July 22, 2010 – 10:54 am

According to estimates, 600,000 music fans converged at Watkins Glen, New York.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Watkins Glen Festival 1973 [no label, 4CD]

Live at the Raceway, Watkins Glen, New York, July 27, 28, 1973. New, previously uncirculated, very good audience recording.

The Watkins Glen Experience, by taper Jim Cooper:

“The concert was scheduled for Saturday, we arrived Tuesday afternoon, set up camp a ways from the concert field. Friday morning there was a rumor that the sound check was going to happen later that afternoon, and that ticket holders would be allowed in. Friday, just around noon the gates were opened. We headed for the front, our goal 40 feet out dead center from the stage. Unfortunately there were people already there, the only prime real estate in that vicinity was covered by about two inches of water, as it had been raining off and on all week… We placed the pallets over the water and squared them, put coverage on top and presto, we were dry and soon would be high. We were about 40 feet, dead center from stage, or about halfway between the soundboard and the stage.

“We had brought four 4 ft long 1 inch wide metal conduit, with couplers, to hoist the microphones. Everything was set as The Band took the stage. We had our mikes up, way up, and with the surprise of the Friday event, the crowd was not so dense, making us quite visible from the stage. There were flyers circulated by the promoters which threatened that there was to be no recording of the concert and “cords would be cut”, the flyer stated.

“The Band went through their sound check, we went through ours, the sound was a little strong, especially with our mikes so high and close, we were thrilled. I do not remember if there was a complete Band song as the first soundcheck tune. If it was, we either had the pause button on or were not ready. I do not remember either way.

“The levels attenuated properly towards the end of the set, and then the Allmans came on. We decided not to record the brothers. Next the Dead came on, as they began to play Phil Lesh looked out and asked, “Are you all ready out there?” We thought he was talking to us, but weren’t sure. Everything was going fine, the first set was drawing to a close. It was during Bird Song that we were accosted suddenly by a big red headed and bearded goon, who waded through the crowd and demanded that we cease taping immediately and wanted “our tapes and our blanks”.

“I was standing, Arti crouched down and began fiddling, I kept yelling at the goon to waste time and keep the jackass busy so as not to actually be able to see or get his paws on our stuff. He was also distracted looking behind us to locate his next victim, anyone who was taping the show. Arti came up, handed him a cassette tape and one box of TDK SD90 tapes, it was half of our supply. The goon grabbed our stuff and took off behind us. Arti had given him a blank, good thing because the tape we were using for the Dead was also the one we had used for The Band’s sound check.

“We stopped taping, our tape ends in the middle of Bird Song. The set ended and during the break it got dark. We hand held the mikes and taped the spectacular second set with that awesome jam, we were shaken, paranoid, but determined to pull this off.

“Saturday, we decided to lower the mikes, using one four foot section hand held just about head level. This is why you can hear lots of audience during the Saturday show. Also, with the crowd gathering and the inevitable crush of the latecomers to the front, this caused jostling even up on our pallets. Arti and I kept watch over the deck and recording levels. There were two other “friends, mitchell +1″ who held the poles with the mikes. The instructions were to keep the mikes down at head level. This is why there are multiple dropouts of the high frequencies, mainly on the left side.

“The mikes were separated, held by two people who at times could not see each other. There are periods when the stereo image is better than others. The idea was that any recording would be better than no recording. Also, it rained throughout the day, mainly during The Band’s set. At a couple of points it rained so hard we stopped recording and covered everything, even the wires. That is why there is no Garth solo during the rain.

“On Saturday… The Dead played first, we were paranoid and did not take our eyes off the goon squad on stage. We operated in stealth mode for The Band, who played next. The Allman Brothers played in the dark, we were not so paranoid by them, we had also peaked during The Band, so we were a little more composed. This was my first association with Genesee cream ale, which we had an ample of supply in the cooler. I have not traded this show ever, the only people who had copies were three of us and a small circle of trusted friends. It would be nice to get a soundboard of The Band’s set… Ever wondered why the Dead shows were all taped but the supporting bands were not?”

This is what davmar77, who shared this show, said:

“What we have here is a new and previously unheard source and I must say, it’s about the most complete and best sounding version yet. Included here is part of the sound check by the band from the night before, their entire set from the main day and the closing jam with members of The Band, The Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead… As far as I can tell, this is the complete closing set.”


While struggling to prove itself, rock music found giant festivals both profitable and chest-thumpingly reassuring. The Watkins Glen festival was called Summer Jam and boasted just three bands, The Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers and The Band. Shockingly, little of the music has surfaced properly.

The Band did release an album in 1995, Live At Watkins Glen, but eagle-eyed fans called its bluff as it was a compilation of studio tracks and live tracks and just three tracks from Watkins Glen* (in “highly edited form,” according to the wikipedia), one of which was just the announcement of the band. The Allmans’ performance was recorded as well but only one track, Come And Go Blues, surfaced on their album, Wipe the Windows, Check the Oil, Dollar Gas. Similarly for the Dead, one long jam from their soundcheck at Watkins Glen made it to their So Many Roads boxset in 1999.

In April 2010, The Band’s entire set finally surfaced as a very good sounding audience recording. It includes the soundcheck from the previous day, the Band’s entire set, interrupted by the rain, and a unique jam session with the Allmans and The Greatful Dead.

Thanks to Jim Cooper, Arti and mitchell+1 for braving the bouncers to record this show in trying conditions. As always big thanks to davmar77 for sharing it on the net.
- The Little Chicken

* More info:

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 256 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1
Friday, July 27, 1973
The Sound Check
Track 101. Instrumental (1.2MB)
Track 102. audience (2.6MB)
Track 103. Instrumental (9.6MB)
Track 104. audience (1.6MB)
Track 105. Don’t Do It (10.6MB)
Track 106. audience (3.7MB)
Track 107. W. S. Walcott Medicine Show (6.8MB)

Disc 2
Saturday, July 28, 1973
The Concert - Part I
Track 201. audience/tuning (1.7MB)
Track 202. Instrumental (6.3MB)
Track 203. audience (1.2MB)
Track 204. Introduction - Sam Cutler and Bill Graham (2.1MB)
Track 205. Goin’ Back To Memphis (11.2MB)
“We’ve got a visitor” (comments about parachutist who sadly would die)
Track 206. audience (271k)
Track 207. Lovin’ You Is Sweeter Than Ever (8.1MB)
Track 208. The Shape I’m In (8.1MB)
Track 209. The Weight (12.5MB)
Track 210. Stage Fright (8.7MB)
Track 211. I Shall Be Released (6.7MB)
Track 212. Don’t Do It (12.3MB)
Track 213. Endless Highway (13.1MB)
Track 214. The Genetic Method (14.7MB)
Track 215. Chest Fever (9.1MB)

Disc 3
Saturday, July 28, 1973
The Concert - Part II
Track 301. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (7.6MB)
Track 302. Across The Great Divide (6.4MB)
Track 303. Instrumental (9.2MB)
Track 304. Holy Cow (14.3MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 305. audience (3.1MB)
Track 306. Life Is A Carnival (14.2MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 307. Saved (12.9MB)
Track 308. Up On Cripple Creek (7.5MB)
Track 309. audience (2.9MB)
Track 310. Share Your Love (6.4MB)
Track 311. Wheels On Fire (7.4MB)
Track 312. W. S. Wolcott Medicine Show (8.0MB)
Track 313. Slippin’ And Slidin’ (12.3MB)
Track 314. audience (1.2MB)
Track 315. Rag Mama Rag (8.2MB)

