RARE FOOTAGE: Derek and the Dominos live at Fillmore East, October 23rd 1970

For whatever reason, Derek and the Dominos are one band where very little video footage exists from their time together and considering the Layla song and album are seen as some of the best music of all time, it’s mind blowing that very little is out there. To put it into perspective for you, there’s more footage of Duane Allman than there is of Derek and the Dominos…and there isn’t much of Duane. The only officially released video footage that exists is from their performance on The Johnny Cash Show on the 5th November 1970 and even then there are only two videos.

But that was an official TV performance. When it comes to actual live shows from their UK or US tours, there’s absolutely nothing which is a real shame. The only fan footage that does exist is from the 23rd October 1970 when they played two shows at the Fillmore East in New York City. You can check it out below.

Yes, I know that clip is 8 seconds in length but that’s all that exists of Derek and the Dominos outside of the Cash performances. That clip isn’t the full thing though, there’s supposedly around 40 seconds of footage out there which I’ve been told will be used in an upcoming documentary on Eric Clapton and his career. When that will be released I do not know but I can assure you that I am always looking for more previously unseen video footage while I’m writing my book on the band.

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BOOTLEG SERIES #10: Derek and the Dominos – Live at Electric Factory, Philadelphia, PA. 16th October 1970.

Out of all the recordings that exist of Derek and the Dominos, this show is certainly the most unique. It featured a number of songs the band would only play once, or at least there is only one recording of these songs being played. It’s unsure as to whether certain songs were played at other shows but due to a lack of recordings for those other shows and without excessive research we will never know. But I sure am glad this one exists.

The band start with a great version of the Robert Johnson song Ramblin’ On My Mind, however they play it in more of an Elmore James style with the roaring slide guitar. A lot of people when hearing this may think that is Duane Allman on slide guitar but it is not, it is in fact Clapton as Duane wouldn’t join the band on stage for another month and a half. It’s interesting that the band would play this song so early in to their US tour (this was in fact their second US tour date after playing at Rider College in Trenton, New Jersey the night before) but this could have been for two reason. 1) The band only recently finished recording the Layla album a few weeks prior to this show where Clapton played a number of parts on slide with Duane and 2) the band were still no doubt putting together a setlist for their shows and altering the setlist from what they had been playing in the UK would have been natural due to the different audiences found in the US. But either way this is one hell of a song and I only wish they played it more during their tour dates.

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BOOTLEG SERIES #7: Derek and the Dominos – Live at Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, Florida, USA. 1st December 1970.

This performance, this recording, these songs are musical history at it’s finest. Duane Allman only joined Derek and the Dominos twice in concert and this is the first show he appeared with them. He would go on to join them the following day at the Onondaga County War Memorial in Syracuse, New York. Recordings supposedly exist from that show as well but they are reportedly of a very low quality. However thankfully someone with a decent recorder was there in Tampa to record these two guitar legends at work at the Curtis Hixon Hall, and boy are we grateful for it.

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BOOTLEG SERIES #1: Derek and the Dominos – Live at Winter Gardens, Malvern, England. 14th August 1970.

Live at Winter Gardens is the second earliest known live bootleg of Derek and the Dominos, the first being from three days earlier at the Marquee Club in London. During this early period they were still getting to grips with playing songs they’d only recently finished writing back at Clapton’s Hurtwood Edge Surrey home.

The first track is a song the Dominos played on a number of occasions early on but one that never featured on their album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs and seemingly never made it past their UK set of dates. It actually reappeared two years later on Bobby Whitlock’s self-titled debut solo album. It’s a shame the Dominos seemed to abandon it because it’s a great song with a fantastic rhythm and feel. The second track, Anyday, did feature on Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs but what’s clear to hear by the performance at Winter Gardens (along with other early performances) is that they were still experimenting with vocal melody and guitar parts. The album version also includes a blistering performance from Duane Allman but the band had yet to meet him by this point.

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