A Truly Great Rocker (Super Sonic SS 99009)
Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA – November 13th, 1970
(46:40) MC, I Need You To Turn To, Your Song, Bad Side Of The Moon, Country Comfort, Sixty Years On, Can I Put You On, Border Song, Honky Tonk Woman, Take Me To The Pilot
Elton John’s first US concert was at The Troubadour in West Hollywood, California on August 25th, 1970 on a seventeen date tour that ended in Philadelphia in September. His second visit to the States began in October 29th in Boston.
John played at the Fillmore West in San Francisco from November 12th through November 15th co-headlining with The Kinks and supported by the jazz-rock band Ballin’ Jack And Juicy Lucy. The first night is available on a professional recording on Wolfgang’s Vault and pressed on silver disc on Give Peace A Chance (Vintage Masters Premium VM001).
A Truly Great Rocker was released by Super Sonic in 2000 and documents the second night at the Fillmore West. Several sources list this tape as a soundboard recording, but it is most likely a very good audience recording taped close to the stage with professional equipment.
It has a really nice live sound with good balance between the music coming from the stage and audience reaction with the only negatives being the slight favoring of the lower end and slight hiss in the upper frequencies.
The tape begins with Bill Graham introducing Elton John as the best thing to come out of England in a long while before starting with the excellent “I Need You To Turn To.” John yells for the microphones to be turned up before starting “Your Song,” his biggest hit up to that point.
Afterwards he points out that “It’s Friday the 13th so watch when you go out tonight. Although by the time you go out it might not be Friday the 13th anymore.” “Relax!!” someone shouts. He calls again for the microphones to be turned up before starting “Bad Side Of The Moon.”
“Country Comfort” is a “track off our new album out here in January.” Tumbleweed Connection had already been released in the UK but wouldn’t be issued in the States for another couple of months. His newest song, “Can I Put You On,” is introduced as a song written for the film Friends.
The only cover in the set is a fun version of “Honky Tonk Women,” after which John jokes, “what would we do without The Rolling Stones?” A Truly Great Rocker is packaged in a standard jewel case with several early photos of the artist on the artwork. Super Sonic did a good job in presenting this tape on a silver title.