Monday 25 December 2023

Free - BBC2 'Disco 2' - 1970-06-13 - 'Fire And Water' + 'Mr Big'

On June 13 1970, Free appeared on the BBC2 music show 'Disco 2'. This was basically the precursor to 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. The show ran from January 1970 to July 1971. Just like 'Colour Me Pop' most of the shows are 'lost' (either wiped or physically dumped by the BBC) and film may never be found or recovered now. This show dates as June 13, but because of the insane 12.55am air time, it was actually broadcast in the early hours of June 14! Again the list of lost footage missing from this archive is staggering. Joe Cocker, Elton John, Taste, Yes, Groundhogs, Stone The Crows, Humble Pie, Mott The Hoople, Stray, Atomic Rooster and many, many more. There's a full list on Wikipedia. Read it and weep!

FORTUNATELY however, there is now a newly located and very good 'off-air' recording of the Free set. This means someone recorded the performance to tape (reel) with a microphone pointed at the TV speaker. In fact the same guy who recorded 'Colour Me Pop', which I posted a few weeks ago. I'm so pleased they got both shows, and I have to thank 'The Johnny Kidd Fan Club' and Thomas Schmid for this audio - which is very fine. I am very grateful to now have both these old BBC TV performances as audio, and be able to post them for you to enjoy.

Free shared the bill that evening on 'Disco 2', with Bobby Darin, and the show was introduced by none other than Tommy Vance (complete with fine moustache!), who later presented 'The Friday Rock Show' on BBC Radio 1. It is he that can be heard at the end of the songs. As there is no film or photographs from the Free performance, the video here is made up from other sources, and is really just there to illustrate the audio. Sadly, Tommy talks over the end of 'Fire And Water' but worse still he brings 'Mr Big' to an early conclusion just as the bass solo is kicking off. Yikes!! I bet Andy just loved that! It should be noted that the broadcast date is just prior to the release of the 'Fire And Water' LP (June 26), and comes two days after their appearance on BBC1's 'Top Of The Pops' with 'All Right Now'. Perfect timing really. While the group mimed to a backing track on 'TOTPs', with Rodgers singing 'live' (also the same on 'Colour Me Pop'), on 'Disco 2' it appears they all played together in the studio for the recording.

So, from 'Disco 2' we have

#1 - Fire And Water

#2 - Mr Big

 Fantastic performances! I hope you enjoy them.

Free - BBC2 Disco 2 1970-06-13 - #1 - Fire And Water


 Free - BBC2 Disco 2 1970-06-13 - #2 - Mr Big

Sunday 26 November 2023

Free - BBC2 TV 'Colour Me Pop' - 1969-04-12 - Audio #1 - 'Moonshine'

Free - BBC2 Colour Me Pop - 1969-04-12

On April 12 1969 Free appeared on the BBC2 music show 'Colour Me Pop'. This show ran from May 18th 1968, to August 30th 1969. It had a great selection of groups performing, including The Small Faces, The Move, Fleetwood Mac, Spooky Tooth, Ten Years After, Family, Trapeze, and many more. Sadly, the majority of these shows were 'lost'. That's BBC code talk for erased or dumped material, more commonly known as 'junking'. Certainly the Free film hasn't been seen since the broadcast. However here, for the first time, is a very good 'off-air' recording. This means someone recorded the performance to tape (reel) with a microphone pointed at the TV speaker. I'm so pleased they did, and I have to thank 'The Johnny Kidd Fan Club' and Thomas Schmid for this audio - which is amazing. I am very grateful. The dog barking at the end of 'Mourning Sad Morning' was in the room with the recorder - not on the TV performance!

Free, like many others, had a fifteen minute slot (some had longer) and performed

#1 - Moonshine

#2 - I'm A Mover

#3 - Songs Of Yesterday

#4 - Mourning Sad Morning

I should point out the vocals were 'live' but the group mimed to pre-recorded backing tracks that had been recorded especially for this show.

