We were residing in Stroud,Gloucestershire from late Summer 1970(right after the Isle of Wight,more on that later) till the Fall of 1971.We would go into Bristol to catch some phenomenal shows in that era.My favorites were Ike and Tina Turner (she could sure handle a microphone),The Byrds in one of their final aggregations (love that Lover of the Bayou),The Kinks and Terry Reid,Derek and the Dominoes,and the Rolling Stones in the Mick Taylor era.
I caught Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris in Houston at Liberty Hall on Chenevert St. in 1973,my last year of living in Texas.I think they were relatively unknown around the country at that point,but certainly had a rabid following in Houston,spearheaded by a group of fans who dubbed themselves the Sin City Disciples after Gram’s Song Sin City,They had really cool embroidered jackets with a logo reminiscent of the Burrito’s Nudie Suits.Gram and Emmylou had an amazing chemistry on stage and the Fallen Angels backing band were seasoned pros.More information about this aggregation is available in a great book:20 Thousand Roads by David Meyers.
I first saw Bob Marley at Richard Harding’s club the Quiet Knight in Chicago in the early 70’s.I had just purchased the Catch a Fire album with flick-lighter cover at Rose Records on South Wabash and there was a little buzz about Reggae in the US,but when we arrived at Belmont and Sheffield there was a queue down the block and we were lucky to get in.The performance was amazing,I’ll never forget the sing-along to No Woman,No Cry(the show was recorded by WXRT for their Unconcert series so,it’s archived).
The next two BMW shows I caught were at the Auditorium Theatre on Congress in the South Loop.The Wailers had become a dynamo show band and drew a capacity crowd.Finally when they played their last Chicago show at the Uptown Theatre at Broadway and Lawrence it had gotten more laid-back and mellow,and Bob left us soon after.
I was commenting to a friend today about shows I attended at the Fillmore East in New York in the late sixties:Staple Singers opening for Big Brother and the Holding Co.Pop Staples came on stage with a tiny amplifier,but really wailed on guitar,Mavis was still pretty young,but sounded fine on tunes like I’ll Take You There and Respect Yourself.Big Brother’s first Columbia album had just come out,and Janis was amazing.She had to repeat Piece of my Heart as an encore for the ravenous crowd.That same Summer,I saw the Grateful Dead open for Jeff Beck Group,featuring Rod Stewart.