Design by – Bonnie MacLean
Venue – The Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco
Dates – July 4th – 9th 1967
Performances From –
Big Brother and the Holding Company
Big Joe Williams Lights: Headlights
Bo Diddley was another artist signed to Chess Records – the same label as Chuck Berry – but he never achieved the same level of success as his label-mate. Despite that, Bo Diddley has had a strong influence on the development of rock music as we know it. He was admired by everyone from The Rolling Stones to the Yarbirds, from Buddy Holy to The Clash. Various contemporary artists mention him as an inspiration, too, which shows that rock’n’roll is indeed timeless and can (and it certainly will) stay alive for decades.
Bo Diddley’s music ranges from blues and R&B to the more dance-oriented rock’n’roll, ‘mixing a Chicago blues sound with Memphis-styled rockabilly riffs’ (you can read the full review of Ride On: The Chess Masters, 1960-1961 compilation here: http://blues.about.com/od/cddvdrevie2/fr/BoDiddleyCD1.htm).
Bo Diddley is also renowned for being the first African-American artist to set up a recording studio in the basement of his own home. In the early 1960s, breaking away from his label with an intention to follow the DIY path was a very brave move to make.
Bo Diddley, among many other great bluesmen in this playlist (thanks to SURFSTYLEY4) from 1965:
The Fillmore performance must have been one of the best in the Big Brother and the Holding Company’s career, when the band was fronted by Janis Joplin, one of the most iconic voices in rock history. In a year’s time, the band would release their second studio album, Cheap Thrills, featuring their best songs that defined the sound of the generation we now know as ‘psychedelic’. It is difficult to say any more than has already been said – when this lady opens her mouth, our jaws drop…
Check out this live footage from the documentary ‘Come Up the Years’ from San Francisco, 1967, followed by the band’s performance on ‘The Hollywood Palace’ show, 1968, below:
The man who sang the original version of ‘Baby Please Don’t Go’ was the last one to go on stage that night at Fillmore in San Francisco. Let us introduce you to Mr Big Joe Williams: