Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band
Winterland, San Francisco
Often mislabelled as 1973-03-31. Mahavishnu Orchestra gigs at Winterland confirmed at 1973-03-23+24.
AUD>Tape (unknown gen)>Wavelab>WAV>Trader's Little Helper>FLAC (level 8)
01. Sue Egypt (3:57) AKA Rank And Rumbustious instrumental
02. Mirror Man (5:28)
03. Hair Pie: Bake III (2:04) bass solo
04. Suction Prints (5:05)
05. Low Yo Yo Stuff (3:50)
06. Nowadays A Woman's Gotta Hit A Man (4:30)
07. Crazy Little Thing (2:43)
08. Sugar 'n Spikes (2:59)
09. Peon (3:22)
10. Abba Zaba (3:31)
11. I'm Gonna Booglarize You Baby (5:15)
12. Band Intro (3:18)
13. Alice In Blunderland (3:40)
14. I'm A King Bee/Sugar Mama (10:00) Slim Harpo/Howlin' Wolf
15. Big Eyed Beans From Venus (4:12)
16. Golden Birdies (2:06)
17. Steal Softly Thru Snow (2:38) instrumental
Total length: 68:38
Quality: 6/10. Sounds a little bit distant like in a great hall, enjoyable.
Speed and pitch checked. Sound improvement using Freefilter, equalizer and compressor. Several clicks deleted.
Captain Beefheart/Don Van Vliet: vocals, harmonica
Rockette Morton/Mark Boston: bass guitar, guitar
Oréjon/Audi Hon/Roy Estrada: bass guitar
Zoot Horn Rollo/Bill Harkleroad: guitar, slide guitar
Alex (Pyjama) St. Claire/Alex Snouffer: guitar, slide guitar
Ed Marimba/Art Tripp: drums, percussion
Ted Alvy: Great experience. A bunch of us drove down from Eureka, California where Beefheart was living for both nights. North of Eureka, on the beach, The Magic Band composed and rehearsed the Clear Spot LP and the Winterland gig debuted some of that new material. Don Van Vliet, Bill Harkleroad (Zoot Horn Rollo}, Mark Boston (Rockette Morton), Art Tripp (Ed Marimba) and Roy Estrada (Orejon) (from early Magic Band, Alex St. Claire was added on guitar, but do not remember if he was at Winterland gig; Alex was a member when they played The Trobadour in January 1973, as on Booga Booga Music bootleg). This was a great touring band and IMHO, the best - with the 1980 band that toured Europe before recording the final LP Ice Cream For Crow was also a fine band.
Chuck Burns: Saw Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band in '73 at Winterland (SF) sandwiched between Roxy Music (must be wrong) and the Mahavishnu Orchestra - one intense evening!
(Graham Johnston's guestbook)
Dr. Stephen A. Jove: I met him in Trinidad, a small town north of Arcata California in 1973 -74 after I had seen a concert of his at Winterland in San Francisco where he 2nd billed to the Mahavishnu Orchestra. What a concert that was, but only two pics of the Captain. I was going to school at Humboldt State University when I saw him pull up to the Trinidad Post Office in his Hudson - what a car! I shook his hand and asked him if he was Captain Beefheart. After exchanging a few words, I told him I really appreciated his music and that I saw him at Winterland.
Bill Harkleroad: I will also never forget playing at Winterland 1973 for various reasons. We were just heading off for a European tour and I had ten or so buddies come down from Eureka to San Francisco and I was running around trying to get them tickets. I remember talking to Bill Graham and trying to get some free tickets from him. He wasn't budging - I guess he needed to make his ten bucks or what ever it was. Eventually I got them in though, so it was great to be playing a major gig with my friends in the audience. For once it was a relief to be thinking about something other than whether I was going to be the "bad guy" tonight, the one that ruined everything by playing badly.
That particular evening we were the opening act for John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. I remember leaving the stage sweating like a pig, taking off the guitar, stripping off three layers of clothes - I always wore too many clothes. They started playing one of the tunes from Birds Of Fire, and I was standing in the dressing room being totally blown away. So I went to the stage, and there was Don and he was saying how they were doing this shit music. But I stood on the side of the stage with my mouth wide open. I particularly remember being blown away by the interplay between John McLaughlin and Billy Cobham - it was like they had this "other" energy. It wasn't just because he was playing a billion notes, which he was at the time, it was the sound. They were writing tunes that came from a place that I could relate to - it was powerful.
(Bill Harkleroad: Lunar Notes)
Dave Lang: I'll fill you all in on my Beefheart filled Xmas. Firstly, I received a tape on Xmas eve of what I presume to be the Winterland show from 3-31-73 (although it is labelled 3-23-73). This was a nice surprise, as I was convinced it would not arrive till the New Year. Unfortunately it had been recorded on a normal bias tape with low sound levels, so it was very hissy and muddy in general, but I felt I could improve it a lot.
I then spent spent most of Xmas Eve re-recording the tape to try to make it more listenable by re-equalising it and getting the levels louder through the combination of sound edit 16 (which has an eight channel equaliser, which can be manipulated on almost any frequency) and my own ten band graphic equaliser. After filtering, experimenting and re-equalising again, I believe I've succeeeded in converting it from a very low d grade tape , to a c or c minus grade, it fluctuates somewhat. It still isn't great but it's certainly listenable, as I've got rid of most of the bass boom, which was swamping everything badly and I've also minimalised the hiss on the upper levels without unduly losing the upper level information. It's immeasurably better than it was, especially if you crank up the volume (which seems pretty universal with early aud tapes, they need to be played loud!).
Anyway, perhaps you folks out there in Bone knob land can help with more info on this show. For starters, has anyone out there got a better version of this show and is it the date it claims to be? Here's the setlist, it is the whole show as far as I can ascertain.
baragon63: The Sue Egypt opening to Mirror Man was what I heard when Don and The Magic Band played Winterland in SFO for two nights in '73 (opening for The Mahavishnu Orchestra!). I was there for both shows, had probably my only acid freakout ever the second night. (Interesting story, but I'll save it for another time if anyone cares.)
I have always remembered the version of Mirror Man having that guitar opening, but had never heard a recording before where the two tracks followed each other.
Gaira: They were definitely performing (Mirror Man) in 1973. I saw them two nights in a row at Winterland in SFO, opening for The Mahavishnu Orchestra, and they played it both nights.
BTW, this was the tour supporting the release of Clear Spot. The Magic Band on that tour included Zoot Horn Rollo, Rockette Morton, Roy Estrada and Artie Tripp. If there were others playing on those shows, I have forgotten. I specifically recall Mirror Man because the musical arrangement was notably different from any recorded version I have ever heard, but there was no mistaking the song. Other songs I recall include Abba Zabba, Big Eyed Beans From Venus, Low Yo Yo Stuff, Clear Spot and Golden Birdies.
Most of the audience was there to see John McLaughlin, and didn't care much for the Magic Band. I was a big fan of both, but it really was a strange billing, the sort of thing that only Bill Graham could have put together. Lots of booing from the audience, which prompted Don to quip "Boo's for smoking, not for saying". Of course, a few years later, I saw Beefheart open for Frank Zappa (again at Winterland, following the release of Bongo Fury), and the audience booed him through the entire set. Fucking morons...