Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell & James Taylor
April 28, 1972
(George McGovern Fundraiser)
Recording: AKG D1000E Mic > Philips Cassette Recorder
Location: 8th row on the main floor, left of center
Transfer: Master Cassettes > Nakamichi DR-01 > Sound Devices USBPre2 > Adobe Audition (24/96) > iZotope RX / ozone 5 (mastered) > Peak Pro 6 (post production) > xACT 2.39 > FLAC
01 Me and Julio Down In The School Yard
03 Mother and Child Reunion > Cecelia
04 The Boxer
06 Mrs. Robinson
07 Sounds Of Silence
08 Bridge Over Troubled Waters
09 This Flight Tonight
11 Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire
12 Big Yellow Taxi
14 For Free
17 All I Want
18 A Case Of You
19 Both Sides Now
JAMES TAYLOR & BAND
20 Long Ago and Far Away
21 Brighten Your Night With My Day
22 Something In The Way She Moves
24 Woh, Don�t You Know?
25 Chili Dog
26 Don�t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
27 One Man Parade
28 Country Roads
29 Carolina In My Mind
30 You�ve Got A Friend
31 Fire and Rain
32 Sweet Baby James
33 Brief Speech
-For Free: only about 20 seconds of the song, the rest cut
-Country Road: end slightly cut
-Carolina In My Mind: start cut
Welcome the the latest installment of our series of Master Recordings from long time taper and dime member "JoeRay". Joe Ray has spent decades documenting the early years of the Cleveland music scene and captured many legendary tours and shows. We are pleased to present for the first time complete and directly from the master cassettes one of those legendary shows.
In April 1972, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell & James Taylor performed at a fundraiser in support of George McGovern for President. The fundraiser brought in more than $70,000 for his election campaign. This brought together three of the most influential singer songwriters of the era.
Paul Simon kicked off the proceedings with only his second truly solo performance after the demise of Simon & Garfunkel. Besides that, Paul's set is notable for the rarely played "Congratulations".
Next up was Joni Mitchell performing a solo set, her masterpiece "Blue" was 10 months old by now and she was of course warmly embraced by the Cleveland audience. Her set features beautiful versions of songs from her previous three releases as well as three new songs that would be released seven months later on "For The Roses". Due to some technical difficulties all but the first 20 seconds of "For Free" is missing.
James Taylor closes the musical proceedings with the longest set of the night at 13 songs. He is joined by an all-star band featuring Danny Kortchmar, Lee Sklar and Russ Kunkel. James set also includes a number four songs not released at the time and would not be released for another seven months on "One Man Dog".
Finally, the proceedings close with a short three minute speech from McGovern all captured on tape.
At least James Taylor's set has previously circulated under the incorrect date of My 8th, it is also incorrectly dated on www.james-taylor.com. Joni Mitchell's website correctly dates it as April 28th, we have also included newspaper ads and reviews from the time that correctly dates the show as April 28th.
JoeRay adds a little more flavor this his thoughts on the evening and era:
In the early 1970�s America was divided over the War in Viet Nam. Every day there was another protest march and people were being killed standing up for their rights. Just four months after the first major benefit concert was held in NYC, NY, The Concert for Bangladesh, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor and his Band got together in Cleveland, Ohio to perform at a Fundraiser for The Election of George McGovern for President. Warren Beatty was the organizer of this concert and was a supporter of Senator McGovern�s presidential bid. McGovern was in a Democratic Primary Challenge against Senator Eugene McCarthy who was a more progressive candidate than McGovern. Still, McGovern won the Democratic Nomination and faced Tricky Dick Nixon for the 1972 General Election which Nixon Won by a landslide only to be impeached and removed from office less than 2 years later. McGovern�s initial VP pick was Tom Eagleton who had to withdraw for health reasons.
This was my first major political concert. I sat in the 8th row on the left side of the main floor. Tickets were $10.00 each and I attended with my Philips Cassette Recorder, Memorex Cassette Tape and an AKG D1000E vocal mic. It is important to note, except for long breaks to tune the guitars, the musicians said very little during the concert. I did stop the recorder a few times to save tape space, but no talk was omitted. Due to the ice under the stage, the guitars were constantly going out of tune. Intermission between sets was only about 1-2 minutes as I think George McGovern had to be in NYC by morning.
The Cleveland Arena was the site of Alan Freed�s �Moondog Coronation Ball� in 1952 (widely considered the world�s first rock concert). The Arena was made out of steel and concrete and was designed as a hockey arena, home of the Cleveland Baron�s Hockey Team and the first home to the NBA�s Cleveland Cavaliers. You can tell there was no damping or sound baffling to improve the sound in this hockey rink. There was a wood floor placed over the ice where I played hockey as a goalie for St. Edward H.S. Hockey Teams a few days earlier. I did get to see the band Mountain perform the previous year at this arena and the sound was no better. Still, this recording is clear, and the words can be heard very distinctly. I transferred the cassette using a Nakamichi DR-1 cassette player> USBPre2>Mac Pro>Adobe Audition6.0 at 24/96.
I can�t stress to you the importance of this concert for historical purposes. While each musician was fairly early in their careers, only Paul Simon (Simon & Garfunkel) had ever played a headlining concert in Cleveland at such a large venue. James Taylor had previously opened for The Who at Public Hall and Joni Mitchell played the La Cave Coffeehouse previously. The 14,000 ticketed audience was sold out and this concert was covered by most major newspapers and network tv stations. Enjoy this rare, historical recording.
We cannot thank JoeRay enough for digging deep into his archives of master recordings to share with all, it is an honor to work on these historic recordings, please feel free to show you thanks with your comments.
Samples and artwork using photos JoeRay took at the show are included, along with some additional photos. Though low resolution, taken with a pocket Instamatic camera, they offer a context to not only JoeRay's taping location but also a view of the stage of this historic show.
Offered in both 24/96 and 16/44 Editions.
mjk5510 & JoeRay
Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.
Images for this show: