Saturday, 9 August 1980 6:30 PM

Wollman Skating Rink Theater
Central Park
5th Avenue and 59th Street
New York, New York 10022

FLAC master, 22 September 2020, by elegymart:
Analog audience recording (mono) {recorded by Gene Poole}: unknown mics/recorder > 1979-81 US/European TDK D90 (Type I Normal) analog audio cassette master {from the Gene Poole collection} > Sony TC-WE435 (azimuth adjustment) > Roland R05 (24/96) > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (audio cleanup, convert to 16/44) > SHNtool (fixed SBE) > CD Wave (track splits) > TLH (WAV > FLAC8).
Created this text file.

Total running time [62:27]
01 Back on the Street [1:20]
02 Caravan [8:38]
03 The Very Last Time [3:50]
04 Set Me Free [3:52]
05 Love of the Common Man [4:09]
06 Gangrene [6:05]
07 The Last Ride [5:04]
08 Trapped [3:04]
09 Love in Action [3:27]
10 Last of the New Wave Riders [6:41]
-- encore 1 --
11 Couldn't I Just Tell You [4:29]
-- encore 2 --
12 Love Is the Answer [5:01]
13 Just One Victory [6:41]

Band line-up:
Todd Rundgren - guitars, vocals
Roger Powell - keyboards, synthesizer, vocals
Kasim Sulton - bass, vocals
John "Willie" Wilcox - drums, percussion, vocals



Here's the latest installment of the Gene Poole Collection, a random wellspring of recordings which have recently surfaced. To paraphrase Lou: This is gonna go on for a while, so we should get used to each other, settle back, pull up your cushions, whatever else you have with you that makes life bearable in what has already been the start of trying decade...

Some of Gene's handiwork has probably been heard by your very ears before, for the most part via the Stonecutter Archives, but this is the first major unearthing of tapes direct from the legend himself. As promising as that may seem, it's best to let the surprises hit as they are shared. The trade-off to the prolific taping on Gene's part is that the expectations for a perfect track record would be unrealistic and unfair. There will be instances of incomplete recordings, caused by late arrivals to gigs, recorder and mic malfunctions, and other assorted foibles as would befall any mortal taper. There will be times where a master from another source exists which could be superior. For the most part, Gene recorded with a variety of mics and recorders, and many shows suffered from wire dropouts, so that only one channel was extant in the capture. Due warning about the past imperfect given and out of the way, credit should be given where due as well -- for many shows thought lost forever, it's exciting to discover that many of these even in incomplete form have now cropped up.

The transfers, the audio fixes, and the research all have required some lead time -- many tapes had scant info (sometimes just the name of the artist/band, with no date listed for the performance). Needless to say, gear documentation is virtually nil -- we wait around for that precise detail to be forthcoming, nothing from the collection would probably see the light of day.

We're at the Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park this time for the second of two consecutive nights with Utopia at the Dr. Pepper Music Festival. Orchestra seats were $5.00, balcony seats $3.00; a regular or sugar-free Dr. Pepper was 75 cents.

Even though "Deface the Music" was less than two months away from release at the time of this show, none of the songs on that album are previewed or performed here.

Gene labeled this tape "Tod Rungren #1" [sic]. Wasn't that tough to figure this one out. As soon as you hear the "sit down!" shouts from the nearby audience, that's an instant giveaway it's a Central Park or other outdoor show from the time. And fortunately there are recordings of both nights in circulation to compare setlists. Even though sets for the two nights were similar, "Love Is the Answer" didn't feature in the encores from the first night, so that was one way to ID this. It didn't hurt for Todd to announce it's the second show after "Caravan" either.

Unless this show opened with "The Road to Utopia" (which doesn't seem to be the case based on the other source of this show in circulation), it seems Gene got let into Wollman during the opening song, and this recording starts with the tail end of "Back on the Street." He was in a good direct path to the PA stacks here that any audience noise is drowned out during the louder passages in the music, but that still leaves plenty of the quieter moments during "Caravan" for people to tell one another to move their ass or get down from presumably standing on their seats and blocking the view of those behind them, as would be typical of an outdoor concert.

The tape will reveal its age in parts ("Just One Victory," for instance and "Trapped" suffers some tape breathing). It also lacks high end, but it's nothing terrible for a recording vintage of four decades. Todd was playing with a busted guitar at one of these two Central Park shows, probably from the first night, as it doesn't sound like he's having any trouble here, but that leads to the other bad news about this. Remember how Gene labeled this tape #1? It seems there must be a #2 that hasn't turned up yet. So you get Utopia when they took the stage before the sun went down for their first set, which fit right onto the first side of the cassette, and then the encores that Gene taped on the second side of the cassette after nightfall. #2 must be, one can hope, the entire second set after their wardrobe change and with the Ra gear, and let's hope that'll surface someday.

Rick Brandt, who was a Penn State student, also shot some footage of the show with his uncle's Super 8 sound camera from what appears to be the first night on 200' loads. Without access to the other audio source of this show, can't compare to see if it's Gene's recording (it does also cut in on "Back on the Street") but chances are Gene's recording has not circulated before and even if it has, not from the master until now.