Classic Rock Review

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Led Zeppelin Bourbon Street Renegades (New Orleans, May 1973)


Municipal Auditorium, New Orleans, LA – May 14th, 1973

Discs 1, soundboard: Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter

Discs 2: The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Dazed & Confused

Discs 3: Stairway To Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

Discs 4, audience: Rock And Roll, Celebration Day, Black Dog, Over The Hills And Far Away, Misty Mountain Hop, Since I’ve Been Loving You, No Quarter

Discs 5: The Song Remains The Same, The Rain Song, Dazed & Confused

Discs 6: Stairway To Heaven, Moby Dick, Heartbreaker, Whole Lotta Love, Communication Breakdown

The soundboard tape for Led Zeppelin’s New Orleans show on May 14th, 1973 first surfaced with the myriad other soundboard recordings in the late eighties and early nineties. Unlike the others this has always stood out as being one of the most complete recordings available with the first two minutes of “Rock And Roll” being the only major gap. The old German label Flying Disc Music was the first to issue the soundboard in 1991 on Live And Led Live Part 1 (CD 6-825) (“Celebration Day” to “No Quarter”) and Live And Led Live Part 2 (CD 6-826) which has “The Song Remains The Same”, “The Rain Song”, “Dazed & Confused” and “Stairway To Heaven”.

Satellite issued The Longest Night (SA91.001) with “Dazed & Confused” out of order to place it on two discs in the same year and this was copied on Whole Lotta Rock on Triangle (PYCD 061-2). Tarantura were the first to release the whole soundboard in its proper sequence in 1995 on Drag Queen (DQ-001~3) and this was copied the same year on Johnny Piston & the Dogs on Thin Men (TM 005/6) with the songs again out of sequence to fit on two discs.

In 1999 The Diagrams Of Led Zeppelin released a real nice version called simply New Orleans 1973 (Vol. 77). “Communication Breakdown” appears on Best Of Tour 1973 on Forever Standard Series (FSS 99-008) and earlier this year Beelzebub released this on cdr as Do The James Brown (BSD 89*90*91). Bourbon Street Renegades is the latest release with the soundboard on the first three discs and the newly circulating audience source on the second three.

Empress Valley use the audience source for the first two minutes and twenty seconds of “Rock & Roll”, to patch very small gaps in “Dazed & Confused” and “Whole Lotta Love”, and finally the post-show ambience after the encore. The label did a similar mastering job on this tape as they did on the July 6th, 1973 Chicago soundboard by fattening the bottom end trying to bring some liveliness to an otherwise sterile and clinical recording. Enjoyment of this is dependent upon one’s subjective tastes but it isn’t intrusive and they have succeeded on some levels by bring some weight to the recording.

However, the point of interest on this release is the second three discs with the previously uncirculated audience recording. This was produced by the same taper responsible for Led Zeppelin’s February 28th, 1975 Baton Rouge tape along with several others (Sirene used his tapes for the ELP From Benny To Baton Rouge and King Crimson Heritage releases). There was quite a lot of discussion on The Taper’s Den about this tape and it was finally posted as Freezer’s Revenge. Some problems with this transfer regarding speed issues and tape stretches exist.

Empress Valley claim to use a transfer of the master different than the internet source and this is accurate. They use a previous transfer made for a select few collectors. Once Freezer’s Revenge was posted one of the few made their copy available to recoup their loss. None of the problems with the internet source are noticeable on this release. It does sound very smudgy with a high pitched whine. The Tarantua release of this tape on The Witch Queen is superior to this set in every way.

It shares the same quality as the taper’s other Zeppelin release. It is slightly distant from the stage and has some tape flips with a cut at six minutes fifty-seven seconds into “The Rain Song”, but is an otherwise excellent stereo recording capturing the mystique of the performance perfectly.

