Thursday, October 26, 2017
DC is Experienced
Ten years ago a crew of motley pilgrims set forth on a beautiful fall day to attend the Ambassador Theater's 40th reunion. We were musicians, and history nerds; archivists and witnesses of the summer of 1967- the summer when Washington D.C. became experienced, and the Ambassador Theater was the epicenter of all things groovy.
Sure, we had Georgetown, and its smaller music clubs. Big name rock bands sometimes invaded the Alexandria Roller Rink, Georgetown's Gaston Hall and the Coliseum, but those venues were shared spaces. The Ambassador was opened by hippies, run by hippies and attracted hippies - which is why the Establishment did everything in its power to shut the place down.
I learned a lot that day. I learned that Washington. D.C. had its own scene which rivaled The Fillmore in San Francisco when you consider the amount of rock history compressed into the six months that the Ambassador existed in Adams Morgan. I learned that The Grateful Dead almost played there.
And that Jimi Hendrix did play there after escaping an ill thought out tour with The Monkees.
This Saturday local film maker Jeff Krulik and rock archivist/author Mark Opsasnick have organized a second reunion, and everyone is invited. It happens at the Showboat Lounge. Sorry -the Songbyrd Cafe- just across the street from The Ambassador, I mean the ugly bank plaza that took its place, at 2477 18th Street N.W. from 1-4 p.m.