Van Morrison
Crawford Hall
University of California, Irvine
Irvine, CA
June 6, 1975, 8:00 PM Show
Lost California Performances
JF Archive Series No. 4 via JEMS

Taper: JF

Source: unknown recorder > unknown microphone

JEMS 2015 Transfer: JF master Memorex cassettes > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 (24/96) capture > iZotope RX4 > Peak 6.0 with iZotope Ozone 5 > iZotope RX MBIT+ resample 16/44.1 > Peak Pro XT (edit / index) > xACT 2.21 > FLAC

01 Alright OK
02 One Of These Days (Mose Allison)
03 T.B. Sheets
04 Wild Night
05 Sweet Mary Blues (Leadbelly)
06 Brown Eyed Girl
07 I’ve Been Working > Take Your Hands Out Of My Pocket > Stormy Monday (T-Bone Walker)
08 Domino
09 St Dominic’s Preview > Walk On The Wild Side (Lou Reed) > You Can’t Always Get What You Want (Rolling Stones)
10 Gloria
11 Moondance

JEMS loves a vintage taper series and we're pleased to offer another one, this time from the archive of our friend JF, who taped in and around Southern California in the '70s and later resumed taping in Boston in the '80s. He frequented smaller venues, like the Troubadour and the Roxy, leaving arenas to others and leaning more towards the folksier, jazzier and eclectic sides of rock.

Most of his '70s tapes were made on what I would describe as the kind of rectangular, portable, C-cel powered cassette recorder that my family and surely many others had in the '70s, either a Panasonic or a Sony. While I used ours to record myself, my friends and my sister around the house, the teenage JF figured: Why not try taking it into concerts?

I only learned what recorder JF used after I had heard some of his tapes and I have to say I was mildly shocked. Given the gear, his tapes are remarkably clear and judging by his recordings, he knew the right place to set up.

JF was also an active trader at the time and we've already found a few uncirculated gems from the early '70s in his archive that we'll be getting in the series as well.

The fourth release from JF's archive is something special. Not only is it an uncirculated Van Morrison recording from 40 years ago, but, to the best of our knowledge, no details of this performance can be found in any reference we could find on the web of Morrison's touring history, the most definitive of which is the German site

Vanomatic lists a mere 22 shows taking place in all of 1975, and, inexplicably, the only extant record of any ‘75 performance is a single 18-minute recording and six-song set list from the Great American Music Hall, San Francisco, April 21. How Van Morrison, given his stature in 1975, could play 22 concerts, all but one of which (Buffalo) was in California, most of which were in San Francisco, and have them go completely unrecorded and undocumented is bizarre to say the least. But that changes now.

The early set in Irvine does appear in Vanomatic’s list of ‘75 shows but with no known setlist.. It becomes the second full recording from ‘75, with four more JF tapes to come, so we go from 18 minutes of a single ‘75 show to half a dozen full, uncirculated shows. We’ve named JF’s six recordings from 1975 the Lost California Performances.

Thanks to some legwork by JF and the cooperation of other Van collectors, this show is transferred from the original master cassettes. As noted earlier in our series, it was JF's practice to copy his masters onto reels and reuse the cassettes. But in the case of Van Morrison, the artist he taped the most, he kept the masters intact. The tapes were loaned out over the years, but JF was recently able to get half of them back, so thanks to those who helped transport them to JEMS for fresh transfers.

The 8pm show at Crawford Hall shares a basic framework with the first volume in our series, Davis, but with a few notable differences. It’s a much bluesier night, with forays into Mose Allison’s “One Of These Days” and Leadbelly’s “Sweet Mary Blues.” The epic “St Dominic’s Preview” weaves even more of Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side” and the Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” into the narrative. And “Domino” gives the show another crowd-pleaser.

But the highlight for me is “I’ve Been Working,” which features some (improvised?) autobiographical lyrics (“In 1972 I started correcting some of my bad mistakes”), and also strolls through Sonny Boy Williamson’s “Take Your Hands Out of My Pocket” and T-Bone Walker’s “Stormy Monday.”

Van’s singing here is even stronger than it is in Davis, and the band (John Blakely on guitar; Mark T. Jordan on keyboards; David Hayes on Bass; and Tony Dey on drums) more in sync.

Here’s what JF recalled about the Irvine shows:

“This was the first show in a mini-Van marathon. Saw two shows this night in Irvine, two the next in Riverside and one more on the afternoon of the following day in Santa Barbara. There were no seats for this show--people gathered around the stage on the floor of the college basketball arena and danced or just hung out and listened. I set up back by the sound booth in the center of the hall, warily eyeing Van’s sound people so they wouldn’t catch me recording and secretly wishing I could tap into their line feed from the stage.

Among my memorabilia I recently found an old newspaper ad for the concerts at Irvine and Riverside. To my astonishment, I ‘learned’ that Roger McGuinn was the supporting act. I had completely forgotten that and only vaguely have some recollection of that now that my memory has been jogged. I mention it because this is another example of how my girlfriend Laura Greenwood and I would go off into Van-trances for these short periods when he would tour Southern California. I was a big fan of McGuinn and the Byrds, and yet for decades, until reminded of it, I had no idea that I saw him perform as a warm-up act for Van.”

The newspaper ad and JF’s ticket stub from the show are included in the torrent.

Thanks to JF, who reached out on DIME (you could be next!) and offered us his archive, which had been sitting in boxes, 6000 miles away from where he lives today, for 20+ years. Like so many early tapers, he had great stories to tell and the memories flooded back as we sorted through tapes. We are pleased to be able to bring his work to all of you. Please let him know through your comments that you are, too.

We also appreciate the unnamed Van collectors for helping to get JF’s masters back in his control. And finally mjk5510, who continues to be at the ready to finish off JEMS’ projects. Much appreciated.


Images for all shows as well as full size images for this show.

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