March 1970 Classics from CSNY and Delaney & Bonnie

3/11/70: CSNY – Déjà Vu

Continuing with my makeup homework, this album has been a fan favorite since the day of its release 50 years ago. There was a great deal of anticipation for the group’s followup album after the Crosby, Stills & Nash release the year before earned the group a Grammy for Best New Artist. Neil Young’s addition to the group only increased expectations. Certified gold 14 days after its release, Déjà Vu eventually attained septuple platinum status.

Neil Young News: NO MORE SECOND BILLING: CSN&Y Bass Player Greg ...

All four produced it, but Neil is only on half the tracks. His addition to the group might be looked at as a blessing and a curse. There’s no doubt he was, and still is, a prolific songwriter. But things were, and perhaps always have been with this quartet, a little off. Nash has stated Young recorded his songs alone in L.A., then brought them to the band in San Francisco for their contributions. Additionally, there was a dark undercurrent at the time: Nash and Joni Mitchell had split, as had Stills and Judy Collins. Much worse, Crosby was mourning the loss of his girlfriend Christine Hinton, who had recently been killed in a car accident. The stress of their personal lives spilled over into the studio, and as a result of all of these factors it took six months to record the album.

Why It Mattered: Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's 'Déjà Vu'

Though I think it’s a great album, I can feel that separation between Neil and the others when listening to it. Helpless and the Country Girl suite sound like they should be on solo Neil records despite the harmonies from the other three, much like Neil’s contributions to the third Buffalo Springfield album were basically solo efforts. Déjà Vu spawned three Top 40 singles: Woodstock, Teach Your Children, and Our House. While I don’t dislike these tracks, they are probably my least favorites. I’m partial to Stills’ 4+20 and Carry On, Neil’s Helpless and Country Girl, and Crosby’s title track. All four would take advantage of this album’s commercial success by following it with fantastic solo albums very soon after.

Last fall I visited a friend in L.A., and we took a drive up into Laurel Canyon so I could play shameless tourist. Laurel Canyon Blvd. has to be one of the more dangerous and busy roads I’ve been on, and by the time we pulled into what was at one time Joni Mitchell’s driveway I felt so conspicuous that I jumped out of the car and quickly had my friend snap a picture before we split in a bit of a rush. The result was a photo of me standing in front of the gate, but without the house, a.k.a. Our House, in the frame. A palm to forehead moment.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Deja Vu.jpg

 

March 1970: Delaney & Bonnie and Friends – On Tour with Eric Clapton

This live album encapsulates so much of what is, to me, good about music from 1970. It just sounds like everybody on stage is enjoying themselves to the hilt, which is why even George Harrison joined the tour for a few gigs. (His performances, credited under the pseudonym “L’Angelo Misterioso,” are available on the super-deluxe-crazy-expanded-four disc release from 2010 which contains multiple shows.) The album and tour may have received a boost from Clapton’s association with it, but the rock ‘n boogie ‘n Southern gospel blues on this recording stands on its own merits. It’s also quite amazing to think that this coming together of various musicians spawned much of Harrison’s All Things Must Pass as well as Clapton’s Derek and the Dominos lineup on Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs. Not to mention the cross-pollination with Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour and Dave Mason’s solo debut, Alone Together.

Dbtour1970.jpg

Fun trivia: The photo used for the album cover is a Barry Feinstein pic from Dylan’s ’66 U.K. tour. Those are Bob’s feet sticking out the window of the Rolls-Royce.

Random fact that has nothing to do with this post: I’ve got music on YouTube playing as I write, letting it go to whatever is “Up next.” I had no idea the full-length version of Rare Earth’s Get Ready is over 21 minutes long. Or that there even was a full-length version other than what I’ve heard on the radio all my life.

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D%C3%A9j%C3%A0_Vu_(Crosby,_Stills,_Nash_%26_Young_album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crosby,_Stills_%26_Nash_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_Tour_with_Eric_Clapton

Marching Backward to the Music – Leon, Jimi, Ginger, and Past-Due Homework

I was not frequently absent from school when I was a child. However, when I did miss school because of an illness, I tended to make it count. As in three or four days in a row. Not that I was always sick the entire time. I just didn’t want to go back once I’d settled into a cozy routine of morning cartoons and the afternoon B-movie on the independent channel before the usual after school lineup of reruns. There was a price to pay, however. By the third day or so my mom would return from work having visited my teacher at some point during the day and bestow upon me the dreaded stack of makeup schoolwork. What does that little anecdote have to do with my blog?

