Auld Lang Syne – His Alibi For The Last Night (Tarantura TCDED-54-1, 2)
Yokohama Arena, Kanagawa, Yokohama, Japan – December 13th, 1990
Disc 1 (69:59): Announcement, All Right Now, Walk Away, Layla (Orchestra Intro), Pretending, MC, No Alibis, Running On Faith, I Shot The Sheriff, White Room, Can’t Find My Way Home, Bad Love, Before You Accuse Me
Disc 2 (72:02): Old Love, Badge, Wonderful Tonight, band intro., Cocaine, Auld Lang Syne, A Remark You Made, Layla, Crossroads, Sunshine Of Your Love, drum solo, Sunshine Of Your Love (reprise), Otkukaresama-Deshita!, SE / Happy Trails / announcement
Eric Clapton’s Journeyman tour in 1990, when he returned to playing the blues and to being a guitar hero, ended with seven days of pleasure in Japan. And the tour of Japan ended on December 13th in Yokohama in Kanagawa.
Auld Lang Syne – His Alibi For The Last Night is another Tarantura release in the Clapton “Alibi” series. Utilizing previously uncirculated, excellent quality Krypton recordings, these rival some of the best Clapton audience recordings. Yokohama has had prior silver pressings including Journey’s End (Tricone 001/002) and discs seven and eight of Seven Nights of Pleasure (Mid Valley 406-413) (along with a DVD with amateur footage of this show in very poor quality).
Auld Lang Syne is an excellent stereo DAT recording. Like other Crypton tapes, he wants to capture the whole concert-going experience by taping event before and after the actual show. Other tapes capture him at the train station, but this tape begins with the opening buzzer, some of the pre-concert music, and the post-show shuffle to the exits.
The tape starts off with announcements and Free’s “Alright Now” blasted over the venue’s PA system. The band come onstage while the orchestral arrangement of “Layla” is playing and start with “Pretending,” the first single from Journeyman.
Recognizing this as not only the final show in Japan but of the year, Clapton thanks the entire band, staff, and promoters by first name before “No Alibis” and “Running On Faith.” In the previous couple years he started off with Cream songs and other oldies, but this is a new era and he plays three new songs before the first oldie “I Shot The Sheriff.”
“Can’t Find My Way Home” is introduced as a song by Blind Faith and is a show case for Nathan East, not only for his vocals but for the melody bass solo in the middle. “Old Love” fills in for “Same Old Blues” as the long improvisational showcase of the evening. Reaching over thirteen minutes, Clapton plays several variations of the electric blues and East has the second, more dark, bass solo of the set.
By the end of the set they play an instrumental version of “Auld Lang Syne,” dominated by keyboards, segueing into Jaco Pastorius’ “A Remark You Made” which serves as an introduction to “Layla.”
“Crossroads,” the set opener for the preceding three years, is the first encore and is followed by “Sunshine Of Your Love,” the second encore for the same period of time. Steve Ferrone has a conventional drum solo in the middle which serves as a good showcase for him, but isn’t nearly as entertaining as Ray Cooper’s when he was with the band earlier in the year.
The tape ends with goodbyes (Otkukaresama-Deshita in Japanese meaning “thank you for working hard together, goodbye”) and the venue playing the original Roy Rogers recording of “Happy Trails” as the audience head for the exits.
Auld Lang Syne is packaged in a gatefold sleeve with think glossy paper with very rare photographs from the show from a private collector adding another layer of authenticity and attention to detail. Like Blues Reversion – His Alibi For The First Night (Tarantura TCDEC-50-1,2) and Boogie Chillen’ – His Alibi For The Second Night (Tarantura TCDEC-51-1,2), the final night is definitive for this date and is worth having.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)