WCF releases

Procol Harum The Elusive

Procol Harum The Elusive 718

Procol Harum The Elusive det


USA: 1971/2

Pressed in larger quantities than the preceding three titles in WCF’s 700 series.

Source:  WPLJ-FM radio broadcast from the A&R Studios in New York, 12 April 1971 during their North American tour. The date confirms my placing of the 700 series in the months between mid-1971 to early 1972.

Unfortunately, this pressing did not come out well, only earning a “Gm” rating in HOTWACKS “with the exception of ‘Fare Thee Well’, which is very poor.”.  HOTWACKS continues that this is also available on CBM 718 “from original plates”. I have never seen the CBM copy and without having compared the matrices, I would not make this claim and suggestion that there was a relationship between the two labels (other than CBM copying several of WCF’s titles, as we have seen so far).  Previously, we saw another case of identical matrix numbers for their respective copies of Led Zeppelin’s Blueberry Hill.

The correct track list is:

1 Memorial Drive
2 Still There’ll be more
3 Nothing that I didn’t know
4 Simple Sister
5 Luskus Delph
6 Shine On Brightly
7 Whaling Stories
8 Broken Barricades
9 Juicy John Pink
10 A Salty Dog
11 Whisky Train
12 Power Failure

Gary Brooker (voice & piano)
Chris Copping (Hammond organ, bass)
Robin Trower (guitar, bass)
BJ Wilson (drums)


TMOQ later released a significant quality upgrade of the first 10 tracks with the matrix # 1844 A/B. The four digit TMOQ titles are seen as Ken’s part of the output following his ouster from TMOQ by Dub and his father.

Procol Harum Shine On Live



Rolling Stones Stoned Again GT lbl 2

Usually found with a b&w or purple&w insert and with “Good Time”, orange title or blank white labels.

Rolling Stones Stoned Again 3



Update: I have since received a comment that calls into question that the orange label version is a real WCF release.

USA: 1971


Around April of 1970, someone created this pirate compilation, as dbboots reports with unusual accuracy, and this seems to be the original version.


STONED” with the matrix HL-A/B, produced in the Chicago area.

Rolling Stones STONED HL-A 2



Label design copied by WCF, as seen in the second image. The differences in pressing are also clearly visible in this side by side presentation.

The label designer was trying hard to fool those not hip to the Stones while still very much recognizable by their fans and bootleg buyers.

Someone compiled this album using: Their first 45 DECCA F 11675 “Come On / I Want To be Loved” (“Come On” was not listed on WCF’s insert); the B-side of “Paint It Black”, “Long Long While” from 1966; took the version of “Poison Ivy” that was unique to a Saturday Club V.A. UK release (LK 4583); copied another 45: Decca F 11764 / London 45-9641 “I Wanna Be Your Man / Stoned”; grabbed two tracks off of the British EP Decca DFE 8560, “Bye Bye Johnny” & “You Better Move On”. 

Side 2 starts off with their raw take of Barett Strong’s “Money” as recorded on 14 November 1963 at De Lane Lea studios in London from their The Rolling Stones EP (DFE 8560); “I Can’t Be Satisfied” (I could not confirm if this is the same take/from the same recording session as the Rolling Stones No. 2 album) and finally what appears to be four Got Live If You Want It EP tracks: “Everybody Needs Somebody To Love”, “Pain In My Heart”, “I’m Moving On” and “I’m Alright”.  Unlike claimed by HOTWACKS, there were no outtakes on this release.

Rolling Stones gLiywi EP


While researching the origins of this pirate release I cam across this version and thought it might be a ‘lost’ pre-TMOQ release due to a. the sticker similarity with their February 1970 release Donovan – A Gift From the Underground To a Flower – Moonshine Superman sticker version and b. the very TMOQ-like matrix of RS 121 A/B.

Riolling Stones Stoned Again RS 121

I’ve since been informed that this version likely from the UK as the same type of sticker can be found on UK versions of LiveR Than You’LL Ever Be , Dylan’s Great White Wonder & Isle Of Wight

Dylan IoW UK sticker

and The Beatles – Kum Back:

Beatles Kum Back UK sti


Later versions of STONED AGAIN include:

STONED AGIN! BY THE ROCKERS  – with a Robert Crumb cartoon cover and two different matrix markings: VAT-1110-A/B (blue insert- white labels) or RS-121/2 (green color insert):

Rolling Stones Stoned Agin!


and a version released in Japan that copied the WCF insert:

Rolling Stones Stoned Again Japan RV 5004

Rolling Stones Stoned Again Japan RV 5004 lbl

“Blimp Records”and “EV 5004” being nods towards TMOQ’s Led Zeppelin – Live On Blueberry Hill release.

Led Zep BH lbl detail

Also available with what looks like a deluxe cover copied from THE ROLLING STONES UK EP, DFE 8560 or may just be a home made owner job:

Rolling Stones SA Japan del cvr



Donova Live at Reedy River Junct

I have only found it with these ‘avocado-colored’ labels; another very limited WCF pressing.

USA: ca. 1971

Source: US TV broadcasts (Smothers Brothers 1968 and ’69) and as claimed by HOTWACKS, supposedly cuts from a Canadian concert. This is not backed by any information found on either WCF’s or TMOQ’s insert (created for their reissue), shown here, in fact it is contradicted:

Donovan Reedy River ins det


Originally only the fifth release by Ken & Dub, pre-TMOQ when they made up a new label name for each release (here: Seagull Records).

Likely the first ever bootleg on colored vinyl (colors: Green, red & gold), released ca. February 1970:

Donovan RR green

Donovan Reedy River 2nd sticker

Donovan Reedy River 1st sticker

Donovan Reedy River 2nd sticker 2

The early days of bootlegging and its copyright disclaimers. Contraband would a couple of years later try a different route and use stickers stating: “Notice of intent to use and all applicable royalties have been paid by CBM Music Norfolk, Va.” (found on British Blue Jam) or a variation found on  their copy of the Beatles – Get Back To Toronto

CBM copyright

plus their stamp used on the Beatles – Don’t Pass Me By:

Beatles DPMB stamp


Another version came with a different title and sticker:



This was later reissued as a branded TMOQ product # 71004 with an insert, stamped title and stickers.



Based on the extra info I received yesterday – many thanks for that – here’s part two to round out the list.

While Catnip on blue PVC is not that hard to find and the other blue ones appear occasionally, the red ones seem to be much rarer and I have never seen a purple CBM record nor was I able to find one on discogs or popsike. All have in common that the pressings are on the thin side.

First up:


Hendrix Clapton Baker red lbl

“Microgroove”, a term CBM liked to put on their labels around this time, as these 1972/3 releases show:

Shown above are # 3316 (Beatles – Don’t Pass Me By), # 3426 (John Lennon/Rolling Stones – British Blue Jam), # 3552 (Beatles – Live Concert Atlanta) and from 1973 # BD 1011 (Bob Dylan – Seventy Dollar Robbery)

Also exists in yellow, if you have an image of this, please leave a comment.

Hendrix Clapton Baker red d

Hendrix Clapton Baker red 2

This is a pirate album containing the following tracks:

A1 –The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Stars That Play With Laughing Sam’s Dice
A2 –The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Highway Chile
A3 –The Graham Bond Organization – Hear Me Calling Your Name
A4 –The Graham Bond Organization – Camels And Elephants
B1 –John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers – No Reply
B2 –John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – I’m A Stranger
B3 –John Mayall – Sonny Boy Blow
B4 –John Mayall – Don’t Kick Me
B5 –John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers – Stand Back Baby

Easily identifiable by the stamp:

Hendrix Clapton Baker May

but usually only identified as a CBM title in its reissued forms years later, known as CBM 4 with matrix  markings XCQ-4A / B:

Hendrix Clapton Mayall Bruce 2

The red cardboard version is WCF’s first issue of this title with its distinct WCF-style labels (for a change also using the term “Microgroove”, which makes me think the red PVC copy shown first was also the original issue):

Hendrix Clapton Baker May red

Matrix list: XCQ-4 – MB-1 – MB-2 / 707, 707 A /B and XCQ-4-B 707

Reissued ca. 1973 in WCF’s typical folder-style cover with blank white labels and a 707 A/B matrix:

Hendrix C M B B RE

Hendrix C M B B RE. inner

Hendrix C M B B RE. b


Second: radiocord / elton john

John E radiocord disc

John E radiocord blu ss

John E radiocord b

The blank back above. Also exists on black PVC:

This did not really look like a CBM release to me when I first came across it but their version with the pirate logo on the insert has the same matrix number (35-4000 A/B).

John E radiocord


allman brothers / duane allman – statesboro blues (# 3910, released 1973)

Allman D statesboro blues red

Also exists in purple.


Finally, the missing colors for these two titles:

  • Cat Stevens – Catnip  (# 3275, rel. 1972) – > on red vinyl
  • Jethro Tull – ticketron (# 3436, rel. 1972) – > on red and purple vinyl


If you have images of any of these, please leave a comment, thanks.




USA: 1971/2 – another rarer WCF title together with JJ-713 and DD-715.

Source: Fillmore East, NY, NY – based on the set list from one of the concerts in March 1969; they played there March 21 + 22 (someone on YouTube claims on the 24th as well and that the concert was reviewed in the paper). The recording does not get high marks in the quality department but then again HOTWACKS had only heard the copy (see below).

MARCH 21 OR 22,1969

3 – 99-1/2
8 – LODI

The HOTWACKS listing is not for the WCF original but the Japanese copy on the OG label (KRV-568). Apparently, this must have been the first Western bootleg to get copied in Japan as the copy dates from around 1973.

CCR Fillmore East OG


An eBay seller claims that the WCF original was the first ever CCR underground release. That could be the case but final certainty could only be achieved by knowing in which month it and close contender Revived on Dittolini Discs were released. That album contains a recording from the last night at the Fillmore West – July 4th, 1971 – and was released anytime after August of that year.

CCR Revived


HOTWACKS tells us that the Dittolini title was also available as LIVE IN CONCERT on 5D Records. This is another rare title and the only image that exists on the internet is this one (if you have a better one, please leave a comment):

CCR LiConcert 5D

5D logo

Now, I always assumed that due to two TMOQ titles bearing the 5D logo – 71035 Buffalo Springfields – Bluebird Roots and 71036 Cat Stevens – Concert  from around January 1972, that 5D was a TMOQ sub label, just like Mammary Productions, for example (coincidentally, two  of the three TMOQ/Mammary titles immediately followed the 5D ones: 71037 Grateful Dead –   Live In Concert and 71038 Jefferson Airplane – Winterland 1970 / Tapes From the Mothership).

No 5D original seems to exist for the Cat Stevens title though, leading to the assumption that Dub just continued using that logo for one more of his own releases, at least for the first pressing. Shown below is a guaranteed TMOQ pressing.

Stevens Cat 5D gree det

However, 5D seems to have been a different label that released the Buffalo Springfield title first and TMOQ then copied it, right down to the logo (shown first is the label of the 5D original, then a TMOQ copy on red vinyl).

Buffalo Springfield Bluebird Roots 5D lbl

Buffalo Springfield Roots red.jpg

Now back to the CCR title LIVE IN CONCERT with the 5D logo:

Is this another original 5D release? Was it released around 1972 as well or later (the insert style seems to indicate it was later)?

I now believe it is not a “lost TMOQ title”, as my original thinking (“all 5D titles are TMOQ titles”) would have led me to assume.


If you now more and/or have other titles with a 5D logo, please leave a comment.

Joplin J Wicked Woman 3

Joplin J Wicked Woman lbl 1

Joplin J Wicked Woman lbl 2

Usually found with a green insert and only with olive green labels.

