Jack Bruce has long been one of my all time favourite bassists due to his work with Cream but I’m ashamed to say that aside from his 1969 solo album Songs For A Tailor, I’m not overly familiar with the rest of his solo career. However that changed after hearing this excellent recording of a show he played at Fillmore East in New York with Jack Bruce & Friends, which includes Mitch Mitchell on drums, Larry Coryell on guitar and Mike Mandell on organ. The band only played seventeen dates together between the 24th January and 1st March 1970 and sadly there are less than a handful of live recordings of them. Thankfully, however, this late show recording from the 31st January is one of them.
1971 was a big year for the Allman Brothers in many ways. Not only did they finally achieve huge success after the release of their live album At Fillmore East which was released in July, but the year also saw the first chapter in their career come to a sudden and tragic halt. Founding member Duane Allman’s death on the 29th October 1971 would change the band forever, leaving behind (for the time being at least) the dual lead guitar format that had forged their musical sound from day one.
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.
While writing a previous article on the three nights The Allman Brothers Band played at Fillmore East in March 1971, I spoke to Willie Perkins who was the road manager for the band between 1970-76 and 1983-89. It was an honour to talk with him and I thank Willie for taking the time to answer some questions.
When was the decision made to record a live album at Fillmore East in March ’71?
Probably late 1970. The two earliest albums while well received had not met sales expectations. It was felt a live concert recording would capture the true essence of the band and it did.
Who made the decision to invite the horns to play with the band?
Horns were a band decision. The two players, friends of Jaimoe, had performed live with the band at several concerts previously.
Derek and the Dominos only toured from August to December 1970 but in that time they made a lasting impression on so many people. The live shows are a major part of the book I am writing on the band, a book that will be the most in-depth ever written on Derek and the Dominos, and things like band introductions are very special to hear as they give you a little snapshot of what it must have been like at the venues they played at.
There are a number of live recordings of the band, most of them audience recordings, however not all of them include an introduction from a member of staff at the venue. I have assembled a playlist of the available band introductions from the bootlegs that exist and they are in chronological order.
- 11th August: Marquee Club, London (early show)
- 11st October: Lyceum Ballroom, London
- 16th October: Electric Factory, Philadelphia (early show)
- 23rd October: Fillmore East, New York (early & late shows)
- 5th November: Ryman Auditorium (Johnny Cash Show)
- 6th November: McFarlin Auditorium, Dallas
- 26th November: Music Hall, Cincinnati
- 1st December: Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa