Springfield 1975 (no label)
Civic Center, Springfield, MA – December 14th, 1975
Disc 1 (49:10): I Can’t Explain, Substitute, My Wife, Baba O’Riley, Squeeze Box, Behind Blue Eyes, Dreaming From The Waist, Boris The Spider, Magic Bus
Disc 2 (59:14): mc, Amazing Journey, Sparks, The Acid Queen, Fiddle About, Pinball Wizard, I’m Free, Tommy’s Holiday Camp, We’re Not Gonna Take It, Summertime Blues, My Generation, Join Together, Roadrunner, Won’t Get Fooled Again
The Who’s ended their month long tour in the US with shows in Providence RI, Springfield MA and ended in Philadelphia. A very good but flawed tape exists for Springfield, but a new tape surfaced. Like all of the Lampinski tapes the sound quality is in excellent stereo. The music is clear and the atmosphere it conveys is simply tremendous. There are small cuts in this tape in “Magic Bus” at 8:46 and in “Join Together Blues” at 3:14.
Springfield 1975 captures an extremely loose and fun concert. The author of the Baba O’Riley Bootleg Page suggest that about this time The Who reached their pinnacle. He spoke specifically about the December 4th Chicago show, but can apply to the final week as well. Even with Keith Moon’s leg in a cast they are still a devesting live act.
The first two numbers “I Can’t Explain” and “Substitute” fly by. Roger Daltrey introduces “My Wife” as “a song featuring our bass player, John Entwistle, The Ox. There’s one on every album.” They deliver a great version of “My Wife” even though Entwistle’s vocals are a bit low in the mix in the very beginning of the song.
Daltrey calls “Baba O’Riley” his favorite Who song, but this performance suffers from an extremely lame guitar solo by Pete Townshend. The spirits are raised for their current hit at the time “Squeeze Box” from The Who By Numbers. At the end of the song Townshend gets into a long spiel with the audience, saying that: “I thought you’d might like to know, that song, which I wrote, has nothing to do with sex at all.”
Boos and hisses are heard and Townshend scolds them, saying: “Don’t ask me I only fucking wrote it. And the next song has nothing to do with Keith Moon. It’s a song about people with blue eyes. And how full of shit they are. Of course that doesn’t apply to Moony ‘I’m playing with a broken leg.’ So he’s gonna leave the stage and return when things get going.”
“Dreaming From The Waist” was reinstated in the middle of this tour and features the “flying fingers of John Entwistle” according to Townshend. “Let alone the flying drumsticks of Keith Moon, and the flying microphone of Roger Daltrey. And I’m gonna kick me own rear…you leave my sexuality out of this concert” he jokes.
The bassist is again in the spotlight with his second song of the night. Daltrey says: “Here’s a song featuring The Ox again. He gets out of the shadow quite a bit in various way.” Pete chimes in: “Probably a good thing.” “He’s the creator of such characters as uncle Ernie, cousin Kevin, my wife, and this one…BORIS THE SPIDER.” Afterwards, finally, Townshend explains why they are picking on Ox. After “Boris The Spider” he says: “this is where John Entwistle stops jumping about. The reason we’re all teasing John Entwistle tonight is because he’s so good at backgammon. So I’m touring for nothing I might as well not be here. I gambled away me earnings, me heritage. I think after the tour I’ll earn some money selling buses…
The second half of the show is dominated by the Tommy suite. Reduced to just over a half hour, it’s scaled back from its original form to fit into the program, presenting the highlights. The finale “We’re Not Gonna Take It” drives the audience crazy.
The show ends with “Summertimes Blues,” the long “Join Together Blues,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.” Moon is late a couple of times and messes up the drum part in the synthesized middle of the piece bringing the show to an unfortunately sloppy end. Overall this is a show that, despite the mistakes, is carried by the sheer charisma of the band and the devastating nature of the material and is a title worth having.