1971 was a big year for Sugarloaf concerts. Just to name a few of the venues; they played the Curtis Hixon Hall in February, the Grammy Awards party and the Whisky a Go Go in March, the Fillmore West in April, American Bandstand in May, and the Hollywood Bowl in June! Scroll down to see some items of memorabilia along with some comments on these and other shows.
On February 18, 1971, Sugarloaf performed a concert at Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, FL. Also appearing on the show was Pacific, Gas & Electric who had just hit it big with "Are You Ready." Below is an unused ticket from that show along with performance photos of Bob Yeazel (back to us) and Bob Raymond on the left, and Jerry Corbetta on piano on the right. Further below is a shot of Sugarloaf planting a tree, and a small writeup and review.
While in Tampa, Sugarloaf took time to plant a tree. They did this at most, if not all of the cities on this tour. It was part of an ecological program that went along with the Spaceship Earth LP promo package. Below is a trade magazine advertisement from 1971 that tells a bit more about their tree planting. (The full advertisement can be seen on the Ecology Ads page.)
On March 13, 1971 Sugarloaf played the Fairgrounds Coliseum in Salt Lake City with Spirit and Mason Profit. Below is a promotional postcard for that performance.
was performing the above show in Salt Lake City, a video recording of them
performing "Tongue in Cheek" was airing on WDCA TV in Washington D.C.
on the Barry Richards Show. Sugarloaf had recorded this video live in the
WDCA studio just prior to this.
A DVD of performances from The Barry Richards Show was recently released. Unfortunately no video or audio of Sugarloaf was included. I contacted them a couple of years prior to this video release and they were not able to find any of the Sugarloaf footage at that time but they said they hoped it would surface. Apparently it was never located. I highly recommend purchasing the Barry Richards TV Collection Volume 1 for some great live video footage of Alice Cooper, Humble Pie, The Bob Seger System, Zephyr and many others. It is definitely packed with excellent, rare performances.
On March 16, 1971 a very special performance from Sugarloaf took place. It was their appearance at the 13th Annual "Grammy" Awards party where they performed "Green Eyed Lady". This party took place after the televised show. During the show, they were seated directly next to where Aretha Franklin sang "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Below are Sugarloaf drummer Bob MacVittie's tickets from this show, and his memories of that night.
These are the front and back of our Grammy tickets from 1971. You will notice Chicory Music written on the reverse side of the lower ticket. (Sugarloaf's production company) What sticks out in my mind about that night is the manner in which the band arrived. We all had bought Volvos with our new found money so we could all travel on the road with our families. We had traveled to LA for the show in these cars, so we naturally drove over to the Palladium in them at the appointed time. We pulled up in our cars, in our stage clothes, as we were playing that night. The doormen looked at us as if we were imposters, or crazy at best. We didn't comprehend until we noticed that all the other acts were arriving in limos. We looked the part but didn't know how to act the part because we were still just simple club musicians from Denver who happened to have a hit. After that we gradually learned to put on airs, but we were never really very good at it.
Bob Yeazel recently told me his memories of the Grammy Awards night:
It was held at the Hollywood Palladium right off Sunset and Vine; about a block or two. We were invited to play for the after party that they have that goes about an hour or two longer after the broadcast of the TV show. So it was after the broadcast of the TV show, the Grammys had been given out, (and) the show went on off screen. That’s when we played. We did one song; "Green Eyed Lady". The host was Gary Owens, the guy from Laugh-In. We got to sit on the floor where the nominees and inside people sat. (During the TV broadcast) Aretha Franklin did a goose bump version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". She played the B3. Our table was real close to her. She was just a couple tables away. That was a really neat thing. (Shortly before that) Paul McCartney came running in and accepted a Grammy. He wasn’t seated there on the floor. “Here to accept the award; Paul McCartney.” And the crowd really livened up and he came running in from the back and just lit up the audience. The energy level went way high. That was cool.
That’s where I have the Duke story where I ran into Mr. Wayne. (Note: John Wayne presented the award to Paul McCartney who accepted it on behalf of himself, John, and George, for the best soundtrack score with Let It Be.) I’m standing there talking after the show, after everything’s over but people were still lingering around. A lot of celebrities and stuff. I got to meet B.B. King and a bunch of others. I can’t remember all the people I met but it was great. I was standing there talking with Cory Wells of Three Dog Night. He had on a bandolero thing with bullets across his chest. Three Dog Night had performed “Joy to the World” that night on TV. Anyway we’re sitting there talking and drinking and John Wayne staggers up. He’s a monster. I was tall but he was huge. He had on cowboy boots. I don’t know how old he was. He had to be in his fifties. He was a scary looking individual and you could tell he was drunk. He came right up to us and it’s like wow. He was looking at us. It’s like John Wayne, you know. He looks at Cory and goes, “What are you trying to prove with that?” (His bandolero.) Cory says, “I’m not trying to prove anything. It’s just a stage outfit.” So he gives us both a real dirty look. “All right,” and he sunders off. I thought he was going to hit us. I really did. We were standing there going, “What was all of that about?”
