Monthly Archives: June 2015

‘R’ as in Restructuring, where either the department you work for or the whole company gets eliminated.

My apologies for being so unproductive. Well, it’s the fourth time in my life I am going through this at work. And while it’s just my department disappearing and not my job along with it (like the first two times) the upcoming changes won’t be good (are they ever?) and I need some time to deal with this situation.

Thank you.

Free Reminiscence tan

Free Reminiscence tan b

Free Reminiscence

Free Reminiscences pi lbl

Japan: 1977

Source:  The venue for the 30 April 1971 concert was Kyoritsu Kodo Kanda in Tokyo, a multi-purpose auditorium with a capacity of 2010 (Yes would also play their last night in Tokyo during their Japan tour in March of 1973)   ^ noted tracks on side 2: Free opening for ELP at Tokyo’s Korakuen baseball stadium on 22 July 1972

Side 1: Fire and Water / The Stealer / I’m a Mover / Heavy Load
Side 2: The Highway Song / My Brother Jake / Soon I Will Be Gone / Lady^ / Seven Angels^ / Honky Tonk Women^

Quality rating in HW: “Vgs”

1971 set list:

01 – Fire And Water
02 – Ride A Pony
03 – I’m A Mover
04 – Be My Friend
05 – The Stealer
06 – Heavy Load
07 – The Highway Song
08 – My Brother Jake
09 – Soon I Will Be Gone
10 – All Right Now
11 – Mr. Big
12 – The Hunter

I have listened to a short sample of the start of this concert and while technically lacking, I preferred the start of “Fire and Water” found here to any other live version of the song I have heard.

An eye witness account of the 1 May 1971 concert at Sankeii Hall as well as a Melody Maker article about ELP & Free at Osaka’s baseball stadium in ’72 can be found in this lengthy post about early Japan tours by Western rock acts. 

1972 Japan Tour set list:  I’m On The Run / Like Water / Lady / Seven Angels / Unseen Love / Heartbreaker / Honky Tonk Women / Fire and Water.

Free Tokyo 1971


While researching this article I came across this early Japanese Free bootleg I had never seen before:

Japan: 1973 – earlier/later?

Free Live Japan

Seller description:

“FREE / LIVE IN JAPAN ’71  (CL1015 Japan)

Ultra rare early ’70s Japanese private pressing live LP from their first Japan tour ’71 April Tokyo show. This is original first pressing with printed (front+back) deluxe cover, white label with stamp. Later, second pressing exist, with wrap around insert cover (from back cover of first edition) and blue label but this genuine first edition is now impossible to find.”

Side 1: Fire and Water / The Stealer / I’m a Mover / Heavy Load
Side 2: The Highway Song / My Brother Jake / Ride a Pony / Crossroads

Free Live At Tokyo 71

“FREE / LIVE AT TOKYO 71 (no label, ’73? )

Ultra rare vintage early ’70s Japanese pressing live LP from their first Japan/Tokyo show ’71 by original line up!! Never turns up in these days even in here because of very limited pressing at that time. Nice b&w wrap around/paste on cover.
Songs are: Fire and water/The Stealer/I’m a mover/Heavy load/The Highway song/My brother Jake/Ride on a pony/Crossroads. April 30 ‘1971 Tokyo.”


Free’s tumultuous biography has distinct pivot dates just after their first and before their second Japan tour, as found in descriptions such as these: “Frustrated by HIGHWAY’s commercial rejection and unsure of their future musical direction, Free was consumed by internal friction and a nagging sense of self-doubt. In May 1971, following a turbulent Asian Tour, Free disbanded.”

“On the eve of their [1972] Japanese tour Fraser fought with Rodgers and once again left the band, to be replaced by Yamauchi.”

Here is a longer excerpt from the book HEAVY LOAD by Clayton and Smith

CHAPTER 14  Free – The Japan Riots

“The only band I knew to go on without thinking they’re superstars, were Free. To me they were a great band. They were far ahead of any other band I know. I think they’re the only English band that people should feel they’re lucky to have.” – Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) Sounds interview, January 1974

For Island Records Manager Johnny Glover and the rest back at Island’s round table, plans were put together for a fortnight’s stay in Japan and four big shows in Australia. The tour would then continue with the talented package of Free and Mott The Hoople storming through the United States, capitalising on the popularity of Free’s two previous stints. Likely tours of Europe and the UK would then be booked to round out the itinerary before the band headed back to the studio and finished off another album.

Management had no indication that the band was about to self-destruct. “They’d become a big act,” noted Glover. “So I said to Chris [Blackwell], ‘Look, I’d really like to do something properly, like a three-month world tour’. We were going to put them in a different bracket.”

Johnny Glover’s relationship with Andy Fraser was much closer than with the other members of the group because of the bassist’s prominent role in the band’s business affairs. The two spoke almost daily constructing the intricate details that were then surrounding a soon to be ‘world-class’ band. The first unsettling indication of a split, for Glover, was on the plane flight to Japan. Unusual for the two, Paul Rodgers and Fraser chose not to sit together. Simon Kirke and Paul Kossoff tried to lighten it up in their usually style, Kossoff with his comical impressions and Kirke with his sailor-like humour.

Sitting next to Glover, Fraser leaned over and said, “I’m gonna be quite sad when we get off this tour’.” Glover asked, “Why?” “Oh, yeah,” Fraser went on nonchalantly. “It’s always difficult coming to the end of something.” Glover remained speechless as Fraser confided that, the night before, he and Rodgers had broken their code of silence and gone in to see Blackwell. They told him they were going to “knock it on the head because it just wasn’t happening”. In short, Fraser and Rodgers were breaking up the band at the end of the tour. Andy said that basically he and Paul had fallen out and that was it. Free was over.

The intensity of the songwriting team that had pushed Free to its most successful heights was now the leading factor in their destruction. “Andy would tell everybody what to do because he was that way inclined,” said Johnny Glover. “Andy is a tremendously strong personality, and was very much the business driving force of the band. They all accepted that. Then one day, Paul Rodgers realised that he was quite capable of making those decisions too. The two clashed at that point. All of a sudden Andy was being questioned.”

Exhaustion added to the conflicting emotions. “I had made it clear to everyone that I wasn’t ready to do an American tour straight after Japan and Australia,” says Rodgers. “That was one of the frustrations. It was booked regardless and I thought, ‘Wow! I’m really not being listened to here’. Everything was going along flat out and you felt that you were on a big wheel turning and it was out of your control entirely, and that really brought it home to me: ‘Another tour, is everybody deaf?’ I was not ready for it, and actually I’d just bought my cottage in the country and I needed to chill a little bit – sit back and take stock, that’s really all I wanted, but I was so frustrated by the fact that it just went steaming ahead. They ignored anything I had to say about the subject so I said ‘Right, I’m out’.

“Another serious wall of contention would be that there came a time when I felt we needed to add more blues back into the set. We’d kept ‘The Hunter,’ made it our own, and I felt we could do the same with other blues songs – similar to what Zeppelin would do later. I could feel Koss’s frustration not being able to freewheel the material we’d been playing. Each attempt we made to play a blues song, Andy would either, put his bass down and walk out, or deliberately sabotage it by playing like shit. His inflexibility seriously pissed me off. I tried on a number of occasions and then gave up. Andy had the idea that the band was his creation alone – playing the little Emperor.”

“Simon and Koss didn’t want to break the band up. They would have been happy to play in Free forever.” ~ Johnny Glover

Everyone was looking for someone to blame as the plane descended into Tokyo airport. The imminent break-up hung heavy over the band and its management. Glover recalls, “There I was sitting on the plane with two months ahead of me on the road in Japan, Australia and America with Andy not talking to the other three. And that’s exactly how it was from that minute on.”

Though the band was in Japan for nearly a fortnight, Andy rarely left his hotel room apart from brief business meetings and press calls. He secluded himself from the rest of the world, ordering and eating in and becoming involved with a Yuki Shibata, a young Japanese public relations girl from Atlantic Records.

“Everyone got involved with Japanese chicks,” remembers Glover. “Rodgers fell in love with one and later married her. Kossoff fell in love with one who was going out with somebody else, so he was heartbroken all through the tour. Kirke fell in love everywhere he went.”

Japan enveloped the group in its exotic scent. Kirke says: “The group was almost over, and we had never seen anything like Japan. We took full advantage of our situation. The Japanese girls knew everything about us and they were doing everything for us.” From Rodgers standpoint “Tokyo was wild. They had never seen anything like us.”

Free played two nights in Japan: Kyoritsu Kodo, Kanda, on 30 April and Sankei Hall, Tokyo, on 1 May 1971. The first night was absolutely electric, stretched to the very edge with tension. Free hit the stage, a vision of fury boiling over the top in front of 5,000 screaming fans.

“I think Kossoff and Kirke were playing better because they were trying to will the thing to stay together,” Glover speculates, “or they were desperate.”

An American singer named Alan Merrill (later in the UK band The Arrows and, with Jake Hooker, co-writer of Joan Jett’s massive American hit I Love Rock & Roll) saw the Kanda show. It just so happened that the girl Andy Fraser was dating invited Merrill along.

“Yuki was my public relations girl at Atlantic,” says Merrill. “I’d heard about Free, but I wasn’t really familiar with their records. Then I went to this show and was just blown away. It was such magic I still get goosebumps even now talking about it. I walked in about the third number and I stood at the back of the hall and was just transfixed. The sound was incredible. It was so powerful. I’ve never heard anything like it since. It was just unbelievable.”

Merrill wasted no time becoming friendly with the group and joined the ranks of their Japanese entourage. Recently commenting on Free’s after-hours escapades he said, “Yuki was friendly with Machiko Shimizu, who was a big lyric writer. We all went out to this place called Spiglow, which was like speakeasy. We had some burgers and Paul [Rodgers] and Machi were all over each other. They were attached at the mouth like kiss fish.”

Later that same evening the friends continued their party moving on to a nightclub called Byblos. The alcohol continued to flow and after a very lively evening they decided to head back to the hotel for some long-overdue shut-eye. As they were leaving the club, Merrill – somewhat the worse for wear, noticed that Rodgers’ hair was on fire! “I guess it was caused by a cigarette – his hair was so LONG,” says Merrill. “I didn’t know what to do. Paul had a reputation for a quick temper and no fear of fighting at all – not the kind of guy to take kindly to being smacked on the head out of the blue. So I told Machi, ‘Your boyfriend’s hair’s on fire!’ She grabbed a glass of water and dampened it. This all happened in a matter of seconds, but to me it was like a slo-mo camera.”

Merrill’s connections included the Japanese bassist Tetsu Yamauchi. Born in Fukuoka, Japan, in 1947, Tetsu had been playing in bands since high school. His parents hated the idea of him playing rock ‘n’ roll, so Tetsu’s elder brother, who was doing some jazz drumming, helped nurture his talent. Tetsu later joined a progressive band called Samurai who recorded a couple of albums for the Philips label. In 1969, they managed to break out of the country and do some work in Europe. Tetsu first saw Free while in Geneva at a club called the Black Cat. “I thought they were a really good band,” he says today, “and in the next year they came to Japan.”

Tetsu Yam 71

When Samurai returned from Europe they broke up and Tetsu became a gun for hire. “One day someone in the studio came up to me and said, ‘Free is coming, why don’t you come and see them.’ I said, ‘Okay’, and went to see them at their hotel. Then I started talking to Paul Kossoff about Europe and music and all that. He said, ‘What do you do?’, and I said, ‘I play the bass’. Then we started talking about the gig in Geneva. He said with a laugh, ‘I didn’t notice you there’. He then asked to hear me play. The next day I had studio time so I said, ‘If you have some time, you can come to the studio’. I wrote down the address and phone number thinking he probably wasn’t going to make it. But if he did come, I would be really pleased.