Joplin J Wicked Woman detail

Actual set list:

Tell Mama
Half Moon
Mercedes Benz
My Baby
Untitled Instrumental (Full Tilt?)

Joplin J Wicked Woman

Comment from the bootlegzone entry: “Judging by the reference number (713) and the titles, this LP was probably released in 1971, at least before the release of Pearl, since the tracks that were on that posthumous release have been given quite wildly guessed names here.”

Regarding equating the number with the release year, the method was incorrect but the conclusion was right. Now, PEARL was released January 11th, 1971 and that would contradict the previous statement, as without a doubt this was not released in the first 10 days of 1971. The real reason is, as always, that bootleggers were rarely fans of every single artist and recording they put out and so busy bootlegging they tended not to spend much time on research, even that as simple as checking song titles on an aquaintaince’ copy of the official album.

USA: 1971/2

This should have been WCF’s biggest coup but it seems they themselves didn’t even know what they had here – a partial recording of Janis’s last ever live performance at Harvard Stadium, Boston, MA on August 12th, 1970 as part of the Schaefer Music Festival that year.

Unfortunately, the audio quality – never rated in my copies of HOTWACKS – is rough. Was that the reason that this was never copied, not even by CBM? At least I have never come across a copy of this. Another reason was a likely limited pressing run and no reissue by WCF themselves.



The City of Boston’s “Summer thing” arts festival and the Shaeffer Brewing Company are jointly sponsoring a series of 18 concerts at the Stadium. Those appearing in concert include. The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, and the Supremes.
Though there have been occasional concerts in Harvard Stadium in past years, this is the first summer the University has lent the stadium for a full-fledged concert series.
While all went smoothly at the first concert last Monday, after Wednesday’s concert, some members of the crowd rushed into Harvard Square, snatching purses, and roughing up passers-by.
Wednesday’s post-concert action has stirred some criticism of the concerts among City officials. Those sponsoring the concerts had agreed to provide their own security; no police were stationed in the stadium during the concert.
Cambridge Police Chief James F. Regan and officials of “Summerthing” are now conferring to determine what stops should be taken to prevent a recurrence of Wednesday’s incidents. The Cambridge City Council may also take up the issue at its meeting tonight.
The Shaeffer Co. is underwriting the concerts to the amount of $360.000, “Summerthing”- established by the City of Boston two years ago to “cool off” the City during the summer- will receive a share of the proceeds. The share will probably be in excess of $30.000.
Though Harvard Stadium seats more than 35.000, tickets for the concerts are restricted to 10.000 seats, to allow all present a better sound. All tickets cost $2. The schedule of the remaining concerts is as follows:
June 29 – B. B. King. Butterfield Blues Band; James Cotton Blues Band.
July 01 – Ten Years After- Matt The Hoople.
July 06 – The Four Seasons.
July 08 – Miles Davis Buddy Miles, Big Band; Seatrain.
July 13 – The Grateful Dead. John Hammond.
July 15 – Ike and Tina Turner, Voices of East Harlem.
July 20 – John Sebastian. Delaney and Bonnie and Friends, Manhattan Transfer.
July 22 – Van Morrison, Great Speckled Bird with lan and Sylvia, Tom Paxton.
July 27 – Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Ramsey Lewis, Carla Thomas, Lean Thomas. Percy Mayfield.
July 29 – Jose Feliciano.
August 3 – The Johnny Mathis Show.
August 10 – The Supremes.
August 12 – Janis Joplin.
August 17 – Tom Rush, Melanie.

Joplin J Schaefer M F

Hendrix LatForum blu

Thanks to a trove of images I received from frequent forum contributor Karl, I can show the different font and label styles used by WCF in previously unseen detail, as well as three excellent quality slip sheet variations for this Hendrix title.



