August 13, 2011 – 4:47 am

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

Boston 1972 [no label, 1CD]

Live at the Music Hall, Boston, MA; September 28, 1972. Good to very good WBCN-FM broadcast.

Prog rock or psychechedelic rock are convenient labels to pigeonhole the Family, an English band that lasted between 1966 and 1973, but a revolving lineup meant the group had a more diversed sound than the labels indicated. Ian Anderson considered them an influence on Jethro Tull and Peter Gabriel’s vocals do sound similar to Roger Chapman’s.

According to, for this gig, the group had just released their sixth studio album, Bandstand, and were in the United States supporting Elton John.

When the group played the Hollywood Music Festival held in the UK in 1970, the NME wrote: “Family went on stage to a fantastic ovation that had even the hardened journalists climbing over scaffolding to see what was going on. It’s about time this fine group got the recognition they so rightly deserve and Hollywood could be just what they needed. Family’s Roger Chapman really does freak out on stage, waving his sweater round and round his head, rolling and rocking about the stage, knocking the mike stand for six and shaking his bands about in such the manner of Joe Cocker. Strangely, none of this detracts from the music and if anything, makes it all the more exciting and original… A first rate performance.”

Billboard reported in December 1972: “With anything less than such an overwhelming headliner, Family could have walked off with the show. Vocalist Roger Chapman is [a] spellbindingly bizarre combination of Richard Harris and Joe Cocker, with his spaced-out robot-like marching antics. The UA English group gets a riveting sound with the synthesizer-distorted vibraphone of Poli Palmer. They will be welcome return visitors to the U.S. as their word-of-mouth reputation spreads.”

Fans of the group will bemoan the fact that Family were hugely underrated. Newcomers to the group might want to check out Weavers Answer for a full-bodied workout before passing judgment.

Thanks to bluebomber who shared the tracks on Dime. bluebomber added: “All thnx to Hezekiahx2.” Thanks also to ArsNova for the artwork.

Off Air Reel -> Reel (Revox B77) -> CD (Tascam Prof CD Recorder) Eac -> Wav -> CD Wav Editor -> Flac

Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (sample rate 224 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. WBCN Announcement and Band Tuneup (3.7MB)
Track 02. Between Blue And Me (10.0MB)
Track 03. Burlesque (9.1MB)
Track 04. My Friend The Sun (7.8MB)
Track 05. Holding The Compass (6.9MB)
Track 06. Top Of The Hill (15.4MB)
Track 07. Weavers Answer (17.6MB)

Probable lineup:
Roger Chapman - vocals
Charley Whitney - guitar
Jim Cregan - bass
Rob Townsend - drums
Tony Ashton - keyboards?

Click on the link to order Family releases.

  1. 25 Responses to “FAMILY - BOSTON 1972”

  2. Hallo Bigo, thanks for Family. You are the best!

    By paco on Aug 13, 2011

  3. It worked!!!!!!! Thanks. Free will always be my favorite band but Family isn’t far behind. Thanks!!! Phil

    By Phil Winans on Aug 13, 2011

  4. I cannot thank you enough for this, BigO. Family have a limited number of official releases and ROIO are rare.

    You have made my weekend with this one. Thanks.

    By Teabag on Aug 13, 2011

  5. I was very excited when the Elton John/Family was annouced to play in Rochester, NY on that tour. I don’t recall the date but it couldn’t haver been too much later than this one. I was psyched, being a huge fan of the band, a raity in Rochester. So we’re there at the concert and the DJ/MC comes out and announces that Family will not be playing and that another act, David Bromberg will open. I was devastated. I liked Bromberg (on his first national tour between his first two Columbia LPs, but he was a bad booking for the Elton crowd and of course, just a disappointing replacement for Faily, PLus he was plpaying SOLO with an acoustic before a hostile crowd out to see Elton’s first performance in our town.

    So this is the first time I’ve been able to hear what I missed. I’m still sad I never saw the band outside of their appearance in that 70s movie about this time or when ‘Anyway’ came out. Thanks for giving me a piece of my history back.

