I.M.P. 1004: ELTON JOHN ‘HECHO EN MEXICO’ / ‘West Of The Rockies’

John E HeMex blu insert

Note the custom title label below.

John E HeMex title lbl

Source: San Diego Sports Arena – 29 September 1975 (official start of the Western leg of the 1975 – ’76 tour) – another big 1975 concert tour, although this one did not get a lot of attention by bootleggers at that time, with the exception of our heroine – Vicky Vinyl.

Matrix: IMPEJ-1104 and text: “How do you keep a John Denver fan busy? (over)”

Side 1: Meal Ticket / Island Girl / Philadelphia Freedom / Better Off Dead / Harmony
Side 2: Captain Fantastic And The Brown Dirt Cowboy / Someone Saved My Life Tonight / Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me

total time 45:41

The Band:
Elton John- Piano/vocals
Davey Johnstone- Guitars/vocals
Caleb Quaye- Guitars/vocals
Ray Cooper- Percussion
Kenny Passerelli- Guitars
James Newton-Howard- Keyboards
Roger Pope- Drums
Backing Vocals:
Cindy Bullins
John Joyce
Ken Gold

Audio quality listed as “Gs” in Hot Wacks but may be a little bit better than this, “sound quality is not the best” states an E. John collector’s site that’s selling this title on CD-R. These eight songs are all that have ever appeared and the master tape is one of many that have gone missing/ were possibly confiscated by the FBI in a raid, along with the stampers, etc.

***

John E W ot Rockies

Matrix: IMPEJ-3-1104 and text: “How do you keep a John Denver fan busy? (over)”

The reason I was not familiar with this title until fairly recently is because it was not listed in the editions of Hot Wacks that I owned.

It seems that after obtaining audio of one of the Dodger Stadium L.A. gigs, VV decided to re-issue this title with a different stamper for side1:

Side 1: Your Song/ Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds/ I Saw Her Standing There/ Island Girl/ Harmony/ Pinball Wizard

Side 2 is identical to Hecho En Mexico.

John E W ot Rockies 2

John E W ot Rockies green

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9 comments
  1. Andrew Molloy said:

    I have both those titles and I’m pretty sure that Side One of West of the Rockies is actually from one of the Dodger Stadium shows. At the end of Pinball Wizard, Elton thanks the Dodgers. Also, it looks like the date on Hecho En Mexico, Aug. 29th, is incorrect and the correct date is Sept. 29th, the first night of the West of the Rockies tour, if it is actually from San Diego. Come to think of it, it would make sense that both of these titles are taken from one show, rather than two incomplete shows but, if that’s the case, I would bet it’s Dodger Stadium. Side Two of both titles is certainly the same.

    And, once again, thanks for this great blog!

  2. Thank you for the correction. Can you confirm the matrix number I mentioned and that the Dodger Stadium material is from a soundboard source? Finally, what is the track list for side 1?

  3. Andrew Molloy said:

    Oh, I see you did have the correct date for San Diego (9/29/75), oops. It’s just wrong on the cover of Hecho En Mexico. Okay, so to address the questions: matrix number on my copy (I have the orange splatter wax, first one you have pictured, with blank label) of West… is IMPEJ-3-1104. In the run-off on both sides is written “How do you keep a John Denver fan busy? (over)”. It is definitely not a soundboard source, though there is a board source for part of one of the Dodger Stadium shows, which I think is actually taken from video. All the songs on that source are incomplete.

    Track listing for Side 1 of West… : Your Song/Lucy In the Sky with Diamonds/I Saw Her Standing There/Island Girl/Harmony/Pinball Wizard

    Hmm, I’m noticing that Island Girl and Harmony are on Side 1 of both lps. When I have a chance (tonight?), I’ll A/B both versions and see if they’re the same, then we should know if one is from San Diego and one is from L.A.

  4. Andrew Molloy said:

    Okay, done! Just listened to both Island Girls and both Harmonies and they are definitely from two different shows. On Hecho’s Harmony, Elton says “this is the first time we’ve played this song live”, which would seem to confirm it’s San Diego, the opening night of the tour. The intro for the West… Harmony is different. Island Girl on West has very loud clapping along with the song, indicating a big stadium and familiarity with the song, whereas Island Girl on Hecho receives a muted response (think it had just been released as a single?). So, it would seem the info on the two albums is correct, which of course is odd as it would seem that Vicki Vinyl either only had access to partial recordings of each show or chose to use only portions of each. Further confusing things is that the matrix on Hecho is almost the same-IMPEJ-1104 and has the same inscription (“John Denver, etc.”) in the run-off.

    Final thought: it would be great if the rest of these shows surfaced as it was a great set list and a really long show. Portland and both Seattle shows from this tour have surfaced since these vinyl titles and they’re great for Elton fans: two sets, fair number of obscure songs, great, albeit short-lived band line-up. My friends’ older sister saw this tour in Vancouver and said it was amazing. Sadly, I was only ten at the time.

    • The “Island Girl” single (in the EJ signature sleeve) was only released on September 29th ’75, which would explain the subdued reaction in San Diego.

      One of my theories after your confirmation last night, was that the Dodger Stadium audio might come from the BBC documentary but perhaps not:

      I also managed to grab Seattle ’75 (day 2) from the JEMS archive when it was shared for the first time on dime and I really enjoyed that one.

      • Andrew Molloy said:

        Yeah, I have a cdr with the bits of live clips from the BBC doc. The recording on West.. is definitely an audience recording (again, very loud audience noise) and not taken from the BBC doc.

  5. Andrew Molloy said:

    Oh, and the fact that Vicki re-used Side Two of Hecho on Side Two of West would suggest she really didn’t have any more of the Dodger Stadium recording, only enough to fill one Side of an lp.

  6. Ben D'Avanza said:

    I have one of the IMPEJ-1104 How do you keep a John Denver fan busy? (over) in the blue marbled vinyl but it was in a plain outer sleeve with magic marker writing, and the label on the record has no writing, but a design. The vinyl is in great shape considering it has no inner sleeve but I will be giving it one. Thanks for the website, I couldn’t find info about this anywhere else. I may put this on ebay, not sure.

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