This archive release features the complete John Cipollina/Nick Gravenites Rockpalast concert, taped at the Kleine Westfalenhalle in Dortmund on November 28th, 1980. Cipollina made American Rock history as a co-founder of Q... more »uicksilver Messenger Service. Gravenites took the Chicago Blues west with his band Electric Flag. He also produced the first album by Quicksilver Messenger Service. The openness of the Bay Area music scene was on a par with one of the Rockpalast credos: always get the musicians together on stage for a final jam session!« less
This archive release features the complete John Cipollina/Nick Gravenites Rockpalast concert, taped at the Kleine Westfalenhalle in Dortmund on November 28th, 1980. Cipollina made American Rock history as a co-founder of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Gravenites took the Chicago Blues west with his band Electric Flag. He also produced the first album by Quicksilver Messenger Service. The openness of the Bay Area music scene was on a par with one of the Rockpalast credos: always get the musicians together on stage for a final jam session!
Kenneth J. Russo | Point Richmond, Ca USA | 02/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Partner's in crime for many years, it would still seem to be a slightly out of kilter teaming of the "original jam band guitar hero with Nick the Greek Gravinites". It is not. A dream come true for Cipollina fans, [almost nothing available in the way of visual record] this also offers proof of Gravenites strength as a singer, and surprising evidence of his guitar skills, as well as a long, loving look at one of the most original,and sadly overlooked electric guitarists of his, or any time."
Scott Neeley | Northern California | 05/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"as a fan for over 40 years of John Cipollina this DVD is a jewel and a 'must have'"
Killer guitar player
William F. Stout | middletown, de United States | 07/08/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"excellent sound and video for it's AGE....if you like quicksilver messenger service;this is some of best video of john c. available!!!"
We Miss You John!!!
Stewart Hickey | Detroit | 08/28/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This DVD release is part of a "West Coast Legends" series of video concerts originally broadcast in Germany between 1976-86. This particular concert of the Gravenites-Cipollina band was recorded on November 28, 1980, and it features a lineup of Nick Gravenites (Electric Flag, Big Brother, Mike Bloomfield & Friends) on vocals and guitar, John Cipollina (Quicksilver Messenger Service) on lead guitar and vocals, Al Staehely (Spirit) on bass and vocals, and Marcus David (who bears a physical resemblance to original Quicksilver drummer Greg Elmore)on drums. Ironically, the band was widely regarded at the time--either affectionately or derisively--as a 60s dinosaur nostalgia act. Thirty years later, it's apparent that these guys were superb musicians who were playing their hearts out, and this stuff has weathered the years far better than most of the punk and new wave shenanigans of the period. Nick Gravenites shines as singer and songwriter, and his guitar playing is also underrated. The concert includes outstanding versions of "Southside", "Junkyard in Malibu", "My Party", and his signature tune, "Buried Alive in the Blues". The slithering, sinister blues psychedelia of "Bad Luck Baby" features an almost raga-like guitar intro. Staehely pitches in with some fine lead vocals on his own songs, including "Signs of Life", "Trust Me", and "Hot Rods and Cool Women". There is also a smokin' version of the Spencer Davis Group's "Keep on Running". A good portion of the concert is devoted to revisiting Quicksilver Messenger Service, either on songs associated with the band, or later material that recreates the classic sound of the band. "Unvicious Circle", a Cipollina instrumental, revisits the psychedelic Spanish flamenco guitar sound of "The Fool" and "Calvary". "Small Walk-In Box" (here erroneously titled "Small Walking Box"), a Gravenites instrumental, revisits the jazzy jamming of "Gold and Silver". There is a stellar version of "Pride of Man", and the frosting on the cake, a ten minuted reading of "Who Do You Love", for which Cipollina recreates his original guitar riffs, and even revisits the spacey "audience response" segement from the Happy Trails version of the song. There is a generous helping of the charismatic Cipollina, looking fabulous, and executing his dramatic stage moves. Also, there are some excellent closeup shots of his fingerpicking and tremolo bar techniques. On some numbers he pulls out his classic "bat wing" design Gibson SG from the Quicksilver days! The quality of the picture and sound are hampered by the technology of the period, but those shortcoming are more than compensated by the quality of the performance. A must have for fans!"
Just like I remember them
F. J. PRISCO | Seattle, WA USA | 05/26/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you never saw Thunder & Lightning (as they came to bill themselves), this is a first-class primer to an excellent pairing of talents & styles.
Plenty others have trumpeted their Cipollina appreciation here, so I'll just add that the whole band shines here, and that this is an A+ recording.
Nick Gravenites takes a while to warm up his voice here, but definitely shows his worth as guitarist -- easily overlooked next to John's rock-star stage presence & formidable technique, but a strong soloist in his own right.
We never heard from bassist Stahaely again, but he shows himself a fine singer and songwriter, and a strong bassist as well. Later he would be replaced by Doug Kilmer, and drummer Greg Elmore would take over the drums. Nick's songs would improve & increase -- and there'd be Doug Kilmer's pipe -- but the attitude was the same. The only defect in this recording is that I want more! :)"