Emerson, Lake & Palmer – Pictures At An Exhibition (VHS rip) (1970/1986)

FrontCover1.jpgELP is one of my favorite bands right up there with Zep, Floyd and Alice. Theirs is a unique sound and a singular vision. That vision is brought to light exquisitely by this DVD. It is a treat to see the young trio playing their instruments and such, but after a while them just standing and playing would start to get old (especially after repeated viewings). I mean, you can watch Keith Emerson’s hands all day long, but that isn’t going to mean you can play like him.
There are some groovy psychedelic effects in the middle part of the show that both both enhance the viewing experience and illustrate what ELP is all about. The swirls turn into comic-book images (not cartoons). These are Marvel comics characters from the 60’s by Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko– two artistic visionaries that were doing with pen and ink what ELP did with sound. The visuals are thus a perfect match! Dr. Strange and the Fantastic Four in particular are well suited to ELPs music.
Some people may be annoyed that they can’t see the band clearly the whole time, but there is plenty of unadulterated footage of the band doing its thing. By the time the visuals start you ought to be in the proper state of mind to enjoy them them anyway. They wash over you just like the music does. (by Psychedelic Cowboy)

There are some unfortunate things about this video. The special effects are annoying to the point of being nauseating. The overly “creative” post production crew really got carried away with the psychedelic tint & color saturation effects.
Yes, the performance is over the top. But so is about every live rock performance from that era. Just look at the recently released Zeppelin DVD. But hey, the era was what it was. I’m just glad that some of these bands were captured live while they still had some fire in their bellies. (by M. A Maupin)

Without any doubts: “Pictures At An Exhibition” ist one of the finest classical adaptions by a rock group ever recorded.

Recorded live at the Lyceum Theatre, London,  9 December 1970

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Personnel:
Keith Emerson (organ, synthesizer)
Greg Lake (bass, vocals, guitar)
Carl Palmer (drums)

Directed by Lindsey Clennell

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Tracklist:
01. Promenade (Mussorgsky)
02. Gnome (Mussorgsky)
03. Promenade (Lake/Mussorgsky)
04. The Sage (Lake)
05. The Old Castle (Mussorgsky)
06. Blues Variation (Emserson/Lake/Palmer)
07. Promenade (Mussorgsky)
08. The Hut Of Baba Yaga (Mussorgsky)
09. The Curse Of Baba Yaga (Emserson/Lake/Palmer)
10. The Hut Of Baba Yaga (Mussorgsky)
11. The Great Gates Of Kiev (Lake/Mussorgsky)

Total time: 40.37

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Keith Emerson:
02 November 1944 – 11 March 2016

Greg Lake:
10 November 1947 – 07 December 2016

 

 

 

Alvin Lee – Rockspective (VHSrip) (1993)

FrontCover1.jpgRockspective … is a very rare Video, featuring unreleased TYA/Alvin Lee Clips and an in-depth interview with Alvin Lee by John Platt (JP):

JP: Alvin, anybody who has listened to any of your music for the last twenty five years or so would know that your roots are firmly in the blues, but how did a young boy growing up in late 1950’s England get to hear the blues?

AL: My father used to collect blues, he was an avid fan of chain/prison work songs, chain-gang songs, that kind of thing and I grew up with that, it was always playing around the house. He was a fanatic, he used to listen to Big Bill Broonzy and Lonnie Johnson, more the delta blues and the Mississippi blues rather than the city blues and he had a very ethnic collection of stuff which is as I say, it just must of, sort of got into my brain at a very early age, and one day I remember very vividly I was twelve years old and he went to see Big Bill Broonzy playing in Nottingham in a club where I lived and he brought him back to the house and they went and woke me up so I could see this guy and I remember sitting on the floor looking up at this giant man stomping away playing the blues and I think that was probably what started it all off, like the next day I decided to become a blues player.

JP: Were your first influences the country blues players that your father liked?

