John Lee Hooker
July 30th 1999
Mid State Fair Frontier Stage
Paso Robles, California
Neumann AK-40's (x/y) >LC3 >KM-100's >Beyer MV-100 >Sony TCD-D7 (16bit/48khz)
Master DAT Transferred: Tascam DA-30 >S/PDIF >HHb CDR 800 PRO
CD Master >WAV Via xACT 2.37 >iZotope RX4 Advanced & Har-Bal 3.0 Post Production* >
WAV >Audacity (Track Splits) >FLAC (Level 8) Via xACT 2.37
(Recorded, Transferred, Audacity, FLAC, & Tags By OldNeumanntapr)
*/Post Production Clean Up and Preparation By Flying -M-
02. Come On Baby
03. Black Night
04. Boom Boom
05. Serves Me Right To Suffer
06. Baby Lee
07. High Heeled Sneakers
08. Crawling King Snake
09. The Boogie (instrumental)
10. encore break
11. The Boogie (reprise)
12. Outro / Taper Talk
Sadly, this recording represents the very last time that I was to see and record ‘Mr. Lucky’ in concert. I have been enthralled by John Lee Hooker’s music since I was in college in the mid 1980s and working part time for Warren Balfour in the Cuesta College Music Department. (I ran the board for the vocal jazz band and the ‘No Deadwood’ Big Band. I also copied some of Warren’s blues records to cassette while I was working in the studio with the bands. Warren Balfour was the head of the music department at Cuesta, and I first heard John Lee Hooker from an album of his that I copied called ‘The Great Bluesmen’. This was an album that had one track each from several blues artists, and the Hooker track was titled ‘Hobo Blues’ and appeared to be culled from an Ed Sullivan TV broadcast. All the tracks on this out-of-print double LP were live.) I was mesmerized with Hooker’s iconic ‘slasher’ guitar style, and his haunting lyrics. I was lucky enough to see and record Hooker playing ‘Hobo Blues’ at the Bridge School Benefit in 1991.
Hooker’s performance at the Mid-State Fair was on one of the free stages, and not the main grandstands. This made the crowds a lot worse because people were packed in cheek to jowl and they had a policy of once the show started, if you left you could not return. So, bathroom breaks were out of the question!
I selected a spot behind the board in the center of the bleachers, maybe 50 to 70 feet from stage. It was LOUD! To make matters worse, I didn’t realize the the -10db mic pads on my Neumann KM100 amplifier bodies were turned off until I got to the the fairgrounds, and because they are recessed you need a paper clip or such to engage them. Even a sharp pencil would have worked, but I had nothing except my keys and they were too big for the little recessed sliders. So, I had no choice but to try and keep the levels low on my DAT, but I knew that I was going to drive the input stage on my Beyer MV-100 preamp into clipping. (The Beyer has a ’stepped gain’ of 20, 40, or 60 db. 40 and 60 are WAY too high, unless you’re recording bug noises in the Amazon, so to say it’s not very adjustable is an understatement.) This recording has never seen the light of day until now, when Flying M was able to fix the problems caused by the clipping. There is a little bit of phase shifting and some slight anomalies here and there, but the processed result is a HECK of a lot better than it was before! I went to this show with my folks as well as my sister, and you can hear their voices at the end of the recording. You can hear me tell my mom when the show finished, ‘That was your first John Lee Hooker show. He’s only 82’. ‘Is he really? No way!’ she says. Actually, he was about 86 at the time of this show, so I was a little off. (Wikipedia lists his age at ’Around 88’ at the time of his death in June of 2001.)
Do NOT Convert To MP3.
Enjoy! Share freely, don’t sell, play nice, don’t run with scissors, etc. ;)
Flying M Notes-
Done with the John Lee Hooker shows.
Even though I am in the middle of other projects this looked good so started on it right away.
Did 2 “clip repair” passes to the audience recording with iZotope.
Regenerating the tips to the chopped off peaks.
Then a vinyl pop removal pass was done (to remove the clicks caused by clipping).
Har-Bal (compression) brought the music up in relation to the crowd.
Lots of rustling noises like wind or shuffling mics were then fixed.
The random loud distorted scratchy noises were also fixed.
Clapping was reduced and a LOT of screaming and whistling was muffled.
You should notice quite a difference on this.
Without the loud screaming and whistling this becomes much easier to listen to.