Lisa Robinson called this show “the year’s best” in her review for Disc magazine and it is easy to understand why. This is a very good show that sounds much better on the audience recording and contains my all time favorite Plantation after “Black Dog”: “We’ve got to get these house lights down. It’s pretty pointless bringing our own lights…Mr. Cole, can you take your dress off and get these lights turned down please?” Plant explains they’ve been in the city for several days, which is a very long time on a tour, and they feel like they are playing in their hometown.

There are no surprises in the set list. “Moby Dick” lasts only twenty minutes and Plant makes reference to “The Crunge” as well as “James Brown” and “Cold Sweat” in “Whole Lotta Love”. Empress Valley package the six discs in a fatboy jewel case with some great Page photos in the inside. The first three discs are given a low catalogue number (the label are in the four hundreds by now) and the second three discs are labeled “Special Bonus Disc”. The front photograph comes from a different tour and is blurry. Overall this is a horrible job by Empress Valley and, if possible, you should pick up the Tarantura instead.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Led Zeppelin Bourbon Street Renegades | , | Leave a comment

Genesis Six Of The Best: Rehearsals & Live (Hammersmith, September 1982 & Milton Keynes, October 1982)


There are many and various reasons why rock bands hold reunions. Most common is for nostalgia, the need to revisit past glories for contemporary fans and for the pocket book. Others are held for charitable reasons. Such was the case for the Six Of The Best show in 1982.

Careful not to call it a Genesis reunion for legal and speculative reasons, it is to date the only time Peter Gabriel played with Genesis for a full-length concert since his departure in 1975 (Gabriel did join the band for “I Know What I Like” in New York in July 1978).

The cause was quite worthy. Gabriel, in his attempt to introduce and preserve the heritage of world music and to find such interesting acts a new audience, had invested quite a lot of time and money into the World Of Music And Dance (WOMAD) festival at Shepton Mallot on July 16th.

Unfortunately, his ideals were higher than his business sense and didn’t count on acts such as La Place De La Concorde, OK Jive and The Drummers Of Burundi to not draw a sizable audience.

Not even Simple Minds, Echo & The Bunnymen, The English Beat or a scintillating set by himself was able save the festival from insolvency.

Genesis were still on the Encore tour, their biggest yet, and offered to donate proceeds from one of their shows for his cause. Instead of accepting charity from his old mates, Gabriel decided instead to schedule the one-off reunion to raise funds. Unfortunately the show wasn’t professionally recorded (as far as we know), but there were several enterprising audience members to capture the event for posterity.

In 2009 a soundboard recording of the rehearsal surfaced and was quickly pressed onto silver disc. Six Of The Best: Rehearsals & Live on Virtuoso is a four disc set presenting both tapes in one convenient package. This is the first time the reunion concert has been issued on silver disc in almost fifteen years and it receives a welcome overhaul in a definitive package.

Hammersmith Odeon, London, England – September 29th, 1982

Disc 1 (46:49): Back In NYC, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (Take 1), Dancing With The Moonlit Knight (Take 2), The Carpet Crawlers, Firth Of Fifth, The Musical Box, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, Broadway Melody Of 1974

Disc 2 (47:39): In The Cage (Take 1), In The Cage (Take 2), Supper’s Ready, The Knife, Solsbury Hill (Take 1), Solsbury Hill (Take 2), Solsbury Hill (Take 3)

The only rehearsal for the event occurred on the afternoon of Genesis’ September 29th show at the Hammersmith Odeon, the penultimate show on the Encore tour which was recently released on Man On The Hammersmith (Virtuoso 137/138). The ninety minute soundboard recording was first pressed on All The Help I Can Get (GR 458/459). The sound quality of the Virtuoso doesn’t differ significantly from the Godfather release.

A very clear but unbalanced recording, it clearly illustrates the band resurrecting the older numbers for the reunion show. Several of the old songs like “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway,” “I Know What I Like,” “In The Cage” and the epic “Supper’s Ready” are already well rehearsed because they were already part of Genesis’ live act.