“The next day he came, with his guitar – his Les Paul – and we ended up playing for about two hours non-stop. The next day after that he brought Simon and Paul Rodgers down. So we did a session, the four of us in the studio. After that we went for a drink and Kossoff told me that they were going to split up after the Australian shows. He said, ‘Maybe we can form a band,’ and I said, ‘Why not?’ Free was a really good band and I really liked them so I asked Koss why were they splitting up. He said there were too many things happening in the band so they had to split up. He was saying, ‘It’s just a bad time’.”

Free’s second Japanese gig was at Sankei Hall, Tokyo. The venue had a revolving stage with the headline act on one side, the support band on the other. Free blazed through their set and were called back for three encores by the exuberant crowd. The band retreated, sweat-soaked, backstage. Kirke jumped into the shower while the others went to their independent corners of the dressing room. No one was speaking much.

Within 15 minutes the promoter came running up to Glover shouting, “Look, you have got to go back down there. All hell’s broken loose. A riot has broken out and the police are firing smoke canisters outside. Everyone is going berserk!”

The riot was bad news but the last thing Glover wanted was to intrude on the dressing room. “I never went in there after gigs because it was awful, even when they were great,” says Glover. They were so intense that when they’d get off the stage they were unbearable.” He refused to allow the promoter to address the band personally, saying he alone would be the one to ask them back for another encore.

With a delicate knock, Glover entered the room and was greeted by cutting stares. Hesitantly, he pleaded with them to consider returning to the stage to calm the riot. Moments later, still filled with aggression Free prowled out into the spotlights. Simon, half dressed, a towel draped over his shoulders began to pound out the beat and Rodgers picked up the microphone lunging out to the front. When Fraser and Kossoff reached down to plug in they suddenly realised that in their short absence, the circular stage had been rotated. Although they were facing the audience, their equipment was not. There was a riot going on and they were about to plug into the support band’s gear.

Rodgers, eyes aflame, stared at his bandmates with uncomprehending anger – then began to sing. Within four measures he was in full song. He made no introduction, just ripped into an old blues number. No one remembers exactly what it was. Kirke continued to bash away on his adopted kit. The word went out to the roadies to rotate the stage again. Rodgers, suddenly realising what was up, leapt off the rotating section onto a fixed ledge at the front of the stage. Kossoff and Fraser followed suit, and Kirke broke off for a moment to sprint around to his own kit as it moved into view of the audience. At which point the rotating stage stretched their mains power cables to breaking point and all their equipment and lighting expired.

Glover grimaces at the memory: “Just when they were all supposed to come in there was only an awkward silence.” Free smashed everything in sight and the crowd went berserk again. Still, this difficult night had its consolations. “In Japan, that one thing made them an absolute household name overnight,” notes Glover.

All the success in Japan didn’t make matters any better inside Free as they moved on to Australia. The manager had his hands full the minute the plane landed in Perth, Western Australia 5 May 1971. Glover’s ego was still badly bruised knowing that Chris Blackwell had been aware of the split prior to the tour and hadn’t seen fit to tell him. It didn’t help matters to see the Australian promoter completely shaken when they first met at the airport. Free soon discovered why; the tour had been hi-jacked by a local hood named Sammy Lee and while the official promoter was still handling all the arrangements, Lee was taking all the money. “Sammy Lee had essentially kidnapped the promoter of the tour, but things were made to look normal,” says Fraser. “He would be sent out to meet the bands at the airport and would tell them to get into this van or that bus and be taken to the hotel. All which would seem to be perfectly normal.

“In fact, everything occurred as one would expect, except that this promoter seemed under an abnormal amount of stress, nervously perspiring as if he was on the verge of a heart attack. He was being told what to do by these big guys with bulges in their coat pockets. The major difference was they were collecting the money.”

Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, also on the tour, says, “Sammy had this side-kick called Jake who carried a case full of guns, silencers and ammunition. Those guys were so powerful that part of the plane was set aside for them…not even the hostesses would go up to them.”

But, for Free, all this was a distraction compared to their internal problems. Rodgers and Fraser resented being together, Kossoff and Kirke were hanging on by a thread, none of them liked supporting Deep Purple, they were homesick and they missed their Japanese girlfriends. To add to their misery they were traveling without their own gear, and the equipment provided in Australia was substandard. For example, the tour cabinets contained only one 12-inch speaker and not the four 12-inch speakers they normally used. When Purple refused to continue with the gear provided, Sammy Lee intimidated them saying, “If you don’t carry on, we’ll shoot your legs off,” claims bassist Roger Glover.

Despite their troubles within, Free were determined to outplay Purple at every show. “We had to be tight,” says Graham Whyte. “No matter what happened internally we had to go on stage and put on a good show. That was the whole aim of it.”

At the Festival Hall in Melbourne, the only indoor show, 5,000 fans were turned away when the venue sold out. At Randwick Racecourse in Sydney, the last of the three open-air gigs, the crowd was estimated at between 35,000 and 50,000. The shows themselves were aggressive to the point of violence. Marc Biddall, an Australian fan, recalled Paul Rodgers throwing the microphone and stand into the swimming pool in front of the stage at the end of the first show in Perth. During the same show, “Andy Fraser was kicking the shit out of the bass speakers”.

On 8 May 1971, at The Memorial Stadium in Adelaide, Australia, the show nearly didn’t happen at all. “Sammy Lee, he was just amazing,” says Whyte. “He liked me because we called his bluff. We were supposed to have a certain size stage and I went down there and it was a postage stamp. I went to Sammy and I said, ‘The stage ain’t big enough, we’re not playing here tonight’. He just freaked out and threatened to shoot the brains out of me. The other roadies were a bit scared because he had this other dude with him. I said ‘Come on let’s go. So we went to a pub down the road and we had quite a few bevvies and we’re there for a couple of hours. When I said, ‘Come on let’s go back and see what’s happening.’ The other boys were like, ‘Well, we’ve already been threatened!’ I said, ‘Naw, naw, it’ll be alright’. So we kind of waltz back in through the door. We heard all these skillsaws and hammers going. Sammy had got rid of 200 chairs and extended the stage. He sees me and comes running up and throws his arms around me and says, ‘Go and get hamburgers and chips for the boys. We got a show to put on tonight’.”

