Peter Hammill "Reel 2"
Roma (Italy), PalaEur
02. German Overalls
03. Slender Threads
05. The Lie (Bernini's St. Theresa)
06. What's It Worth? [breakdown]
07. Man-Erg (piano/sax improvised finale)
08. What's It Worth? [reprise]
09. Out Of My Book
10. The Boat Of Million Years
Tot. Time: 38'21"
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PH 'REELS' SERIES RELEASE NOTES
This comes from a set of 3 open reels whose source is the same as all the Rimini 1975 shows I seeded last year, though the quality varies a lot and is definitely not on par with those.
There was no info on the reel boxes about when and where these were recorded, but there was a 99,9% probability they all come from shows in Rome (or very nearby).
Unfortunately those originals reels have been lost (destroyed) years ago, so all I can offer comes from 1st generation copies on cassettes I did about 15/20 years ago...
With the invaluable help of a bunch of much more PH/VDGG knowledgeable guys than I will ever be, I'm bringing all three of them out with as much information as I could gather.
REEL 2 NOTES
This was easier to identify than the previous post (Reel 1), as there is a recording circulating already that I was told was posted a few years ago on an Italian blog in the form of mp3s. Rest assured this does not come from that but from an analogue recording, as my cassette copy off the reel was done at a time when mp3s where not even invented yet…
Lineage here is a bit more complicated than usual… Let me explain.
The taper used 2 microphones placed at the front of the stage and an Open Reel machine. As a back up, he was also recording through a small, unknown and unidentified cassette deck attached to the Reel machine 'line out'. He taped both PH/DJ (though they were actually billed as VDGG) and Genesis, but at the end of the night the management decided to get hold of the reels and the taper was only left with the cassette masters. These were promptly copied onto new reels in the following days, and it's from these second set of reels that my own cassette copies come from.
The recording quality is quite good, although it suffers from one major problem: due to the microphones placement, the recording only picked up the monitor speakers and not the PA. This means that while the guitar pieces are very 'present' and nearly perfect (while playing guitar PH was probably center stage), the piano songs are a bit more muffled (its position must have been on one side) and the voice is mostly distant and echoey...
Compared to the circulating mp3s, the bunch of people who helped me sort these reels out told me there are a few differences. First, we don’t get quite as much of What’s It Worth before it stops, and Man-Erg is a wee bit shorter too. Also, the circulating mp3 version features 2 more songs: 'Easy to slip away' and 'Refugees'. Unfortunately I have no idea why these are missing. What you get here is everything I got… On the mp3 I was given, instead, I could not hear the very short intro by whom I suspect is Armando Gallo asking for silence, while PH announces DJ's arrival later in the set.
As for the breakdown and subsequent improvised bit, the explanation I was given is as follows:
"During Peter's gig, a sudden storm started on the venue and during 'What's it worth?', immediately after a lightning, the power supply went off. According to the reviews and memories of the show somebody tracked down, David started playing Man-Erg unplugged (from double sax break onward) with Peter following as well without microphone and piano on the PA. Everyone who was there remembers that moment as the most thrilling one of the whole evening. The gig resumed after with 'What it's worth?', approximately from the same place it was interrupted…" (note: this is my editing of 2 different accounts of the evening I was forwarded)
Sound editing wise, I only added a fade in and a fade out at the beginning and end of the tape, faded out and in the break between 'What it's worth?' and 'Man-Erg', and spliced up a cut that was present in the reel near the end of 'Boat of million years': you can hear the 'jump' but it's better than the bunch of noise/silent seconds in the original. All the rest is untouched. Luckily, compared to the Reel 1, there seems to be nearly zero radio interference.
Download this bootleg here