This brightly colored “Poster From The Past” is somewhat of a real melt-down! If you take the time to look at it closely, there’s a lot going on here. Starting at the top with a yellow sky filled with pink clouds with faces floating over what appears to be a large gelatinous mess from which, or into which are passing both the lettering as well as a great variety of body parts every which way you look. Toward the bottom of this pile of goo, there is a face with a breast coming out of the mouth and another nipple for the left eye. A body of water is in the foreground. This is another one of the bizarre posters created from the imaginative and sometimes somewhat twisted mind of the rock artist Lee Conklin. It’s not for everyone, but I think it’s pretty cool! It is BG Fillmore number #156 in the poster series. It was printed only one time.
It was 46 years ago back in 1969, that Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fleetwood Mac and Albert Collins began their four night engagement here in the center of town at the Fillmore West.
Share a heap of bodies with a friend!
Weirdness always Approved by Professor Poster
At a time when rock was evolving away from the forces that had made the music possible in the first place, Creedence Clearwater Revival brought things back to their roots with their concise synthesis of rockabilly, swamp pop, R&B, and country. Though the music of CCR was very much a group effort in their tight, punchy arrangements, their vision was very much singer, songwriter, guitarist, and leaderJohn Fogerty‘s. Fogerty‘s classic compositions for Creedence both evoked enduring images of Americana and reflected burning social issues of the day. The band’s genius was their ability to accomplish this with the economic, primal power of a classic rockabilly ensemble.
The key elements of Creedence had been woodshedding in bar bands for about a decade before their breakthrough to national success in the late ’60s. John‘s older brother Tom formed the Blue Velvets in the late ’50s in El Cerrito, California, a tiny suburb across the bay from San Francisco. By the mid-’60s, with a few hopelessly obscure recordings under their belt, the band — including Tom and John with two high-school friends, drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook — signed to Fantasy, releasing several singles as the Golliwogs that went nowhere. In fact, there’s little promise to be found on those early efforts; they were extremely derivative of the British Invasion and other R&B and rock trends of the day, with few hints of the swampy roots rock that would characterize CCR. The group only found themselves when John took firm reins over the band’s direction, singing and writing virtually all of their material.
On their first album, 1968’s Creedence Clearwater Revival, the group played it both ways, offering extended, quasi-psychedelic workouts of the ’50s classics “I Put a Spell on You” and “Suzie-Q.” The latter song became their first big hit, but the band didn’t really bloom until “Proud Mary,” a number two single in early 1969 that demonstrated John‘s talent at tapping into Southern roots music and imagery with a natural ease. It was the start of a torrent of classic hits from the gritty,Little Richard-inspired singer over the next two years, including “Bad Moon Rising,” “Green River,” “Down on the Corner,” “Travelin’ Band,” “Who’ll Stop the Rain,” “Up Around the Bend,” and “Lookin’ Out My Back Door.”
Creedence also made good albums — Green River, Willy and the Poor Boys, and Cosmo’s Factory all rank among the best of the rock era — but their true forte was as a singles band. When the Beatles broke up in early 1970, CCR was the only other act that provided any competition in the fine art of crafting bold, super-catchy artistic statements that soared to the upper reaches of the charts every three or four months. Although they hailed from the San Francisco area, they rarely succumbed to the psychedelic indulgences of the era. John Fogerty also proved adept at voicing the concerns of the working class in songs like “Fortunate Son,” as well as partying with as much funk as any white rock band would muster on “Travelin’ Band” and “Down on the Corner.”
With John Fogerty holding such a strong upper hand,Creedence couldn’t be said to have been a democratic unit, and Fogerty‘s dominance was to sow the seeds of the group’s quick dissolution. Tom Fogerty left in 1971 (recording a few unremarkable solo albums of his own), reducing the band to a trio. John allowed drummer Doug Clifford and bassist Stu Cook equal shares of songwriting and vocal time on the group’s final album, Mardi Gras(1972), which proved conclusively that Fogerty‘s songs and singing were necessary to raise CCR above journeyman status.
