Elton John – WABC-FM NY – November 17 ’70: ‘radiocord’ :CBM*35-400 / ‘KNOCKIN’ EM DEAD ALIVE’ :Kustom Records 006 / ‘VERY ALIVE’ :Keylo

John E radiocord

John E radiocord f

CBM’s obvious inspiration.

John E radiocord disc

Wikipedia noted: “The recording was originally popular among bootleggers which, according to Gus Dudgeon, eventually prompted the record label to release it as an album. It has been said that the release by an eastern bootlegger of the whole 60-minute aircast rather than the 40 minutes selected by Dick James Music significantly cut into the US sales of the live album.”

I’m not convinced that the above claim is true and that any of these boots sold anywhere near to put a noticeable dent into the record sales of the official album released in May of ’71.

Obviously, both of the above bootlegs are not the culprits then, as they fall short of providing 60 minutes worth. Perhaps, it was the following one:

John E KEDAlive 2

HOTWACKS states “Made from the same plates as ‘Live E. Jay’ (Dittolino Discs)”. Is that really how Dittolino titled this release? Hard to read the writing, except for “LIVE”. This is the only image I found for this rare version:

John E Live


The original broadcast had consisted of:

I Need You To Turn To
Your Song
Country Comfort
Border Song
Indian Sunset
Bad Side Of The Moon
Take Me To The Pilot
Sixty Years On
Honky Tonk Women
Can I Put You On
Burn Down The Mission (including My Baby Left Me & Get Back)
My Father’s Gun (encore)

John E KEDAlive 3

The above double LP has is the only release  that features the whole show (but not in the original running order):

Side 1: I Need You To Turn To / Your Song / Bad Side Of The Moon / Country Comfort                                                                                Side 2: Can I Put You On / Border Song / Sixty Years On                                                                                                                                    Side 3: Indian Sunset / Honky Tonk Women / Amoreena / Take Me To The Pilot                                                                                          Side 4: Burn Down The Mission (including My Baby Left Me & Get Back) / My Father’s Gun


The most common boot containing this material is Very Alive on Keylo Records (“Considered to be part of the TMOQ catalogue”) with the brown “leatherette” cover and on yellow wax:

John E Very Alive

Side 1:  Far Side of the Moon, Can I Put You On, Indian Sunset, Honky Tonk Woman

Side 2:  Rock n’ Roll Medley (Burn Down The Mission, My Baby Left Me, Get Back), My Father’s Gun

John E Very Alive lbl 1

John E VAlive

  1. Frank said:

    The picture on the above is the same as the picture on the UK edition of Empty Sky, which was his debut in the UK, which wasn’t released in the USA until January 1975, with different cover artwork, on MCA Records. The Empty Sky album didn’t make the UK charts, but when given a belated release in the USA, it reached #6. The design of that photo was done by David(billed as Dave)Larkham, who would late become a much in demand artist for many rock album by other artists.

  2. Thank you for your comment. You are, of course, correct. These days I am more familiar with bootleg covers than with the legit ones!

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