"The School of Public Works held its annual evening at the Palais des Sports on Sunday. “Pop evening”, had decided its organizers, who gathered at the Palais des sports in Paris five well-known groups: Soft Machine and its two dissidents (D. Allen and K. Ayers) plus Iron Butterfly and Yes. Nothing worth fighting. However, the price of tickets (from 30 to 50 francs) was deemed too high by some young spectators.
Alas! everything had been brought together to trigger, once again, the socio-drama "protest - repression". The forces of order were there, helmets with visors and shields, the weapon at the foot; the forces of disorder also, motorcycle helmets and slogans: "Free concerts! Pop' for all!" At the beginning, we got into a bit of a fight, then the organizers opened the doors.
Inside, makeshift orators seized the microphone: "Let's burn the cars of the rich! Popular resistance!" Some, better equipped, began to demolish the seats, row by row. A smoke bomb explodes. Then the musicians bring order to the room by starting the concert.
It was then that a small group managed to break through the reserves of the refreshment bars at the Palais des Sports. It is the frozen chocolates that fly to the four corners of the room, then the caramels, the sausages, the bread, the bottles of lemonade, beer, wine, whiskey, the toilet paper that serves as streamers, the accounting slips, etc Everything is ransacked. While the "gong" musicians play imperturbably.
Around midnight, when only two groups appeared on stage, the authorities asked for the room to be evacuated. "Let's all stay together, comrades!" pleads one of the speakers. But, in small groups, the disappointed spectators fall back.
Firefighters bring a blaze under control. Outside, belated groups are playing guerrilla warfare, dispersed by smoke grenades. Later, the last combatants withdrew through the rue de Vaugirard, where they erected makeshift barricades, destroyed a number of windows and looted a few displays."
Sunday, January 31, 2021 9:06 AM
Stupid French Marxists disrupted the YES show. What did Jon think of that?
Thursday, February 1, 2018 4:41 AM
It began like any other French concert- refined. Ushers took you to your seats. My friend Richard and I were seated several rows up off the main floor orchestra, in the middle, with a nice view of the stsge. I recall the music starting, Soft Machine, guitars wailing. The students from the Sorbonne (some said over 1000) stormed through the main doors at the top of the dished stadium and locked us all in. “Rock Populaire” -free rock, they all shouted. “Rock Populaire”. The event turned suddenly from a quiet night at the Opera Comique to the noise of the unruly crowd rising above the guitars. First.cane the baguettes flying through the air, ice cream and bottles of cheap wine with coke-bottle tops. Someone next to me gets hit in the head with a bottle. “Rock Populaire”. Play on. To my left the gendarmes opened a side door and mace drifted across the seats. The orchestra chairs were now piled up. The smell of mace and marijuana blending together in a swirling fog of confusion. “Rock Populaire” they shouted. More food. More wine. As midnight approached, the PA inducated the gendarmes would storm the place shortly. The doors were opened. My friend and I slipped into the night, streetlights shining off the cobblestones and the glass visors of the riot police lined up in rows- waiting patiently for the order to go. Alas, into the metro - back north to Rue Jacob. The music still plays in my head- these years later- the non-concert concert - was tres magnifique!
This show never happened - Yes (and the other bands mentioned) were due to perform at the Palais des Sports, but on January 31st. In the event they never got to - only Gong and Kevin Ayers did, before the concert degenerated into a riot.