Love Affair (Mid Valley 448/449)
Memorial Auditorium, Sacramento, CA – November 17th, 1970
Disc 1 (71:12): Got To Get Better In A Little While, Blues Power, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Tell The Truth, Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad, Bottle Of Red Wine, Let It Rain, Little Wing, Roll It Over, Stormy Monday
Disc 2 (51:21): Key To The Highway, Keep On Growing, Stormy Monday (source #A), Key To The Highway (source #A), Keep On Growing (source #A), Layla (?), Layla (?)
Derek And The Dominoes played in Sacramento about half way through their only US tour. This was the first of six dates in California, followed by shows in Berkeley, Santa Monica, San Diego and Pasadena. Like the other dates on the west coast, these are very long, drawn out existential affairs before appreciative audiences.
The first tape source for this gig is a poor to fair, muddy and distorted audience tape that was released two times before. The earliest pressing is Keep On Growing (ECDR-701) with several out-of-sequence tracks and the more complete The Sun’s Got To Shine On My Guitar Someday (Silver Horse SH-7002A/B).
Another tape surfaced recently and is the primary source Mid Valley uses for Love Affair. It is more clear than the older tape but has a slightly distorted bass and is woefully incomplete. The taper paused the tape between each track cutting out the tunings and introductions. “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad” cuts out at 5:22 (Mid Valley edit in the first tape for the rest of the song), “Bottle Of Red Wine” cuts out after 3:01 and “Little Wing” is missing the first minute.
It also runs a bit too slow compared to the other tapes from this week of shows.
Otherwise, Sacramento is a nice show. Unlike Berkeley and Santa Monica, there aren’t any surprise guests to join the band, but only Clapton and his new band. “Got To Get Better In A Little While” is the energetic beginning of the show, followed by “Blues Power” which segues right into “Have You Ever Loved A Woman.”
“Tell The Truth” and “Why Does Love Got To Be So Sad” are long, self-indulgent jam sessions which seem to run into one another. But some of the shorter songs in the middle of the set, such as “Let It Rain” and “Roll It Over” sound very bouncy and happy, at odds with the generally morose atmosphere of the show.
Sacramento ends with a nice version of “Keep On Growing.”
Mid Valley include “Stormy Monday,” “Key To The Highway” and “Keep On Growing” from the first tape source as a bonus. The label also includes two uncredited bonus tracks, two live versions of “Layla” from recent concerts. Neither version has Clapton on vocals. It’s not clear which shows they come from.
Love Affair is packaged in a duel fatboy jewel case with various photos of the era and two inserts. Overall it is a good effort, but the asking price doesn’t justify having the tape run too slow or the ham-fisted editing. This tape should be pressed because it is a good sounding and rare document from the tour but it deserves something better than this.