Time For Homework. Unhappy Nice Serious Boy Sitting At The Desk ...

Well, I’ve had some spells of absenteeism from this hobby over the past year. But unlike grade school, it really bothers me looking back at the album release 50th anniversaries I’ve missed. It’s as if I’ve disrespected these artists by not celebrating their albums properly. Indeed, it gets a little strange between my ears at times. Anyhoo, looking back at my notes from March and April there are a few albums I’d like to belatedly acknowledge as we move forward over the next month or two (and does anyone really know or care what month it is anymore?). Some titles I’ll address individually, others in clusters. Starting now.

3/23/70 (April 24 U.K.): Leon Russell – Leon Russell

Leon’s solo debut was a classic out of the gate. It contains the oft-covered A Song for You, as well as Delta Lady. He also had a little help on the album from a cast of A-listers including Harrison, Starr, Jagger, Clapton, and too many others to list (see wiki link at the bottom). Leon Russell and the following two albums in this post all represent, in my mind, a shift in rock music around this time whereby artists were breaking free of stylistic constraints. Leon was a prolific songwriter and gifted musician, and like his friends Delaney and Bonnie he blended southern gospel elements, blues, and rock into a unique sound that his English musician friends fit right into.

LeonRussellAlbum.jpg

3/25/70: Jimi Hendrix – Band of Gypsies

Like many of my generation (X) who became Jimi Hendrix fans, it was due to his famous three studio albums augmented by whatever film we could view of the man, either in the Woodstock and Monterey documentaries or on VH1 (remember when VH1 was presented as sort of an MTV for Baby Boomers?). When I explored Jimi’s other commercially available music at the time (early 90’s) it was obvious he had been broadening his musical horizons before his death. Cry of Love and Band of Gypsies were in my collection, but they weren’t played often. It took a few more years and perhaps a little more musical maturity on my part to “get it.” Now I enjoy First Rays of the New Rising Sun (comprising most of the first three posthumous Hendrix releases) and the funk/R&B fused rock of Band of Gypsies as much as any of the original three. If only he’d lived long enough to make that album with Miles Davis.

A photo of Jimi Hendrix playing guitar

3/30/70: Ginger Baker’s Air Force – Ginger Baker’s Air Force

And now for something…completely different. On January 15, 1970, Ginger Baker assembled an eclectic group of musicians for a sold-out performance of Afro/jazz/rock fusion at the Royal Albert Hall. Band members included early Baker influences Graham Bond and Phil Seamen, plus Winwood, Gretch, and Wood of Traffic, post-Moody Blues/pre-Wings Denny Laine, and Remi Kabaka, who would also add flavors of Afro-fusion to music by other British music luminaries of the era. Critics, of course, hated the subsequent album, Ginger Baker’s Air Force. They aren’t too fond of albums produced by drummers, as they tend to be heavily, uh, drummer-centric. I find it to be an interesting and listenable album. Unfortunately I’m limited to listens on YouTube, as the CD issue readily available for purchase these days is a vinyl rip, and a poor one at that. (A better quality release from ’98 containing both Air Force albums and a solo Baker album currently goes for $144 on Amazon – no thanks.) One of these days I’ll have my turntable set up again and I’ll find a used vinyl copy. One of these days.

Ginger Baker's Air Force-album cover.jpg

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_Russell_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Band_of_Gypsys

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_Baker%27s_Air_Force_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger_Baker%27s_Air_Force

 

May 1970 – Music Release Wrap-Up

It’s been quite a while since I’ve written one of these “odd ‘n ends,” end of the month posts. As usual it’s a mixed bag.

May: Country Joe and the Fish – CJ Fish

Country Joe and the Fish released their fifth and final album until 1977’s Reunion in May of 1970. I own this one and the debut, and once had a solo McDonald album titled Superstitious Blues (1991) which I liked but for some reason is no longer in my collection. There are days when that mid-late 60’s San Francisco sound and vibe hits the spot, such as last weekend when C.J. & the Fish’s first album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body, fit in nicely between the Grateful Dead and the Jefferson Airplane.

CJ Fish - Wikipedia

May: Hot Tuna – Hot Tuna

When I reach these end of the month roundups there’s inevitably at least one band and/or album I feel I should know much better but don’t, hence its relegation to this post. Hot Tuna is definitely one of those bands on my “need to explore” list. I’m certainly familiar with Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady from their time with the Airplane, and I even sat about ten feet away from Jorma at his solo show a couple of years ago. But as much as I enjoyed his performance, the only thing I could tell you about that show today is that he didn’t play Embryonic Journey. That, and some guy right in front of Jorma was wearing a Dave Mason t-shirt. Fans are so silly. Anyway, Hot Tuna released their debut this month 50 years ago. It’s a live performance in Berkeley from September ’69.

HotTunaCD.jpg

5/14/70: The Carpenters – Single: (They Long to Be) Close to You

That’s right, I’m including the Carpenters. There’s no Carpenters music in my collection. It’s not my thing. It’s beyond fluffy, soft MOR music. Karen looked ridiculous behind a drum kit. Et cetera. However, there is no denying this Burt Bacharach/Hal David penned track was a smash hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and Adult Contemporary charts. And just between you and me, I freely admit that Karen’s silky smooth vocals were in a different league. If that’s your kind of thing. Seriously though, this inclusion is a nod to my big sis. This is one of those “upstairs songs,” a favorite she often played on her aqua-green record player when we were growing up.

They Long to Be Close to You by The Carpenters 7-inch US vinyl single.jpg

5/15/70: Fleetwood Mac – Single: The Green Manalishi (with the Two Prong Crown)

Now we’re talkin’. While I prefer live versions of this song, such as the epic 12 minute jam on the Live in Boston, any version will do. The Green Manalishi was Peter Green’s final song with Fleetwood Mac.

The Green Manalishi (Fleetwood Mac single - cover art).jpg

May: Three Dog Night – Single: Mama Told Me Not to Come

One of Randy Newman’s hit songs, he originally wrote it for Eric Burdon who recorded it in 1967. Both Newman and Three Dog Night released versions in 1970. The latter’s version reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100, and was certified gold in July 1970.

Mama Told Me (Not To Come) (Single Version) by Three Dog Night on ...

May: Eric Burdon and War – Single: Spill the Wine

Spill the Wine was the first and only hit by Eric Burdon and War, and I’ve always liked it. As noted by our old friend Wiki, the song was inspired by an accident in which keyboardist Lonnie Jordan spilled wine on a mixing board. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100.

Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon & War.jpg

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CJ_Fish

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_Tuna_(album)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/(They_Long_to_Be)_Close_to_You

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Green_Manalishi_(With_the_Two_Prong_Crown)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mama_Told_Me_Not_to_Come

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spill_the_Wine

May 1970, Pt. 4 – The Who and the Definitive Live Rock Album

5/23/70: The Who – Live at Leeds

Inching toward summer 1970, The Who released what is still widely considered the greatest live rock album of all time (with all due respect to fans of live albums by Humble Pie, the Stones, Frampton, Cheap Chick, Deep Purple, and others), and one of the best rock albums, period. The band recorded several shows on tour supporting 1969’s Tommy, but 2,100 capacity Leeds University Refectory and Hull City Hall were booked in February specifically to record a live album.

The Who - Live At Leeds [LP] - Amazon.com Music

Live at Leeds was originally planned as a double album to include the Tommy set, but of the 33 songs performed in the show, Pete Townshend decided on a single, six-song release, with snippets of See Me, Feel Me and Sparks from the 1969 rock opera heard in the stretched out version of My Generation at the beginning of side two. Clocking in at just over 37 minutes as originally released, Live at Leeds captures the frenetic energy and violence of The Who’s live performances arguably at the band’s live peak.

The Vinyl Issue: The Who's Live At Leeds | Louder

Over the course of four reissues in the following 40 years, Leeds went on to include the Tommy set, the complete Hull show from the following night, and finally the entire Leeds show in correct running order for the first time. I actually owned the Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 release from 1996 before I ever gave a serious listen to Leeds, and without wading into the audiophile muck of production pros and cons that largely don’t interest me, I don’t feel there’s too much difference in the feel of the album aside from the fact that the Isle of Wight release contains Tommy.

Live at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970 (The Who album) - Wikipedia

The trend over the years of adding previously unreleased material, live or studio, when reissuing albums is something that has been interesting, exciting, and maddening. I’ve reached the point where expanded reissues are no longer automatic must haves. I’ve come around on originals prior to the add-ons. Live at Leeds in its original form is great for those occasions when you want to crank up some live Who to get yer ya-ya’s out but don’t necessarily want to listen to Tommy, which has its time and place for me.

What’s your favorite live album of all time of any genre? Do you value expanded reissues?

