Posts Tagged ‘Bill Graham’

See the source image

Cold Blood is a long-standing R&B horn funk band founded by Larry Field in 1968 and was originally based in the East Bay region of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Lydia Pence was the the lead singer of the Bay Area Funk Band, Cold Blood, has been delighting audiences for over 50 years. The group formed in 1968 found a mentor in Rock impresario Bill Graham who signed the band to a recording contract with his San Francisco Records after an audition in 1969. Pence, a powerhouse singer, is known for her soul stirring vocals on such barnburners as the cover of Sam & Dave’s “Hold on I’m Comin,’“ , Muddy Waters’ nugget “I Just Want to Make Love to You,” both from Cold Blood’s debut self-titled album from 1969, and her take take on Stax vocalist Mable John’s “Your Good Thing (Is About to End)” from the bands sophomore effort “Sisyphus,” with the Pointer Sisters joining in with some gospel laced backup vocals.

The band’s heyday was 1969-1976 during which time they released six albums and built up a faithful following opening for headlining acts at Winterland and Fillmore West such as Albert King (1969), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1969), Alice Cooper (1971) It’s a Beautiful Day (1973), and Montrose (1976). The combination of a horn heavy funk Band and Pence’s impassioned singing kept the band busy until it broke up in 1978. After a period of raising her daughter in the early 1980s, Pence and band members came together again in 1988 with some new personnel and have been funkin’ ever since. Pence may have been lost in Janis Joplin’s shadow because of similar styles and the fact that the Joplin reigned supreme in the late 1960s until her death in 1970.

No matter, Pence has continued to perform over the ensuing decades, earning nothing but raves from her loyal fans and new converts. Lydia Pence has stood the test of time and still does some mighty soul shouting in performance, Catch her and cold blood while you can. One of my favourite bands that featured an super horn section. Was totally taken in by the powerhouse vocals of Lydia Pense coupled with the great musicianship of the band. Their debut album was phenomenal and these two songs were a definite highlight.

The term “East Bay Grease” was been used to describe the San Francisco Bay Area’s brass horn heavy funk-rock sound of the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, Cold Blood was one of the pioneer bands of this sound, Other bands include Tower of Power, Chicago, and Blood Sweat And Tears. The Tower of Power horn players have performed with Cold Blood on a regular basis since the early 1970s. Skip Mesquite and Mic Gillette have been members of both Tower of Power and Cold Blood.

Original band members were founder Larry Field (lead guitar), Lydia Pense (vocals), Danny Hull (tenor saxophone and songwriter), Larry Jonutz (trumpet; born Mar 15 1947), Pat O’Hara (trombone; born May 25, 1946 (?), died August 1977 of an overdose), Raul Matute (Hammond organ, piano, arranger and songwriter, born Feb 19 1946), Jerry Jonutz (baritone, alto and tenor saxophone; born Mar 15 1947), David Padron (trumpet; born May 4, 1946), Rod Ellicott (bass), and Frank Davis, who was replaced on drums by Sandy McKee (real name Cecil James Stoltie, born 12 July 1945, died 15 October 1995) during the “Sisyphus” sessions.

In the late 1960s, the Doors, and particularly their frontman Jim Morrison, were one of the most unpredictable live acts on the planet. You simply didn’t know what they were going to do or how long they were going to do it for. Just two weeks after the Fillmore East opened, Bill Graham booked the Southern California psych rockers to play four sets of music spread across two nights. The final set on the second evening was the one to catch.

Doors Jim Morrison Performing Fillmore East

That night, the Doors played their regular collection of material but apparently enjoyed themselves so much that they came back after most of the crowd had thinned out and played again for nearly an hour. It was an incredible showing, and left a tremendous impression on one audience member in particular: future punk poetess Patti Smith. Her boyfriend, photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, was working as an usher at the venue and managed to get her a free pass to the show. It was a galvanizing experience, as she explained in her autobiography Just Kids. “I felt, watching Jim Morrison, that I could do that,” Smith wrote.





Universal Music will issue The Who “Live at the Fillmore East 1968” in April, a set of unreleased recordings from the second of two nights played at Bill Graham’s legendary, but short-lived, venue in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. An oft-bootleg concert by the Who will soon gets its first official release. Live at the Fillmore East 1968, which documents the last show of a two-night stand at the New York venue.

The two-disc, three-LP set, whose track listing is below, focuses largely on material from their two previous records, The Who Sell Out and A Quick One. But there are also three Eddie Cochran covers — “Summertime Blues,” “C’mon Everybody” and “My Way” plus takes on Benny Spellman’s Allen Toussaint-penned “Fortune Teller” and Johnny Kidd and the Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over,” and a lengthy version of “My Generation.”.
The Who’s manager Kit Lambert had recorded both the 5th and 6th of April shows of ’68 with a view to issuing as The Who’s fourth album after “The Who Sell Out”That never happened, but 50 years later sound engineer Bob Pridden (who was there in 1968) has restored and mixed songs from the 6 April show for this new archival release.