    By Duncanmusic on Aug 15, 2011

  6. it’s Poli Palmer on keys and vibes and tapes.

    By guy stevens on Aug 15, 2011

  7. Tears of joy in my eyes: Thank you guys for the Family show! Jippeeee!!!!!

    By tony lauber on Aug 15, 2011

  8. Thanks so much for this great live set from one of the truly underrated prog bands.

    By Mike on Aug 17, 2011

  9. I was at this show and I remember Roger being quite intoxicated during their set.

    By Joe on Aug 19, 2011

  10. Great record!
    Very hard to find Family bootlegs!
    Love this band!!!!!!
    Many thanks and please more Family’s concerts!!!!

    By Rochacrimson on Aug 19, 2011

  11. great, seen the band many times never seen a bootleg before ,,thanks

    By nogbert on Aug 21, 2011

  12. Thanks very much. So little live Family out there… Does anybody know of other recordings (apart from the released ones of course..)?


    By Tidge on Aug 22, 2011

  13. A great recording of the Family.
    Did you kinow that Roger Chapman, the vocalist, had a great carreer
    with the Streetwalkers and as Chappo / Roger Chapman and the Shortlist?

    He is still bringing down the house, mainly performing in Germany and England.
    New tour in December 2011.

    His website:


    By pjhu on Aug 22, 2011

  14. Whoa BigO, teach me to go on holiday and miss “everyone’s second-favourite band” from 1969-70 posting. They are still great 40 years on. I have 2 DVDs of them live and ROIOs from John Peel (BBC) and the UK tour 1971 although says that these may possibly be available commercially I’ve never come across them. Chappo on his own and with Streetwalkers is great, but he’s not Family. Thank you so very much for this, I thought I’d never see a North American performance recording having heard a story (unverified) that Chappo told Bill Graham to f-off and that they’d never got a booking since on this side of the pond. Guess I heard wrong though, rumours spread like wildfire. Can’t wait to hear this!

    By HytekFred on Aug 30, 2011

  15. I am a Family fan from the day.

    Sorry, but I would have to label this a fair to mediocre recording, especially noting the technical problems.

    Better than nothing, of course.

    By Cyber Bully on Mar 12, 2012

  16. Okay, I refreshed and everything but tracks 6 and 7 ‘couldn’t be downloaded’ at the moment and are linking as ‘404 not found’. Thanks

    By carsmile2 on Mar 14, 2015

    0 bytes of ? - The requested URL was not found on this server.

    Probably just folks like me hammering the links. Thank you for all that you do Big O Amigos.


    By James on Mar 14, 2015

  18. Hello carsmile2, James

    Kindly refresh the page and try again.

    By bigozine2 on Mar 14, 2015

  19. Bigozine2: thanks for the fix and the concert

    By carsmile2 on Mar 14, 2015

  20. Thank you very much Big O Amigos. James

    By James on Mar 14, 2015

  21. I think the line-up is wrong. Tony Ashton came in later. Poly Palmer is on kbds, but Jim Cregan is the likely bass player.

    By kalle on Mar 16, 2015

  22. Agree with Kalle - this is the short-lived Palmer/Cregan line-up.

    By Meng on Sep 26, 2015

  23. I was at this one, also. Boston is only 40 minutes from where I live, & I used to go in 2 or 3 times a week, to see bands. It helped, a lot, when I moved there for about 5 yrs. The prices were low, so, you could afford to go out a lot. These guys were great, on stage. Too bad they didn’t go further. Thanks BigO. jimg

    By jimg on Apr 3, 2016

  24. Jim Cregan joined the band in July 1972 and Poli Palmer left in November of the same year. So for this concert in September 72 the line-up was Chapman, Whitney, Townsend, Palmer and Cregan.

    By mrbelette on Dec 2, 2016

  25. losarchivos del 1 al 4 no funcionan. un concierto raro se podrian arreglar los links

    By ramon ruiz on Apr 11, 2018

  26. se lo agradeceria

    By ramon ruiz on Apr 11, 2018

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