Tracklist

Side A:

  1. Young Man Blues
  2. Substitute
  3. Summertime Blues
  4. Shakin’ All Over

Side B:

  1. My Generation
  2. Magic Bus

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_at_Leeds

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Live_at_the_Isle_of_Wight_Festival_1970_(The_Who_album)

May 1970, Pt. 3 – King Crimson’s Followup

5/15/70: King Crimson – In the Wake of Poseidon

King Crimson released their second album on the 15th of May, seven months after their striking debut, In the Court of the Crimson King. Most of the band, including Greg Lake, had departed prior to recording the followup, but returned on a session basis for this album. The similarities to In the Court are clear: sometimes erratic jazz fusion, rock, intricate guitar playing, popping drums, and periods of intermittent ethereal instrumentals. And lots of that signature Mellotron. Unsurprisingly, as with many contemporary reviews of bands not called Beatles or Stones, critics were cool to this album. Also not a shock, retrospective reviews consider it a masterpiece.

The Story Behind The Album: In The Wake Of Poseidon, by King Crimson

This band has had so many incarnations and sounds, I’m hesitant to try to write about them as a casual fan/listener. Robert Fripp seems to me a musician’s musician, an audiophile’s audiophile, and quite an intense one at that. My first two King Crimson albums were In the Court and Discipline, and that was it for a few years. Poseidon was the next one I obtained, and my initial thought was that it was a lesser version of the debut. I’ve come around, however. Maybe it took exploring more of there later work to come closer to “getting” this one. I’m sure Robert Fripp would be relieved to know it.

King Crimson - In The Wake Of Poseidon (Vinyl) | Discogs

Interesting (to me) factoid: A still-relatively unknown Elton John, who had released his debut album Empty Sky in the U.K., was hired to perform the vocals on Poseidon before Greg Lake returned, but Fripp, perhaps wisely, changed his mind, deeming E.J. not quite the right fit.

Tracklist

Side A:

  1. Peace – A Beginning
  2. Pictures of a City
  3. Cadence and Cascade
  4. In the Wake of Poseidon

Side B:

  1. Peace – A Theme
  2. Cat Food
  3. The Devil’s Triangle: I. Merday Morn II. Hand of Sceiron III. Garden of Worm
  4. Peace – An End

-Stephen

https://ultimateclassicrock.com/king-crimson-in-the-wake-of-poseidon/

https://www.popmatters.com/137916-king-crimson-in-the-wake-of-poseidon-40th-anniversary-series-2496068598.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Wake_of_Poseidon

January 3 – The Crazy Diamond Goes Solo

Syd Barrett – The Madcap Laughs

This is not an easy one to write about because it’s not an easy album to listen to.  The Madcap Laughs, released on this date fifty years ago, is a portrait of someone in the throes of mental illness and not just some eccentric artist.  John and Yoko were merely crazy self-promoters by comparison.  However, I can say that having gained much more of an appreciation of the early Pink Floyd albums, I now find the first couple of Barrett releases to be much more interesting and enjoyable.

Image result for syd barrett the madcap laughs

Recording began in May 1968 after Barrett was dismissed from Pink Floyd due to his increasingly erratic behavior, with most of the work being done April – July 1969.  From inception to release nearly two years later, five producers participated on the project over the span of recording dates, including Barrett, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, former Pink Floyd manager Peter Jenner, and Malcolm Jones.  In addition to Barrett and Gilmour, other musicians on The Madcap Laughs include Robert Wyatt, Hugh Hopper, and Mike Ratledge of Soft Machine, Jerry Shirley of Humble Pie, and Willie Wilson of Jokers Wild (Gilmour’s band prior to joining Pink Floyd)

Image result for syd barrett the madcap laughs

The first round of recording with Jenner ended in July ’68 when Barrett departed and later ended up in a Cambridge psych ward.  He returned in early ’69 to work with Jones that spring at Abbey Road.  This was a more productive stage, but it too fizzled due to Syd’s unpredictable behavior.  Barrett didn’t communicate effectively with the session players who had no choice but to lag behind Syd’s playing with constant time and key changes.  By this time, Gilmour became interested in helping his friend in the studio.  He and Roger Waters took over in the booth in the summer of 1969 and hurriedly wrapped up recording, re-recording, and mixing.