So, two songs from 'Tons Of Sobs' (ILPS 9089) released in March 1969, and also two new songs, not to be issued officially until October, when the second eponymous LP 'Free' (ILPS 9104) was released. In fact, at the time of this BBC 2 broadcast, they'd not even recorded these songs for the forthcoming record. They had however been playing them to audiences across the UK and Europe.

While this audio is a fantastic find, there is nothing else relating to Free known from this programme or broadcast. Not even one photograph. Free did perform at Au Drouot Golf in Paris a week prior to this show, and photographs from there are used in the movies here, along with the original title sequence taken from another 'Colour Me Pop' show that did survive and a couple of press clippings from my archive.

On 'Mourning Sad Morning' there are photographs from what I believe is the show at Farmery Hall in Hull (October 28th). These show Andy playing acoustic (as he is here, and providing backing vocals), with Simon (still behind the kit) playing bass. More likely playing 'Mouthful Of Grass' in the photographs actually, it still illustrates how they handled the acoustic numbers when performing them 'live', with Simon playing bass, leaving Paul to sing. Why do I think it's 'Mouthful Of Grass' in the images? Well, Paul Rodgers isn't on the stage as it doesn't have any vocals.

It's amazing for this audio to turn up. Unbelievable! I hope you enjoy the music.

Free - BBC2 TV 'Colour Me Pop' - 1969-04-12 - Audio #2 - 'I'm A Mover'

Free - BBC2 TV 'Colour Me Pop' - 1969-04-12 - Audio #3 - 'Songs Of Yesterday'

Free - BBC2 TV 'Colour Me Pop' - 1969-04-12 - Audio #4 - 'Mourning Sad Morning'


Friday 10 November 2023

Free - Autographed Copy Of 'Tons Of Sobs' For Sale

Got some space cash you want to spend? Well if you have this might interest you. A first issue of the 'Tons Of Sobs' LP, fully signed by all the group, AND roadie Graeme Whyte. This will go up for sale as 'LOT 67' through Bonhams Auction House in Knightsbridge, London on Wednesday 29th November at 12.00 (GMT). They have an estimate of £700-£900 on this currently. It could sell for more, or less.

Derek, who currently owns the record, gave me some information, and I'm happy to  confirm the signatures are genuine as far as I'm concerned.

"I thought you might be interested to know that I have a "Tons of Sobs" album by the rock band Free. Autographed by the entire band including the roadie at their concert at Dundee University in late 1969 at which I was present. I have submitted this to Bonhams for inclusion in their "Rock, Pop & Film" auction of 29th November 2023'

The signatures were obtained by a girl I knew and the album was later given to me and I have owned it since around 1970. It is the first issue of the album with the pink label and orange logo. The record has a few scratches but is still good enough to play.

Unfortunately the sleeve has suffered over the last 50 odd years and is somewhat tattered with the bottom edge splitting and the top edge having been stapled many years ago.

The signatures are of guitarist Paul Kossoff, singer Paul Rodgers, bass player Andy Fraser, drummer Simon Kirke and also the roadie Graeme Whyte. I do not have certification of the signatures but I have absolutely no doubt about their authenticity as I was there at the time. I'm sure many Free appreciators would be interested."

If you want to bid on this remember you'll need to register for access to bid, so don't leave that until the last minute.

 View the item in the Bonhams catalogue here.

Rock, Pop & Film / Free: An Autographed Copy Of The Album Tons Of Sobs

Sunday 8 October 2023

Bad Company - Bad Co / LP re-issue 2023

Also '10 From 6' on 'Limited Vinyl'

(Actually '10 From 5' -  There's nothing here from 'Burnin' Sky' !)

Both available via Rhino Records (Warners) at all the usual places from around £23 (each) Shop around for the best price.

All Analogue? I've no idea. There's no other information.

Released: 6th October 2023 

Bad Company – 10 From 6
1-LP on 140-gram Translucent Milky Clear vinyl

Bad Company – Bad Company (ATL ’75)
1-LP on 140-gram Crystal Clear Diamond vinyl