When Charlotte met Jimi: Not quite love at first sight

The death of Davy Jones reminded me of the Monkees’ most unlikely 1967 tour, which included stops in Charlotte and Greensboro.

On July 11 a sellout crowd of teens and preteens at the Charlotte Coliseum, primed for the latest pop phenoms, booed the little-known opening act off the stage. (A year later the Jimi Hendrix Experience was back, this time of course as headliner.)

“The Monkees wanted respect,” the New York Times observed later, “and Hendrix wanted publicity.”


Was it the Final Four that Greensboro loved?

“Some claim the phrase Final Four was first used to describe the final games of Indiana’s annual high school basketball tournament. But the NCAA, which has a trademark on the term, says Final Four was originated by a Cleveland Plain Dealer sportswriter, Ed Chay, in a 1975 article in the Official Collegiate Basketball Guide that [called] Marquette University ‘one of the final four’ in the 1974 tournament. The NCAA started capitalizing the term in 1978.”

— From “A Basketball Handbook” by Donald H. Brown (2007)

So you might say the Greensboro Coliseum hosted its only Final Four retroactively. That’s why this pinback button refers to the “NCAA championship” — sounds odd now, doesn’t it?

Regardless, it was a memorable tournament.  N.C. State toppled UCLA in double-overtime, ending the Bruins’ streak of seven consecutive national titles, then defeated Marquette in the championship game.