The Henry Björklund Tapes, Part 3
Through correspondence with Mr. Björklund, he confirmed that the next song immediately followed the previous recording from this show (see: https://smilingcorgipress.com/the-henry-bjorklund-tapes-part-2/ )
Like a Swedish “Zelig”, Mr. Björklund seems to have been present with recorder in hand, whenever bands performed numbers not otherwise captured on tape.
While Spencer’s number was far from a rarity, (three earlier performances are in circulation), Green’s song is now the earliest live performance of the number that I am aware of.
Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac
Peter Green: guitar & vocal /
John McVie: bass / Mick Fleetwood: drums
Recorded May 10, 1968 by Henry Björklund
Folkets Hus, Kongresshallen, Stockholm, Sweden
Originally posted on YouTube January 15, 2016
Stop Messin’ Round (4:08)
Green had recorded the number in the studio just thirteen days earlier. Expanding the group’s sound, Christine Perfect was brought in to play piano (her playing is a highlight) producer Mike Vernon also brought in alto and tenor saxophone players.
Two different takes would eventually be released, (the stronger, final take being first out of the gate, released as the B-side to ‘Need Your Love So Bad’, in July of 1968).
The well-considered response of the horns acted as a superego to the rampaging id of Green’s guitar and vocal, with Perfect’s rolling rhythms the arbiter between the two.
Now, playing the number live, Green has lost all of those elements.
So naturally, he simply plows ahead and nearly doubles the length of the album track.
The opening notes appear to be missing from the intro here, but it is otherwise runs the same length as the studio recording. Green also retains the shrill tone used on the studio recording.
Booming behind him is Mick Fleetwood bashing at his kit with a pile-driver’s force and sense of swing. The drumming is so loud on this recording that McVie cannot be heard at all, so it sounds as if Green is playing the number as a duo, just guitar and drums.
Where the track on the LP consisted of the intro, a break and the outro, Green now lets loose volley after volley of guitar over the rolling cannonade of Fleetwood’s drums. Green doubles the length of the studio break and then repeats it after a reprise of the verse. Like the intro, he holds to the outro’s original length.
He single handedly supplies the swing to the number with the extended and repeated instrumental breaks, putting to use the lessons learned as a Bluesbreaker on instrumental showcases such as ‘San-Ho-Zay’ and ‘The Stumble’.
This line-up would play the song live on the BBC seven days later on the Joe Loss show, put no recordings of the performance are known to exist.
There is also a little over a minute of the end of the song in circulation, recorded at the one of their sets at the Carousel Ballroom in June of that year.
Two months later they performed the number again for a BBC broadcast with Danny Kirwan now a member of the band and the number was transformed.
It has been distilled back to its original size and Fleetwood’s drumming has a rhythmic complexity that was missing on all of the earlier recordings.
For me, the number reached its apex early the following year at a show at the College of Distributive Trade in London, on March fourteenth. Green once again transforms the number, turning in an epic performance, running to almost seven minutes, without a second wasted.
Comparison with this first recorded live performance, or even the original studio recordings show that Green continuously pushed the band to never settle; never play a number the same way twice; always be willing to explore the infinite possibilities of any given number.
A mandate that would come to fruition in the early months of 1970.
I will review an additional three songs recorded by Henry Björklund on May 07, 1968 at the Falkoner Center, Copenhagen, Denmark in a later post. These have seen fairly wide circulation, but as with his other recordings, two of the songs are exclusive to that show.
Appendix Four – Song Index, in “A Love That Burns” should now read as follows:
Stop Messin’ Round – Fleetwood Mac
Mr. Wonderful – (possibly) recorded April 28, 1968 – released August 23, 1968
Alt. Take – B-side, Blue Horizon single, ‘Need Your Love So Bad’ – released July 05, 1968
Folkets Hus, Kongresshallen, Stockholm, Sweden, May 10, 1968 – audio available on YouTube
BBC session, Radio One Joe Loss Show recorded & broadcast (live) May 17, 1968 – (possibly) BBC Playhouse
Theatre, West End, London –not in circulation as official or bootleg release as of this writing
w/ guest P. Butterfield –
(probably) The Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco, CA June 1968 – exact date and location uncertain (second set?)
BBC broadcast, (possibly) Recorded and broadcast (live) August 26, 1968 – rebroadcast August 31, 1968
Idrottshuset, Örebro, Sweden November 23, 1968
Congresgebouw, Den Haag, Holland February 28, 1969
College of Distributive Trade, London, England March 14, 1969
Kulttuuritalo, Helsinki, Finland March 31 or April 03, 1969
exact performance date uncertain
(possibly) Konserthuset, Stockholm, Sweden April 01, 1969
(possibly) from March / April 1969 Scandinavian tour – exact date and location
not known – (see Appendix Two – Songs of Unknown Origin)
Fillmore West, San Francisco, CA January 04, 1970