It was John Fogerty, of course, who produced the only notable work after the quartet broke up. Even his solo outings, though, were erratic and, for nearly ten years, nonexistent as he became embroiled in a web of business disputes with Fantasy Records. His 1984 album Centerfieldproved he could still rock in the vintage Creedence mode when the spirit moved him, but Tom Fogerty‘s death in 1990 ended any hopes of a CCR reunion with the original members intact.
Biography by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
While most bands undergo a number of changes over the course of their careers, few groups experienced such radical stylistic changes as Fleetwood Mac. Initially conceived as a hard-edged British blues combo in the late ’60s, the band gradually evolved into a polished pop/rock act over the course of a decade. Throughout all of their incarnations, the only consistent members of Fleetwood Mac were drummerMick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie — the rhythm section that provided the band with its name. Ironically, they had the least influence over the musical direction of the band. Originally, guitarists Peter Green and Jeremy Spencer provided the band with its gutsy, neo-psychedelic blues-rock sound, but as both guitarists descended into mental illness, the group began moving toward pop/rock with the songwriting of pianist Christine McVie. By the mid-’70s, Fleetwood Mac had relocated to California, where they added the soft rock duo of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks to their lineup. Obsessed with the meticulously arranged pop of the Beach Boys and the Beatles, Buckingham helped the band become one of the most popular groups of the late ’70s. Combining soft rock with the confessional introspection of singer/songwriters, Fleetwood Mac created a slick but emotional sound that helped 1977’s Rumours become one of the biggest-selling albums of all time. The band retained its popularity through the early ’80s, when Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie all began pursuing solo careers. The band reunited for one album, 1987’s Tango in the Night, before splintering in the late ’80s. Buckingham left the group initially, but the band decided to soldier on, releasing one other album before Nicks and McVie left the band in the early ’90s, hastening the group’s commercial decline.
The roots of Fleetwood Mac lie in John Mayall‘s legendary British blues outfit, the Bluesbreakers. Bassist John McViewas one of the charter members of the Bluesbreakers, joining the group in 1963. In 1966 Peter Green replaced Eric Clapton, and a year later drummer Mick Fleetwood joined. Inspired by the success of Cream, the Yardbirds, and Jimi Hendrix, the trio decided to break away from Mayall in 1967. At their debut at the British Jazz and Blues Festival in August,Bob Brunning was playing bass in the group, since McViewas still under contract to Mayall. He joined the band a few weeks after their debut; by that time, slide guitarist Jeremy Spencer had joined the band. Fleetwood Mac soon signed with Blue Horizon, releasing their eponymous debut the following year. Fleetwood Mac was an enormous hit in the U.K., spending over a year in the Top Ten. Despite its British success, the album was virtually ignored in America. During 1968, the band added guitarist Danny Kirwan. The following year, they recorded Fleetwood Mac in Chicago with a variety of bluesmen, including Willie Dixon and Otis Spann. The set was released later that year, after the band had left Blue Horizon for a one-album deal with Immediate Records; in the U.S., they signed with Reprise/Warner Bros., and by 1970, Warner began releasing the band’s British records as well.
Fleetwood Mac released English Rose and Then Play Onduring 1969, which both indicated that the band was expanding its music, moving away from its blues purist roots. That year, Peter Green‘s “Man of the World” and “Oh Well” were number two hits. Though his music was providing the backbone of the group, Green was growing increasingly disturbed due to his large ingestion of hallucinogenic drugs. After announcing that he was planning to give all of his earnings away, Green suddenly left the band in the spring of 1970; he released two solo albums over the course of the ’70s, but he rarely performed after leaving Fleetwood Mac. The band replaced him with Christine Perfect, a vocalist/pianist who had earned a small but loyal following in the U.K. by singing with Spencer Davis and the Chicken Shack. She had already performed uncredited on Then Play On. Contractual difficulties prevented her from becoming a full-fledged member of Fleetwood Mac until 1971; by that time she had married John McVie.
Christine McVie didn’t appear on 1970’s Kiln House, the first album the band recorded without Peter Green. For that album, Jeremy Spencer dominated the band’s musical direction, but he had also been undergoing mental problems due to heavy drug use. During the band’s American tour in early 1971, Spencer disappeared; it was later discovered that he left the band to join the religious cult the Children of God. Fleetwood Mac had already been trying to determine the direction of their music, but Spencer‘s departure sent the band into disarray. Christine McVie and Danny Kirwanbegan to move the band towards mainstream rock on 1971’sFuture Games, but new guitarist Bob Welch exerted a heavy influence on 1972’s Bare Trees. Kirwanwas fired after Bare Trees and was replaced by guitarists Bob Weston and Dave Walker, who appeared on 1973’s Penguin. Walker left after that album, and Weston departed after making its follow-up, Mystery to Me (1973). In 1974, the group’s manager, Clifford Davis, formed a bogusFleetwood Mac and had the band tour the U.S. The real Fleetwood Mac filed and won a lawsuit against the imposters — after losing, they began performing under the name Stretch — but the lawsuit kept the band off the road for most of the year. In the interim, they released Heroes Are Hard to Find. Late in 1974, Fleetwood Mac moved to California, with hopes of restarting their career. Welch left the band shortly after the move to form Paris.
Early in 1975, Fleetwood and McVie were auditioning engineers for the band’s new album when they heardBuckingham-Nicks, an album recorded by the soft rock duoLindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. The pair were asked to join the group and their addition revived the band’s musical and commercial fortunes. Not only did Buckinghamand Nicks write songs, but they brought distinctive talents the band had been lacking. Buckingham was a skilled pop craftsman, capable of arranging a commercial song while keeping it musically adventurous. Nicks had a husky voice and a sexy, hippie gypsy stage persona that gave the band a charismatic frontwoman. The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac released their eponymous debut in 1975 and it slowly became a huge hit, reaching number one in 1976 on the strength of the singles “Over My Head,” “Rhiannon,” and “Say You Love Me.” The album would eventually sell over five million copies in the U.S. alone.
While Fleetwood Mac had finally attained their long-desired commercial success, the band was fraying apart behind the scenes. The McVies divorced in 1976, and Buckingham andNicks‘ romance ended shortly afterward. The internal tensions formed the basis for the songs on their next album,Rumours. Released in the spring of 1977, Rumours became a blockbuster success, topping the American and British charts and generating the Top Ten singles “Go Your Own Way,” “Dreams,” “Don’t Stop,” and “You Make Loving Fun.” It would eventually sell over 17 million copies in the U.S. alone, making it the second biggest-selling album of all time.Fleetwood Mac supported the album with an exhaustive, lucrative tour and then retired to the studio to record their follow-up to Rumours. A wildly experimental double album conceived largely byBuckingham, 1979’s Tusk didn’t duplicate the enormous success of Rumours, yet it did go multi-platinum and featured the Top Ten singles “Sara” and “Tusk.” In 1980, they released the double albumLive.
Following the Tusk tour, Fleetwood, Buckingham, and Nicksall recorded solo albums. Of the solo projects, Stevie Nicks‘Bella Donna (1981) was the most successful, peaking at number one and featuring the hit singles “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” “Leather and Lace,” and “Edge of Seventeen.”Buckingham‘s Law and Order (1981) was a moderate success, spawning the Top Ten “Trouble.” Fleetwood, for his part, made a world music album called The Visitor.Fleetwood Mac reconvened in 1982 for Mirage. More conventional and accessible than Tusk, Mirage reached number one and featured the hit singles “Hold Me” and “Gypsy.”
After Mirage, Buckingham, Nicks, and Christine McVie all worked on solo albums. The hiatus was due to a variety of reasons. Each member had his or her own manager, Nickswas becoming the group’s breakaway star, Buckinghamwas obsessive in the studio, and each member was suffering from various substance addictions. Nicks was able to maintain her popularity, with The Wild Heart (1983) andRock a Little (1985) both reaching the Top 15. Christine McVie also had a Top Ten hit with “Got a Hold on Me” in 1984. Buckingham received the strongest reviews of all, but his 1984 album Go Insane failed to generate a hit. Fleetwood Mac reunited to record a new album in 1985. Buckingham, who had grown increasingly frustrated with the musical limitations of the band, decided to make it his last Fleetwood Mac project. When the resulting album, Tango in the Night, was finally released in 1987, it was greeted with mixed reviews but strong sales, reaching the Top Ten and generating the Top 20 hits “Little Lies,” “Seven Wonders,” and “Everywhere.”
