Run For The Roses (Tricone 003/004)
Osaka Castle Hall, Osaka, Japan – December 2nd, 1991
Disc 1: I Want To Tell You, Old Brown Shoe, Taxman, Give Me Love, If I Needed Someone, Something, Fish On The Sand, What Is Life, Dark Horse, Piggies, Pretending, Old Love, Badge, Wonderful Tonight
Disc 2: Got My Mind Set On You, Cloud Nine, Here Comes The Sun, My Sweet Lord, All Those Years Ago, Cheer Down, Devil’s Radio, Isn’t It A Pity, While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Roll Over Beethoven
George Harrison’s twelve-date tour of Japan in 1991 was meant to be a triumphant return to live performances after more than fifteen years. It instead turned into an Awakenings type episode in his otherwise reclusive life: a brief and miraculous display of past glories and the source for some very rare live performances. It’s only on this tour where we can hear a live “Piggies” for example (and of course his one off at the Royal Albert Hall in April, 1992 when he played the same set list used on this tour).
About half of the shows on this tour were at the Castle Hall in Osaka, an arena with the capacity to hold about 16,000. Every show was recorded from the audience and released. Previous releases of this concert on December 2nd include The God, Dark Horse & Legendson Electric Monkey (EM-01/02) and the popular ten disc set Lost Mistral Tapes (Front Page FP0040010-19) covering all five Osaka appearances. The older source for this was inferior sounding and has a cut in “Badge”. Tricone on Run For The Roses utilize a brand new tape source. It is sourced from a DAT taped close to the stage and is generally excellent. It does have the “hollow” timbre inherent on many DAT recordings. Misterclaudel also released this tape as One Moment In Time (mccd-15/16/17).
Since these were his first live performances in many years, it’s obvious he is playing it safe both with the set list and giving Eric Clapton his own little set in the middle of the show. “Fish On The Sand” makes its final appearance on the tour, being dropped after this show. Some of the older Beatle material have updated lyrics with “Taxman” including Major, Yeltsin and Bush, and an additional verse in “Piggies” (“Yeah, everywhere there’s lots of piggies/Playing piggy pranks / And you can see them on their trotters / Down at the piggy banks”). “Cheer Down” from the Lethal Weapon II soundtrack sounds great and “Roll Over Beethoven” is extended with a drum solo. The only weakness in Harrison’s performance is croakiness in his voice which renders some of the melodies flat.
Clapton’s segment is very short, only four songs, but really steals the show. “Wonderful Tonight” (the second song in the concert written about Patty Boyd, go figure) contains Katie Kissoon’s vocal gymnastics by the end. Run For The Roses was released by Tricone and has been “discontinued” by the label several years ago rendering it very hard to find. It is a nice recording and is a more authentic document of the tour of Japan than the official live recording since it includes the Clapton set as well as the entire Harrison performance.