Rock Around the Worid Nolember, 1976


Reggae star Jimmy Cliff and his seven piece entourage invaded SRO Central Park Stadium 30 Aug for a short evening oflamaican music. Joe Higgs, who is known as a solo artist (note his Ip “Life Of Contradiction”) opened with the (liftband performing “The World Is Upside Down.” Cliff then took over the proceedings with Higgs moving to percussion and bacup vocals. Musically, this was not Cliff at his best; singing was off-key on a couple of tunes, however, he flattened the crowd with “You Can Get It If You Really Want,” “Vietnam,” the non-Reggae ballad “Many Rivers,” and “Wonderful World/Beautiful People.” All in all, a light, entertaining performance.

Good old-fashioned crap-kicking R ‘n’ Roll Texas-style was the keynote as the Johnny and Edgar Winter fivepiece stormed their way into the Felt Forum 24 Aug. The venue originally

announced was the full Madison Square Garden with Lynyrd Skynyrd topping the bill. However, they were withdrawn and thus the Felt Forum venue. However, it was packed to the hilt with fired-up teens who showed up for the heavy metal openers, power trio Mahogany Rush and the blues and rock as only the Winters can churn it out. With Edgar, the virtuoso, shining on saxes, piano, percussion, and lead vocals. Johnny, appearing healthy, sizzled on lead guitar in a most welcome musical resurgence. The repertoire mainly was R ‘n’ R faves, “Johnny B. Goode,” the slow rendition of “Baby, What You Want Me To Do” and a rock medley featuring “Slippin and Slidin,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Good Golly Miss Molly,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” and “Jenny Jenny.” Edgar’s single hit “Frankenstein” completely brought down the rafters.

Gary Wright is hot property these days top forty-wise. His rise to pop fame from Bergenfield to Berlin to London and prompted this Krum’s kuriosity to catch him and his 7-piece keyboard orchestra at the partially-filled Central Park venue. Gary has changed a great deal from his Spooky Tooth days: he is now am effervescent, personable, smiling showman who

Pete Towns hend

gigs in the rather dangerous Russian rock and roll underground, and a few of them got raided

obviously sees huge dollar signs instead of faces in the crowd. But I’m not knocking him for a neaiTY flaifeilitifisical performance. Some of the tunes were new, “Sound And The Fury” and “Are You Weeping?” are from the new 1p. And these exhibited much of the raw power that was the tooth. Highlights also in-

cluded “My Love Is Alive” and the huge hit “Dream Weaver.” Gary must realize that he cannot tour forever with a lineup such as this.

The Jet records touring package of Widow-maker and Elo provided an excitement-packed evening of entertainment for an 80 percent filled Westchester premier theatre crowd. Openers Widowmaker, five strong, ably led by Steve Ellis (ex-Love Affair, and Ellis) on his first U.S. jaunt and Luther Grosvenor (ex-Art, VIPS. Spooky Tooth and Mott the Hoople) managed to coax into life the ELO-awaiting audience with some highly energetic, if not unique, hard rock. Grosvenor, clad in an outlandish Hillage-esque manner, was a veritable whirling dervish, as he skipped. strutted. and leaped about the stage a mile a minute. Ellis, dressed like an East End bad boy, came across as a personable and talented singer/guitarist who, for some unknown reason, cuts a Daltrey-like figure. Highlighting the set were “El Duomo” the old Ellis standby, “Too Late To Cry” and “When I Was Young” from the Grosvenor solo Ip. Widowmaker, who promise a return tour and new 1p come January 77, need to establish themselves via an identifiable musical image. We’d like to see them in a smaller venue next visit. Amidst empty cases of Beck’s Beer, ELO returned to the NYC area with a much-improved showing over their Beacon outing a few months back. Musically, ELO’s output was unquestionably brilliant, although predictable. Spacing their show between album cuts and hit singles, white-clad Lynne and Co. romped their way thru ten tunes. The show featured their impeccable laser as well as fully orchestrated tapes and solo spots from MacDowell and Kaminski, who both received standing ovations. Musical topspots were

by the man, who mumbled “imperialist propaganda” party lines. Yalov and Yuri re-

“Bluebird,” the “Eldorado” theme segued into “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” and “Do Ya,” the move classic rumoured to be included on the upcoming “Live” 1p. We were personally dashed by Bev Bevan’s gross amount of cheek in using an old time-tested theatrical ruse in tricking the audience to vociferously cheer and applaud—mayhaps ELO needed some good fill for a new live 1p?

