Experience Rock History!
Hello Hippies, Hipsters, Rockers, Live Music Lovers and anyone interested in archived rock concert reviews, real-life experiences and observations made during the magical and surreal 1960s and 1970s!
I present true archival reports and reviews on the concerts, music and culture in and around Los Angeles during the Classic Rock Concert Era of the ‘60s and ‘70s.
My life, heart and soul couldn’t have been at a better place in time than in my late teens in the late ’60s in L.A.
Each countdown is published in asscending chronological order. Enjoy!
EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
All Time Top 10 Historic Rock Concerts 1972 -1975 #8
Whiskey A Go-Go, Sunset Strip
Robin Trower, a True Rock Guitar God!
Trower has been referred to as the White Hendrix and that’s not a stretch – for while Jimi was an adept on so many levels, Trower seemed to gather many of those attributes and solidify them into sounds and moods reminiscence of Jimi but with his own signature style of absolute coolness.
Trower was the guitarist for Procol Harum who were one of those eclectic bands like Jethro Tull that created their own sub-category of rock. Their sound was unique, classically-tinged and was accompanied with twisted curious old world titles and lyrics thanks to lyricist, Keith Reid.
Procol Harum were all fine musicians, but my favorite PH songs were the Trower-Powered ones, especially during the “Home” and “Broken Barricades” period.
So I was really hyped about Trower’s first solo LP “Twice Removed From Yesterday”.
The album; the look, the cover, the songs, their lyrics and titles – and that sound – the whole package was perfect! It’s like music you had been waiting for, so when you finally hear it you wonder why it took so long and how did you know it so well once you heard it for the first time? (The music from the TV series, “Twin Peaks” was like that for me; Angelo Badalamenti – I thank the Gods for that guy, terrific stuff!)
I played “Twice Removed From Yesterday” an obscene amount of times; (went through several copies and had an import copy for special occasions) both sides were killer hard-rock psychedelic blues. So to see him at the Whiskey up on the Sunset Strip was a real treat as just about anywhere has a great view of the stage. The Whiskey is a very small club with a big reputation as just about every legend has passed through its doors and performed on stage. And that night was legendary for me as Trower, Dewar and Isadore tore up the stage with impassioned versions of just about all the cuts from the album.
Another great intimate Rock History night!
Testimony as to how much I like this guy and his work; besides this concert I saw him live at the Hollywood Palladium ( Bridge of Sighs Tour)), the Ventura Theater (2006) and a couple years ago at Canyon Club, both venues north of L.A.!
One last thing: much of what I like about Trower is his attitude; one look at his smile and you can tell that this guy loves to play as much as we love to hear him play. Mutual appreciation and joy in playing and hearing – it shows and comes through in his music.
Turn-On: Trower’s first two classic LPs are on one CD; about the best paired albums ever. These two represent true rich psychedelic rock ‘n’ blues played with heart and soul.
JUST POSTED! – TERRIFIC AUDIO OF THIS CONCERT!
WHAT A TREAT! “SINNERS SONG” IS SICK!
– PLUS –
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Grand Olympic Auditorium, L.A., CA
This concert represents a time in music and Rock history when it was very easy to get jaded with the current music scene and Rock in general, so I looked to import LPs for musical pleasure and was thrilled when Euro-rock groups like Hawkwind, Man, Golden Earring and Nektar toured the U.S.
Rock was dead, and to prove my point, Bruce Springsteen was the “Boss” – this was the best rock had to offer. Really? That’s it? That’s the best we got? Depressing, I rest my case. BS (his initials speak volumes) was to rock in the ’70s as Steven Spielberg was to movies in the ’70s – death to the spirit of the art.
Both used the low-end common denominator of the masses to actually bring down the diversity and quality of rock and film. It was as if everyone was under the spell of Spring and Spiel and their calculated delivery.
Were there better bands?
Absolutely, and I speak from a professional position; I was either a record-store manager or rack-jobber with accounts all over greater L.A. during that period. I was the buyer for major department stores, military base “malls” and record store franchises. I had to know ALL genres of music and what was hot, what was not and why. So, when the “Boss” represented the best, well, let’s just say I wasn’t impressed or under the spell; so I immersed myself in creative, innovative European rock groups.
Apparently there were many other music fans frustrated with the banality the U.S. offered as retrospective history proves of these Euro groups’ acclaim and influence on the Rock and Pop Icons that came after them.
So actually I must thank the “Boss” for his mere existence which opened me to wondrous sources of musical creativity and sound.
