Karl J. Geisler...
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Have Mercy on Me Baby
Midnight Beat (MB CD 038)
In their seemingly never ending quest to be the label responsible for the
most Hendrix bootleg cds Midnight Beat now bring us the earliest known
Experience gig to have been preserved on amateur equipment, the 4 February
1967 Flamingo Club show. The final three tracks on the disc are from the
28 November 1968 Philharmonic Hall show in New York.
The cover erroneously states that 'this was Jimi's second show for a live
audience' when in truth the band had been engaged in some pretty concerted
gigging from the early part of October 1966. This factual error apart this
picture disc is nicely packaged with the type of graphics that we have come
to expect from the label and the dates and venues given are correct.
The sound quality of the Flamingo tape is what might best be described as
bassy with all instruments audible but the vocals slightly buried, the
sound on this disc is a lot sharper which points to a clean up and that in
itself is no bad thing. The vocals are certainly more distinct but it still
is never going to win any prizes in the Hi Fidelity stakes. However that
aside this is far preferable to the Japanese cd 'LIVE AT THE FLAMINGO CLUB,
LONDON 2.4. 1967' which is rather too sharp and piercing. If you need this
show on cd then this is the one to track down, it's better packaged than
its far Eastern counterpart and more to the point it is a damn sight
The Flamingo Club tracks are
Killing Floor (1.19)
Have Mercy (4.06)
Can You See Me (4.28)
Like A Rolling Stone (8.26)
Rock Me Baby (3.15)
Catfish Blues (9.01)
Stone Free (3.31)
Hey Joe (4.16)
Wild Thing (8.10)
If the Flamingo Club tape displays The Experience in their fledgling state
then the final three tracks on the disc from the Philharmonic Hall present
them in their full phoenix like trappings. No longer are the songs succinct
as in the early days, the strokes on the psychedelic canvas are vast.
There are two tapes from the Philharmonic show. The first documents the
whole show but is inferior in quality to the second which sadly only has
three tracks present. It is the second and better quality tape that has
been used as source for this cd and although these tracks were featured on
the 'PHILHARMONIC PLUS' bootleg, where they were taken from vinyl, Midnight
beat have obviously done a bit of searching to come up with a fairly low
generation tape master.
The sound quality is reasonably good for an audience tape with comments
from the audience clearly audible so once again don't expect a revealing
The Philharmonic tracks are
I Don't Live Today (8.16)
Hear My Train A Comin (8.56)
Spanish Castle Magic (6.31)
As far as recordings of historic importance go The Flamingo Club must rate
pretty highly, that is until an earlier show turns up, and as such this cd
is probably the best place to find it outside of a really good copy of the
tape and that is quite a difficult thing to find. Not recommended for the
casual purchaser, definitely one for the seasoned Hendrix collector and I
guess that applies to you otherwise you wouldn't be reading this.
London's Flamingo Club has a unique distinction in the Hendrix historical
record. It is the site of one of the earliest known recordings of a
virtually-complete Experience show. This 2/4/67 performance represetns some
of the first live sounds recorded after Jimi's arrival in England.
Midnight Beat captures this landmark 46-minute set on Have Mercy On
Me Baby, and also provides three tracks from the rare 11/28/68
Philharmonic Hall concert. The liner notes incorrectly describe the Flamingo
Club portion as Jimi's second live gig in England. Actually, the Experience
had played over 40 dates in England and Europe during the three months
preceding the show.
The recording of the Flamingo Club is almost complete, with the
beginning half of the opening number "Killin' Floor" omitted on the source
tape. The source is a muddy sounding audience recording that was miked
too close to the amplifiers. Given the small size of the club, this fact was
The set list continued as follows: "Have Mercy", "Can You See Me",
"Like A Rolling Stone", "Rock Me Baby", "Catfish Blues", "Stone Free", "Hey
Joe" and "Wild Thing".
Even with the slightly distorted sound, the recording resonates the
intensity of an early Experience assault. Without a sophisticated palette of
effects, Jimi focuses on rhythmic flourishes and tight, powerful bursts of lead
guitar. Mitch's manic drum rolls perfectly complement Jimi's furious attack.
Four months before Monterey, the Experience delivers a rendition of "Can
You See Me" that smokes the familiar festival version. Jimi even includes a
number from his R&B days, "Have Mercy", which is the only known live
recording of this song by the Experience. Overall, the band sound
remarkably tight after only three months of road work; Jimi, Noel and Mitch
had not yet developed the extended jamming that would dominate many of
their later shows.
The second portion of the disc documents a 23-minute excerpt from
the 11/28/68 Philharmonic Hall show, probably the finest Experience concert
of 1968. An audience tape provides a stunning example of the band's
musical progress since the Flamingo Club gig. Performed on Thanksgiving,
about one month after the fabled Winterland shows, the Philharmonic Hall
concert showcases a mature, improvisational band and one of Jimi's
greatest virtuoso displays. After opening with "Fire", the Experience
launches killer versions of "I Don't Live Today", "Hear My Train A Comin'"
and "Spanish Castle Magic". According to Mitch Mitchell, this concert was
videotaped and recorded, but to date, these tapes have not surfaced. One
can hope that a soundboard of the complete show eventually will be
discovered and released.
Midnight Beat continues to spotlight valuable pieces of the Hendrix
legacy. With two legendary concerts features in best-available audio fidelity,
this disc is a worthwhile addition to Jimi's unofficial catalogue. The disc from
Luxemborg has been released almost simultaneously with it's Japanese
counterpart Live At The Flamingo Club (My Phoenix ZA 25). It's a little
bassier, but also cleaner. And the packaging is significantly better. (Marc
The Rubber Band
An unknown coverband making a tribute.
High, Live, and Dirty
Scene Club jam again folks.
vulgar vulgar vulgar... Its WUTM&FMD but with Morrison's swaering up
Not very good. There are 2 versions - black vinyl and red vinyl. Not an
expensive peice... Typically $10
Midnight Beat (MB CD 017)
Historic Concert offers the complete Experience gig at The New York Rock
Festival, Singer Bowl, Queens, New York on 23 August 1968. The cd compares
very favourably with a good copy of the tape but is lacking in certain
dynamics as much of the bass has been removed. The Singer Bowl is quite a
hard tape to pick up in decent quality and Historic Concert will certainly
save a lot of searching especially if you don't already own a decent audio
copy. The sleeve notes and running order are correct
Intro/ Are You Experienced (4.59)
Red House (10.01)
I Don't Live Today (4.45)
Foxy Lady (4.20)
Like A Rolling Stone (7.11)
Purple Haze (4.31)
Star Spangled Banner (0.38)
Hey Joe (5.23)
Wild Thing (8.37)