But the other numbers require much more work. Gabriel has to practice the opening to “Dancing With The Moonlit Knight” several times before getting right. They choose to play the opening of the song as an introduction to “Carpet Crawlers,” the same arrangement Genesis employed on the Duke tour in 1980.

“Firth Of Fifth” was part of the set as recently as the Duke tour, but “The Musical Box” hadn’t been played in its entirety since 1974 (only the fast paced instrumental was played in medley). Collins and Gabriel try to sing the first verse of “The Musical Box” in union but quickly drop the idea. Gabriel’s flute out of tune in the beginning of “The Musical Box.”

“In The Cage” is cooking along until a key change is missed and they have to start again. Most work goes into Gabriel’s “Solsbury Hill.” It’s interesting hearing him teach the band how to play and to work on the Genesis arrangement of one of his most famous solo works. Cliff, in his review of the Godfather release two years ago, opined that there must have been much more to the rehearsal since “Turn It On Again” must have been rehearsed. Nothing new has surfaced since, so this is probably all we’ll get to hear from the rehearsal session.

Six of The Best Reunion Show, Concert Bowl, Milton Keynes, England – October 2nd, 1982

Disc 3 (72:49): Introduction by Jonathan King, Back In NYC, Dancing With The Moonlit Knight, The Carpet Crawlers, Peter Gabriel MC, Firth Of Fifth, The Musical Box, Solsbury Hill, Member Introduction, Turn It On Again, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Fly On A Windshield, 1974 Broadway Melody, In The Cage

Disc 4 (47:25): Introduction Of Supper’s Ready, Supper’s Ready, I Know What I Like (with Steve Hackett), The Knife (with Steve Hackett), Closing Words

For such an important show in Genesis’ history, there have been very few pressed versions available. The first was The Lamb Woke Up Again (Stonehenge STCD 2008/2009) which contains the entire show plus the three song encore from Steve Hackett’s January 29th, 1983 show in Guildford where Peter Gabriel and Michael Rutherford joined him onstage for the encores. In the late nineties Highland released Six Of The Best (Highland HL 388/389) using a fair to good tape.

Since then several more audience tapes have been uncovered. Arguably, the best version was on the fan produced Live In Milton Keynes (TM Productions) and was commercially available on the CDR Emotional Reunion (Amity 106). It is a very clear and enjoyable audience tape of the entire concert. It also picks up nicely the sound of 60,000 punters singing along to the music and singing “Happy Birthday” to Michael Rutherford.

Genesis’ first manager Jonathan King gives some introductory words, speaking about how they formed sixteen years ago, before the band start with the thumping rhythms of “Back In NYC.” Six pallbearers carry a coffin onstage while the band extend the intro. After placing the coffin onstage, it opens and out comes Peter Gabriel dressed in Rael costume. The opening lines are muffled due to a faulty lead, but it clears up nicely and the show gets off to a wonderful start.

After a pause, Gabriel sings the opening to “Dancing With A Moonlit Knight” which segues directly into “Carpet Crawlers.” Collins joins in on the verses like in the old days, but it is Gabriel’s mesmerizing performance that carries the tune.

“Some of you may be wondering what we’re doing here.” The audience replies “NOOOOOOOOO” in unison. Gabriel continues anyway to talk about WOMAD, its financial woes, and to tell the audience they will play a selection they think they would like to hear. ”Firth Of Fifth” follows (with Darryl Steurmer playing the solo).

“The Musical Box” is a bit sloppy with Steurmer being the main culprit. He doesn’t know the guitar embellishments during the opening verses and makes up his own which sound strange. He’s much more confident during the heavy instrumental, however, since it has been part of the set.

The middle part of the show is a trade off. They play “Solsbury Hill” from Gabriel’s first album. And, after the band introductions, Gabriel and Collins switch places. Collins takes over vocal and Gabriel plays drums for “Turn It On Again” from Duke. Of course Chester Thompson handles the tricky time signatures, but it’s all in good fun and the symbolism is very fitting.