AL: Yeah, they were I suppose, it was a mixed thing, I had previously to that I had played the clarinet for a year and I didn’t like it, it was one of those things where they said we want you to play an instrument what do you want to play and I don’t know why I said the clarinet but I played the clarinet and then through listening to Benny Goodman I heard Charlie Christian and I decided I liked what Charlie was doing much more than what Benny Goodman was doing, so I definately had a feeling for the guitar. It’s difficult to say, all those years ago but the guitar to me, I think it’s the Big Bill Broonzy thing that really clinched it, I just went and swapped my clarinet for a guitar in fact … (I include the complete interview in the written version)

A rare and very intersting interview with one of the finest guitar Player from the British Blues Boom !

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Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Pack Up The Plantation Live ! (VHS rip) (1985)

FrontCover1In 1979 the Heartbreakers released their third album Damn the Torpedoes through MCA’s Backstreet label. The album rapidly went platinum. It included “Don’t Do Me Like That” (#10 U.S., the group’s first Top Ten single) and “Refugee” (#15 U.S.), their U.S. breakthrough singles.

Though he was already extremely successful, Petty ran into record company trouble again when he and the Heartbreakers prepared to release Hard Promises (1981), the follow-up album to Damn the Torpedoes. MCA wanted to release the record at the list price of $9.98, which was considered a high price for a record album at the time. This so-called “superstar pricing” was $1.00 more than the usual list price of $8.98. Petty voiced his objections to the price hike in the press, and the issue became a popular cause among music fans. Non-delivery of the album or naming it Eight Ninety-Eight were considered, but eventually MCA decided against the price increase. The album became a Top Ten hit, going platinum and spawning the hit single “The Waiting” (#19 U.S.). The album also included the duet “Insider”, with Stevie Nicks.

On their fifth album, Long After Dark (1982), bass player Ron Blair was replaced by Howie Epstein (formerly of Del Shannon’s backing band), giving the Heartbreakers their line-up until 1991. Long After Dark features the hits “You Got Lucky” (U.S. #20) and “Change of Heart” (U.S. #21), and was to feature a track called “Keeping Me Alive”, but producer Jimmy Iovine vetoed it from the album. Petty has expressed that he feels the album would have turned out better if the song had been included on the album.[citation needed]

On the next album, Southern Accents (1985), the Heartbreakers picked up where they had left off.[clarification needed] The recording was not without problems; Petty became frustrated during the mixing process and broke his left hand when punching a wall. The album includes the psychedelic-sounding hit single “Don’t Come Around Here No More” (#13 U.S.), which was produced by and co-written with Dave Stewart. The video for the single, which starred Stewart, featured Petty dressed as the Mad Hatter, mocking and chasing Alice from the book Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, then cutting and eating her as if she were a cake. This caused minor controversy after it was criticized by feminist groups,[citation needed] but the video did win an MTV Video Music Award.

A successful concert tour led to the live album Pack Up the Plantation: Live! (1985). (by wikipedia)

And here´s a official video from this tour. Watch and listen and you´ll know, why I think and feel, that Tom Petty was one of finest musicians …

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Personnel:
Mike Campbell (guitar, lap steel, slide guitar)
Howie Epstein (bass, mandolin, background vocals)
Stan Lynch (drums, vocals)
Tom Petty (vocals, guitar)
Benmont Tench (keyboards, vocals)
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Nick Lane (trombone, Euphonium
Lee Thornburg (trumpet, flugel horn)

Jimmy Zavala (saxophone, harmonica)
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The Rebeletts:
Caroll Sue Hill (background vocals, percussion)
Pat Peterson (background vocals, percussion)

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Tracklist:
01. American Girl (Petty)
02. You Got Lucky (Petty/Campbell)
03. It Ain’t Nothin’ To Me (Petty/Stewart)
04. Don’t Do Me Like That (Petty)
05. The Waiting (Petty)
06. I Need To Know (Petty)
07. Don’t Come Around Here No More (Petty/Stewart)
08. Spike (Petty)
09. Southern Accents (Petty)
10. Rebels (Petty)
11. Breakdown (Petty)
12. Refugee (Petty/Campbell)
13. Little Bit O’ Soul (Carter/Lewis)
14. So You Want To Be A Rock ‘n’ Roll Star (Hillman/McGuinn)
15. Make It Better (Forget About Me) (Petty/Stewart)
16. Route 66 (Troup)

