A LEGENDARY CAREER

From his early days playing rock 'n' roll in bands around Chicago's North Shore suburbs and sitting in with blues legends on the city's South Side, to his fiery 18 months with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, to the creation of the Electric Flag, his innovative brass-fusion band, and his "Super Session" success, Michael Bloomfield had a career that was second to none. Here is a chronology of his musical collaborations, performances and recording sessions.

CHRONOLOGY

Mike Bloomfield tunes up during his first Columbia recording session in 1964. Mike Shea photo

1958-65

15-year-old Michael Bloomfield (with guitar, center) causes an uproar at his high school talent show. From NTHS yearbook

Note to users: These listings have been corrected and updated for the redesign of Michael Bloomfield: An American Guitarist. Please send any comments, additions or corrections here.

 

1958

 

*THE HURRICANES

Michael Bloomfield, el g; Roy Ruby, g; Craig Sherman, b; Roy Jespersen, d.

Unknown studio, Chicago, IL: Fall 1958

 

Hurricane                                            Self-produced recording

Hot Rod

 

“Hurricane” was a tune Bloomfield and Roy Jespersen worked up on the piano in a practice room at New Trier High School. Roy reported that Michael and the band recorded these two tunes in a studio in the Loop and that each band member invested $10 to pay for the recording. The studio cut a single disc which the band members then took turns taking home to listen to. Jespersen does not know if the disc still exists.

 

Personnel as above.

New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL; December 13, 1958

 

Chet Atkins tune                       Live performance

Hurricane

 

This was a talent show at which the band was told not to play any rock ‘n’ roll. To appease the authorities, they played a Chet Atkins tune to close the show. But the stage curtain inadvertently reopened at the end of their performance and Bloomfield and the band launched into “Hurricane,” causing students to storm the stage. The group was later called into the Dean of Students office and reprimanded, and Bloomfield was eventually expelled from the school. Thanks to Roy Jespersen for this information.

 

Personnel as above.

Dance parties, various temples and churches, North Shore, IL; 1959-60

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

 

1959

 

*MR. LONELY & THE TWISTERS

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Melford, g; others unknown.

New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL; 1959(?)

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

 

Michael Melford reports that he and Bloomfield had an R&B group that played for NTHS dances.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g; Phil Schramm, Bill Spence, v; Horace "Ace" Cathcart, b; Bob Greenspan, g; Roy Ruby, b; Roy Jespersen or Gerry Pasternack, d; Tommy Mahlon, sax.

Dance parties, Spanish Village, Wilmette, IL; 1959-60

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

High schoolers would organize beer parties at this abandoned venue – also called "the Ruins" – and Bloomfield and his friends would provide the music. Cathcart was a black vocalist and bass player whom Bloomfield met not long after he started playing guitar. This band also played at the Tally Ho restaurant in Lake Forest. Thanks to Fred Glazer and Horace Cathcart for this information.

 

*GUITAR JUNIOR

Guitar Junior, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; unknown, ts; others unknown.

The Place, Chicago, IL; Summer 1959

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

This was probably the first time Bloomfield sat in on the South Side, playing with Guitar Junior (Luther Johnson) and his band. He and Roy Ruby told interviewer Dan McClosky about the experience in 1971.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/HORACE CATHCART

Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Zupec(?), org; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Danny Woods, d.

Numerous small clubs, private parties in Glencoe, Highland Lake, other North Shore towns in IL; 1959-60

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Horace Cathcart reports that he and Bloomfield had a quartet that played mostly folk and blues around the North Shore area for several years. One club they performed at was the Hideout in Highwood; they also played dances at Michael's high school, New Trier, in Winnetka. The year for their appearances is uncertain – they may have occurred as early as 1958.

 

 

1960

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/ROY RUBY/MICHAEL MANN

Michael Bloomfield, g; Roy Ruby, g; Michael Mann, g; others unknown.

Jam sessions, Cornwall Academy, Great Barrington, MA; early 1960

 

Unknown titles                                   Jam sessions

 

In his Junior year, Bloomfield was sent to Cornwall Academy, a private school in Massachusetts. His close friend, Roy Ruby, was attending another prep school in nearby Lenox. Fellow student Michael Mann (later a folksinger in Greenwich Village) reported that he learned to play guitar from Bloomfield while there and that the three of them were a musical "triumvirate." Photos for the 1960 Cornwall yearbook show Michael playing electric guitar in a band with other students.

 

*HAYDEN THOMPSON

Thompson, g, v; Michael Bloomfield(?), Bob Greenspan, g; others unknown.

Tally Ho Club, Highwood, IL: spring 1960

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Thompson was a “Jerry Lee Lewis imitator” who had recorded for Sun Records in 1953 (with Jerry Lee on piano). Bloomfield recalled these as his first professional performances in an interview in 1971 with Dan McClosky. Bob Greenspan, however, has said that Bloomfield only came to see Hayden play and never was actually in the band. Thompson has confirmed that Bloomfield never played with him. Greenspan did play with Thompson, and he and Bloomfield did play in Highwood with Vince Viti, so perhaps those were the gigs Michael was referring to (see below). It is quite possible, though, that Michael sat in with Thompson at some point.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/BOB GREENSPAN

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Bob Grenspan, g, v; Vince Viti, p; Roy Ruby, b; Gerry Pasternack, d;
possibly Mark Schinderman, ts.

Junior Prom, New Trier High School, Winnetka, IL; June(?) 1960

 

Pink Cadillac                                        Live performance

Other unknown titles

 

*VINCE VITI & THEM

Viti, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Bob Greenspan, g, v; possibly Roy Ruby, b; Gerry Pasternack, d.

PG’s Club 7, Highwood, IL; Summer 1960

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

Bob Greenspan recalled that when he and Bloomfield “were 15,” they were in a group called Vince Viti & Them. Viti was a 25-year-old boogie-woogie piano player, and they played what Greenspan called “Mike’s first gigs” at Club 7. They also played a Junior Prom at New Trier High School where Greenspan had just completed his Junior year. Michael was no longer attending NTHS at the time, having been asked to leave the school in late 1959. Viti confirms that after he played the prom with them, he formed a band with Michael and Bob and they played at Club 7 Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer. He believes the year was actually 1959, but other circumstances indicate it was more likely 1960.

 

*JAM SESSION

Walter Jacobs, hca, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, p; unknown, b; Sam Lay, d.

Pride & Joy Club, Chicago, IL; 1960(?)

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

This is only one of numerous sessions that Bloomfield is reported to have taken part in as a teenager on the south side of Chicago. It’s listed here as an example of the sort of musical company he was keeping in his early years. At the same time, however, he was also playing rock 'n' roll on the North Side and in the suburbs, as indicated below.

 

 

1961-63

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g.

Hyde Park, IL; various dates, 1961-63

 

Unknown titles                                     Recordings made by Norman Dayron

 

AFTER PLAYING electric guitar for most of his teen years, in 1961 Bloomfield concentrates almost exclusively on acoustic technique, learning a variety of folk blues, bluegrass and country styles. He collects rare records by artists like Merle Travis, Doc Watson, Chet Atkins, and other country artists as well as sides by traditional blues players. He spends two years listening and picking up their styles. During this period, he briefly attends Roosevelt University but spends most of his time cutting classes to practice guitar in the student lounge.

 

 

1962

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v.

University of Chicago Folk Festival, Chicago, IL: February 1962

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Photographer Peter Amft told author Bill Keenom that following the Rev. Gary Davis’ set at the folk festival in 1962, Bloomfield took Davis’s guitar and played one of the bluesman’s tunes “three times as fast.” Afterwards he said, “This isn't hard to do!” According to Fred Glazer, Bloomfield played acoustic guitar at several of the U. of C. folk fests, probably in 1962 and 1963.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/RAMBLIN’ JACK ELLIOT

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Elliot, g, v.

Private party, Old Town, Chicago, IL; February 1962(?)

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Fred Glazer recalled seeing Bloomfield play with Jack Elliot at a late night party. Elliot played at the U. of C. Folk Festival on February 4, so this performance may have been around that time.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; probably Roy Ruby, g.

New Dorms, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL: Spring 1962

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Mike Michaels, a Chicago friend and occasional harpist for Bloomfield, recalled seeing Michael play electric guitar around this time at one of the University’s ad-hoc Wednesday night “twist parties." Pianist Mark Naftalin first met Michael at a similar gathering. Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop also frequently performed at these New Dorms sessions, though after this night the university moved the weekly sessions to the more spacious Ida Noyes Hall, the student union. A recording exists from October 2, 1963 that appears to have Bloomfield sitting in with Butterfield and Bishop at one such party.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Fred Glazer, hca; Warner Logan, d; others, including a sax player, unknown.

The Sink, Boulder, CO; June 1962

 

Limbo Rock                                        Live performances

Other unknown titles

 

Bloomfield and Fred Glazer spent three or four weeks bumming around Colorado in the summer of 1962. They formed a band to play at The Sink in Boulder and Bloomfield sat in with blues singer Judy Roderick several times in Denver. Warner Logan was the son of Happy Logan, the owner of a chain music stores in the Denver-Boulder area. Thanks to Fred Glazer and John Ivey for some of this information.

 

*JUDY RODERICK/MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Judy Roderick, v; Michael Bloomfield, g.

The Attic, Boulder, CO; June 1962

 

Take This Hammer                                   Private recording

Bedbug Blues

Katie Mae

Walkin' Blues (Thinking About a Friend)

 

In 2011, an article in The Denver Post listed Bloomfield as one of the performers at this short-lived coffee house. It was a tiny venue seating only 50 people and was located ironically downstairs from a pharmacy, across the street from The Sink where Bloomfield and Fred Glazer played with their ad-hoc rock/R&B band. But the Attic's owner, Joe Loop, reports that Bloomfield never officially performed there; he was too busy with his electric band at the Sink. Blues singer Judy Roderick did play at the Attic, and she asked Michael to record four short blues tunes with her in the club's kitchen to demonstrate some licks for her. Two of the tunes ("Katie" and "Walkin'") were by Lightnin' Hopkins. Fred Glazer recalled that Bloomfield sat in with “Judy Collins” while they were in Colorado, but Collins was in New York City by 1962; it's very likely he was referring to Roderick. Thanks to John Ivey for this information.

 

*WESTWIND SINGERS

Don Wilson, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca; Mike Horn, Gus Fleming, v.

Chicago, IL; 1962 or 1963

 

San Francisco Bay Blues                       Balkan CD-1007

San Francisco Bay Blues, alt. take

Swing Down Chariot

I Can’t Get ‘Nuff Your Love (MB, v, hca)

The Monkey and the Engineer

 

This folk compendium CD is the earliest available Bloomfield recording. Don Wilson later formed a graphic arts company with photographer Peter Amft and did album cover illustrations for Bloomfield and many others. Wilson and Mike Horn also had a Simon & Grafunkel-like duo around this time called Michael, Don & Nobody. Thanks to Joel Harlib for this information.

 

BLOOMFIELD MARRIES Susan Smith on September 4, 1962 in New Buffalo, Michigan.

 

 

1963

 

*YANK RACHELL

Rachell, v, mand; Hammie Nixon, hca, jug; Sleepy John Estes, Michael Bloomfield, g; Big Joe Williams, g.

Bloomfield's apartment, Chicago, IL; March 31, 1963

 

Up and Down the Line                        “Mandolin Blues,” Delmark DL-606

Bye Bye Baby

Stop Knockin’ on My Door

Doorbell Blues

When My Baby Comes Back Home

Get Your Morning Exercise

 

Bloomfield plays on the above tunes only.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v*; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Dean deWolf(?), v, g.

The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; Spring 1963

 

You Been on the Job Too Long                                    Live performances

East Virginia Blues

Katy Dear

I Gave My Love a Cherry

St. James Infirmary

Hobo’s Lullaby

Freight Train*

Other unknown titles

 

Horace Cathcart recalled that he and Bloomfield began performing as a duo at the Fickle Pickle, and later were joined by Big Joe Williams, Sunnyland Slim, Washboard Sam and – on one occasion – Muddy Waters. These may have been shows produced by Bob Koester. Cathcart also says that Dean deWolf was their regular “featured artist" and he did most of the singing, though Bloomfield’s manager from 1964-65, Joel Harlib, does not believe that deWolf and Michael ever played together.