Hendrix LatForum purp



Hendrix LatForum red




USA: 1971

Matrix for all WCF versions:  LPR 28 A  /  LPR 28 B  /  LPR 29 A  /  LPR 29 B

Variations include the letters ‘tvc’ in a triangle and “SIDE 2” on sides 28 A / B and “SIDE 1” on 29 A / B

Source: A copy of this Rubber Dubber bootleg:

Hendrix J EEnjoy

Hendrix Enjoy b


2nd & 3rd pressing:

“- The front cover of these two albums are slightly different; One has a circular logo stamp in the lower right corner, while the other has a stamp that says “Yours truly, Rubber Dubber”. ( )

Above: Stamp from the back of the album. This version came with four light-blue labels, same font as shown below.


Matrix: 70-001-01 A  /  70-001-04 D  /  70-001-02 B  /  70-001-03 C 

Source: First date on Hendrix’ Cry Of Love tour, April 25th, 1970, as correctly stated on the WCF inserts. Eventually, four different audience recordings would surface from this date but in the 1970’s and among those pressed on vinyl all originated from the Rubber Dubber source, known as the “near” source with a 1 minute long cut in the middle of “Ezy Rider”.

discogs dot come lists no less than 23 different vinyl versions for this, so this was a very popular title in the 1970’s with many different bootleggers copying it. “The sonic quality here is not very impressive, but the performance is great” (Allmusic review).  The WCF version represents this recording in HOTWACKS and only achieves a very low “Poor to Gm” rating, owing some of it to it being a copy and a lot to the limitations of the Rubber Dubber source tape. The bass is inaudible and the drums are very low in the mix.

“This show has widely been regarded as one of The Experience’s top shows, but due to quality concerns it has never been released in official terms. (Jimi


Copies – an attempt at making sense of some of the copies found based on their most obvious differences: 

  1. (and 2.) TMOQ (+ WCF as shown above):

The record wiki on TMOQ states that they released their copy of the Rubber Dubber album around June of 1971 – ALIVE # 71003, shown here in a pre-sticker version. The colored pig stickers were introduced that year.

Matrix: JH-1 70-413  /  JH-2 70-414  /  JH-3 70-415  /  JH-4 70-416

I wish I could pinpoint in which month WCF released theirs but so far that is just not possible. My feeling tells me that if the date is correct for 72003, then it was likely TMOQ.


3. The rare Dittolino Discs version, also ca. 1971:

Hendrix LatLAForum

Matrix: JH 1-4 70413/4/5/6 F

Hendrix LatLAForum 2 bl


4. The by now obligatory CBM copy of WCF’s copy:


Live at The Forum – Los Angeles April 25, 1970 (Contraband [Munia] LPR 28/29 / – / 2LP) (LP1: Red labels / LP2: Black labels) ftbfs: B044c
(Los Angeles Forum, Los Angeles, CA 25.04.70 [Almost Complete*; 1st Source (Near source)])

– Matrix: Record 1: Side 1: LPR-28-A and SIDE 2 b/w Side 2: LPR-28-B and SIDE 2 / Record 2: Side 3: LPR-29-A and SIDE 1 b/w Side 4: LPR-29-B and SIDE 2.
– Generally the same front covers as used for Munia 1622, but with the bottom part of the picture cut and replaced with the tracklist. Loose inserts. The first has brown print, while the second is slightly different, with purple print, in poorer quality (seems to be a Xerox copy of the first), and also has a small drawing of a vinyl LP in the bottom right corner.” ( )

Year: 1972


5.  Abstract Records / M1622 Matrix copies


Matrix: Record 1: Side 1: M-1622-A and S-2325-A b/w Side 4: M-1622 D and S-2332 8 / Record 2: Side 2: M-1622-B and S-2326 b/w Side 3: M-1622-C and S-2327


6. WCF insert design without a track list & MUNIA Records “Re-Channeled For Super-Stereo” versions:

I have so far only found this insert with ‘Dragon’ labels:


Hendrix LA Forum Munia

I have combined them here since both versions seem to have the same LPR 28 A  /  LPR 28 B  /  LPR 29 A  /  LPR 29 B matrices.