Image result for roger waters 1969

Interestingly, it’s the Jones produced tracks as opposed to those overseen by Gilmour and Waters that are arguably stronger – a term I use loosely.  Exceptions for me include songs Octopus, Golden Hair (with some lyrics taken from James Joyce), and Dark Globe, the latter described by AllMusic’s Stewart Mason as “horrifying” and “a first person portrait of schizophrenia that’s seemingly the most self-aware song this normally whimsical songwriter ever created.”  Beginning with She Took a Long Cold Look, the final few tracks aren’t as listenable to me, with Barrett seemingly sounding more incoherent as the album winds down.  But the final track, Late Night, is a clear reminder of Syd’s isolation, and as such serves as a reminder of the album’s purpose, suggests reviewer Ric Albano.  For the album cover, Barrett painted his bedroom floor orange and purple.  He was helped by his new acquaintance Evelyn Rose, the nude woman on the back of the sleeve.

Image result for syd barrett the madcap laughs

The elements that make an album one listener’s disaster – disjointed and out of tune playing, stream of consciousness lyrics, as well as unintelligible mumbling – are part of the charm for others, and there is plenty of charm for me on this recording.  I enjoy most of it in fact.  I like Barrett’s vocals and most of the production on the record.  But I can’t listen to it without the reminder of what was unfolding for him at the time.  Let it Be documented the disintegration of a band, but The Madcap Laughs documented the disintegration of a human being.  It was really happening.  The only other albums I can think of off the top of my head where the questionable mental state of the artist was on full display to this extent are Skip Spence’s Oar and Big Star’s Third/Sister Lovers.  Perhaps Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica from the previous year as well.  For me there’s no question as to Syd Barrett’s talent and possible genius.  He simply didn’t make it.

Tracklist

Side A:

  1. Terrapin
  2. No Good Trying
  3. Love You
  4. No Man’s Land
  5. Dark Globe
  6. Here I Go

Side B:

  1. Octopus
  2. Golden Hair
  3. Long Gone
  4. She Took a Long Cold Look
  5. Feel
  6. If It’s in You
  7. Late Night

-Stephen

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Madcap_Laughs

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syd_Barrett

https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-madcap-laughs-mw0000193903

The Madcap Laughsby Syd Barrett

 

January 1 – The Good Taste of Rory Gallagher

Taste – On the Boards For my first proper album post of a 1970 release, I present someone in whose music I’m currently immersing myself: Rory Gallagher.  More accurately, it’s the second and final album by Gallagher’s band Taste before he set out on his own (the band continues to this day).  Rory Gallagher is […]

Taste – On the Boards

For my first proper album post of a 1970 release, I present someone in whose music I’m currently immersing myself: Rory Gallagher.  More accurately, it’s the second and final album by Gallagher’s band Taste before he set out on his own (the band continues to this day).  Rory Gallagher is one of those names I heard and read a number of times before finally giving him a listen.  I picked up his live album Irish Tour ’74 a few years back and instantly loved it, but for whatever reason didn’t begin to explore his other albums until more recently.

Image result for taste band 1970

The band, originally a blues rock trio, was formed by Gallagher in Cork, Ireland in 1966, with Rory as the chief songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist.  Eric Kitteringham played bass, and Norman Damery was on drums.  Though they headlined many of their own shows, some of Taste’s higher profile live performances came in support of Cream on their 1968 farewell tour, and later opening for Blind Faith during its North American tour of 1969.  Later in 1970, after On the Boards‘ release, the band played a set on the third night of the epic Isle of Wight Festival.  That performance was released on LP in 1971, and is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.  It was one of the last shows the band did before Gallagher set out on his own.

Image result for taste band 1970
The first Taste album, rel. April 1969

In addition to heavy blues and rock, on this recording they also express their jazz influence with Gallagher on saxophone as well as guitar.  On the Boards, released 50 years ago yesterday (I’ve got some catching up to do…), was received well by critics for its precise musicianship which can be heard right out of the gate on What’s Going On?  Gallagher’s versatility is even more apparent on the jazz-heavy track It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again featuring Rory on sax.

Related image
Rory Gallagher

I do hear hints of other late 1960’s/early 70’s British blues rock bands on this album such as the Jeff Beck Group and Fleetwood Mac.  The guitar sound on Eat My Words is reminiscent of Jimmy Page on Zeppelin tracks such as Traveling Riverside Blues.  But comparisons such as these might be lazy on my part, as Taste and later solo Gallagher definitely had their own heavy but tight, compact sound.  The exception here is the title track with its long, soulful and moody instrumental portion.  There’s not a bad track on this album, which means it’s not a matter of acquiring a taste for Rory Gallagher’s music as suggested in the title of this entry.  It’s simply about waking up and giving it a listen.