 

*PAUL PRESTOPINO

Prestopino, v, bjo; Michael Bloomfield, p; others unknown.

The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; Spring 1963

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

A fan recalled seeing Bloomfield play piano with Paul Prestopino’s bluegrass group when Michael was producing shows at the Fickle Pickle. Prestopino later went on to join the Chad Mitchell Trio.

 

*BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Williams, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, v, p; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Washboard Sam, wshbd.

Parsons College, Fairfield, IA; Spring 1963

 

Unknown titles                                      Live performances

 

Bloomfield played two dates with Big Joe, Sunnyland and Washboard Sam at this college one weekend in spring 1963. Thanks to Horace Cathcart for this information.

 

*LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY

Montgomery, v, p; Michael Bloomfield, g.

The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; May(?) 1963

 

Michigan Water Blues                        “The Best of ...,” Takoma TAKCD-8905-2

Pleadin' Blues

 

IN LATE MAY 1963, Bloomfield and George Mitchell begin producing Tuesday night blues sessions with Big Joe Williams and other older players at the Fickle Pickle. Norman Dayron records many of the performance and Michael acts as the club's emcee. Earlier, in April, Bloomfield meets Bob Dylan when the folksinger performs at the opening of Albert Grossman's club The Bear in Chicago.

 

*LAZY BILL LUCAS

Lucas, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Unknown college, unknown location; Summer(?) 1963

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

George Mitchell reported that Bloomfield accompanied Lucas during a college gig, possibly in the summer of 1963. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca; Roy Ruby, g.

Old Town Street Fair, Chicago, IL: June 8, 1963

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v.

Mother Blues, Chicago, IL: Summer(?) 1963

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

This may have been Bloomfield’s first solo gig. It was arranged by his manager, Joel Harlib, who had to “drag Mike from his apartment in Sandburg Village to the club” to get him to perform. Thanks to Joel Harlib for this information. It was this or a similar Mother Blues show that guitarist Barry Melton first saw Bloomfield perform.

 

IN JULY 1963 Bloomfield travels to East St. Louis, IL, with Big Joe Williams, a junket chronicled in a spoken narrative by Bloomfield that was recorded by Norman Dayron in the early ’70s. The narrative was transcribed and later published by Re/Search Publications in 1980 under the title “Me and Big Joe.” Scott Summerville edited the tale and arranged to get it printed. A version also appeared in the December 1980 edition of High Times magazine with illustrations by Robert Crumb.

 

*SUNNYLAND SLIM/ST. LOUIS JIMMY

St. Louis Jimmy, v, hca; Slim, v, p; J.B. Lenoir, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; John Lee Granderson, v, g; others unknown.

Fickle Pickle(?), Chicago, IL; July 9, 1963

 

Brown Skin Woman                             “... Live in ’63,” Fuel 302 061 300 2

J.L.’s Blues

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

That’s All Right

 

These selections, supposedly recorded at a place called Nina's Lounge on Chicago's "near West Side," were almost certainly recorded by Norman Dayron at the Fickle Pickle.

 

*B.B. KING/FREDDIE KING/ALBERT KING/BOBBY KING

B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; others unknown.

Ashland Auditorium, Chicago, IL; August 4, 1963

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Originally scheduled for the Regal Theater, this extravaganza – billed as the “Battle of the Kings” – was moved to the Ashland because of overflow crowds. Bloomfield was invited to sit in for the show’s closing performance on Sunday night. He took Cathcart with him and played during the final “jam.” While the Kings listed are those cited by Cathcart, a poster from Norman Dayron’s collection does not mention Freddie. Downbeat magazine listed a similar concert on July 7, 1964 with the headliners as B.B., Freddie, Junior Parker and Elmore Morris, and that might be the show in question.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD & THE BUTTERCUPS

Paul Butterfield, v, hca; Elvin Bishop, g; Michael Bloomfield, g*; Buddy Wilson(?), b; Teddy Wilson(?), d.

Twist party, Ida Noyes Hall, U. of C., Chicago, IL; October 2, 1963

 

Untitled shuffle blues #1                      Private recording

Help Me

Crazy About My Baby*

What’d I Say*

19 Years Old*

Untitled shuffle blues #2*

You Got Me Runnin’

Daddy's Getting Old*

Break Song* (fades in)

 

Here is Paul Butterfield on a late Wednesday night, performing with Elvin Bishop and the two unknown black players – possibly the Wilson brothers, Buddy (or Bobby) and Teddy, whom Norman Dayron believes worked in the Ida Noyes kitchen – the first edition of the Butterfield Blues Band. According to Jack "Applejack" Walroth, though, Buddy Wilson owned a shoe repair shop in Hyde Park. Aural evidence indicates that a second guitarist joins them in mid-set, and the player is almost certainly Bloomfield. Norman Dayron came up with the name “Buttercups,” much to Paul’s chagrin. Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for some of this information.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/IRA KAMIN/MICHAEL MELFORD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca; Kamin, banjo; Melford, mand.

Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL: November 22, 1963

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Ira Kamin and Michael Melford had a bluegrass trio in which Bloomfield occasionally played guitar. On the night of the day President Kennedy was assassinated, Melford recalled they were on stage at the Fickle Pickle. They also had a booking agent who got them gigs around the Midwest.

 

 

1964

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, hca, v.

Norman Dayron’s apartment, Chicago, IL; January 28, 1964

 

Bullet Rag*                               Recordings by Norman Dayron; these tunes (*) were issued with

Kingpin*                                   “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom, Miller Freeman Books, 2000

J.P. Morgan*

Steel Guitar Rag

Steel Guitar Rag, alt. take

Since I Met You Baby

A Feelin' Called the Blues

Who Killed Cock Robin?

 

On “Kingpin" and “Steel Guitar Rag” (also known as "Kimbark Street Jive"), Bloomfield overdubbed a second guitar part; "Since I Met You, Baby" has a guitar and harmonica part added. This was a demo that Bloomfield's manager, Joel Harlib, took to producer John Hammond (see below).

 

*BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Williams, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, b.

University of Chicago Folk Festival, Chicago, IL: January 31, 1964

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v, hca, kazoo; Bill Lee, b.

Columbia Studios, New York, NY; Late February 17 or 18, 1964

 

Country Boy Blues (I’m a Country Boy)     Sony Legacy

Judge, Judge

Hammond Rag

Got My Mojo Working                                 Unissued

God Don't Like Ugly

Got the Blues (Feelin' Called the Blues)

Don't Lay That Snake on Me

J.P. Morgan

You Got Me Runnin'

 

These tunes all come from Bloomfield's audition for producer Columbia John Hammond. The first three were included in the Sony Legacy Bloomfield box set and were supplied by Al Kooper from a tape Michael had given him. The remainder are from acetates from Paul Thompson's collection. Two of those discs were offered as acetates in eBay auctions in 2004 and early 2006. The label on “Got the Blues” reads “Columbia Reference #Job 90334, unreleased,” and “Attn: John Hammond.” “Country Boy Blues” came with a paper sleeve on which was also penciled “Attn: John Hammond.” These recordings happened because Bloomfield’s manager at the time, Joel Harlib, made a cold call on Hammond, probably in early February 1964, and was able to get the legendary producer to listen to a demo of the guitarist’s material. Hammond was so impressed that he had Michael come to New York for an audition. During contract negotiations following Bloomfield’s signing with the label, John Hammond suffered a heart attack and was unable to come to Chicago for a full recording session until December 1964. By that time Bloomfield had put together an ad-hoc band, The Group, and was working at Big John’s and Magoo's. Hammond arranged a session in Chicago on December 7 and another on March 1, 1965, in New York. Though Michael had a contract, Columbia was unsure how to market him and did nothing with the recordings. Thanks to Al Kooper, Peggy McVickar, Paul Thompson and Joel Harlib for this information.

 

*SLEEPY JOHN ESTES

Estes, v, g; Yank Rachell, mand; Hammie Nixon, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Chicago, IL; March 3, 1964

 

3 O’clock Morning Blues                  “Broke and Hungry,” Delmark DS-608

Beale Street Sugar

Everybody Oughta Change

Broke And Hungry

 

Bloomfield plays on the these tunes only.

 

BRIAN JONES’ new group, the Rolling Stones, debuts in England with an eponymous release in April 1964. The record features a mix of American R&B, blues and rock covers, including Willie Dixon's “I Just Want to Make Love to You.” Five of its titles were recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago.

 

*DEAN deWOLF

deWolf, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g(?); Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; others unknown.

Chicago IL; Spring(?) 1964

 

Unknown titles                       Argo demo recording(?)

 

Horace Cathcart recalled playing with Bloomfield on a deWolf demo session for Argo, and deWolf later recorded an album for Chess’ Argo label called “Folk Swinger.” Bloomfield is not present on that album, nor on deWolf's subsequent Argo release, his last. Thanks to Horace Cathcart, Joel Harlib and Rene Aagaard for this information.

 

*EDDIE BOYD

Boyd, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 16, 1964

 

Five Long Years                                 Recording done for Swedish Radio

Her Picture in the Frame

Early Grave

The Big Question

Look Over Yonder’s Wall

Interview

 

*YANK RACHELL

Rachell, mand, v; John Lee Granderson, g; Michael Bloomfield, p.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 16, 1964

 

Going to Pack Up My Things              Recording done for Swedish Radio

I Hear My Baby Call My Name

My Baby Rocks Me

My Baby’s Gone, Soon I’ll Be Gone Myself

Interview

 

*SUNNYLAND SLIM

Slim, p; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 19, 1964

 

Brownskin Woman                             Recording done for Swedish Radio

It’s You Baby

One Room Country Shack

Sunnyland’s Jump

The Devil Is a Busy Man

I Done You Wrong

Early One Morning

 

*ST. LOUIS JIMMY

Jimmy, hca, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, p; Washboard Sam, washboard.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 19, 1964

 

Can’t Stand Your Evil Ways               Recording done for Swedish Radio

Complete Disorder

Poor Boy

The Girl I Love

Monkey Faced Woman

 

*LITTLE BROTHER MONTGOMERY

Montgomery, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; May 21, 1964

 

West Texas Blues                               Recording done for Swedish Radio

Cow Cow Blues

Vicksburg Blues

Goin’ Up the Country

Suitcase Blues

Interview

 

These five sessions were produced by Olle Helander for his “I Blueskvarter” radio show in Sweden.

 

*JOHN HAMMOND

Hammond, v, hca, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Robbie Robertson, g; Michael Bloomfield, p; Jimmy Lewis, b; Levon Helm, d.

New York, NY; June 1964

 

Down in the Bottom                                “So Many Roads,” Vanguard VSD-7917

Long Distance Call

Who Do You Love

I Want You to Love Me

Rambling Blues

You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover

Gambling Blues

Big Boss Man

I Wish You Would Come Back, Baby           “Mirrors,” Vanguard VSD-79245

Traveling Riverside

 

Bloomfield plays on the above tunes only. “So Many Roads” was released by Vanguard in 1965 but was recorded in the summer of 1964. Bloomfield was visiting New York City at the time with his friend Charlie Musselwhite. Charlie recalls calling Hammond and John inviting them to play on the session. Michael deferred to Robertson, who was there to play electric guitar on the session, and opted to play piano despite Hammond’s desire to have two electric guitars on the session. Bob Dylan reportedly heard about the session after Albert Grossman’s assistant, Mary Martin, told him about a Toronto band he should check out called the Hawks. He presumably was inspired to call Michael for the “Highway 61” sessions later the following year.

 

BLOOMFIELD JOINS Big Joe Williams and Charlie Musselwhite who are performing at Big John’s in the summer of 1964, accompanying them on piano. In the fall, after Williams leaves, Bloomfield forms a band with Musselwhite later known as The Group, and they begin performing at Big John’s regularly.

