Take A Look At The Five Guys (Vintage Masters Premium VM006)
Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, CA – March 7th, 1975
Take A Look At The Guy, (I Know) I’m Losing You (inc. Drum Solo), Bring It On Home To Me, Sweet Little Rock N Roller, I’d Rather Go Blind, Too Bad – Every Picture Tells A Story, Angel, Medley: Stay With Me – Motherless Children – Gasoline Alley, I Can Feel The Fire, Medley: You Wear It Well – Maggie May, Twisting The Night Away
Take A Look At The Five Guys is a Faces release containing the March 7th, 1975 San Bernardino KBFH tape. There have been several releases of this tape in the past that are sourced from the radio broadcast, but this comes from the vault and is much more complete. Rhythm & Booze on Oh Boy lists this show as being from 1976 and is missing “Take A Look At The Guy,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” “Angel,” and “I Can Feel The Fire.” A later release Real Good Time (Swingin’ Pig TSP 039) is missing “I’m Losing You” and incorrectly labeled Detroit, 1974.
The new tape includes most of the set including the “Motherless Children” reference in the “Stay With Me” medley which was cut from the original broadcast, probably for copyright reasons. The opening song, “It’s All Over Now,” is still missing from the tape and casts doubt whether or not it was even recorded.
Trial is the first label to release this tape with San Bernardino (Trial-209) on CDR, but Vintage Masters Premium is the first on silver. The recording is a very clear and professional recording with nice gain and a good balance between the music and the audience reaction. A characteristic common with many DIR tapes is the balance of the instruments lying heavily on the upper frequencies: guitar and vocals are much louder with the bass and drums pushed to the back.
The engineers with the company probably felt that was what listeners of the King Biscuit Flower Hour wanted to hear, but the drum sound is very thin on this tape even during the drum solo. Despite that, this is an improvement over the previous releases of this show since it comes straight from the master and is more complete.
San Bernardino comes from The Faces’ farewell tour. With Rod Stewart’s burgeoning solo career and with Ron Wood moving on to become a Rolling Stone, the enthusiasm for the band waned. Ostensibly a tour for their last LP Oh La La, no material from the new album is played. In fact, very little Faces material makes its way into the set list. Instead the emphasis is upon Stewart’s and Wood’s solo material and numerous covers. The tour lasted for a month beginning on February 11th in Rochester, New York and ending several days after this show on March 13th at the PNC Coliseum in Vancouver, BC, Canada. They played man large venues and jammed with other musicians during the month.
Wood joined Led Zeppelin on stage at the Nassau Coliseum on February 13th, and the band backed up Ike & Tina Turner in the studio on March 6th in Los Angeles, the night before this concert. The recording begins with “Take A Look At The Guy” from Wood’s album I’ve Got My Own Album To Do from the preceding year and, with Wood himself taking the vocals, is an interesting choice for a set opener.
The following number, “(I Know) I’m Losing You” is the Rod Stewart cover of the old Temptations song and features an excellent drum solo by Kenny Jones, which Stewart says, “Kenny Jones ladies and gentlemen, playing the trombone. It’s like a football match here tonight. I knew you wouldn’t let us down.” The band follow this with Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home To Me” with typical humor (“No one sings it like Sam Cooke but we do it all right.”)
“Sweet Little Rock N Roller” begins with a barking dog before the band launch into the song. The audience becomes wild at this point and Stewart tells everyone to move back before they play “Too Bad.” This song is a great honky tonk and blends perfectly into “Every Picture Tells A Story.” The following is introduced as “a nice song,” a Faces cover of Stewart’s cover of Jimi Hendrix’s “Angel.” Working as a soaring anthem, the vocals are beautiful and are a good respite from the raucousness of the rest of the set as it is segued with the following “Stay With Me.”
“Stay With Me,” from A Nod Is As Good As A Wink…To A Blind Horse, contains Wood playing the opening riff of Clapton’s “Motherless Children” before the band finish with “Gasoline Alley.” Afterwards Stewart says it has been three years since the band played there and introduces the new bassist Tetsu Yamauchi who is resposible for making the band play better, an obvious shot at Ronnie Lane who left the band.
There is a small cut in the tape and the sound quality changes noticably with the audience noises retreating to the back ground and the drums and bass being turned up higher in the mix. This change lasts for both the Ron Wood song “I Can Feel The Fire” and the closing medley of “You Wear It Well” and “Maggie May.” The original mix returns for the encore “Twisting The Night Away.” Take A Look At The Five Guys is packaged in a standard compact disc jewel case with basic, yet attractive, artwork common for releases on this label. Until the whole show is released this stands as the best version of the show available.