geezer cinema: i care a lot (j blakeson, 2020)
revisiting the 9s: l.a. confidential (curtis hanson, 1997)

music friday: pacific gas & electric, yusef lateef, robin trower

Pacific Gas & Electric, Fillmore West, June 1970. Later known simply as PG&E. They were a little-known band aside from their one hit, relying on the vocals of Charlie Allen. Christgau actually gave their 1969 album an A-. When I saw them, the headliners were Sha Na Na.

Yusef Lateef, Keystone Korner, ???. I probably shouldn't bother including them ... I can't even remember when we saw them (although I'm pretty sure it was late-70s/early-80s), nor can I remember any details of the show other than the venue. But I do remember seeing them, nonetheless, and it's so rare for me to have attended a jazz show, so here is Yusef Lateef, a multi-instrumentalist, perhaps not as famous as some jazz greats, but he recorded for more than 50 years.

Robin Trower, Oakland Coliseum 8-3-75; Winterland 5-8-76. I liked him enough to have seen him twice. The first was a Day on the Green (called "The British Are Coming") where Trower headlined a bill that included such big names as Fleetwood Mac, Peter Frampton, and Dave Mason. In some ways, he was the artist most suited to those outdoor shows than anyone I ever saw, because his long, distinctive guitar solos wafted above the Coliseum so delightfully. Trower, whose guitar added so much to Procol Harum, had quite a run in the 1970s, with four gold albums, two of them making the Top Ten. At the time, he was often compared to Hendrix ... I had a friend who actually said once that she thought when Hendrix died, his soul entered Trower. He is still at it in his mid-70s, having released an album last year with British reggae artist Maxi Priest. "Daydream" is so much my favorite of his songs that I will stop what I am doing to listen to any version that crosses my path ... I've spent more than a few hours on YouTube listening to one after another. It's still beautiful to this day. Here's one from Winterland in 1975 ... the singer/bass player, James Dewar, was an underrated, soulful vocalist.

In the early 2010s, British blues artist Chantel McGregor included a cover of "Daydream" on her first album, and she played it often enough and well enough (and long enough ... she'd been known to extend the song for upwards of 15 minutes) that I've listened to her versions on YouTube quite often as well.



PG&E is cool stuff. I didn't know about them until I got up there and Charlie Allen is all the reason anyone needs to love them. But until right now I always assumed this was a revolution is coming song. Is it a Jesus song?

Steven Rubio

Tomás! Always good to see you here. I always took it as a gospel song, although in 1970, music often blended Jesus and revolution. The recorded version makes this more obvious, with tremendous backup singing from The Blackberries:

The lead guitarist was a local legend from Cleveland named Glenn Schwartz, who had preceded Joe Walsh in The James Gang. I've never been sure if he was still with the band when we saw them ... there was definitely a shredding white guy with an Afro, but as you can see in the video in the post, later PG&E guitarists shared that hairdo, so maybe I saw someone else. Funny thing about Schwartz, relevant to this discussion, is he found the Lord and quit the band.

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