 

*ROBERT NIGHTHAWK

Nighthawk, v, g; John Lee Ganderson, g; Michael Bloomfield, v, g(?), interview.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; August or September 1964

 

Kansas City                          “And This Is Maxwell Street,” Rooster Records

Dust My Broom

Peter Gunn Jam

Red Top/Ornithology

 

*JOHNNY YOUNG

Young, v, mand, g; Michael Bloomfield, g(?); Robert Nighthawk, g.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; August or September 1964

 

The Sun Is Shining                 “And This Is Maxwell Street,” Rooster Records

All I Want for My Breakfast

 

*ROBERT NIGHTHAWK

Nighthawk, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, v.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; August or September 1964

 

Interview

 

These Maxwell Street performances come from recordings for a film called “And This Is Free,” made in 1964 by Michael Shea with assistance from Bloomfield and Norman Dayron. Dayron recalled that Bloomfield did not play on any of the above selections with the exception of "Red Top/Ornithology," though some critics felt the guitarist on that title was Little Arthur Watson. The Nighthawk material was originally issued by Dayron on a Rounder LP entitled "Robert Nighthawk and His Magic Fingers of Flame: Live on Maxwell Street" in 1981. Bloomfield's interview with Nighthawk was originally done in five 10-minute sections because Shea had to change film reels. The interview's filmed portion was later lost.

 

*ARVELLA GRAY

Gray, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Jim Brewer, g; Chicago Slim, hca.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; 1964(?)

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

This Maxwell Street session was recalled by folk singer and guitarist Art Thieme. Gray was a street singer on Maxwell Street who played with a unique bottleneck style. The date is unclear and the jam may have occurred in 1963 or earlier.

 

GUITARIST ERIC CLAPTON records as a member of the English blues-rock group the Yardbirds, releasing “5 Live” in the fall of 1964.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE

Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Erwin Helfer, p.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; September 1964

 

Unknown titles                         Live performances

 

Downbeat magazine noted that Big Joe Williams, who originally had the gig at Big John’s, returned to St. Louis, MO, leaving Bloomfield and Musselwhite to carry on. The magazine stated that they were playing there Friday and Saturday nights in September and had added pianist Erwin Helfer. Charlie Musselwhite said that Helfer wasn’t really part of the group, just someone who “stopped in occasionally to sit in.”

 

*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Brian Friedman, el p; Roy Ruby(?), b; Norm Mayell, d.

Mike Shea's studio, Chicago IL; September 3, 1964

 

43rd Street Blues                    Private recording

Rambling Blues

Drifting and Drifting

I'm in the Mood

Five Long Years

I Got Fooled

The First Year I Got Married

I Done Got Wise

Katie Mae

I Got You in the Palm of My Hand

 

Bloomfield's new band, The Group, recorded in photographer and film maker Mike Shea's small studio a full three months before they would do so officially for John Hammond. The identity of the bass player and drummer is uncertain, though Norm Mayell confirms that he was the drummer; the bassist may have been Bob Wolff. The pianist is most likely Brian Friedman who was described by his contemporaries as a brilliant blues player. Norman Dayron produced this recording.

 

*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g; Michael Johnson, g; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; October 15, 1964

 

Blues for Roy              Recording by Norman Dayron, issued with

                                   “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom, Miller Freeman Books, 2000

 

By October, Bloomfield's band at Big John's included drummer Norm Mayell and bassist Sidney Warner (who had replaced Roy Ruby or Bob Wolff). The new group performed on Fridays and Saturdays at the club through October. Charlie Musselwhite recalls that they usually would do seven sets a night, from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m.

 

*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g; Michael Johnson, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s, Chicago IL; October 15, 1964

 

Country Boy                Recordings by Norman Dayron, issued with

Gotta Call Susie          “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom, Miller Freeman Books, 2000

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, p.

Big John’s, Chicago IL; October 15(?), 1964

 

Intermission Blues                 Recording by Norman Dayron, issued with

                                              “If You Love These Blues” by Wolkin & Keenom, Miller Freeman Books, 2000

 

*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; probably Brian Friedman, p; Michael Johnson(?), g; Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s(?), Chicago IL; Fall(?) 1964

 

Automobile Blues                     Recording by Norman Dayron

 

The rhythm guitarist here sounds like it might be Elvin Bishop. By mid-November, Downbeat listed Bloomfield's band as playing Thursday through Saturday nights at Big John's.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Charlie Musselwhite, Roy Ruby, Norman Dayron, v.

Norman Dayron’s apartment, Chicago IL; Fall(?) 1964

 

Let’s Get Some Dope              Recording by Norman Dayron

 

According to Norman Dayron, this comic tune was improvised by Bloomfield in Dayron’s apartment. It concerns a snail’s lament while "inching his way across a vast field of marijuana next to the federal penitentiary in Lexington, Kentucky, and singing in a tiny voice, 'Let's get some dope.'" Musselwhite, Ruby and Dayron joined Bloomfield on the chorus.

 

*THE GROUP

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Johnson, g; Brian Friedman, el p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Bob Wolff or Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; Mid-November 1964

 

Unknown titles                         Live performances

 

Pete Welding reviewed several performances by The Group in the December 3, 1964, edition of Downbeat magazine, describing the band as “rapidly evolving into one of the finest, fiercest-swinging rhythm-and-blues combinations in Chicago.” He also noted that the group occasionally “suffered from time difficulties.” Thanks to Peggy McVickar for this information. Michael Johnson recalled that during this period Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop would frequently sit in with the band. According to Fred Glazer, The Group also performed at Mother Blues and the Second Chance at this time.

 

BLOOMFIELD’S BAND, The Group, becomes the house band at Magoo’s in Chicago in late November 1964.

 

Personnel as above.

Magoo’s, Chicago, IL; Late November 1964

 

Unknown titles                         Live performances

 

Mike Johnson reported that after performing at Magoo's one night, the McGovern brothers (who owned the club and were believed to be connected to the Mafia) took the group to a southern Illinois farm to go pheasant hunting. Downbeat magazine listed The Group as playing Wednesday through Sunday nights at Magoo’s, beginning with the December 3rd issue. Sid Warner, who had known the McGoverns before joining The Group, got the band the gig.

 

Personnel as above, omit Wolff.

Columbia Studio A, Chicago, IL; December 7, 1964

 

I Feel So Good                        “Essential Blues,” Columbia CK 57631

I Feel So Good, alt. take 1

I Feel So Good, alt. take 2

Goin’ Down Slow

Goin’ Down Slow, alt. take 1

I’ve Got You In the Palm Of My Hand

I’ve Got You In the Palm Of My Hand, alt. take 1

The First Year I Was Married

I’ve Got My Mojo Working

Last Night

 

This date was produced by John Hammond, following a long delay getting Bloomfield into the studio for a full recording session due to Hammond suffering a heart attack in the spring of 1964. Hammond saw The Group perform at Magoo’s prior to this session, and was not very impressed.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE

Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca.

Unknown folk festival, unknown town, IL; Winter 1964

 

Unknown titles                             Live performance

 

Charlie Musselwhite recalled to author Bill Keenom that he and Bloomfield sat in at a folk festival in one of Chicago's western suburbs just before The Group broke up. Bloomfield talked the festival organizers into letting them perform.

 

*THE GROUP

Personnel as December 7; add Tracy Nelson, v.

Magoo’s, Chicago, IL; December 31, 1964

 

Auld Lang Syne                             Live performance

Other unknown titles

 

Singer Tracy Nelson, who was dating Charlie Musselwhite at the time, recalled catching the band’s performance on New Year’s Eve. The owner insisted that the band play “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, so the annoyed Bloomfield asked Nelson to sing it with them. She did, and when the time came, The Group performed it as an up-tempo shuffle! Bloomfield's band continued to play five days a week at McGoo's – though Michael hated the place – until early 1965.

 

 

1965

 

*NICK GRAVENITES/MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Gravenites, v, g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Roy Ruby, b; Bennie Ruffin, d.

The End, Chicago, IL; Early 1965

 

Unknown titles                         Live performances

 

Gravenites and Bloomfield briefly formed a band after The Group left Magoo’s and before Michael joined Butterfield’s quartet. The loosely organized group occasionally rehearsed at Nick’s parents’ home in the Chicago suburbs. During that time, Bloomfield created an extended instrumental based on Nick’s tune “It’s About Time.” Parts of it were later incorporated into his piece “East-West.” Brian Friedman became incapacitated was replaced by another pianist named (?) Whitehead. Bennie Ruffin was the adopted son of the legendary Vaudeville entertainers, Butterbeans & Susie. Thanks to Nick Gravenites, Charlie Musselwhite and Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

 

BLOOMFIELD buys a 1964 Fender Telecaster at a retailer in Chicago's Loop to use during his upcoming New York recording sessions. He lacks enough money to purchase a case for it.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Village Gate, New York, NY; March 2-4, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

 

An article in the New York Times described Butterfield’s appearances at the Village Gate as the band’s New York debut. Bloomfield was also in town, recording his second session for Columbia, below.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD BAND

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Johnson(?), g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Sid Warner(?), b; Norm Mayell(?), d.

New York, NY; March 1, 1965

 

I Got My Mojo Working                      “Essential Blues,” Columbia CK 57631

I Got My Mojo Working, alt. take

I’m Cutting Out

Lonesome Blues

 

While Columbia lists the personnel for this demo session as above, neither Mike Johnson, Norm Mayell nor Sidney Warner have any recollection of participating in a New York City recording date with Bloomfield. The band did include Friedman and Musselwhite with Roy Ruby playing rhythm guitar as Fred Glazer recalled, but aural evidence suggests that the drummer is Sam Lay. Jerome Arnold may also have been the bass player. The two members of the Butterfield band  may simply have been uncredited due to their contract with Elektra and because the date was just a demo session. A photo from the session shows that Butterfield himself was indeed present. Charlie Musselwhite confirms that Butterfield was there, but has no recollection of any Butterfield players participating in the session.

 

ERIC CLAPTON joins John Mayall’s blues band in April 1965.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, org, p; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

New York, NY; March/April 1965

 

Born in Chicago                      “Folksong '65,” Elektra S-78

Born in Chicago, alt. take

Lovin’ Cup                               “What’s Shakin’,” Elektra K-4002

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl

One More Mile

Spoonful

Off the Wall

 

Both these Elektra albums were budget-priced compendiums. "Folksong '65" was released in September 1965 and was an immediate bestseller for the label. "Born in Chicago" created an underground buzz on college campuses for the Butterfield Band. "What's Shakin'" was released in August 1966 in an effort to repeat Elektra's success with the first album.

 

Personnel, location, date as above.

 

Good Morning Little Schoolgirl          ”The Original Lost Elektra Sessions,” Elektra/Rhino R273505

Just to Be With You

Help Me

Hate to See You Go

Poor Boy

Nut Popper #1

Everything’s Gonna Be All Right

Rock Me

It Hurts Me Too

Our Love Is Driftin’

Take Me Back Baby*

Mellow Down Easy

Ain’t No Need to Go No Further*

Love Her With a Feeling

Piney Brown Blues

That’s All Right

Goin’ Down Slow

 

Aural evidence indicates “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” is the same performance as the one issued on “What’s Shakin’.” Mark Naftalin plays organ on “Love Her with a Feeling,” indicating that it was recorded on September 9 or later. Bloomfield may not play on these titles (*) as they are by a quartet with only one guitar. According to Fred Glazer, at about this time Bloomfield paid a visit to the Elektra studios to watch Butterfield's recording session. It was then that Paul Rothchild suggested M sit in on a few tunes and then told Butterfield he had to hire Michael, saying “This is the band!” Elektra dates these performances as “Winter 1964,” but they were almost certainly done in the spring of 1965, right around the time Bloomfield recorded his New York demo session for Columbia.

 

*MIKE BLOOMFIELD'S RHYTHM & BLUES BAND

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Nick Gravenites, g, v; others unknown.

Student Union, University of Wisconsin, Ann Arbor, MI; Spring 1965(?)

