Blind Faith: Flashback Summer 1969

I would run into the house because Mandy (a girl I went to elementary school with) would try and kiss me yet again. Not my idea of fun when I was nine years old… My brother still teases me about that to this day… ~ tbb

My brother has only recently become aware of TheBluesBlogger site… Eight years older than me, he is a major source of inspiration for many of the posts you read here. I’m not sure how much of my blog he actually reads, but I know he’s checking this post out.

Whenever I think back to my childhood and the room my brother and I shared, what I remember most is his guitar playing. It was a sound I had always known… When I was born my folks placed my cradle in his room. I’m sure it was a real joy to have a newborn as a roommate… He would practice every night. I don’t think he ever slept much.

The years passed, and by the time I was five, music and guitar scales were embedded into my mind. By the time I was nine, I was actually able to appreciate my brother’s new found treasure back then; his Blind Faith album.

Blind Faith

was an English blues-rock band that consisted of Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and Ric Grech. The band’s only album came in August 1969… The history of the group begins with the break-up of Clapton’s and Winwood’s bands Cream and Traffic… Steve Winwood started to jam with his friend Clapton in the basement of his house in Surrey, England. Satisfied with the sessions, they made the decision to recruit Cream drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Ric Grech. The album Blind Faith was recorded during the Spring of 1969 at Olympic Studios with producer Jimmy Miller.

The band did a short tour of Scandinavia; rehearsing at smaller gigs to prepare for bigger audiences in The United States and U.K… Blind Faith made their U.S. debut in front of 20,000 fans at Madison Square Garden… The main problem with the tour was the band had barely enough material to fill an hour. In order to complete a show, they relied on old Cream and Traffic songs. Naturally, these were a real crowd favorite. Clapton on the other hand, was exactly where he didn’t want to be. “Stuck in yet another so called supergroup.”

Clapton’s focus would change… Liking the soulful blues sounds of one of Blind Faith’s opening bands Delaney & Bonnie; he spent more time with them than his own band. Eventually Clapton would take more of a background role with Blind Faith, allowing Winwood to generate a more prominent role.

Blind Faith would take a #1 position on Billboard’s charts for Pop Album in both the U.S. and the UK. Despite, selling more than half a million copies within the first month of their album’s release, they would disband a year later.

Controversy

regarding Bob Seidemann’s cover art, featuring a topless pubescent girl holding a silver spaceship in her hands, were perceived as phallic. In the United States, the record company issued a different cover showing a photograph of the band… The original cover was nameless.

Clapton would take several members from Delaney & Bonnie and formed Derek and the Dominos. Ginger Baker started the Ginger Baker’s Air Force with both Grech and Winwood. But after a few shows, Winwood left with Grech to reform Traffic.

Clapton and Winwood would eventually reunite in the summer of 2007 for a performance at the Crossroads 2 concert in Chicago. They would play a number of Blind Faith songs as part of their set. And set off rumors of a possible Blind Faith reunion gig.

Toward The Fall of 1969

my brother starting making plans for his move out east. And the notion was a hard one for a nine year old to swallow. I remember listening along with him to Blind Faith’s album. Our age differences at the time had us absorbed in different things… He would concentrate on his guitar playing career. And I was caught in my youthful concerns of what tomorrow would bring. In a room were I would soon be living solo; facing not only the music, but the pressures of a tough family circumstance… It would take 10 years, but we would once again become roommates in NYC. Where we shared a new scene and many experiences together towards the end of 1979.

The year 1969 was very significant. Not only to myself, but the world around us… “Give Peace a Chance” bed-in for peace, Woodstock, and of course Neil Armstrong’s moon landing set the stage for so many important events that summer… I’ve written prior articles highlighting the music from the year 1969… When I look back, I realize the impact of all the things around me.

Where were you the summer of 1969? Did you dig the music of Blind Faith? Any events or moments that caught your imagination you would like to comment on?.. Or perhaps through memories that your parents have shared? I will resist the temptation to list these. I have mentioned a few… What events come to mind for you?

TheBluesBlogger

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9 Responses to “Blind Faith: Flashback Summer 1969”

  1. Paul LaVigne February 10, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    Wow the summer of 69 I was fresh back from “Nam” and getting my leg’s back under me in real life. I found that when I got back from “Nam” I was listening to artis that my friends back home had not heard of ” Joe Cocker, Blood sweat &tears /”child is father to the man “LP, and Traffic Just to name a few.
    The music world was changing as fast as the date and I had time I needed to make up from spending a year in a war zone. The music was my life blood.
    Blind Faith was one of the music high’s of that year along with going to the Atlantic City Pop festival in Atlantic City N.J. in Aug. about 2weeks before Woodstock , same show with only about 70,000 people . Thanks for the memory!!!! BB

  2. Topher February 10, 2009 at 11:36 am #

    In the second youTube video:
    Is that Derek Trucks in the background?
    and why isn’t he soloing?

    nice post btw, gotta love blind faith.

