It is with sadness that Collectors Music Review must announce the recent passing of Art “Mr. Freezer” Parr. A life-long resident of New Orleans, Louisiana, his impeccable musical taste and audio acumen have blessed collectors with some of the most impressive live documents from the seventies. He had been suffering from poor health in recent years.
He fell in love with live music about 1970 when he was an eyewitness to The Doors final concert with Jim Morrison at The Warehouse in New Orleans on December 12th. One of his earliest tapes is the Led Zeppelin show in New Orleans on August 29th, 1971, eight months after The Doors. Described as low fidelity and very poor sound quality, he never bothered to share it with anyone.
But others he did. The Led Zeppelin Baton Rouge show from February 28th, 1975 is among his very best and has been released many times in the past.
Other popular Freezer tapes include the Rolling Stones’ June 27th, 1972 show in Mobile, AL, and the June 1st, 1975 concert in Baton Rouge, Eric Clapton’s New Orleans show in 1974 and Baton Rouge concert in 1976, and, in latter years, the March 1973 Led Zeppelin show in New Orleans, Queen’s first appearance there on their first tour, and David Bowie’s Baton Rouge show on the Stage tour in 1978.
Although he traded frequently, he also vowed never to circulate certain shows, claiming he wanted to keep them for personal enjoyment. The most often cited tape is Led Zeppelin’s May 19th, 1977 show in Baton Rouge, an appearance that has some audience shot video footage but no complete audio.
The last time I spoke to Parr he told me he was in the process of selling his home and throwing away his tape collection. We’ll most likely never hear those tapes.