Widespread Panic Performs On CNN Rooftop On This Date In 1998

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On August 3, 1998 Georgia rockers Widespread Panic played a brief set on the rooftop of CNN’s New York City headquarters. The band performed four songs on the rooftop. Portions of three songs were aired as outs to commercials for the show Showbiz Tonight, which ended with nearly a complete version of “Chilly Water.”

The classic lineup of the band featuring guitarist Michael Houser played on the rooftop, while guitarist John Bell served as spokesman. JB spoke to the host and explained why the band turned down an offer to open for The Rolling Stones. The episode came to a close with “Chilly Water” though CNN cut out just as Houser’s guitar solo was getting good.

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While what aired can be viewed here, filmmaker Geoff Hanson, who would go on to direct the Widespread Panic documentary The Earth Will Swallow You, captured much more of what went down on the rooftop of CNN’s NYC studios on this date in 1998. We get to see the band play about 90 seconds of “Disco,” a portion of “Wondering” and the entire “Chilly Water” Panic performed on the roof. Take a look:

[Originally Published: August 3, 2016]

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