World Rock Festival Nagoya 1975
Taiikukan Aichi, Nagoya, Japan – August 5th, 1975
The World Rock Festival was organized by Yuya Uchida, who was best know for performing as a supporting act for the Beatles in 1966. Performers invited from overseas included New York Dolls and Jeff Beck, both of whom were making their first appearances in Japan and played on August 3rd in Sapporo, August 5th in Nagoya and August 7th in Tokyo.
World Rock Festival Nagoya 1975 introduces a brand new tape source for both artists from the August 5th show in Nagoya. The recording is fair to borderline good. It’s somewhat enjoyable once the ears adjust to the fidelity. But the taper was too far away to pick up much detail. There are several tape flips including one at the beginning of “Girls” on the first disc that loses a few seconds of much. But otherwise the sets are complete.
This is a strange pairing, the proto-punk and glam band with the guitar virtuoso at the beginning of his jazz fusion period. It’s more a celebration of the eclecticism of mid-seventies rock at the event and serves as a good snapshot of the times.
Disc 1 (44:02) New York Dolls: Introduction, Looking For A Kiss, Daddy Rolling Stone, Puss ‘N’ Boots, Trash, Bad Detective, Stranded In The Jungle, Unknown, Girls, Frankenstein, Teenage News
New York Dolls were at at point of transition at this point in their career. Founding members Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan left the band while on tour in Florida in April. The remaining members, David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain and Peter Jordan were joined by keyboardist Chris Robison and their tour manager Tony Machine on drums for the trip to Japan.
They were also released from their contract to Mercury Records during this tour.
Their set on August 7th in Tokyo was recorded and released on the Tokyo Dolls – Live album with a set list quite similar to this show. They start off with “Looking For A Kiss” and “Daddy Rolling Stone” to please the crowd.
“Stranded In The Jungle” is one of the show’s highlights. “Frankenstein” begins with a recitation of a poem in Japanese before a radically reworked arrangement of the song from their first album. The set ends with “Teenage News” and a thunderous applause from the audience.
Disc 2 (72:09) Jeff Beck: Introduction, Constipated Duck, She’s A Woman, Freeway Jam, Definitely Maybe, Superstition, Air Blower, Keyboard Solo, ‘Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers, Power, Got The Feeling, You Know What I Mean
Jeff Beck’s set in Nagoya has been released before on Scatterbrain (Improvisation IL-366816), Nagoya World Rock Festival 75 (2000GFRR 012), World Rock Festival (Masterport 040) and Definition Of Blow (Wardour-38).
There is an emphasis upon the faster numbers in the first half beginning with “Constipated Duck” (the only original composition), the clever Beatles cover “She’s A Woman” and “Freeway Jam” preserving its jazz roots. The largest applause is reserved for the Stevie Wonder cover “Superstition” in which Beck plays through the voice box to startling effect.
“Air Blower” is another heavy excursion where Beck makes his guitar sing in the middle improvisation. Max Middleton plays a short keyboard solo before the slower paced “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers.” Bassist Wilber Bascomb starts off “Power” with the heavy funk beat, leading the band into a number that adroitly mixes funk with seventies metal.
The improvisational centerpiece of the set and the final number is a ten minute instrumental version of “Got The Feeling” from the Jeff Beck Group’s Rough & Ready album. Beck plays both light and shade and even gets into a duel with drummer Bernard Purdie by the song’s end. The encores include a quick “Thelonius,” the first song on Blow By Blow “You Know What I Mean” and a quick reprise of “Superstition” (this time with normal vocals).
These concerts are popular on silver disc. Last year Wardour issued the Jeff Beck title World Rock Festival (Wardour-095) with a new source for the August 7th Tokyo show and now this one with two acts from the festival. The sound quality isn’t the best, but this is an interesting release worth investigating.