3 Controversial Music Moments That Happened in June

Throughout the years, June has been a month where a lot of big things in music occurred. The Beatles released Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in the United States, the Grateful Dead played their first East Coast set, David Bowie released “Space Oddity”… and so much more. But what about the more controversial music moments that happened in June? Let’s look at three events, in particular.

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1. The Infamous John Lennon and Yoko Ono Bed-in (June 1, 1969)

John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s bed-in for peace lasted several days in May and June of 1969. However, June 1 was a particularly noteworthy day. The pair flew to the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal and staged their bed-in in several different rooms over a few days, but on June 1, they decided to do something a little different. They invited André Perry of Le Studio to record their performance of “Give Peace A Chance”.

The press from the event was very mixed. While fans applauded the pair for their performance and bed-in, many found that it was a tone-deaf approach that only the wealthy and privileged would attempt to do for some attention.

2. Rock Performances Are Banned After Jethro Tull’s Red Rocks Performance (June 10, 1971)

On June 10, 1971, British prog rock band Jethro Tull performed at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre for a massive crowd of 10,000 fans. Around 2,000 fans who couldn’t get tickets to the sold-out show attempted to break into the venue. The incident escalated, and police showed up to disperse tear gas and thin out the crowd. It caused a lot of chaos and is generally considered one of the worst riots in the history of rock and roll. In fact, the venue banned rock concerts for five years afterward, which many found to be unfair.

3. The Legendary Fillmore East Closes in New York City (June 27, 1971)

The Fillmore East was an absolutely legendary rock music venue in Manhattan. The venue saw some of the biggest names in rock music perform during its time, from Grateful Dead to The Allman Brothers Band to Joe Cocker to Miles Davis.

Unfortunately, stadium and arena concerts were getting big, and smaller venues like The Fillmore East were starting to get pushed out. The closing of the venue in June 1971 was one of the most controversial moments in music history and marked the end of a major era in rock music.

Photo via Keystone/Hulton Archive

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