For Your Weekend Listening Pleasure: Eric Clapton Was God at Dallas Convention Center in November '76, But Freddie Was Still King

Of all the weekend-listening suggestions I've posted since whenever this started, that Freddie King KZEW revue ranks high on the list -- I've listened to it start-to-finish a dozen times since posting two weeks ago. Hard to see how it gets much better than that, but after sitting through back-to-back Last Waltz viewings on a sleepless Thursday night, this was quite the find last night: King on stage with Eric Clapton at the Dallas Convention Center on November 15, 1976 -- like last week's Joe Walsh offering, yet another King Biscuit Flower Hour broadcast.

The entire concert, which runs close to 80 minutes, is a keeper -- a classic, matter of fact, claim Slowhand fans who point to this broadcast's 12:33-long "Layla" as one of the best takes on that track, like, ever. Other highlights: Dylan songs "Sign Language" and "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" (the latter a bit too tropical for my tastes), Cream's "Badge" and a monster "Blues Power," extended 10 minutes past its original running time.

And then: King joins Clapton on the show's closing number, an epic rendition of "Further On Up the Road," originally a Bobby "Blue" Bland R&B chart-topper that was among Clapton's contributions to The Band's farewell concert. The filmed version with Robbie Robertson is fine -- spirited, slick, slapdash. But Clapton-King is the spark that builds into an inferno at about the four-minute mark; it renders all other versions, and there have been many, inconsequential.

King died of heart failure at Presbyterian Hospital six weeks after this recording. KNON's Don O. said it two weeks ago, and it bears repeating: "There needs to be a statue of Freddie King in Dallas. It is LONG overdue." Damn right.

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