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Dragonfly Records

Isn’t it ironic that the low point in the Beatles’ career ended up being the best documented, especially in the realm of bootleg releases? We have enough material from January 1969 to keep us going for days or until we cannot take anymore, which is the case for most people who try to listen to this material en masse as they fail the “January Listening Challenge”.

Back to the ‘waves’. The first one followed the broadcast of Glyn John’s acetate on North American radio stations in September 1969, leading to the very first Beatles bootleg – KUM BACK – in January 1970 and all subsequent copies and re-packaged versions like SILVER ALBUM , DIG IT!, HOMOGENIZED BEATLES & RENAISSANCE MINSTRELS VOLUME II , GET BACK TO TORONTO , GET BACK SESSION , etc.

Details regarding those exciting times when the world wondered what the Beatles were up to after the White Album & Yellow Submarine can be seen in series I published in this blog called “How the first Beatles bootleg material was leaked – The Great Elusive “Get Back” Radio Search, Part One”

The “second wave” consisted of material recorded off of the LET IT BE soundtrack, perhaps with a method as primitive as recording it in a movie theater with a portable recorder.  The results were the GET BACK SESSIONS 2 / MORE GET BACK SESSIONS releases on TMoQ & Michael & Allison Records.

The third wave came in December of 1974 via Contraband’s two SWEET APPLE TRAX volumes, which presented 90 minutes of previously unreleased Nagra reels, mostly from January 8 to 10 at Twickenham. These releases have their own entry on the blog as well.

Then, for two and a half years there was nothing, until this much hyped EP came along in February of 1977:

Beatles Twickenham Jams EPBeatles Twickenham Jams EP bPressed in Canada? L.A. is more like it. From the same pressing plant that also produced the Tobe Milo bootleg EPs.

Beatles Twickenham Jams EP discBeatles_twickenham-jams-1ste_sheetBeatles Twickenham Jams EP pageThis is the text from the above promo flyer, misrepresenting the date, source/purpose of the recordings and mostly the sound quality.

Below is an image of the ‘cover plus sleeve’ version mentioned in the flyer above. This particular copy sold for the high start price of $118 in April of 2017:

Beatles Twickenham Jams dual

**

January 8th was the Beatles fifth day of filming at Twickenham studios. The idea of a culmination in a live show was still alive at this point (in the afternoon, the idea of continuing rehearsals on a passenger ship taking them to North Africa to perform at an amphitheater there, will be discussed).

Following George’s premiere of his newly written song “I Me Mine” and everyone’s arrival,

Nagra tape roll 71A – (16:02 in length)  records them trying to play these songs:
Honey, Hush
Stand By Me
Hare Krishna Mantra
“Well, If You’re Ready”
Hare Krishna Mantra

Out of these, 8.08 and 8.10 – 13 (based on DDSI numbers) make up the 6 minutes 49 seconds found on side 1 of this EP.

A little later, Nagra tape roll 74A – (16:05) captured the following songs:

Mean Mr. Mustard
Don’t let me Down
All Things Must Pass
Fools Like Me
You Win Again
(improvisation
She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Highlighted DDSI numbers 8.40 to 8.42 make up all of the 6 minutes 28 seconds on side 2.

****

In the summer of 1977, the Dragonfly LP INDIAN ROPETRICK repeated “All Things Must Pass” but also offered something new: A playback of a Nagra reel from 14 January 1968 on Radio Luxembourg, offering the tracks “Watching Rainbows” and “Mean Mr. Mustard” with the DJ frequently talking over them to assert the station’s exclusive rights to them.

The “Watching Rainbows” broadcast pre-dated the “Abbey Road” LP

“Excerpts from the “Watching Rainbows” reel [recorded at Twickenham Studios , Jan. 14, 1969, DDSI 14.27-14.29] were taken out of EMI’s tight-lidded vaults and broadcast by Radio-Television Luxembourg as early as March 1969. During the “one-time-only” broadcast an RTL commentator claimed the occasion was “a gift that the Beatles made us, at RTL, send to you.” Station identification was announced throughout the broadcast to prevent pirates from taping and re-transmitting or pressing the music onto vinyl.

Bootleg vinyl of “Watching Rainbows” without the incessant RTL voice over had surfaced by May of 1977. Of course, the RTL broadcast also had been pirated. A poor quality copy appears on Indian Rope Trick the mid-70s collection of mostly bogus Beatleg material. “Rope Trick” wins the prize for most horrendous reproduction of the “Rainbows” reel – recorded off a radio receiver, passed down at least one generation and then pressed onto cheap vinyl. At least the disruptive French voice overs provide copyright documentation, coming, as they do, at intervals of 45 to five seconds. RTL’s broadcast began with the RTL dee-jay talking over “Watching Rainbows.”

RTL:
“And here’s the gift that the Beatles made us, at RTL, send to you… two new titles which are worldwide exclusives…”

LENNON:
“Standing in the garden waiting for the sun to shine. Hand in my umbrella… ” and the DJ comments over.

RTL:
“And here is the first one… exclusive from RTL …. …If you hear this song somewhere else other than RTL, it means it has been stolen from us.”
[Free jam . Lennon on mustard fuzz organ; George with angry Clapton inspirations.]

RTL:
“The first time, it’s always like this. You don’t like it very much. But in two months, when this record comes out, you will see. You’ll like it!”

RTL:
“Listen carefully, because you won’t hear this record for two months!!!”
[Tape cuts to Mr Mustard (Dirty Bastard) /Madman .]

RTL:
“This is a working tape that the Beatles lent us. This is why you will hear it only once, but we wanted to let you hear it first from RTL before anybody else… ”
[mustard organ]

RTL:
“…It’s strictly forbidden to tape this, especially for those of you who work for another radio station.” The DJ continues dispersing bursts, at 5 second intervals, of self-promotional anti-piracy tags: “The Beatles with an exclusive on RTL.” “Don’t tape. ” “R – T – L.” “The Beatles are on RTL exclusively,” and “It’s the first time in the world that people hear this new Beatles song…. on RTL, of course.”

Why RTL was allowed to broadcast a Twickenham tape at such an early date might be explained by the group’s relationship with Radio Luxembourg and commercial “pirate” radio just before the hysteria of Beatlemania broke. In the early 1960s, radio in England was dominated by the state-owned and operated BBC. There wasn’t much time for pop music programmes, but Radio Luxembourg was privately-owned and offered more opportunities for aspiring, unknown pop and rock artists.

George told a journalist during the 1964 Australian tour that the first DJ ever to play a Beatles recording was at Radio Luxembourg.

GEORGE:
“Originally we were played on Radio Luxembourg because that’s a commercial station, and the, ah, the record companies, you know, they pay for time, air time on these shows. So they promote the record. So that’s the show we were on first… but they’ve still got to transmit from Luxembourg, which makes the reception (in England) not as good as the BBC.”

Harrison also endorsed England’s independent “pirate” radio, whose broadcasts were legal in 1964 only because they originated from ships in international waters. “Well, it’s great,” Harrison told the journalist. “Yeah… We could do with a couple right in there, in London.”

(by Ron Synovitz; French translations from “Indian Rope Trick” by Ariane Julie-Synovitz)

***

Beatles WR EP 1Beatles WR EP 2Beatles WR EP bBeatles WR EPI used to own this and should have kept it, the multi-color vinyl really adds something. The selected cover images do not really fit as they are from the White Album era, taken on the “Mad Day Out” photo shoot on 28 July 1968.

***

Back to Twickenham studios, 45 years ago. On 10 January ’69, George has finally had enough and walks out of the sessions (and again on a meeting they had on the 12th). Surprisingly, the reason was not in his artistic relationship with Paul but George was very unhappy with John (as discussed in the Sulpy/Schweighardt book Get Back). On the 14th, the last day at Twickenham before filming and recording resumed in the basement at Apple, John premieres a new composition “Madman”, a bit of another new one, “Mean Mr. Mustard” and an improvisation born out of Paul playing the guitar part for “I’ve Got A Feeling” and John improvising three verses based on lyrics from “I Am The Walrus”: The improvisation known as “Watching Rainbows”.

February 1978 saw the release of the expanded LP version:

Beatles WR LP frAvailable with Dragonfly (first pressing?), white & yellow Ruthless Rhymes and green “hörweite stereofonie” labels:

Beatles WR Duck

hörweite Stereophonie lbl

Beatles WR LP b pinkFewer versions have the above three tone color back but these do not automatically mean a first pressing, as stated on the vinylegs website. They exist with Ruthless Rhymes labels as well.

Beatles WR LP b bl

The first two tracks are from 14 January ’69 as mentioned above.  “Blackbird” (takes 1 + 2) was recorded by Paul on August of 1974. The rest of the tracks on side 1 and side 2 including “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” come from Twickenham, 8 January.“Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” is take 13, recorded 2 July 1969 and would become the opening track on another famous Audifon Beatles LP: No 3 Abbey Road NW 8 . The unlisted last song “Her Majesty” (with the final chord intact) was recorded on the same day. John’s take on the Who’s “A Quick One While He’s Away” (with a little help by Paul and the sarcastic comment “OK, George, take it”) was the next available recording from Twickenham on 10 January ’69 after George had walked out.

John Winn writes in Beatlegmania – Volume Two: “Although the Twickenham tapes are slightly longer here than on the EP’s, they don’t sound any better. Brand new here are “Blackbird”, “Two Of Us”, “One After 909”, “A Quick One While He’s Away/improvisation” and “Her Majesty”. A second pressing of this LP in July 1978 used an upgraded but slightly shorter tape of “Watching Rainbows/Madman/Mean Mr. Mustard”. “

Research comments:

“I wanted to add too, that the recordings heard on “Rainbows” (1st pressing) and “Indian Rope Trick” are different sources (i.e. different original tapes). This is determined by a difference in radio interference and static. The “WR” LP is better overall quality but contains more interference and while “IRT” is cleaner, the quality is not as dynamic. There is also a different edit between “Rainbows” and the “Madman/Mustard” jam. But, of course, the edit doesn’t really determine anything. It could have come from anywhere.

“The original recording from Twickenham – without the French voice-over – is found in the best quality, taken from a tape source (the Nagra tapes, roll 145A) on Yellow Dog’s “Day By Day” vol. 17, disc 2.
Unfortunately the tape runs out so the end of the “Watching Rainbows”-jam is missing.
The complete recording, however, is found on the old LP “Watching Rainbows” where it’s taken from the B roll that has gone missing.
Finally, the missing ending on “Day By Day” is found on on one of the “Get Back Journals” and for the best result (soundwise) you can edit those two together.”

http://beatlesource.com/bs/mains/audio/zzBS/unigue.html

“I don’t know about the provenance of the original tape that made it to the RTL broadcast, but I would like to make this observation – although the version on the “Indian Rope Trick” is sonicallly inferior to the slightly-better-sounding one on “Watching Rainbows”, it doesn’t have some of the “scraping” noises heard at certain points on the WR LP – noises that sound to me like dirty panpots or faders/sliders. Which suggests to me that the appearances of Mustard, Madman & Rainbows on “Indian Rope Trick” and “Watching Rainbows” were from two different tape dubs or “passes” from a higher-generational source. If it makes any sense, or indeed matters.”

****

In the 1980’s, Watching Rainbows was ‘recycled’ in Japan as disc 2 of this double set:

Beatles AR NW 8 + WRBeatles AR NW 8 + WR b

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1. Bob Dylan – Hold the Fort for What It’s Worth

Dylan HTFFWIW Dragonf 2

Dylan HTFFWIW Dragonf

First released by Hoffman Avenue Records #168 in 1976

Mediocre audience recording from Fort Worth,TX, 16 May , 1976 plus one track from New Haven, CT 13 November 1975 and two from Hartford, CT 24 November, 1975.  This show appeared later from a soundboard source and is now seen as the essential Rolling Thunder Tour recording.

This was the fourth issue of this release after: 1. black & white mcv  2. black & clear splatter.  3. red & orange mcv

****

2. A number of Hendrix titles

Besides the Mushroom title Good Vibes also appearing with Dragonfly labels, there was:

a. SKY HIGH! aka ‘Woke Up This Morning And Found Myself Dead’ aka ‘Jam’

Hendrix Sky High

1968 Scene club, NY jam, featuring Jim Morrison and others, taken from personal tapes stolen after his death. “Although it presents a unique setting, critics and biographers have generally found fault with the sound quality and Morrison’s performance.” states wikipedia.

“Uncertainty has for a long time surrounded both the exact date for the Scene Club recordings and the personnel featured on them. Most sources lean towards 07.03.68 as the most likely date, and personnel is believed to be Jimi Hendrix (guitar / vocals), Jim Morrison (vocals) and Lester Chambers (harp) plus two unknown guitarists, unknown bass and unknown drums. Some of these may or may not have been members of The McCoys or The Young Rascals, but neither Johnny Winter nor Rick Derringer were among them.”

