The first Detroit Pop Festival on April 7 at Olympia Stadium came off beautifully. All the stalwarts of the Detroit music scene were in attendance to create a ten hour musical trip for over 16,000 people that came to listen.
The Amboy Dukes, the MC5, the Frost, Ted Lucas, The Wilson Mower Pursuit, The Train and so many other good bands blasted through the incredibly bad Olympia acoustics to show the audience that Michigan Music is what’s happening.
One incident, unknown to most of the audience, marred an otherwise perfect day and almost caused another New Bethel incident at the hands of Detroit’s krazy kops.
With the approval of Mike Quatro, the Festival’s promoter, Pun Plamondon, Minister of Defense of the White Panther Party, was selling revolutionary papers and posters inside the huge stadium.
Pun was told by the owner of all the concession stands that he couldn’t sell anything without giving him a commission. Pun disagreed, but when the guy brought the pigs back with him, Pun began giving the merchandise away free to the crowd.
Finally, the manager of the Olympia arrived and an argument ensued with about 500 persons watching the goings on. Pushing began between the crowd and the police and the manager tried to grab the box of papers that Pun was carrying.
“I called him a bunch of mule puke, and he decides to get physical, so I dropped the box and popped him right between the eyes and busted his glasses,” Pun told the Fifth Estate.
Pun punched the manager a few more times ‘after he again tried to attack him and all the while the pigs are pushing people.
One young brother finally got really pissed and according to Pun “did a super vamp job on this pig’s eye.”
The police took Pun and the other guy who hit the cop into a room where both were knocked to the floor and the pigs began yelling This is our night,” obviously referring to the Linwood incident where they came out on the short end.
Outside of the room about 100 persons were pounding on the door and yelling “Let them out; let them out!” The pigs, frightened by this show of support from the people, turned in a riot call for assistance.
And just like they did on Linwood, about 40 pigs armed with shotguns, M-1s, teargas guns, and an occasional M-14, came charging through the crowd without any regard for the safety of the 16,000 persons in the audience.
Only through the intervention of Mike Quatro was a pig murder scene averted. He convinced the pigs that if they didn’t let Pun and the other guy go that all hell would break loose in the Stadium. Fortunately the oinkers saw the wisdom in this analysis and released Pun although they took the other brother away for assaulting the pig.
The evening then finished without incident.