Gabriel then mentions they rehearsed in Hammersmith for the show and starts telling the train story from Genesis Live. He stops and jokes “the only thing we didn’t rehearse were the stories and that is the wrong story.” He then tells another story as an intro to “The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway.” They play all of the first side of the first LP except “Cuckoo Cocoon” after “Broadway Melody Of 1974″ and “The Grand Parade Of Lifeless Packaging” after “In The Cage.”

Afterwards Gabriel tells the tube story again as an introduction to “Supper’s Ready.” It’s very tight since they’ve been playing it on tour. Gabriel dons his flower costume to the approval of the audience.

Steve Hackett comes onstage for the final two numbers. ”I Know What I Like” features Collins playing his tambourine games, and “The Knife” is very short and powerful. Gabriel afterwards thanks everyone for coming and Collins wishes everyone a good night.

While this isn’t the greatest Genesis concert it is historically important. Thirty years on it is the final time Gabriel sang for Genesis in concert and, after the aborted plan for him to rejoin Genesis on their reunion in 2007, probably will remain so. There are many musical mistakes and miscues, but the emotion is right and is fun to listen to. Virtuoso did a good job bringing these two tapes together into one convenient package. Until a soundboard and / or video of the show surfaces, Six Of The Best: Rehearsals & Live will be the definitive silver title.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Genesis Six Of The Best: Rehearsals & Live | , | 1 Comment

The Faces Real Good Time (Paris Cinema, London, May 1971)


Paris Cinema, London, England – May 13th, 1971

(52:18): You’re My Girl, Cut Across Shorty, Love In Vain, Bad And Ruin, It’s All Over You, Had Me A Real Good Time, I’m Losing You

The Faces appeared on the BBC, both radio and TV, more than twenty times over their six year career and since they were so well recorded many appear on unofficial releases. Real Good Time on Watchtower documents the May 13th, 1971 appearance on John Peel’s Sunday Concert.

This recording appeared first on the LP Had Me A Real Good Time (TMOQ 1842 71052). Despite the claim of releases like Shake It On Down For Top Gear (Hiwatt HW-71/72), which has three BBC appearances and claims to have this one, Watchtower is the silver disc debut of this particular broadcast.

The recording is excellent stereo, probably sourced from a BBC transcription disc and not an actual broadcast. Watchtower use a vinyl transfer for Real Good Time which comes with several pops,clicks and a cut 3:03 in “You’re My Girl.” Since neither the master tape nor the taped used for the original vinyl are available, this is the best that can be done. Watchtower might have been able to remove the pops, but as it is they are not really distracting.

This appearance was taped in front of a live audience at the Paris Theater and broadcast on the BBC on May 23rd. The Faces wanted to do two things: play their best stage numbers but also introduce new songs from their latest album Long Player released in March. They start off with the Rod Stewart solo number “You’re My Girl” (called “I Don’t Want To Discuss It” on the artwork). Lasting eleven minutes, is about the best performed song of the broadcast.

Afterwards Stewart tells everyone: “Here’s one we’ve never done on the program before called ‘Cut Across Shorty.’” This performance is the only one from this session to be released officially, appearing Five Guys Walk Into A Bar. They follow with a long cover of The Rolling Stones’ Robert Johnson cover “Love In Vain.”

“Tonight is novelty night” Stewart says before “Bad And Ruin.” “This number has never been played before except when we recorded it for the Long Playeralbum. So if it falls apart in the middle, you know, laugh it off” punctuated by nervous laughter. However, the song does not break down in the middle. “Had Me A Real Good Time” is the other song from the new album played.

Before the end Stewart jokes “We forgot to do one of the best numbers we ever do…’Losing You’ yeah. It’s an old Temptations number and they were great. They ain’t now because they lost the best singer in the world David Ruffin.” The run through a tight six minute version of their cover including a very brief but intense Kenny Jones drum solo.