Disc 4
Saturday, July 28, 1973
The Concert - Part III (after the main event)
Summer Jam - various members of The Band, Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead
Track 401. A Change Is Gonna Come (first take) (969k)
Track 402. A Change Is Gonna Come (8.3MB)
Track 403. Rick and crowd converse (1.5MB)
Track 404. Rainin’ In My Heart (7.4MB)
Track 405. “It hasn’t been planned” (266k)
Track 406. Tuning and direction as various musicians converge and proceed to mill about and play (997k)
Track 407. Have You Ever Been Mistreated (Richard Manuel vocal) (12.4MB)
Track 408. “Go away Jerry” (661k)
Track 409. Da Di De Day (Rick vocal) (10.3MB)
Track 410. Not Fade Away (28.0MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 411. “Level Checking” (772k)
Track 412. Let Me Wrap You In My Warm And Tender Love (Rick and Jerry vocals) (12.5MB)
Track 413. Reelin’ And Rockin’ (9.5MB)
Track 414. “We want our money back” (240k)
Track 415. Mountain Jam (31.5MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 416. Amazing Grace (323k)
Track 417. Amazing Grace (4.2MB)
Track 418. Mountain Jam (6.3MB)

For a great live album, look no further then The Band’s Rock of Ages, released in 1972. Click on the link to order the expanded 2001 edition.

  1. 57 Responses to “THE BIGGEST SUMMER JAM”

  2. AMAZING!!! thanks so much

    By DC on Jul 22, 2010

  3. Thanks … this is a great one to have. Didn’t Bob Dylan make an appearance near the end …?

    By Canute on Jul 22, 2010

  4. Very cool. Thanks.

    By Dean Esgrow on Jul 23, 2010

  5. This goes a long way towards rectifying that travesty “Live at Watkins Glen” disk from ‘95. Can’t believe they had the nerve to even release that!!! However, it’s a joy to hear the real deal, warts and all! Thanks to everybody involved for getting this out for people to hear!

    By Slidewell on Jul 23, 2010

  6. Ah guys what can I say,,thanks so much…I`m a lifelong Band fan..they use to play teen dances as the Hawks down at the union hall in my hometown..

    By sluggo on Jul 23, 2010

  7. The instrumentals sound like “Function At The Junction”. At least to me.

    By Chin Ho on Jul 23, 2010

  8. Great live recordings from top festivals, concerts and in-studio performances…Woodstock, Mountain Jam, Bonnaroo and many more…The Dead, Phish, Dave Matthews, The Band, Widespread Panic…24/7 Internet radio channel Radio Woodstock LIVE…available at Peace, love, music…life is a festival.

    By RFWoodstock on Jul 23, 2010

  9. @canute - you may be thinking of the Last Waltz, which was the last concert for the original configuration of The Band and released as both a movie and album. The look on Levon’s face as Bob began to sing that night was … complicated.

    By drkrick on Jul 24, 2010

  10. Hello Canute and drkrick. If you would like to hear the unvarnished version of the Last Waltz, with most of the missing parts and songs, and no added parts or songs, although at 96kbps for free streaming, get ye to Wolfgangs Vault. Be aware that there is a limit of 10 hours of free streaming a month if you po’ like me. It will “blow yer mind” what you’ve been missing if you havent heard it yet.

    By 2yrsnojob on Jul 24, 2010

  11. Thanks 2yrsnojob … I shall check that out … but no one has come back with an answer to my original question: didn’t Dylan appear on stage sing with The Band at this event? Where’s his contribution? Cheers.

    By Canute on Jul 24, 2010

  12. Great discovery!
    Thanks a lot!

    By Serge Zéni on Jul 24, 2010

  13. Canute - No, unfortunately, Dylan didn’t appear at Watkins Glen. Shortly after this show, they resumed Planet Waves and started rehearsals for the 1974 US tour with Bob. He did appear with The Band in NYC at the Academy of Music in 1971 and in 1976 at the Last Waltz.

    By Woodstock on Jul 24, 2010

  14. Thanks Woodstock … I thought I had a pic somewhere of a shady looking Bob on stage at Watkins Glen. Ps … I am having difficulty download a couple of the tracks on Disc 4 which seem to taken an eternity and then time out.

    By Canute on Jul 24, 2010

  15. …just can`t thank everyone involved in presenting this on bigo enough…

    By sluggo on Jul 24, 2010

  16. I listened closely to the encore jam and came up with some credits that seem pretty accurate. the last song can be found on .

    Disc 4 (Encore Jam, July 28)
    01. A Change Is Gonna Come (Rick Danko)
    02. Raining In My Heart (Rick Danko)
    03. Five Long Years (Richard Manuel)
    04. Da Di De Day (Rick Danko)
    05. Not Fade Away (Grateful Dead)
    06. Warm And Tender Love (Rick Danko & Jerry Garcia)
    07. Around And Around (Grateful Dead)
    08. Mountain Jam (Grateful Dead & Allman Brothers)
    09. Johnny B. Goode (Grateful Dead & Allman Brothers)

    The Grateful Dead
    Jerry Garcia - guitar, vocals (tracks 3-9)
    Bob Weir - guitar, vocals (tracks 4-9)
    Keith Godchaux - piano, keyboards (all tracks)
    Phil Lesh - bass (tracks 3-9)
    Bill Kreutzmann - drums

    The Band
    Rick Danko - guitar, vocals (tracks 1-6)
    Richard Manuel - piano, vocals (track 3)

    The Allman Brothers Band
    Gregg Allman - organ (tracks 3-9)
    Dickey Betts - guitar (tracks 8 & 9)

    By Adam2 on Jul 26, 2010

  17. Hey Sluggo I feel your joy, man! All I can say is Yeeehaaaa!!!! I was at Watkin’s Glen on that legendary weekend…never made it to the concert (too much heat and thick crowds of people…but me and my buddy jammed in a tavern on main street for two hours…piano, harmonica, and some tamborines…packed the place then got kicked out cause we overwhelming swamped the bar staff…free drinks and stuff…skinny dipped in the local stream and hitched home to Montreal…Wow! here’s some of the “official music.”


    By Chis on Jul 31, 2010

  18. The Official Watkins Glen CD is an absolute travesty now that I hear this. Overdubbing thunder for gosh sakes. This isn’t the brightest moment for the Bands playing, either.
    They did exactly the same thing w/ Last Waltz and Rock Of Ages, too. At least Levon refused to re-do his parts for Last Waltz. I realize there’s always post production done on most “live” albums, but this one HAS to take the cake! How much money does Robertson need?!?! Tell the truth, I feel ripped off, but hey, it’s only rock and roll, yes? What a disappointment. As a bassist, the only cool thing about these tapes is bass is way up. And outta tune. Fretless is no excuse.
    No flames, please, it’s just an opinion from a disappointed fan from the first lp on. Pfuey!

    By rick harper on Aug 4, 2010

  19. I got the Watkins Glen CD when it came out but never really ‘got it’ enough to keep listening or ‘check out’ the discrepancies. I AM glad to know SOMEONE did , however.

    I was there, also and remember how the rain held off on Saturday, with an unreal circle of no clouds surrounded by rain clouds right above the festival…I am NOT kidding! It all broke loose during ‘The Shape I’m In’ and we were soaked after that. I remember getting a septic wound on my stomach (don’t remember HOW that happemed) that a small scar still immortalizes. I remember doign mescaline, beer, mushrooms. opium, speed and pot all weekend (we got there Thursday night) walking down the main drag to the gate with folks on both sides yelling “Drugs! Get yer Drugs here!” and Bill Graham checking garbage cans so that no one sneaked in inside a can. Out tent got soaked and I slept very uncomfortably. After going to Woodstock and siiting in water and mud there I was pretty much done with large festivals…although I did do it one more time and it was mud everywhere again. That was pretty much the end of my festival days.

