July 4th is a day for celebration and we all know why. To some it is a day for remorse, for on July 4th, 1971, San Franciscos Fillmore West closed its doors for good. The Fillmore East in New York City suffered a similar fate as well. Both venues were a haven for some of the 1960s best musical acts. Here is some of the performances that made it to album.
The Allman Brothers Band/At Fillmore East
This album was recorded shortly before the death of guitarist Duane Allman on March 12th and 13th of 1971. The original vinyl release consisted of two records and only seven songs, so you can only imagine the jams that can be found throughout the recording. On the CD version, the first disc consists of blues standards that have an "Allman" touch to them - Willie McTells "Statesboro Blues", T. Bone Walkers "Stormy Monday", Elmore James "Done Somebody Wrong" and Willie Cobbs " You Dont Love Me". The 2nd Disc is straight Allman Brothers originals -Hot Lanta, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, and Whipping Post.
Frank Zappa-Fillmore East June 1971
The beginning of this live performance is highlighted by Flo & Eddie (of the Turtles)s tale of sexual misconduct by the Vanilla Fudge in a hotel on the West Coast. The two play out a story with Zappa and co. providing musical interludes. The tale is to graphic to recreate for these pages but all I can say is that there is fishing tackle involved. The musicians are all virtuosos, yet they play with raw energy. The vibrant instrumentals Willie and the Pimp and Peaches En Regalia complement the stage antics perfectly. Overall, the album brings "rock opera" to a whole new level.
Miles Davis/At Fillmore
At Fillmore was recorded over a three day period from June 17-20, 1970. This was the period in Miles Davis musical career when he explored the world of rock and roll and started developing fusion jazz. The fact that Davis was playing in a rock and roll venue and not a jazz club was a testament to the trumpeters dramatic shift. The original release was two records with the sides called "Wednesday Miles", "Thursday Miles", "Friday Miles" and "Saturday Miles". During the performances, the band never stopped, so it was difficult to differentiate between the songs. The new CD releases have been digitized and the individual songs within the extended jams have been cataloged. At Fillmore suddenly went from 4 songs to 17 songs.