Earlier releases include (the year is unconfirmed):

Sky High ! (Sky Dog SGSH 2017378 / 1972 / 1LP) [Black & White “Pirate Skull” wraparound cover]
Sky High ! (Sky Dog SGSH 2017378 / 1972 / 1LP) [Black & White “Pirate Skull” cover]
Sky High ! (Kustom Rekords SPJH 1[matrix: SPJH+1 (the letters ‘SP’ have been hand etched and the ‘JH+1+A/B’ have been stamped)] / 1972 / 1LP)
Sky High ! ([White label] [matrix: SPJH+1] / 1972 / 1LP)

Supposedly also exists as TMoQ 73031 but I have found no evidence for this beyond the quoted Hot Wacks entry.

From an eBay ad: “i have compared this album with the ‘woke up this morning and found myself dead’ album and have found the ‘sky high’ album to be far better sound quality much louder and clearer, with no editing, there are also things on this album that won`t be heard on the ‘woke up this morning’ album. there is one song on the woke up this morning’ album where it fades out, but on ‘sky high’ there are a few more seconds with the guitar volume being turned up and down giving it a delay affect on finishing. another track on the ‘woke up this morning’ album has a fade in and the ‘sky high’ album breaks straight into it and plays for a few seconds longer.”

Matrix A/1: SP JH + 1 + A
Matrix B/2: SP JH + 1 + B  

Also available as Jam:

Seller description:

A1 Red House  (Unlike other versions of Red House Hendrix used a guitar figure  similar to Cream’s Crossroads”.
B1 People People, People
B2 Tomorrow Never Knows
B3 Sunshine Of Your Love

Run Out Groove Side 1: HH Jam Side 1
Run Out Groove Side 2: HH Jam – 2

“Based on the matrix it appears that this album is from by independent,  Herbie Howard out of Los Angeles. It is in the TMOQ style with the album cover is a flimsy gatefold typical of the bootleg and is in good condition having been stored in a plastic sleeve for the last  40 years. The track listing, recording info & pictures consists of nothing more than a photocopy and is an insert that has been taped to the front of the album cover.

Hendrix Jam RE

The LP descried above, obviously a re-issue, below is the original with b&w cover (I have also seen it with a color cover but am not sure if that is an original):

Hendrix Jam

For more information: http://rockonvinyl.blogspot.de/2010/05/jimi-hendrix-with-john-mclaughlin.html


****

b. SMASHING AMPS

Hendrix Smashing Amps 2

Hendrix Smashing Amps

Originally, the third ever Hendrix release on the classic TMoQ label as # 1813/ 71028:

Hendrix SAmps gree

This copy, listed as being in “superb condition (barely played)” sold for $260 in November of 2013. It should be noted that an orange copy listed as “VG” only made it to $35 two months prior, so condition is of vital importance.

Hendrix S Amps red

I do wonder who made this rare variation?

Source is the soundtrack of the concert movie Experience filmed at The Royal Albert Hall in London at the first – and “appalling” (according to Mitch Mitchell) – show (the second one was one week later but of course, that one was not filmed).

A great analysis of what is available from these shows is here: http://www.angelfire.com/hi/moku/rah.html  [Beware: pop-ups]

Hendrix RAH 69 stub

Hendrix RAH 69

Hendrix RAH CW

Young Charlie Weber stage invading at the show. Charlie has earned a place in Rolling Stones history as he and his brother Jake were used to carry “special presents taped to their bodies” for Mick’s 1971 wedding the South of France.

Charlie’s comment on the photo: “This is incredible. Of course I remember it but it was only because we’d met Jimi backstage and he’d picked me up, cool as could be and carried me around on his shoulders, so he was like a friend to a little boy, me. I don’t remember if I said anything. I think he was a little surprised at coming on the stage and he just said ‘Cool, groovy Charley’.

Charlie W Keith

Charlie (right) hanging out with Keith in the early 70s.

****

3. ZAPPA & BEEFHEART – Metal Man Has Hornet’s Wings

Zappa metal man

Originally released as CONFIDENTIAL on Wizardo Records 385 and previously discussed on this blog “en detail”.

****

4. Miscellaneous

I am sure there were more that I am currently overlooking – if you know of any, do leave a comment. There are probably also some false reports, like this TMoQ reissue Beatles LP, which was listed as having Dragonfly labels but I suspect it was a case of wrong disc in sleeve:

Beatles CCC

Rundgren T FHtUtopia

Looks like clear tape that degraded over time. Good for those who never discarded the shrink wrap and used some sharp object to open it at the disc side instead.

