Peg McEntee: Thanks, Boyd, you rocked â and so did we, at Terrace, Lagoon
Boyd F. Jensen, who died May 29 at age 86, was a lawyer, businessman and philanthropist who grew up in Murray, served his beloved LDS Church, sat on school boards and was for a year president of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions.
He also did public relations work and bookings for Lagoon Corp. and managed Salt Lake City's Terrace Ballroom, both of which showcased some of the hottest and most controversial rock bands of the 1960s.
Utah was pretty insulated from the excesses of that decade, but those of us in our teens were crazy about the music. Tickets were cheap, and we'd stand in long lines in the cold or heat to get inside. Once there, we were packed together, watching primitive light shows and dancing in a fog of cigarette and, um, other smoke.
I never told my parents about that part.
Lagoon had always been a top music venue, and Jensen welcomed the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and the Everly Brothers.
By the '60s, Big Brother and the Holding Co., featuring Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix performed at Lagoon. I saw Jimi, but still weep over missing Janis.
Jim Morrison and the Doors put on as nasty a show as anyone should bear; he got so angry at the polite Utah crowd that he screamed at them, played a truncated set and stormed off stage.
"Dad loved everybody," said his son, Boyd F. Jensen II. "He hated Jim Morrison and the Doors."
At the Terrace, my friends and I saw the Byrds, Cold Blood, It's a Beautiful Day, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, Frank Zappa, Eric Burdon and the Animals and Iron Butterfly, which of course played "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" for what seemed like days.
After most of those concerts, we were deafened for hours.
But, over time, things got too rough at the Terrace. According to the Lagoon History Project, its audiences "seemed to have an increasing disregard for the law," which meant hiring more security and fixing damaged property.
Jensen decided to end rock concerts and resorted to traditional dances with music by, for instance, Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians.
But, in 1972, rock 'n' roll came back for a while; Fleetwood Mac, for example, took the stage in 1974 and '75.
In 1982, the Terrace shut down for good. Seven years later, a fire broke out during its demolition, and that was the end . Today, there's a parking lot where the once-elegant dance hall used to be.
In those days, I wasn't old enough to go to Woodstock or San Francisco, much as I yearned to, but we had Lagoon and the Terrace.
Thank you, Mr. Jensen, and say hi to Janis.
Peg McEntee is a news columnist. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, facebook.com/pegmcentee and Twitter: @Peg McEntee.
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