“Friends For Chile” benefit, Felt Forum, NY, May 9th 1974: Phil Ochs – Pete Seeger – Arlo Guthrie – Dave Van Ronk – Dennis Hopper – Mike Love & Dennis Wilson – Melanie – Bob Dylan
“In the Spring of 1974, the late singer and songwriter Phil Ochs organized a concert to benefit the Friends of Chile. Chile, of course, was a country in peril; one that badly needed friends after their democratically-elected President, Salvador Isabelino del Sagrado Corazón de Jesús Allende Gossens, was Suicided by the military (with an assist from our very good friends of the Central Intelligence Agency) in Santiago on September 11, 1973.
As I say, Chile needed friends . . . and on May 9, 1974, this is what Ochs came up with.
To call this line-up eclectic is hardly adequate, but what milder euphemism could there be for an evening at the Felt Forum in New York’s Madison Square Garden with the likes of Pete Seeger, Melanie, Arlo Guthrie, Mike Love, Dave Van Ronk, Dennis Hopper, Phil Ochs, Dennis Wilson and . . . oh, yeah . . . Bob Dylan. Dylan reportedly got roped into this gig after Ochs played upon his conscience in a weak moment (and who wouldn’t love to have been a fly on the wall for that one), and from the minute he hits the stage he makes no secret of his commitment to the cause of extricating Chile from the savage bonds of a far-Right dictatorship.
This has often been called the single worst live performance of Bob Dylan committed to record and, for once, Conventional Wisdom has its way with Truth. It’s genuinely stinkola. To be fair, it should be noted that he, along with Ochs, had been guzzling vast quantities of wine in gallon jugs long before the show started. In fact, everyone sounds just a little bit blotto, but none more so than the Prokofiev of Hibbing, Minnesota himself. Some reports have Dave Van Ronk holding Dylan steady through the finale, and photos of the event partially bear this out.” [from The Clock That Went Backwards Again blog]
Side 1: North Country Blues/ Spanish is the loving tongue/ Blowin’ in the wind
Complete set list:
01. Introduction (Phil Ochs) > Guantanamera (Pete Seeger/Arlo Guthrie)
02. Estadio Chile (Pete Seeger)
03. Oh, Mary Don’t You Weep (Pete Seeger/Arlo Guthrie)
04. He Was A Friend Of Mine (Dave Van Ronk)
05. Recitation (Dennis Hopper)
06. Try Me One More Time (Arlo Guthrie)
07. Deportee (Arlo Guthrie)
08. Presidential Rag (Arlo Guthrie)
09. California Girls (M. Love & D. Wilson)
10. Ring The Living Bell (Melanie)
11. My Rainbow Race (Melanie)
12. Victor Jara (Arlo Guthrie)
13. Allende’s Last Speech (Dennis Hopper)
14. Deportee (Arlo Guthrie & Bob Dylan)
15. Pablo Neruda Poem (Dennis Hopper)
16. North Country Blues (Bob Dylan)
17. Spanish Is The Loving Tongue (Bob Dylan/Van Ronk)
18. Blowin’ In The Wind (Cast)
19. Change In The Weather
Images and 2 of the 3 songs that can be found on the CBM LP (but likely from the tape source) can be found here: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/friends%20of%20chile
Side 2: Sally gal/ Highway 51/ Talkin’ John Birch blues/ Ballad of Hollis Brown/ I don’t believe you (Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, 27 August 1965)
Tracks 1 – 4: Dylan’s first appearance on a concert stage as part of an all star Hootenanny organized by Sing Out magazine. First time “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” was performed and exactly one month before president Kennedy announced the discovery of Soviet missiles on Cuba on national TV.
Quality: “Satisfactory mono” in HW, bobsboots rates the Forest Hills ’65 track as “barely listenable”.
Matrix: BD X3 / X4
Photo by David Gahr
Contraband later created a new title – video chile – by combining the pressing plate of side 1 of ‘dylan / friends of chile’ with a new side 2:
Blowin’ in the wind
I pity the poor immigrant
Mozambique (not listed on cover)
23 May 1976, Hughes Stadium, Fort Collins, CO – broadcast as an NBC TV special and five songs ended up on the officially released Hard Rain live album, released in September of ’76.
You can read the background story of the concert here.
The inclusion of this material on video chile was a copy job using TAKRL’s last release (# 1999) Bridgetts’s Album.
Matrix: BDX 3/5
video chile is extremely rare and was perhaps one of the last CBM releases in 1977.