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Magical History Tour V- Linda McCartney book

Magical History Tour V

I’m back to thumbing through Linda McCartney’s book, and the next section is photographs of Cream, taken while they were recording Disraeli Gears at Atlantic Studio. There is a great shot of Eric Clapton sitting in front of a studio mike talking with Ginger Baker. McCartney was impressed by Clapton’s fingers, and asked to photograph them, and later she said he spread his fingers over his face for her.

She said it was quite something to be there while the band was recording classics like “Sunshine of Your Love” and “Tales of Brave Ulysses,” produced by Felix Pappalardi, and noticed that Jack Bruce contributed considerably to the sessions.

The band is seen chain smoking and was photographed later in pictures taken in London. McCartney said that Jann Wenner, editor of the newly created Rolling Stone, came by and got a number of her photographs. Several shots from the Disraeli Gears session appeared in a later issue, and she was happy to get $25 each for them.

Cream broke up shortly after this, the band really only lasted less than two years.

I skipped on to Todd Rundgren, Linda photographed him in Central Park, and the best one is when he sat on the ground cross-legged, looking up at the camera. He has on pointed white shoes and pants, it’s a very well known image. She said Nazz’s first gig was opening for the Doors in 1967, and the following year they released their first LP.

Now to Eric Burdon and the Animals, whom Linda photographed in New York City and other places over a period of time. It’s interesting that the bass player for the Animals, Chas Chandler, discovered Jimi Hendrix on their last American tour, and played a demo of “Hey Joe” to Linda.

She said they were watching Elvis on the TV, and they turned down the sound, and she thought it was weird how Hendrix’s music synchronized with Elvis on the TV. Chas, along with another music industry figure, became Jimi’s manager. Eric Burdon is the “eggman” in John Lennon’s “I Am The Walrus,” apparently the singer liked to break raw eggs over the bodies of groupies, and the Beatle’s manager, Brian Epstein, had a crush on Burdon.

The next pictures are of Jackson Browne taken on a ride on the Staten Island Ferry, which is a strongly recommended trip if you go to New York City. Linda talks about him visiting the city for a couple of months, and how Tim Buckley helped him get work, which included playing electric guitar for Nico, who had just left the Velvet Underground. He made music while silent 8mm movies played on the wall. Of course, later Browne became a huge star, it’s hard to imagine him in a seedy New York club with a strange singer like Nico.

Next up are some shots of the Byrds during their two-week residency at the Café-Au Go Go, just before the group broke up. David Crosby was even staying at a different hotel at this time. She mentions she got to know him later when Crosby, Stills, and Nash were formed, and they were in London the same time the Beatles were recording the White Album. Graham Nash called Linda up to take pictures of them at Hampstead Heath. This was the same time period as the story of taking their first pictures in Los Angeles in the “L.A. History Tour” book.

The Hendrix photos and stories are interesting. Hendrix would drop by McCartney’s apartment and look at the transparencies and drop the best ones in his briefcase. She got the rejects and never saw the others again. She said Hendrix hated burning the American flag and playing his guitar with his teeth, he said he did it because he thought he would not please the audience.

There’s a great photo of Hendrix sitting in a chair tuning up a psychedelic Gibson Flying V guitar backstage at London’s Olympia Theatre, and Eric Burdon is standing behind him, grinning, getting ready to go onstage.

Linda relates how Hendrix hated the cover of Electric Ladyland, where the record company had chosen a picture of naked women.

The last time she saw him was in 1969 at a party in London for the newly signed Apple Records singer, Mary Hopkin, taking place at the Post Office tower. Eighteen months later he was dead.

Next are some great pictures of the Yardbirds, taken in America and England. She has a picture of Jimmy Page, black shadows under his eyes and somber expression, as usual, sitting there with his Telecaster in an auditorium seat in Connecticut. This must be the Telecaster he used for “Stairway To Heaven” years later. The story has it that Page put down his Les Paul and used this guitar, which he had not played in years, for the legendary lead break.

The best pictures Linda took of the band (after Jeff Beck left) is of them standing in front of the Baghdad House in London, chosen because it would ignore musicians taking a discrete “smoke” after dinner. A grim faced old lady has just marched past them, and you really get the feel of London in the picture. In the background, the almost sinister Jimmy Page looks out without expression, he seems always to be almost ready to vanish, or at least in the background of pictures.

Next, the band is photographed by Linda around a Mini car in London. Again, Jimmy is in the background brooding, while the rest are posed around the vehicle, excellent black and white image that captures the time perfectly.

Check out www.fortunesicons.com to buy pictures of Paul & Linda in LA in early 1970’s

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