Monday, May 26, 2014

A Day for Remembrance. Hence -- Jug-eared Chinless Stomach Eaters!

From 1971, please enjoy Procol Harum live in the studio with the incomparable "Memorial Drive."

Because nothing says "Let's pay tribute to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our noble Democracy" like a mid-tempo piece of blues-rock played by a bunch of whey-faced Limeys.

Incidentally, that track is from an often-bootlegged radio broadcast on the old WPLJ-FM. It's a really good show from Robin Trower's last tour with the band, and you can download it in its entirety over HERE.

Highly recommended.


FD13NYC said...

Love the material they did with Robin Trower. Also his first solo Bridge Of Sighs.

Anonymous said...

He was never as interesting solo as he was with Procol Harum. His Hendrix obsession consumed his own musical personality.

Allan R.

Anonymous said...

I'm quite the ProcolHarum fan, especially of the early years. Those WPLJ-FM broadcasts were also aired in the L.A. area and I taped many of them on my Revox at 7.5 ips. The PH one is a classic.

I agree, and who wouldn't, that Trower's career outside of Harum was very one-dimensional. He may have had a Hendrix obsession, but he was only getting a small portion of what Hendrix was doing. Trower's playing was definitely more refined. But is that a good thing?

Twice Removed From Yesterday was his first album, not Bridge of Sighs. And I suppose those two would fit this past weekend's Listomania.

Trower was as boring live as he was homely. He is so trapped by Bridge of Sighs, that even to this day his shows include the entire album and a few other scattered tune. A pity, but his doing I'm afraid.

First saw PH in 1968 at the age of 13. They were with hard-rock Love and pre-album Chicago Transit Authority. I still have a foil poster that A&M made to promote Shine On Brightly framed on my game room wall.

I bought an import copy of their first single at Lewin's Record Paradise in Hollywood before it was released in the States. I got it on the recommendation of a fashion photographer who had just come back from England. It certainly was, and is, marvelous.

Another early PH concert memory: with pre-album Santana, who were already stars in California, and Kaleidoscope at the short-lived Rose Palace in Pasadena. Concert goers were instructed to bring their own pillow. Those were the days when concerts went on until the wee hours of the morning and the set changes were rather slow.

Vickie Rock remembering a heroic Vietnam door-gunner in a LOCH assault helicopter who took acid before many of his successful missions. Hail the 1st of the 9th, The First Air Cavalry Division,aka The First Team, and my hero who died unexpectedly in his easy chair in 2010 and hid his medals in the bottom of a drawer.

Anonymous said...

Oh, for those of the more anal persuasion, I forgot to mention that the WPLJ-FM broadcast took place on 1971-04-12 and was recorded live at A&R Studios, NYC.

WPLJ at this time featured such broadcasting luminaries as Michael Cuscuna, Tony Pigg, Dave Herman, Vin Scelsa and Alex Bennett.

The music went down well with White Port and Lemon Juice.

Vickie Rock

Saw Stephen Stills last night at the Riverside Fox ... meh.

Anonymous said...

I picked up a copy of the original vinyl bootleg when visiting San Francisco in 1971. It was called "The Elusive Procol Harum" on Hamburg Records. So I assume it's the early Berkeley bootleggers but probably pressed in L.A.

I was bummed when I found out it was the WPLJ broadcast because I already had that in better quality on tape. Still, I believe this is the first Procol Harum bootleg.

Vickie Rock killing time while I get my tires aligned. No, that is not some kind of sexual metaphor. Even if Mr. Goodwrench is servicing me.

steve simels said...

I had that show on a reel to reel tape I made when it was first broadcast as well.

And I think yes, it may have the first PH bootleg.

Anonymous said...


I've always had the taping bone. I taped the Beatles Sullivan shows, the Searchers on Sullivan and the Tonight Show, The DC5, Gerry & the P-makers, Stones. I still have a compilation tape of these 1964 British Invasion artists. Plus the Beach Boys on Sullivan and Skelton.

I did them on our family's Wollensak reel-to-reel which weighed about five hundred pounds. Since I hadn't figured out how to line record, I just held the mic up to the tinny TV speaker. Tape sounds pretty shitty but is precious to me even if I am off mic whispering for people in the room to shut up.

I taped a black and white photo of the Beatles, which I cut out of Time Magazine, on the top of the box. Then I wrapped it in wax paper to protect my efforts. Inside are index cards with track listings and tape index numbers. So I was certifiable already then.:)

Around October 1964, I entered my Beatles exhibit in a local arts festival and earned top prize for presentation. Yes, I was a completely lost soul and have never recovered.

And then I finally saw the Stones in person at the Swing Auditorium on Halloween, no less. My corruption was complete when I found myself staring at Mick's pants. I was nine, going on twenty-five, and my boobs were already sprouting pretty good.

Access was so easy back then. The whole band was signing stuff after the gig. 12 x 5 was just out, but I spent my album money on the show. I had all five sign the portrait that came with the 1st LP. It's going with me to my grave. Then my kids can fight about it.

I don't know if it was just Berdoo or the Stones or what, but it wasn't the kind of stereotypical British Invasion thing where the band has to make a quick getaway so the girls don't tear them apart. It was nothing like that for this show. It was a pretty civil meet-and-greet. And during the show, I don't remember the screaming being that over-the-top.

