A Long, Long Time Ago
by Ford Reiche
The Major Rock and Roll Concerts of Southern Maine, 1955-1977
What’s the big deal about rock and roll concerts in Maine? Back when there were just a handful of AM radio stations and only three TV channels, this small and remote state got way more than its share of live performances by big name rock and roll musicians. There was – there is – only one highway connecting Maine to the rest of the world. The completion of the Maine Turnpike in 1955 effectively merged three southern Maine communities into one market of 250,000 people. When the rock and roll stars of the day were planning tours, southern Maine was on their map- sort of “off Broadway” stops before hitting the big cities on the east coast of the United States. This was a unique dynamic and a stroke of luck for young Mainers. This 188-page book includes over 600 images, covering every major rock concert presented in southern Maine from 1955 through 1977. It also covers the elements that made these performances such noteworthy local events, often front page news: the hometown concert promoters and radio personalities, the community performance venues, the record shops where event tickets were sold, and the local garage bands that often served as opening acts. 100% of book sale proceeds is being donated to Maine Historical Society, the third oldest such institution in America.
“A Long, Long Time Ago is a significant contribution to Maine’s twentieth-century popular culture. One of the highlights is its extensive display of concert photographs, posters, programs and tickets. Reflecting the diligence of the author, this impressive collection brings Maine’s rock era to life for those who experienced it as well as for more recent generations. For readers who remember them, these concerts may seem not so long ago, reminding us how quickly the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past.”