The Henry Björklund Tapes, Part 1

Bert Okers informed me of a few more “missing” Peter Green performances that “recently” surfaced (first posted on YouTube in August of 2015 and January 2016).

The earliest features Green as a member of The Bluesbreakers, recorded on February 22, 1967 at the Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden.

Green was near the end of his sojourn with John Mayall (he would be gone by the end of May) when this was recorded, capturing him in fine form.

This was the second show the band was scheduled to play that night, the first being in Avesta earlier in the evening.  Though only fifty miles away, bad weather had the band arriving in Gavle only ten minutes before the venue’s normal closing time.  Though many of the patrons had already left, Mayall and his band gamely took the stage using equipment borrowed from the Swedish supporting act, The Mascots.  (Mayall did not unpack his Hammond, playing only guitar and harmonica).

You can find Mr. Björklund’s brief account of the evening here: sjostorpsgard.se/konsertbilder

He also provides their abbreviated set list for that evening:

John Mayall harmonica solo  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W4jw37mxiJo

Ridin on the L &N (Tiny Bradshaw)

Checkin’ Up On My Baby (Sonny Boy Williamson II)

Your funeral my trial (Sonny Boy Williamson II)

The Same Way (Peter Green)

Dust my blues (Elmore James)

Sonny Boy Williamson II’s ‘Checkin’ up on My Baby’ would be recorded in July for the Bluesbreakers’ LP “Crusade”.  Interestingly, this will be the third song originally worked up during Green’s time with the band to be featured on that album, the other two being ‘Stand Back Baby’ and ‘Streamline’*

If Mr. Björklund captured ‘Checkin’ up on My Baby’ on tape, that would be the only version that I know of with Green on guitar.

Almost as rare, is the other recording he posted from that night; with the only other available version of the song being the original studio recording from November of 1966.

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers

John Mayall: guitar / Peter Green: guitar & vocal /

John McVie: bass / Aynsley Dunbar: drums

Recorded February 22, 1967 by Henry Björklund

Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden

 

Intro (0:11) / The Same Way (2:44)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0HayFlN5ys

Despite the rough sound it is impossible to miss the fact that the number now has the necessary swing to keep the number moving where on the original LP version it simply plodded along until we got to Green’s solo.

The album’s thin production undermined Green’s attempt at a swaggering sound and the stop-time arrangement (a style that Green would wisely never return to) only made things worse: as if he repeatedly discovers that the girl he is trying to impress had walked away in disinterest, forcing him to stop and scurry to catch up with her and only then resume his peacock strut.

Live, Green’s vocal loses the self-seriousness of the studio recording, making one feel as if Green is in on the joke, and inviting the listener to laugh along with him.

For reasons unknown, Green switches the first and third verses, singing the original’s last verse first, and the first, last.  As the lyrics are nothing more than a pastiche of well-worn clichés it really doesn’t matter.

What does change the song though is Green’s solo.

On the studio recording Green has thirty seconds to make a statement, and given the constraints, he captures the spirit of the song in a way that the remaining minute and forty-two second fail to do.

Live, Green doubles the length of the solo and makes the most of every one of those additional thirty seconds.  His playing conveys the playful boasting of Bo Diddley’s ‘I’m A Man’ and the bravado of Muddy Waters’ ‘Hoochie Coochie Man’.

It epitomizes Green’s playing while in the Bluesbreakers; a more muscular, aggressive sound than he would use with Fleetwood Mac.

This has remained unheard for almost fifty years except by those determined few who stayed to hear the band that night, even if for only twenty minutes.

Now we too have the opportunity to hear it thanks to Henry Björklund.

Thank you.

 

Appendix Four – Song Index, in the book(s) should now read as follows:

Checkin’ Up On My Baby – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden, recorded February 22, 1967  not in circulation as official or bootleg release as of this writing

Dust My Blues – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

A Hard Road – recorded October, November 1966 – exact recording date not known – released February 17, 1967

BBC broadcast, “Saturday Club” recorded January 23, 1967 – broadcast January 28, 1967

Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden, recorded February 22, 1967 – not in circulation as official or bootleg release as of this writing

                                 Fleetwood Mac

Hyde Park, London, August 24, 1968

Ridin’ On the L & N – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers w/ Paul Butterfield

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Paul Butterfield, Decca EP – recorded November 18, 1966 –

released January 6, 1967

John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

BBC broadcast, “Saturday Club” recorded January 23, 1967 – broadcast January 28, 1967

Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden, recorded February 22, 1967 – not in circulation as official or bootleg release as of this writing

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Live in 1967 Vol. 2 – The Marquee Club, London England April 27, 1967

Klook’s Kleek, London, England April 28, 1967 – not in circulation as official or bootleg release as of this writing

Same Way John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

A Hard Road – recorded October, November 1966 – exact recording date not known – released February 17, 1967

Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden, recorded February 22, 1967 audio available on YouTube

Your Funeral and My Trial – John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers

Folkeparken, Gavle, Sweden, recorded February 22, 1967 – not in circulation as official or bootleg release as of this writing

Thru the Years – recorded March 08, 1967 – released October 1971

The Marquee Club, London, England April 27, 1967

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Live in 1967 Vol. 2 – Bromley Technical College, London England April 29, 1967

The Manor House, London, England May 05, 1967

*A live version (the only one available) of the Green-era Bluesbreakers playing this song can be found on “John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers Live in 1967”.  Recorded at the Marquee Club, London, April 27, 1967.

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