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Stevens, Cat

 

CATNIP was the first Cat Stevens bootleg, riding on the tails of the commercial success of his Tea For The Tillerman album and the “Wild World” 45 in 1971. CATNIP is most often found in the CBM version, released in 1972. This post will look at three of the four releases by distinct producers.

Stevens Cat Catnip w. B lbl

WCF produced two different versions of this (I don’t know which one came first). Here, the BOGART Records version.

Stevens Cat Catnip lbl alt

And the CATNIP Records version, with a wraparound insert saying “INCLUDED FREE POSTER” on the front and “CAT STEVENS LIVE” on the  reverse:

Stevens Cat Catnip

Stevens Cat Catnip b

Stevens Cat catnip fo

Perhaps the insert is supposed to be the poster? I have never seen this offered with an extra fold-out poster. Dittolino Discs would later copy this insert for their own version (see below).

Stevens Cat Catnip lbl

USA: late 1971 / early 1972

Was CATNIP a WCF original? I am not sure but if it wasn’t, which was the original version? There seems to be only this candidate left, after discounting CBM & Dittolino as copies:

Stevens C This Gift lbl A

With a what looks like a printed cover:

Stevens C TGiftBOUs

It is sometimes seen with this sticker (either this inspired WCF’s “poster” comment or it was the other way around):

Stevens C TGiftBOUs st

A typed and what looks like duplicated via a mimeograph, included track list:

Stevens C TGiftBOUs b

Stevens C TGiftBOUs t.l.

This CLS-42471 version also exists with blank white labels.

In December of 2016, the following comment was left under my CATNIP – the CBM version post (the link to that is at the end of this post, if you wish to review the original comment thread):

Me and two friends made the original recording of “Catnip”. It was recorded at The Gaslight in NYC around winter of 71-72 as I recall [ I still believe it was Nov./Dec. 1970 ]. We lived in Rochester, NY and on a trip to NYC took the opportunity to make a bootleg just for the fun of it. I recorded it on a Sony stereo cassette recorder and later copied it over onto a 2 track 1/4 inch tape so that mastering labs could use it easily, adjusting the equalization as best I could. Had it mastered in NYC at Audio Matrix and did a run of 1,000 pressings. Figured that would be it. Sold them ALL in Rochester!…so we ran another 1,000 and that was it as we had done what we set out to do. The cover is a photo produced by taking the 35mm. negative, contact printing a positive of it, then placing the two in the enlarger slightly out of register to make the final print. It’s usually assumed to be a drawing but it isn’t. I still have a few pressings still in their shrink wrap!…and still have the 2 track mastering tape also. ALL of the other issues of this are just copied from one of the original vinyl discs, so if you one of the originals it’s number X out of 2,000.

I’ve been asked if I believe that the person who had left the comment, Larry, was responsible for the above version and my response is by way of exclusion: Larry wasn’t behind WCF or CBM or Dittolino Disc, so which version is left (unless I am still missing the original one).

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Here then is the Dittolino Disc version 1:

Stevens Catnip DD

Stevens Catnip DD b

 

And version # 2:

Stevens Cat Catnip Dittol 2655

Stevens Cat Catnip 2

Matrix: CS-A S-2654 / CS-B S-2655

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Some of the CBM versions can be found in this earlier post.

Source: The recording is usually listed as Chicago 5/12/1971 (or Boston in HW) and despite the US date format written as May 12th ’71, which seems doubtful. I did attribute it to the Gaslight in NY’s Greenwich Village on 30 Nov./01 Dec. 1970 but I have so far not found any of the vinyl sources online for final confirmation (as we have a ply-by-play description of the Gaslight recording).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Deep Purple JMTYL 2

Deep Purple JMTYL detail

Rolling Stones Rock Out Cock Out detail

There were two different cover designs, the “Music From Big Purple” shown above with the two figures in the bottom right corner and one without:

Deep Purple JMTYL

Deep Purple JMTYL Duck Hits MBP 990 A

Both versions can be found with “Duck Hits!”and Ruthless Rhymes labels. I did not find this with the blue 1970’s GLC labels shown previously with the Stones release and the Beatles Beatlemania but the Deep Purple LP can be found with the following matrix: 

GLC-212-A  re  /  GLC-212-B

– called the second pressing, which would support my theory that these releases date from around 1977.

