Van Morrison – San Diego, CA (12/01/73)

Van Morrison featuring the Caledonia Soul Orchestra
Sports Arena
San Diego, CA
December 1, 1973
JF Archive Series Vol. 22 via JEMS

Download FLAC: Google Drive

Taper: JF

Source: unknown recorder > unknown microphones (mono)

JEMS 2016 Transfer: master cassette > Nakamichi CR-7A (azimuth adjustment) > Sound Devices USBPre 2 > Audacity 2.0 capture > iZotope RX6 > iZotope Ozone 6 > Audacity > TLH > FLAC

01 Instrumental
02 Instrumental
03 Moondance prelude (instrumental) > Van Intro
04 Come Running
05 Ainít Nothiní You Can Do
06 Warm Love
07 Into The Mystic
08 Iíve Been Working
09 I Just Want To Make Love To You
10 Here Comes The Night
11 Hard Times
12 I Believe To My Soul
13 Help Me
14 Boogie Chillení
15 Domino
16 Caravan
17 Gloria
18 Brown Eyed Girl

Known Faults:
– Hard Times: end cut
-I Believe To My Soul: start cut
-Gloria: start slightly cut

Sid Page – violin
Jack Schroer – saxophone
Bill Atwood – trumpet
Bill Bridges – guitar
David Hayes – bass
David Shaw – drums
James Trumbo – piano, organ

JEMS is thrilled to return to the JF Archive series, presenting another one of the nine Van Morrison performances recorded in and around Southern California circa 1973-74. For further details and backstory on JF, his tapes and the extraordinary lost Van performances from 1975 that started the series, please refer to the notes in Vol. Three:

Unlike the initial Lost California tapes, JFís 1973-74 recordings have long been in circulation among collectors. However, this series marks the first-ever digitization and dissemination directly from JFís cassette masters. The recordings were made with low-end equipment but yielded surprisingly listenable results.

The San Diego show is yet another significant performance and recording and happens to be one of JFís favorites as youíre about to read.

JF writes:
The next night after San Bernardino, Van traveled down to San Diego and we followed him. This was a period when he was really playing a lot in California. He said it perfectly in “I’ve Been Working” (recorded well before these shows, of course):

I been up the thruway,
Down the thruway
Up the thruway, down the thruway
Up the thruway, down, up down, back
Up again

There may never have been a greater time or place for Van fans. In particular, this San Diego show has always been one of my favorite memories. Likely still smarting over the horrible sound system and PA issues the night before in San Bernardino, at one point this night Van seemed to lose interest. He just up and walked off the stage, leaving the band to jam in his absence. In real time, it seemed like he left for 20 minutes, although of course it was shorter than that. But still, Iím pretty sure I remember one of the musicians leaving the stage, too, after awhile, presumably in an effort to get Van to come back out. Which he did eventually and carried on in great form.

The San Diego incident, along with another I witnessed at a concert in Anaheim nearly a year later (11/16/74, coming up later in our series), give me license to have my say about a lot of nonsense that has been written over the years about Vanís temperament and the so-called ìunevenî quality of his performances. Van may not do what you expect him to do. He may not do what anybody else does. He may do exactly what young performers are taught NOT to do in schools and conservatories. But he always engages his muse, no matter how rough or how unorthodox his method may be. That is what I love Van Morrison for.


San Diego repeats the same set list as San Bernardino save for one major change, the last known performance of Ray Charlesí “Hard Times” until its momentary resurrection for two appearances in Leipzig in 2002. The song debuted at the Shrine shows earlier in the month. This is also the second to last performance ever of John Lee Hookerís ìBoogie Chilleníî (or as some call it, ìHarmonica Boogie Chilleníî). Van would play it in Montreux the following year then never again.

Despite taking place in a large sports arena, the sound quality is much improved. In fact, given JFís gear and the venue, it is a pretty impressive capture for 1973. A bit distant, but rich and clear with little-to-no audience interference. Samples provided.

Like the preceding shows, Van is mixing recent material, covers and classics. The show begins with two unknown instrumental numbers (if you can identify the tunes, please do let us know) which lead to an instrumental ìMoondanceî intro before someones say, ìAnd now ladies and gentleman, here is Van Morrison,î at which point ìMoondanceî stops and the band immediately launches into ìCome Running.î

ìCome Runningî sets the pace for a lively and largely up-tempo set. As at all the late í73 shows, Van again dips heavily into blues and R&B covers, including ìAinít Nothiní You Can Do,î made famous by Bobby ìBlueî Bland and penned by Don Robey and Joe Scott; the aforementioned ìBoogie Chilleníî and ìHard Timesî; along with Willie Dixonís ìI Just Want To Make Love To You.î The rest of the show is loaded with crowd-pleasing material, including ìInto the Mystic,î ìDomino,î ìCaravan,î ìCypress Avenue,î ìHere Comes The Nightî and ìGloria.î

Once again, our gratitude goes to JF, who reached out on DIME (you should be next!) and offered us his archive, which had been sitting in boxes for over 20 years, 6000 miles away from where he lives today. Like so many early tapers, he had great stories to tell and the memories flooded back as we sorted through tapes. We are pleased to be able to bring his work to all of you. Please let him know through your comments that you are, too. We also appreciate the unnamed Van collectors who helped get JFís masters back in his control. JF was also kind enough to include scans of his ticket stubs for this show which are included in the artwork.

We want to acknowledge the value and work of, the definitive Van Morrison setlist archive on the web. It has been a constant reference tool for this entire series. Of course kudos as well to mjk5510, who continues his essential role as JEMSí post-production and quality-control supervisor. He is as much a part of JEMS at this point as I am.


