The last time King Crimson were in San Francisco was in 1969. At that point the band was in the process of splitting up. In a strange case of history repeating itself, here were King Crimson in the Golden Gate City on the stage of the famous Winterland Ballroom, once again in the process of falling apart.
That said the set is performed with real spirit and many inspired moments. Pictures Of A City commands attention and Mel Collins is at his grittiest and most angular as he grapples with the irregular terrain of the middle section of Pictures At A City. Ladies of the Road gets a brutal workout from Collins and a lovely stepping stone solo from Fripp which evokes both Crims past and (then) present.
Groon morphs from its jazzy head and its one-chord boogie work out into something quite diaphanous as a prelude to the drum solo, showing once again that this Crim canít be dismissed as a mere jam band. This is the sound of King Crimson stretching the boundaries of what exactly being a ďrockĒ band meant. 21st Century Schizoid Man had also done its fair share of boundary-blurring although in this instance the only thing thatís blurred is the sound; Frippís wonderfully luminous solo just manages to shine through the murk on what would otherwise have been a wonderful rendition - nothwithstanding Bozís far-out ring-modulated vocals on the last verse.
Though this bootleg recording is far from pristine itís certainly listenable with the boomy acoustics of the hall favouring Mel Collins when it comes to instrumental clarity.
All previews are MP3 192kbps
Boz Burrell-Bass Guitar-Lead Vocals
Mel Collins-Sax, Flute, Mellotron
Robert Fripp - Guitar, Mellotron
Ian Wallace - Drums, Backing Vocal
Audio Source: Bootleg Cassette
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