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Guitarist and technician Dan Erlewine recalled seeing Bloomfield and his band as early as 1963 while Dan was in college. He believes Gravenites was also in the band. If Nick was indeed present, the year was more likely 1965..

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g; possibly Nick Gravenites, v, g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Roy Ruby b; Bennie Ruffin, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; April 1965

 

Unknown titles                                  Live performances

 

Downbeat magazine listed Bloomfield as performing at Big John’s “until further notice” in its April issues.

 

*BIG JOE WILLIAMS

Big Joe Williams, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Roy Ruby, b.

Unknown venue, Gary, IN; April 19, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                  Live performance

 

This is the gig that Roy Ruby recalled in a 1971 interview with Dan McClosky in which he described his misadventures with Big Joe Williams, a tale that was similar to Bloomfield’s own experiences with Williams chronicled in “Me and Big Joe.” The show took place in a “road house” in Gary and was broadcast live over WVON on Big Bill Hill’s radio show. Willie Dixon was the concert’s producer and Lightnin’ Hopkins was the headliner, with J.B. Lenoir’s “big band” opening. Michael recalled that he, Musselwhite and Ruby backed Big Joe for the few tunes. Joe was allowed to perform. Roy drove Williams to the gig in his mother’s station wagon, and on the return trip, Big Joe, by then dead drunk, took them on an extended detour to visit Joe’s relatives in Gary. Bloomfield, who knew better, escaped the junket by riding home with Willie Dixon.

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Al Gorgoni, Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Griffin, org; Frank Owens, p; Joseph Macho, Jr., b; Bobby Gregg, .

New York, NY; June 15, 1965

 

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (10 takes)

Sitting on a Barbed-Wire Fence (6 takes)

Like a Rolling Stone (3 takes)

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin, org, p; Joseph Macho, Jr., b; Bobby Gregg, d; Bruce Langhorne, tamb.

New York, NY; June 16, 1965

 

Like a Rolling Stone (17 takes)

 

Bloomfield rehearsed these titles and others for “Highway 61 Revisited” for three days at Dylan’s Woodstock home prior these sessions. He flew into New York and Dylan picked him up at the airport and drove him upstate. Master takes of the tunes were released on “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia CS-9189, in 1965. The definitive release of all Dylan material from 1965, including these sessions and those that follow, is "The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge" on Sony Legacy.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, emcee.

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 23, 1965

 

Bloomfield Introduces Lightnin’ Hopkins                     “Lightnin’ Hopkins at Newport,” Vanguard UV067

 

This performance was part of the Newport Folk Festival’s Friday morning “Blues Guitar” workshop. Bloomfield acted as the emcee along with Mack McCormick for the 2-hour program. Bloomfield was at Newport to perform as lead guitarist with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 23, 1965

 

Juke

Look Over Yonders Wall                         “Blues With a Feeling,” Vanguard VCD2-77005

Blues with a Feeling

Mellow Down Easy

Unknown slow blues

 

The Butterfield Blues Band was a late addition to the roster at Newport – advertisements for the concert series make no mention of the group – and they had been originally scheduled to perform only during the Friday and Saturday afternoon workshops. This performance was part of an afternoon workshop called “Blues: Origins and Offshoots.” The band was introduced in a disparaging manner by musicologist and emcee Alan Lomax, after which Lomax and Butterfield manager Albert Grossman came to blows.

 

Personnel as above; (*) add Nick Gravnites, v..

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 24, 1965

 

Elvin's Blues                                            Live performance

That's All Right

It's About Time*

It's True*

Juke

 

This performance was part of a Saturday afternoon workshop called “Bluesville,” a final section called "Harmonica."  Portions of this workshop performance appear in the 1967 film “Festival.”

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d; Nick Gravenites, v.

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 25, 1965

 

Mellow Down Easy                            “Newport Folk Festival 1965,” Vanguard VRS-9225

Blues With A Feeling                         “Blues With a Feeling,” Vanguard VCD2-77005

Blues For Ruth

Why Don't You All Quit It

Elvin's Blues

Work Song

Born in Chicago

 

This was the opening set of the final night of the festival. A sudden rain storm caused the band to cancel its appearance at that afternoon's "New Folks" concert, and the later slot was given them as a consolation. Portions of this performance and an interview with Bloomfield appear in the 1967 film “Festival.”

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org, b; Barry Goldberg, org, p; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI; July 25, 1965

 

Maggie’s Farm                “Live in Newport ’65,” Document DR 004 (Bootleg)

Like a Rolling Stone

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry

 

Al Kooper plays bass for Jerome Arnold and Barry Goldberg switches to organ on "Rolling Stone." Portions of Dylan’s sound check and set appear in the 1967 film “Festival,” in the expanded 2007 release called "The Other Side of the Mirror" and in Martin Scorsese’s 2005 TV special “No Direction Home” (which uses extra footage). This was Dylan's historic first "electric" performance, a controversial fifteen minutes that sharply divided the traditional folk community and led to much criticism of Dylan by acoustic music fans. The band rehearsed the music during a hastily arranged practice session at the festival's headquarters in a large Newport mansion on Saturday evening.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; July 27-August 1, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                   Recordings done over several nights for Elektra

 

An ad in the Village Voice for these performances promotes the band as “just back from Newport.” These recordings were made under the direction of Paul Rothchild in an effort to capture the excitement of the Butterfield band in live performance after the producer decided the band's studio recordings hadn't captured their dynamism. The resulting material unfortunately did not meet expectations and was not released.

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org; Paul Griffin or Frank Owens, p; Joseph Macho Jr., Russ Savakus or Harvey Brooks, b; Bobby Gregg, d.

New York, NY; July 29, 1965

 

It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry (7 takes)

Tombstone Blues (8 takes)

Positively 4th Street (8 takes)

Desolation Row

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org, celeste; Paul Griffin, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Bobby Gregg, d.

New York, NY; July 30, 1965

 

From a Buick 6  (4 takes)

Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window (14 takes)

 

*BOB DYLAN

Dylan, v, g, p, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Al Kooper, org, celeste, el p; Paul Griffin or Frank Owens, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Bobby Gregg or Sam Lay, d.

New York, NY; August 2, 1965

 

Highway 61 Revisited (10 takes)

Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues (9 takes)

Queen Jane Approximately (7 takes)

Ballad of a Thin Man (4 takes)

Desolation Row (3 takes)

 

Master takes of all these Dylan tunes were released on “Highway 61 Revisited,” Columbia CS-9189, in 1965. The definitive release of all Dylan material from 1965, including these sessions, is "The Bootleg Series, Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge" on Sony Legacy.

 

PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d, v.

King's Rook, Ipswich, MA; August 5-7, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

 

Thanks to Ian Woodward for this date.

 

Personnel as above

Mooncusser Cafe, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA; August 10-15, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

 

Geoff Muldaur recalled that the Butterfield Band performed at this venue not long after its appearance at Newport. They were so loud that the mirror on the wall in the bar next door fell and smashed on the floor. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.

 

Personnel as above.

Club 47, Cambridge, MA; August 16-18, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performances

 

The Butterfield band played a three-night stand at Club 47 in the days following the Newport Folk Festival. Some of the group stayed at club-owner Jim Rooney’s home. Rooney paid what he thought was the huge sum of $100 per night to host the band due to the buzz they had created at Newport.

 

Personnel as above

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; August 25-30, September 1-4, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Oscar Brown Jr. shared the bill with the Butterfield Band for these dates.

 

Personnel as above

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; September 6-12, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

John Hammond shared the bill with the Butterfield Band for these dates. Thanks to Peggy McVickar for these listings.

 

*CHUCK BERRY

Berry, v, g; Paul Butterfield or Peter Hogan, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Johnny Johnson, p; Chuck Bernard, b; Jasper Thomas, d.

Chicago, IL; September 3, 1965

 

It Wasn’t Me                                                   “Fresh Berrys,” Chess LP 1498

 

Butterfield and Bloomfield were overdubbed on this session at a later date.

 

*PETER, PAUL AND MARY

Peter Yarrow, v, g;  Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Butterfield, hca; Mark Naftalin, org; Bill Lee, b; Buddy Saltzman, d.

New York, NY; Fall(?) 1965

 

The King of Names                                         “Album,” Warner Bros. WS-1648

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d, v.

New York, NY; September 9, other dates, 1965

 

Shake Your Money Maker**           “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,” Elektra KS-7294

Born in Chicago

Blues with a Feeling

Thank You Mr. Poobah**

I Got My Mojo Working (SL, v)

Mellow Down Easy*

Last Night*

Screamin’

Our Love Is Drifting**

Mystery Train

Look Over Yonder’s Wall*

Other unknown titles

 

Mark Naftalin, who played piano occasionally with Butterfield in Chicago at University of Chicago twist parties, was added to the band during the September 9 session. Naftalin does not play on these tunes (*); Bishop does not play on these (**). According to Paul Rothchild, the first Butterfield album, consisting of titles recorded during the spring of 1965 (see listings for March/April), was scrapped right before it was scheduled to ship because the producers felt they hadn’t really captured the essence of the band. In his liner notes for the "Lost Elektra Sessions" CD, Rothchild seems to suggest that other titles from this session remain unissued, and an ad from the September 1965 edition of “Sing Out” magazine proves this to be the case. The ad – for the original version of Elektra EKS-7294 – lists the following titles and personnel:

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, org, p; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

New York, NY; Spring 1965

 

Born in Chicago (1)(2)                           Elektra EKS-7294 (withdrawn)

Hate to See You Go (1)

Look Over Yonder’s Wall (3)

Lovin’ Cup (1)

Black Night

Off the Wall (2)

Just to Be with You (1)

Mystery Train (3)

Rock Me (1)

Good Mornin’ Little School Girl (1)(2)

Blues for Ruth

I’m Goin’ Home

One More Mile (2)

 

The “Sing Out” ad also has a picture of an album cover which is the same design as the cover for the record that was actually released. Most of the titles from this original release have been issued on (1)”The Original Lost Elektra Sessions,” Elektra/Rhino R273505; (2) “What’s Shakin’,” Elektra EKS 74002; or (3) the released version of “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,” Elektra EKS-7294. The remaining three titles have never been issued.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Philadelphia Folk Festival, Paoli, PA; September 11, 1965

 

Unknown titles                                               Live performance

 

As at Newport, some in the audience in Paoli were not prepared for the loud, electric sound of the Butterfield Band. The band played two sets, though Mark Naftalin's Guild electric organ failed to work for the second set and he was unable to perform.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; 5-6 week run, October/November 1965

 

Unknown titles           Live performances

 

*NICK GRAVENITES

Gravenites, v, g; Lester Bowie, tp; Julian Priester, tbn; Roscoe Mitchell, as; Elvin Bishop, Michael Bloomfield(?), g; Paul Butterfield, hca; Erwin Helfer, harpsichord; Scotty Holt, b; Steve McCall, d.

Michael Shea's studio, Chicago, IL; Fall 1965

 

Whole Lotta Soul                    Out of Sight Records

Drunken Boat

 

Bloomfield does not appear to play on either of these two rare recordings. This was the first released session Norman Dayron produced on his own, and Dayron confirms that Bloomfield was not present.

 

*DICK CAMPBELL

Campbell, v, rhm g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jimmy Vincent, Michael Bloomfield, 12-string g; Paul Butterfield, hca; Peter Cetera, b; Marty Grebb, perc; Sam Lay, Larry Wrice, d.

Chicago, IL; Fall(?) 1965

 

Sandi                                       “Sings Where It's At,” Mercury SR61060

Despairs Cafeteria

You've Got to Be Kidding

Don Juan of the Western World

Object of Derision

Aphrodite's Child

The Blues Peddlers

The People Planners

Approximately Four Minutes of Feeling Sorry for D.C.

 

Same or similar personnel as above.

Chicago, IL; November 1965

 

Ask Me If I Care                     “Sings Where It's At,” Mercury SR61060

Where Were You

Girls Named Misery

 

This recording by folksinger Campbell was Mercury's attempt to cash in on the success Columbia was having with Bob Dylan.

