ELTON JOHN - SEATTLE 1974 [JEMS]

January 6, 2022 – 5:55 am

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ELTON JOHN
Seattle 1974 [JEMS Full Track Mono Masters, 2CD]

Live at the Seattle Center Coliseum, Seattle, WA; October 12, 1974. Very good audience recording.

Thanks to JEMS, Stan, BK and mjk5510 for sharing the show at Dime.

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If you follow JEMS releases, you know we lost our founding partner Stan Gutoski early last year. Stan was to Seattle what Mike Millard was to Los Angeles - the guy who taped every important show.

Stan started recording a year before Mike did and both made a key decision to buy what they believed to be the best tape recorder available to do the job right. For Mike, that was the Nakamichi 550 in 1975. For Stan in 1972, it was a Tandberg Model 11 portable, full-track mono reel to reel. Both decks were capable of high quality recording, especially for the era, and were a step above the decks that were being used by many early tapers.

If you don’t know about the Tandberg, it was a remarkable piece of gear in its day, not only capable of recording at 3-3/4 and 7-1/2 IPS, but in full-track mono. I won’t do the math, but compared to a cassette, the surface area of tape capturing the music is orders of magnitude higher, which is why so many of Stan’s Tandberg masters from the likes of David Bowie, Elton John, Led Zeppelin and Bruce Springsteen are considered by some audience-recording classics. The Tandberg required 10(!) D-cel batteries to operate, is roughly the size of a compact typewriter and weighs around ten pounds. Imagine sneaking that into a show and your respect for what Stan accomplished only grows.

Stan’s original Tandberg deck is still functioning, but after years of making transfers from it, I noticed that our Model 11 introduced a lot of noise in playback. Not surprising considering the age of the unit (closing in on 50 years old), but an issue just the same.

In recent years, I used software to help address the noise Tandberg playback introduced, but I wanted a better solution. The obvious answer would be to transfer the tapes on a different reel to reel deck. But because the Tandberg recorded in relatively uncommon full-track mono, transfers done on any standard deck, be it 1/4 or 1/2-track, would not capture the full fidelity of the master tapes.

As luck would have it, I was taking another reel to reel deck in for repair at the one place in Southern California that still specializes in them and has for decades, Adrian Proaudio Services in Canoga Park. I was talking to Adrian about the Tandberg issue and my primary reel to reel, which is an Otari MX-5050. He said, “Why don’t you get a full-track mono head stack for the Otari?” Before I even had a moment to ponder why I had never thought of that, Adrian pulled out a brand-new, dead-stock, full-track mono head unit which I could plug and play into my Otari. Needless to say I bought it on the spot.

The Otari full-track mono playback was a revelation. The noisiness I had come to expect from any Tandberg playback was gone. The fidelity was everything I had always hoped we could extract from Stan’s master recordings.

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In the last couple of years, we’ve revisited some of Stan’s greatest Seattle recordings by making new transfers from the master reels, shows like Led Zeppelin ‘73, George Harrison ‘74 and Pink Floyd ‘75. In the process, I did an audit of all Tandberg master reels released by JEMS on DIME and compared that to the tapes sitting on the shelf just above me as I type this, an exercise I had inexplicably never undertaken.

You can probably guess where this is going (because I seem to revisit this narrative thread often): turns out there are at least two dozen Tandberg masters that don’t appear to have been torrented or posted. Several of these may not have circulated in any form, even in the analog trading era. I suspect some haven’t been played since the day after the show - if at all.

Stan would have been the first to admit he devoted 95% of his energy to capturing these shows and only 5% to listening to them. His legacy of over 100 Tandberg recordings made between 1972-1979 is a truly remarkable archive that, delightfully, has not been fully tapped.

Which brings us to this special show pulled from the aforementioned shelf: Elton John, performing the first of two nights in Seattle on the Caribou tour, October 12, 1974. To the best of our knowledge this show has never been posted to DIME in any form and doesn’t appear to be in wide circulation dating back to the analog days.

Why these reels weren’t transferred when our other Tandberg Elton tapes were done is unclear, though I suspect these four reels (Stan also taped the second night on October 13) may have been separated from the rest of the Tandberg masters for decades and only reunited when we relocated and reorganized the complete JEMS Archive when it moved south a few years ago.