Free o a g

Above: Free on stage at Sydney’s Randwick Racecourse. The drums look awfully close to the front of the stage, don’t they?

By the time the bands arrived in Sydney on 9 May, the atmosphere had become so bad that for Johnny Glover it was challenging just to stay sane. “They [Free] were looking to do two months in America after Australia and it was getting impossible to deal with,” he says. “It came down to the [Randwick] gig when I said to the guys, ‘I’ll have to cancel America, we’ll never get through it’. So I cancelled America two or three days before the end of the Australian tour. I’d rung up Blackwell and said, ‘Look Chris, I’m going to have to do this. I can’t keep them together. You should have told me they were going to break up’. I mean, it was getting violent, Andy and Rodgers were getting close to blows.”

DP Free Syd flyer

With the decision to cancel the American leg of the tour, Randwick had suddenly become their farewell gig. Glover sighs, “It was the day it was all going to end and it was real emotional. I was upset because it was the first band I’d been involved with on a management side, and one that had made a hit! You can’t recapture the excitement of the first time you’re involved with a band that has a hit record.”

As the caravan of buses, trucks and vans rolled up to Randwick racecourse the bands were greeted by the largest audience ever assembled for a Sydney rock concert up to that point. Free arrived in a green Ford Transit. But, behind the scenes the more sinister side of the tour was showing. Fraser says, “I remember Kossoff being threatened with a gun. When we were being shuttled from the hotel to the gig, Koss went into one of his favorite characters. With his hand on his forehead he proclaimed, ‘Oh! I can’t go on tonight. I won’t be ready for my close-up for quite a while, Mr. DeMille’. Well one of the big guys close by didn’t have a sense of humour and thought he needed to change Koss’s mind with showing his firearm! I think the most remarkable aspect of that was far from rattling anybody, we just figured… ‘Oh, no sense of humour’ and went back to our business. The whole situation was so surreal what with us breaking up anyway; it didn’t seem that absurd at the time. I have since heard that Sammy Lee is long dead, quite unpleasantly I believe, and won’t be kidnapping any more tours.”

Randwick went down a storm. “We just captivated the audience,” says Whyte. “It was just a fantastic afternoon. Free was all over the front of the Australian newspapers the next morning. That’s how big it was.”

“Free: Just too much! UNDOUBTEDLY THE NEXT BIG WORLD WIDE GROUP!” wrote one reviewer. “The young FREE had everything.” The review climaxed with its account of Rodgers flinging his mike stand into the wings in a final defiant note. And that’s what they intended Randwick to be – final.

During this leg of the tour and especially during the Randwick show in Sydney, Sammy Lee’s thugs tried to take control of the bands, insisting they do all the dates over again. Every night had been sold out, busting the capacity of each venue and raking in the dough. Sammy Lee’s bunch saw a financial windfall at their fingertips. Manfred Mann’s manager told the “Mafia types” he didn’t think that this would be possible. He was answered with a rather bad beating. So, says Fraser, “Johnny Glover just got us to the airport and outta there.”

There was a final poignant encounter as Free climbed into their cars after the gig. “This English guy comes over,” recalls Glover. “And he says, ‘Hi guys, just wanna shake hands with you’. I saw one gig of yours in England before I emigrated and thought you were great!’ Nobody was really interested in what he was saying ‘cos they were all preoccupied thinking about getting outta there. But somebody says to him, ‘Where did you see us?’ He said, ‘Chesterfield Quaintways,’ and there was this quiet moment. That was the first gig they ever played as Free. He’d seen their first and last and nothing in between.

“We sat in the car and the sun was going down. It was one of those things, an afternoon gig, and I was sitting next to Kirke and he looked out at the sunset and looked at me and said, ‘It’s a bit of a weird moment, isn’t it?”


Fake Idle Mind lbl

Side 2 label taken from a copy of the Rainbow – BLACKMORE THE RAIDER LP


Beatles – SOME LIKE IT HOT!      fake Idle Mind label   [OG label reissue. Previously reviewed here]

Beatles Some Like It Hot IM
Free – REMINISCENCES / LIVE!  rec. Tokyo 1971/2    Fake IM

Kiss – BLITZ LONDON   rec. London 16 May 1976  Fake IM  K1322

Wings – ZOO GANG   rec. San Francisco + Los Angeles, June 1976   Fake IM  1117

Queen – FREE IN THE PARK   rec. London 18 September 1976   Fake ZAP 7960  [has been covered in detail on other websites like]

Wishbone Ash – ASHES ARE BURNING    rec. Tokyo 14 October 1976   Fake IM/ZAP 7963  [previously reviewed here]

Deep Purple – NEVER BEFORE   UK 1970 + 1972   Fake IM/ZAP 7967  [previously reviewed here]


Rainbow – BLACKMORE THE RAIDER  rec. Tokyo 2 December 1976  fake IM 1202

Genesis – ALL WE NEED’S A HIT    rec. London + Manchester 23/24 June 1977  Fake IM  1597


Am I missing any?

These titles may actually precede the Cartoon label Japan releases based on the recording dates alone.

The Queen title has different labels (blank white or green w. Side 1/2 notations) and may have been produced by someone else but since the number slots in with the other fake ZAP’s I will list it here.





Any bootleg collector seeing the labels of this release would wonder who really produced this, due to the labels, which are not the ones used by Ken’s ZAP releases. These fake Idle Mind labels were found with the above blue insert version. And below one can find the same title, also with a blue insert with Cartoon labels as well:


Deep Purple Never Before

More variations:



Japan: ca. 1977/8

So, did the fake Idle Mind label re-issue this title or were the producers of the Cartoon and the’ fake Idle Mind’ label (which will be presented in the next post) plus the fake ZAP label titles the same people?

