Rowdy Rock ‘n’ Roll: Fats Domino Banned From Griffith Stadium

Fats Domino in the 1950s
Fats Domino in the 1950s

Beer wasn’t the only thing banned from Griffith Stadium. Rock ‘n’ roll music was not allowed either. The Washington Post wrote about Fats Domino being banned from performing at Griffith Stadium in August 1957.

District Commissioners yesterday banned rock ‘n’ roll king Fats Domino’s scheduled Griffith Stadium performance next month–a decision expected to shake the area’s sideburn set to its cool, collective heels.

Commissioner Robert E. McLaughlin said the move was made on the advice of Metropolitan Police Chief Robert V. Murray, in keeping with a city policy laid down several months ago.

The police, McLaughlin said, with an eye toward past rock ‘n’ roll performances here, believe the Domino cats would require “just about every available” policeman to maintain order and protect citizens.

The city’s policy, said McLaughlin, is to take police advice on any question of not being able to provide adequate protection for the rest of the city.

The move does not necessarily mean that Fats and Co. cannot play in Washington. Performances will depend on the size of the building or area, McLaughlin indicated.

The District Armory Board last year banned further rock ‘n’ roll performances there after a band of the “greatest” took the most liberties with law and order, busting up furniture and a few heads.

Promoters of the event, headed by Irvin Geld, were not available for comment.

Neither was Fats, whose performances, brought out the riot squad in San Jose, Calif., last September.

Phew, thank God the city’s been saved from the rowdy rock ‘n’ roll crowds and their pied piper. I suspect parents were also breathing a sigh of relief.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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