May 24, 2009 – 2:11 pm

The original bootleg was called Wild Strings. It’s never been officially released.

Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

Cleveland 1972 [Emperor Nobody/Prof Goody, 1CD]

Live at Music Hall , Cleveland, OH, April 21,1972. This version is the emperor nobody remaster with Prof Goody’s speed correction. Ex SBD stereo.

“According to John McLaughlin, Columbia refused a live release of this show. John McLaughlin himself feels that this show in Cleveland is one of the best that The Mahavishnu Orchestra has ever done. As irony would have it, Columbia asked their engineer and Gregg Bendian to assist with the release of this live CD. A mix was made and sent for approval to John McLaughlin. No word from Columbia since.”

We’ve wanted to share this show since it first appeared as a Japanese bootleg Wild Strings on the Fire Power label back in 1999. But because of news that Columbia was going to release it, we decided to let readers buy an official release. 10 years have passed and the official release is still not out. Most good music sites have decided to share this excellent recording. But the best version of this show only surfaced last year when fan “emperor nobody” with the assistance of “Prof Goody” released their remastered version.
- The Little Chicken

nobody’s notes on the remaster

“This… circulates (as far as I know) from two sources, the silver CD bootleg “Wild Strings” (sourced from what sounds like a slightly generated cassette tape) and what sounds like a first-generation DAT from the soundboard master of the mix. This second, cleaner source unfortunately suffers from a horrifying digital clipping that comes in towards the end of “The Dance of Maya” and continues through to the end of the set, making the second half of this (absolutely face-frying) performance essentially unlistenable.

I grabbed this second version from another tracker and set about the arduous process of making the nasty and unfortunate clipping issues go away, and I was fairly successful if I do say so myself. It wasn’t really all that hard, given that the bulk of the disastrous noise was in the kick-drum sound, making it easier to isolate and eliminate all the deleterious, nails-on-a-blackboard-in-Hell distorto-crunch. I should also mention that although this commonly circulates as being from the Emerson Gymnasium on the campus of Case Western University, it is indeed from the Music Hall as TMO didn’t play Case Western until February of 1973 (and with a more “Birds of Fire”-oriented setlist).

As for the performance, I don’t know what to say other than Columbia are, once again, idiots.

According to what I’ve read, the hang-up with the official release of this came in 2004, when the suits at the label offered the five band members 1972 scale wages (!!!) for their services… what amounted to US$250 apiece. So I guess the band politely refused and the thing got shelved forever, another lost diamond left to languish in the greedy vaults of shame because some asshats, deaf to anything but the illusion of profit, can’t even show a shred of respect for what a whole lot of people think is THE BEST CONCERT RECORDING ever made of what yet more feel is THE BEST BAND EVER.

I took the time to fix this up and make it sound the best I could because we’ll likely never get to hear this on the official release for which it begs, but on balance I think this version sounds pretty damn spiffy so have at it and see what you think… at least we’ll get it circulating without mountains of hiss and ear-splitting clipping anyway.

Once again the situation makes but two demands, and those are simply that you groove like you mean it and that you share like you’ll die if you don’t.”

e. nobody
oakland, ca

Additional goody notes

Pitch of Tracks 1-3 was approximately 39 cents flat.
Pitch of Tracks 4 & 5 were approximately 57 cents flat.

Thanks, emperor nobody. Great work in getting this to the state in which I found it!  I can’t improve upon your text. I can only add another audio upgrade to this historic, hot set from the real ‘back in the day’. It’s always a great honor to do my part, in some small capacity, to help restore the legacy of a band or artist I’ve greatly been influenced and inspired by.

Prof Goody

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

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. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Track 01. Introduction (305k)
Track 02. Meeting of the Spirits (16.9MB)
Click here if you reside in the United States
Click here if you reside outside the United States
Track 03. You Know You Know (16.7MB)
Click here if you reside in the United States
Click here if you reside outside the United States
Track 04. The Dance of Maya (20.0MB - visit the html page to download the track)
Track 05. The Noonward Race (30.0MB - visit the html page to download the track)

John McLaughlin - guitar
Jan Hammer - keyboards
Jerry Goodman - violin
Rick Laird - bass
Billy Cobham - drums

One year after this show, The Mahavishnu Orchestra released Between Nothingness And Eternity. This was a live album with the same lineup as the Cleveland show. For the official release, the show was recorded live at the Schaefer Music Festival, held in Central Park, New York on Aug 17 and 18, 1973. This is completely different from the 1972 show. Not a single track is the same. You can buy it here.

  1. 12 Responses to “THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY”

  2. thanks! i have this show already, but my copy skips. it’s bugged me since i found 10.30.08. i’m sure this copy will be better. i’ll keep both. i have the drive space.


    By Ed Saad on May 24, 2009

  3. I have “Wild Strings” and I love it.
    Looking forward to hearing the remaster.


    By ruby on May 24, 2009

  4. BRILLIANT !!!

    By Myche on May 25, 2009

  5. Superb!

    By Rochacrimson on May 25, 2009

  6. WOW! This once again shows why the record companies are doomed. Also check Wolfgang’s Vault for downloadable shows approved by the band. Thanks, as always, to BigO, the best on the net!

    By Johnny Kinkdom on May 25, 2009

  7. WOW! Thanks a BRAZILLIAN! (That’s WAY MORE than a Billion!)
    I have the Wild Strings CD, and for anyone listening, The Dance of Maya is one of the best live M.O. tracks anywhere EVER! Johnny Kinkdom is right…Wolfgang’s Vault has a lot of material from the original M.O., some of it downloadable (at nominal cost), and all of it free to stream.
    Releases like this is why Bigozine RULES!

    By Walter on May 26, 2009

  8. Excellent show, good quality sound, good work.
    Any more Mahavishnu from the 1972/73 most welcome.

    By Tony on May 28, 2009

  9. many thanks for this one…no other band on the planet does it for me like the Vishnu!!
    im getting palpitations here , its that good like!

    By Veronica on Jun 5, 2009

  10. Just listened to the Meeting of the Spirits - absolutely fantastic - thank you sooo much for your work and for sharing it :DDDDDDD

    By anonymous on Apr 14, 2012

  11. Hey there. I just found this URL link via the MO Facebook page. You mention the ability to download the tracks. All I’m able to do is click on them in the links above to stream them. Something I’m missing here? Please advise because I would love to download this gem… great job BTW… peace from a longtime MO maven….

    By HenryB on Jun 18, 2012

  12. Hi HenryB, ‘right click’, then ’save link as’. Enjoy the site. If they don’t download email bigo they respond ASAP.

    By George W Bushell on Jun 18, 2012

  13. Can anyone tell me where I could buy a CD of this lost gem? I am a completist with Mahavishnu.

    [email protected]

    By Douglas Groothuis on Sep 3, 2016

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