 

BLOOMFIELD replaces his white 1964 Fender Telecaster with a gold 1954 Gibson Les Paul as his primary guitar in the fall of 1965. During their November/December stay in Boston at about this time, the Butterfield Band begins to play a long instrumental based in part on Indian classical music called “The Raga." Its bass line is derived from an extended version of Nick Gravenites’ tune “It’s About Time” which he and Bloomfield had developed earlier in the year while they briefly had a band together.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Unicorn, Boston, MA; November 12-December 12, 1965

 

Unknown titles                       Live performances

 

*JUDY COLLINS

Collins, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g(?); possibly Al Kooper, org; unknown harpsichord, b, d.

New York, NY(?); Winter 1965?

 

I'll Keep It with Mine

 

Bloomfield recalled playing on a Judy Collins session shortly after he left Butterfield in the spring of 1967, but made no mention of this session. Whether it actually comes from late 1965 or early 1966 is uncertain, though the sound is very similar to the Dylan "Highway 61" date. It was released as a single, Elektra EK-45601, and Billboard magazine mentioned in its March 26, 1966 issue that Elektra was intending to release it that week in England.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.

Town Hall, New York, NY; November 27, 1965

 

Don't You Lie to Me                       Live performance

I Got My Mojo Working

Other unknown titles

 

The Jim Kweskin Jug Band were the headliners for this Saturday show. Gordon Lightfoot opened the concert.

 

Personnel as above.

Big John’s, Chicago, IL; December(?) 1965

 

Unknown titles                         Live performances

 

Evidence for these performances exists in photographs taken by Norman Dayron and dated from December. The drummer appears to be Bill Warren, though the drum kit seems to be the one used by Sam Lay.

 

Personnel as above; omit Lay, add Bill Warren, d.

The Chessmate Gallery, Detroit, MI; December 28, 1965-January 2, 1966

 

Unknown titles                       Live performance

 

Bill Warren had been hired to replace the ailing Sam Lay and may have been the band’s drummer for this and the following engagement. His style was deemed unsuitable for the group after only one week and he was replaced by Billy Davenport by the time the band got to California.

 

1966-67

Bloomfield backs Elvin Bishop, using Elvin's Gibson 345, during the Butterfield Band's appearance at the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966. Jim Marshall photo1966

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

The Trip; Hollywood, CA; January 5-16, 1966

 

Unknown titles         Live performances

 

The band flew to California on New Year's Day 1966 to begin its first West Coast engagement. Billy Davenport likely first joined the band for these shows. The Byrds were the headliners.

 

Personnel as above.

The Trip; Hollywood, CA; January 17-30, 1966

 

Unknown titles        Live performances

 

Wilson Pickett was the headliner for these shows.

 

Personnel as above.

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; January 28, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

A photo and caption in Stanford's student newspaper announced the Butterfield Band's appearance as part of the university's Chicago blues band series, noting that the group would "demonstrate its inimitable style in a Friday afternoon concert." Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

 

Personnel as above.

KPIX studios, San Francisco, CA; January(?) 1966

 

Unknown title                                                   TV broadcast

 

Mark Naftalin recalled that the Butterfield Band made two TV appearances during its first trip to California. The first was a lip-synched tune on this unknown show on KPIX. He jokingly played the tune a half-step sharp, much to the dismay of Hans Conried who was also a guest on the program. Bloomfield, Mark remembered, used a piece of celery as a slide.

 

Personnel as above.

TV studio, Los Angeles, CA; January(?) 1966

 

Unknown title                                                  TV broadcast

 

This was the Butterfield Band’s second TV appearance. They performed a lip-synched tune on this show hosted by Sam Riddle – probably “Hollywood A-Go-Go.” The other featured band was Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels.

 

Personnel as above.

Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA; January 21, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                               Live performance

 

Personnel as above.

The Trip, Hollywood, CA; January 23, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                               Live performance

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA; February 4-13, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                               Live performance

 

“EAST-WEST,” as “The Raga” is now known, becomes the featured set closer for many Butterfield performances by early 1966. Bloomfield occasionally astonishes audiences by eating fire during the playing of the tune which sometimes lasts as long as one hour.

 

Personnel as February 4.

Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA; February 1966

 

Cleo's Back

Just To Be With You                           “Strawberry Jam,” Winner 446

East-West #1                                     “East-West Live,” Winner 447

 

“Cleo’s Back” was an instrumental originally done by Junior Walker and the All Stars.

 

Personnel as February 4.

It Club, Los Angeles, CA; March 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Chet Helms and John Carpenter, co-producers along with Bill Graham of the Butterfield Band’s first appearance at the Fillmore, flew down to see the band in performance at this venue – a “little jazz club” – and were distressed to find the group playing to a nearly empty room.

 

Personnel as February 4.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; March 25-27, 1966

 

Look Over Yonders Wall                      Live performances

Other unknown titles

 

Billy Davenport recalled that the first tune the Butterfield Band played was “Yonders Wall,” after which the crowd went wild. The band’s first shows at the Fillmore were such a success that Bill Graham arranged with Albert Grossman to have exclusive rights to book the band in the San Francisco area. On March 28, Paul Butterfield was a guest on the CBS program “To Tell the Truth” in New York City, an appearance probably arranged by manager Albert Grossman. After he identified himself as the real harmonica player, Paul performed “Born in Chicago” with the Norman Paris quartet.

 

Personnel as February 4.

Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA; April 1-10, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

Personnel as February 4.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; April 15, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as February 4.

Harmon Gymnasium, University of California, Berkeley, CA; April 16, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as February 4.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; April 17, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as February 4.

Recreation Hall, Penn State University, State College, PA; April 24, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                       Live performance

 

Personnel as February 4.

SUNY Stony Brook, LI, NY; April 25, 1966

 

Born in Chicago                                  Live performance

Blues with a Feeling

Thank You Mister Poobah

Mellow Down Easy

Never Say No

Other unknown titles

 

Thanks to Jim Miller for these titles. Simon & Garfunkel were the headliners for this show.

 

Personnel as February 4.

The Living End, Detroit, MI; April 26-May 8, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

A series of photographs of the Butterfield Band performing at The Living End in Detroit may have come from these dates, or may date from an earlier appearance there because they show Mark Naftalin still using the prototype Guild organ that he played on the band’s first record. Curiously, Bloomfield is also shown playing a 1955(?) Les Paul with a Bigsby tailpiece, not the 1954 gold-top model – and playing harmonica.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/ROY RUBY

Michael Bloomfield, g; Roy Ruby, classical g.

Norman Dayron's apartment, Hyde Park, IL; May 1966(?)

 

Raga                                         Private recording

 

Ruby was Bloomfield's closest childhood friend and a budding musician and poet. Michael formally introduces this undated 15-minute piece, so he and Roy must have viewed it as a serious recording session. According to Fred Glazer, Ruby was the one who introduced Bloomfield and the rest of their high school friends to Indian music and ragas. At the time of this taping, Bloomfield was in Chicago with the Butterfield Band, appearing at Poor Richard's. The group would record "East-West" and other tunes for their second Elektra LP at Chess Records' South Side studios later in the month.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD

Michael Bloomfield, g, hca, v; Norman Dayon, v, hca; Betty Dayron, v.

Norman Dayron’s apartment, Hyde Park, IL; May 10, 1966

 

Raga Improvisation                                  Private recording

Country Blues Medley

Farther Along We'll Understand Why

New River Train

Slow Jimmy Reed Blues

Left My Mama Blues (incomplete)

 

Bloomfield made this casual recording on another visit to Norman Dayron's apartment. The second live version of "East-West," released on Winner, comes from this time, and Michael is clearly thinking about Indian music in his first improvisation here.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Big John's, Chicago, IL; Early May

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

Down Beat reported in its June 16 issue that the PBBB had returned for a week at Big John's, the club where "it had all started."

 

Personnel as above. Michael Bloomfield, v*; Sam Lay, v**; Elvin Bishop, v***; Jerome Arnold, v****.

Poor Richard’s, Chicago, IL; May 12-22, 1966

 

Natural Ball #1*

All These Blues #1

Juke

River’s Invitation #1

Born in Chicago #1

Work Song #1

Medley Intro/Look Over Yonders Wall #1

Just to Be with You

Walking Blues

Midnight Hour****

Walkin’ Through the Park**

Got My Mojo Working #1**

Get Out of My Life Woman #1

Raga (East-West) (incomplete) #1

Got My Mojo Working #2** (incomplete)

Got a Mind to Give Up Living #1

I’m Ready

River’s Invitation #2

Feel It* (incomplete)

All These Blues #2

Shake Your Money Maker

Work Song #2

Get Out of My Life Woman #2

Danger Zone #1***

Got My Mojo Working #3**

River’s Invitation #3

Born in Chicago #2 (incomplete)

Instrumental (Cha Cha in Blues?) (incomplete)

All These Blues #3

Natural Ball* (incomplete)

Work Song #3 (incomplete)

Get Out of My Life Woman #3

Keep Loving Me Baby

Medley Intro/Look Over Yonders Wall #2 (incomplete)

Got My Mojo Working #4**

Get Out of My Life Woman #4

Raga (East-West) #2                                          “East-West Live,” Winner 447

Got a Mind to Give Up Living #2 (incomplete)

Danger Zone #2*** (incomplete)

You’re So Fine****

Watermelom Man

 

These titles were recorded by guitarist and technician Dan Erlewine. They come from what appears to be three or four different sets, probably recorded over several days. Erlewine has stated that he and his brother recorded “hours of Butterfield” during this period and that Mark Naftalin has had the tapes restored. Aside from “Raga (East-West) #2” which was released on Winner 447, they remain unissued. A brief review of a show at Poor Richard’s appeared in the June 1 edition of Variety and described the band’s performance of a piece called “The Ragga” (sic) as “outstanding,” and Billboard magazine cited a Butterfield Band stay at the club from the above dates. Jack Walroth, known as "Applejack," sat in with the Butterfield Band on "East-West" one night when they were at Poor Richard's. Thanks to Mark Naftalin and Peggy McVickar for some of this information.

 

Personnel as above.

Unknown venue, Madison, WI; Summer 1966

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performance

 

In an interview with author Bill Keenom, Billy Davenport recalled that the band performed in Madison following its stay on the West Coast. The club may have been The Factory.

 

Personnel as above.

Royal Arms, Buffalo, NY; 1966(?)

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performance

 

Mark Naftalin recalled that the Butterfield Band played at the Royal Arms in Buffalo at some point in the band’s early years. The gig is included here in the listings though the date is uncertain.

 

Personnel as above.

Unicorn Coffee House, Boston, MA; Spring (May 18?) 1966

 

Look Over Yonders Wall                                Coliseum UCH1966 (Bootleg)

Born In Chicago

Blues with a Feeling (Love Her with a Feeling)

Get Out of My Life, Woman (Walking Blues)

Never Say No

One More Heartache

Work Song

Coming Home Baby

Serves You Right to Suffer

I Got a Mind to Give Up Living

Walking By Myself

If You See My Baby

World Is in an Uproar (Danger Zone)

In the Midnight Hour

So Fine

Got My Mojo Working

 

Elvin Bishop is the vocalist on “Never Say No,” Bloomfield sings “If You See My Baby” and Arnold sings "Midnight Hour." Bloomfield does not play on "Coming Home Baby."

 

Personnel as May 18.

Unknown club, Falmouth, MA; Summer(?) 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Mark Naftalin recalled the Butterfield Band playing in Falmouth (or East Falmouth) around this time.

 

Personnel as May 12.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; June 3-18, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Also on the bill for this two-week engagement were Albert King and B.B. King, and folk/rock artist Fred Neil. In Neil's band were Harvey Brooks, Al Kooper and John Sebastian.

 

*MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD/PETE WELDING

Michael Bloomfield, g, hca, v; Pete Welding, g.

