Tuesday, 9 May 1978

The Palladium
126 East 14th Street
New York, New York 10003

FLAC master, 16 July 2020, by elegymart:
Analog audience recording (mono) {recorded by Gene Poole}: unknown mics/recorder > 1974-75 US/European Memorex MRX2 (Type I Normal) 120-minute analog audio cassette master {from the Gene Poole collection} > reshelled to generic (Type I Normal) analog audio cassette housing > Sony TC-WE435 (azimuth adjustment) > Roland R05 (24/96) > Cool Edit Pro 2.0 (audio cleanup, convert to 16/44) > SHNtool (fixed SBE) > CD Wave (track splits) > TLH (WAV > FLAC8).
Created this text file.

Total running time [68:33]
01 introduction [0:38]
02 What Do You Want the Boy to Do? [3:47]
03 Ain't Nobody Home [3:32]
04 Good Enough [3:35]
05 Everybody's Cryin' Mercy [3:30]
06 some band introductions [0:50]
07 My First Night Alone without You [3:10]
08 My Opening Farewell [6:24]
09 Write Me a Few of Your Lines/Kokomo Blues/Walkin' Blues [5:12]
10 Give It Up or Let Me Go [6:04]
11 Just a Kiss Away [4:46]
12 I Gave My Love a Candle [5:01]
13 Angel from Montgomery [3:40]
14 Home [4:27]
15 Runaway [6:26]
16 About to Make Me Leave Home [3:31] >
17 Sugar Mama [3:53]

Band line-up:
Bonnie Raitt - acoustic guitar, electric guitar, slide guitar, vocals
John Hall - electric guitar, backing vocals, vocals on t04
Will McFarlane – electric guitar, slide guitar
Freebo – bass, guitar, tuba, backing vocals, fretless bass
Bill Elliott - keyboards
John Payne - saxophone, horns
Dennis Whitted – drums
-- special guests --
Johanna Hall - backing vocals on t15
James Taylor, Carly Simon - backing vocals (missing on this recording)



Here's the latest installment of the Gene Poole Collection, a random wellspring of recordings which have recently surfaced. To paraphrase Lou: This is gonna go on for a while, so we should get used to each other, settle back, pull up your cushions, whatever else you have with you that makes life bearable in what has already been the start of trying decade...

Some of Gene's handiwork has probably been heard by your very ears before, for the most part via the Stonecutter Archives, but this is the first major unearthing of tapes direct from the legend himself. As promising as that may seem, it's best to let the surprises hit as they are shared. The trade-off to the prolific taping on Gene's part is that the expectations for a perfect track record would be unrealistic and unfair. There will be instances of incomplete recordings, caused by late arrivals to gigs, recorder and mic malfunctions, and other assorted foibles as would befall any mortal taper. There will be times where a master from another source exists which could be superior. For the most part, Gene recorded with a variety of mics and recorders, and many shows suffered from wire dropouts, so that only one channel was extant in the capture. Due warning about the past imperfect given and out of the way, credit should be given where due as well -- for many shows thought lost forever, it's exciting to discover that many of these even in incomplete form have now cropped up.

The transfers, the audio fixes, and the research all have required some lead time -- many tapes had scant info (sometimes just the name of the artist/band, with no date listed for the performance). Needless to say, gear documentation is virtually nil -- we wait around for that precise detail to be forthcoming, nothing from the collection would probably see the light of day.

Continuing where we left off in the last volume, we're now on to headlining act Bonnie Raitt at the Palladium for the Karen Silkwood Defense Fund benefit.

These anti-nuclear benefit concerts were nothing new in 1978. Folks like Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, the Eagles and Bonnie herself had been involved with them since 1974. Of course it wouldn't hit critical mass until the year after this when the No Nukes concerts were held at Madison Square Garden. This was also not the first Silkwood Defense Fund benefit Bonnie played; there had been another held in the prior week in New York City at Avery Fisher Hall. The genesis of this started with Howard Kohn, an associate editor at Rolling Stone who had attended some of the earlier anti-nuke shows with publicity director David Fenton. Kohn had been covering the Karen Silkwood trial, and the idea came to him that Fenton and he could do outreach to rock musicians to help raise money for a defense fund. John Hall gathered together a petition, Bonnie proposed doing a benefit as she has a history of doing them since the start of her musical career, and that brings us to this show, co-produced by Fenton and Rolling Stone staff writer Susan Kellam.

John Payne here is the carryover musician who sat in with Bonnie during this set, after having played with opener Michael Franks. The sound for this set improves just a slight bit from that one, but it's still difficult to make out what Bonnie is saying between songs. As with the recording of the opening set, the record button slips every now and then, there are pauses between some songs, and the mics do not take well to the bass. At least during the performances the vocals are adequately audible.

"Just a Kiss Away" is an Allen Toussaint track off his 1978 "Motion" album, on which Bonnie sang background vocals. Curiously enough, she did not sing on this particular song off the album, and it's the only song (well, other than the brief bit of Walkin' Blues at the end of the Mississippi Fred McDowell pairing) in this setlist that she didn't record on any of her own albums. The performance is sublime, the recording perhaps sub-lemon. There is another source out there which comes in one song late, but captures one more song ("I Know") on the back end. However, it seems neither Gene nor the other taper caught the encore where James Taylor and Carly Simon showed up and sang with Bonnie and the band for three more numbers or so.

The show itself raised $16,000, and the seed was planted. John Hall approached Fenton and suggested they go bigger than this night. Over the course of the next year and a half, Musicians United for Safe Energy was formed and extensive plans was made in preparation for the No Nukes benefit concerts and rally to follow in September 1979.