I tried to take pictures during the concert, but they didn't turn out. It was just the backs of people's heads. But I have a roll of the Stones signing autographs after the show. I took a shot of Sandy with Brian. And she took one of me with both Keith and Bill.

They are just cheapie B&W Kodak photos, but that's kinda what makes them rock. Lots of the girls there had those cheesy old fashioned hairstyles and awful eyeglasses. I hung with the surf crowd and wore my hair long and straight, sometimes with bangs, sometimes not (Fuck rollers, flips and Dippity-Do).

My parents had taken me and my best friend, and fellow "sprouter", Sandy to Huntington Beach earlier in the day. Seriously, my friendship with Sandy began because we were both a little more advanced than the other girls in that department. We could share stuff with each other that we couldn't with the others.

My parents dropped us off at the Stones concert after a quick bite at Taco Tia. We were wearing beach shifts with our bikini's underneath and beach-walkers [flip flops]. I was using sunglasses to pull back my hair because it got pretty tossed at the beach.

From what limited contact we had with them, Bill was the nicest and most conversational Stone. I'd say Keith came in second, he was bright eyed and enthusiastic. Mick had the most traffic so the only thing I said to him was that I liked their version of Sam Cooke's Little Red Rooster which they performed that night. It wasn't on any of their records at that point. He smiled and said it was a Howlin' Wolf song. We didn't know a damn thing about Howlin' Wolf until that moment. But even as nine year olds, Sandy and I knew what that tune was about.

Brian was a hyperactive, insulting smart ass. I heard him degrade some of the girls as they walked away from getting his autograph. And he made sure it was loud enough so they could hear. How Stones-like.

Vickie Rock

Mr. Minimac said...

Very nice and thanks for the link, Steve. This era of PH was always firing on 7.999 cylinders for me. Great music but I missed Matthew Fisher and his delicate vocals (which were quite the contrast to GB).

Anonymous said...

Sandy and I both loved Brian's style of dress but found him ugly. Those bags under his eyes weren't very sexy.

I couldn't understand Charlie at all. He mumbled too quietly in the noisy room.

Me and Sandy laughed about him and swore he was a homo. Till we read he was married in some Teen-Zine.

Those guys were definitely way too cool to be hanging out with nine year old girls. But in Bill's case we weren't too far off from his preference.

Man was that a great memory. Shit, Sandy didn't have anything for them to autograph so she dug in her purse and found an old Get Well card, and a school dance flyer for them to sign. For further autographs, she grabbed a paper plate from the snack bar which a friend of mine's mother ran.

It's Memorial Day for the wonderful Swing Auditorium, its low stage, it's 5,000 capacity and all the great music and good times shared inside its confines. It is so sad that an airplane hit it in 1981 and it had to be taken down. It was the venue of the first Stones gig in the USA. How nice it would have been for the Stones to return there for one of their anniversary tours. It's one of the places I will fondly remember till I die.

Vickie Rock listening to Nils Lofgren singing "Delivery Night," from a transcendent live tape I made at Bogart's decades ago.

Jonathan F. King said...

"I bought an import copy of their first single at Lewin's Record Paradise in Hollywood before it was released in the States." Jeez, Vickie, where'd you get that kind of money? I had to give Lewin $8 for the U.K. "Aftermath" in 1966, and it took me four weeks to raise that kind of cash. But for regular releases -- like the first Procol LP on Deram -- Wallach's Music City down the street was a good-enough source. My pal Josh and I sprang for the first PH album as soon as we found it, becoming surely among the first slightly stoned L.A. teens to sit in a dark room and marvel at "Repent Walpurgis."

Anonymous said...


I was a catalog model for teen fashions. I had my own money. More than most kids. That was liberating. Plus my parents were super cool, to say the least.

At that age, the main problem for me was transportation. But I was pretty resourceful.

The PH single went for two bucks and change. That was a lot. But it was strongly recommended to me. Had I known the damn thing was gonna come out in the US a week or two later I would have waited.

I'm not entirely sure, but I think PH's S/T debut came out in America before it did in the UK. Our version was better because it had the hit, while there's had Good Captain Clack. Surprisingly, the debut never charted in England.

I agree with you about Repent Walpurgis. An astounding performance. I could give you a hallucinogenic description but I blew my wad on Lover of the Bayou the other day. No matter what, it would fall short of the beauty and majesty of this very tall and spacious song which destroys me every time. Trower pulled great sounds out of his Gretsch.

I used to go to Wallichs Music City too. Sometimes in Hollywood, sometimes in Covina. I would always grab those 11 x 14 school bus yellow Wallichs Music City Charts which featured the top selling singles and LP's at the chain. It was a perfect way to get the pulse of the Southern California Music scene.

But most of my records I bought at White Front during that time. They were the cheapest. I also bought a bunch of stuff at Harris' Department store in San Bernardino. All the mall department stores [Penney's, May Company, The Broadway] used to have record racks as well.

At my local White Front I could always get three [sometimes four] albums for under ten bucks and have change for a burger. I had a major crush on the guy who ran the record department there. He dressed really cool, was tall and dark, with long hair. And he had a gorgeous mustache.

At that time mustache's were exotic. The Beatles hadn't done their mustache bit yet. I have been told that Danny Hutton, pop singer and future leader of Three Dog Night, inspired the Beatles to grow mustaches when they met him in L.A. sporting one. Don't know if it's true but it's an interesting story.

Vickie Rock from Outside the Gates of Cerdes playing with my two-pronged unicorn.