SDSU has a rockin’ history

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO – Nearly every rock ‘n roll legend from the Grateful Dead to Guns and Roses and Jimmy Buffet have a tie to San Diego State University.

grateful deadMore than 2,000 bands have played at SDSU, including Chuck Mangione, Kansas, Madonna, Journey, Adele, Prince, Bob Dylan and Metallica.

“SDSU has hosted some of the biggest names in rock ‘n roll over the last 50 years,” said SDSU anthropology professor Seth Mallios, who gave a lecture Thursday night about the school’s history of rock ‘n roll.

The lecture “The Legendary Yet Unknown History of Rock ‘n Roll at San Diego State” was free, but donations were collected to help restore a mural that once hung on The Back Door, a small venue on campus, where many of the bands used to play.  It was torn down two years ago.

“One of the things that’s really fun for me is that this place had bands right as they were about to get big,” Mallios said.

However, some bands like U2 didn’t make the cute.

“The person who owned The Back Door didn’t know who U2 was in 1982,” said Mallios.  “They didn’t think they would sell any tickets, so they told U2 to get lost.”

There was memorabilia on display including original ticket stubs, posters and photos from many of the SDSU performances.

Among the memorabilia was an original poster from a 1969 concert at the campus.  It featured Cantee, The Grateful Dead and Santana just three months before Woodstock.

“We had our own Woodstock here with the same bands,” said Mallios.  “It was a very successful concert.”

“The Hells Angels provided security for the concert,” Mallios added with a laugh. “…and they were paid  with a case of Jack Daniels.”