Side 1:  Highway Star / Speed King / Wring That Neck
Side 2:  Never Before / Child In Time / Free Form Part 1 (Wring That Neck) / Free Form Part 2 (Mandrake Root) / Lucille  (30:42)

Side A-1, Side B-1,5:  London, BBC Paris Theater, 9 March 1972, Sounds Of The Seventies
Side A-2,3:  London, BBC Studio, 19 February 1970, The Sunday Show
Side B-2 to 4: Granada TV, 14 July 1970

Total play time of 58 minutes. All of this material, except B-2 to 4 would be officially released in 1980 as the DEEP PURPLE IN CONCERT double album.



Beatles Madrid 65 cover

To be released in the near future thanks to the copyright expiring after 50 years:

A limited edition 220 gram vinyl album plus CD with same content and a book containing 50 photographs of the Beatles in concert and in their hotel, by photographer Francisco Barahona. The name of the label is Cocodrilo Records. Those not able or willing to buy this package can listen to the recording online for free.
Track list::
Twist and Shout (Medley-Russell)
She’s a Woman (Lennon-McCartney)
I’m a Loser (Lennon-McCartney)
Can’t Buy Me Love (Lennon-McCartney)
Baby’s in Black (Lennon-McCartney)
I Wanna Be Your Man (Lennon-McCartney)
A Hard Day’s Night (Lennon-McCartney)
Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby (Perkins)
Rock and Roll Music (Berry)
I Feel Fine (Lennon-McCartney)
Ticket to Ride (Lennon-McCartney)
Long Tall Sally (Johnson-Penniman-Blackwell)

The recording made by José Luis Alvarez is supposedly in good quality.

Link to the vinyl (+ CD) edition

[Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the site selling the product nor do I get any commission]

Beatles Madrid r2r

The master tape, recorded on a Grundig reel-to-reel on 2 channels with four AKG microphones, and mixed live. Brian Epstein had given his permission and a signed contract still exists.


The story behind the recording:

Brian Epstein liked to take trips to Spain, we remember the trip he invited John Lennon to in April of 1963. In April of 1965 on another trip to Spain, Brian met Alvarez, who worked for the Spanish music publication FONORAMA.

One topic that came up was the relatively low number of record sales by the Beatles in Spain. A number of 3,800 is usually mentioned but was this for a certain/the latest release or the total amount of all records sold by the Beatles. Now the latter would be hard to believe, considering how many titles had already been released by Spring of 1965: Four LP’s, up to 16 EP’s and five singles.

The way Alvarez tells it, Brian even felt that the band was not as popular in Spain as in other European countries and there was no point in visiting Spain on the upcoming short European tour. Apparently, there were all of 2,000 record players in Spain at that time, explaining the suppressed sales figures but that these record players were put to good use at local street parties and the Beatles were definitely very popular, Alvarez emphasized. In the end, Brian could be persuaded to include Madrid and Barcelona in the tour schedule.

Beatles 65 sales

Beatles sales figures for Southern European countries mentioned in this 1965 Canadian newspaper article.

There is just one problem here: A contract exists that shows that Brian agreed to those two concerts in early February of that year:

Beatles Spain 65 contractBeatles Spain 65 contract 2In the end it must have come down to a promoter guaranteeing a certain fee and less about sales figures.

Fotografía de archivo (julio 1965) del cartel anunciador del concierto que ofrecieron The Beatles en la Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas de Madrid, hace 40 años. Vertical.

Hand painted concert ad

Beatles Madrid ad 2Beatles Madrid poster

jose-luis-alvarez BeatlesAlvarez (wearing a tie) with Paul and John in Madrid.

Beatles Madrid 2John, public persona face firmly in place

Beatles Spain 65Beatles Madrid 65 2


Kiss Mama We're All Crazy Now

Kiss Mama We're All Crazy Now b

Japan: 1978

Source: Audience recording of the first Budokan Tokyo performance, 01 April 1977

Side 1:    Mama Weer All Crazee Now (Slade) / Introduction – Detroit Rock City / Take Me / Let Me Go R & R / Ladies Room / Firehouse / Makin’ Love / I Want You / Cold Gin     
Side 2: Do You Love Me? / Nothin’ To Lose / God Of Thunder / Rock ‘n’ Roll All Nite / Shout It Out Loud / Beth / Black Diamond

HOTWACKS quality rating: “Vgs”

What made the bootleggers include the Slade song? Was this played over the PA or is this just the original single/album track? What is the message – apart from using the title for this bootleg?


Kiss played four shows at the Budokan as part of their first Japan Tour, one each on April 1st and 4th and two on April 2nd. At least three of these were recorded by Mr. Peach and released on the Tarantura label. It appears that both of the shows on the 2nd were filmed for the Young Music Show / HBO edited 50 minute special, which the band has since released as part of their KISSOLOGY series.

This makes this bootlegs still quite desirable – unless a Mr. Peach recording is released (no less than five of the tour’s performances have already been released and it has to be assumed that he wet all out as usual and recorded every single concert). 

Kiss Tokyo 77 ticket stub

1st of April ticket stub, confirming the date quoted on the back cover


Vicky Vinyl copied this title as part of her Dragonfly label by removing the Slade track, spreading the songs over three LP sides and filling the remaining fourth with six songs recorded at the L.A. Forum on 27 August 1977:

Kiss Takes Tokyo 77

Just over a month after Pink Floyd ended their shows at Wembley Arena the next band to move in for a multi-night residency were the Eagles on their first European Tour, following the release of their HOTEL CALIFORNIA album.