14 thoughts on “Van Morrison – San Diego, CA (12/01/73)

  1. Mat.

    I’m sure you posted all the JF 75 series I sent you (never checked it) but i’m not familiar with the 73 or 74 shows. I haven’t seen ’em on TUBE or g101. I hate DIME as you will recall and hence can’t remember my login etc. Are you planning to track ’em down and post ’em systematically, or do i need to get proactive. Can’t even remenber if all the series (this is vol 22!) are Van, can’t be. Love JEMS work but these various artists (by taper) series usually leave me confused and perplexed, especially being the ‘completist’ I am. I mean i doubt if anyone would want all of these excellent JF masters, but there are prob many like me who really want all the Van

    In any case thanks lots for another gem

    • I do not have them all. Actually I’m not entirely sure which ones I’m missing. It confuses me too. If you want we can get together and try to sort through what exists and what we have.

  2. A trip to BigO may be helpful on this one methinks. I understand that is a bit of a contradiction in terms That is where i managed (eventually) to work out what was going on with the ’75 shows.

    If you can pull down the noies referred to in ‘vol 3′ presumably from that dime link it might give us a foothold or some kind of starting position. Trouble with Van is that the tour dates are just not known or catalogued as they are for Bob and others. At least i’ve never found them

    If we van find ’em on BigO they often post a torrent link in the page notes. Plus we get the mp3s as an emergency backup. I’ll have a look later if i can psych myself up to a sufficient degree!

  3. Shouuld have added, as i recall these are LA oct 5th and 6th, vols 15 & 16 of the JF series. I think the ’75 series ended at vol 8 or 9. Your post is vol 22, so some significant gaps in the series to investigate. Didn’t seem to be any links to any others on BigO, but hey you know that site and they may be lurking about somewhere

    • This is where I have to plead total ignorance. I have some shows from JEMS but don’t really know anything about them. Apparently the “J” in JEMS died a few years back. I spent some time just now trying to find any information on their releases, hoping maybe a list of each one but no such luck. Lots of sites have shows from JEMS but there doesn’t seem to be any central database for them. At least none that I can find. Very frustrating.

  4. As far as i can make out, they are an orig taping/sharing network from back in the day. Most of the connections and tape stocks and archives (such as the Millard 1st gens) seem to date from the era itself. I’m sure if i scrutinized all the notes from all my Bruce, Bob, Who, Zep etc JEMS posts T’d be able to deduce something (just don’t have the time) Seem to like retaining a little ‘secrecy’ either for discretion or a sense of mystique. Pretty sure at least one of them lives or lived in Seattle. I certainly wouldn’t have a clue how to contact them if i had an archive in need of trnsfer. Obviously these JF archives have been passed over to them relatively recently. I’m assuming however that the personal contact and connection is long standing.and pre-dates internet sharing etc.

    At least one of them (prob more or all) seems to be a significant taper himself. Pretty sure one of them taped the whole Who 1980 or 1982 US tour for example

    Like you i’d just like a list of what’s been digitized that’s all. Don’t want to blow anybody’s cover or anything, just a list so i can find and tick ’em off, one at a time. I say this because, where a JEMS transfer exists it is invariably the one to get hold of.

    On another point, are you planning to pull down or upload or post the excellent Pink Panter Dylan ’78 or 84 sets (4 up now) which Plumdusty has been posting in the last week or so. I’ve managed to grab th Spring LA one from a different post using 3 split links. The others are proving troublesome due to the change in FF policy/attitude. I’m sure i will be able to dribble ’em down eventually (1 per night) but my FF pending queue is huge and growing. The Europe summer 78 set is a particular prob being 1 link at 1.8 gb. Please undestand i’m not trying to influence your dl’ing or posting (sure u’ve got ur own FF q) I’d just hate to waste the time and bandwidth if you are. I’m sure my hard pressed resources could be put to a more constructive use for the common good that’s all

    No pressure, or rush, in any case

    • Yes, the little I’ve read on them it seems some are tapers themselves but then they also have access to a lot of old, original tapes. The bootleg world is so weird to me, even if I’m a part of it. I understand a certain level of secrecy as its possible to get into legal trouble with all of this, but some take it to extremes. Other get really nutty in terms of how certain shows are released (or not released). A friend of the site once sent me some unreleased Grateful Dead show for me to put on the blog. Once I did I got several pretty nasty comments/private messages complaining that I’d made them public. The music is for sharing as far as I’m concerned.

      I will grab all those Pink Panther shows so don’t worry about getting them yourself. I’ll try to get them up next week or so.

  5. Excellent news. I guess we should all just be grateful that some of these old skool taping collectives choose to reach out however chaotically. In the Dylan taping circles this was far from the case for a long time, thankfully they have been overtaken by events, and the goodwill of bloggers such as yourself, and others, including serious collectors like Les Kokay who have put it all out there for us.

    • Absolutely. I’m glad so much is available. For so much of my collecting career I’ve just grabbed whatever I could pretty randomly. Every now and again I’d try to get everything from a year or tour or period but mostly it was just downloading whatever looked interesting. So I’ve been pretty sloppy in terms of keeping tabs of it all. Only recently have I been trying to be more diligent both in documenting what I have and what is actually available.

      One day when I have time (ha!) I’d love to make master lists of that kind of thing. I’m a big fan of checking things off and it would be really cool to know things like what all JEMS has released and have a good spreadsheet of every Van show available, etc.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s