Total time: 85 min
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Eric Clapton – The Eric Clapton Concert (Birmingham July 1986) (VHS rip) (1986)

Front+BackCover1Live 1986, also known as Eric Clapton & Friends Live 1986 or The Eric Clapton concert is a concert film released by the British rock musician Eric Clapton. It was originally released on VHS in 1987.  The concert was recorded at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham on 15 July 1986.

The early days as `Slowhand’ and the guitarist with the Yardbirds may seem a long way off but Eric Clapton’s love of the blues has never left him. Eric left the Yardbirds band as they became commercially acceptable to join John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. That led to the formation of the legendary Cream with bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. Following his time with Mayall, Eric began to change bands regularly spending time with Blind Faith, Delaney & Bonnie and Derek And The Dominoes. Eric Clapton has endured, growing with every new musical experience. He has stayed true to the blues and has become one of the greatest loved musicians in Britain and indeed the World. This DVD was filmed at the Birmingham NEC on July 15 1986, shortly after the completion, but before the release of, the August album. The concert was the last date of a short tour featuring the line up who had played on the recording sessions for August. Eric Clapton & Friends Live, 1986 provides a great look into Eric Clapton’s constant changing styles.

The set list includes four songs from the August album along with a combination of old and new (at the time) from Cream, Derek And The Dominoes and subsequent solo material. “Layla” is the full version that includes the beautiful Thorn Tree In The Garden second section. The show also features Phil Collins singing the inevitable “In The Air Tonight”, a song prompts Eric to quip, “Now’s your chance to hear that song again, the one you’ve all been waiting for…” The concert ends in a rousing rendition of Sunshine Of Your Love as the finale and there’s a rare and delightful moment at the beginning of the guitar solo where Eric loses his concentration much to the audience’s (and the video producer’s) amusement. The concert was edited for TV and represents an hour of musical history and delight.

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It’s a given that any Eric Clapton performance will be impressive, but Eric Clapton & Friends Live 1986 exceeds all expectations. “Slowhand” had been recording August with session regulars Greg Phillinganes (keyboards), Nathan East (bass), and album producer Phil Collins on drums, and the idea of live performance seemed eminently appealing. The final gig in that brief, spectacular tour–July 15, 1986, at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, England–was recorded for British television, and editing to one-hour length doesn’t stop it from being a full-on stunner. Perhaps at his finest in a small-band setting, Clapton appears loose, happy, and ready to rip into bluesy riffs and solos as if his trusty Fender Stratocasters were vital organs tapped into his bloodstream. While the reliable oldies “Crossroads,” “White Room,” “Layla” (including the rarely heard “Thorn Tree in the Garden” section), and “Sunshine of Your Love” will satisfy Cream and Yardbirds fans, the fresh cuts from August are equally dazzling, with the beautiful “Holy Mother” serving as the night’s pulse-calming ballad. Collins’ hit “In the Air Tonight” is clearly an obligatory inclusion (his solo debut was still high on the charts), but in terms of energy, precision, and audience appeal, it’s easily on par with the rest of the gig. Visuals are only adequate–the videotaped colors have faded a bit–but sonically this show’s a keeper, especially if you’re equipped to use the DTS option. And just to prove that nobody’s perfect, Clapton fudges a note on “Sunshine” and a word-balloon reading “Sorry!” appears above his head–all in the happy spirit of a rockin’ good evening. (byJeff Shannon)

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Personnel:
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)
Greg Phillinganes (keyboards, vocals)
Phil Collins (drums, vocals)
Nathan East (bass, background vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Crossroads (Johnson)
02. White Room (Bruce/Brown)
03. Run (Clapton)
04. Miss You (Clapton/Phillinganes/Colomby)
05. Tearing Us Apart (Clapton/Phillinganes)
06. Holy Mother (Clapton/Bishop)
07. In the Air Tonight (Collins)
08. Layla (Clapton/Gordon)
09. Sunshine Of Your Love (Clapton/Bruce/Brown)

Total time: 58 minutes

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Steve Miller Band – Live (1983) (VHS rip)

frontcover1Steve Miller Band Live! is a 1983 live album by the Steve Miller Band. Recorded live at the Pine Knob Amphitheater, Clarkston, MI on September 25, 1982.

