Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (4) - #141

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (4)

I guess, noone had in mind in 1977, that viewers in 2013 still might be interested to see vintage Dr Feelgood footage. Or, just maybe, this was state of the art technology back then. But these days, with HD being present everywhere, this (mostly) grainy and out of focus material has a certain charm. In other words, the recordings don't make the cut. But who am I to complain, it's history we're seeing and the quality is, despite all its shortcomings, quite acceptable. Don't expect high resolution videos and think back to a time when you were easier to be satisfied and, voilĂ , there you are.

That the footage is scraped from various sources is quite apparent, due to the uneven quality. It's indeed mostly better than what I have on DVD and VHS, but even within the presentation, the changes are quite noticeable. This goes for the audio track as well as the visuals. At least one of the promo videos surprised me in as much, as they apparently didn't find a superior version. On the other hand, the "Violent Love" video is the best copy I've seen so far. This is quite an enjoyable visual trawl through the Gypie years and it brought back many memories of Dr Feelgood live in concert. For me, this DVD is the real highlight of the boxset (plus the demo version of "Riding On The L & N" in the audio section).

There's a very extensive Gypie Mayo interview on this DVD as well and, if you can sit through it, you're awarded with a lot of insight into the machinery that was Dr Feelgood 1977 to 1981. But I'd propose to split your viewing of this section into two or three parts because, at least for me, listening to a speaker going on for nearly an hour, it's more of a monologue than an interview, at least the way it's cut, the prospect of sitting there for an hour without a chance to get a word in sideways, is not very appealing. I'd rather have a couple of thin slices, than the whole pie in one go. The Richard Gottehrer interview is not nearly as impressive and I believe, I forgot most of what he said already. That section is also much shorter than the Gypie one.

Despite its shortcomings, the boxset is a real companion to "All Through The City". It could have been different and better, but did I think I'd get to see even one boxset all those years ago? Certainly not and this really is now the third such offer of any importance. Now, are we going to see a boxset of the Gordon years and one of the Steve years? Not that I'm exactly waiting for it, but with a better plan, there might be a few surprises in there. Not the least a decent version of "See You Later Alligator" in the DVD section.



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (3) - #140

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (3)

Listening to the tracks that are not available elsewhere, e.g. the boxset minus the remasters, I believe this is a missed opportunity. I'm too much of a Dr Feelgood fan, not to feel slightly disappointed about this compilation. I don't care much for remasters, because I have decent vinyl in my collection, so that leaves me only with the one(!) demo track and two live sets (The Paddocks and The Pavilion). A bit thin on the ground, considering that the set cost me a fraction away from EUR 60.00 from one of my dealers. Really on the steep side, seeing that some others sell it for around EUR 30.00 less.

The demo version of "Riding On The L & N" is interesting, I wish there was more of the same. But apparently, this was not to be. Either the well has run dry or we're being treated with additional material (one track at a time) on forthcoming compilations. The live portion from The Paddocks is o.k., but the audio is not up to scratch (where's the remastering here?). I have much better sounding bootlegs in my collection and this is an official release. Repertoirewise this is what the band did at the time, this transition period from their first line-up to a settled down 2nd version. The band is tipping the brakes ever so lightly, but as a timepiece, this is priceless and can't really be compared to their full live albums during the Gypie period. On hearing "Cheque Book", I had this strange idea, that the track is nearly falling apart.

The excerpt from The Pavilion gig one  year later is much to short to give a real impression of the band 1978. There are only 7 tracks, while The Paddock gig netted at least 12 tracks for this set. Both not nearly enough to really give an impression what the band was, during that time. The sound on this second batch of live tracks seems to be slightly better (at least to these ears). And, I might be mistaken, but I think the band is more "there", more on top of their music and maybe a bit more confident, with Gypie having settled in nicely. It's Dr Feelgood as I appreciated them during this period. And I believe, this was the time, when Lee Brilleaux freed himself of Dr Feelgood Mark I.

As for the DVD, that's for another day! I don't want to rush through the visual part. I've probably seen most of the footage already, but just in case, I do expect high quality from first generation tapes. Just so you're forewarned.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (2) - #139

Dr Feelgood - Taking No Prisoners (With Gypie 1977-1981) (2)

Just browsing through the booklet (and listening to Motörhead's "No Sleep At All"), it dawned upon me, that this is now 35+ years ago since Gypie Mayo joined Dr Feelgood. And 30+ years ago, when he threw the towel in. Ancient history, when you think about it. Dr Feelgood had their highs and lows until 1994, but it's really amazing that I have stuck with them during all those years. Who would have thought so in around 1974? Certainly not yours truly.



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fender Wilko Johnson Telecaster - #138

Fender Wilko Johnson Telecaster

If you've got £ 501.00 (as seen on the internet) to spare, the 200 copies only limited Fender Wilko Johnson Telecaster in black and red could be yours. This is apparently only for sale in Europe, but I believe it's very optimistic of Fender to expect all guitars to eventually go to the public. Now, let me check if I can find a shop around here, willing to import the thing.