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18 May 2017

It’s A Beautiful Day “Live At The Fillmore” 1968 US Psych Rock bootleg









It’s A Beautiful Day “Live At The Fillmore” 1968 US Psych Rock bootleg
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Recorded live at the Fillmore, San Francisco, 1968

A San Francisco psychedelic folk-rock band built around the violinist David LaFlamme and the soaring vocals of singer Pattie Santos, It's a Beautiful Day hit their creative and commercial peak with 1969's "White Bird," an FM radio staple, and then pretty much played out its string, succumbing to the myriad pressures of the music industry, but for a year or two there, It's a Beautiful Day was one of San Francisco's best bands. This set features the band in its prime playing live a little less than a year before the release of their first album.......by Steve Leggett.........

David LaFlamme’s violin might give It’s A Beautiful Day a rustic or folk feel but wife Linda’s keyboards (Hammond organ?) situate the band within rock’s spectrum. Given that the band grew out of the Summer of Love, somehow the eclectic mix of folk, jazz, rock and classical not only seem inevitable but appropriate.

Think Summer of Love and the Grateful Dead, Hendrix, Janis Joplin easily come to mind, with probably The Mamas And The Papas quickly falling into place. Hardly anyone thinks of It’s A Beautiful Day though tracks such as White Bird and Western Union Blues were hits that never quite made it and the intro to Bombay Calling was slowed down by Deep Purple and became the intro to Child In Time (on the In Rock album).

When the band played the Fillmore in 1968, they were previewing songs that would be found on their self-titled debut album, which would be released the following year. Opening their May 23 and 24 sets with flowing instrumental jams, the band not only helped to create a relaxed atmosphere (for the audience, probably augmented by untold amounts of so-called abusive substances) but a mood that was conducive to their variety of ballads, psychedelia and rock.

This is what a fan wrote about the group’s debut album: “It certainly is a beautiful day and a pretty unique album at that. There have really been few attempts at merging the classic psychedelic sounds of mid-Sixties San Francisco bands with the pretentious art rock experiments of their British colleagues, and even fewer ones that really worked - this excellent debut, which It’s A Beautiful Day were never really able to top, is one of the exceptions. Yes, David LaFlamme and his cronies do have a style of their own, but it’s nigh near impossible to define in a few words.”

It’s A Beautiful Day disbanded in 1974 but reformed in 1997 under the name David LaFlamme Band and continue till today.

It’s not common to find vintage It’s A Beautiful Day shows being shared on the net, and probably rarer still to find them in such fine audio quality. Thanks then to tonerman69 for sharing these tracks on the Dime site and to mjcrossuk for the artwork. We hope older readers will enjoy this stroll down memory lane and newer readers a chance to discover a “new” band. Being from these parts of the woods, we also look forward to readers’ reminisce about the band.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD. ...................

The two disc package at hand contains two very different things: a CD of the live band in 1968, almost ten months before the release of their self-titled debut album, and a documentary DVD The David Laflamme Story, which focuses on the singer, violinist and bandleader, with interviews and footage of the band playing live interspersed – mostly the current version of the band in 2012, with clips from 1978, 1980, and all the years between, plus some still images from back in the early days. It gives the viewer a good retrospective of the band’s career from the very beginning. The current seven-piece edition of the band is the longest running version with no personnel changes, and because of that probably the tightest band throughout IABD’s history, and the live footage here bears this out. The interview features guest appearances by Barry Melton (CJ&F) and Peter Albin (BBHC) plus San Francisco Chronicle music writer Joel Selvin, who give some additional perspective.

The CD takes us back 45 years to a point when the band had only been together a little over a year, and although they were becoming known in their home base of San Francisco, it would be another year before their debut album introduced them to the outside world. The material is culled from three nights at the Fillmore (May 23, 24, and 25, 1968), at a time when the band was a five-piece with no guitarist. There are early live (and in several cases radically different) versions of all seven cuts on the band’s debut album, along with three more worthy numbers (“Changes,” “Countryside,” and “Love for You”) that never made it to any album. For recordings that were never intended for release, the quality is very respectable. This writer has heard the original bootlegs of all three shows that these cuts were taken from, and a lot of clean-up work has been done to improve the sound. All taken this is a welcome addition to the It’s a Beautiful Day canon; one can only hope there are more early recordings from this era that will find a release in the future.................

It’s A Beautiful Day were one of those bands that epitomized the San Francisco Sound in the late 1960s. Having been associated with and often on the same bill with The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother & The Holding Company, it would only seem natural they would achieve the same level of recognition and popularity.

Sadly, no. Chalk most of it up to terrible management and sheer bad luck, IADB got out of the starting gate a couple years later than their Summer Of Love counterparts and subsequently missed being part of the vanguard.

The sheer bad luck was losing a coin toss that would have sent them, rather than another band of contemporaries, Santana, off to Woodstock in 1969. Santana went on to achieve massive popularity. And that’s not saying the same would have happened for It’s A Beautiful Day. But it’s an interesting speculation.

It’s A Beautiful Day were a little hard to pin-down, musical style-wise. They were a mixture of Rock, Jazz, Classical and Folk – their two lead instruments were a violin and organ. They did have several hits in their career. The first, and probably best known is the haunting White Bird, which was a mainstay of the band from the beginning and has become synonymous with the San Francisco Sound ever since.

Tonight it’s the first of a three night stint the band did at The Fillmore West, before their debut album and even before their first record deal. It was recorded on the night of May 23, 1968 and features the original lineup of the band, which was to change repeatedly over the next few years. But here they are as they originally were, and it captures the spirit of what they were like when it was all new..................................

Early recording of this iconic band from San Francisco along with a DVD history of the band with LIVE performances! 1968 was certainly a banner year for It's A Beautiful Day. They had been performing at the Avalon Ballroom and The Fillmore Auditorium and had achieved a certain amount of success on a local level but nothing really happened until they were invited to play an opening set at the Oakland Coliseum for Cream. Bonus DVD includes LIVE performance video of the band from the 60s and 70s and from 2012.................

Credits
Bass – Mitchell Holman
Drums – Val Fuentes
Keyboards – Linda Neska LaFlamme*
Liner Notes – Dean Sciarra
Liner Notes [2013] – David LaFlamme
Violin, Vocals – David LaFlamme
Vocals, Percussion – Patti Santos*

Tracklist
Live At The Fillmore '68
CD-1 Love For You 6:44
CD-2 Bulgaria (With Love For You Reprise) 6:51
CD-3 White Bird 8:02
CD-4 Wasted Union Blues 10:28
CD-5 Time Is 9:30
CD-6 Countryside 5:19
CD-7 Bombay Calling 7:38
CD-8 Changes 8:26
CD-9 Girl With No Eyes 5:40
CD-10 Hot Summer Day 11:03
The David LaFlamme Story

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..