June 23, 65: Kinks Gig Promoted by John Wayne Gacy

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kink4In the annals of the strange associations forged by classic rock, few are as bizarre as this one on The Kinks‘ ill-starred debut U.S. tour that ultimately caused them to be banned from playing the States by the American Federation of Musicians until 1969. The fifth date of the trek was a hastily arranged and poorly attended concert at the Illinois State Armory in Springfield. It was promoted by the local chapter of the Jaycees and its vice president, a pudgy shoe salesman named John Wayne Gacy, the same man who was later convicted for the serial murders of 33 young men and boys.

After the show Gacy invited the band to stay at his house, and they went there and had some drinks. Accounts vary, but it was either an odd smell to the place, Gacy’s strange vibe or the shine their drunken host took to Dave Davies (or all of the above), but the group opted to get hotel rooms rather than spend the night.

Gacy was later a children’s entertainer known as Pogo the Clown and created and sold paintings of himself as Pogo during his 14 years on death row. It adds an eerie irony to Dave’s 1967 song “Death of a Clown.”

Let’s all drink to the death of a clown
La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

In 1972 the Kinks returned to America after a four-year touring ban by the American Federation of Musicians. Their Everybody’s in Show-Biz album, originally released in August of that year, includes a live disc of their March 1972 performance at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Legacy Recordings released a new version of it in 2016 with many bonus tracks.

Related: Will The Kinks Ever Reunite? You really got me

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  1. Joe
    #1 Joe 16 February, 2017, 14:02

    Sorry to tell y’all , but he didn’t buy the house until about 1971. I grew up on that block and had been in the house with previous owner. What were the kinks on in ’65???

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  2. Eandtee
    #2 Eandtee 24 June, 2017, 02:07

    Why were they banned?

    I saw them in the late 60s in NYC at a Schaffer (beer) concert in Central Park. It remains one of my all time favorite concerts!

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    • Mike
      Mike 18 October, 2017, 02:06

      Always jealous when I hear of folks who saw the bands I grew up on so early. I didn’t get to see them til the 80s at MSG and Brendan Byrne Arena. They definitely put on some of the best rock shows I ever saw. Shame they broke up and never reunited.

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