Geisha Have More Fun (Private Masters PM030/031)
Budokan Hall, Tokyo, Japan – March 15th, 1979
Disc 1 (43:30): Opening (Stripper), Hot Legs, Born Loose, Tonight’s The Night (Gonna Be Alright), The Wild Side Of Life, Get Back, You’re In My Heart (The Final Acclaim), I Don’t Want To Talk About It, Blondes (Have More Fun)
Disc 2 (40:00): Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?, Maggie May, I’m Losing You / Drum Solo, Standin’ In The Shadows Of Love, Sweet Little Rock ‘N’ Roller, Sailing
Blondes Have More Fun remains Rod Stewart’s biggest selling release and “Do You Think I’m Sexy?” one of his more well known songs. After the album’s release in November 1978, Stewart began intensive touring in Europe and the UK before taking a break in January 1979.
Touring continued with dates in Australia and New Zealand before eight dates in Japan in March. He played in Japan with the Faces in early 1974, but these are his first shows there as a solo artist.
Geisha Have More Fun is a very rare title from this era, documenting the March 16th show at Budokan. It was the final night of the tour and Rod and the band are in extremely high spirits. The sound quality is fair to good, very similar to the Faces tape from February 20th, 1974 found on Live At Budokan 1974 (Zeus Z902001/2) and might be by the same taper.
There are no big cuts in the music, but there are strange crackles in the mix, as if it were sourced from vinyl. Perhaps it’s a mastering defect on the tape. The crackles aren’t annoying and don’t detract much from the show, but they are noticeable and this could have been much better if the label addressed them.
Like all Rod Stewart shows, this one is a lot of fun to listen to. He had success both with the Faces and as a solo artist in the seventies, but this is right when he attained the highest level of superstardom which he never really left.
The show starts off with the famous David Rose 1962 instrumental “The Stripper” before two songs from the previous album Foot Loose & Fancy Free “Hot Legs” and “Born Loose.” He very quickly establishes a sleazy mood with the audience.
He’s very emotional in “Tonight’s The Night,” crooning his heart out like never before. But after his cover of “Get Back,” the same arrangement from the 1976 film All This And World War II, slows the show down a bit. He tell them that, since this is “our last appearance in Japan. Let’s make it something to remember please! Sing this song with me,” he encourages the audience to sing along to “You’re In My Heart.”
“I Don’t Want To Talk About It” is another beautiful moment in the middle of the show.
After being onstage for about a half hour, they finally play songs from the new album. The first is the title track “Blondes (Have More Fun).” But the big hit that year was “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” They actually seem to play the extended 12″ disco mix which has never appeared on CD. It clocks in at almost seven minutes and has the heavier bass line than the recorded version.
“Maggie May” receives a heavier rock arrangement than usual with more instrumental passages in the end as does “I’m Losing You.” The latter features a long Phil Chen bass guitar interlude followed by a drum solo. There is a short reference to the new song “Standin’ In The Shadow Of Love.”
The tape ends with a great versions of “Sweet Little Rock And Roller” and “Sailing.” Stewart sometimes played “Twisting The Night Away” among other tunes as extra encores. They might have been played on this night, but there is no evidence that this isn’t the complete show.
It’s a shame there aren’t more titles available from this time. There is pro-shot footage from this show in circulation which would make a great DVD. Overall this is a good, if faulty, release worth having.