A Concert of The Mind…Fantasy Park

***Dave from A Sound Day has a new feature Turntable Talk…he will have an article by me today about Why the Beatles are still relevant…hope you get to read it.***

Fantasy Park: 1975 – Twin Cities Music Highlights

Imagine a concert in 1975 with The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Allman Brothers, Linda Ronstadt, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and more. Well, it happened! Sorta. Rod Serling did all of the radio promos. It would be one of his last projects…he would pass away before it aired.

It was a 48-hour-long rock concert (Fantasy Park) that was aired by nearly 200 radio stations over Labor Day weekend in 1975. The program, produced by KNUS in Dallas, featured performances by dozens of rock stars of the day and even reunited The Beatles. It was also completely imaginary, a theatre-of-the-mind for the 70s.

The “concert” was made up of live and studio recordings by the artists with live effects added to make it sound legit.

The show had college students hitchhiking all over America hoping to get to Fantasy Park. In New Orleans when the concert aired, the IRS came knocking on the doors of WNOE trying to attach the gate receipts to make sure the Feds got their cut! Callers were asking where they could get tickets to this amazing show.

The show was so popular in Minnesota that they played it again in its entirety the next year…now that people knew it wasn’t real and weren’t looking for tickets. The greatest concert that never was.  Fantasy Park had their own emcee and special reporters covering the weekend event giving you the play-by-play details along with some behind-the-scenes updates.

The concert would always be halted due to rain on a Sunday morning to allow the locals to get in their regular (usually religious) programming and the whole event always ended promptly at 6 pm on Sunday.

Now people look for the full 48-hour tapes of the show. They are a hot collector’s item. Rod Serling passed away on June 28, 1975.

Bands at Fantasy Park

Chicago
Elton John
Led Zeppelin
Joe Walsh
Cream
Shawn Phillips
Pink Floyd
Carly Simon
James Taylor (& Carol King)
Poco
Alvin Lee
Eagles
Linda Rondstadt
Dave Mason
Steve Miller
John Denver
Beach Boys
War
Grand Funk
Yes
Deep Purple
Rolling Stones
Cat Stevens
The Who
Rolling Stones
Moody Blues
Marshall Tucker Band
Allman Brothers Band
Seals & Crofts
America
Joni Mitchell
Doobie Brothers
Loggins and Messina
Crosby/Stills/Nash/Young
Bob Dylan
Beatles

Here is 10 minutes of it here.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

36 thoughts on “A Concert of The Mind…Fantasy Park”

  1. Yeah. I was thinking a rock concert War of the Worlds broadcast too. It’s a cool idea and in line with a lot of the “live” records of the day…or so I hear. I wish I could get my hands on those reel to reels. We collect those…remember the “Reeling in the Years” broadcast? We’ve got all those. The Flashback series? We’ve got those too. Good stuff.

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  2. New Zealand tv – way back – once did an April Fool’s skit that outraged a good number of people. A sheep dog ran around with an aerial stuck out of its head while the farmer worked a remote control and got the dog to bring the sheep into the yard. Getting it set up required only a minor operation. At least with the flash concert they got something if not quite what they were looking for!

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    1. No…audiophiles really look for the full 40 hours… this is only Rod’s promos.
      I read where it was done in 2020 on some radio station…a newer one.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Matt! I usually don’t write longer posts like that…and I had to cut it down a couple of pages.

      Oh yea…if this concert would have happened…it would have been huge of course.

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      1. Yea it was…he was a great writer Matt. I forgot that he wrote the screen play to Planet of the Apes…smart man.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yea you get the money, be creative, and not be so famous…well he was because of the Twilight Zone but still.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I didn’t know that about his association with the Twilight Zone either. I caught a lot of the latter Twilight series, but not the original. Joe Rogan’s latest podcast is with David Mamet the screenwriter of movies like ‘The Verdict’ and ‘Untouchables’. I found him a bit of an arrogant tool (money can do that to you haha), but there were some interesting bits

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I know I like older series and music…but The Twilight Zone…the original is still liked by my son’s age group…it’s quality and still stands up…

        Oh yea…money can do that! I would like to have that experiment on me lol…lets see if I would change.

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      5. I hope I can catch the original show someday….
        I don’t want to be overindulging, but have you heard Oliviar Vedder’s song (daughter of Eddie Vedder) sing ‘My Father’s Daughter’? I’m in awe of the melody and instrumentals in this live performance:

        Liked by 1 person

      6. The original official video features Sean Penn who is a great friend of Vedder. He does seem like a great guy. He held the torch after Nirvana’s demise. There is a recent discussion between him and Springsteen which I’ve been meaning to get to.

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      7. Yes indeed. The original video of the song features Sean Penn and it appears a movie release called ‘Flag Day’ . Of course Penn and Vedder together worked on ‘Into the Wild’.

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  3. Intriguing concept, and one I’d never heard of. Just today I was thinking, I wonder if they could do a sort of new Live Aid for Ukraine refugees and victims and to raise awareness of the Russian atrocities …but unlike ’85, I don’t know if the public would be flocking to it and what’s more, I couldn’t come up with a very long list of artists who’d likely take part and appeal to anyone over 20…maybe U2, maybe Paul McC, maybe howard Jones and Duran Duran but don’t think it could compare to the ’85 line up

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Can you imagine all of these people from 1975 driving everywhere trying to find this? If they would have just listened carefully to Rod…he tells you but…

      Yea it would be hard to get it together but it is a good idea

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    1. Yeah back then As you know with no Internet or social media all we had was radio TV and newspapers. That would have been a cool concert the best probably with a Beatles reuniting to close it out.

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    1. I can imagine teenagers running amuck in 1975 looking for tickets…I would have been…and the fact that Rod Serling was connected made it that more bizzare.

      Liked by 1 person

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