Eagles Prairie Light Fantasia

Eagles Prairie Light Fantasia 4

Japan: 1978

Source: London, Wembley Arena, 26 April 1977

Side 1:   Hotel California / Walk Away / Victim of Love / Rocky Mountain Way / Lyin’ Eyes / Wasted Time

Side 2:   Take it To The Limit / New Kid in Town / Wasted Time (Reprise) / Desperado / Life in the Fast Lane / James Dean / Best Of My Love / Take It Easy

Quality rating: “Vgm” rating in HOTWACKS


European Leg:

London, England Wembley 25 April ‘77
London, England Wembley 26 April ‘77
London, England Wembley 27 April ‘77
London, England Wembley 28 April ‘77
Glasgow, Scotland Apollo Centre 30 April ‘77
Glasgow, Scotland Apollo Centre 01 May ‘77
Stafford, England Bingley Hall 03 May ‘77
Stafford, England Bingley Hall 05 May ‘77
Munich, Germany Olympia Halle 07 May ‘77
Frankfort, Germany Festhalle 08 May ‘77
Dusseldorf, Germany Phillips Halle 09 May ‘77
Rotterdam, Nether. Ahoy 11 May ‘77
Rotterdam, Nether. Ahoy 12 May ‘77
Rotterdam, Nether. Ahoy 13 May ‘77
Hamburg, Germany Congress Zentrum 15 May ‘77
Stockholm, Sweden Trivoli 17 May ‘77
Gothenburg, Sweden Stadium Nya Ullevi 18 May ‘77

Eagles Tour 77 promo poster

King Crimson Get Thy Bearings

King Crimson Get Thy Bearings b

King Crimson Get Thy Bearings disc

King Crimson Get Thy Bearings black lblFirst time I have seen any Cartoon label product with a blank black label.


Japan: 1978

Side 1: The Court Of The Crimson King / Epitaph / Get Thy Bearings     
Side 2: Picture Of A City / The Letters / The Devil’s Triangle     

side A: Recorded live 19 August 1969 by BBC Radio‘TOP GEAR’, hosted by John Peel (usually misidentified as 6 May ’69).
side B: Recorded live at Weeley Festival Clacton on 28 August 1971



Side B info, sound samples and purchase option found here:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Pink Floyd Giant Barn Dance Pink Floyd Giant Barn Dance b

Japan: 1978

Matrix: PF3077 A / B

Source: Wembley, Empire Pool, 15 March 1977, except ‘^’, unknown date

Side 1: Sheep / Pigs On The Wing 1 / Dogs / Pigs On The Wing 2     

Side 2: Pigs (Three Different Ones) / Us And Them^


I love the titles picked by the MARC and this label. Several come from collected UK music magazines, as this blog has shown, such as SOUPED UP RORY and THE STING OF EL FERRANTI , hinting at collecting and careful archiving of what must have been treasured foreign memorabilia at the time. I don’t know if there ever was a Pink Floyd article titled “Giant Barn Dance” – I looked and didn’t find one – but it’s a great title for an ANIMALS era PF bootleg and one the band seemed to subconsciously quote when titling their best of album A GREAT COLLECTION OF DANCE SONGS many years later (although considering the band’s hatred for bootlegs, that’s rather unlikely).


1977-03-15TM_tkt *** Pink Floyd 30 KW PA II Pink floyd 30 KW PA b II Pink floyd 30 KW PA d1 Pink floyd 30 KW PA lbl A Pink floyd 30 KW PA d2

Side 1: Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts I-V / Welcome To The Machine / Have A Cigar / Wish You Were Here     

Side 2: Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts VI-IX / Money


Complete concert set list (taken from an alternative source):

01. Sheep [11:51]

02. Pigs On The Wing Part 1 [1:38]

03. Dogs [18:04]

04. Pigs On The Wing Part 2 [2:38]

05. Pigs (Three Different Ones) [14:28]

06. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V) [16:32]

07. Welcome to the Machine [7:33]

08. Have A Cigar [5:16]

09. Wish You Were Here [6:10]

10. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX) [18:32]

11. Money [9:02]

Based on the “Gm” HOTWACKS rating, I always believed, this sounds absolutely terrible. What we can hear is a somewhat distant very low volume, yet quite clear recording. The master tape has never surfaced, so these two Japanese bootleg LP’s are the only surviving source. It seems when this was copied in 1979 by Ken for his Impossible Recordworks label as KNOBS, the recording was ‘remastered’ as best as possible. Pink Floyd Knobs Pink Floyd Knobs b

The color cover reissue of KNOBS on Ken’s Toasted Records from the early 1980’s:

Pink Floyd Knobs


“Recorder 1:  complete – this is the very common recorder as surfaced on the famous “Knobs” LP (released under 2 labels: IMP 2.15 IMPOSSIBLE RECORD WORKS and 2S-907 TOASTED RECORDS)  all the CDs in circulation are sourced from the LP […];  The LP was released on CD as well in the 90s with the following cat. number: MPH 016/2 Microphone Records  – Italy 1994, being itself a transfer from the LP and not coming from the tape source used for the LP; attempts of remastering the Knobs CD and LP surfaced as well […].

About Us and Them on this release: some notes accompanying the CDs sometimes suppose that Us & Them is from a different date… someone said 1977-03-19; of course it can’t be from March 19 as Us and Them wasn’t performed on that date, it wasn’t performed on THIS date as well; the dating of the song is maybe not so important anyway …the Us & Them on the Knobs release is just the first verse of the song repeated over and over all along the track  followed by a patchwork of pieces of the song merged together … making it the weirdest stuff I’ve ever heard on a RoIO actually.

Recorder 2:  missing Money – this widely circulated as coming from the Master of from some clone of the masters; Money was not recorded by this taper, it was filled in all the versions in circulation (probably patched by the taper himself) from the Knobs LP… even if it turned out sounding quite similar to the rest of the songs. Versions of this recording are: Untitled Master; “If Pigs Could Fly” (Digital Reproduction), which is a speedcorrectd version of the untitled Master version. Recently another version of this recorder is in circulation, not including Money on the “Reeling In Pink Floyd” series.”