Norman Dayron’s apartment, Hyde Park, IL; June 17, 1966

 

Blues #1                                             Private recording

Blues #2 (Blues in C)

Blues #3

Blues #4 (Blues Vamp)

Blues #5 (Slow Blues)

Never Say No

 

The date for this recording is given as above, though the Butterfield Band was supposedly still at the Cafe Au Go Go. Pete Welding, a music critic and editor at Downbeat magazine, was a close friend of Bloomfield. He proves himself here to be a capable guitar player. German record producer and author Chris Strachwitz (later owner of Arhoolie Records) and Norman Dayron are heard conversing in the background in the latter part of this recording. Interestingly, Michael sings "Never Say No," a Percy Mayfield tune that Elvin Bishop would later record with the band.

 

*CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE

Musselwhite, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.

Norman Dayron's apartment, Hyde Park, CA; June 1966

 

Strange Land #1                      Private recording

Strange Land #2

 

Bloomfield helped Musselwhite work out a few tunes for his upcoming “Stand Back” Vanguard sessions. Chris Strachwitz and Norman Dayron can be heard talking in the background. Though the tape is undated, this session may come from the same date as the one above.

 

PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Club 47, Cambridge, MA; June 20-25, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Crawdaddy magazine interviewed the Butterfield Band at Club 47 on June 24.

 

Personnel as June 20.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; July 1-10, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

The Blues Project was also on the roster for this gig. Both bands jammed together on their final night.

 

BLOOMFIELD HEARS Jimi Hendrix for the first time at Cafe Wha? in New York in July 1966. Hendrix is performing as Jimmy James and the Blue Flames. Bloomfield reports to members of the Butterfield Band that he has just seen a guitarist “way better than I am.” Hendrix occasionally sits in with the Butterfield Band during the Cafe Au Go Go’s Sunday evening “Blues Bag” jam sessions. Also in July 1966, John Mayall releases “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers” with Eric Clapton.

 

Personnel as June 20.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; July 27-August 7, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

 

Personnel as June 20.

The Living End, Detroit, MI; August 9-14, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Personnel as June 20.

Rheingold Central Park Music Festival, Wollman Rink, New York, NY; August 26, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as June 20.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; August 27-September 4, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

 

*CARLY SIMON

Simon, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Robbie Robertson, g; Richard Manuel, Paul Griffin, kybds; Rick Danko, b; Levon Helm, d; Richie Havens, bkgnd v.

New York, NY; 1966

 

Baby Let Me Follow You Down          Columbia, unreleased

Goodbye Lovin’ Man

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA; Recorded winter, spring, summer 1966; released August 1966

 

Walkin’ Blues                                      “East-West,” Elektra EKS-7315

Get Out of My Life, Woman

I Got A Mind to Give Up Living

All These Blues

Work Song

Mary, Mary

Two Trains Running

Never Say No

East-West

Come On In                                          Elektra 45609

If I Had My Way                                    Unreleased

Raga                                                     Unreleased

 

“East-West” was edited down for release. It was recorded in Chicago at Chess Studios. “Mary, Mary,” a tune written by Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, and “Come On In,” credited to Butterfield, Bloomfield and Bishop, were produced by the Butterfield Band in an effort to chart a commercial hit. “Mary, Mary” was done in Los Angeles with producer Barry Friedman while “Come On In” was recorded in Chicago in September. The former tune originally had jazz pianist and vibes player Victor Feldman playing tympani on it, but he was later edited out. The latter tune was released as a single. The Monkees recorded “Mary, Mary” themselves in July 1966, but it was not released until January 1967. “Raga” was a short version of “East-West,” slightly over two minutes long, that featured soprano voices and violin. Thanks to Mark Naftalin for these details.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Philadelphia Folk Festival(?), Paoli, PA; September 1966

 

Unknown titles                                               Live performance

 

It is uncertain whether the Butterfield Band actually appeared for a second time at the Philadelphia Folk Festival, but a story about Butterfield in the November 11, 1973, edition of Rolling Stone seems to imply they did.

 

*THE CHICAGO LOOP

Judy Novy, Bob Slawson, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Barry Goldberg, org; Carmine Riale, b; John Siomos, d.

Chicago, IL(?); Released September 1966

 

When She Needs Good Lovin’            Dyno-Voice 226

 

“When She Needs Good Lovin’” was used in a Macleans toothpaste commercial, “Macleans Is What’s Happening!,” in 1966. This recording was produced by Bob Crewe.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Monterey Jazz Festival, Monterey, CA; September 17, 1966

 

Never Say No                                   Live performance

East-West

Unknown third title

 

The Butterfield Band performed as part of Monterey’s Saturday afternoon show hosted by Jon Hendricks and called “Blues All the Way.” Also featured were Big Mama Thornton, Walter Horton, Muddy Waters, Memphis Slim and the Jefferson Airplane. A jam at the end of the afternoon that was to feature Muddy Waters, members of the Airplane and the Butterfield Band was canceled due to time constraints.

 

Personnel as September 17.

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA; September 23, 24, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

The Muddy Waters Band and the Jefferson Airplane were also on the roster for this performance.

 

Personnel as September 17.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; September 25, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as September 17.

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA; September 30, 1966

 

Dropping Out                          “Droppin’ in with ...,” (Bootleg CD)

Baby, Please Don't Go

Our Love Is Drifting

Born In Chicago

Willow Tree

My Babe

Kansas City

Work Song

 

Bloomfield is the vocalist on "Kansas City."

 

Personnel as September 17.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; October 1, 2, 1966

 

Got My Mojo Working                             Live performances

Other unknown titles

 

Muddy Waters was also on the bill for these shows. On October 2, he jammed with Butterfield on “Mojo.” The shows were originally to have taken place at the Winterland, but on September 27, a white policeman killed a black teenager and the Fillmore district was very tense. Bill Graham thought he would not be able to fill the larger ballroom. Thanks to Corry Arnold for this information.

 

Personnel as October 1.

Basketball Pavilion, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; October 6, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                      Live performance

 

*JEFFERSON AIRPLANE

Marty Balin, Signe Anderson, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Kantner, g, v; Jack Casady, b; Spencer Dryden, d.

Basketball Pavilion, Stanford University, Stanford, CA; October 6, 1966

 

 Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Both Butterfield and the Airplane were featured at this Stanford University show. Bloomfield sat in with the Airplane, using Jorma Kaukonen’s Guild guitar.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g, v; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA; October 7, 8, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

The Jefferson Airplane was also on the bill for these shows. According to Wolfgang’s Vault, the Airplane and the Butterfield Band played their second sets together. Steve Miller may have also jammed with them on one of the two nights.

 

Personnel as October 7.

Pacific Jazz Festival, Orange County Fairgrounds, Costa Mesa, CA; October 8, 1966

 

                                                        Performance cancelled

 

Jimmy Lyons, producer of the Monterey Jazz Festival, organized the performers for the debut of this festival and intended to repeat the “Blues All the Way” program (minus the Jefferson Airplane) that had been presented at Monterey. Leonard Feather, in his review of the festival in the L.A. Times, reported that Butterfield and company did not appear.

 

Personnel as October 7.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; October 9, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as October 7.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; October 14, 1966

 

Shake Your Money Maker                  “Droppin’ in with ...,” (Bootleg CD)

The Sky Is Crying

Oh, Pretty Woman

Help Me

Never Say No

So Fine

East-West

 

"East-West" fades midway through its third section. Jerome Arnold appears to be the vocalist on "So Fine." Elvin Bishop sings "Never Say No."

 

Personnel as October 7.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; October 15, 16, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

ERIC CLAPTON forms Cream in the summer of 1966; “Fresh Cream” is released in October of that year. Jimi Hendrix moves to London in September 1966. Bloomfield plays with Clapton and other English guitarists while on tour there in October and November with the Butterfield Band.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND & CREAM

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, Eric Clapton, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, Jack Bruce, b; Billy Davenport, Ginger Baker, d.

Cromwellian or The Scotch of St. James, London, England; October 19, 1966

 

Unknown titles                            Live performance

 

The Butterfield Band visited England and Scotland initially as a part of the Georgie Fame Tour, along with Chris Farlowe, Eric Burdon and others. The band arrived in London on October 17 and gave a press conference at Ronnie Scott’s jazz club during which Bloomfield praised Eric Clapton. According to author Christopher Hjort, the band jammed with Cream on October 19 at one of the clubs mentioned above. The tour was in support of Butterfield's recently released Elektra album “East-West.”

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Finsbury Park, London, England; October 20, 1966

 

Unknown titles                            Live performance

 

The Butterfield Band began its tour with this performance. An article in Melody Maker reported that the band played with borrowed equipment for their initial gigs and were very unhappy with their sound; presumably the band’s Fender amps were modified to work with the British power grid in time for the later shows. Thanks to René Aagaard for the following listings.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Birmingham, England; October 21, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Leeds, England; October 22, 1966

 

Bloomfield met up with Eric Clapton a second time after the Butterfield Band’s gig in Leeds. He and Clapton played together briefly backstage between Cream’s sets at nearby Leeds University. Thanks to Christopher Hjort for this information.

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Gaumont, Doncaster, England; October 23, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Manchester, England; October 25, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Liverpool, England; October 26, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Gaumont, Sheffield, England; October 27, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Colston Hall, Bristol, England; October 28, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Cheltenham, England; October 29, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Gaumont, Southhampton, England; October 31, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Bolton, England; November 1, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

ABC, Carlisle, England; November 2, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Glasgow, England; November 3, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Newcastle, England; November 4, 1966

 

Born in Chicago                         Live performance

Blues with a Feeling

Shake Your Moneymaker

Got My Mojo Working

 

Thanks to David Fletcher for these titles. Fletcher, an Animals fan, went to this performance to see Eric Burden and was amazed by Bloomfield and the Butterfield Band.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Gaumont, Hanley, England; November 5, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Odeon, Leicester, England; November 6, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

This was the last date scheduled for the Fame Tour. Butterfield and company stayed on to play clubs around London for two more weeks.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Blaises Club, London, England; November 8, 9(?), 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Eric Clapton caught the Butterfield band’s second set at the Blaises Club on November 8.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Marquee Club, London, England; November 10, 1966

 

East-West                                Live performance

Got My Mojo Working

Other unknown titles

 

"Mojo" was an encore. Melody Maker reported in a brief review of the band's performance that the club was "packed up to the hilt" and the "appreciative blues fans ... even applauded the solos."

 

Personnel as October 20.

University Union, Manchester University, Manchester, England; November 12, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

The Jigsaw Club, Manchester, England; November 12, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Martin Davies, a student at Manchester University in 1966, attended both of Butterfield’s Manchester performances on November 12. He recalls that the second gig that evening may have actually taken place at a club called the Staxx and not at the Jigsaw. Jim Deen, who also attended both Manchester shows, reports that the band did indeed play at the Jigsaw and not the Staxx, and that they played one long and intense set.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Ram Jam Club, Brixton, England; November 13, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Cooks Ferry Inn, Edmonton, England; November 14, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Eel Pie Island Hotel, Eel Pie Island, London, England; November 15(?), 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Mark Naftalin recalled performing at this venue, a favorite place for British bands like the Rolling Stones and the Who to play. The hotel was on Eel Pie Island in the middle of the Thames River, and was reached by a foot bridge. Naftalin remembered that all the band's equipment had to wheeled across the bridge.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Ritz and Plaza, Birmingham, England; November 16, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Ritz, Skewen, England; November 17, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

The Refectory, London, England; November 18, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Paul Butterfield joined John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers in the studios for an afternoon session on November 18 to record four titles for Decca. Mark Naftalin and other members of the Butterfield band watched the proceedings but Bloomfield was not present.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Flamingo Club, London, England; November 18, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Golders Green, London, England; November 18, 1966

 

Unknown titles                         Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

“Ready, Steady, Go,” Granada Television, BBC; London, England; Aired November 18, 1966

 

Come On In  (or I'm Droppin' Out on You)                              TV broadcast

 

This performance was recorded November 15 and lip-synced. Some sources suggest the tune performed may have been “I’m Droppin’ Out on You,” also known as “Droppin’ Out.” Eric Burdon and the Four Tops were also the show.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Lewes Town Hall, Lewes, England; November 19, 1966

 

This was the Butterfield Band's final performance of their Great Britain tour.

 

Unknown titles                           Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Town Hall, New York, NY; November 26, 1966

 

Help Me                                      Live performance

Mystery Train

Shake Your Money Maker

Walkin’ By Myself

Work Song

East-West

 

A New York Times review of this performance complained that the band was so loud that the reviewer “had to move into the foyer after the third number.”

 

Personnel as October 20.

ABC studios, New York, NY(?); Probably late 1966

 

Unknown titles                     “Stage 67”(?), TV broadcast

 

Billy Davenport told Felix Cabrera that the Butterfield Band performed on this variety show along with Dionne Warwick. The date is uncertain, but the program only ran one season and none of the aired shows features Butterfield or Warwick. It is possible that the show was recorded for use in the canceled second season and shelved.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Unknown venue, location; Winter 1966(?)

 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

 

Personnel as October 20.

The Matrix(?), San Francisco, CA; December 1, 1966

 

I Feel So Bad                                     Live performance

Driftin’ & Driftin’

300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy

Reconsider Baby

The Road I Travel

Get Out of My Life, Woman

One More Heartache

In the Midnight Hour

Walkin’ by Myself

Born In Chicago

Got My Mojo Working

 

Bloomfield is the vocalist on “Reconsider Baby,” Bishop sings ”The Road” and Jerome Arnold sings “Midnight Hour.” The arrangement of “Mojo” is by jazz organist Jimmy Smith. Though all sources name the venue for this show as the Matrix, Mark Naftalin doubts the Butterfield Band ever played there when he was with the group. Aural evidence also suggests the club was a much larger space, perhaps the Winterland or Carousel Ballrooms.

 

Personnel as October 20.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; December 5-11, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Le Hibou, Ottawa, Canada; 1966

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as October 20.

Gould Memorial Library Auditorium, NYU, University Heights, NY; December 16, 1966

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Personnel as Octiober 20.

Unknown fraternity, Columbia College, Columbia University, New York, NY; probably mid-December

 

Born in Chicago                                    Live performance

Other unknown titles

 

This tune was filmed for a program called “The Songmakers,” a special ABC show about the process of creating of pop music. It also featured the Mamas & the Papas, the Blues Project, Judy Collins, the Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Dionne Warwick and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles. Mark Naftalin recalled that the power went out repeatedly due to the collective draw by the band and by the TV lights and cameras. The program aired on February 24, 1967.

 

*BARRY GOLDBERG

Goldberg, kybds, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Frank Zappa, g; others unknown.

New York, NY; mid-December 1966

 

Carry On                                                Verve/Folkways KF5045

Ronnie Siegel From Avenue L

 

According to Zappa, he played “the chords, and Bloomfield played the screeches” on these Goldberg titles. They were issued on a 45-rpm single. Discograhper Rene Aagaard has determined by comparing matrix numbers that “Carry On” was recorded sometime just prior to December 21. Tom Wilson, who had produced several of Dylan’s “Highway 61” sessions, was its producer.

 

VOTERS IN the 1966 Playboy Jazz Poll rank Bloomfield 13th in the guitar category, higher than any other rock or blues guitarist. By 1969, he is ranked number eight.

 

 

1967

 

*THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE

Marty Balin, Grace Slick, v; Jorma Kaukonen, Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Kantner, v, g; Barry Goldberg, org; Jack Casady, b, Spencer Dryden, d.

Webster Hall, New York, NY; January 8, 1967

 

Reconsider Baby                                   Bootleg CD

East-West Jam

 

This concert was part of RCA’s “Promotional Night.” The Airplane was making its East Coast debut. Bloomfield and Goldberg sat in, probably as a favor to Bill Graham whom the Airplane had hired as a promoter. Some sources list Little Walter’s “Hate to See You Go,” but the correct title is Lowell Fulson’s “Reconsider Baby.” Most listings for this show have Mark Naftalin on organ, but photographic evidence indicates the player is Goldberg.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Jordan Hall, Boston, MA; January 13, 14, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                 Live performances

 

These concerts also featured Otis Rush and were produced by Club 47 in Cambridge. Guitarist John Curtis recalled seeing the band perform at Club 47 around this time, so Butterfield may have done a week there in addition to the Jordan Hall shows.

 

Personnel as January 13.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; January 20-22, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

*FILLMORE JAM

Michael Bloomfield, p; Jerry Garcia, g, v; Carlos Santana, Paul Kantner, g; Jack Casady, b; others, if any, unknown.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; January 22 or 29, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performance

 

Carlos Santana told author Bill Keenom that he sat in on a Fillmore jam session one Sunday afternoon when he was still working as a dishwasher. The occasion was a Paul Butterfield Blues Band Band gig (Charles Lloyd's group was also on the bill). Butterfield was present but did not play, “having been dosed with something” according to Santana. Carlos played Bloomfield’s guitar, and on the strength of his performance was offered a slot by Bill Graham as an opener for an upcoming show (Santana recalled that it was to be for the Steve Miller Band). But he was diagnosed with tuberculosis in April and was hospitalized until June, so he was unable to take Graham up on his offer until June 16 when the Santana Blues Band opened for the Who. Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for some of this information.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; January 27-29, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Personnel as January 27. Michael Bloomfield, v*; Elvin Bishop, v**; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, v***.

Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA; January 31-February 12, 1967

 

East-West #3                                 “East-West Live,” Winner 447

Tollin’ Bells                                     “Strawberry Jam,” Winner 448

Come On in This House

Born in Chicago

Coming Home (Coming Home Baby?)

Feel So Bad

Drifting Blues (Driftin’ & Driftin’?)

Evil

All My Loving**

Rocks Was My Pillow**

One More Heartache

Tollin’ Bells #2

Here Am I*

In the Midnight Hour***

Love Me or Leave Me**

Tollin’ Bells #3

300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy

Our Love Is Drifiting

Serves Me Right to Suffer

Tore Down**

Nobody Loves Me*

 

These titles come from tapes owned by Mark Naftalin. Several tunes have been issued on his Winner label but the rest remain unreleased. “Here Am I” is a Ray Charles song featuring Naftalin’s piano and Bloomfield’s vocal. Thanks to Mark Naftalin for this information.

 

Personnel as January 27.

Golden Bear(?), Huntington Beach, CA; January 31-February 12, 1967

 

Work Song

 

This extraordinary performance has been listed as having taken place in Mark Naftalin's apartment in 1965. It's doubtful, however, that Naftalin had an apartment at this time, and aural evidence indicates that the venue is a good-sized club. Because the degree of tonal experimentation approximates that of the third version of "East-West" on the Winner "East-West Live" CD, an educated guess might place this version of "Work Song" at the same club at the same time – the Golden Bear in Huntington Beach. In any case, it's almost certainly from a late PBBB-with-Bloomfield performance. Sound quality is not the best and the recording ends just as Elvin Bishop begins his solo.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

MIT, Cambridge, MA; February 25, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as January 27.

Sargent Gym, Boston University, Boston, MA; February 25, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Personnel as January 27.

Commonwealth Armory, Boston, MA; February 25, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

According to Mark Naftalin, Bloomfield officially quit the Paul Butterfield Blues Band after having to play these three performances on February 25. The MIT show was part of the university’s IFC Weekend and ran from noon to 4 p.m., and the BU show started at 8:30 p.m.; the Jim Kewskin Jug Band was also on the bill for the Armory show. Both Boston shows were produced by Peter Casperson, then a 19-year-old newcomer to the music industry, and he recalls that the band's agency was responsible for the overbooking that day. Casperson also has said that when the group arrived, Bloomfield said they were "just too tired to do two shows" and asked if the band could substitute one long "really good set" instead. Casperson responded by giving them a case of beer and an ounce of grass, after which they did both shows. Thanks to Corry Arnold for contributing to this entry.

 

*EDDIE “CLEANHEAD” VINSON

Vinson, as, v; Buddy Lucas, ts, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Patti Bown, p, org; unknown g, b, d.

New York, NY; March 1967

 

Cherry Red                                          “Cherry Red,” Bluesway BL-6007

Cadillac Blues

Juice Head Baby*

Alimony Blues*

Somebody’s Got to Go

Flat Broke Blues*

Old Maid Got Married

Workin’ Blues*

Wee Baby Blues

Good Night Baby Blues*

 

Bloomfield only plays on these tunes(*). The album was released in the first week of May 1967.

 

*MITCH RYDER

Ryder, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Hugh McCracken, g; Barry Goldberg, p, org; Carmine Riale, b; John Siomos, d; unknown hns, bckup v.

New York, NY; March(?) 1967

 

What Now My Love                            “What Now My Love,” Dyno-Voice DY 31901

Let It Be Me

I Make a Fool of Myself

Born to Lose

If You Go Away

Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On*

Sally Go ‘Round the Roses*

Brown-eyed Handsome Man*

I Need Lovin’ You*

That’s It, I Quit*

 

Bloomfield may only play on these titles (*). This session was produced by Bob Crewe. It was after this date that Michael supposedly proposed to Barry Goldberg that they form an "American music" band.

 

*THE CHICAGO LOOP

Judy Novy, Bob Slawson, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Barry Goldberg, org; Carmine Riale, b; John Siomos, d.

New York, NY(?); 1967

 

Richard Corey                                     Dyno-Voice 230

Cloudy

 

It is unclear when these tunes were recorded – they could have been done during the Chicago Loop’s first session in the summer of 1966. Rene Aagaard lists John Savanno as the guitarist, though other sources credit Bloomfield and give the year as 1967.

 

*JAMES COTTON BLUES BAND

Cotton, hca, v; Luther Tucker, g; Michael Bloomfield, prod; Alberto Gianguinto, p; Robert Anderson, b, v; Sam Lay, d; James Barge, ts; Paul Serrano, tp; Delbert Hill, Gene Easton, bar; Louis Satterfield, tbn.

Universal Studios, Chicago, IL, March 1967

 

Various titles                        “The James Cotton Blues Band,” Verve FTS-3023

 

Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg and Norman Dayron produced this session and composed several of its titles. This recording features Cotton playing blues with a horn section, not unlike what Bloomfield was about to do with the Electric Flag.

 

BLOOMFIELD forms the Electric Flag in the spring of 1967. He moves permanently to the San Francisco area. In May, “Are You Experienced?” is released by the Jimi Hendrix Experience.

 

*CAFE AU-GO-GO JAM

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield(?), Elvin Bishop, Eric Clapton, g; Mark Naftalin, kybds; Jerome Arnold, Jack Bruce, b; Billy Davenport, Ginger Baker, d; Mitch Ryder, v

Cafe Au Go-Go, New York, NY; April 9(?), 1967

 

Unknown titles                             Live performance

 

One of the Cafe Au Go-Go’s Sunday jam sessions, this remarkable billing was advertised as a jam session between the Butterfield Band and Cream with Bloomfield added for good measure. Mitch Ryder also sat in. Whether Michael was still in New York at the time, however, is uncertain. Thanks to Peggy McVickar for this information.

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, perc; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Nick Gravenites, v, g, conga.

Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA; late April 1967

 

Unknown titles                             Live performance

 

Producer Chet Helms visited the Flag at the Castle where they were staying in the Hollywood Hills during the recording of the soundtrack for “The Trip.” He recalled participating in a jam session (which Bloomfield did not participate in) at the mansion right after the Flag had “played a show at the Whisky A Go Go.” The occasion was a party given by the band, an event that was attended by Nico, Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda and possibly Jack Nicholson and Augustus Owsley Stanley. Though it’s hard to believe that the band would have been able to perform a full set of music at this early date, both Harvey Brooks and Barry Goldberg recalled the Whisky appearance in conversation with Bruno Ceriotti. Because chronologies for the club have no performers listed for the second and third weeks of April 1967, the performance was likely to have been then. Thanks to Bill Keenom and Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org, p, hrpscd; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, perc; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Nick Gravenites, v, g; Paul Beaver, moog syn; Bobby Notkoff, el viol.

Los Angeles, CA; April/May 1967

 

Peter’s Trip                             “Soundtrack to The Trip,” Sidewalk ST-5908

Psyche Soap

M-23

Synesthesia

Hobbit

Fewghh

Green and Gold

Flash, Bam, Pow

Home Room

Practice Music

Fine Jung Thing

Senior Citizen

Peter Gets Off

Gettin' Hard

Joint Passing

A Little Head

The Other Ed Norton

 

The International Submarine Band, a Gram Parsons group, was originally chosen to provide music for “The Trip.” That band appears in the film with the Electric Flag’s music overdubbed. The Flag used Parson’s Laurel Canyon home as an early rehearsal space. A portion of "Flash, Bam, Pow" is heard during road scenes in Dennis Hopper's "Easy Rider” (1969). The recording was one of the first (if not the first) to feature the new Moog synthesizer. “The Trip" opened in August 1967 to mixed reviews and was eventually banned by the National Catholic Office of Motion Pictures for sensationalizing drug use and for scenes of nudity.

 

BLOOMFIELD replaces his 1954 gold top Les Paul with a 1959 sunburst version in the spring of 1967.

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, v; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Nick Gravenites, v, conga.

Monterey Pop Festival, Monterey, CA; June 17, 1967

 

Introduction by Bloomfield

Drinkin’ Wine                                      “Old Glory: The Best of ...,” Sony Legacy CD

The Night Time Is the Right Time

Groovin’ Is Easy

Over-Lovin' You

Bloomfield introducing The Byrds

 

The Electric Flag arrived several days early for the festival and rehearsed their set in Buddy’s Miles’ motel room. Barry Goldberg recalled that the band played “Over-Lovin’ You” in addition to the other known titles. The band’s entire Monterey performance was filmed by D.A. Pennebaker for his 1968 film, “Monterey Pop.” During viewing sessions of the raw footage at Max’s Kansas City in New York in the fall of 1967, Pennebaker related how Truman Capote happened by and, on seeing Bloomfield and company on the screen, said, “Oh, don’t they look tacky!” Pennebaker responded that Capote didn’t know anything about music and Truman replied, “I may not know music, but I know tacky.” Pennebaker later removed the Flag’s section and decided that the film worked better without them.

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, v; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Herbie Rich, bar; Nick Gravenites, v.

Columbia Studios, San Francisco, CA; July 1967

 

Groovin’ Is Easy                             “A Long Time Comin’,” Columbia CS-9597

Over-Lovin' You

 

“Groovin’ Is Easy” was the first title recorded by the Flag for its Columbia album which would eventually come out 9 months later in April 1968. Though listed as Ron Polte, the composer of this tune is actually Nick Gravenites. Mama Cass sings backup vocals with Buddy Miles. The tune was released as a single backed with “Over-Lovin’ You” in mid-October 1967.

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, v; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Herbie Rich, as, bar; Nick Gravenites, v, perc.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; August 8-13, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Personnel as August 8

Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA; August 18, 1967

 

Performance cancelled

 

The Flag was originally scheduled to perform at the Mamas and the Papas’ Hollywood Bowl show along with Scott McKenzie and the Jimi Hendrix Experience, but Albert Grossman was unable to come to terms with the producers. Bloomfield may also have been uncomfortable with the lingering Monterey hype surrounding Hendrix. A classical string quartet replaced the Flag on the bill.

 

Personnel as August 8.

Electric Circus, Los Angeles, CA; September (?) 1967

 

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

 

Joel Harlib recalled seeing the Flag perform at the Circus. The date is uncertain.

 

Personnel as August 8.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; August 29-September 3, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Cream, making its first West Coast tour, shared the bill with the Flag for this performance. For the August 29 show, an unknown alto player replaced Marcus Doubleday. Dan Erlewine reported that Bloomfield asked that Erlewine’s band, the Prime Movers Blues Band, substitute for the Flag for one of these shows because Barry Goldberg was ill. It was the Prime Movers’ first West Coast gig, and Erlewine recalled they were thrilled to be opening for Cream.

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, v; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Herbie Rich, bar; Nick Gravenites, v; plus Richie Havens, sitar; Paul Beaver, moog syn; Bobby Notkoff, Julius Held, Leo Daruczek, George Brown, Charles McCracken, vi.

Columbia Studios, San Francisco, CA; September 1967

 

She Should Have Just                         “A Long Time Comin’,” Columbia CS-9597

Sittin’ in Circles

You Don’t Realize

Sittin’ in Circles, alt. take                    “Old Glory,” Columbia Columbia CK-57629

Goin’ Down Slow                                 “A Long Time Comin’,” Columbia CK-9597

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, v; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Nick Gravenites, v, perc.

Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA; September 7-10, 1967

 

Intro Medley/I'm Sick Ya'll                             Live performances

My Baby Wants to Test Me

You Don’t Realize

Killing Floor

Groovin’ Is Easy

Other unknown titles

 

Four of these tunes have been issued by various labels as “The Best of the Electric Flag,” “Small Town Blues” or “The Electric Flag Live.” They were professionally recorded on September 10 by a Los Angeles company called Recording Riedel, though for what purpose remains unclear. Aural evidence indicates that only two horns were present. “My Baby” may be a topical blues by Bloomfield, describing the state of his marriage in late 1967. “Killing Floor” is mislabeled as “I Should Have Left Her” on some issues.

 

Personnel as September 7.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; September 14-16, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Personnel as September 7.

Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA; September 29-October 1, October 3-8, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Rolling Stone reported in its debut issue that Flag members Bloomfield, Brooks, Goldberg and Gravenites had been arrested on “narcotics charges” during a 10-day gig at the Golden Bear. Their court date was set for October 20 in Huntington Beach. Only Barry Goldberg was later convicted on the charges, taking the fall for his Flag band members because the illegal activity took place in his room at the motel. He was originally sentenced to 90 days in the Orange County jail and 3 years probation in April 1970 but the sentence was later reduced to probation alone. Thanks to Marc Skobac for these dates.

 

Personnel as September 7.

Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, Santa Monica, CA; October 5, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                     Live performance

 

Personnel as September 7.

KGO-TV, San Francisco, CA; Early October 1967

 

Unknown titles                                    TV program

 

Discographer René Aagaard lists this program, entitled “The San Francisco Sound,” as having been recorded between October 1 and 5, and as having aired on September 8, 1969. Local newspaper TV listings confirm that date, despite the fact that the Flag had broken up more than a year previously. The hour-long show also featured the Buffalo Springfield, Blue Cheer, Spanky and Our Gang, and Richie Havens along with the Gary Burton Quartet. The program was filmed in a studio with a light show produced by The Headlights in an effort to recreate the feel of the city's rock venues. It was hosted by jazz producer Jimmy Lyons and Chet Helms of the Family Dog; Gordon Waldear was the producer.

 

Personnel as September 7.

Crystal Ballroom, Portland, OR; October 13, 14, 1967

 

Performance canceled

 

These shows were canceled due to the arrests in Huntington Beach.

 

Personnel as September 7.

Cheetah, Santa Monica, CA; October 20-22, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                 Live performances

 

Personnel as September 7.

The Factory, Madison, WI; October 25, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                Live performance

 

Personnel as September 7.

Holy Cross Fieldhouse, Worcester, MA; October 1967

 

Unknown titles                               Live performance

 

Personnel as September 7.

Psychedelic Supermarket, Boston, MA; November 1-12, 1967

 

I Don’t Want No Soul Around My House        “In Boston,” (Bootleg CD)

Killing Floor

Goin’ Down Slow

Messin’ with the Kid

Groovin’ Is Easy

Good to Me

Sweet Soul Music/Keep a-Knockin’/The Things I Used to Do/Fannie Mae

Drivin’ Wheel

Born Under a Bad Sign/Raise Your Hand

Sitting in Circles

Another Country

Higher and Higher

I'm Sick Ya'll

I’ve Been Lovin’ You Too Long

It Takes Time

Wine

 

Bloomfield is the vocalist on “Good to Me.” Herbie Rich may be the vocalist on "Bad Sign." Thanks to Marc Skobac for these dates.

 

Personnel, venue and dates as above, but add J. Geils, g; Magic Dick, hca.

 

Two unknown titles                    Live performance

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org, p; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, v; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Herbie Rich, as; Peter Strazza, ts; Nick Gravenites, v, g, perc.

Village Theater, New York, NY; November 17, 18, 1967

 

Performance canceled

 

Personnel as November 17.

Swarthmore College, Swarthmore, PA; November 18, 1967

 

Performance canceled

 

Personnel as November 17.

Cheetah, Venice, CA; November 20-22, 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performances

 

Personnel as November 17; omit Goldberg after November 24(?), add Michael Fonfara, org.

Bitter End, New York, NY; November 24-December 2, 1967

 

Killing Floor                          Live performances

Other unknown titles

 

A New York Times preview of the November 24 Bitter End performance describes it as the band’s “New York debut.” Conversely, a New York Times ad for the November 17 Village Theater performance billed the show as the Electric Flag’s “first New York appearance.” That show, along with another scheduled for Swarthmore College, was canceled after Albert Grossman secured the Bitter End date. The original starting date for that appearance was given as November 22, but the Cheetah gig must have necessitated the change to November 24. At some point during the band’s Bitter End gig, Barry Goldberg was replaced by Michael Fonfara, future Rhinoceros keyboard player. Fonfara was a Canadian friend of Buddy Miles and had been performing with David Clayton Thomas at the Scene in New York in October. Herbie Rich became the group’s permanent organist after Fonfara was booted, reportedly by Albert Grossman, after being busted for drugs at the Tropicana Hotel in L.A. in mid-December. Thanks to Nick Warburton for some of this information. A seven-minute film shot by filmmaker Ira Schneider appears to show the band's opening night at the Bitter End and, though the film is silent, one tune they play seems to be "Killing Floor."  In the film Barry Goldberg is on keyboards.

 

*PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND

Butterfield, hca, v; Elvin Bishop, Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Mark Naftalin, kybds; Keith Johnson, tp; David Sanborne, as; Gene Dinwiddie, ts; Bugsy Maugh, b; Phillip Wilson, d.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; November 1967

 

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

 

Bloomfield sat in with his old employer at the Cafe Au Go-Go one night during the Flag's stint at the Bitter End. The set was filmed and later issued in a movie entitled "Live at the Cafe Au Go Go."

 

*THE ELECTRIC FLAG

Personnel as November 24, add John Simon, moog syn.

New York, NY; December 1967

 

Freakout                              “You Are What You Eat,” Columbia OS-3240

Movie Music – Improvisation                 “Old Glory,” Columbia CK-57629

 

“Freakout” was issued on the soundtrack to “You Are What You Eat,” a film by Peter Yarrow, John Simon and Barry Feinstein, released in 1967. The Flag did not appear in that film. “Movie Music,” also intended for "You Are What You Eat," was not used in the film.

 

Personnel as November 24.

Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; December 7, 1967

 

Introduction                                        “Killing Floor, Vol. 1” (Bootleg CD)

Uptight

Texas

Killing Floor

Sitting in Circles

Directly from My Heart

Born Under a Bad Sign

Rock Me Baby

Messin’ with the Kid

 

Bloomfield is the vocalist on "Directly."

 

Personnel as November 24.

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA; December 8, 9, 1967

 

Intro Medley                                       “Killing Floor, Vol. 2” (Bootleg CD)

I'm Sick Ya'll

Drivin' Wheel

It Takes Time

Groovin’ Is Easy

Goin’ Down Slow

Another Country

Over-Lovin' You

 

This concert set is introduced as being “Saturday night at the Grand Ole Opry,” but the venue is the Winterland Ballroom. B.B. King was also on the roster for these performances.

 

SUSAN SMITH and Bloomfield decide to end their marriage of four years in December of 1967. Susan goes back to Chicago but returns to California in the summer of 1968.

BLOOMFIELD CHRONOLOGY continued

MICHAEL BLOOMFIELD | AN AMERICAN GUITARIST

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