Info

[no title] (13 Jan 1970)
[no title] Flynn edit
Date: 13 Jan 1970
Location: The Matrix, San Francisco, CA
Format:
Duration:
01- THE WAR IS OVER
02- LADY WALKING DOWN BY THE RIVER
03- JEANNIE I WANT TO THANK YOU
04- AMERICA UNDER FIRE - AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL
05- GUILTY
06- THE TRAIN SONG
07- GOIN' DOWN SLOW
08- THE TRAIN SONG
09- GOIN' BACK TO GEORGIA
10- GUILTY


Track 08-10: bonus track, studio, 22 Feb 1970


Source: Soundboard


Notes from info file:

The main show is taken from the Living Legend release "Live at the Matrix" with two patches from the Great Dane release of the same name. See notes below for details. A light EQ setting was performed.

The studio tracks are taken from Living Legend's "Live at the Matrix Vol 2" (Goin' Back to Georgia) and Ev2's "A Tear Must Fall" (The Train Song and Guilty).

"We're called Steel Mill. Don't forget it." So says the band at the beginning of this recording and such was their message in late 1969 and early 1970, when they headed out to California in search of fame and fortune. They were not quite successful but they did have a couple of brushes with fame, and they were not forgotten. And for fans to this day, two professionally recorded and mixed sets of recordings are available from their venture, both included here.

The first is a live concert recording, generally attributed to January 13, 1970, at The Matrix in San Francisco, CA. This concert earned the band a rave review from music critic Philip Elwood in the San Francisco Chronicle, who did not forget them (and indeed reviewed them at the expense of the headliner Boz Scaggs, who had canceled). While the recording might not be the exact show that he saw, it matches his account and must at least be close (including Elwood's note that the audience was minimal). While not the rave-up typical of most Steel Mill recordings, this is a nice document of a powerful performance.

This recording has circulated mostly via two releases, both titled "Live at the Matrix," one on the Living Legend label (with additional tracks appended: the studio recording of "Going Back to Georgia" and part of "I Gotta Be Free" from January 18, 1971) and the other in a deluxe box on the Great Dane label.

Both versions have cuts between songs, and each are missing small bits cut from the other version. For this release, the Living Legend version is used, but with two supplements from the Great Dane release: (1) the sardonic commment after "America under Fire" that the song was "for those of you who read" and (2) the first 12 seconds of "Goin' Down Slow."

The positive newspaper review got the band the attention of legendary promoter Bill Graham and led to several more gigs for them at the Matrix and the Fillmore West, and finally a studio audition. Graham even offered a band a contract. Over the years it's been reported that the band turned it down because of the small advance ($1000). Peter Carlin's recent biography adds, however, on the authority of Vini Lopez, that Bruce was reluctant to sign over his songwriting rights. This also ended up being the last time the band played with Vini Roslyn, who was replaced on bass by Steve Van Zandt when they returned to the east coast.

The three known studio tracks from that audition are included here. In typical Bruce fashion, two of the tracks are weaker in their studio incarnation than in their earlier live versions. The third track, "Goin' Back to Georgia," became (if it was not already) a fixture of Steel Mill concerts, but on this one the studio track captures the song more fully than most of the live recordings.

All three tracks have circulated on a variety of releases. We tried to pick the best available for each track, specifically:

"Goin' Back to Georgia" from the CD Steel Mill: Live at the Matrix vol. 2 (Living Legend 41)
"Guilty" and "Train Song" from the CD "A Tear Must Fall" (Ev2)

Enjoy! And there are more additions and upgrades to Steel Mill coming up! Stay tuned!