Club, Vale Hall, Aylesbury : 22/11/75
First, we had to endure the support band 'Secret Oyster' - anyone remember them? I wish I didn't. They were the remnants of a once fairly fine Danish band 'Burnin Red Ivanhoe' but they were now a pompous prog-rock band of the most tedious kind with a keyboard player who'd obviously got some new equipment with lots of new noises he could play with and pretend to be Keith Emerson (and who needs another one of them) ...
..but to cut to the chase...
The last time I'd seen Don was in 1973 with that great storming Magic Band. Since then I had become somewhat disillusioned because he seemed to have lost the plot completely - by that I mean releasing the distressing albums 'Unconditionally Guaranteed' and 'Bluejeans & Moonbeams'. However there had been some good news in that he was touring with the Mothers (had I heard 'Bongo Fury' by this time ... I'm not sure?) and he had played at Knebworth (which I have to admit being at but must have been too far gone to remember any of it apart from the opening drum beats of 'Moonlight on Vermont' and a few other snatches of songs!!). So going to see him again now was worrying me - would he be any good? ... would my faith be restored? ... who would be in the Magic Band?
(Having since heard a tape of the gig I was pleasantly surprised to hear just how good the music was - the first part was definitely nowhere as bad as I'd remembered.)
I remember thinking that
the set list seemed odd. But maybe that was due to lack
of rehearsal time - presumably 'Poofters Froth
Wyoming' was only included because most of the
band knew it from the Bongo Fury tour with Zappa and the
blues jam section was a filler and geared to Winged Eel
Fingerling and Denny Whalley's abilities. This Magic Band
was not the best by any means, although it had the great
advantage of John French in his Drumbo seat. But they
made a good showing of 'Beatle bones..',
'My human gets me..' and 'Electricity'.
One of the more bizarre
highlights of this tour at each gig had to be Drumbo's
Overall this gig was not a great one, although it had its moments. But I came away at the end reassured that Don was back on the right track again after the Tragic Band episode.
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