Yes : The Lostbrook Tape Series - Volume 1
It was the opening night of Yes’ three-night-stand at Madison Square Garden,
and the crowd was ready. Rick Wakeman was back, and two weeks before the concert,
the band had released Going for the One. I had already traveled to see Yes
in Philadelphia on August 2 and 3 with two of my friends, and was now back on home
ground, every bit as excited as if I hadn’t seen them yet. I had perfect seats – third
row, between Anderson and Howe. I had friends all over the arena, and my Sanyo tape deck
was ready for action. It had already produced two nice tapes from Philadelphia, and I
knew how to time the tape-flips. The set list was more than we could have asked for.
The older songs were celebrations, and the new material was stunning, especially
Turn of the Century and Awaken. The only distracting chatter was during Close to the Edge,
when we squeezed an extra person in our row. When you’re 19 and a pretty girl asks to
share your seat, it’s hard to say no. It sure annoyed the photographer behind us though! My
only friend to appear on this tape is Laurie. For her assistance with the tapes that
night, and for her friendship those crazy years, I dedicate this tape to her, wherever she may be.
August 5, 1977
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
Recording Equipment: Internal Mic - Sanyo tape deck - TDK SD C90 - Alesis TapeLinkUSB - Audacity - WAV
02 Firebird Suite
04 All Good People
05 Close To The Edge
06 Wonderous Stories
07 The Colors Of The Rainbow
08 Turn Of The Century
09 And You And I
10 Flight Jam
12 Starship Trooper
14 Yours Is No Disgrace
I first became enchanted by live performances after talking my way into the taping of
Dick Cavett’s Woodstock Show on August 18, 1969 at WABC studios in New York. This was
quite an accomplishment for an eleven-year-old without a ticket. My first major concert
was The Rolling Stones at Madison Square Garden on July 25, 1972. I was so impressed with
the enormity of that event that I jumped at the chance to acquire some of the vinyl bootlegs
from the Exiles on Main Street tour. These recordings surely planted a seed in my mind, but
unfortunately, I waited over 25 concerts before attempting my first recording in late
1975. Over the next ten years, I recorded approximately 125 concerts in the New York City
area. In 1985, I moved to Virginia and recorded sporadically, accumulating a few dozen shows
in the Washington DC area over the next 15 years.
My motive for taping has always been selfish. I simply wanted to enjoy the performances over
and over again. I didn’t realize that I was recording both musical and personal history or that
I was witnessing the high-water mark of progressive music. I thought it would last forever, but
in the back of my mind, I must have known that I had something special. With one or two exceptions
that I later regretted, I refused to trade tapes. Very few friends were ever given copies. I have
never considered selling them – I have too much respect for the artists. I protected my tapes for
decades, never knowing what to do with them as they sat dormant on a shelf. In 2010, I found the
time to make digital transfers of my tapes and rediscovered the amazing moments I had recorded. I
also found an answer: I needed to get these tapes to my friends that were with me, whose history I
had also captured, and to others who would appreciate this collection.
My equipment was low-tech but yielded surprisingly good results. Almost all of my recordings prior
to 1989 were made with the built-in condenser mic on a Sanyo desktop cassette recorder (model unknown).
When the unit began to fail in 1977, I replaced it with what I thought was a better recorder, but the
tapes were distorted. I quickly purchased a new Sanyo that was identical to my first and never again
attempted an upgrade. In 1989, I bought a smaller, Walkman-type unit – a Panasonic RX-SR29, which
performed nicely with its condenser mic. I was never interested in producing soundboard-quality
tapes, and was almost always happy with my “souvenirs.” I used TDK tapes initially, then Maxell.
Recording a concert was always an adventure. Through trial and error, I arrived at the following procedure:
To get past the ticket-takers, I wore loose pants and stuffed the recorder down the front where the odds of
being frisked were minimal. I wore a loose t-shirt or sweatshirt to cover the “bulge” and held my breath. The
dead batteries and cheap tape I kept in the recorder were occasionally confiscated, but my friends were already
inside with the real supplies. Once inside, I would meet my friends and exchange the batteries and tape. We had
excellent seats for many concerts, but that put us in close proximity to ushers and stage security. We needed to
be in a constant state of vigilance, and we were also busy with the timing of the tape-flips. I would occasionally
take photographs with a cheap camera, which gave me additional equipment to juggle. Without fail, someone in my
row would be in the wrong seat, and an usher would have to sort it out. It was all I could do to keep the recorder
hidden without covering the microphone. It was always chaotic, but the reward was great as we listened to the
concert again on the way home.
I’m indebted to all those who assisted and inspired me along the way: Gary, Steve, and Paul/Rich, Rob,
and Paul/John, Sue, Al, and Rich/Jody, Laurie, Danny, and Martha/Geri and Allison/Howie and Linda/Kathryn. Thanks
to Mike for all of his efforts. Most of all, thanks to my family – K, M, E, and B – for their support and patience.
You are cordially invited to enjoy these time capsules. There is always room for one more in our row, but
if we are loud or talkative, please don’t judge us too harshly. We were swept away by the magic of the moment,
and we hope you will be too.