MERCY FLIGHT came together in the Fall of 1969.  Mercy Flight was a band from Richmond, VA and included the members Hazy Dave Hazlett, Tom Cool Yolton, Robbin Thompson, Jimmy Van Kueren, & Art Stacy.  

MERCY FLIGHT started performing with STEEL MILL featuring Bruce Springsteen.  The two bands would perform together in Richmond and the Jersey Shore.

Here are some original audio tracks of MERCY FLIGHT





7th & Marshall Parking Deck Performance

This legendary concert was held on top of a Parking Deck in Richmond Virginia.  This was a perfectly Magical show by all accounts. 

 Mercy Flight on stage at the 7th & Marshall Parking Deck


Steel Mill on stage at the 7th & Marshall Parking Deck



Clearwater Swim Club Riot

A gig now steeped in folklore. In Steel Mill's lineup for this show was drummer Dave Hazlett (from the band Mercy Flight). Hazlett had come up from Richmond to fill in for the absent Vini Lopez, who was stuck in Richmond due to a marijuana bust on a communal property where Vini’s then-girlfriend lived (everyone in the commune were charged - Vini was merely in the wrong place at the wrong time). Steel Mill was intending to use its earnings from this show to help defray Vini’s legal costs. So the unique Steel Mill lineup for this Clearwater gig was Springsteen, Van Zandt, Federici, Thompson and Hazlett.

Steel Mill had played a similar event at this venue in June that had gone smoothly. However some local residents had subsequently complained to town officials about the noise level so late at night, this resulted in the curfew time for the September concert being lowered from 11.00pm to 10.00pm, as well as a much stronger police presence. Several audience arrests for marijuana possession during the show got the crowd upset. Then when 10.00pm came around (Steel Mill was part way through its set) the police took a hard line about the curfew and switched off the power to the instruments, infuriating the crowd. Several members of the band then plugged into overhead light sockets, forcing the police to enter the stage and ask the band to stop playing, which then escalated the crowd into a near-riot. During the ensuing mayhem some sound equipment fell onto the local Chief of Police (who was very slightly injured). Danny Federici earned his famous nickname of 'The Phantom' by disappearing from the melee with lightning speed. However news reports in the days after say that police were searching for Federici, charged with assault on a police officer and resisting arrest. 21 people were arrested for a mixture of drug and assault charges and ten policemen were injured. The aftermath of this show was extensively covered in the local media at the time. Danny eventually turned himself in and was bailed in November 1970. This show was filmed, but unfortunately the resulting film was subsequently lost in a fire.


Here are links to find out more about MERCY FLIGHT and STEEL MILL.






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