Best of all, this isn’t just a new 1974 Elton recording, it is a very good one, right up there with Stan’s best Tandberg tapes, offering full, up-close sound, no hiss and perfectly balanced audience, likely the result of Stan’s practice of using a 25-foot cord to place his microphone on the edge of the seating scaffolding closest to the PA. That meant direct PA sound and no close audience noise. You’l even hear Stan’s voice at the start of the show when he says, “Are you listening, Alan?”

The Seattle audience could not be more revved up for Elton’s performance and he delivers a long, excellent set with terrific renditions of “Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding,” “Rocket Man,” “Take Me Toe The Pilot,” “You’re So Static” and “All The Girls Love Alice.” Any fan of Elton John circa 1974 should enjoy this.

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Stan was one of the kindest and humblest people I ever met. He took me on as an apprentice in the mid-’80s and taught me everything I know about taping. He also gave me access to his archive, and the act of doing so was in effect the beginning of JEMS, as we began to treat our collective recordings as a single entity.

This tribute video captures the sweetness of Stan and provides a glimpse of the great man I was fortunate enough to call my friend for 35 years. If you love this hobby and have ten minutes to spare, I’d strongly encourage you to watch it.

Stan video: https://vimeo.com/503750464/493aa4f757

Thanks this week to Professor Goody for providing pitch guidance and to mjk5510 who helped out with research and post-production.

BK

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Lineage:
Sony ECM-22P Microphone > Tandberg Model 11 Portable Reel to Reel
JEMS 2021 Transfer: Mono Master reels > Otari MX-5050 w/full track mono head stack > Sound Devices USBPre 2 capture (24/96) > iZotope RX and Ozone > xACT > FLAC

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (320 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Please Do Not Hammer The Links. Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. The tracks should still be around. Please try again later.

Kindly email us if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files. Also email us if you have any rarities you’d like to share with our readers.

Disc 1
Track 101. Funeral For A Friend/Love Lies Bleeding 13:40
Track 102. Candle In The Wind 4:22
Track 103. Grimsby 4:13
Track 104. Rocket Man 5:29
Track 105. Take Me To The Pilot 7:16
Track 106. Bennie And The Jets 6:34
Track 107. Daniel 4:22
Track 108. Grey Seal 6:01
Track 109. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 3:59
Track 110. Burn Down The Mission 16:14
73 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. You’re So Static 5:10
Track 202. Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds 5:56
Track 203. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me 7:07
Track 204. Honky Cat 7:03
Track 205. All The Girls Love Alice 10:12
Track 206. Saturday Night’s All Right For Fighting 9:55
Track 207. Crocodile Rock 4:57
Track 208. The Bitch Is Back 6:27
Track 209. Your Song 4:48
62 mins

Lineup:
Elton John - vocals, piano
Dee Murray - bass
Davey Johnstone - guitar, mandolin, banjo
Nigel Olsson - drums

Muscle Schoals Horns
Harvey Thompson - saxophone
Ronnie Eades - baritone saxophone
Harrison Calloway - trumpet
Charlie Rose - trombone

Click here to order Elton John releases.

  1. 36 Responses to “ELTON JOHN - SEATTLE 1974 [JEMS]”

  2. Historic recording from the man’s imperial phase. He had six albums hit #1 from 1973-75, including two which debuted at #1 when that was much harder to do than today. Then three more records which hit #1 without being on an album, and two other #1 hits he played prominently on by John Lennon and Neil Sedaka! That feat will never be repeated by Taylor Swift or any of today’s plastic pop stars. And Elton is STILL charting records today, although they echo much of his previous work. One of rock’s five greatest live performers.

    By Tony Pizza on Jan 6, 2022

  3. Rumor has it Elton gots a Lil Un

    By U L E on Jan 6, 2022

  4. Elton had all those hit singles and albums , then he came out of the closet in that 76 interview as gay . Presto , end of Elton mania . His career was never the same . People know being a Homo is wrong and a sin . I never listened to him after that . Bad career move . He should have kept that shit private.

    By Nelson on Jan 6, 2022

  5. Agree wit ya Nelson . I used to dig Elton John . Finding out he was a Dic suckin queer faggot was a hard pill to swallow. To me it was worse than when I found out Bob Dylan was a Jew bastard named Zimmerman. Both was pretty bad , being a Dic suckin fag is worse cause it’s a choice .ya can’t help bein born a Jew bastard

    By Derrick on Jan 6, 2022

  6. Think Elton John is now married to some dude . Can you believe that fuckin shit ? Married to some hairy ass man . Makes me want to fuckin throw up

    By Derrick on Jan 6, 2022

  7. Used to like Queen too , till I found out Freddie was a fag , couldn’t listen to them anymore either when I found out

    By Derrick on Jan 6, 2022

  8. Derrick, many fags on this site . They probably will be bigger fans now that they know these perverts are gay . When I was a kid you knew you had to keep shit like that private, or get the shit beat out of you . Anything goes today . This world Is fucked up.

