40 years ago today: the clash play their first u.s. concert
gumshoe (stephen frears, 1971)

music friday: winterland, 45 years ago today

This will be quicker than usual ... I'm trying to get my new computer running smoothly. So I'll fall back once again on This Day in Bay Area Music, which I really don't intend to be a regular feature. This was the lineup at Winterland on February 8, 1974. At that time, Dylan was touring with The Band ... we saw them a few days later, in fact. It's also a few days after Patty Hearst was kidnapped.

Opening the show was Stray Dog. They started as a power trio, made a few albums, went nowhere. Sometime in 1974, they went in a more AOR direction, which didn't work out. They eventually disbanded. Their most famous member was vocalist/guitarist W.G. Snuffy Walden. After a few years doing session work and occasional backup band jobs for touring bands, Walden was asked to score a new TV series, which turned out to be thirtysomething, which was a big hit and earned Walden an Emmy nomination. He has done numerous series since then, and won an Emmy for The West Wing. Here is Stray Dog performing "Worldwinds":

Next up was Stoneground. They were a locally-popular band from Contra Costa County (my old stomping grounds). Sal Valentino, formerly the lead singer for The Beau Brummels, was the front man, although by 1974 he had left the group. They made a name for themselves on the Medicine Ball Caravan, a cut-rate travelling Woodstock event. After Valentino left, two members of the band formed Pablo Cruise, who had some hits. Singer Jo Baker, about whom more in a bit, was one of the many singers to pass through Stoneground. This video cheats a bit ... it's from a couple of years before 1974, and features Valentino. But I can't resist ... it's from the movie Dracula A.D. 1972:

Headlining was Elvin Bishop. Bishop had been around forever, first as a charter member of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band in the early-60s. As a solo artist, Bishop was quite popular in the Bay Area, although he didn't really hit the big time until "Fooled Around and Fell in Love" in 1976. The aforementioned Jo Baker sang with Bishop during this time ... she and Elvin were also a woosome-twosome for awhile. Bishop's sound gradually went from blues to the Southern Rock that made him famous. Eventually he returned to the blues ... he's still at it. He's in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of the Butterfield Band. A few months after this Winterland show, he released the album Let It Flow, which included his first charting single, "Travelin' Shoes":

One fairly irrelevant bit of trivia that I find delightful is that Bishop is BFFs with Dusty Baker.

Finally, how can I resist adding his classic "Midnight Creeper", where he explains that he read that smoking marijuana made you grow mammary glands. He then notes that weed makes you eat everything in the house. His proof is that once, a friend got him high on Thai stick, and when he got home, he ate so much he couldn't fit into his brassiere anymore.

 

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