Robbie’s Birthday Party (Tarantura TCDED 27)
Three Rivers Stadium, Pittsburgh, PA – July 5, 1974
1) Smile 2) Robby’s Birthday 3) Let it Grow 4) Can’t Find My Way Home 5) Willie and the Hand Jive 6) Get Ready 7) Blues Power 8) Little Queenie 9) Tell The Truth10) Crossroads
Not a rare recording – this has been available on collector’s circles for quite a long time – but a very good, clear, soundboard from the 1974 US Tour anyway, now from the Tarantura vaults. Having never come across an audience tape of this concert, this is not the full show but I’d say this is all that is available. Tarantura won’t state whether this is taken from the master or not so I can’t really tell if this is an upgrade to what was available until now but it at least is an upgrade to the soundboard recording I used to have. Because this sounds much better, I’d say this might have been taken from the master tape, but I would like to have confirmation on this. Oh well… “Smile” is the only incomplete track as it just fades in. The rest is absolutely immaculate. This recording sees a very drunk EC singing “Happy Birthday” to Robbie Robertson on the day of his 31st birthday – hence the title. Also of particular note is hearing Eric losing it when someone throws fireworks on stage while performing “Blues Power”. He really does lose it. I just can’t imagine EC keeping on playing on stage after something like this happening these days. This is something that could only happen in the 70s, I guess… I always liked George Terry playing lead guitar on “Let It Grow” on this tour, and this is no exception. I’m sad “Badge” is not featured but at least we get a great rendition of “Get Ready” to make up for it. No acoustic solo on “Can’t Find My Way Home” so for me this is a lost opportunity. How I love the rendition of this song EC would play just fifteen days later, only God knows! Anyway, a good document of the 1974 US Tour that I wish I knew the source it was taken from.