In 1982, just at the time of the release of »Abracadabra«, the Steve Miller Band played two shows at the Amphitheater in Detroit. Some tracks of the show of September 25th were then released in 1983 as »Steve Miller Live« with worlwide phenomenal success. It is still one of the best selling live albums ever, with worldwide chart entries.
Released in 1983 Steve Miller Band: Live! is culled from a concert, or several concerts, that SMB gave on the supporting tour for Abracadabra. They run through all the big hits — the most obscure this gets is “Mercury Blues,” from their most popular album, Fly Like an Eagle — in performances that pretty much stick to the record. There’s not much here that’s different and, accordingly, there are zero revelations, but this is pleasant and enjoyable. There’s no real reason to get the record, since it isn’t even infused with much live energy, but once it’s playing, it’s easy to get sucked into the greatest-hits set list. (By the way, the town where SMB performed is not listed in the liners, but the crowd does give a hearty cheer for “Detroit City” in “Rock ‘n Me,” so maybe that’s where it was cut.) (by Stephen Thomas Erlewine)

I can´t agree with Stephen Thomas Erlewine … this is a fucking good concert by The Steve Miller Band and the music is till today just fantastic !

This is a VHS rip from my collection of old VHS tapes.

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Personnel:
Byron Allred (keyboards)
Norton Buffalo (harmonica)
Gerald Johnson (bass)
Kenny Lee Lewis (guitar)
Gary Mallaber (drums, percussion, keyboards)
John Massaro (guitar)
Steve Miller (vocals, guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Macho City (intro) (Miller)
02. Gangster Of Love (Watson)
03. Rock ‘N Me (Miller)
04. Living in the U.S.A.(Miller)
05. Fly Like An Eagle (Miller)
06. Jungle Love (Douglass/Turner)
07. The Joker (Curtis/Ertegun/Miller)
08. Mercury Blues (Douglas/Geddins)
09. Take The Money And Run (Miller)
10. Abracadabra (Miller)
11. Jet Airliner (Miller/Pena)
12. Buffalo´s Serenade (Miller/Buffalo)

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Ian Gillan Band – At The Rainbow (1987) (VHS rip)

frontcover1The Ian Gillan Band were an English jazz-rock fusion band formed by Deep Purple singer Ian Gillan in 1975.

After leaving Deep Purple in June 1973, Ian Gillan had retired from the music business to pursue other business ventures, including motorcycle engines, a country hotel / restaurant (with a guitar shaped swimming pool), and ownership of the Kingsway Recorders studio, where from April 1974 he began to work on his first post-Deep Purple solo tracks. These ventures, apart from the recording studio, all ended in failure. This fact, combined with a warm reception to his guest appearance at Roger Glover’s Butterfly Ball live show at the Royal Albert Hall, London, on 16 October 1975 (he sang “Sitting in a Dream” as a substitute for Ronnie James Dio, who was banned by Ritchie Blackmore to take part in it) prompted him to resume a singing career and form a new band.

Initially called Shand Grenade, a combination of Shangri-la and Grenade, Gillan was persuaded by the management to change the band’s name to the Ian Gillan Band. He recruited guitarist Ray Fenwick, bass player John Gustafson, keyboard player Mike Moran and Elf percussionist Mark Nauseef on drums. Using Roger Glover as producer and session musician, this line-up recorded their first album Child In Time in December 1975 / January 1976. In February 1976 Moran was replaced by Micky Lee Soule (ex-Elf and Rainbow), but for the recording of follow-up album Clear Air Turbulence he was dropped in May 1976 in favour of Colin Towns.

The band had some success in Japan but none at all in North America and only cult status in Europe, their jazz fusion direction unappealing to pop and rock fans alike. Their next album, Scarabus (1977), had more of a rock sound but retained the jazz fusion direction. Released at the height of punk rock, there was no success beyond Japan and their label Island Records dropped them.

The following year Gillan dissolved the band but retained Colin Towns and formed a new band called simply Gillan. A live album was released after the breakup. John Gustafson said: “Gillan decided he didn’t like the band’s direction and wanted to do more rock stuff. In reality, he should have put his foot down a lot earlier. I personally was expecting Deep Purple stuff, but he let us do whatever we wanted.” (by wikipedia)

And this is a VHS tape from a concert at The Rainbow, London, produced by Island Visual Arts … I guess for Gillan fans only … because Deep Purple was so much better … sorry Ian.

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Personnel:
Ray Fenwick (guitar, vocals)
Ian Gillan (vocals)
John Gustafson (bass, vocals)
Mark Nauseff (drums, percussion)
Colin Towns (keyboards, flute)

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Tracklist:
01. Get Into Deluth (Fenwick/Gillan/Gustafson/Nauseff /Towns)
02. Money Lender (Fenwick/Gillan/Gustafson/Nauseff /Towns)
03. Child In Time (Blackmore/Billan/Glover/Lord/Paice)
04. Smoke On The Water (Blackmore/Billan/Glover/Lord/Paice)
05. Woman From Tokyo (Blackmore/Billan/Glover/Lord/Paice)

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Alexis Korner – Eat A Little Rhythm And Blues (VHS rip) (1988)

frontcoverAlexis Korner (born Alexis Andrew Nicholas Koerner, 19 April 1928 in Paris, France – died 1 January 1984 in Westminster, Central London), was an English blues musician, born to an Austrian father and Greek mother.

Korner is probably best remembered as a networker and blues historian, although he was a proficient guitarist and a distinctive (if not accomplished) vocalist. Often referred to as “the Father of British Blues”, Korner was instrumental in bringing together various English blues musicians.

In 1961, Korner and Davies formed Blues Incorporated, initially a loose-knit group of musicians with a shared love of electric blues and R&B music. The group included, at various times, such influential musicians as Charlie Watts, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Danny Thompson and Dick Heckstall-Smith. It also attracted a wider crowd of mostly younger fans, some of whom occasionally performed with the group, including Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Rod Stewart, John Mayall and Jimmy Page.

In 1970 Korner and Peter Thorup formed a big band ensemble, C.C.S. – short for The Collective Consciousness Society – which had several hit singles produced by Mickie Most, including a version of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” which was used as the theme for BBC’s Top Of The Pops for several years. This was the period of Korner’s greatest commercial success in the UK.

In 1973, he formed another group, Snape, with Boz Burrell, Mel Collins, and Ian Wallace, previously together in King Crimson. Korner also played on B.B. King’s Supersession album, and cut his own, similar album, Get Off My Cloud, with Keith Richards, Peter Frampton, Nicky Hopkins, and members of Joe Cocker’s Grease Band.

In the mid 1970s, while touring Germany, he established an intensive working relationship with bassist Colin Hodgkinson who played for the support act Back Door. They would continue to collaborate until the end.

In the 1970s Korner’s main career was in broadcasting. In 1973 he presented a six part documentary for the BBC, The Rolling Stones Story, and in 1977 he established a weekly blues and soul show on Radio 1, which ran until 1981. He also used his gravelly voice to great effect as an advertising voice over artist.

In 1978, for Korner’s 50th birthday, an all-star concert was held featuring many of his friends mentioned above, as well as Eric Clapton, Paul Jones, Chris Farlowe, Zoot Money and other friends, which was later released as The Party Album, and as a video.

And here´s the video, including interviews with Alexis Korner, Paul Jones and Zoot Money.