Rundgren T FHtUtopia RR

Source: BBC broadcast recorded live at Oxford Polytechnic on 25 January, 1977

SIDE 1)
communion with the sun-6.55
love of the common man-3.30
sunburst finish-8.00
jealousy-4.23

SIDE 2)
windows-4.20
splashdown-5.05
the verb to love-7.30
hiroshima-6.55

Rundgren BBC LP

***

The July 1978 issue of Trouser Press magazine featured an article called “From Here to Utopia”; mere coincidence or inspiration pinpointing the release date of this bootleg?

Trouser Press July '78

http://beatpatrol.wordpress.com/2009/12/20/david-fricke-nothinganything-the-ballad-of-todd-rundgren-1978/

After TWENTY/TWENTY HINDSIGHT (on TAKRL) there was RETROSPECTIVE FORESIGHT

Nazz RF

Nazz RetroFores Rec 1

Also available on Dragonfly and Slipped Disc

Nazz RetroFores bl

Nazz 16 mag 68

Cover art inspiration, 16 Magazine, Fall 1968 issue

Who actually plays on these tracks seems to be a bit in dispute:

       He Was (not by Nazz, but by the band “Great Imposters”)
        Some People (original version on III)
        Ready I Am (not otherwise available) (not by Nazz, but by the band “Great Imposters”)
        Kicks (original version on III)
        But I Ain’t Got You (not otherwise available) (not by Nazz, but by the band “Great Imposters”)
        Take The Hand (original version on III)
        Lemming Song (original version on I)
        Open My Eyes (live) (original version on I)  (not by Nazz, but by the band “Great Imposters”)
        Chrisopher Columbus (original version on III)
        Train Kept A-Rollin’ (demo version – first release on Best Of Nazz)

***

“This LP containes 2 kinds of tapes,post-NAZZ demo tape recorded by Rick Nielson and official NAZZ III recording. Demo is horrible mono recordings and regular NAZZ III is excellent stereo.

Side one: He Was(also titled “Bean” said Rick,demo),Some People,Ready I am(demo,”So good to see you” later recording on Cheap Trick first LP),Kicks,But I Ain’t Got You(wrote by Rick),Take The Hand

Side Two: Lemming Song(demo,early NAZZ era),You Are My Window,Open My Eyes(live track,bad condition,not NAZZ by Move),Christopher Columbus,Train Kept Rolling(demo,from acetate,also included on “best of nazz” LP)”

***

“… it has been reported that the live numbers that were used here weren’t even recorded by the Nazz but by the Sickman of Europe, a group that I guess (correct me if I’m wrong, gently!) featured not only former Nazz member Thom Mooney but future Cheap Trick Rick Nielsen amongst perhaps others Tricksters (I believe Tom Petterson was in there as well).  The weird thing about the Sickman of Europe name is that it was used in the eighties after Cheap Trick’s fame had eventually deep-sixed and Petterson and perhaps Nielsen dug it up for a go ’round in a new combo which I doubt had the rest of the original members.  The data regarding this group is still sketchy and I’m sure adds to the confusion for anyone doing a Pete Frame-styled family tree. Even more puzzling for me is why would two guys who were in a major league rock group have to start from the bottom only a few short years later playing the club circuit in hope of another big chance in the limelight?  I guess this music biz is a lot tougher than I had imagined! If you do want to hear the Sickman of Europe in their original state they might actually be on here and if that is them then they sure were as hard-edged pop rock good as the band they eventually morphed into! (I didn’t want to bring this up since it would only add to more confusion, but the Mooney-era Sickman used to bill themselves as the Nazz whenever they’d hit Philly which is perhaps why they are on this album to begin with. I’m sure that the bootleggers themselves weren’t too sure either, and who knows even at this late date which is what!).” [http://black2com.blogspot.de/2009/11/only-thing-missing-is-incense-used-to.html]

“… As Sick Man of Europe, they recorded a number of demos which have since turned up on a bootleg album, Retrospective Foresight, as a collection of Nazz out-takes, although most of the tracks actually aren’t. It actually features Nazz III tracks, a live take of “Open My Eyes” that Stewkey thinks might be the Texan Nazz, and rough takes of “Lemming Song” and “Train Kept a ‘Rollin’.” The Sick Man of Europe tunes on the record are “I Ain’t Got You” (a Stewkey original), “He Was” (another Stewkey comp), and Nielsen’s “So Good to See You” (billed there as “Ready I Am”).”

