CD REVIEW: THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES – Live 1971 San Francisco

CD REVIEW: THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES – Live 1971 San Francisco
Rock Beat Records
April 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
6 ½ /10

The Flamin’ Groovies are cult legends, famed for their San Francisco hippie attitude and proto-punk noisiness. Captured here at the Fillmore, the shitty sound quality really lets this disc down – it sounds like it was recorded inside a cardboard box at times.

Cyril Jordan’s liner notes also point to strife and unrest: “the [Fillmore] staff… all looked down on us,” he says, also noting that he was electrocuted twice during soundcheck and again during the show. With personnel dramas (this would be Roy Loney’s alast show with The Groovies for decades), it can’t have made playing a very happy or exciting prospect for the band, and perhaps that contributes to the general flatness of this disc.

If you can overlook that and focus purely on the historic relevance of the show itself, The Groovies deliver a wham-bam-slam of rock and roll classics – The Who’s I Can’t Explain, Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Rock n Roller, The Rolling Stones’ Walkin’ The Dog, Richard Berry’s perennial Louie Louie, a fireball take on Johnny Kidd & the Pirates’ Shakin’ All Over – as well as swampy originals, including their stone cold classics Slow Death and Teenage Head.

The Groovies would go on to power pop fame and the likes of Shake Some Action, but their roots are here, in over their heads and thrashing their way out. It ain’t pretty, but it sure is interesting.


CD REVIEW: THE FLAMIN’ GROOVIES – Live 1971 San Francisco

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