SHRINE FREAKS OUT - ALMOST
Something groovy happened in L.A. last weekend, and most people were not ready for it. Remember the Freak-outs the Mothers staged in the Shrine early last year? They're back - almost.
A group of promoters called Pinnacle rented the Shrine Friday and Saturday, signed the Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead, and a new S.F. rock trio, Blue Cheer.
Everything was just right: no age minimum, dancing legal, the best sound system I've heard in L.A., plenty of room, and top rock groups.
However, the spirit of the people was missing,. They weren't turned on. At the Freak-outs, there were beautiful people in groovy costumes (at least half), almost everyone danced, or rather Freaked Freely. Here, though, inhibition abounded. Very few danced, almost no one really got into it. People played concert and sat down and listened. So many came in straight clothes, it looked like a vast sea of narks. $3.50 a head and how many really enjoyed it?
The music was truly exceptional - Blue Cheer blew my mind and almost blew my ears. Three guys, a bass, lead, and drums use eight amp-speaker systems producing more volume than any other group, anytime, anywhere. However, I fear they overdid it and were too loud for the auditorium. But next time they play I hope they reduce volume at least to the pain level. As I write this the next day my ears still ring. This group has an album in the works and it should be groovy.
The Grateful Dead were next to play, and here was the mistake Pinnacle made in programming: The Dead are a heavy blues-rock group, not a freak-out group, and they were out of their element. Despite this, they put on a commendable performance.
Next was the Buffalo Springfield, one of L.A.'s best rock groups. Every song a mind-blower, doing all their single hits including their first record "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing." This song was not much of a hit, but is very heavy in lyrical content and generally a very groovy piece of music. How about a re-release for this song, guys? It deserves another chance.
The Springfield's finale was "Bluebird" - thirty minutes worth! It just went on and on and on; every second a more fantastic trip than the previous! The people that dug what this group was into were enraptured. Wow. The Buffalo Springfield is one group whose albums don't do them justice. But then, how could one possibly put thirty minutes of incredibility on one side of an album?
Pinnacle plans more of these in December and I think it's just what L.A. needs to really turn it on. When the show comes again next month, let's really make a freakout of it, in the fine olde tradition.
(by Mike Pearce, from the Los Angeles Free Press, 17 November 1967)
11/10/67 now released!