What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?
- 49 Touro Street, Newport, RI 02840
- Newport County
- June 8, 2023
Join us for an awesomely unique concert/film event featuring original Blood, Sweat, and Tears member Fred Lipsius and his band-trio performing live before a screening of a new documentary concerning a turbulent time in the band's history.
Fred was the original saxophonist, arranger and conductor with Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1967 to 1971. He also doubled on keyboards and won 3 Grammy awards. While with the band, he won nine Gold Records plus a Grammy Award for his arrangement of "Spinning Wheel".
Doors @ 6
6:30: Live Performance by Fred Lipsius and his band. Fred's Trio will play a short concert before an Intermission.
7:30: Film Screening of What the Hell Happened to Blood, Sweat & Tears?
The film involves the U.S. State Department, the Nixon White House, the governments of Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland and documentary footage that has been suppressed for over 50 years by one or all of the above.
In June 1970, hot off their spectacular Grammy® win for Album of the Year (besting The Beatles’ “Abbey Road”), Blood, Sweat & Tears becomes the first American rock band to perform behind the Iron Curtain, doing concerts in Yugoslavia, Romania and Poland on a tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Like much of the youth in America, band members have been outspoken and critical of the Nixon administration and the Vietnam War. The Iron Curtain Tour seems to be a curious decision by the band, which was at the very height of their popularity. Upon their return, the band becomes a victim of the significant societal upheaval and culture wars in a polarized America, divided as much then as it is now. Political criticism typically comes from one side or the other. But in 1970, Blood, Sweat & Tears find themselves in the crossfire from both the Right AND the Left and the group suffers greatly as a result.
Suddenly, they are no longer hip and cool and lose support from fans, the media, concert bookers and the recording industry. In short, the Right is outraged by the U.S. government footing the bill for an anti-war/anti-
Nixon rock band to tour overseas and refer to Blood, Sweat & Tears members as “Communists”. The Left is critical
of the band for appearing to be an instrument of the U.S. government and/or the CIA.Through documentary
footage shot during the Iron Curtain tour (and thought to be lost) and present day interviews with band members and historians, as well as the unsealing of government records.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO BLOOD, SWEAT & TEARS? unravels the details of this extraordinary year in the life of the band.
- Dates: June 8, 2023
- Location: Jane Pickens Theater
- Address: 49 Touro Street, Newport, RI 02840
- Phone: (401) 846-5252
- Time: 6:00 PM