Real Good Time was released at a time when Watchtower were plumbing the depths of radio and television broadcasts for various artists. Other Watchtower titles at the time focused upon Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin. It is packaged in a normal jewel case with very basic artwork with very clean graphics. And since this has never been issued before it is valuable for Faces collectors and is worth having.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | The Faces Real Good Time | , | Leave a comment

The Who Young Vic Rehearsals (Young Vic Theatre, London, April 1971)


The Young Vic Theatre, Waterloo, London – April 26th 1971

Rehearsals at The Young Vic Theatre, Waterloo, London, England 1971: Baby Don’t You Do It, Bargain, Bony Moronie, Unknown Jam, My Generation, Naked Eye #1, Naked Eye #2, Bony Moronie, Road Runner, Walking The Dog. Live at The Young Vic Theatre, Waterloo, London – April 26th 1971: Pinball Wizard, See Me Feel Me, Baby Don’t You Do It, My Generation, Road Runner, Naked Eye, Bony Moronie, Won’t Get Fooled Again (failed), Won’t Get Fooled Again

Young Vic Rehearsals capture The Who at a very formative period. Riding off of the critical and commercial success of Tommy, Townshend tried to deliver a much more involved follow up with Lifehouse. The story of the transition between Lifehouse to Who’s Next is well known and better documented elsewhere.

This title on Wardour releases, for the very first time, a half hour rehearsal tape right at the time of their “Lifehouse” concerts before an invitation only audience at the Old Vic Theater.

It’s unknown what the provenance of the rehearsal tape is. There is nothing to suggest it is from the April 26th as is the concert, but nothing from preventing that either. The label doesn’t give and probably don’t know themselves what the precise details are. As rehearsals go there isn’t too much to say.

It’s a very good mono soundboard recording with evident hiss. The first couple of numbers emphasize the instruments with Roger Daltrey’s vocals in the background. “Baby Don’t You Do It” is first and the band pound the number around like a lifeless dummy. The next three numbers are merely doodles.

“This ain’t my idea. Heavy music coming up!” Townshend says before “My Generation.” For this the balance has been restored and Daltrey is clearly audible above the instrumental chaos of Townshend’s fuzzy guitar solos, played at every opportunity. The soloing gradually segues into the first take of “Naked Eye”.

The tape is switched off and on and “Naked Eye #2″ comes in at the slow solo before the final verse and the guitar wanders into the first verse only of “Bony Maronie”. Some tuning, a gong bash and Townshend asks, “Is the tape running?” “Road Runner” gets off to a shaky start before stopping. “This is it” Townshend says before a better, more complete version of the song is attempted. Moon’s drums are very pronounced at this point propelling the number forward as “Walking The Dog” is included in the fun. There is some indiscernible yelling before the tape ends.

It’s reported that The Who played various shows at the Young Vic while recording Who’s Next. Only this show is confirmed and excerpts appeared on the two-disc version released several years ago. (“Bony Maronie” surfaced on the 30 Years Of Maximum R&B box set). This material surfaced also on the Lifehouse Live (KRR 42) and Young Vic Blues (Bell Bottom – BB043) releases.

This is the second half of the concert (with “Water” not present) and it’s in the same quality as the rehearsal tape. Other releases contain three tracks that aren’t present on the Wardour release: “Too Much Of Anything”, “Getting In Tune”, and “Bargain”. However I think the focus of interest on this release is the rehearsal tape which is interesting and fun although not too revealing.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | The Who Young Vic Rehearsals | , | Leave a comment

Art Of Noise Into Battle With The Art Of Noise (1983)


Into Battle with the Art of Noise is the latest installment (No. 16, to be precise) in ZTT’s fine Element Series of reissues via the Salvo label. As with the Claudia Brücken collection Combined, the disc is packaged in a miniature gatefold LP sleeve.

