Deep Inside (Beano-011)
Long Beach Arena, Long Beach, CA – July 20th, 1974
Disc 1: Introduction, Smile, Easy Now, Let It Grow, I Shot The Sheriff, Layla, Little Wing, Willie And The Hand Jive, Get Ready, Badge
Disc 2: Can’t Find My Way Home, Drifting Blues, Rambling On My Mind, Let It Rain, Presence Of The Lord, Crossroads, Steady Rollin’ Man, member introduction, Little Queenie, Blues Power
Eric Clapton’s July 20th show at the Long Beach Arena occurs right in the middle of this first tour as a solo artist and is the most well known and one of the best recorded. Several tunes from this tape, namely “Can’t Find My Way Home”, “Drifting Blues'” and the “Presence of the Lord” from were used for the official live LP EC Was Here released in August 1975. The LP version edited “Drifting Blues” to only three minutes but the compact disc remaster restores the entire eleven-minute version which segues with “Rambling On My Mind”.
Polydor released Crossroads 2 (Live In The Seventies) and includes “Willie And The Hand Jive”, “Get Ready”, “Can’t Find My Way Home”, “Drifin’ Blues”, “Rambling On My Mind”, and “Presence Of The Lord” from this show. The first appearance on bootleg is a very good audience recording released as An Eclectic Collection 1974 Tour Part 1 (Ze Anonym Plattenspieler – ZAP 7851 – 4) and An Eclectic Collection 1974 Live Part 2 (Ze Anonym Plattenspieler – ZAP 7852 – 4).
In 1993 most of the soundboard surfaced and was first released as Driftin’ Blues (BGS1993-7RF). As good as it was to hear an almost complete soundboard, this title ran too slow and “Blues Power” was incomplete, fading after seven and a half minutes. Long Beach Arena on Standing Pig followed and corrected the speed. EC Live at Long Beach Arena on Dynamite Studio (DS93J047) and Best of Tour 1974 on Whoopy Cat (WKP-002122) featuring two songs, “Easy Now”, and “Let It Rain” were two other protection gap era releases.
Slow Hand Down on Bell Bottom (BB011/012) was released in 1997 and three years later in 2000 was remastered, cleaned up and reissued under the same title on cdr by Stardust Productions (SP-R-323). Finally the EC Is Here Label issued EC Is Here (DJ Copy 63-72), one of their massive ten disc box sets limited to three hundred and fifty copies that featured this tape plus the July 19th Long Beach show, the December 4th and 5th, 1974 Hammersmith Odeon, London tapes and the June 25th, 1975 Civic Center, Providence Rhode Island tape. Deep Inside on Beano has improved upon these previous titles by releasing, for the first time, a complete “Blues Power” clocking in at almost nine minutes.
After the “Pinball Wizard” introduction Clapton begins the show with “if you are sitting comfortably, we will begin”. The famous and epic performance of “Drifting Blues” appears on disc two with the quip “Sorry about the tuning and all that … can’t be perfect, can you?” that was edited out of the official version.
A sublime version of “Presence Of The Lord” features Yvonne Elliman and segues into a bizarre version of “Crossroads”. It sounds as if the band doesn’t know what exactly to play until Clapton begins singing. He gives up on singing in “Little Queenie” and says simply “My brain hurts!” and just plays his guitar. And finally at the beginning of “Blues Power” he teases the audience with “Badge” and then “Day Tripper”. This is a fun, laid back and entertaining show. Deep Inside is about as perfect as a boot can possibly be. This title sold out about two weeks after its release and it’s obvious why. The great show with the impeccable sound quality makes this essential.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)