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1975 04 11 (E) Claremont, CA  
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Post 2008-02-01 20:17   [Quote] 
1975 04 11 Early Claremont CA 107.25 Aud (Hoosac92-kristoftof)

As a wise man once said: "The Bongo Fury tour is not a goal. It is a journey" - and it just so happens to be a journey we should all make an attempt to go on at some point in our young teenaged lives.

We start our journey with not only the earliest circulating tape from this tour, but the earliest show of the tour as well. It is (fittingly) the "early" show from Claremont, California, and is joined in the middle of the "Token of My Extreme" vamp. The sound quality, while certainly nothing to write home about, is at least something you might want to mention in passing during a phone conversation - the C+ in FZShows is rather harsh. It's muffled, yes, but the instruments are surprisingly audible - even downright distinct at times.

The show itself certainly fits my preconcieved notion of the 1975 tour being a bitch to write about. It's certainly not a bad show. Just rather hard to write about in complete sentences. So perhaps short, simple sentences - or even sentence fragments, at times - will be a nice compromise. Stinkfoot has a very nice solo - short, but to the point. Carolina Hardcore Ecstasy's solo is less short, less to the point, but equally very nice. It even has a neat segue into Velvet Sunrise. George's keyboards sound great in Pound for a Brown. Echidna's Arf contains the first real eyebrow-raising moment - after the head, we get some improvisatory tomfoolery, which tonight includes a Poetry Corner, during which Frank recites the "Under Milkwood" poem found on Stage #1. From this we segue right into Don't You Ever Wash That Thing - the second eyebrow-raising moment. "Ladies and gentlemen... watch Don. All throughout our show, Don has been thinking, 'I wonder what would happen if I played my soprano saxophone'". Cue blistering cacophony - the overall result is quite similar to Frank's vamp-abandoning spring 1980 solos, and much more interesting than this text would imply.

Advance Romance follows - dig that slide guitar - and dumps us into Portugese Lunar Landing, the third eyebrow-raising moment, and probably the reason most folk would seek this recording out. Only known to be performed in three shows, this song... this, er, eight minutes of... sound... is really not very good at all, and it's no surprise Frank decided to ditch it one week later. The instrumentation is virtually non-existent, and while the main hook is nice (actually, somewhat similar to the Beatles' "Eight Days a Week"), it in no way is enough to support an eight minute opus. The 1981 band rehearsed this tune, and by the last known recorded rehearsal, they had actually managed to turn it into a fun, eyebrow-filled little number (I'd liken it to Jesus Thinks You're a Jerk) - ditching THAT version was a shame. But anyway, the 1975 version plods much like this description, and the introduction to Debra Kadabra comes not a moment too soon (actually, it could be argued, several moments too late). Debra Kadabra gives way to Florentine Pogen, which contains an okay solo, which gives way to the final "introduction" of the band, which contains the names of the band, which gives way to the band leaving, which sets us up for the encore, which is a very, very pretty version of Orange Claw Hammer. It would be remiss to not at least make passing mention of "George's Boogie", which is basically a re-tooled Debra Kadabra with a keyboard solo instead of Debra Kadabra. The final encore is I'm Not Satisfied - the less words devoted to struggling to make this sound interesting, the better - and a really-way-too-short Willie the Pimp.

A solid show, despite this lukewarm description, but - for the most part - not terribly inspiring, and probably deserving of a C+ grade of some sort or another, all things considered.
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