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What a hell of a party … with such fine musicians … and I will present the official “Party” double album in this blog very soon … And please don´t forget: this is a VHS rip …

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Personnel:
Eric Clapton (guitar)
Mel Collins (saxophone)
Chris Farlowe (vocals)
Neil Ford (guitar)
Dick Heckstall-Smith (saxophone)
Colin Hodgkinson (bass, vocals)
Paul Jones (harmonica)
Alexis Korner (guitar, vocals)
Zoot Money (keyboards, vocals)
Dick Morrissey (saxophone)
Duffy Power (harmonica)
Stu Speer (drums)
John Surman (saxophone)
Art Themen (saxophone)
Mike Zwerin (trombone)

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Tracklist:
01. Louisiana Blues (Traditional)  4.00
02. Whole Mess Of Blues (Pomus/Shuman) 5.41
03. Linin’ Track (Traditional) 3.14
04. Blue Monday (Domino/Bartholomew) 3.02
05. Skipping (Korner) 3.10
06. Spoonful (Dixon) 6.42
07. Finkles Cafe (Korner) / Dooji Wooji (Ellington) 9.43
08. Got To Get You Off My Mind (Burke/Burke/Moore) 6.27
09. Stormy Monday (Walker) 9.00
10. Hi-Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham) 6.20

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Pat Travers – Boom Boom (Live at the Diamond Club, Toronto, 1990) (VHS rip)

frontcoverBorn in Toronto on April 12 1954, Pat Travers was playing guitar before he reached his teens, but it was watching Jimi Hendrix live that first inspired him to become a rock guitarist. For several years he paid his music dues playing the rock Clubs around Quebec in such bands as ‘Red Hot’ and ‘Merge’. It was during this period when he was spotted by 50s rock n roll legend Ronnie Hawkins who asked the young guitarist to join him on tour. Despite the difference in musical style, Travers used the experience to further develop his skills. After a year however he decided it was time to go for his dream and at the age of 20 he packed his bags and moved to London, England. A short demo tape lead to him being signed to Polydor and in April1976 he released his debut album ‘Pat Travers’. Following an appearance at the Reading festival Pat continued to tour in front of huge audiences and released another two albums before heading to America.

The US took to Travers like ducks to water and he gained a massive following and much critical acclaim for both his live shows and his studio albums two of which, Live! Go For What You Know and Crash and Burn, entered the US top 30. The 80s established him as one off the most distinctive guitarists on the scene, combining heavy metal riffology with moments of musical genius. After bowing out of the studio for several years due to his disillusionment with the record industry he recorded School of Hard Knocks in 1990, an album that was to prove a huge success amongst his fans and win him many new admirers. This was followed by the album ‘Boom Boom — Live at the Diamond’.

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And here´s the video version – recorded live at the Diamond Club, Toronto.

…In 1990 Pat Travers emerged with a new band, a new album (School of Hard Knocks) and a new tour. This show was filmed in Travers’ hometown of Toronto during that tour. The new band was nearly as tight as the classic Travers lineup and the energy was right.
Featuring the very capable Mars Cowling on bass and Jerry Riggs on second guitar, this lineup just pounds out these Travers classics as well as a handful of newer tunes from his “School Of Hard Knocks” release from the previous year. Probably Pat Travers at his hardest rocking best.

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Personnel:
Bass – Mars Cowling (bass)
Jerry Riggs (guitar, vocals)
Pat Travers (guitar, vocals)
Scott Zymowski (drums)

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Tracklist:
01. Snortin’ Whiskey (Travers/Thrall)
02. Life In London (Travers)
03. I La La la Love You (Travers)
04. Gettin’ Betta (Travers/Cowling)
05. Whatcha Gonna Do Without Me (Dees/Travers)
06. Daddy Long Legs (Riggs)
07. Heat In The Street (Travers/Lesser)
08. School Of Hard Knocks (Dees/Travers)
09. Help Me (Simmons/Travers)
10. Stevie (Travers)
11. Ready Or Not (Riggs)
12. Boom Boom ( Out Goes the Lights) (Lewis)
13. Born Under A Bad Sign (Jones/Bell)
14. Guitars From Hell (Riggs)

