Friday, March 17, 2006

Blind Faith's live debut heads to DVD

Short-lived supergroup Blind Faith's live debut will be chronicled on the DVD "London Hyde Park 1969," due April 10 in Europe and the following month in North America via Sanctuary.

I was one of the fortunate few who saw these guys live at Madison Square Garden in New York. The opening act was Delaney and Bonnie and Friends with Eric Clapton on tambourine. The year was 1969. They were one of the first to use a revolving circular stage. You could tell how primitive the technology was at the time because you could see the stage crew constantly untangling the cables.

But what about the music? Steve and Eric with incredible double guitar solos. Steve's great vocals and intense organ riffs. Even Rick Grech shines on the violin. And when do you see a standing ovation from 20,000 people for a 15 minute drum solo?

The DVD features renditions of all six tracks from the group's lone self-titled studio album, which had not even been released at the time of the show. Vintage performances from Spencer Davis Group, Traffic and Cream round out the package.

Blind Faith rose out of the ashes of Cream, when Baker and Eric Clapton united with ex-Spencer Davis and Traffic singer/keyboardist Steve Winwood and Family bassist Rick Grech.

After their live debut at Hyde Park, Blind Faith soldiered on for a U.S. tour of arenas, which was met with riots and clashes between fans and police on several occasions. The group quietly disbanded afterwards, with its members going on to other projects.

Despite the release of DVD, drummer Ginger Baker rules out any chance of a Blind Faith reunion. "Rick Grech died many years ago (in 1990)," he notes. "I just come out of retirement for short periods. I'm pretty much crippled with arthritis -- playing is a very painful experience for me."

No comments:

Post a Comment