  3. Duane February 10, 2009 at 12:17 pm #

    I should start my memories of 1969 with the planned home delivery of my first son (second child) in early spring. We were campers and gave serious consideration of going to Woodstock; however, as the date drew nearer, we decided against the trip. Upon hearing about the traffic jams and rainy weather, cognitive dissonance set in and we were thankful we did not put two young kids through the ordeal.

    I listened to Cerphe (pronounced SURF) on underground FM radio station WHFS in Bethesda, MD. (Years later some of the “underground” stations morphed into album rock stations.) Cerphe would bring his own albums to the station and play what he liked because the recently purchased station did not have a rock music library. However, he received an advanced/pre-release copy of Blind Faith and would regularly play all the tunes over a few nights. There was such pint-up demand for the Blind Faith album that I believe it was the first album to enter the Billboard charts at number 1 – it sold more than half a million copies within the first month of its release. Blind Faith was certainly a milestone in rock history and the remastered CD is worth the purchase to any collector.

    Underground FM – where else could you hear the 15 minute “Do What You Like” from Blind Faith or Iron Butterfly’s 17 minute “In-A-Godda-Da-Vida”? Gee, I miss the days when DJs were real personalities, selected, and played their own music. I remember arriving home late one cold night about 10 minutes into “In-A-Godda-Da-Vida” and waiting in the car what seemed like an eternity until Cerphe announced what he had played. To this day, I am rediscovering music from the late 60’s and early 70’s that I never knew the group or song title – one of the drawbacks of underground/album FM – infrequent playlist announcements.

    P.S. Regarding the 2007 Crossroads 2 “Can’t Find My Way Home” video – current blues fans may recognize Derek Trucks (aka Susan Tedeschi’s husband) playing in the background.

  4. Retrokimmer February 14, 2009 at 9:04 am #

    Hey BB Loved Blind Faith awesome post! Wow you are such a great writer. Do a book! Hey I just did a blog promoting Mark Farner and his life after Grand Funk.
    Hope you stop by http://farner9.com

    KIM

  5. The Blues Blogger February 14, 2009 at 9:34 am #

    Thanks everyone for all the comments you’ve made so far… I truly love writing, especially about the music that has inspired me. Your positive words are genuinely appreciated.

    Great News Everyone!!!

    Uncanny timing … Just announced a few days… Blind Faith’s Clapton and Winwood reunite. 14 dates planned for this summer. Can never be a full reunion as bassist Ric Grech passed away… Nonetheless, anyone going to check this out? Here’s the link for more info.

    http://tinyurl.com/df59vb

  6. Retrokimmer February 17, 2009 at 9:02 pm #

    Wasn’t it Delaney that got Clapton to actually sing his own songs? I grew up in Ann Arbor and Bonnie and Delaney, Bob Seger, MC5, the Frost, SRC and of course the Mighty Mitch Ryder were our recreation on the week ends at the Grande and Eastown. Thanks again for the post on Mark Farner!

  7. Robert February 24, 2009 at 3:10 am #

    Great site. I faved it so I’ll be back for sure!. I also rated you a 5 in Blog Catalog. Check mine out though it’s more on the didactic side, I’d appreciate a link exchange. I’ve linked you to mu blog.
    regards.

  8. Monty May July 18, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    Hey Music Lovers,

    I was 14 years young when Blind Faith hit the record stores. It was the first album I really got into “beyond the standard AM radio stuff” and it expanded my perception of what was and had been out there for quite a while: Traffic, Cream, Yes, Tull (and the like); what a showcase of great song writing, virtuosity, imagination, craft, and energy in a brew of eclecticism! The solos are more than flash, they are great compositions in and of themselves; but of course, that is always the case with great musicians, no? The sheer scope, interplay, sensitivity, raw power, and integrity of Blind Faith makes it one of the GREATEST MOMENTS in Rock History! I have listened to Faith more than any other record I’ve ever come across. It has been the compass of my musical career. And oh, by the way, should I mention: Winwood is my favorite musician, Baker my favorite drummer, and Clapton my favorite guitarist (add Grech on bass/violin too? on the same album?) WOW! No posh production here, no synth overlays, just real music by real musicians-like in the good old days man!

    Monty May

  9. Susan August 19, 2009 at 9:40 pm #

    Retrokimmer and I have the Grande Ballroom in common. If I remember correctly it was $.75 (that’s 75 cents not dollars) to get in. Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Canned Heat and Iggy and the Stooges. As I got older I took to the road — first heard Blind Faith in California…then Madison WI. That one album followed me every where I went.

    I do love how you write. Thanks for sending this.

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