In the summer of 1975, Dave Mason was touring the US ahead of the release of Split Coconut while Poco was on the road promoting their new album Head Over Heels. On July 22, 1975, Poco opened a show for Dave Mason at the North Hall Auditorium in Memphis, Tennessee. And I have in my possession a ticket to that very concert. It was assigned seating and I had Seat 319 in Row B in the second tier of the auditorium. Price of the ticket? Eight bucks. At the time, I was living about three hours south of Memphis, in Jackson, Mississippi. So me and a couple of friends bought our tickets and hit the road. Now you may have noticed I said I was in possession of a ticket, not a ticket stub. The reason it’s not a stub has to do with some unfortunate business involving the Mississippi State Highway Patrol and the six hours it took to straighten out the whole mess from the inside of the jail there in Hernando, Mississippi. Well, as you might have guessed, my friends and I didn’t make it to the show that night. And I dare say I’m not the only one with a story about that show you never made it to. And if you’d like to share yours with the rest of us, send me an email with the gory details. I’m sure we’d all love to know exactly what happened.
Given that little confession, it should come as no surprise that today’s batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl is a concert mix. Imagine a big rotating stage, a veritable lazy Susan of your favorite acts. Among them, two pairs of former lovers: we’ll hear James Taylor with Carly Simon followed by Bob Dylan with Joan Baez. We’ll also hear from Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen, CSN&Y, Joe Cocker, and Jonathan Edwards. But we’re gonna start with Urubamba, also known as Los Incas, the group that put the Peruvian folk flavor into Simon and Garfunkle’s “El Condor Pasa.” But here, they’re giving that same flavor to a different song. From Live Rhymin’, here’s Paul Simon and “The Boxer.”
|Paul Simon||The Boxer|
|Jonathan Edwards||That’s What Our Life Is|
|Crosby, Stills, Nash, Young||Find the Cost of Freedom|
|James Taylor and Carly Simon||The Times They Are a Changing|
|Bob Dylan and Joan Baez||Mama You Been on My Mind|
|Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen||Oh Mama Mama|
|The Band||Rag Mama Rag|
|Joe Cocker||Sticks and Stones|
Not just one of the top ten live albums from the 1970’s, Mad Dogs and Englishmen holds up as one of the best live rock albums ever. Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, the Master of Space and Time, the Gentle Giant, Lunar Teacake Snakeman, and all the others right there with a rollicking version of “Sticks and Stones.” Before that we had a mama thing going on: We heard The Band’s classic “Rag Mama Rag” from Rock of Ages. Before that, “Oh Mama Mama,” Live From Deep in the Heart of Texas, that was Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. And we heard Bob Dylan with his old flame Joan Baez doing “Mama You Been On My Mind.” That was recorded during the Rolling Thunder Revue tour in 1975, which was the first time Bob and Joan had performed together since their romantic break up many years earlier.
The other couple in that set was James Taylor and Carly Simon, from the No Nukes Concerts in 1979, with further vocal harmony provided by Graham Nash, one of my favorite versions of “The Times They Are a Changing.” Elsewhere we had Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young trying to “Find The Cost of Freedom” from Four Way Street. Before that, Jonathan Edwards recorded at the Performance Center in Cambridge, Mass backed up by his friends from the group Orphan. Song called “That’s What Our Life is,” from the 1974 album Lucky Day. And we started that concert set with Paul Simon backed up by his pals Los Incas, doing a Peruvian folk flavored version of “The Boxer.” Well, that’s it. Show’s over. They’re turning on the lights and running us out of the Way Back Studios. I’m Bill Fitzhugh, thanks for listening. I’ll be back with another batch of All Hand Mixed Vinyl next time, and I hope you can join us. Right here in the Deep Tracks.