When the Summer of 1970 began, as a 16 years old I became totally hooked on the Band Of Gypsys. My friend and me were put in a small booth with large loudspeakers at the record shop where we were about to be introduced to Jimi Hendrix's new LP. The impression was enormous, Jimi started this funky riff, and when Buddy Miles came in with his thunderous drums it was beyond Cream's Sunshine Of Your Love (the riffs of SOYL and Who Knows share the same notes BTW).
In the past decades we learned so much more about the legendary New Year concerts, but it still me bothers me enormously that there are still gaps in our knowledge. First example is the split in the Jan Blom/Woody Vasulka footage. What did Jimi play between Stop and Earth Blues? In 1984 I started to correspond with famous tape and footage hunter, Barry Gruber. Barry wrote me in March of that year that he had heard that a 70 minute Fillmore East 1-1-70. 1st show tape existed. Included were the complete versions of Earth Blues, Stop, and a version of Hear My Train. Barry never got a deal come through, and he never received the tape. When a few years ago the Fillmore East documentary was released again, this time with stereo sound, my heart jumped up for a shore while. but unfortunately again Earth Blues was still incomplete.
In 1995 my dear friend, the late Tony Brown was consultant for Screen Ventures. I'm not entirely sure if it was in this capacity, but Tony got involved in the rediscovery of the original recordings of the Fillmore East concerts. I got a first report in July that year, "I finally got to hear some of the Gypsys master reels last week. There was some nice surprises on there for me, and material i just had never heard before. In fact I could not even put any name to some of the tracks." In September he wrote me: "The Gypsys material that I heard was completely new concert material. if I manage to get all the parties together and they release some of this stuff then throw out B.O.G. 2, this will blow your mind." That was all Tony would let me know.
I hoped for more information when Concert Files was published in 2000. For the first show Tony indeed mentions Getting My Heart Back Together (Hear my Train) after Stop, but he doesn't mention Burning Desire as encore. The set list for the last show according to Tony is Stone Free, Them Changes, Paper Airplanes (Power Of Soul), Message To Love, Earth Blues, Izabella, Machine Gun, Foxy Lady, I Got To See You, Burning Desire (same as Live At The Fillmore??), and then he finishes off with We Gotta Live Together, Voodoo Child (slight return), Wild Thing, Hey Joe and Purple Haze.
If the last songs jibe with the 6 or 7 encores Jimi played according to the news paper reports the next day, I'm not sure. Maybe they ran out of tape?
The total number of titles during the 4 shows corresponds well to what was reported (a number of 54 was mentioned) when the tapes came in the hands of Paul Allen.
After more than 45 years there is still no clue if and when all the B.O.G. performances will be released in their entirety. I'm dreaming of a promotional single that will be released coinciding with Machine Gun next month. Let the B-side be one of the titles we still don't know, albeit a complete version of Earth Blues from the first show!