Deep Purple JMTYL RR

This looks like a third cover variation.

Just as in the first example, I have found another one where the track list for side 2 is hidden or censored. Coincidentally, Hot Wacks states that only side 1 is from the California Jam Festival and side two contains pirated material from the official release In Concert.

Deep Purple JMTYL censored

The other vinyl bootleg to compare this with in term’s of sound quality would be PERKS AND TIT on TAKRL (also the one I would go to first, had this not since been officially released, as it has more California Jam material).

Set list taken from the 2003 official release:

Burn    (6:20)
Might Just Take Your Life    (4:50)
Lay Down, Stay Down    (4:46)
Mistreated    (10:24)    
Smoke On The Water    (8:56)
You Fool No One    (19:09)
Space Truckin’    (25:10)

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Yet another link between the Stones and the Deep Purple LP is that they have been listed with PQ numbers. In Hot Wacks rock out – cock out is listed as PQ211.

Just Might Take Your Life carries PQ 2004, which is also printed on the slip sheet.

I have now stumbled over another example, clearly produced by the same folks with a penchant for hallucinogenic cover art and an overall similar lay out:  PQ 401

Grateful Dead Double Dead

Not found with a GLC label but a plain white one:

Grateful Dead Double Dead lbl

which confirms my thesis that the 70s GLC label was used considerably later than 1974.

It is not hard to date DOUBLE DEAD , as it was a ‘Frankenstein’ creation born by combining Felt Forum 1971 and, more importantly for us, SILENT DEAD – TMoQ 73010. As ‘smoking pig’ releases 73008 (Dylan – Best of GWW) and 73018 (James Paul McCartney) have been confirmed as 1974 releases – the Dylan cover uses an image from his early 1974 tour – SILENT DEAD was released in the same year and DOUBLE DEAD subsequently after that.

If you know any further PQ releases, or have any other comments or additions, do let me know.

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A little excursion:

Coming back to that “Deep Purple” and DYLAN & THE BAND 1974 title font – it rang a bell too.

“Information:
A very rare and misunderstood LP from 1974 from the folks that would become TMOQ-2. The confusion lies both with the relative unavailability of the LP, and with misinformation of earlier chronologies. The earlier guides, Cable and Hot Wacks, failed to list it altogether. As it doesn’t have an actual title, it has been referred to by several. “1974” and “Oakland” among them. Great White Answers gives it the title “We Didn’t Really Get It On Until Oackland” from a misspelling of a quote on the back insert.

It also states that the cover is full printed. Most likely it never was. GWA also reports a blank label. While there might have been one or two blank, the labels were actually full printed with a “Great Live Concerts” label. More confusion set in with the publication of Raging Glory. It titles the set “Dylan & The Band 1974”. While it correctly lists the package features of two inserts and blue and yellow labels, it states that the set is a 1985 reissue of the original 1974 release. There was no reissue. The fact is, there were only a few copies manufactured in 1974 (Heylin suggests a 1977 date, although that would negate the theory of the piece being produced during the TMOQ changeover). They have inserts and full printed labels. GWA reported “Rolling Stones” LPs issued in the covers as well, but this is doubtful.

Whatever the reason for the small quantity run, at about the same time period TMOQ was releasing the St. Valentine Day box. This was from the show of 3 days later at Inglewood. Since the two shows were similar, it’s very feasible that this project simply got lost in the hubbub of the other projects, and in the transfer of power between the TMOQ regimes.

8 stars      NMP250

gwa95
Matrix: # 411 A/B/C/D”  

 

Deep Purple JMTYL detail title

Dylan & Band wdrgiouO 2

Deep Purple Murky Waters detail

Jethro Tull Superchd cropped

and:

Stevens C THMDD

Note how inserts with this font hawk the supposedly high fidelity of the recording.

…And there’s more!

Stevens Cat Catnip title

Stevens Cat Catnip 2

Here is a copy/reissue of TAKRL’s # 2927: British Tour 1973 – Untitled

John Elton BBB Benny

It appears that the 2 LP releases all had a front and a back insert like this one.

John Elton BBB Benny 2

Aha!

All of these releases can be found with black number labels as shown – however, they were clearly released much earlier than 1977, probably around 1974.  So for the Deep Purple re-issue, this might just have been “font recycling”.

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The ‘number labels’ & 70’s GLC connection is further cemented by this recent Bob Dylan ‘combo’ discovery that I did not find documented on bobsboots.com:

Dylan JBSB Stealin

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To summarize, the starting point was releases made by Vicki Vinyl on her Dragonfly/Duck Hits! label, including reissues.

This blog post traces similarities in the insert design between the two releases mentioned in the title and the rare Bob Dylan double set shown and the question: When was that Dylan double released? 1974 or 1977?

The font shared with the other bootlegs points to 1974 but the fact that it is only found with the early GLC (or Dragonfly) labels points to 1977. Perhaps there was a reissue of the Dylan title after all?

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font 2013

The font alive and kicking on Robert Plant’s 2014 tour poster, seen in December 2013.

This LP is listed in Hot Wacks as “Chapter IV  CBM 681”. The only images I could find show an LP actually called Chapter 4-Live and not looking like a Contraband product at all:

Stevens Cat Chapter 4 Live

Stevens Cat Chapter 4 Live 2

Stevens Cat Chapter 4 L b

SIDE 1
     
    MOONSHADOW
    WHERE DO THE CHILDREN PLAY
    WILD WORLD
    HOW CAN I TELL YOU
    ON THE ROAD TO FIND OUT
    MILES FROM NOWHERE

SIDE 2
     
    LISA LISA
    LONGER BOATS
    PEACE TRAIN
    HARD HEADED WOMAN
    FATHER AND SON
    CHANGES

Rated “Exm”

Stevens Cat Catnip 2 cv

Only eight Contraband titles were ever pressed on colored PVC: Hendrix, Clapton, Mayall & Bruce, Ticketron (Jethro Tull), British Blue Jam (John Lennon/The Rolling Stones), Seventy Dollar Robbery (Dylan), Young Man’s Fancy (Neil Young), Plynth (Rod Stewart & The Faces), Staesboro Blues (Allman Brothers) and this Cat Stevens release shown here. These were probably pressed around 1972 / 1973. CATNIP exists in blue and much scarcer red and purple vinyl colors.

 

Stevens Cat Catnip CBM

Stevens Cat Catnip 6

Steven Cat CATNIP red

Steven Cat CATNIP lbl

Stevens Cat CATNIP lbl b

Side 1 Moonshadow/ On The Road To Find Out/ Where Do The Children Play/ Longer Boats (w. extra verse)/ Maybe You’re Right/ Miles From Nowhere (Side 1: 22:18)
Side 2: Peace Train/ Hard Headed Woman/ Father And Son/ Sad Lisa/ Changes IV/ Into White (Side 2: 21:20)

Quality rating: HW gave it a “Vgs”; one track is online and sounds “Exm” in my personal rating.

HW says “Live in Boston”, the internet attributes this as “Chicago 1972”, with nothing on the recording to base the city claim on it. There are no songs on here from Catch Bull At Four, the album he released in September of 1972 (some of the 1972 shows include “Can’t Keep It In” and “Sweet Scarlet” or “Ruins”). UPDATE: Now confirmed as having been taped at one of the two shows Cat gave at the Village Gaslight Cafe in Manhattan on either 30 November or 1st of December 1970.