The astute listener will notice that both the front and booklet covers contain a typo, with “Flesh in Armour” listed as “Flesh in Armous”. This is unfortunate, but perhaps this can be fixed with subsequent printings. On the other hand, the artwork is crisp and clean, unlike the 1999/2000 ZTT reissues through Universal, which had to rely on already printed material because, if I recall correctly, the original artwork for most of the early ZTT albums was lost to fire.

The re-created album artwork aside, the obvious point of comparison for this edition would be the 20th anniversary reissue released in 2003 by Repertoire. By most measures, the Element Edition (as the ZTT web site refers to it) of Into Battle is an improvement.

For starters, the original version of “Beat Box” has been restored to the running order, whereas the 20th anniversary edition contained “Beat Box (Diversion 1)” in its place.

The sound quality is much improved, in my opinion. The 20th anniversary edition was mastered at hotter levels, which, while not carried out to extremes utilized, did not exactly make for repeated listening. The Element Edition is mastered at more reasonable levels, and is consistent with other releases in ZTT’s Element Series.

Some folks will grumble, perhaps rightly so, that the cassette version of “Moments in Love” is used here instead of the full 10-minute version. However, the liner notes indicate that this is to avoid duplication with the forthcoming deluxe reissue of Who’s Afraid of The Art of Noise, which will include the full version.

Speaking of Who’s Afraid of The Art of Noise, that LP was apparently the result of changes made (to appeal more to a mainstream audience) after the unexpected single success of “Close (to the edit)”. Before that single became a hit, The Art of Noise had put together an album called Worship. That previously unreleased album is included here.

I was always somewhat disappointed in Who’s Afraid of The Art of Noise, particularly since I already had “Beat Box (Diversion One)”, “Close (to the edit)” (which sprang forth from “Beat Box (Diversion Two)”), and “Moments in Love” on other releases, and the new material included was mostly too short and not very interesting.

Worship, on the other hand, contains more new material, more varied material, and is both longer and more interesting. The interludes “One Finger of Love”, “Two Fingers of Love”, and “Three Fingers of Love” (which is *not* the same as the track on “daft” listed as “(Three Fingers of) Love”) are jazzy pieces dominated by strings, sax, and piano, and would have been quite unexpected from the group at that point in time. And “Confession” is actually kind of funky, relatively speaking. But we do still get more “Beat Box” – in the form of “Close (to the edit)” and Diversions 1, 3, and 5 (not in that order).

If Who’s Afraid of The Art of Noise was monochrome (as suggested by its sleeve art), then Worship is its more colorful counterpart. I assume that the album never got as far as the sleeve design, since the only related images shown in the booklet are the track listings from the master tape boxes.

The inclusion of Worship is a smart move on the part of ZTT, since Into Battle as presented here is also included in the 2006 box set, And What Have You Done with My Body, God? About a half-dozen tracks from Worship are also part of that set (though, as the liner notes point out, not yet placed in the context of Worship), but that still leaves 12 tracks that owners of said box will not already have. Since this edition of Into Battle is a single disc, that means the cost of those 12 tracks is not terribly outrageous.

In short, better sound, new liner notes, crisp artwork, and an album’s worth of extra material. Hard to go wrong with this one.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Art Of Noise Into Battle With The Art Of Noise | | Leave a comment

According To The Rolling Stones by The Rolling Stones (2003)


The recent publication of “According to the Rolling Stones” to coincide with the Forty Licks Tour, is classic Stones-style media manipulation. Looking back over their career & my collection of Stones videos, books & CD’s, it is obvious that once again Jagger (& to a lesser extent, Richards) are attempting to revise their personal history and somehow cleanse themselves of their bad-boy image. This particular effort is the penultimate revision of a well-documented history.

