1974-08-03 Wollman Skating Rink Theater (The), New York City, NY

Scheduled: 19:00 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

One show, triple bill, with Springsteen & The E Street Band occupying the middle slot in a show headlined by Anne Murray, with Brewer & Shipley as the opening act. The Schaefer Music Festival is an evening show held outdoors in the Wollman Ice Rink Theatre within Central Park, taking place while Springsteen is in town recording at 914 Studios in Blauvelt. This concert had originally been booked with Boz Scaggs headlining, Anne Murray billed second and Brewer & Shipley opening. When headliner Scaggs pulled out of the gig in June promoter Ron Delsener replaced him with Springsteen in the headlining slot. However Shep Gordon and Johnny Podell (managers of Murray) objected to Springsteen receiving headlining status, citing Murray's superior commercial success. As a consequence the schedule was changed the week before the show, with Murray receiving the top billing. Advertisements exist from both before and after the change of headlining status (see photos above). Mike Appel reluctantly agreed with the change on the condition that Springsteen would be allowed to perform for at least 80 minutes. As it turned out approximately 80% of the 5,000-strong crowd came specifically to see Springsteen, and half way through Bruce's performance Murray's managers realized they'd made a serious mistake, even trying in vain to get Mike Appel to yank Bruce offstage prematurely. Needless to say Bruce played his full show and Anne Murray was placed in the nightmarish position of having to follow him! A review in Village Voice states that a quarter of the crowd left after Springsteen's set, and only a quarter of those remaining were left by the time Murray had finished hers. The partial setlist above is from an attendee recollection. This would turn out to be the last time (except for charity benefits) that Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band opened for another artist. A Brucebase reader who attended the show states "It is absolutely true that most of the crowd booed when the announcer informed us that Anne Murray would be out in fifteen minutes, while we were still screaming for another encore. Most of us left. In Los Angeles, Marc Brickman (Bruce's lighting director) was talking to my wife and said that Anne Murray was hysterical backstage, really pissed off that her manager had forced Bruce to play second. The story made it to John Sebastian, who voluntarily took second spot (in a triple-billing) on October 18 in Passaic." Another fan present also remembers that the vast majority left after Springsteen, leaving only around a quarter of the original audience for Murray.



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