Roger McGuinn and his Rickenbacker returned to a SRO crowd at the Bottom Line recently. In between Rolling Thunder appearances. A rousing audience was treated to a thoughtful set comprised of Byrds’ originals and some of McGuinn’s own. Roger’s new fourpiece is led by lames Smith on lead guitar—a fine all round axeman. with the bass and drums from Commander Cody. The Byrds’ tunes were highly welcome as instant nostalgia—”Spaceman,” “Feel A Whole Lot Better,” “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “8 Miles High,” the latter featuring McGuinn’s own light show with the body of a specially-constructed guitar lighting up. However, it was Joni Mitchell’s tune written specially for Roger, “Dreamland,” arranged as a heavee rocker which did the trick. Leadbelly’s Cokerspecial “Take A Whiff On Me” also scored. Roger’s fine pickin on Rickenbacker and 12-string and Smith’s fiery leads will be welcome again soon. Byron Berline and Sundance. C&W acoustic sixpiece, opened to a surprisingly warm reception. Berline. former Country Gazette leader and former three time national fiddle champion, has assembled a fine cast of pickers in this entourage where best tune of the set was “Dixie Breakdown.”

The Jan Hammer group and Jeff Beck roared its way into the jammed Nassau Coliseum 24 Aug. Hammer’s fourpiece featured ex-Mahavishnu violinist Steve Kindler, who along with Hammer, is an excellent foil for Beck’s virtuoso playing. Hammer opened without Beck with the title track from his latest 1p, “Oh Yeah?” on which Hammer and Kindler blended well on dual keyboard banks. Beck

Maddy Prior

cently made it to San Francisco, got Latvians playing in state-sanctioned bands. They played

Jimmy Cliff

entered with proceedings midway thru the third piece, “Darkness” which opened with extremely heavytangs-type cosmic tour de force keyboards featuring Hammer’s thundering bass synthi—it was bloody incredible! Beck. gum-chewing, was clad in a crushed velvet sportcoat and neck scarf and was greeted by a tremendous roar from the packed house. The five then proceeded to rip our minds and ears apart with a long set. Beck’s fluid and tasteful playing was excellent. Making full use of the whammy bar. Beck cajoled and coaxed his guitar to do his bidding. The set was highlighted by his dual lead work with Kindler, the short stint with voice box. and his oldie teasers, intimidating the crowd with snatches of his past “Stroll On, “I’m A Man,” “Ain’t Superstitious” and “Jeff’s Boogie.” Production values were A-1. although Fernando Saunders’ bass was mixed down too low for the front seats. When Beck left the stage to strains of Beethoven, we knew we had experienced a class act.

—Niall Krumpett

Yokov Zbinovich and Valery Saifuidinov and an American guitarist named Steven Seltzer into their act. and built a following in the Bay Area. Sasha writes a lot of the material, which ranges from Russian folk balladry to Berry/Stones/Beatles-inspired rock and roll. They did three highly successful nights at the Troubadous here in L.A. late last month—they’re looking for a label, you see—and-whoever gets these guys will have made a major score.

The Eagles’ finished “Hotel California” 1p will be out very shortly; during their four nights at the Forum (18,500 capacity), the band previewed a few new tunes–“Wasted Time,” which has more funk than “One Of These Nights” did, “The New Kid In Town,” and the title cut.

With clues like Robbie Robertson’s production of Neil Diamond’s latest biggie, Rick Danko’s solo contract with Arista, and Capitol’s “Best Of The Band” release, it comes as no surprise to hear that the aggregation is blowing off the road for an indefinite period. Contrary to some reports. they are not splitting up; they’re hollering “uncle!” after a mere sixteen years on the road. Individual members will channel their new-found free time toward individual projects, which includes writing material for the next Band studio Ip. No release date set, but sources say it’ll be recorded in L.A. Meanwhile, they’re hanging out in and out of Malibu. and plans are in the works for a “goodbye to the road” concert in the Bay Area around Thanksgiving. I’ll have more on that next month if deadline will permit, and until then. AMF!

—Stephen Peeples

Pete Townshend by Duana LeMay   Maddy Prior by Duana LeMay   Jimmy Cliff by Mark MacLaren