The Amazing ZigZag Concert

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Amazing ZigZag Concert
Live album by
Various artists
Released11 October 2010
RecordedRoundhouse, London,
28 April 1974
GenreRock, pub rock, country rock
LabelRoad Goes on Forever Records – RGF/ZZBOX1974
ProducerVic Maile (1974) Tony Poole (2010)

The Amazing Zig Zag Concert was a rock concert held at The Roundhouse on 28 April 1974 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Zig Zag Magazine. Described as "one of the gigs of the decade",[1] the concert "has taken on legendary proportions over the years"[2] and featured Michael Nesmith with Red Rhodes, John Stewart, Help Yourself, Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers and Starry Eyed and Laughing. The concert was recorded, but was not issued until 2010, when it was released as a 5-CD box set.


The Concert was underwritten by Tony Stratton-Smith, founder of Charisma Records, who had just taken over Zig Zag Magazine from its founder Pete Frame,[1] although Frame remained as a writer. The selected acts were favourites of Frame and the other ZigZag journalists; John Tobler, Andy Childs and Connor McKnight. Andrew Lauder arranged and paid for Vic Maile to record the concert. In addition to the 5 acts featured on the CD, Bristol folksinger Aj Webber, also played,[3] but was not recorded. Originally Chris Darrow and Kilburn and the High Roads were also billed to appear, but Darrow was abroad, and the Kilburns pulled out due to the time available.[4]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Record Collector5/5 stars[5]

In Ptolemaic Terrascope, Phil McMullen described the recordings as "a vitally important document in the overall scheme of things" and "unashamedly" admitted that the Terrastock festivals "were directly influenced and inspired by the now legendary Zig Zag Benefit Concert" and concluded "It doesn’t get any better than this”. [6]

In Record Collector, Kris Needs said the 5CDs "capture rapturously-received sets" "The sound is immaculate, that amazing atmosphere dripping from every whoop, holler and pin-dropped hush" and gave it a 5 star rating

CD box set[edit]

The tapes remained unreleased until 2010 when Tony Poole (formerly of Starry Eyed and Laughing) edited and remastered them, and they were released on Tobler's label Road Goes on Forever Records. This was released on 11 October 2010 and contained 5 CDs and an information booklet.

CD1 - Starry Eyed and Laughing[edit]

This is the earliest released recording of Starry Eyed and Laughing, featuring their original drummer, Nick Brown, who left very shortly afterwards. Eight of these songs appeared on their eponymous debut album released in October 1974 with new drummer Mike Wackford.[3] ZigZag's Pete Frame was later to become their manager.

Track listing Excluding song introductions, which the CD lists as separate tracks
  1. "Going Down" (McGeeney)
  2. "Nobody Home" (Poole)
  3. "Never Say Too Late" (Whitmore)
  4. "Down the Street" (McGeeney)
  5. "Money is no Friend of Mine" (Poole)
  6. "Everybody" (McGeeney)
  7. "Oh What" (Poole)
  8. "Chimes of Freedom" (Dylan)
  9. "50/50 (Better Stop Now)" (Whitmore)
  10. "Living in London" (McGeeney/Poole)
  • Tony Poole - Guitar, Vocals
  • Ross McGeeney - Guitar, Vocals
  • Iain Whitmore - Bass, Vocals
  • Nick Brown - Drums, Vocals

CD2 - Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers[edit]

Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers were well known on the London pub-rock circuit, but it is felt that they never captured "the magical ambiance of their best live shows on record".[4] This, their only official live recording, was made shortly before they recorded Bongos Over Balham. Having met the band at this concert, Michael Nesmith produced five tracks at the Bongos recording session, although only two tracks appeared on the final album.[4]