    By Nelson on Jan 6, 2022

  9. You have biological males who identify as female competing in girls sports and winning most of them . Can you believe that shit . Men competing in women’s sports ? That’s fucked up.

    By Nelson on Jan 6, 2022

  10. I wanna suck off those fags, Nelson! Do you have any email addresses or phone numbers for them? I need to get my ass pounded!

    By Derrick on Jan 6, 2022

  11. That’s why I comment at gay sites like this. Maybe bigo has a Liberace boot to share.

    By Derrick on Jan 6, 2022

  12. I don’t know who I wanna fuck anymore.

    By Nelson on Jan 6, 2022

  13. Nelson, That’s whom.

    By Derrick on Jan 6, 2022

  14. Poor Derrick, typing “wit” instead of “with” makes you sound even dumber.

    By Mark on Jan 6, 2022

  15. I do agree with Nelson that men should not be competing in women’s sports.

    By Mark on Jan 6, 2022

  16. Nelson , Derrick, Back in the old days you had gay fags , the difference is they kept their affliction private . They realized that it was a sickness, basically a mental illness . Many for example in Hollywood knew that Rock Hudson and Montgomery Clift were flaming Homo fags , even the press knew , but for the most part it was kept private. The media didn’t want the public to know these demented details of someone’s personal life , nor did they want to destroy someone’s career.

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  17. These days if you condemn these sick individuals, you’re considered the one with the problem. That’s how low we’ve sunk .

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  18. I heard fags used to go to shrinks in them days hhh. Maybe that would help today .

    By Nelson on Jan 6, 2022

  19. It’s the same shame ( only worse ) than jew scum felt back then . That’s why most jew entertainers, actors and other celebrities would change their names . Their management knew that it was career suicide to have a Jew name . Edward G Robinson’s real name was Emmanuel Goldenberg. Bob Dylan’s name is Bob Zimmerman.

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  20. John Garfields real name was Julius Garfinkel, now you can’t get more jew than that .

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  21. Can you imagine those if those homos like Rock Hudson and Monty Clift had come out of the closet in the fifties and sixties? It would have created an uproar. Careers over . Possible prison time . The way it should be today .

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  22. Just like black ape males screwing and marrying white mudshark sluts . Jail time for both , also the kkk would take care of them too. No morals in today’s society. Anything goes .

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  23. Jussie Smolette, would have been like Emut Til in the fifties

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  24. A black ape and a fag . The klan would have had fun with him

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  25. Nelson , they used to give fags shock therapy.

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  26. Also religious counseling. Get right with god .

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  27. Who’s John Garfields??

    By Jocko P on Jan 6, 2022

  28. Who’s Jussie Smolette ??

    By Jocko P on Jan 6, 2022

  29. “Insert penis here” is what it says on the arrow I taped to my chin that points to my mouth.

    By HHH on Jan 6, 2022

  30. Ladies and gentlemen I have just found this website.

    I don’t have any interest in music but I will fuck anything that moves.

    By Ivor Biggun on Jan 7, 2022

  31. Simply fascinating Ivor.

    By HHH on Jan 7, 2022

  32. Being gay is a sin . It’s against gods law .men were meant to be with women . Two men can’t reproduce, same with two women . I agree it’s a mental illness.

    By Molly L on Jan 7, 2022

  33. Perhaps therapy would help Sir Elton . Please pray for him to overcome his affliction.

    By Molly L on Jan 7, 2022

  34. At 75 it’s a little late to stop his affliction. I guess Elton will rot in hell.

    By T J on Jan 7, 2022

  35. Elton is a Jew by the way . His real name is Reginald Dwightenwitz

    By T J on Jan 7, 2022

  36. Never knew Elton was Jewish , don’t approve of being gay , but I can still enjoy his music.

    By Kevin on Jan 9, 2022

  37. Twernt me above . I only said that I would suck his penis

    By U L E on Jan 9, 2022

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