On Stage (ARMS-23PR)
Falkoner Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark – December 12th, 1969
(43:23): Poor Elijah/Tribute, I Don’t Know Why, Where There’s A Will There’s A Way, Special Life, I Don’t Want To Discuss it, That’s What My Man Is For, Comin’ Home, Little Richard medley
1969 was an important year for the American duo Delaney & Bonnie with the release of two albums, Home in May and the critically acclaimed Accept No Substitute, the Apple-Elektra controversy and touring the US as support for Blind Faith. Given the fluid nature of the band it was easy for Clapton to join them on a short, sixteen show tour in December that year in Germany, England and Denmark. George Harrison’s fascination with the group lead to both his involvement in the friction between record companies and is joining in with the band on the tour. The rest of the friends were Dave Mason (Guitar), Bobby Whitlock (Organ, Vocals), Carl Radle (Bass), Jim Gordon (Drums), Jim Price (Trumpet), Bobby Keys (Sax), Rita Coolidge (Vocals) and Tex Johnson (Percussion).
The most well known show from this short tour is the December 7th show in Fairfield Hall in Croyden which was professionally recorded and released the following June on On Tour with Eric Clapton. The final three Delaney & Bonnie shows with Clapton and Harrison in 1969 were at the Falkoner Theater in Copenhagen on December 10th, 11th and 12th. The first show was professionally filmed and broadcast on Danish television and all three were professionally recorded.
The soundboard for the last of the Copenhagen shows is good to very good but very raw and fuzzy. It sounds as if it were recorded off of the radio. There are some minor cuts between the numbers but the songs and most stage introductions are intact. Parts of this soundboard have been released before on Delaney and Bonnie with Eric Clapton and George Harrison (LUN), Derek & Hari meet Michael Ellis (TenDollar TDR-070) and Songs I Forgot (Planet Records) and the entire show can be found on On The Road (Hideaway HDCD-001) where it is mislabeled 1970.
“Poor Elijah” and “Tribute To Robert Johnson” gets the show off to a proper groove. This is a short medley of two numbers. Delaney wrote the first half “Poor Elijah” and Leon Russell wrote the second half about Robert Johnson. Delaney introduces the next song, saying “we’ve got a brand new record with Eric Clapton singing” before “I Don’t Know Why.” Delaney co-wrote the track with Eric Clapton. It was recorded in Croydon but omitted from the live album and instead a studio recording appears on Eric Clapton, released in August 1970. The song is an emotional appeal to a one night stand to stay. The themes of unrequited love are a hint of the material to be written on Layla.
Delaney encourages the audience to “do a little soul clapping” at the beginning of “Special Life.” This is a groovy song that is hard to find. “I Don’t want To Discuss It” is dominated by the horn section but has a great Clapton solo in the middle of the piece. Clapton starts off “That’s What My Man Is For,” a slow blues sung by Bonnie with nice punctuations by the horn section. The disc ends with a six and a half minute medley of Little Richard hits including “Tutti Frutti,” “The Girl Can’t Help It” and “Long Tall Sally.” After this show Clapton along with Whitlock, Radle and Gordon would tour the US with Delaney & Bonnie for a short tour in February 1970 before joining George Harrison on the recording of All Things Must Pass and then convene for Derek & The Dominoes album Laylaand their tour in the end of 1970. On Stage is an intriguing title good for highlighting Clapton’s contribution for the American duo (although it’s hard to hear Harrison’s contribution).