George Harrison – Nassau 1974 (Undercover UC-009-1/2/3)

Nassau 1974 (Undercover UC-009-1/2/3)

Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY – December 15th, 1974

Disc 1 (54:36) First show:  Hari’s On Tour (Express), While My Guitar Gently Smile, Something, Going Around In Circles, Sue Me Sue You Blues, For You Blue, Give Me Love, In My Life, Maya Love, Dark Horse

Disc 2 (52:15):  Nothing For Nothing, Outta Space, What Is Life, My Sweet Lord.  Second show:  Hari’s On Tour (Express), While My Guitar Gently Smile, Something, Going Around In Circles, Sue Me Sue You Blues, For You Blue

Disc 3 (54:24):  Give Me Love, Soundstage Of Mind, In My Life, Tom Cat, Maya Love, Dark Horse, Nothing For Nothing, Outta Space, What Is Life, My Sweet Lord

George Harrison’s 1974 tour wound its way around the continent that winter and by the final week he played two shows at the Nassau Coliseum, three shows over two nights in Philadelphia and three shows over two nights at Madison Square Garden.  On Nassau 1974 Undercover collects together audience tapes for the two Nassau Coliseum shows.

The tape for the early show starts off muffled and distorted but clears up in the beginning of “Hari’s On Tour (Express)” and turns out to be a good but slightly muffled recording.  There is a feeling they are being rushed to finish the early show since “Soundstage Of My Mind” and “Tom Cat” are both dropped.  Harrison doesn’t speak too much between numbers.  He does, however, get into a lengthy explanation after “Sue Me Sue You Blues” about Ravi Shankar’s absence. 

The Indian orchestra did proceed to play combining the two Ravi Shankar sets into one.  The taper of the early show, like many tapers of this tour, chose not to record this set so missing is “Zoon, Zoon, Zoon,” “Na Na Dahni,” “Cheparte,” “Anurag,” “I Am Missing You,” and “Dispute and Violence.”

After the cut there is a long version of “For You Blue” in which Willie Weeks and others take solos.  The rest of the band is introduced before gorgeous version of “Give Me Love.”  After a small cut in the tape Harrison is speaking about old friends and John Lennon as an introduction to his new arrangement of “In My Life” with the “in my life – I’ve loved God more” confession.  “Thank God for Billy Preston” in my life he says before Preston plays a church organ solo.

“Maya Love” is a daring track played live and sounds magnificent in this recording.  Billy Preston has his energetic two song set playing “Nothing For Nothing” and “Outta Space.”  “What Is Life” is the set closer and they come back out onstage for the long “My Sweet Lord” encore.  This is an arrangement which replaces the slide guitar with the horn section and includes several interludes where Harrison goes into ecstatic “hare Krishna.”  He even asks “are there any Christians?  Try this:   Oh, Christ, etc” to the befuddlement of the audience.

The evening show is a clear recording but a bit more distant from the stage than the afternoon show.  It still however is pleasant to listen to.  A prior release of this tape source can be found on the old vinyl Last Live Concert 74 (White Horse WH 1974), a two LP set with the entire show.

With the afternoon show behind them and with John Lennon in the audience, Harrison and band deliver a much tighter and livelier show before a very quiet crowd.  There is a strange whistle through the first song “Hari’s On Tour (Express)” which continues into “Something.”  And again, after “Sue Me Sue You Blues” the Indian set is absent.  

“For You Blue” is again expanded and Weeks plays a very nasty, harsh sounding bass during his little solo.  Harrison introduces the rest of the band including the horn section, “you name it, they blow it” he jokes.  “Give Me Love” sounds very nice with the flute very high up in the mix.  Afterwards Harrison says:  “We’d like to do a tune we sometimes do…it’s just a boogie woogie called ‘Soundstage Of The Mind.'”  This is simply a four minute instrumental he dedicates to Nassau in the beginning.  

Before “In My Life” Harrison asks “is there anybody out there?  I’d like to do a song written by an old friend and a new friend.  You all allow him to come and stay here.”  It’s interesting to speculate if he’s referring to John Lennon.  The instrumental “Tom Cat” returns to the set and is followed by two songs from the new album, “Maya Love” and “Dark Horse.”  Preston’s two song set follows and the show ends with “What Is Life?”  The encore is “My Sweet Lord” with the expected ecstatic utterances.  Nassau 1974 is a very good release.  The tapes are quite listenable and Undercover didn’t attempt to improve the sound. 

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