Track listing Excluding song introductions, which the CD lists as separate tracks
  1. "I'll Be Home" (Philip Charles Lithman)
  2. "The Streets of Baltimore" (Tompall Glaser, Harlan Howard)
  3. "Papa and Mama Had Love" (Doug Kershaw)
  4. "Midnight Bus" (Jesse Winchester)
  5. "Older Guys" (Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman, Bernie Leadon)
  6. "Desert Island Woman" (Philip Charles Lithman)
  7. "Friday Song" (Philip Charles Lithman)
  8. "Goodbye Nashville, Hello Camden Town" (Philip Charles Lithman)
  9. "Walkin' Blues" (Robert Johnson)
  10. "Just Like the Devil" (Traditional; arranged by Martin Stone)
  11. "Boppin' the Blues" (Carl Perkins, Howard "Curly" Griffin)
  12. "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" (Vaughn Horton, Denver Darling, Milt Gabler)
  13. "Fire on the Mountain" (Traditional; arranged by Chilli Willi)
  14. "Drunken Sunken Redneck Blues"(Philip Charles Lithman)
  15. "Six Days on the Road" (Earl Green, Carl Montgomery)

CD3 - John Stewart[edit]

John Stewart and his bass player Arnie Moore flew in from the US for the concert, and borrowed Chilli Willi's drummer Pete Thomas. Stewart had recorded The Phoenix Concerts the previous month, although this had yet to be released. Many songs appear on both albums, but with a stripped down sound on this album, as The Phoenix Concerts had a larger band.

Track listing Excluding song introductions, which the CD lists as separate tracks

All tracks written by John Stewart

  1. "Wheatfield Lady"
  2. "Daydream Believer"
  3. "You Can't Look Back"
  4. "California Bloodlines"
  5. "Armstrong"
  6. "Road Away"
  7. "Last Campaign Trilogy"
  8. "July You're a Woman"
  9. "Runaway Fool of Love"
  10. "Lady and the Outlaw"
  11. "Cops"
  12. "Mother Country"
  13. "Never Goin' Back (to Nashville Anymore)"
  14. "Let The Big Horse Run"
  • John Stewart - Guitar
  • Arnie Moore - Bass
  • Pete Thomas - Drums

CD4 - Help Yourself[edit]

Help Yourself had disbanded in August 1973 and reformed just for this concert; Morley, Whaley and Leonard flying in from Switzerland where Man, who they were all then with, were on tour. Whaley, their original bass player, started off the set, with Burton, who replaced him, playing the later numbers, along with Leonard, who had briefly been a member in 1972.[4]

Track listing Excluding song introductions, which the CD lists as separate tracks
  1. "Running Down Deep" (Morley)
  2. "Reaffirmation" (Burton/Treece/Morley)
  3. "American Mother" (Tyla/Morley)
  4. "Blown Away" (Morley)

CD5 - Michael Nesmith with Red Rhodes[edit]

Michael Nesmith brought his pedal steel guitarist Red Rhodes with him and quickly established a rapport with the crowd and played "the storytelling troubadour" with thoughts, asides and introductions.[2] To tempt Nesmith to come to Britain to perform at the concert, Stratton Smith also asked him to produce Bert Jansch's album L.A. Turnaround, on which Nesmith and Rhodes also play.[4]

Track listing Excluding song introductions, which the CD lists as separate tracks

All tracks are credited to Michael Nesmith on the CD slipcase, although "Wax Minute" was actually written by Richard Stekol[3]

  1. "Joanne"
  2. "Some of Shelly's Blues"
  3. "Silver Moon"
  4. "Different Drum"
  5. "Propinquity"
  6. "Grand Ennui"
  7. "Wax Minute"
  8. "Tomorrow and Me"
  9. "Upside of Goodbye"
  10. "Roll with the Flow"
  11. "Marie's Theme"



  1. ^ a b Needs, Kris. "Review of The Amazing ZigZag Concert". Record Collector. Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  2. ^ a b Vaughan, Andrew. "Sunday Morning Coming Down: The Amazing Zigzag Concert". Retrieved 11 November 2010.
  3. ^ a b c Wood, Arthur (December 2010). "Dusty Relics, Reissues and Compilations". Maverick: 80.
  4. ^ a b c d e CD booklet notes by Pete Frame, Nigel Cross, Andy Childs, John Tobler, Tom Sheehan and Deke Leonard
  5. ^ Record Collector review
  6. ^ McMullen, Phil. "The Amazing ZigZag Concert". Terrascope online reviews - November 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.