The Who headlined the Fillmore East with Free Spirits and Buddy Guy opening.

The second night of The Who’s first run ever playing at the Fillmore East is an unbelievably great document of the band in its early prime, still full of the punk attitude that they would initially define while beginning to venture off into more artistic and experimental territory. Every minute of this performance is fascinating and much of this material has never been released, This set captures the entire band fully engaged in their music. Although many songs were still short and concise during this stage of their career, the intensity level is undeniable. Opening the show with Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” they immediately set a bar that most other bands could never even approach.

Their second song of this set is the Stones‘ cover of the Allen Toussaint penned “Fortune Teller” which they had just performed for the first time ever the previous night.

They continue with “I Can’t Explain,” one of the few songs American audiences were familiar with at the time, but with a new level of aggression that wasn’t apparent on that early single. Next up is their current single at the time, “Happy Jack,” a tune that found them exploring new directions and beginning to experiment with dynamic changes. Extremely rare live performances of “Relax” and “My Way” follow and continue to explore and expand on the boundaries within the band’s music. “Relax” surprisingly turns out to be one of the heavier numbers on this set and the band takes flight into some inspired jamming following the verses. Unfortunately, the jam fades out and is incomplete.

John Entwistle then steps up for his defining song, “Boris The Spider,” lending his dark sense of humor to the proceedings. At this point, the band launches into “My Generation” and this version is amazing. The improvisational section following the verses is a great early example of the band letting the music propel itself. Although at times it seems like they are on the verge of being out of control, they never are, and early signs of Townshend developing themes within a jam are also surfacing. The approach to their instruments and the sound they create as a unit is utterly unique and unlike any other band at that time. The reels were changed during this jam, so a small part of it is missing on this recording.

This surely must have left the audience breathless, so while they were recovering, the band embarks on their most experimental composition yet, “A Quick One While He’s Away,” which is incomplete and begins in the middle of the song. This adventurous suite of songs, loosely tied together, is a hint at Townshend’s future aspirations that would eventually be realized in his first full-blown rock opera, Tommy. This is a fascinating performance for its entire eight minutes.

They close their set this night with another propulsive jam on “Shakin’ All Over,” again letting the music propel the band through several pulverizing jams, including spontaneous flailing of riffs familiar from other songs. Again, the raw energy is astounding. This and the previous night’s performance must have gone a long way towards cementing their reputation in New York City. This should be required listening for anyone interested in that era of rock music and especially for anyone interested in The Who this is absolutely essential.

Pete Townshend – guitar, vocals; Roger Daltrey – vocals; John Entwistle – bass; Keith Moon – drums

The Who Live at Fillmore East 1968 will be released on 20th April 2018. Amazon UK have a remarkably cheap pre-order price for the 2CD edition. Who fans should also note that an expanded 2CD deluxe edition of Pete Townshend‘s solo album “Who Came First” will be issued a week earlier on 13th April.

Jimi Hendrix Experience Poster

Jimi Hendrix and the Flying Eyeball are images indelibly linked in the psychedelic poster art of the late Rick Griffin. Griffin discovered The Eyeball, in a much more benign form, in the 1950s auto detailing art of California pinstriper Von Dutch and reworked it over time to become the winged, bloodshot figure parting a ring of fire with serpent-like tentacles. The highlighted lettering, vivid color, and complicated imagery reflect Griffin’s attention to precise details and the influence of Indian lore on his work.

The Doors Postcard

Another split-venue offering, the Doors and Procol Harum play at this hot-hits, cool music offering personified in the cool blue and hot-to-the-touch figures. At the height of the Fillmore’s popularity in the Summer of Love 1967, Bill Graham chose artist Jim Blashfield to design a number of posters. Bold and colorful, his few designs have become highly collectible.

A cool vintage poster from Professor Poster:

A departure from the usual style of poster that the very talented artist, (and former wife of Bill Graham) Bonnie MacLean offers up for today’s “Poster From The Past”. The poster’s central image is of a human face with an American flag waving just in front of it. There is also part of a hand, a rooster and a figure playing a guitar. At the bottom, a small face peers out from behind a flower. There are birds as well as flowers also throughout this collage of pastel colors that smoothly blend together on a black background.

It was 46 years ago on this day back in 1967, an INCREDIBLE dance/concert took place with The Byrds, The Electric Flag and BB King, playing at The Fillmore Auditorium.. what a line-up! The following two nights the venue switched over to the Winterland Arena just a couple of blocks away. Light show performed by Holy See! This is BG Fillmore poster number #96 in the old series and was printed just one time.


