Too Drunk For The BBC (Vintage Masters Premium – VM0013)
BBC “In Concert,” Paris Theater, London, England – February 8th, 1973
Silicone Grown, Cindy Incidentally, Angel, Memphis Tennessee, True Blue, I’d Rather Go Blind, You’re My Girl (I Don’t Want To Discuss It), Twistin’ The Night Away, It’s All Over Now, Miss Judy’s Farm, Maybe I’m Amazed, Three Button Hand Me Down, I’m Losing You
Too Drunk For The BBC is a lost Faces session recorded on February 8th, 1973 at the Paris Theater. It is said they sounded too drunk during the performance and this wasn’t aired, but finally did hit the airwaves by mistake in January 2003 on BBC6 digital.
It was released in the summer 2004 on the two disc CDR title In Concert 1973 (Trial-007), paired with the April 1st, 1973 Paris Theater “BBC In Concert” recording. The Vintage Masters Premium is the first silver manufactured edition for this tape. It is a clear and generally excellent sounding mono recording of the complete show that night with a cut in the tape following “It’s All Over Now” losing no music or (as far as we can tell) any talking.
The story about the band being too drunk for broadcast is interesting. The actual music performance is fine. The numbers all sound tight and there aren’t many big mistakes. But Rod Stewart’s song introductions ramble into incoherent nonsense half the time and, compared to other bands appearances on “In Concert,” don’t sound very professional.
The Faces did have the reputation for their loose bar-band aesthetic and this document is a perfect representative. What is also important, and something not generally discussed, is the undercurrent of sadness and melancholy that fuels their music. It is this feeling that one comes away with after listening to the broadcast in its entirety.
The tape begins with DJ John Peel saying, “The BBC has asked me to come along this evening and introduce to you five loveable young men whose music is currently taking the country by storm…The Faces.” Since this session occurs right after recording the last Faces LP Ooh La La and two months before it was released to the public, the band opens with the first two songs from the record. After “Silicone Grown” Rod Stewart says, “One. And now we’ll do two.”
“Cindy Incidentally” follows and it sounds much like a rewrite of Dylan’s “I Don’t Believe You.” Their cover of the Jimi Hendrix tune “Angel” had been a staple of their set and is played with a smattering of regret. At the song’s end Stewart says, “all the year round he end it with a do. He then comes here and he ends it with a clue.” (Maybe it’s an inside joke?)
After another cover tune they play “True Blue,” the first song on Rod Stewart’s Never A Dull Moment (given the set lists and line ups on his solo albums at this point, it is hard to see where The Faces end and his solo career begins). Afterwards he says, “‘True Blue’…is the number we just did. So we won’t be doing that one again tonight. In actual fact we’ll do another number that isn’t ‘True Blue’ just to make this into a programme, which is what John asked us to do.”
There is a strange exchange before a loose version of “Twisting The Night Away.” Someone from the audience shouts, “What is next?” Stewart replies, “do you want a job? Grab a guitar then. Come up here. Tell you what, that’s how I started out, standing in the back, shouting at the band, giving them abuse…so, what do we do now?” Ron Wood says, “I lost me list.” By the end of the show there is a very strange exchange before “Maybe I’m Amazed” which is buried down in the mix. “Three Button Hand Me Down” is “horrible” by Stewart’s own admission.
Before the final song “I’m Losing You” he says, “sorry, but the pubs are closing and we want to get there.” They deliver a dramatic, six minute version of one of their most effective cover songs. Kenny Jones’ brief drum solo is also included before the session ends and they hit the pubs. John Peel can be heard at the end of the tape saying, “The Faces. Still the best rock and roll band in the world for those of us who really care” as he thanks the band and the audience for coming.
Too Drunk For The BBC is packaged in a standard single jewel case with various live shots of the band on the artwork. Since none of this material appears on the Rhino box set Five Guys Walk Into A Bar it is a welcome site to see it released on silver discs. The playing is great and does have a fascinating atmosphere worth having.