Reviews for the 15 March ’77 performance:

from “Melody Maker” (taken from the “Echoes” Book): The time has come for the Pink Floyd to completely re-think their stage act. They play in vast, windy auditoria and do nothing to turn their concerts into human events: the ambience they encourage is that of a few thousand robots responding to a computer. Last Wednesday evening at Wembley’s Empire Pool was no exception. It was rather like sitting at home in the dark listening to their albums at lot louder than the neighbours would permit, with more treble than anyone would wish and giant inflatable pig hanging over your head. And this is rock? A band playing though their two latest albums, with as little variations as possible? It was all so cold, clean and clinical. The Floyd have altered the whole concept of rock; they’ve turned the stage into a one-take recording studio, dispensing with the human bond between artist and audience.


from “Sounds” magazine: BLINDED BY THE LIGHT – Pink Floyd at Wembley. Tim Lott Gets an Eyeful by Tim Lott

A YELL from Arena right. “Wally.” Blank eyed, lank greasehairs lean on buttresses. The last acid casualty leftovers. “JeezizlookwhentheywerewithSidrightIsawthemwellitmusthave,man,been…” A middle aged man in pinstripes (incognito) sidles up. Cut glass voice intones: “excuse meh. Is this block C?” Why yes. Block C, south entrance. The Empire Pool. In Wembley. There’s a pop concert happening here. All these people are here for some fun. HaHaHaHaHa. Fun. Fun is not what the Floyd are about. Rock ‘n’ Roll is not what the Floyd are about. I wish I knew what the Floyd are about. Maybe I can find out. Maybe this concert is going to tell me. Maybe. So here we are then. Ten years on, and waiting. CHECK OUT the prelude. The T-shirt sellers and the overpriced bars and paper cups and spreading grime and empty air expanses and headbands and teenqueens and Burtons and Levis. There are no programmes. Inside, take a look. First you notice this barricaded trapezium at the rear. The barriers surround the mixing desks for the quad system and anticipated special effects controls. There’s a lot of it. Above the stage – no surprise, this – a huge, oval projective screen. Banks of lights surround it, but not so many. Where are the rest? Later, later. Wait. So here I am, seat 14, row 13, off to the right side facing the stage. In front of me, speakers. To the left and right and rear, high up in the terraces, more speakers. Hm. Hm. Hm. Hm.

Ah. The lights are going down. But only on the Arena. Upstairs they still pick out the masses sharply. Onstage movement and the band are there. Zero impact entrance. Upstairs they’re still wondering why the lights are still on. Downstairs you notice all the empty seats. Perplexing. Quadrophonic baaaaaas. Onstage lights are up to the sounds of surprisingly unexcited audience response, a sort of ‘come on get on with it’ note mingled in the less than lusty cheers. ‘Sheep’. One, two, thr… six musicians? An extra guitarist and keyboards man, Snowy White (really?) and Dick Parry, session man on ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. (I only know who they are because I asked EMI. They weren’t introduced.) Well then, ‘Sheep’. Well then. That’s all it was . Not one of their best numbers on record, ditto onstage, not a good opener. It’s very loud, pretty much average chunka chunk stuff. It would have been boring but… Half way through there’s a stirring in the wings. WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN?

This. Two bloody great claw-like lighting towers loom out of the edges of the stage. Enormous, they shoot red and blue and green light at the audience, at the band, soar high to the ceiling and swoop to almost head level, picking out each musician. Courageous lighting engineers cling to the pinnacle of each. This is very effective. What mars the whole shebang is that: (a) it renders the music completely irrelevant for about five minutes as the monstrous towers absorb all attention. (b) It marks the first cock-up of the evening. As the platforms rose from the darkness, each should have had sparks shooting out from behind for illumination. It only worked on one of them. Whoops. The lighting towers weren’t the only distraction, ten minutes of the band being onstage people were still wandering in and shuffling about and whispering and nose blowing and God knows what else. When the sound quietened down for a four-way wind effect, the excess noise was noticeably annoying. Disinterest? Or post-mortem? However.

‘Pigs On The Wing’. Strummedy strum. Roger Waters sounds a bit shakey. ‘Dogs’. Dry ice. I am surprised. It envelops Dave Gilmour’s feet as he takes the lead vocal, then swirls about his body and head. Down swoops that tower and spectrum spotlights glare into the mist five feet above his head, and as the vapour diffuses the lightbeams track it. The beams switch to electric blue and scan the crowd, as the music lulls. More stirrings sidestage, faint woofwoofs from four speaker sources. This bit I don’t believe. It’s a Family, you see. An obscene, fat, inflatable, blank faced family with white light pouring from somewhere within their synthetic loins. A besuited bizman, his gross wife stretched on billowing settee, his rotund and evil-faced son in painted shorts. Enormous and floating a hundred feet above the stage. Is this funny? Is this frightening? What are the Floyd about? Mrs and Kiddie fatso gradually deflate but daddy pinstripe lumbers airily across above the stage, looming down, to maybe a few feet above head level. No-one can take their eyes away. Again music fades into insignificant background, as the masses wait to see what this… thing… is going to do. What it does is deflate, reflate and piss off. Er, look how are we supposed to react? The whole thing is just a touch ludicrous. All I can think is “so what”. ‘Pigs On The Wing’. Same as last time. ‘Pigs’. I think we’re all expecting something like this. Personally, I hoped to see a whopping great helium stuffed Mary Whitehouse swooping all over the place, but it is not to be.

Instead an ultra loud, metallic KO guitar passage from Gilmour preambles a shout from Waters, “Turn it on”. It is turned on. It comes sailing across the Empire Pool with flabby grace, dwarfing the 7,000. It is, of course, a pig. This time I have two distinct reactions. Astonishment as the sheer scale of spreadeagling balloon. And oblique amusement. I mean look up there, a very, very, large curly tailed swine, lurching about like a drunken, misshapen Zeppelin. So what happens now? Like it’s tailored predecessor, porky does a quick shudder, nips backstage again, assumedly for a quick swill at an inflatable trough before getting his snout down for a snooze, ready to emerge breezily for the next night’s epic performance. AM I saying the right things? I mean what about the music man? Have you got the ‘Animals’ album? That’s what they did. Stuck close to the vinyl score. The only difference is that Roger Waters’ vocals were quite appalling on the less bludgeoning passages and that Dave Gilmour’s guitar was too loud (from where I was sitting anyway). Musically they were as good as their material. Their material was below par.

