Van Morrison featuring the Caledonia Soul Orchestra
San Diego, CA
December 1, 1973
JF Archive Series Vol. 22 via JEMS
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
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
18 Brown Eyed Girl
– 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.
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
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 http://ivan.vanomatic.de, 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.
BK for JEMS