It's a Beautiful Day

Fillmore Auditorium (San Francisco, CA)

May 24, 1968

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  1. 1 Wasted Union Blues 11:36
  2. 2 White Bird 06:41
  3. 3 Hot Summer Day 09:36
  4. 4 Countryside 05:18
  5. 5 Bombay Calling 09:12
More It's a Beautiful Day

David LaFlamme - violin, vocals
Linda LaFlamme - keyboards
Patti Santos - vocals, percussion
Mitchell Holman - bass
Val Fuentes - drums

This run of It's A Beautiful Day shows is somewhat of a holy grail for fans of the band, as it captures them several months before they recorded their highly revered debut album and featuring the original lineup before they added guitarist, Hal Wagenet. On the impressive Fillmore bill that night, Its A Beautiful Day followed avant-garde jazz pianist Cecil Taylor and opened for The Yardbirds featuring Jimmy Page.

The band had already created a distinctive sound, quite unlike other bands of that era. David LaFlamme and Patti Santos' vocal blend and the group's orchestral approach to arrangements, including using the violin as a primary lead instrument, gained them a large following among people looking for something outside the scope of jam bands in the Bay Area.

This second night opens with a full bore attack on "Wasted Union Blues," one of their heaviest numbers. Perhaps, after hearing Jimmy Page and The Yardbirds the previous night, they decided to increase the "hard rock" quotient a bit on this second night. The ethereal "White Bird" follows and like the previous night, this is an early embryonic arrangement much less developed than the version so familiar to many.

"Hot Summer Day" is another fantastic early version, again featuring a slightly different arrangement. We also get another take of "Countryside (aka "Take That Ride By My Side,"), an unreleased pre-first LP song that seems to have been dropped from their live performances shortly thereafter. They end the set with a radically different early arrangement of "Bombay Calling," one of the most adventurous numbers on their first album. Again, it is fascinating to hear the group experimenting on these classic first album songs months before they were recorded.