An unreleased concert performance.
All tracks remastered at The Clubhouse, Burbank, December 1993
As the music on this CD has lain in the vaults gathering dust for 12 years, it gives me a great deal of pleasure to at last find an audience for this historic reunion. I think the early 80's were a particularly bad time for blues artistes in general as most of the record companies were being affected by an industry recession and after this album's completion it was shopped around to no avail.
Despite the high calibre of performances by world renowned musicians, it seemed that no-one wanted to take a chance on signing me for a new deal. Unfortunate then, but appropriate now that we have a flourishing Blues Revival.
On the night of the concert we did two shows and the majority of the tracks you hear are from the first set. When it came time to play the late show however, some technical problems occurred that made almost all of the tapes unusable.
As most of the songs were repeated at both shows we were lucky to have the choices to get the best technical quality. The only exception is the inclusion of "Have You Heard" from the late show encore. Mick Taylor's passionate and inspired playing is something no blues guitar lover can afford to miss!
So sit back and relive the excitement of that long ago night at the now defunct Wax Museum when John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers were reborn.
Repertoire Issue Notes:
JOHN MAYALL Vocals, Organ, Piano, Guitar & Harmonica
To chronicle the impact legendary Blues man John Mayall has had on modern music is almost impossible to do. For along with Alexis Korner, Cyril Davies and Graham Bond he pioneered the British Blues boom of the Sixties and his band, The Bluesbreakers, proved the launching pad for members of groups such as Fleetwood Mac, Cream, Colosseum, Rolling Stones and Stone The Crows.
Born in Macclesfield on November 29, 1933, Mayall's first group was the Manchester based Blues Syndicate which he formed with drummer Hughie Flint. Relocating to London in January 1963 he formed the first incarnation of The Bluesbreakers which included bassist John McVie and guitarist Sammy Prosser. However by the time of their first single, "Crawling Up The Hill", in May 1964, the line up featured Mayall, McVie, guitarist Bernie Watson and drummer Martin Hart. Hughie Flint replaced Hart and Roger Dean took over from Watson in time for the live debut LP "John Mayall Plays John Mayall"; released in March 1965, and from that moment on Mayall continued to regularly chop and change his line ups. Eric Clapton had two stints with the band in between leaving The Yardbirds and forming Cream, who also featured another ex-Bluesbreaker, Jack Bruce. Future Fleetwood Mac members Peter Green and Mick Fleetwood also spent time in the line up as did future Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor and drummer Aynsley Dunbar, later of Frank Zappa and Journey.
Despite the fluctuating line ups The Bluesbreakers dominated the British Blues scene scoring hit albums with "A Hard Road" (No. 10, March '67), "Crusade" (No 8, Sept.'67), "Blues Alone" (No. 24, Nov. '67), "Diary Of A Band Vol 1" (No. 27, March '68), "Vol 2" (No. 28, March '68), "Bare Wires" (No. 3, July '68), "Blues From Laurel Canyon" (No. 33, Jan '69), "Turning Point" (No. 11, Nov '69) and "Empty Rooms" (No. 9, April '70) and also found chart success in America with the last two named LP's. By the time of December 1970's "USA Union" LP Mayall had a completely American backing band featuring Harvey Mandel, Larry Taylor and Don Harris whilst just over a year later he'd reunited with Clapton, Mick Taylor and Keef Hartley for his last UK chart LP "Back To The Roots" (No. 31, June '71).
Throughout the 70's he continued to record and tour, mainly in America where he had relocated on a permanent basis, and released LP's such as "Jazz Blues Fusion", "Moving On", "The Latest Edition", "New Year, New Band, New Company" and "Bottom Line", though the chart success of the 60's was not repeated. With Mick Taylor, John McVie and Colin Allen he toured America and Australia in 1982, the results of which can be heard on this CD, and then spent the rest of the 80's releasing regular LP's for small labels, again with a variety of backing musicians.
With the Blues resurgence of the late 80's/early 90's, interest in Mayall's work has soared and when new converts to his music read the 'Who's Who Of British Rock' musicians that he has worked with over the years they suddenly realise why he is held in such reverence by Blues fans the world over.
MICK TAYLOR Lead Guitar
Guitarist Mick Taylor was born on 17 January 1948 in Welwyn Garden City and started his musical career, aged 17, when he formed The Gods with future Uriah Heep keyboardist Ken Hensley and future Toe Fat members, bassist John Glasscock and drummer Brian Glasscock.
This line up lasted until the summer of 1967 when Taylor was 'poached' by John Mayall for the 11th incarnation of his Bluesbreakers though he had previously deputised for the band back in 1965 when the then guitarist, Eric Clapton, went absent! Almost immediately on joining the band Taylor and The Bluesbreakers found themselves with a No. 9 UK hit album in "Crusade". Taylor also appeared on the LP's "Diary Of A Band Volumes 1 and 2" (UK No. 27 and 28 respectively), "Bare Wires" (UK No. 3) and "Blues From Laurel Canyon" (UK No. 33) before, after nearly two years with the band, which made him Mayall's longest surviving guitarist, he accepted an offer to join The Rolling Stones in June 1969.
Taylor's live debut with The Stones came at the Hyde Park free concert two months later, in front of 25,000 people, and for the next five years he appeared on some of the bands biggest and most successful releases - singles like "Honky Tonk Woman", "Brown Sugar", 'Tumbling Dice", "Angie" and "It's Only Rock 'n' Roll" and LP's such as "Let It Bleed", "Get Yer Ya Ya's Out", "Sticky Fingers", "Exile On Main Street" and "Goats Head Soup" all featured the controlled Blues style of Taylor. However by the end of 1974, and stating "it is now time to move on and do something new", he announced his intention to follow a solo career.
