the side. They dropped onto the floor . There were all sorts of vintage images that were used . They were film clips , they used to have a vote on it a bubble EGL type liquid to give a really a moving affect that pulse said to the music and I’d never seen anything like that , before either and if you were up on the balcony , watching it was just amazing , it was just the most .
I think one of the things that attracted you to it. Another band that played the Ambassador was canned Heat who released the first single , rolling and tumbling in 1967 it sounded like this .
But if you’re , you design a hand for canned Heat Brits powerlessness can see on our website Kojo Soledad 0 , how did you end up defining.
My cousin Joe Dolan was one a teeny bop her a young kid just a little bit younger than me and he had gotten a job there. I don’t know if he got paid for it . But here , he went out and put posters up all over town hand bells and I just bothered him until he got me the job I was an art student , I was very into art . And this was just a great opportunity for me , I felt like it was a high mark of my life to be able to do that .
Just garlic last Saturday with the 50th anniversary of an anti-Vietnam War march and on the Pentagon , the Ambassador plays an interesting role in the story of their protest and even made its way into the classic Norman Mailer book the armies of the night. What happened at the Ambassador around the march and the Pentagon .
Well you can became of a gathering spot the focal point , certainly in particular form of fund-raiser where they were going to raise money to eventually bailout the pay fines that were necessary when people got arrested and that fund raiser was on Thursday October 19 and it’s really well known for other thing , among other things , Norman Mailer was the master of ceremonies and here you know kinda just had this mug of Bourbon with them the whole time. That was just maybe characteristic of him but it was a really kind of , you know a memorable night that was written up when he wrote about and armies of the night and it was in the press him but it was a that night led the way to than Saturday Mike paper in fact told me about how they met several persons . A lot of people got together and on a flatbed truck with sound equipment that left from the Ambassador early in the morning . That’s Saturday and were there among the first to arrive to set up for what then became the place where , like the frogs were performing their chanting and just you know just part of that day . The Ambassador played a very key role in it .
Before I talk about Richard Harrington and march on the Pentagon. You mentioned the one of the bands that was big in the late ’60s with less remembered is the folks who played a gig at the Ambassador of the night of the march on the Pentagon . Here’s a bit of what the floods sounded like .
Richard Harrington you attended the march on the Pentagon. What are some of your memories from that day .
He was the first time I was arrested so course I remember that it’s defacing property where you facing government property somebody had spray-painted an obscenity directed at the Pentagon , on the steps and for some , particular reason I don’t know why I mean they’ve been under the influence. I thought that that was offensive . And so I grabbed a can of Spray Paint and I change one of the letters and so ultimately what it said was a buck the Pentagon and it made no sense . Of course , but at least it was an obscene and I was promptly arrested and taken to jail and I got out the next day , I don’t remember what these years later . If I paid a fine or whether they just drop the charges , but those by very first arrest , so I will always associate that with the Pentagon .
Well , a lot of people wanna join this conversation I think how many of them I can get to in this first David and Sandy Spring , Maryland , David , you got about 30 seconds.
Our way to remember places that aren’t there anymore and my experience is to get stoked and what’s the inside here had.
If you could. Thank you very much , David here . Steve in Greenbelt Steve your turn you got about 30 seconds .
I just want it is pass on a remembrance when I’ve the certainty in a group of people. They hung out with we often went to be best interest Theatre yeah I’m remembering the pace so people will and you could stick out in the area on who more and paint whatever you felt like Palin’s words pictures whatever and it really showed up in the black light Ehrlich they dare take low-paid part I thought it was crazy . This all paid they you could do whatever he wanted on the floor was a great place for a 70-year-old .
Steve , thank you for your call Carroll and Richland Virginia your turn you have about 30 seconds.
Okay , I have to say that I wonder if any of the other people remember band called the low are loath and the hand people.
I entirely down.
There , okay , that was another extraordinary night and I do feel that it changed my whole you know my theory just really did change the way I felt about music and I was there for the frogs too , although they were a little alarming in their speech. I was really interested because of the demonstrations that were going on .
And finally , thank you very much , Karen finally has Brian and Alexandra Brian you’ve got about 20 seconds.
Well , thanks very much on. Actually I was not happy about it . When you go to but I saw it was this the summer put on the 50th anniversary concert all the Ambassador shows along comes the 75th birthday of Jimi Hendrix , it was fantastic . The band’s fishbowl but and they recreated the embassy .
O’Brien Here’s what you should know this weekend. Jeff Kulick is hosting a 50th anniversary event for the Ambassador at songbird in Adams Morgan Jeff what can people expect to see if they come to that , on Saturday .
Well , I like I kinda describe this is a living documentary come here first hand accounts from people who were there oral history will be shared anecdotes. It’s a chance for the people that were there to have a reunion and reunite them and anybody interested in learning about this really an important time in in history not just DC but well times that of its are what one to 4:00 PM songbird in Adams . They were former showboat Lounge .
Jeff crew Vickers an Archivist and documentary filmmaker. Jeff , thank you for joining us . Betty is awash in the resident working on a podcast about her memories of the DC music thing . Thank you for joining us and Richard Hamilton , who’s a long time . Music Journalist and former Washington Post Critic Richard Harrington . Thank you for joining us .