From the outset, the choices made by the books’ editor (Dora Lowenstein, daughter of the financial advisor to the Stones, Prince Rupert Lowenstein) as to whom to include make it obvious this will be a trip thru the past brightly. The single most glaring omission is that of Bill Wyman; yes, he’s not currently a Rolling Stone, but one would think that 25+ years as an official Stone would count for something.

Obviously, Dora & Co. didn’t agree. Other omissions include Mick Taylor (only the spark for the finest Rolling Stones guitar interplay recorded), Andrew Loog Oldham (even Jagger/Richards admit they probably never would gone beyond the Crawdaddy Club without ALO), Bobby Keys (Keith’s best friend for many years & the leader of the Stones horn section since 1969) and the Stones women, past & present.

Marianne Faithfull & Anita Pallenberg were considered adjunct members of the Stones for many years, most of them the most productive and artistically satisfying of their career. The list of those Missing In Action could also include dead, but on-the-record Stones members such as Brian Jones and (especially missed!) Ian Stewart who was the original founder with Jones of the band. Stewart knew where all the bodies were buried, and never failed to take the Jagger/Richards egos down a peg or 10. Ian’s contributions to the Stones legacy are glossed over at best.

Instead, in the tween-chapters essays, we have represented two journalists (one of whom has no claim to any contact with any Stone at any time), Peter Wolf of J.Geils Band, Sheryl Crow, Prince Rupert and Ahmet Ertegun. Needless to say, their contributions tend more towards the sycophantic than the enlightening.

Many excellent photos, a number of them full-page, are reproduced here, but again, almost none of Wyman, and very few of those in the inner circle. The majority of the photos are (in descending order) Richards, Jagger, Watts & Wood. Poor Ronnie, although a Stone now since the mid-70’s, is still attempting to rationalize the fact that he has almost never been giving song-writing credit even when he was the primary catalyst of a riff.

The main pleasures of “According to the Rolling Stones” are hearing Charlie Watts speak out openly, especially concerning his period of substance abuse in the 80’s. He analyzes and philosophizes on many aspects of the Glimmer Twins collaboration, as well as the contributions of some of the more ignored members of the organization. It’s as much a pleasure to read Charlie’s words, as it is to hear his lovely, economical drumming.

Ronnie is his usual entertaining self, & Keith comes up with some classic quotes as usual. Jagger’s contribution is to once again prove what a jerk he’s become in the past 20 years. “Exile on Main Street” not a good album? Apparently Sir Mick thinks the sound too muddy. I hate to mention this, your Lordship, but you did start out as a blues band, after all. “Exile” is one of the greatest blues albums ever recorded by anyone.

The Mick of 1962 thru 72 would have adored this album. Just goes to show….(and of course, we all know what Mick’s solo work has sounded like). Mick is quoted at one point as justifying the Stones later work by saying “as long as it works live, that’s all that matters”. Keith, on the other hand, offers that he can’t stand playing such recent dreck as “Emotional Rescue” or “Undercover of the Night”. At least someone in the band still has some musical integrity left!

So there it is. “According to the Rolling Stones” won’t change anyone’s mind about any of the band members, although Mick & Dora might wish it would. I am just praying, that we, the “peeps” in the audience, won’t be subjected to a 50th Anniversary Tour/Commemorative Book. The thought of a 70 year old Sir Mick wiggling his geriatric fanny is really too grotesque to bear!

May 30, 2013 Posted by | Book According To The Rolling Stones by The Rolling Stones | , | Leave a comment

The Who Largo 1973 (Largo, Maryland, December 1973)


Capitol Centre, Largo, MD – December 6, 1973

Disc 1: I Can’t Explain, Summertime Blues, My Wife, My Generation, The Real Me, The Punk And The Godfather, I’m One, 5:15, Sea And Sand

Disc 2: Drowned, Bell Boy, Doctor Jimmy, Love Reign O’er Me, Won’t Get Fooled Again, Pinball Wizard, See Me Feel Me

Largo 1973 documents the final show from the Quadrophenia tour in 1973. This sold out show at the Capitol Centre outside of Washington DC is another recently surfaced document from the King Biscuit Flower Hour in the same excellent sound quality as the Philadelphia tape. There has been discussion about whether or not material from this show as used in the original broadcasts, but the best sources say that only the Philadelphia tape was used and nothing from the Maryland show.