Full set list:

Moonshadow
    On The Road To Find Out
    Wild World
    Longer Boats
    Maybe You’re Right
    Sad Lisa
    Miles From Nowhere
    Hard Headed Woman
    Peace Train
    Father And Son
    Charges IV

Compare set lists here: http://www.majicat.com/programs/Cat%20Tours.htm

 

Comment from the net:

I came by this tape by way of a trade with a Norwegian bootlegger a decade ago.

Quality is standard audience recording, cheap machine secreted in greatcoat. In spite of this, a great moment in time recorded for posterity. Whoever recorded it probably just wanted a souvenir of the show but it sounds as good as the vinyl boots around. The gig was from Cat’s second U.S. tour. The Gaslight was full to its 300 or so capacity. Nice intimate atmosphere!

The tape starts with some setting up of guitar mikes by the crew, you can imagine a few burly guys plugging leads in with plenty of bum cleavage showing! The audience are evident by their chatting, coughing and clinking glasses.

The punters respectfully hush for a perfect opening rendition of Moonshadow. Falsetto ending, decent applause.

Alun and Cat tune up and then into On The Road To Find Out. Powerfully sung over just the two guitars and Alun chipping in with vocals. A great sound and the crowd are appreciative.

Cat introduces Where Do The Children Play by saying he wrote the song about two years ago and dedicated it to kids. Larry Steele provides electric bass on this one and Cat and Alun parry acoustically. The version doesn’t deviate greatly from the studio version although there’s no percussion.

“Now my first hit over here” Cat purrs in an American accent to introduce Wild World to a few chuckles. The song is well received.

Again they tune up and Cat calls for Alun’s bass to be turned down. “A song about spaceships, y’know what I mean?” Cat has difficulty getting his old star studded Gibson in tune and says “wouldn’t it be great if you could just press a button and it would be in tune…guitars are only human anyway.” Assuming it’s his Gibson as he says it’s old fashioned – The Everly Brothers used the same model. A lovely guitar intro to Longer Boats and then my tape chews up slightly, a flaw on the original tape. A shame as the best song so far in my opinion. Cat sounding confident and great choppy timing. The extra verse adds a new dimension to the vague lyrics of the song. Perfection!

Cat takes to the piano for a few songs:

Maybe You’re Right – just Cat with Alun strumming, the piano and Cat’s voice carry the bluesy melody just right. The melancholy feel continues with Sad Lisa, sounding sparse without the violin. Miles From Nowhere completes the keyboards set, again very blues based and powerful.

Cat introduces Hard Headed Woman, you can tell they’re all having a good time.

Some tuning up then Peace Train chugs along with the audience clapping mostly in time. Cat and Alun harmonise exquisitely.

Straight into Father And Son, again it’s close to the album version. Cat’s voice descants between the split personality of dad and headstrong son. Alun’s contribution on guitar and vocals is superb – his sweet voice complementing Steve’s harsher tones.

There’s lots of audience chat as the trio take a breather.

Then Changes IV rocks with more crowd participation! It’s flamboyant and optimistic and you’re left wanting more as the tape shuts down. Sadly you’re cheated, there’s no encore preserved. At least someone had the good sense to record the show albeit crudely.

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Cat-Stevens-1970-Troubadour-Concert-Poster-Type-Ad

The only memento from his 1970 tour I was able to find is this L.A. newspaper ad.

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For other/earlier versions of this very popular bootleg click on this link.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stevens Cat Hoaxer 3

A1     Morning Has Broken     3:15
A2     18th Avenue (Kansas City Nightmare)     4:16
A3     On The Road To Findout     3:45
A4     Wildworld     3:10
A5     Moondshadow (Including The Teaser Tape)     5:01
A6     Keeper Of The Leaves     3:43
A7     I’ve Had It Enough (Oh No)     3:25
B1     The Boy With The Moon And Star On His Head     5:50
B2     The Hurt     3:26
B3     The Foreigner Suite     16:58

Source: September 11, 1973 – ABC In Concert, filmed at the Aquarius Theatre – Hollywood, CA. It was broadcast on 9 November 1973, which is important, as I use this bootleg to place the start of the TAKRL label into the last months of 1973 or early 1974.
Stevens MaS
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