Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #137867  by aiq
 Thu Mar 27, 2014 7:16 am
Just read the Bloomfield article in January Rolling Stone, had this:

Guitarist Jimmy Vivino, the bandleader on Conan and a lifelong Bloomfield disciple, cites the gleaming tangle of vocal-like phrasing and diamond-hard melodic certainty in "Albert's Shuffle," the opener on Super Session, as the peak. "The intro and first chorus are breathtaking," he raves. "And it's just a Les Paul Sunburst into a Super Reverb amp with that Bloomfield tone – no bass, volume all the way up. And you control it from the guitar."

Bold face mine. Looks like a similar EQ approach. Anyway, I am enjoying the MB box set, and the SF bands always talk about the Butterfield influence on the SF scene.

 #137876  by TI4-1009
 Thu Mar 27, 2014 8:36 am

11 page (!) article on Bloomfield in the next Vintage Guitar.

I was just listening to Super Session on a long drive last weekend.

didn't Bloomfield join in with the Dead on a jam during one show?

From a Rolling Stone interview:

"Bloomfield then strayed onto the subject of music from Rolling Stone’s home turf.

“I don’t dig San Francisco groups … I think San Francisco music isn’t good music. Not good bands. They’re amateur cats.”

He took a shot at one of Wenner’s favorite groups, the Grateful Dead, with words that would come back to haunt him.

“I don’t dig Pigpen trying to sing blues; it don’t sound like blues. It sounds like some white kid trying to sing blues. It drags me …”

Wenner protested, defending the Dead as the essence of San Francisco. Bloomfield agreed, but dismissed them with faint praise.

“[The Dead] are San Francisco, everything that is San Francisco. They’re hip. Really, and I like them for that. Just like the Stones for those uptight meth-y little teenagers …”"

"In early 1971, John Kahn had the unique status of being the bass player for the part-time nightclub bands of not one, but two legendary guitarists, Mike Bloomfield and Jerry Garcia. One of many special features of the Bay Area rock scene at the time was how the City's resident rock stars regularly played around Bay Area nightclubs in different configurations. Bloomfield, Garcia and Jorma Kaukonen were among the best known guitarists in San Francisco, and yet they could be found on weeknights in local clubs, jamming away with their own little ensembles. No other city had such a scene at the time."
 #137926  by tatittle
 Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:28 am
Funny I have thought the same thing listening to some recordings of Bloomy play blues on guitar that he said re: Pigpen lol....really, I think the rig was a lot of it. I haven't listened to enough Bloomy though, I cant remember that CLASSIC sUPER sESSIONS album at all, I never owned it. I absolutely love blues, especially when I was 1st starting, but I prefer Southern styles to Chicago in general.

That pic makes me pine for my old Custom (not to mention the 335 or whatever), shoulda never sold that guitar. Oh well.
 #138007  by TI4-1009
 Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:10 pm
One of those early Randall Smith modified Fender pre-Boogies? He put 120s in them.
 #138067  by tatittle
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 1:27 am
TI4-1009 wrote:One of those early Randall Smith modified Fender pre-Boogies? He put 120s in them.
Highly doubt that though they did start in the 60's right? pic looks like '67 and it is a Reverb, the Boogies were non-verb Princetons usually. I was thinking some of the ladies (or whoever) had pulled the fabric to replace with tyes or something. Actually I just noticed its a 12" instead of 10".

For what its worth Bloomy may have a point re: amateur qualities to SF bands of the era in general...very casual style that I like in many ways, but it certainly wasn't polished meticulously arranged and rehearsed which was the norm a couple years before I believe...hence the development of the beloved jamband. I could hardly listen to Cheap Thrills even in my 1st year of playing (excepting Janis)...they were kids mostly though. Maybe perfectionism or ambition coming out in that quote. Whats the story with his death again? OD and was left in a car driven somewhere else. Cold.

I just listened to some clips and he certainly did have a killer biting, singing sustain that takes passionate touch. I look forward to listening to him more now. As a teen I thought I would absolutely love BBB but their studio albums never really meshed with me. It is pure Chicago though...I am just partial to classic R&B type stuff over electric Chicago blues I guess. Is there any Bloomfield recording where he plays jazzier material?
Last edited by tatittle on Fri Apr 04, 2014 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
 #138069  by czyfingers
 Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:45 am
When I look at that picture, I wonder what they were loud...who was plugged into which input (which you can't seem to tell from the picture)...if it was a decision one of them made or just random an they didn't give a shit.<--- probably the case. If they were wasted...what were they talkin about...or was there no conversation and they were just jamming. All things we can only speculate about now.
Also makes me wonder about all the impromptu jams with various musicians that happened during that time period and went undocumented...probably lots of magical musical moments that at the time, they never gave a thought to folks like us being interested in 50 years later.