Whilst with The Stones Taylor had also guested on LP's by Keef Hartley, Nicky Hopkins, Little Feat and Bob Dylan and he continued, on leaving the band, to provide session guitar for the likes of Jack Bruce, Tom Newman, Ronnie Wood and Herbie Mann before working on Gong's "Expresso 2" and "Downwind" LP's. His debut solo, self titled, LP (CBS 35076) came out in 1979 after which he spent the early Eighties as part of Bob Dylan's band and appearing on the albums "Infidels" and "Real Live". Throughout the late 80's he kept somewhat of a low profile until remerging in 1990 with a second solo LP, "Stranger In This Town" (SPV 46492) and as part of session 'supergroup' The Bluesmasters.
JOHN McVIE Bass Guitar
Bassist John Mcvie, born in London on 26th November 1945, was once quoted as saying "I've only ever played in two groups in my life. John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac". Considering that the former were one of the most influential groups ever and the later one of the most commercially successful he couldn't have picked two better groups to have been a member of if he'd tried.
Whilst still holding down a day job McVie turned up in the first incarnation of The Bluesbreakers, with Mayall, way back in 1963. Along with drummer Hughie Flint, and guitarist Roger Dean they recorded the live "John Mayall Plays John Mayall" LP and the "Crocodile Walk" single. However it was rare that any line up of The Bluesbreakers stayed together longer than a few months (somtimes days!) and during his four years with the band McVie played alongside Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Aynsley Dunbar, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor and Mickey Waller, to name but a few, and even found himself sacked, for one month in mid 1965, for apparently drinking too much! Nonetheless he did appear on the chart albums "A Hard Road" (UK No. 10) and "Crusade" (UK No. 8), as well as the non charting "Bluesbreakers" LP, before, in September 1967, accepting an invitation (the second!) from Mick Fleetwood and Peter Green to join a new outfit they'd formed, Fleetwood Mac.
Along with Green, Fleetwood and Jeremy Spencer, McVie found instant 'stardom' as the LP's "Fleetwood Mac" and "Mr. Wonderful" hit No.s 4 and 10 respectively and they were heralded as leaders of the British Blues boom. Hit singles, unheard of for Blues bands, followed with "Black Magic Woman", "Need Your Love So Bad", "Albatross" and "Man Of The World" paving the way for further LP success with "Pious Bird Of Good Omen" (No. 18) and "Then Play On" (No. 6) However, like The Bluesbreakers, Fleetwood Mac were beset with line up problems with Peter Green, Danny Kirwan and Jeremy Spencer all leaving and McVie's wife, Christine Perfect (ex Chicken Shack) and Bob Welch joining. UK success in the early 70's was overshadowed by that in the States, where they toured regularly, but when they eventually settled on a line up of Fleetwood, McVie, Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham in early 1975 they really achieved worldwide success particularly with 1977's "Rumours" LP which topped both the UK and USA charts, selling over 20 million copies.
Since then McVie and Fleetwood Mac have scored four more multi million selling albums, with the likes of "Tusk" and "Behind The Mask", but although the other members have all made solo recordings he's resisted, preferring instead to follow his interest in studying penguins, a hobby which inspired the bands logo.
COLIN ALLEN Drums
Although probably the least known of the 1982 reunion line up of The Bluesbreakers Colin Allen's pedigree is, nonetheless, as impressive as the other three members. His first 'break' came when he teamed up with Andy Summers, Paul Williams and Nick Newall in Zoot Money's Big Roll Band in late 1963. For the next four years they released a succession of singles, mainly for Columbia Records, one of which, "Big Time Operator", hit No. 25 in the UK Top 30 in August 1966. When Money broke up the Big Roll Band in the summer of '67 he, along with Allen, Summers and Pat Donaldson formed the Psychedelic outfit Dantalions Chariot which released one single, "The Madman Rushing Through The Fields", again for Columbia, later the same year.
A brief period with Georgie Fame preceded Allen accepting an invitation to team up with Mick Taylor and Steve Thompson in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. However this incarnation of the band lasted only 9 months and the "Blues From Laurel Canyon" LP which hit the lower regions of the American charts as well as No. 33 in the UK. Allen then helped out, session wise, the likes of Brian Auger and Top Topham before joining the newly named Stone The Crows in 1970 along with vocalist Maggie Bell, guitarist Les Harvey, keyboardist John McGinnis and bassist Jim Dewar. After two LP's ("Stone The Crows" and "Ode To John Law") Dewar and McGinnis were replaced by Steve Thompson (from Allen's time with Mayall) and Ronnie Leahy and they released two further albums ("Teenage Licks" and "Ontinuous Performance" - a UK No. 33) before the band split in late '72 following the death of Les Harvey.
Allen then returned to session drumming, working with the likes of Bob Dylan, Ellis, Denny Laine and Mike Vernon before teaming up with Dutch rockers Focus for their "Hamburger Concerto", "Mother Focus" and "Ship Of Memories" LP's. Between 1976 and The Bluesbrakers reunion in 1982 he continued to be an in demand session musician and worked with the likes of Donovan and Rod Stewart, further establishing his reputation as one of Rock's top drummers.
(P) & (C) 1994 Repertoire Records & Tapes - Made under license from John Mayall
All rights of the producer and of the owner of the work reproduced reserved.
Unauthorized copying, hiring, renting, public performance and broadcasting of this record prohibited.
Compoact Disc Digital Audio
4 009910 26