    By Duncanmusic on Aug 5, 2010

  20. This was my first major “event” since I came home in September 1972 (though I was at the Second Annual British Rock Fest, Germesheim, Germany, June 1972) and it was HUGE! Definitely a bigger crowd than Woodstock, which checked in as bigger based on its line-up. Everything was great - The Dead, The Band, The Allmans, and the Friday soundcheck.

    Anybody have anything from the Second Annual British Rock Fest?

    By O.B. Dan on Aug 10, 2010

  21. I never bought the official Watkins Glen disc and from what it sounds like i’m glad I didn’t. I love The Band and can’t say thanks enough for this show.

    By Matt on Aug 24, 2010

  22. I never bought it either - I copied somebody else’s. And I thought I paid too much, since I supplied the disc…

    By O.B. Dan on Aug 29, 2010

  23. “I have not traded this show ever, the only people who had copies were three of us and a small circle of trusted friends.” - Really? It took 37 years for this recording to reach taping circles! And what did your greed gain you?

    By Marty on Aug 31, 2010

  24. Had such a great time at this concert. I was 17. I recently reunited with my girlfriend that I went with after not seeing her for 25 years (she left the US). I met a blonde blue eyed guy at the concert. On the way home, he had to have an emergency appendectomy, and we all went to the hospital with him. Never saw him again, but wondered what became of him. He lived in Connecticut. Would love to hear from him.

    By Carol on Oct 21, 2010

  25. I have been wanting to hear this for a long time. Love it! I can never get enough of Rick Danko and The Band! Thanks!!!

    By LongBlackVeil on Oct 21, 2010

  26. I was at this show and have been looking for this for years…BIG thanks.

    Now if I could only find the Allman Bros from the Glen I would have the complete show!

    By Ed on Oct 24, 2010

  27. Amazing! thanks so much for posting and keeping the downloads live.

    By CowbellNation on Dec 1, 2010

  28. Today is 11 years since Rick Danko left us. We miss you, Rick! Too soon gone!

    By LongBlackVeil on Dec 11, 2010

  29. Original 1973 Watkins Glen Recordings. Enjoy.


    By Grateful Phan on Feb 9, 2011

  30. I was there for the soundcheck and the show, but, I do not remember very much other than that we were a long way from the stage.

    By Tom on Mar 9, 2011

  31. Hello there’
    I was at the Second Annual Rock fest. At the time I was in the army. Me and a few other G.I.’s brought poncho’s and tied them together on a hill. I remember someone drove in to the concert area in a chopper. Pink Floyd was playing and the colored smoke was coming off the stage right in my face. I couldn’t of been more than 20 feet away. We got tired of smoking hash “So We ate it”!!! would like to hear from anyone that was there.

    By Dan Pierce on May 1, 2011

  32. Thanks for all your great work BigO.

    By Mark W on Jul 28, 2011

  33. How about a download link to the Dead’s performance at the Glen?

    By ddderek on Mar 18, 2012

  34. ddderek - although not a download, you can at least listen to a VBR WMU HiFi stream from Do a search under Watkins Glen and add the keyword soundboard. There is also an audience recording from 7/27/73, but no soundboard that day.

    Grateful Dead Live at Grand Prix Racecourse on 1973-07-28 - Grateful Dead
    Set 1 Bertha Beat It On Down The Line Brown Eyed Women Mexicali Blues Box Of Rain Here Comes Sunshine Looks Like Rain Row Jimmy Jack Straw Deal Playing In The Band Set 2 Around And Around Loose Lucy Big River He’s Gone -> Truckin’ -> Nobody’s Fault But Mine Jam -> El Paso China Cat Sunflower -> I Know You Rider Stella Blue Eyes Of The World Sugar Magnolia Encore Sing Me Back Home Not Fade Away Mountain Jam Johnny B…
    Keywords: Soundboard; Noah Weiner

    By 3yrsnojob on Mar 19, 2012

  35. thanks so much for sharing this and keeping it active! just came across it and cant wait to hear the real thing. i’ve had the ‘official release’ bogus WG for years - and while i enjoy listening to it - i hate to think they pulled one over on us. wish i could’ve been there - but i wasn’t even born till ‘75; so all i get is the recordings! thank you and thanks for the stories too!!