The next four nights Sugarloaf performed at the Whiskey A Go Go. Below is an ad from the March 19, 1971 L.A. Free Press.
Below left is a picture of Sugarloaf taken with Vice President of United Artists, Bob Skaff, producers Frank Slay and Dennis Ganim, and also manager Joel Brandes. On the right is a review from Billboard Magazine of Sugarloaf's concert at the Whiskey a Go Go from late March of 1971.
Below is another review for the shows at the Whiskey. This one is from an April 1971 edition of Head Lite Review and Directory. The photo appeared on the page opposite of the review. Also in this particular issue was a good review of the Spaceship Earth LP. This can be found on the Spaceship Earth page on this site.
Great shows were always happening at Bill Graham's Fillmore West and Winterland during this period of time. Below is a handbill known as BG 275, showing a lineup of shows from late March and early April of 1971. Sugarloaf performed on the bill with Buddy Miles, and Wayne Cochrane and the C.C. Riders on Thursday, April 1st through Sunday April 4th. The Fillmore closed shortly after this. The poster for these shows is identical to the handbill only considerably larger at 28" x 21". The handbill does differ from the poster on the back, showing all of the concerts that were to take place at the Fillmore in March and April of 1971.
In the middle of the handbill above, you can see that the week prior to Sugarloaf playing the Fillmore, Santana played Winterland. The tickets for the Santana shows are interesting in that the Friday night show depicted the above handbill, while the Saturday night show was similar to above but the colors were reversed. Below is a ticket from each of the shows:
The above two tickets, as you can see differ also. These would have been the ones used for the Sugarloaf performances.
Below is a humorous story Bob MacVittie shared with me in regards to the Fillmore:
We were on a tour of the west coast and went to S.F. to play the Fillmore. While we were inside playing, the band truck was parked outside behind the building. That was back when vehicles had wing vents located at the front of the door windows. Apparently one was left unlocked because when we came out after the show it was open and someone had reached in and unlocked the door. In true Hippie fashion, they looked in the glove box and found a bank bag with $300 or $400 in it and a bag of pot. They took only the pot and put the bag with the money back in the truck. Only in San Francisco!
This is what Bob
Yeazel had to say about playing The Fillmore:
One of my personal favorite experiences was playing for four
consecutive nights at Bill Graham’s legendary concert venue, the Fillmore
West. There was also a Fillmore East in New York City. There were dozens of
classic albums recorded live in these rooms including The Allman Brothers Live
at the Fillmore. Bill Graham has passed away, but his contribution to so much
great music goes on. The Fillmores provided a launching pad for almost every
major live act that has impacted rock since the sixties. Now there is even a
Fillmore in Denver.
It was a
three-day gig and I had my wife, Volvo, and baby daughter with me. I remember
we stayed at the Seal Beach Motel, which was right on the point of Seal Beach.
It was cold as hell. I tried to go down to the beach to check out the seals,
but I couldn’t take it and ran for cover.
My old high
school and hitch-hiking buddy Danny Haynes (Boomer) was living in San
Francisco, married to a beautiful Scandinavian girl, and working as a mailman.
He is my co-star in one of my songs, "In The Streets". We of course
hung out some and got reacquainted with each others’ vices and shared a home
cooked meal by his wife. (He later got divorced.)
He came down
one night to catch the show. You had to climb stairs to get into the music
area. The place was a big room with a nice big stage. It was rustic and funky,
with drapes hanging in the corners here and there. There was wood everywhere,
on the walls, the floor and the ceiling; beautiful without being pretentious.
The crowd was a total freak show with just about every deviation from the
accepted norm of society you could imagine. I loved it!!
with Buddy Miles and Wayne Cochrane and the C.C. Riders. Both groups had large
horn sections. Probably the most memorable thing that was burnt into my mind
was the dressing room scene. Definitely unforgettable! Here was eight or ten
horn players standing around the walls of this huge open room playing their
horns to the wall for sound reflection. It was the closest thing to the pure
sound of hell I’ve ever heard. More than thirty seconds of exposure to this
sonic madness would lead to disorientation and total insanity. I’ve never
spent more time wandering around a venue before or since. I had played with
horn players before, but it was the first time I was exposed to horn players
‘en masse’. They are truly a breed apart from all other musicians.
I am a very lucky person to have been a part of the colorful history of the legendary Fillmore West.
Continue on to the next page to read about their appearance on American Bandstand as well as the United Artists 99 cent Hollywood Bowl concert.
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