The Closing Night Of The Fillmore East (Scorpio – FE-62771-1)
Fillmore East, New York, NY – June 27th, 1971
Bill Graham’s announcement, Statesboro Blues, Don’t Keep Me Wondering, Done Somebody Wrong, One Way Out, In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed, Midnight Rider, Hot ‘Lanta, Whipping Post, You D0n’t Love Me
The Allman Brothers Band’s show the night the Fillmore East closed its doors in the summer of 1971 has flirted with an official release for more than thirty years. “One Way Out” from this show was used on the 1971 Live At The Fillmore East and also issued on the 1972 studio LP Eat A Peach. On bootleg cd most of the show appears on Southern Revenge on the Alternate Edge Productions label.
That issue, and its cdr clone on the Luxembourg label Hawg Leg is missing “Don’t Keep Me Wondering”, “Done Somebody Wrong”, “Midnight Rider”, and “Hot ‘Lanta”. Even more of the show surfaced on Super Sonic’s release Last Serenade (SS 99001) which is complete except for cuts in “Whipping Post” and “You Don’t Love Me”. The Closing Night Of The Fillmore East, by contrast, has no cuts in those songs and has more tape at the cuts between tracks, capturing more stage talk and tuning.
Regardless this is an excellent soundboard recording. It has the same timbre as all of the tapes in Wolfgang’s vault that we’ve been enjoying online since February. The stage announcements are fixed in one channel only, and the guitars are in the right and organ in the left. But it is very clear, powerful with just a hint of hiss on the top and a little digital interference at 14:29 of the final track.
The tape begins with Graham introducing the Allman Brothers Band as one of the best he’s heard according to his untrained ears, and the band embark on a show that packs a lot into an eighty minute set. The opening numbers show some restraint and not until “In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed” does the band get into an elongated jam session reaching over twelve minutes. The show ends with a twenty minute “Whipping Post” and a seventeen minute encore “You Don’t Love Me”/ “Final Serenade” where Duane Allman quotes Handel’s “Joy To The World”.
Scorpio assure us this is the absolute final word on this show. It is interesting that this was released the same exact day, May 23rd 2006, that Mercury Records released Eat A Peach: Deluxe Edition, a two disc set with the remastered LP and the entire Fillmore East set on the second disc. In a move reminiscent of Scorpio’s version of Dylan’s Manchester show on Guitars Kissing And The Contemporary Fix, this show finally has an official version.
Mercury’s is about two minutes shorter with Bill Graham’s introduction cut out, but musically it is complete. The engineers were able to eliminate the hiss, bring up the guitars higher in the mix and center the instruments to make it much better sounding (in my opinion) than the raw soundboard Scorpio used. This release is still useful if you absolutely have to have Graham’s introduction, but as it stands now The Closing Night Of The Fillmore East is most accurately classified as a pirate release.