Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Academy of Music, March 1972

Charlie Miller has just released his transfer of 3/25/72, the Bo Diddley/GD show, which finally means that every note from the 1972 Academy of Music run is now circulating for our listening pleasure.  Until pretty recently, these shows represented a big hole in what is arguably the greatest year of the band's career.  There were always poor aud recordings of most of these shows, but none of it circulated on sbd at all until a few years ago, and it's only been in the past few months that about half of these sources entered the general public circulation.  Yee haw!  Thanks, Charlie!  I believe most (all?) of these derive from that mysterious third batch of Bettyboards, the ones that are still being held by a guy who bought Betty Cantor's equipment cases at auction and discovered the moldy reels, which were eventually cleaned up by Rob Eaton (correction: not Rob Bertrando).  I think?  There seems to be a lot to that story that remains untold.

Anyway, eat it up, music lovers: (also Dave's Picks 14) (also Dick's Picks 30)

No reviews for now.  If you've forgotten about it, go listen to the very unusual and very beautiful Caution > jam > Uncle John's Band from 3/22.

And, for your reading pleasure, here's a fun contemporary article on the whole crazy week:


  1. Rob Eaton cleaned up the reels. I'm not sure whether they've been releasing the Academy of Music shows from the original reels or from his copies.

    3/25/72 sounds looser than the surrounding nights, sometimes downright sloppy & raucous (like the Bo Diddley set). Lovelight is quite boisterous - befitting a Hell's Angels party!
    The last jam in the Bo Diddley set sounds a lot like the Velvet Underground's White Light - several minutes of frenzied scrubbed-out distortion.

  2. Yeah... not a big fan of the Bo Diddley set, to be honest. That last jam is raucous indeed, but I think White Light/White Heat is a charitable comparison.

  3. The full set does highlight Bo's shortcomings! I thought the final raveup was recognizably (but accidentally) in the VU style, but you're right, there may be better comparisons - like, say, this:

    For me, it's fascinating to hear, if only briefly, the Dead's "Europe '72" sound being applied to a different style. Usually when they got noisy, it was in meltdowns or Lovelight-type climaxes, not this type of repetitive distorted drony rock.

    As for Bo, perhaps he's channeling a bit of Hound Dog Taylor: