King Of Scream (Darker Than Blue 043)
Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA – January 28th, 1972Setlist: Intro., Speed King, Strange Kind Of Woman, Child In Time, The Mule (incl. drum solo), Space Truckin’
Bonus dvdr, “South Bank Summer”, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, England – July 28th, 1970: Mandrake Root
King Of Scream is Darker Than Blue’s version of the San Bernardino tape that surfaced a couple of weeks ago. It is astonishing how fast they produced this title, almost as astonishing as the tape itself. The taper is very close to the stage and is able to capture the very loud concert in a clear and powerful recording. There are occasional conversations between the taper and his friends about when to change the tape (with a tape flip at two minutes fifty two seconds in “Strange Kind Of Woman”) and the tape runs out about seventeen minutes into “Space Truckin'” eliminating the rest of the track and what was left of the show. It’s impossible to determine what songs are omitted but “Fireball”, “Lucille” and “Black Night” were the most common songs used to close the set around this time. We can hear the tapers talking about changing tapes and putting in a new one and it makes me wonder if the rest of the show is extant. There are no other editions of this tape on commercial bootlegs and no tapes from this short tour in common circulation either so this provides a rare glimpse into a very obscure period.
Surprisingly the set opens, after the people by the recorder demand it, with “Speed King”. Machine Head’s “Highway Star” was employed as the set opener dating back to the previous autumn and why it isn’t played in this show is not known. “Strange Kind Of Woman” is introduced as a “true story…about an evil woman” “Strange Kind Of Woman” gets so intense one of the tapers can only respond with a “God damn!” while Gillian and Blackmore go back and forth. “This is a song off of In Rock about a loser…’Child In Time'” before a moody version of the piece. Before the final track Gillian says, “this is a futuristic rock and roll number, lyrically that is.” This version of “Space Truckin'” is several months before the release of Machine Head and is close to the studio version. Gillian throws in some screams from “Bloodsucker” and the band jam on the instrumental portion of “Mandrake Root”. Jon Lord plays the Sabre Dance from Aram Khachaturian’s Gayane suite before Blackmore comes in and plays a delicate theme which morphs into a fugue with Glover on bass.
The initial run of this title comes with a free bonus dvdr from the BBC program “South Bank Summer”. This footage is more than thirty-five years old and looks very dated and faded. It is very clear though and enjoyable, great to see more footage of vintage Deep Purple. It is said this was filmed on July 28th, 1970 at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. Deep Purple didn’t play on that date however. They did play that venue on May 25th, 1970 so that must be the correct date, and this broadcast comes from the BBC on September 5th, 1970. It is unknown if the entire concert was filmed but all that was broadcast was “Mandrake Root” and it is a great piece of footage. Blackmore tramples his guitar and Paice destroys the drum kit in a spectacular display of rock and roll theater which played very well on television. Since there is so little Mark II footage in circulation it is a minor miracle this exists and is a great bonus by Darker Than Blue.
Addendum: I note with interest your comments about Deep Purple appearing on the show South Bank Summer. Some of your information is incorrect. The show was filmed on 28 July 1970 and Deep Purple were in attendance on that date, they even appear in the end title sequence with the other acts. I believe they actually performed two songs but only “Mandrake Root” was used and even that is edited (rather badly). The show was broadcast on 5 September 1970, it was made and broadcast by London Weekend Television not the BBC. The show was made to celebrate the company’s move to The South Bank. My brother unearthed this show when he worked at LWT in the 1980s in the video tape library and it was of special interest to us because our dad worked with Purple’s manager John Coletta in the 1960s at a design agency in London. He worked on the typography on the band’s early album sleeves and later for Whitesnake.
Best wishes, D
Just stumbled on your site while running a search on Jeff Beck. Great stuff.
I was checking out your Deep Purple reviews and was surprised to see that there was a tape of the 1-28-72 Swing Auditorium San Bernardino show. I have maintained for years that they opened the show with Speed King against a lot of skepticism from my acquaintances. The tape bears my crystal clear memory out.
That 1-28-72 concert is indelibly etched in my mind as I was at a very impressionable age and under the best of all possible circumstances that night. My friends and I arrived with the show already underway as Buddy Miles had just begun his set (he died just the other day). Uriah Heep was second billed and they were probably at their peak at this point. They were quite impressive doing material from their forthcoming Demons & Wizards LP as well as stuff like July Morning, Tears In My Eyes, Gypsy, Love Machine etc.
At that particular time, the Swing Auditorium had rows of folding metal chairs welded together with sucker rod on the ground floor stage area (The chairs would have their last stand a couple of months later at a Wild Turkey, Yes, Black Sabbath show. During the Sabbath headlining set, Ozzy encouraged the crowd to stomp their feet and clap their hands along with the bass drum beat intro to Iron Man. The fans fervently obliged by standing on their seats as they did so. As Ozzy continued to whip up the crowd’s enthusiasm, row upon row of folding chairs began to collapse under the sheer weight and force of the pounding. The folding chairs were forever gone after that show and the ground floor became general admission standing room. Prior to that it was general admission seating – first come, first serve – at least for rock shows) I was dead center about seven rows back and sitting in the concrete aisle. It was a great show enhanced a bit by the hash laced joints we were smoking. Hell yes, they opened with Speed King. The tape that represents the King Of Scream CD is not the full show. Purple did play the as yet unreleased Lazy, Highway Star and Smoke. That’s why the show made such a big impression on me – it was the new stuff that blew me out. Hope someone finds the rest of the tape. I haven’t heard this bootleg yet but I have to secure a copy for old times sake. I was feeling really good that night and spent some of my time lying on my back in the aisle listening intently to the music and gazing at the tinsel garlands that were draped across the ceiling of the building from another era when dances were held in the venue.
One thing that always struck me about the Swing Auditorium is that they were always running 15″ reels at the sound booth located on a riser in the center of the ground floor. Every show I ever went to there (and there are 100 or more that I attended through the years – I was a regular) had the reels spinning. What ever happened to these tapes?
The Swing was absolutely the best venue to see big rock bands at in Southern California. It wasn’t too large (capacity around 5,000 when stuffed to the eyeballs), the acoustics were pretty decent, the crowds were the absolute best and the atmosphere was generally relaxed. Unfortunately an airplane crashed into the roof of the facility in the early 1980’s and rather than repair the old building, the powers that be decided to tear it down. Since that time other venues in San Bernardino were used for concerts but they were all inferior with horrible acoustics etc. Probably because of this, since the late 1980’s San Bernardino doesn’t seem to be a tour stop for bands any more.
Nice checkin’ in with you. I haven’t bought a bootleg in a year or so. Looks like there are many new titles or at least ones that my bootlegger wasn’t carrying.
Cheers, thought you might enjoy the background. I saw the guys that were taping the show, they were a couple of rows ahead of me.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)