Versions re-titled ‘Scuse Me While I kiss The Sky‘:

7. Fake Rubber Dubber and HEN Records version:

Label version one:


And two:


Matrix:  9002-1 S-2334  /  9002-4 S-2337  /  9002-2 S-2335  /  9002-3 S-2336

It is probably safe to say that Rubber Dubber – by this time out of business – had nothing to do with this release. The matrix endings point to a reissue of the Abstract Records / M1622 version.


8. The Mushroom Records, K&S and Ruthless Rhymes, POD label and BOX TOP reissues, ca. 1975-early ’80’s, re-pressed from the TMOQ plates of 72003 ALIVE:



Hendrix LATLAF K&S 013 det


Hendrix LA Forum K&S 13 discs

Hendrix LATLAF K&S 013

 POD lbl 2

Ken’s POD label reissue on black vinyl not shown but existence is confirmed. Below, the BOX TOP reissue from the early 1980’s:

Hendrix Alive


8. Miscellaneous 12″ Reissues

Hendrix LATLAForum bl lbl

I have a feeling the matrix of this black label reissue is one already listed in this post.



9. Live In LA April 1970 7″ 2 x EP, made in the UK

Hendrix LiLAApril 1970 4b

Hendrix Live L.A. Forum April 1970

Hendrix LiLAApril 1970


As always, if you have further information, please leave a comment.


“The “far” source is exactly that, but sounds less so in the merge. The near source is lifted from the Rubber Dubber bootleg of the show…somehow the two compliment each other. Hats off to the original fan who merged these!” What you hear in the YT clip below is a combination of both sources and sounds better than any of the vinyl bootlegs.



Hendrix LA Forum '70

Los Angeles Times (27 April) ‘Jimi Hendrix at the Forum’ – review by Robert Hilburn:

“In his first major Los Angeles appearance in more than a year, Jimi Hendrix showed a near capacity audience Saturday night at the Forum that he has lost none of his box office appeal and raw excitement. About a year ago Hendrix went into a period of inactivity. He talked about various regrouping plans, finally appearing with drummer Buddy Miles and bassist Billy Cox under the title ‘Band Of Gypsys’. But Miles was soon back as head of his own group. Thus Mitchell rejoined Hendrix for the current tour. Redding who was asked to do the tour had other commitments.
Opening Response
Wearing a multi-coloured head band and tight black leather pants, Hendrix drew an enormous opening response from the audience as he went through such early hits as “Foxy Lady.” The newer material generated less enthusiasm. As always, Hendrix was more a personality than a musician. Though his voice and lyrics have few distinguishing characteristics, he generates a charge of electricity that virtually ignites the huge arena. Hendrix is a powerhouse of sex and sound. Hendrix does with his guitar what Joe Cocker does with his voice: reaches new levels of communication and emotion, levels far beyond that which most guitarists and vocalists once felt were possible. On Saturday, he seemed freer of gimmicks, more serious of purpose generally, than last spring at the Devonshire Downs Pop Festival in Northridge. Because of this, perhaps, the audience Saturday was less enthusiastic at times than at Devonshire Downs. But his bombing raid version of the ‘Star Spangled Banner’ (as featured in the ‘Woodstock’ movie) and ‘Purple Haze’ brought the audience to its feet for an ovation that lasted several minutes.”

Entertainment World (08 May), ‘The Jimi Hendrix Experience’ review by Jim Bickhart:

“Jimi Hendrix returned to L.A. and a raucous full house last week, but Hendrix, charismatic second-stage demigod of the Cream Generation, who was surprisingly enthusiastic on stage, did not have the audience wrapped constantly around his little finger pick.
The Hendrix Experience, presently a mixture of the original group and last winter’s short-lived Band of Gypsys, is an unbalanced power trio with Jimi a top-heavy leader. Bassist Billy Cox (from the Gypsys) and drummer Mitch Mitchell were next to inaudible behind the – guitarist’s deafening amplification. They did not fill the huge musical gaps left by Hendrix’s noisy, undisciplined guitar style. While the crowd was most enthusiastic for the material from the group’s old albums, it was these songs which made this concert deadly dull. Jimi’s attempt to update too-familiar guitar solos became pure cacophony, and Cox was half asleep as he played bass runs first created by Noel Redding.
New material was a lone bright spot, with Hendrix apparently trying to inject some music into his ‘music.’ ‘Message of Love,’ ‘Easy Rider [sic] ‘, and ‘May I Come Along [sic, Hey Baby} all featured guitar breaks that bordered on being tasteful. The audience seemed bored by them though, waking up for a familiar medley of the national anthem and ‘Purple Haze.’
With Hendrix were the Buddy Miles Express, who played a very good but short set of soul and blues numbers, with leader Miles doubling on vocals and drums, and Ballin Jack, from Washington, playing mediocre Family Stone-like music but eliciting good crowd response.”


