Live 1971 San Francisco
Everybody has to start somewhere, and for the seminal punk band Flamin’ Groovies it was the folk/country sound in 1971 San Francisco. While these boys went on to be minor punk icons here they rely on American Roots Rock. The set list would work for any high school retro prom, with a very few critical exceptions. “Road House,” “Shaking’ All Over,”” Louie, Louie” and “Waking the Dog” build a solid base, and their original songs “Teenage Head” and “Slow Death” blend in with the rest of the set. This band had a rocky relation with promoter Bill Graham, but he comes out to introduce them.
By the time this show came about, the band had a set of live and studio albums out, their hit “Teenage Head” was taking off, and they were in another one of those pointless rock and roll disputes with their label. The sound quality on this disc is low but the energy is high, you can hear the skill leaking out even with the bad tape quality. This album is fun but it doesn’t show this band at their best; and while punk rockers aren’t known for clean sound, this is sound dirtied by magnetic tape decay and not intentional misuse of musical instruments. Fans should have this, people unfamiliar with the band might do better with a cleaner studio album.