This rare handbill promoted a slate of shows during the summer of ’73 held in New Jersey, at the Capital Theatre in Passaic, and Roosevelt Stadium in Jersey City. The Grateful Dead and The Band joined up again two days after their triumph at Watkins Glen and the Allman Brothers also made their way to Roosevelt Stadium at the end of August.
John Scher promoted these shows at the tender age of 23. Scher had booked a number of concerts in college at LIU and after he graduated Bill Graham, the promoter who dominated concert bookings in New York, closed the Fillmore East. Graham had built exclusivity clauses into his contracts: Acts that played the Fillmore were prohibited from performing within a 75-mile radius within four months of the show. (If bookings in northern New Jersey seemed tame during the late ’60s, Graham was at least partly to blame.)
"When Graham decided to close the Fillmore, I didn’t have it quite in me to step in and fill his shoes on that side of the river," Scher says. "But I knew that if I jumped into the breach quickly in New Jersey, I’d be way ahead of whoever the new guy in New York was."
The Fillmore closed in June ’71 andby December, Scher began his 18-year run at the Capitol Theatre. The 3,000-seat former vaudeville house in downtown Passaic — which was showing porn flicks before Scher took it over — became a near-mandatory stop for touring acts, and demonstrated that New Jersey could stand on its own as a major rock market.
Roosevelt Stadium was built in 1937 and demolished in 1985. Originally built as a multi-purpose stadium for baseball, football, track and field events, and boxing, it had a capacity of about 24,000. Many groups played there in between 1972-1976 including the Grateful Dead who played there 8 times.