Three songs, “The Punk And The Godfather,” “5:15″ and “Won’t Get Fooled Again” are included on View From A Backstage Pass released in 2007 through the band’s website, and the entire show is posted on the Wolfgang’s Vault site.

After the intensity of the Philly show, and the intensity of the entire tour, they deliver a somewhat shorter and more laid back performance in this show. “Substitute,” which opened the show the previous night is dropped and they begin with “I Can’t Explain.” ”These are some of our old favorites” Roger Daltrey begins before they go into ”Summertime Blues.”

After the song there is the first of several episodes where the band have to do crowd control in the venue. Townshend says, “Can you move back a wee bit. Because three or four people are apparently under there somewhere.” Daltrey continues by saying, “there’s plenty of room for everybody. It’s a long show.” Townshend interrupts by saying, “It’s a long haul.” “And we all got to get there together” Daltrey says before introducing John Entwistle for “My Wife.”

They play a long, eight minute jamming version of the bassist’s song before ending first oldies set with “one which is probably the oldest we play of our own. And it means as much to us today as when we first did it. My Generation!”

The hour long Quadrophenia set is briefly introduced by Daltrey saying, “We’d like to carry on with a selection from our latest album Quadrophenia. And we say a selection because we started off with the whole bloody lot which didn’t work. And we got it down to what it is now, a series of flashbacks to a time in England that we call the mods, which is really just kids, and kids all over are the same. Anyway, this is what we got it down to.” They don’t bother with the ”I Am The Sea” introduction, but rather just launch into “The Real Me.”

Townshend also doesn’t give the long expository for his song but rather says, “It will probably be a big help if everybody at the count of three took just that much of a step backwards, just a tiny bit. Easy otherwise everybody will fall over. File that person under D. This song’s called ‘I’m One.’”

And Daltrey introduces “5:15″ with, “Now listen, really, we’ve got a lot of problems at the front here. Can you people in the back hear it? There’s about a couple of hundred kids there getting crushed. Fucking stupid, innit?” It is apparent that the audience is distracting the band as they deliver this demanding material and there isn’t as much enthusiasm as in previous performances.

“Here’s a song about sitting on the beach. And he’s looking at the sea… There’s a kid looking at the sea and he realizes how big it is, which perhaps you people in the back don’t realize how many of you are pushing on this lot. So how about it? Please, everybody take a step backwards and we’ll all have a good time. That’s how he feels, the sea’s so bloody big and he’s so little. The song is called ‘Drowned.’”

Townshend plays several interesting riffs on the guitar during the ten minute long jam session. “Bell Boy” is introduced as “a killer…the bellhop played by Mr. Keith Moon.” Moon is great as always and he changes the lyrics to reflect their stay in Montreal the previous week: “I’ve got a good job and I’m newly born / You should see me dressed up in my uniform / I work in a hotel all guild and flash / remember Montreal where the hotel we smashed.”

The suite ends with “Reign O’er Me” with Daltrey having difficulty hitting the high notes. Afterwards he says, “As you probably know this is the last gig of our American tour and we’ve had our ups and our downs, but it’s been bloody worth it. For the people who say we aren’t coming back, this is for them. Because I can assure you, we fucking are. Won’t Get Fooled Again.” They deliver a powerful version with much more bite than the preceding night. The tape runs out five minutes into “See Me, Feel Me” with no ending nor any hint of an encore.

Both this and Spectrum 1973 are very special releases, limited to two hundred copies, and present some of the best live Who music to surface since the Houston 1975 tape several years ago.

May 30, 2013 Posted by | The Who Largo 1973 | , | Leave a comment