Hendrix CanYouPlease

Hendrix_crawl_window_matrix_a

Hendrix_crawl_window_matrix_b

Hendrix CYPCOYW

Side 1: Auld Lang Syne – Band Of Gypsies (Studio) / Interview – Alan Douglas / Little Drummer Boy – Band Of Gypsies / Silent Night – Band Of Gypsies (Studio) / Mother Earth – Jimi Hendrix und Eric Burdon (Recorded just hours before Jimi’s Death.  Live with the Eric Burdon Band at Ronnie Scott’s Club) / Interview – Paul McCartney     
Side 2: Burning The Midnight Lamp – Experience (Live – BBC) / Can You please Crawl Out Your Window? – Experience (Live – BBC) / Drivin’ South – Experience (Live – BBC) / Tobacco Road – Jimi Hendrix und Eric Burdon (Live – Ronnie Scotts Club)

It seems pretty certain, that the two tracks closing both sides were the big selling point here and we will dig into the history of that recording. Also, I love tracing recordings back to the master in as much as that is possible.

***

Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott’s

Recorded live at Ronnie Scotts, 47 Frith Street, London W1, UK
Wednesday, 16 September 1970

“The guest appearance of Jimi Hendrix with Eric Burdon and War at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club occupies a special place in the recorded Hendrix legacy.  Occurring only a little over a day before Hendrix’s untimely death, the jam represents his last public performance.  Considering that very few of Jimi’s club appearances were recorded (other than those that Jimi recorded himself in the spring of 1968), the fact that this final performance would be recorded must be considered extremely unlikely.  But in fact it was recorded, and parts of this recording have circulated for [more than 35] years.  Until now it has never been known exactly how much of this performance was committed to tape, or by whom.  Some guessed that a member of War had made this recording; others thought that the taper was Jerry Goldstein, War’s manager at the time.  But very recently the whole recording has appeared, and the man that recorded it, Bill Baker, has also stepped forward.

The first appearance of this material was on a bootleg LP, Can You Please Crawl out Your Window, that was produced sometime in the mid to late 1970s [ca. 1977].  That LP included two tracks from the Ronnie Scott’s Club performance, ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Tobacco Road’, which closed sides one and two respectively.  Of reasonable quality, these recordings represented the only portions of the concert available until a 40-minute tape of the jam came into circulation some years later.  This tape contained slightly longer versions of ‘Mother Earth’ and ‘Tobacco Road’ and also included several songs on which Jimi didn’t play: ‘Paint It Black’, ‘Spill the Wine’ and ‘Mystery Train’. All of these songs were incomplete to varying degrees, and the entire tape was of poor audio quality, substantially worse than the quality of the two tracks on the bootleg LP.  It was not known whether other songs were played during the show, and if so whether Jimi had played on them.

This remained the state of affairs until several months ago [in 2010], when the taper of this concert came forward with his story and a complete copy of his master tape.  The fan that taped this recording is Bill Baker, a resident of West London.  He never intentionally kept this recording back; in fact, he gave copies to numerous people throughout the years.  One of these was the source for the poor-quality tape copy that came into circulation.  However, somehow the complete recording in master quality had never made it into general circulation within the collecting community.

Bill was 20 years old in 1970, and had recently become a big fan of Eric Burdon and War.  He tells the story of how he came to attend and record the show that night at Ronnie Scott’s Club.

“I first heard ‘Spill the Wine’ while on an extended holiday in Italy. When I heard it, it completely blew me away, he says. I couldn’t believe how good it was.  I also heard about the Isle of Wight festival but unfortunately returned to England a week late for that.  After I got back I went to a QPR [Queens Park Rangers] football game with an old friend and he told me about a free show by Eric Burdon and War in Hyde Park coming up on Saturday the 12th of September.  So I went to that with a few mates.  I recall that John Sebastian was also on the bill.  During the concert, Burdon told the audience to make sure to go to the shows they were playing at Ronnie Scott’s during the upcoming week, and to ‘freak all those jazz freaks out of the place.’  So I decided I’d have to be at one of the shows.  I ended up deciding to go on Wednesday night, the 16th.

I invited my younger brother to go with me, but he had to work the next day and decided not to go.  I was out of work at the time.  So I ended up going alone.  I got there early and was just about the first into the club, so I was able to be in the very first row.  Front row seat, about two feet away from the drum kit.  I talked with the members of the group a bit before the room filled up. I had brought my Sony cassette recorder with me, and one Philips C-90 cassette.  I set the microphone on my table right there at the edge of the stage.

There were other groups on the bill that night; I remember a gospel group, and the Alan Haven Trio, who I liked quite a lot.  There was a disco above the main room; I went up there between live acts.  I recall there was lively salsa music with lots of people dancing.  The live music started around 8 o’clock and ended around 2 or 3 AM Thursday morning.  So War was late getting on stage, maybe around midnight, and most or all of the War performance was actually during the early hours of the 17th.  I taped the first set, got a good recording of that, although the first side of the tape ran out before the end.  I wanted to save the other side for the second set.

At intermission I went back to the dressing room and talked with the group between sets.  I told them I had taped the set, and they said that was fine with them.  I got them to autograph my copy of ‘Spill the Wine’ that I had brought with me.  When I went out for the second set, my seat was taken so I went to the upper level.  A young lady, an American, was there with a guy, and she invited me to join them at their table.  So I sat with them there, right at the front and to the left of the stage, right above Lonnie Jordan, the organist for War.  So the second set was taped from a different seat.  The girl saw I was taping the gig, and asked me to make a copy for her, which unfortunately I never did.

During the set the girl I was sitting with said, ‘Look, Jimi Hendrix and Eric’s wife!’  I didn’t see him enter, but Hendrix had appeared, and I saw him sit with Angie Burdon, at a table to the left of the stage.  Jimi had his guitar with him.  You can hear Eric invite Jimi up onto the stage for ‘Mother Earth’.  He got up and played on the song with the band, using his white strat.  Near the end of that song, Hendrix left the stage to go back and sit with his girlfriend.  Burdon asked him to come back, which is also on the tape.  He did rejoin the band for the end of the song and also played on ‘Tobacco Road’.  The tape side ran out shortly after this song started, but I flipped it over and re-recorded over the start of the first set on side one.

After the show was over, Hendrix hung around for a bit and I went over to talk with him.  He was sitting there with a pint in front of him, but white wine rather than beer; he offered some to me and I accepted.  So we ‘spilled the wine’ together on that night.  He was polite and friendly, and happy to chat.  I asked if I could record the conversation, but he said that probably wasn’t a good idea.  So we just talked.  I borrowed a pen and asked if he would sign the sleeve that I had with me for War to sign.  He said sure, ‘but take the record out so it doesn’t fuck up the grooves.  I had an apple and he asked if he could have a bite, and I said sure, so he took one; in fact, I think he kept the apple and finished it.  Finally, Jimi got up to leave with his girlfriend and said to me, ‘Hope to see you soon, man.’  I left the club in the early morning hours and took a cab back home.

Hendrix signed 45 1970

I remember that there was a U.S. photographer at the show, from New York City if I recall correctly.  He took pictures throughout the evening.  I have no idea what became of him, or of the photographs.

eric-burdon-jimi-hendrix

I got back home and later that day (Thursday) I made a dub of the cassette onto a 5″ reel tape, since I wanted to give a copy to the group, who were staying in a hotel in London for several days.  On Friday (the 18th) I went to the hotel, and found Jerry Goldstein (War’s manager), Eric Burdon and his parents, Zoot Money, and some others in the upper-floor lobby.  I gave Goldstein the tape dub, and talked with them and with some other people for awhile.  Jerry recalls that he gave me 20 pounds sterling for the tape.  When I left I took the lift down to the ground floor, and when I got out I saw a group of people standing there.  Some of the girls were crying, and I recognized them from the group that had been with Eric earlier.  I asked them what was wrong but they didn’t answer, they just got in the lift crying.  I took the tube home. It was only later that day that I read in the evening paper that Jimi was dead.

In the mid-70s, Bill approached an employee at the BBC to investigate the possibility of releasing his recording from Ronnie Scott’s.  He wasn’t able to arrange this, but he did make copies of the tape onto 7″ reels.  Bill took these to a record shop owner in Hammersmith, who agreed to have LPs made.  But after a short while he told Bill that he had decided to pull the plug on the deal, so Bill retrieved the reels from the man.  However, as we know an LP did appear.  What eventually came from this was the well-known bootleg LP Can You Please Crawl out Your Window.  This LP was a hodge-podge of material, combining material from a 1976 BBC radio show with the Reprise Christmas promo single.  The LP also included nearly complete versions of three BBC recordings (the original radio show only contained incomplete versions).  But the real gems on the LP were the two Hendrix tracks from the War recording.  Bill never made a penny from this release, although he received some LPs from the deal.  But the unpleasant episode discouraged him from ever trying again to release this in any formal way, either officially or unofficially.

