Sunday, May 13, 2018

Smith Mothers: Radio Philadelphia

As promised, here comes the third of three brazenly divergent posts in succession.
This one brings you a super-legendary concert, taped precisely 39 years ago, when May 13th also fell on a Sunday.
I had been reading about this wild, seminal Patti Smith show that took place on Mother's Day 1979 for quite some time, but had never heard it.
It went out over WIOQ-FM in Philly hours after it was recorded, and oh my goodness were the glowing tributes I read accurate.
I'm not gonna say awfully much about this one, as it comes courtesy of a beloved artist who's been doing it at the very highest level for over 40 years.
Suffice to say that if I had to pick one show to represent Mother's Day on this page, this one wins and there isn't really much competition.
If you're wondering if you should download my remaster of it -- sourced from a 1st generation reel-to-reel capture back in the day -- maybe I should tell you that Patti's mom ends up onstage being serenaded with "The Sun'll Come Out Tomorrow," from the Broadway show Annie... and that's before the set's even half over.
I think this was aired in the night-time following the performance, because the station knew she was gonna cuss a lot and had to air it after children would be listening. Miss Patricia does not disappoint them, let's just say.
I worked on this extensively, that it might come across like the Absolute Mother it is. This comes from an alleged 1st generation reel of the whole show, but it suffered from some pretty serious 1979 FM compression that was swallowing the vocals and whatnot when the full group gets blazing at full throttle. It also sounded like it had a hole in the low end -- at first I thought the phase was off, but it proved OK -- or that that compression was eating the bass when things got loud.
I used Sound Forge 11, messing about with the 20-band Graphic EQ and the Graphic Dynamics tools for seven straight hours -- at dinnertime I realized I had been stark nekkid, but for the headphones, the whole time -- until I felt like I had got it less thin. Or at least more balanced and thickly thumping, if perhaps a little bass-bold when things quiet down. What can I say? I wasn't gonna recompress it! Someday a pre-FM will surface and this will all be water under the George Washington Bridge, into which you can throw this version.
Patti Smith Group
Tower Theater
Upper Darby, PA
5.13.1979
EN FM remaster

01 Privilege (Set Me Free)
02 Till Victory
03 So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star
04 Mr. Tambourine Man
05 Citizen Ship
06 It's So Hard
07 Redondo Beach
08 Poppies
09 Patti on Mother's Day
10 Tomorrow
11 Jailhouse Rock
12 25th Floor
13 Kimberly
14 5-4-3-2-1
15 Be My Baby
16 Secret Agent Man
17 Revenge
18 Dancing Barefoot
19 Because the Night
20 Frederick
21 Seven Ways of Going
22 Hymn
23 Gloria (In Excelsis Deo)
24 Pumping (My Heart)
25 My Generation

Total time: 2:09:37
disc break goes after Track 13

Patti Smith - vocals, guitar, horn, percussion
Lenny Kaye - guitar, bass, vocals
Ivan Kral - guitar, bass, vocals
Jay Dee Daugherty - drums
Richard Sohl - keyboards

off-air reel-to-reel capture -- the original lineage says 1st gen -- of the complete WIOQ-FM broadcast, remastered May 2018 by EN
913 MB FLAC here
I don't have to tell you how insane and super-sharp this set is, as it had its own extensive legend well before I ever heard it or heard about it. All I can say is listen to your mother and let Miss Patti break your holiday face with some Poet Laureate Rock and Roll, will ya? Enjoy!!!!--J.