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She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

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April 15, 2017 08:55PM
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Every kid who grew up in southern California in the 1960's and 70's remembers the Swing, a concert venue at 689 E Street in San Bernardino. Named after Ralph Swing, a native son and influential state senator, virtually every well know act of that era performed at The Swing, and The Rolling Stones made their American debut there. It wasn't the greatest place for sound quality but the seats were not reserved so you could walk around on the floor or balcony during a performance, with 10,000 other people.
After a concert ended, cars heading out usually gave lifts to the kids holding up cardboard signs who were hoping to hitch a ride to their intended destinations, many saying "Deep Creek"....and it didn't matter which part of the stream they reached, the upper or lower, just as long as they reached Deep Creek. Most rides took them to either the Spillway or Splinters Cabin up in the pines.
After such a spectacle, blowing your tender eardrums out and watching The Doors, Led Zeppelin or Black Sabbath...who wants to go back to work or school when you can head up to the mountains to digest all that musical power. Often the talk on the trail and in the hot pools was about that nights concert...tear gas at the Hendrix show or skyrockets at Zeppelin, it was an amazing time to be young and enjoying the hot springs. Scrape together another $4.50 and you could see Pink Floyd the following week.
During this great flash of California pop culture so many people were "living" in the canyon that the Forest Service and San Bernardino County Sheriff had to bring in horses and helicopters to herd everyone out.
1969 brought one of the biggest floods of the 20th century when an atmospheric river dropped over 80 inches of rain in the San Berdoo mountains, and Deep Creek eventually becomes the Mojave River, so that year it flowed all the way to Soda Lake in the Mojave desert. When the creek roared it took out sand, logs, cat tails, trees and boulders. The pool below Aztec Falls looked more like a small lake for the next several years, with no sand bar like now. In the following decade there were beaver dams a few miles upstream from the hot springs. The trail we now call the (completed) Pacific Crest Trail was a Serrano Indian trail from the spillway at Mojave Forks all the way up to The Narrows near Running Springs & Highway 18. The parking lots at Mojave Forks, Splinters Cabin and the old Bowen Ranch were usually packed with Volkswagen's and vans.
There used to be a lot of cool southern California scenes for youth in the 60's and 70's...like Sunset Boulevard, Laguna Beach,Tahquitz Canyon, Paradise Cove, Topanga Canyon and Venice Beach. But Deep Creek Hot Springs is the only one that still hold up a half century later, with most everything else swallowed up by economic inflation and urbanization.
The Swing Auditorium died on September 11th, 1981, when a twin-engine Cessna crashed into it, killing the pilot and his passenger. Beyond repair, it was torn down. It was that generation's 911, and some folks insist that the crash was deliberate. But with Ronald Reagan in the White House the party was over anyway and the music started to change by the 80's.
A partial list of some of the acts that played at The Swing:
Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Grateful Dead, Jethro Tull, Frank Zappa, Black Sabbath, Emerson Lake and Palmer, Deep Purple, The Kinks, Ike and Tina Turner, Alice Cooper, Santana, The Beach Boys, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, Bob Hope, Sammy Davis Jr., Elvis, Manfred Mann, Van Morrison, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Edgar Winter, Led Zeppelin, Mountain, Chuck Berry, Quicksilver, Jimi Hendrix, The Moody Blues, Creedence Clearwater, Chicago, The Animals, The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Jack Benny, The Seeds, The Byrds, Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, Iron Butterfly, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, The Jackson 5, Boston, Blue Oyster Cult, ZZ Top, Pink Floyd, Kansas, Cheap Trick, Foreigner, Rush, The Tubes, The Cars, Journey, Styx, Mahogany Rush....

The hot springs look better than ever these days and you people are doing a great job of keeping the place clean, but please carry out what you bring in and watch your dogs. Thank God there is no phone reception at the springs, because it would be a sad sight indeed to see dozens of people staring at their devices while in the pools or walking across the sand.
If you are ever heading north on the 215 Freeway near the Orange Show Event Center, hold dear the musical memories of the Swing, where the lilting legends still echo through the mountains.
SubjectAuthorViewsPosted

She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

Tanjja1403April 15, 2017 08:55PM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

Paul P.322April 15, 2017 09:06PM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

neogeo330April 16, 2017 10:21AM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

Antranik242April 26, 2017 01:43PM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

neogeo290April 28, 2017 12:01AM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

jobe339April 16, 2017 08:50AM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

Painterbuddy366April 18, 2017 12:31AM

Re: She's hitchhiking to Deep Creek from The Swing...after Zeppelin, Sabbath, Pink Floyd & The Doors....

Tanjja293June 10, 2017 07:27PM



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