***

Eric Burdon – vocals
Jimi Hendrix – guitar (on Blues for Memphis Slim & Tobacco road)
Howard Scott – guitar
Dee Allen – percussion
Harold Brown – drums
B.B.Dickerson – bass
Lonnie Jordan – organ & piano
Charles Miller – sax & flute
Lee Oskar – harmonica

Recorded on a Philips C-90 cassette by Bill Baker using a Sony TC-100A portable cassette recorder and a Sony handheld dynamic microphone.  There are a couple of big drop-outs on the master that couldn’t be repaired.  These are later damage to the original cassette (which by now is 40 years old) as they are not audible on the Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window -bootleg LP.  Unfortunately, the sound quality of the bootleg LP and the old incomplete tape copies is so much worse than that of the master transfer that patching was not a possibility.  The taper did make several copies of the original cassette on reel to reel during the 70s, hopefully one day one of these will surface.

Hendrix Burdon '70

Summary:

The recording captures most of both sets that night, with Set 1 on side 1 of the tape, and Set 2 on side 2.  The 2nd tape side was running out just after Tobacco Road started, and the taper, not wanting to miss the unexpected contribution by Jimi, flipped the tape back to side 1 and recorded over the start of the 1st set.  Thus over 10 minutes of the start of the opening set is missing due to the tape-over.

The taper didn’t run the tape all the way to the end of side 2 when he turned it back to side 1; there was a little over a minute left on the side when he flipped it.  This also means that a little over a minute at the start of side 1 was not taped over.  It’s an instrumental (at least the part that survives) which may be just an untitled opening jam; but it may also be a titled song that hasn’t been identified.

First Set

1 Unknown Title 1:20
2 Gun 2:58
3 Black on Black in Black 15:08
– Paint it Black I
– Laurel & Hardy
– Pintelo Negro II
– P.C. 3 Out of Nowhere
– Blackbird
– Paint it Black III
4 Spill the Wine 8:07
5 Mystery Train 6:00

Second Set

1 Gun 7:31
2 Black on Black in Black 15:08
– Paint it Black I
– Laurel & Hardy
– Pintelo Negro II
– P.C. 3 Out of Nowhere
– Blackbird
– Paint it Black III
3 Blues for Memphis Slim 20:09
– Birth
– Mother Earth
– Mr. Charlie
– Mother Earth
4 Tobacco Road 14:55
– Tobacco Road
– I Have a Dream
– Tobacco Road

The above tracklist is based on versions of these songs released on the Eric Burdon and War LPs Eric Burdon Declares ‘War’ and The Black-Man’s Burdon.  This is longer than all of the earlier tracklists given for this tape, not because there’s new material (apart from Disc 1 Track 1) but because the correct titles as given on the LP releases have been used.  A studio version of ‘Mystery Train’ was never released officially but a bootleg version & other live versions do circulate, often under the title ‘Train Thing Medley’ but as there’s no official release the actual title this was recorded under is unknown.”

Genesis A Living Story

Source: “British Biscuit/D.I.R. Presents” taped at the Rainbow Theater in London – 2 January 1977 – Second show of the Wind And Wuthering Tour    Broadcast 20 March 1977            

Background information can be found here: http://radioguide.genesis-movement.org/index.html#x-02jan77

Side 1: Squonk (6:39) / All in a Mouse’s Night (6:35) / Eleventh Earl of Mar (7:33)
Side 2: One for the Vine (10:31) / I Know What I Like (in Your Wardrobe) (8:17)

Album track list incorrectly lists “All In A Mouse’s Night” as “Afterglow”

Available with Dragonfly and Ruthless Rhymes labels (probably blank ones as well). Insert in the usual color variations. A re-issue appeared in the early 1980’s with Raring Records labels:

Genesis A Living Story Raring

I found two researched comments regarding the different versions and I have some comments:

# 1: “…release is found with at least three different covers; first pressing used a red photo cover [must be the Raring one above and I disagree that this was the first pressing]; second pressing used a different cover photo and was printed on blue paper; third pressing used the same photo as the second pressing but was printed on yellow paper” [can we be sure that each new insert color also means this is a new pressing run? I don’t think we can make that assumption]

# 2: “This recording first surfaced on vinyl in the seventies under the title A Living Story: The 1977 Tour (Big Thumb PG 1300) with two separate covers. The first edition has a picture of the band standing on a street corner and the repressings have the better-known illustration of the old man telling a story to the children.” [collectorsmusic.com – Again, I disagree and this comment might have been based on quoting the first]

Genesis Rainbow 77 2

Genesis Rainbow 77 3

Genesis Rainbow 77 1