Tampa 1975 (Beano-064)
Tampa Stadium, Tampa, FL – June 14th, 1975
Disc 1 (54:29): Opening, Layla, Bell Bottom Blues, I Shot The Sheriff, Better Make It Through Today, Badge, Can’t Find My Way Home, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Blues Power
Disc 2 (58:29): Teach Me To Be Your Woman, Motherless Children, Mean Old World, Have You Ever Loved A Woman, Mean Old World (reprise), Tell The Truth, Little Wing, Mainline Florida, Keep On Growing
Eric Clapton began touring the US several months after the release of There’s One In Every Crowd. More of an afterthought than a true squeal to the phenomenal 461 Ocean Boulevard, the set focused more upon older songs from Clapton and his other groups with scant attention paid to the new album.
Such was the low-key nature of promotion for the album that “Better Make It Through Today,” the only “new song” off of There’s One In Every Crowd to be played in Tampa, was first played live the previous year and really has not
For a long time the only tape source for Tampa was a mediocre sounding recording which was also missing the final three songs “Little Wing,” “Mainline Florida” and “Keep On Growing.” The only silver pressing of this tape can be found on First Day (Slunky 10 A/B), pressed in 2001 and, according to the Geetarz.org site, “runs *very* slow to hilarious effect at times!”
In 2009 another tape surfaced and was pressed on Prejudice (Grand Lodge GL-001/002). Slowhander concludes his review “Prejudice is a good audience recording for the era. The fact that it captures the first show of the US Tour of 1975 makes it an interesting document, and being complete I can’t do anything else but recommend it. It will be a good addition to your collection that you won’t regret having.”
Beano utilize the exact same tape used by Grand Lodge. They have tweaked it to sound a bit more bright and have smoothed , but still sounds similar and isn’t much of an improvement. But it is a sharp and clear audience tape with is thankfully not bothered by the drunken ravings of the audience that plague the Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd recordings in the same venue in 1973.
“Good evening one and all” Clapton says at the very beginning of the show before they start playing “Layla.” He mixes up the lyrics in the second verse, singing some from the first and makes a general mess of the song’s narrative and the song in general clocks in at only five minutes. It would grow longer as the tour progresses.
He also messes up the lyrics in the second song of the night “Bell Bottom Blues,” singing “Bell Bottom Blues /A Place To Die” instead of “If I Could Choose / A Place To Die.” In general, the performance is a typical opening night. The songs are sharp and to the point with very little improvisation.
After a great version of “Badge,” Clapton announces he’s going to leave the stage “while I have a quick…rest.” Yvonne Elliman sings “Can’t Find My Way Home.”
“We’re gonna do some island music for you” Clapton says when he returns. They follow with the “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door,” recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami just two days before and making its live debut.
After “Blues Woman,” the new female singer Marcy Levy sings her song “Teach Me To Be Your Woman.” The first real blues highlights of the set include a performance of “Mean Old World” with “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” played in the middle, forming a medley of sorts. “Little Wing,” introduces by Clapton as “one more number to do – and this is a dedication number that we do every night wherever we play.”
The encores begin with George Terry singing “Mainline Florida” with a nice guitar duel with quotes from “Motherless Children,” and which segues into the Derek And The Dominoes song “Keep On Growing,” which is a perfect closer to the show.
Tampa 1975 is a good title to have. Even though it’s not one of the special wired performances like Niagara later in the tour, it still is a very enjoyable concert before a relatively quiet and well behaved audience.