Buckingham decided to leave Fleetwood Mac after completing Tango in the Night, and the group replaced him with guitarists Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. The new lineup of the band recorded their first album, Behind the Mask, in 1990. It became the band’s first album since 1975 to not go gold. Following its supporting tour, Nicks and Christine McVie announced they would continue to record with the group, but not tour. Vito left the band in 1991, and the group released the box set 25 Years — The Chain the following year. The classic Fleetwood Mac lineup of Fleetwood, the McVies, Buckingham, and Nicks reunited to play PresidentBill Clinton‘s inauguration in early 1993, but the concert did not lead to a full-fledged reunion. Later that year, Nicks left the band and was replaced by Bekka Bramlett and Dave Mason; Christine McVie left the group shortly afterward. The new lineup of Fleetwood Mac began touring in 1994, releasing Timethe following year to little attention. While the new version of Fleetwood Mac wasn’t commercially successful, neither were the solo careers of Buckingham, Nicks, and McVie, prompting speculation of a full-fledged reunion in 1997. Soon these whispers proved to be true, as the classic Rumours quintet reunited for a live performance that became the 1997 album The Dance. The album performed well, debuting at number one on Billboard and generating an adult contemporary hit in the new version of “Landslide.” Fleetwood Mac supported The Dance with a tour that lasted throughout the year and, early in 1998, the band was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Not long afterward, Christine McVie announced she was leaving the band.
Her departure may have slowed the speed of Fleetwood Mac‘s reunion, but the remaining quartet set to work writing and recording a new album. The resulting Say You Willappeared in April of 2003; it was their first studio album in eight years and the first in 16 to feature Buckingham andNicks. Say You Will performed well — it went gold in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, with the singles “Peacekeeper” and “Say You Will” reaching the U.S. Adult Contemporary Top 20 — and the accompanying international tour was a success. After a few quiet years where Buckingham resumed his solo career and the group unsuccessfully courted Sheryl Crow as a replacement for Christine McVie, they reconvened for a tour in 2009. Four years later, the group celebrated the 35th anniversary of Rumours with a new deluxe box reissue accompanied by a tour. As the tour got underway in April, the band unexpectedly released a four-track Extended Play of new material; it received good notices and entered the U.S. charts at 48.During a three-night stint at London’s O2 in September 2013, Christine McVie appeared withFleetwood Mac for the first time in 15 years. In January of 2014, the band announced that Christinewas rejoining the group and they started recording a new album. The progress on the new album was slow and steady, partially due to individual solo projects, partially due to interruptions caused by the band’s ongoing world tour; they played international dates in both 2014 and 2015.
Albert Collins, “The Master of the Telecaster,” “The Iceman,” and “The Razor Blade” was robbed of his best years as a blues performer by a bout with liver cancer that ended with his premature death on November 24, 1993. He was just 61 years old. The highly influential, totally original Collins, like the lateJohn Campbell, was on the cusp of a much wider worldwide following via his deal with Virgin Records’ Pointblank subsidiary. However, unlike Campbell, Collins had performed for many more years, in obscurity, before finally finding a following in the mid-’80s.
Collins was born October 1, 1932, in Leona, TX. His family moved to Houston when he was seven. Growing up in the city’s Third Ward area with the likes of Johnny “Guitar” Watson and Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Collins started out taking keyboard lessons. His idol when he was a teen was Hammond B-3 organist Jimmy McGriff. But by the time he was 18 years old, he switched to guitar, and hung out and heard his heroes, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker andLightnin’ Hopkins (his cousin) in Houston-area nightclubs. Collins began performing in these same clubs, going after his own style, characterized by his use of minor tunings and a capo, by the mid-’50s. It was also at this point that he began his “guitar walks” through the audience, which made him wildly popular with the younger white audiences he played for years later in the 1980s. He led a ten-piece band, the Rhythm Rockers, and cut his first single in 1958 for the Houston-based Kangaroo label, “The Freeze.” The single was followed by a slew of other instrumental singles with catchy titles, including “Sno-Cone,” “Icy Blue” and “Don’t Lose Your Cool.” All of these singles brought Collins a regional following. After recording “De-Frost” b/w “Albert’s Alley” for Hall-Way Records of Beaumont, TX, he hit it big in 1962 with “Frosty,” a million-selling single. Teenagers Janis Joplin and Johnny Winter, both raised in Beaumont, were in the studio when he recorded the song. According to Collins, Joplincorrectly predicted that the single would become a hit. The tune quickly became part of his ongoing repertoire, and was still part of his live shows more than 30 years later, in the mid-’80s. Collins‘ percussive, ringing guitar style became his trademark, as he would use his right hand to pluck the strings. Blues-rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix cited Collins as an influence in any number of interviews he gave.
Through the rest of the 1960s, Collins continued to work day jobs while pursuing his music with short regional tours and on weekends. He recorded for other small Texas labels, including Great Scott, Brylen and TFC. In 1968, Bob “The Bear” Hite from the blues-rock group Canned Heat took an interest in the guitarist’s music, traveling to Houston to hear him live. Hite took Collins to California, where he was immediately signed to Imperial Records. By later 1968 and 1969, the ’60s blues revival was still going on, and Collins got wider exposure opening for groups like the Allman Brothers at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. Collins based his operations for many years in Los Angeles before moving to Las Vegas in the late ’80s.
He recorded three albums for the Imperial label before jumping to Tumbleweed Records. There, several singles were produced by Joe Walsh, since the label was owned bythe Eagles‘ producer Bill Szymczyk. The label folded in 1973. Despite the fact that he didn’t record much through the 1970s and into the early ’80s, he had gotten sufficient airplay around the U.S. with his singles to be able to continue touring, and so he did, piloting his own bus from gig to gig until at least 1988, when he and his backing band were finally able to use a driver. Collins‘ big break came about in 1977, when he was signed to the Chicago-based Alligator Records, and he released his brilliant debut for the label in 1978, Ice Pickin’. Collins recorded six more albums for the label, culminating in 1986’s Cold Snap, on which organist Jimmy McGriffperforms. It was at Alligator Records that Collins began to realize that he could sing adequately, and working with his wife Gwen, he co-wrote many of his classic songs, including items like “Mastercharge,” and “Conversation With Collins.”
His other albums for Alligator include Live in Japan, Don’t Lose Your Cool, Frozen Alive! and Frostbite. An album he recorded with fellow guitarists Robert Cray and Johnny “Clyde” Copeland for Alligator in 1985, Showdown! brought a Grammy award for all three musicians. His Cold Snap, released in 1986, was nominated for a Grammy award.
In 1989, Collinssigned with the Pointblank subsidiary of major label Virgin Records, and his debut, Iceman, was released in 1991. The label released the compilation Collins Mix in 1993. Other compact-disc reissues of his early recordings were produced by other record companies who saw Collins‘ newfound popularity on the festival and theater circuit, and they include Complete Imperial Recordings on EMI Records (1991) and Truckin’ With Albert Collins (1992) on MCA Records. Collins‘ sessionography is also quite extensive. The albums he performs on include David Bowie‘s Labyrinth, John Zorn‘s Spillane, Jack Bruce‘s A Question of Time, John Mayall‘s Wake Up Call, B.B. King‘s Blues Summit, Robert Cray‘sShame and a Sin, and Branford Marsalis‘ Super Models in Deep Conversation.Although he’d spent far too much time in the 1970s without recording, Collins could sense that the blues were coming back stronger in the mid-’80s, with interest in Stevie Ray Vaughan at an all-time high. Collins enjoyed some media celebrity in the last few years of his life, via concert appearances at Carnegie Hall, on Late Night with David Letterman, in the Touchstone film, Adventures in Babysitting, and in a classy Seagram’s Wine Cooler commercial with Bruce Willis. The blues revival that Collins,Vaughan and the Fabulous Thunderbirds helped bring about in the mid-’80s has continued into the mid-’90s. But sadly, Collins has not been able to take part in the ongoing evolution of the music.