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Cream – Farewell Concert (1969) (VHS rip)

frontcoverFarewell Concert is the live recording of the Cream’s final concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 26 November 1968. Aside from the band’s reunion concert in 2005 it is Cream’s only official full concert release on video. It was originally broadcast by the BBC on 5 January 1969. It was not released on video in the US until 1977. The opening acts for the concert were future progressive rock stars Yes who were just starting out and Taste, an Irish trio led by Rory Gallagher. (by wikipedia)

Although the members of Cream (Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce) ran into a number of disagreements which led to the band breaking up, they at least kept themselves together enough to go out in style, playing a farewell tour before calling it quits (of course they ended up reuniting later). This “Farewell Concert” took place on November 26, 1968 at the Royal Albert Hall in London, where they would eventually perform again in 2005.

The Cream Farewell Concert (produced by Robert Stigwood, who of course went on to produce the biggest music-oriented films of the 1970s including Saturday Night Fever and Grease) has been released on home video a number of times, both in the form of the videotaped presentation as shown on BBC television, and a longer version shown theatrically with the videotaped footage transferred to film and two additional songs (Steppin’ Out and Sitting on Top of the World) as well as a slightly different opening and closing than the TV version. Kino’s new DVD presents the latter.

The film is introduced with narration by Patrick Allen , who says that Cream have “given rock a musical authority which only the deaf cannot acknowledge.” Allen makes more comments in between songs, and also interspersed are four backstage interview segments with the band members. Jack Bruce tells of frustrations with his music teacher as a kid (he wrote a string quartet at age 14, which the teacher didn’t like), Eric Clapton demonstrates his guitar methods, and Ginger Baker does likewise with his drums. It’s quite interesting to hear that these guys have backgrounds in classical music, as growing up I was usually told by my parents and teachers that classical was “real” music while rock was “garbage”- of course, that only made me like rock music that much more.

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Many fans and the band members themselves have said that it wasn’t their best. Regardless, it has for a long time been the only visual record of a complete Cream performance. The music is enjoyable for the most part, kicking off with “Sunshine of Your Love” which remains a radio mainstay to this day. Most of the songs last for several minutes, as the band goes into long instrumental stretches between the sung verses. After the backstage segment with Ginger Baker, we get to see him perform a very long drum solo on stage.

The concert is shot with many of the era’s conventions, mainly lots of quick zooming in and out by the camera. There are very few long shots of the band on stage or of the audience, instead most of the show is dominated by close-ups which get to be disorienting after a while. Two songs are also accompanied by psychedelic liquid light over the picture, which definitely adds to the atmosphere.

movieposterAs mentioned earlier, the 4×3 presentation was taken from a film print consisting of footage originally shot on video (the backstage segments appear to have been shot on film.) Watching the result back on video looks a bit muddy and leaves one longing for the original video source at its native frame rate, but this is still faithful to how this version looked in theaters, and apparently the only source of the two songs that weren’t included in the TV version. The film is in decent shape except for a bit of dirt and scratches at the beginning and end of reels.

The Cream Farewell Concert is certainly worth checking out for its historical value, and while the music performances may not have been the band at its best, they’re still better than the best performances of many contemporary groups. (by Jesse Skeen)

Cream played two final shows at the Royal Albert Hall, on the twenty sixth of
November, 1968. Both shows sold out within two hours of the box office opening.
They shared the bill with two, as yet, unknown bands, Yes, and Rory Gallagher’s
band, Taste.
But it was Cream that the audience had come to hear, and when they were
announced, the crowd erupted in an emotional display of affection. The musicians
themselves would later admit that they were surprised at the reception, and regretted
that they had stayed away from home for so long a time.

While the shows were extremely well received, and the adoring audience called the
band back for three encores, Ginger didn’t feel that they were very good.