The Allman Brothers Band’s classic 1971 live album “At Fillmore East” will be expanded into a six-disc box set, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings, to include 15 previously unreleased performances. The group originally compiled the album from four sets recorded over a weekend in March 1971, and the new box set also includes a complete performance recorded at the venue that June. For that performance, promoter Bill Graham handpicked them to headline the Fillmore East’s final night. The new box set features liner notes by “Allmanologist” John Lynskey .


“That weekend in March of ’71, when we recorded At Fillmore East, most of the time it clicked,” drummer Butch Trucks said in a statement. “We were finally starting to catch up with what we were listening to. We had lived together. . . we got in trouble together; we all just moved as a unit. And then, when we got onstage to play, that’s what it was all about – and it just happened to all come together that weekend.”

The four March sets were recorded by Tom Dowd, who produced the Allman Brothers’ second album, “Idlewild South”, and the Derek and the Dominos album Layla (the latter of which paired Duane Allman with Eric Clapton). With so much going on around the band at the time, Dowd and Atlantic Records decided to put out the live album to show what the Allman Brothers  were capable of outside of the studio.

One of the best live albums of all time  The Allman Brothers Band’s cornerstone LP, At Fillmore East, compiled from the four sets recorded on the weekend of March 12-13, 1971, has been expanded, stretching over six CDs with fifteen unreleased tracks. Additionally, The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings contains the complete June 27 performance during the iconic venue-s final weekend, after the band was handpicked by impresario Bill Graham to headline closing night. The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings captures the most inspired improvisational rock unit ever at the peak of their prodigious powers, blazing their way through extended instrumental elaborations, so taut and virtuosic, that the crowds that packed the Fillmore East on those memorable nights were utterly transfixed. When it came to live performance, no other band could touch the Allmans.

‘The 1971 Fillmore East Recordings’ includes 37 tracks, 15 previously unreleased and a 36 page booklet with extended liner notes and never-before-seen images of the Fillmore concerts.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Love The One You’re With
Recorded Live: 11/3/1991 – Golden Gate Park – San Francisco, CA
More Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young at Music Vault:

David Crosby – guitar, vocals
Stephen Stills – guitar, vocals
Graham Nash – guitar, vocals
Neil Young – guitar, vocals, harmonica

From the first public Mime Troupe events in 1965 to his untimely death in 1991, Bill Graham set the standard for excellence in concert presentations and in doing so, redefined the art of communication for an entire generation. To honor Bill Graham, Steve Kahn and Melissa Gold, the BGP staff organized a free concert in Golden Gate Park for Sunday, November 3. Mother Nature cooperated and provided a comfortable and cloudless day as 300,000 people gathered in the Polo Field of Golden Gate Park.

Although the Grateful Dead were expected to make an appearance, the list of performers was kept well under wraps and few had any idea who exactly would be performing. It didn’t seem to matter though, as the feeling that permeated the crowd was one of quiet reflection. This concert marked the end of an era, but also memorialized Bill Graham in a manner that was fitting – a free concert in the heart of where it all started. The sad circumstances aside, this was truly a celebration of Graham’s life and as the poster for this event noted, it was to be a day filled with Laughter, Love and Music.

A rousing welcome greeted the second extended set of the day, which brought together Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. Rarely a polished band onstage, this set is more ragged than usual, but to some degree that is part of the charm of this impromptu performance. There is no rhythm section here; just the four musicians and their distinctive voices. Other than occasional electric guitar work from Stills and Young, the set is instrumentally an acoustic affair, utilizing only guitars and harmonica.

They begin with Nash’s anthemic “Teach Your Children,” engaging the audience to sing along. Next up is Stills’ “Love the One You’re With,” in a rare acoustic arrangement. The melancholy harmonica intro to Neil Young’s “Long May You Run” and the relaxed groove he soon creates on this song is one of the highlights of their set. The lyric and the inherent sadness in Young’s vocal seems to resonate and reflect on the day.

Crosby’s “Long Time Gone” features some interesting electric lead guitar work from Stills, but ultimately suffers from the lack of rhythm section and Crosby’s shouting, as opposed to singing, the vocal. “Southern Cross” fares slightly better, but again it is Neil Young’s “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” that brings out the most thoughtful and harmonious interplay.

Recognizing this, they deliver another engaging performance. The vocals are now stronger and the extended jam treatment given to “Wooden Ships” lends itself to some nice interplay between Stills and Young, with Crosby’s unique rhythm guitar propelling things along for nearly ten minutes.

They close their set with Neil Young’s “Ohio;” a strange choice indeed! This, possibly to Neil’s delight, is ragged beyond belief, complete with out-of-tune guitars and extremely ragged vocals. Nonetheless, the audience seems to enjoy it and is soon repeatedly singing “four dead in Ohio,” as the group exits the stage.