Above: The inner panels of the Tarantura CD release

Disc (09 May) ‘U.S. Fans are better rehearsed than groups!’ review by Judy Sims:

“I survived the Jimi Hendrix concert. I was lucky – just a few bruises and a small cut on my left hand, plus an hour’s worth of tremblies in the legs. I’m beginning to wonder about the whole concert jive trip, where thousands of young people, most of them sane, pay a great deal of money to watch a performer be mobbed by the lunatic fringe. Sure, it’s healthy spontaneous emotion, the fans love Jimi and Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton and Ian Anderson. The fans love them to death, almost. Concerts in this country (and, I suspect, elsewhere) are rehearsals for riots, mini-bloodbaths disguised as good times. I’m sick of all those writhing, shouting masses of people who won’t stay in their seats, who don’t care if the rest of the audience can see, who only want to satisfy their own personal ego urges by getting near the stage and the so called ‘magic’ of the performer. Ian Anderson told a reporter here that American audiences are better rehearsed than the groups, and it’s true; a certain segment of each crowd knows just when and how to elude the guards or ushers, knows exactly the shouts and whistles and hand waving required (and when) and has an uncanny awareness of the performer’s attitude and the ushers’ impotence – or strength. At the huge Forum last Saturday, about 20,000 people crammed in to see Jimi Hendrix in his first appearance here in almost a year. He was preceded by Buddy Miles and his new group, a jive act if ever there was one (and there was) and a new group called Ballin’ Jack. The ‘swinging groovies,’ the spaced-out worshippers, leaped from their seats for Buddy, but they weren’t inspired to rush the stage. Yet. For one thing, the ushers were efficiently keeping the aisles clear and the front of the stage area vacant; for another thing, the crowd wasn’t going to waste its energies for Buddy, they wanted Jimi. For a while I thought Jimi was going to thwart them. He was relaxed, cool as ever, and did an almost casual set. He teased us with a few erotic movements during ‘Foxy Lady,’ but after that he just stood there and played that guitar – mostly new songs from his Band of Gypsys album. I was in the second row, directly in front of him, the best concert seat I’ve ever had. Also the worst.., at the end of the set Jimi broke into our National Anthem and ordered us to stand up, stand up, which we did. The aisles filled, but still the space down front remained miraculously clear. Kids started leaping over the seats so they could stand on chairs in the first two or three rows, and people from the aisles crowded into the rows. The ushers massed in front of the stage. Then Jimi went right into ‘Purple Haze’ and all hell broke loose. It was as if that song were the pre-arranged signal. The aisles spilled forward, and in less than one minute the entire area was solid humanity – waving, shouting people, some sitting on their friends’ necks, some perched precariously on the backs of seats. I was jostled but unharmed. I couldn’t see. As ‘Purple Haze’ ended and the closing number, ‘Voodoo Child,’ began, there was an incomprehensible (and terrifying) backward thrust. Everyone up front was somehow invisibly thrown back with sledge-hammer force. Chairs went over, people went down. Like a fool, I’d been standing on my chair trying to see Jimi through the crowd, so I we over the back of the chair and stayed there, suspended like a trapeze artist.
I like Jimi Hendrix; I think he’s of very few real innovators and a most incredible performer. But it’ll be an icy day in hell before I’ll see him at the Forum again. I’m afraid of his audience.”