Tracklist

Side A:

  1. What’s Going On?
  2. Railway and Gun
  3. It’s Happened Before, It’ll Happen Again
  4. If the Day Was Any Longer
  5. Morning Sun

Side B:

  1. Eat My Words
  2. On the Boards
  3. If I Don’t Sing I’ll Cry
  4. See Here
  5. I’ll Remember

-Stephen

https://www.allmusic.com/album/on-the-boards-mw0000465916

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taste_(band)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_the_Boards_(album)

January 1, 1970: Where to Go from Here?

To those of you who used to visit my blog from time to time, it’s nice to see you again.  To any new visitors, welcome!  If interested, have a look at my inaugural post and perhaps my second entry for a better idea of who I am and why I started these pages.  I began writing about (mostly) 50th anniversaries of album releases in January 2018, and I had a great time with it for that entire year.  We turned over into 2019/1969, and for various reasons I ran out of steam and interest.  I said Happy Birthday to George Harrison last February and called it a day.  When I closed my laptop on the 25th of that month it made the sound of the Monty Python foot stomp, which was doubly fitting since Monty Python’s Flying Circus had hit the airwaves fifty years earlier.

Image result for monty python foot stomp

No regrets, though.  Yes, I missed out on yammering about some great and/or important albums and events from March – December 1969, but to borrow the title of a great Fleetwood Mac track from 1969 that I didn’t write about, oh well.  Is there any silver lining to skipping most of ’69?  Perhaps.  For me, that year didn’t offer as much in terms of sheer volume of albums that interest me as did the years 1965-’68 (’65 being the first year of my favorite ten-year stretch of music).  1970 might mirror ’69 for me in terms of the overall number of works that I enjoy or that I would like to explore more (or for the first time), but I feel we’re really entering a new era in rock and popular music in general in 1970. This is one of the main reasons I’m wading back into the blogosphere.  To illustrate:

Bands that shut down in 1970:  The Beatles (What!?  Why am I just now hearing about this?), the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, the Marvelettes, Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band (R.I.P. Neil Innes), The Nice, Simon and Garfunkel, the Turtles, the Dave Clark Five, the Box Tops, Nazz, Peter, Paul & Mary, and Vanilla Fudge, among others.  A rather 1960’s sounding list, no?

Image result for the beatles 1963

Bands that said hello in 1970:  Aerosmith, America, Ambrosia, Blackfoot, Chilliwack, Derek and the Dominos, Dixie Dregs, the Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind & Fire, the Electric Light Orchestra, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, England Dan & John Ford Coley, Fotheringay, Gentle Giant, Jefferson Starship, Lindisfarne, Mudcrutch, Tony Orlando and Dawn, Pure Prairie League, Queen, Raspberries, Sugarloaf, Uriah Heep, Weather Report, and Wet Willie, among others.  That, my friends, is a 1970’s list.

Image result for earth wind and fire

Bands/individuals from the latter list I’ve seen live:  Clapton (but not Derek and the Dominos), Jeff Lynne’s ELO (but not the original ELO), Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (but not Mudcrutch), and Emerson, Lake & Palmer.  And in the spirit of honesty and full disclosure I’ll admit to one more that I’d be embarrassed about if I had attended of my own free will.  Instead, it’s just kind of funny to me looking back:  Tony Orlando.

Image result for tony orlando and dawn

Yes, in a previous life my then in-laws treated their daughter and me to what was truly a lovely few days in Branson, MO.  The trout fishing was a blast, the round of golf frustrating but still fun, and then the Orlando (sans Dawn) show, a matinee as I recall.  He played his hits during the first set, then at the beginning of the second he announced that a great friend of his was in the audience; a wonderful man and a spiritual leader for our time:  Ladies and Gentlemen, a warm welcome, please, for the Doctor, Reverend…Jerry Falwell!  My jaw dropped to the floor as the Great Man arose in front to scattered applause among the assemblage of blue hairs throughout the half empty theater.  If ever there was a situation tailor made for me to get arrested for creating a public disturbance, or at least get thrown out of a theater, this was it.  But the stunning moment got away from me too fast.  And with that, Tony Orlando launched into a second set loaded with Neil Diamond covers…

So, where to go from here?  I guess it’s just time to get back to it again.  One of the aspects of this hobby that I missed during my hiatus is learning about music I’m not as familiar with, if familiar at all.  Not that I ceased exploring over the past ten months, but my critical listening to lesser known (to me) albums dropped significantly.  This is another reason I’m back, as will be illustrated in my next post.  And with that, I offer a humble thank you for checking back in with me or for visiting for the first time.  1970, here we go.  Happy New Year!

-Stephen