Many of the LPs that came my way I would trade-in at the Hollywood Tower Record Store for “unknown imports”. Tower had the best selection of imports back in the early ‘70’s. Beneath the loose plastic cover (no heat shrink-wrap for imports – plus – virgin vinyl, not recycled vinyl) I’d gather as much info possible about the band, then based on the cover art and the country of origin, musicians and instruments used (when the info was available) I’d make a selection. Sometimes I’d just hold it in my hand to try and get a vibe.
Quickly I realized that just about everything outside of the U.S. was happening!
I really couldn’t lose! Progressive rock, synthesizers, jam bands, instrumentalists, hard rock, synth/guitars, mellotrons, and soundtrack-like music – great stuff and right there ready to enjoy! I was in heaven and was given a route to rise above the mediocre American market into a whole universe of new music!
So, through my record connection dealings and fiendish record collecting habit (one of my drugs of choice at the time) I was able to amass an impressive import LP collection that consisted of; Can, Neu, Tangerine Dream (Phaedra, ahhhh, music that melts), Sensations Fix, Faust, Hawkwind, Popul Vuh, Amon Duul II, Nektar, Bo Hanson, Terje Rypdal, Gong, Cosmic Couriers, Golden Earring, Man, Focus, Tomita, Ash Ra Tempel, Aphrodite’s Child and the master Vangelis O. Papathanassiou plus rare imports by Pink Floyd and Hendrix and numerous other import obscurities. This was a very welcome, joyful, adventurous, discovery period that thankfully filled the void during that depressed state of Rock.
It would seriously take until the Punk and then Garage movements to really revitalize Rock once again.
This concert took place at the Grand Olympic Auditorium in downtown L.A. and had an old world interior which complemented in a weird way with the new sounds and presentation of Man and Hawkwind.
Man a consummate jam band from South Wales performed my favorite, the epic, “C’mon”. These guys never even achieved the acclaim or notoriety that Hawkwind received and never made a dent on the domestic scene. Too bad.
Hawkwind were well enough known to have a dedicated following in the states.
I was one of them. Hawkwind were really like a space-rock Grateful Dead with a devout following in the U.K. and while their band consists of Brits I include them in this Euro category because of timing; as this was a period where many Euro bands were able to “get in” the normally self-centered domestic market.
Hawkwind really held my attention for their first three LPs but started waning after the Hall of the Mountain Grill LP. Their spacey sound sometimes veered in less sophisticated areas but that’s what made them unique and likeable. I even liked their non-spacey stuff like Hurry On Sundown.
Dave Brock, founding member, has led Hawkwind through over thirty LPs and around ten live LPs and still tours today!
Lemmy Kilmister, an original member, took the name of one of Hawkwind’s songs with him when he was fired, for what he said was, “Taking the wrong drugs.”, called “Motorhead” and that’s where that legend started.
I was extra glad we took psychedelics for these performances because after Hawkwind took the stage and were well into a space jam, a Humanoid Insect Sax Player emerged from behind the red velvet curtains to jam with the band! For real.
Anytime you drop acid and you find yourself at a concert where six foot tall insects perform spaced-out rock – you know you are being graced by the Psychedelic Gods! And by the way; the Rock Bug was real – it was Nik Turner “in disguise”, …
I think ….
This concert also qualifies because of its representation of a weird cross-over period where all music was coming forth to get a piece of the action. So for good or bad, the ‘70s saw a vast array of talented, and not so talented, artists flood the market because no record companies knew who the next big thing would be (example: Jim Croce (?) was huge!) – so the music industry was very open then to all forms of music and is why we even got lesser known groups like these to tour here at all!
Both groups were a real treat to see live and each put on a great show. We had a really fun and entertaining time; the whole evening was Far Out!
Man Lineup: Deke Leonard (guitar, keyboards and vocals), Clive John (keyboards, vocals and guitars), Micky Jones (lead guitar and vocals), Martin Ace (bass), Terry Williams (drums).
Man Setlist: Back into the Future, C’mon.
Hawkwind Lineup: Dave Brock (guitar), Lemmy (bass), Simon King (drums), Nik Turner (sax), Del Dettmar (synthesizer), Dik Mik (audio generator), Stacia (extraordinary costumes, seductive dancing), Bob Calvert (poet and narrator).
Hawkwind Setlist: In the Egg, Orgone Accumulator, Welcome to the Future, Master of the Universe, Sonic Attack, Seven by Seven, Wage War, Urban Guerilla, Only Dreaming, Hurry on Sundown.
MAN “C’MON” part 1 Epic!
MAN “C’MON” part 2 Epic!
MAN “C’MON” part 3 Epic!