    By bristone on Aug 27, 2012

  36. Wow, after years now this moment in history is completed!
    Thanx so much

    By Siebecker on Oct 21, 2012

  37. The Dead’s Set can be found at

    By peacefarmer on Jan 4, 2013

  38. Duh, figured it out…thanks

    By peacefarmer on Jan 5, 2013

  39. Ya I was there in body & my mind was everywhere there. 2 days later I was in the Army. What a trip, didn’t see any Bob Dylan though. When they played One Way Out I had ablonde tie to each wrist. Glad I went on that trip. Later.

    By Ron McElwain on Feb 3, 2013

  40. I was there for the Dead and the Allmans that weekend, but I left a Band fan. They were by far the best that day, as they were for most other days.

    By D J Barry on Sep 27, 2013

  41. Thanks BigO! My buddy went to this show, I decided not to go with him, something I still regret a little. This is a great post.

    By JB on Feb 1, 2014

  42. I would like the allman bros links, but they won’t let me download. It says only files thst I loaded.

    By jimg on Feb 2, 2014

  43. WOW! Many have already said it here, but many thanks for finding this and putting it up here! Thanks to Jim Cooper for taping it and allowing its use.

    By walter on Feb 3, 2014

  44. I really would like to download this show, but some downloads say: visit the html page to download the track. I tried to do just that, but I can’t seem to find my way. Please can anyone help?

    By oldtimer on Feb 5, 2014

  45. Thank you very much for your help. Now I could download the lot and it sounds absolutely great.

    By oldtimer on Feb 8, 2014

  46. someone`shome footage from watkins glen

    By dropkick sarge on Feb 19, 2014

  47. My Holy Grail of Band music, grew up not too far from the Glen and remember the festival from the local papers, at 13 I was not allowed to attend. Big thanks for the effort to record and release here.

    By John Svensson on Jun 20, 2014

  48. What’s the secret to download this to my flash drive?

    By Roger on Nov 21, 2014

  49. My Super 8 Video from Watkins Glen Summer Jam.

    By Bob Student on Nov 22, 2014


    My Super 8 Video from Watkins Glen Summer Jam.

    By Bob Student on Nov 22, 2014

  51. at the 23:54 mark you can see darth walking in to the festival via woodstock.

    By neils ex on Nov 22, 2014

  52. hes doing the perp walk

    By barth on Nov 23, 2014

  53. there are some people looking for the abb set from this fest on another site. i see that there are some links that are no longer working that were provided a few years ago by someone above. i would like to direct the person or people who are interested to links or perhaps here so they can dl the performance. i dont have any source for the show. if u are willing and u know where it can be dl’d from again since that fileserve source is dead.. will u be willing? thanks.

    By darth on Mar 11, 2015

  54. sugar melts in his mouth when he wants something.

    By dropkick sarge on Mar 12, 2015

  55. Dylan NEVER appeared at Watkins Glen Festival in 1973, the rumor circulated all weekend
    but a guy who parachuted in somehow got killed, but we didn’t find out until the week later.

    By jim cooper on Mar 4, 2016

  56. Fantastic all new transfer, not eq’d but transferred digitally, look on lossless legs and the type is Berger.

    The sound of the new transfer is as close to the original concert sound as is possible

    By jim cooper on May 9, 2016

  57. hi Big O

    Could you re upload the following files
    102, 201, 213, 304, 305, 306, 312, 405, 410, 413, 415


    By Michael on May 14, 2016

  58. just a head`s up for the fans, Robbie Robertson has just completed a bio book due for release in the fall.

    By sluggo on May 14, 2016

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