“Those shows, at the Royal Albert Hall were really not very good gigs. Its a shame
that that’s how most people remember us, because Cream was so much better than that”.

concertposterI tend to agree with Ginger on this one. The recordings of Cream in California, taken
from both the second and third tours are, in my opinion at least, far better than the
Albert Hall concerts. Back in November of ’68 however, that would have put me in
the minority.

Jon Cott of Rolling Stone reviewed the second show (said to be the better of the two), under the headline “GOD SAVE THE CREAM”.

“What was exhilarating about the sell-out farewell concerts was each member of the group’s affirmation of his special gifts – Bruce’s subtle whirlwind bass figurations…Baker’s plateaued drum sectionings and textural clarifications, and Clapton’s Apollonian elegance and control.

Each musical line was almost hyperesthetically precise (this especially holds for Baker’s drumming), and each line fitted tightly against the other – parallel lines.

Many persons missed that raunchiness and fuzziness of effect which Cream often used to express – a strained indulgence, I thought. What revealed itself at Albert Hall was the poised quality of the performance, the detachment, the structure looked down upon from the stars-a self-begotten music (Cream is / was three stars) whose brilliance seemed born of itself without labour, for everything seemed effortless”.

Mr. Cott’s article was probably perceived to be a “rave review”, and I have no doubt that it was meant to be. What strikes me about it, however, is that he appears to be unduly hung up on the band’s technique. He believes that the “raunchiness and fuzziness” Cream had
in the past expressed was nothing more than a “strained indulgence” rather than a sign of exuberant enthusiasm for the music they were playing. He praises their poised detachment, as if this were a good thing. Strange indeed to praise artists for being detached from their art.
Yet, that may be an odd tribute to the band. So good were Eric, Jack and Ginger that, even on their “bad nights”, they were still pretty damn good. (by Edward Uzenko)

Yes … maybe not the best concert,maybe not the best rock movie  .. but  … I love the introduction by Patrick Allen … and I love the raw sound of this movie … the sound of one of the best groups we ever had !

And don´t forget:

Forget the lyrics, forget the message … just play !

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Personnel:
Ginger Baker (drums)
Jack Bruce (bass, vocals)
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. Introduction by Patrick Allen (including Sunshine Of Your Love)
02. Sunshine Of Your Love (Bruce/Brwon/Clapton)
03. Interview Jack Bruce
04. White Room (Bruce/Brown)
05. Politician (Bruce/Brown)
06. Crossroads
07. Interview Eric Clapton
08. Steppin´ Out (Bracken)
09. Sitting On The Top Of The World (Burnett)
10. Spoonful (Dixon)
11. Interview Ginger Baker
12. Toad (Baker)
13. Interview Jack Bruce
14. I´m So Glad (James)

Total time: 1.19.36

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Eric Clapton – The Man & His Music (VHS rip) (1990)

frontcover1Since a few days I have the oppurtunity, to rip old VHS tapes for this blog. I will start with an Eric Clapton documentary, released in 1990:

This documentary about Eric Clapton created for The Southbank Show (BBC) 1987.

It is a mark of his genius that “Clapton is God” was to become a common piece of graffiti in Britain during he 60´s and 70´s. This tribute from The Southbank Show, packed with many of Clapton´s famous tracks including “Layla” and “Wonderful Tonight”, is a unique look at the man and his music.

From the day his grandmother brought him an electric guitar there was no doubt where the young Eric was bound. “The Yardbirds” and “The Blues Breakers” where the early vehicles for “Slow Hand” but most important of all where the years with “Cream” – recaptured here with vintage footage.

That Clapton is able to talk frankly and freely about his former drug and alcohol related problems, underlines the inner resilience of an exceptional man.

Also including footage of his magnificent performance at the Live Aid concert, this is a video which will captivate his fans everywhere (take from linernotes).

On thsi video you can see a very rare jam between Eric & Jack Bruce … recorded for this documentation als a special !

And here are some pics from the movie:

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Note: Please don´t forget, that this ia a rip from an old VHS tape ! Maybe more old tapes like this (including rare private shots) will come.

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