“We’re going to take a twenty minute break now.” Oh for the love of Jesus. Why? Onstage for less than an hour, crowd only just settled down. Maybe the work was just too hard actually playing for all that time. Still a chance to look around as the lights come up. What have we got? Still a surprising number of empty seats. An unsurprising number of people resembling members of that very airborne family the band were lampooning minutes earlier. Behind the annoyance of the unnecessary break, what? Disappointment. I am left cold. They have acted as machines. No acknowledgement of the crowd. Minimal enthusiasm. Ragged inmental approach from the band, but ‘Snowy White has several times shown Gilmour up as fairly limited. The Floyd have never been virtuosos, but they always achieved effect. This time, no. Even the audience seem subdued. Still hiding from pigs on the wing I shouldn’t wonder. If that bloody great thing fell on you you’d know about it. Then the audience come out of hiding. Whistles, general derision, direction uncertain; the atmosphere-damaging lights shining disconcertingly on the tier audience? Or the band itself? Speculation cut short by the return of the indifferent wonder boys. (Indifferent, sure, and why not? The tickets are sold, the albums are selling, the position is consolidated. Money, it’s a crime, artistically rather than politically.)

‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond’. For the first time, my heart works double time, the edge of my seat teeters. The best single latter day Floyd number. Will they won’t they blow it? They blow it. The visuals distract and fascinate. The giant screen is now alive with impressionist stop/go oblique images – sea, beaches, gentle movement, Vaseline photography. Almost beautiful, marred by shampoo and approach but constantly interesting. Meanwhile, the live soundtrack is falling on its knees and begging inspiration. The main, destructive, ruining, hopeless avoidable, grating flaw is still Waters’ vocal stumblings. The obvious thing to do would be to have Gilmour’s relatively strong voice handling all lead singing with Waters occasionally chipping in for a bit of strained harmony. Waters either insisted on his solo spots or maybe it didn’t occur to him just how inept a singer he is. His voice completely ruined my enjoyment of what might have been the high point of a low level concert. Gilmour’s guitar – again propped by Snowy White – though in a slight rut, is jagged, and he manages to reproduce the vinyl cut competently, even superlatively. And Rick Wright’s synthesizer patters, though somehow blurred at the edges are effective enough, especially juiced up with Dick Parry’s additional keyboard support. Unfortunately Parry’s sax solo on the same number is dilute and foetid, building to a barely acceptable climax at the end of the number. But that voice… Ah well. Long time to go yet.

‘Welcome To The Machine’. Chink. Durrrrr. Cue onscreen visuals. This time the film clip is superb – an impossible steel insect parading across desert landscape, cut to perspective-warp too-real buildings that cry rivers of blood, to flying monoliths. No idea what it all means, but very pretty, very pretty. Barely notice the musical accompaniment but it complements the film nicely. It now dawns on me. All the way through the music has literally become incidental to the sight barrage. Maybe Floyd have achieved what they set out to do years ago – create a successful soundtrack to an avant-garde visual piece. ‘More’, ‘Zabriskie Point’ and ‘Obscured By Clouds’ all ultimately failed but this… I mean as pure music it’s pretty poor but as soundtracking it fits. Nah, that’s not the answer. Not with them still coming up with numbers like…

‘Have A Cigar’. First number of the concert that improves on the vinyl score. No uppity visuals to distract, no studio sterility. Mainstream mainline straightforward rock, nice soloing, gritty vocals. I feel… involved for the first time. Oh, and Snowy White upstages Gilmour again, with a fine, fluid piece of aggression that fixes attention past Gilmour onto the session players slightly-lit for form behind. Can it last? Not really. A tiny transistor radio and more seeping dry ice introduce,

‘Wish You Were Here’. Enigmatically the radio is playing material from the new Peter Gabriel solo. Then into the Floyd flood, diamond backed muzak. The visuals take over again for the final climax. From this point the music is little more than a faint organised noise behind the mental volume of films and mirrors. Onscreen, a faceless, sexless figure falls through blue sky, and the sky cracks, the figure falls through emptiness, into endless corridors… all corny enough, but superbly put together. The adventures of this unfortunate wraith continue through ‘Wish You Were Here’, but even this is only preamble for the Killer Gimmick, the most expensive cheap trick ever. From the depths of centre stage rises… something. The finale is just beginning.

‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond Pt Two’. The… something is like a flower, right, a flower made of glass. I’m not quite sure what a lotus looks like but I guess it might look like this. Inspecting closer it looks like it’s made of lots of tiny pieces of glass. It is, of course, giant. So there I am thinking, well, it’s outsize, and unusual, and I guess it’ll deflate in a minute or something and go away when someone, simply points a spotlight at it. I suppose that made it all worthwhile. The spotlight separated into a million lightsplinters, shooting out and fluorescing at the crowd, like a massive laser bank, firing clear, defined shafts of light at all angles. The lights switch shades through the spectrum, the lotus rotates, speeding the light pulses, mesmerising and astonishing. It is beautiful. What music, what Empire Pool? Consciousness is totally absorbed by the extravaganza. The white… no, blue… no, red… no, green rays live and pulsate. A zillion ballroom spheres welded together and activated. It’s so… “That’s it. Good night. That’s it. Thank you very much.” The tone of a man whose got a tiresome job thankfully out of the way, Roger Waters brings the crowd back to earth. Still hypnotized by the crazy diamond, we clap, we stomp, we cheer, we work hard for more than five minutes and they return.

The encore is not, thankfully, ‘Echoes’, the encore is: ‘Money’. Appropriate I guess, because that is precisely what this concert is about, and choosing ‘Money’ as an encore is half-acknowledging the fact. But it’s OK, a good down-the-line peaking number, immediate and hard. Lots of tapes, more hopeless vocals, class sax solo, another ace film. Then the cash register closes for the night and the lights are on. I heard two comments on the way out. ‘Brilliant’ said the businessman. ‘Incredible’ said the longhair. What are the Floyd about? I think… Look, I sat right down, waiting for the sound and vision. Something was wrong with my reception (or was it their transmission). All I got was the vision. The sound was somewhere else, imprinted on vinyl grooves, waiting for a stylus. I STILL don’t know about the Floyd. I suppose I was just looking in the wrong place.