Apr 072020

Recent mentions of magical finds of Bob Dylan and Beatles outtakes via vinyl’s bootleg golden age and legitimate releases of previously unreleased outtakes that became a staple in the all-but-dead CD age got me wondering what your Top 3 cutting-room floor classics might be.

As a kid, I never had enough money to justify the low ROI from buying bootlegs, so I got out of that game early. My close personal friend Townsman Andyr sunk more money into Beatles bootlegs than I was willing to sink, and whenever I’d check them out, I was amazed at how little worthwhile material they left on the cutting-room floor. Those cats were efficient!


  28 Responses to “Cutting-Room Floor Classics”

  1. saturnismine

    I think we all go through phases where we move past the released material and find our way to the the archeological phase. Somehow, though, no matter how enjoyable that process is, it takes quite a bit for those unearthed gems to stick.

    Some of my faves falling into this category don’t have any particular artistic merit, I suppose, but others might in the eyes of some:

    – I Don’t Even Know Myself (The Who): The b-side to “We Don’t Get Fooled Again”; but unknown to me until it appeared on Who’s Missing (1985): the detritus of the Who’s Lifehouse project produced a ton of top shelf material. Of all of it, this is my favorite track.

    My second favorite is…

    – When I was a Boy (The Who): another gem from Who’s Missing, this is Entwistle’s ultimate summation of life. “My how time rushes by…the minute you’re born, you start to die; time waits for no man and your life span…is over before it began.”

    Finally, a bit of fun from the Beatles:

    – If You’ve Got Trouble (the Beatles): I had a bootleg of this before it appeared on Anthology; this catches the Beatles shedding their skin; at the same time that it feels like a rocker that could have appeared on Meet the Beatles, it also contains this spacey, stoner single note drone from George, and groggy backing vocals from John. The lyrics are disdainful, which I like. But the big takeaway from this tune for me was how much more fun Ringo could be than I ever realized before hearing this track.

  2. “If You Got Trouble” had promise. I think we covered it a couple of times, not being able to deliver on that promise.

    As much as I love the album version of “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere,” there’s a mellow demo that was on a box set of Young outtakes and concerts from about 10 years ago. It’s a little sadder and more direct, and for that reason I give it a slight edge over the kick-ass version.

    I’ll see what other two recordings come to mind.

  3. saturnismine

    “if You’ve Got Trouble” is pretty tricky! It sounds so rote, but you’re right, Mod: try to hit that groove the way they did. It’s elusive.

  4. During my high school years, Harrisburg’s rock station aired an unreleased Who tracks show hosted by Bill Wyman. One of Wyman’s picks was “Daddy Rolling Stone.” I know I’ve gone on and on about this thing before, but it still slays me every time I hear it. How in the world that got left off the first U.S. long player is anybody’s guess. Love that LP. That said, the addition of “Daddy Rolling Stone” would have elevated it to a grail-like status.

  5. diskojoe

    I have a Kinks bootleg from the early ’80s called Kollectable Kinks, which was a 2 LP set. Almost everything in that album ended up on CD reissues except for a version of “Scrapheap City” that was bluesier than the one that ended up on Preservation Act 2.

    As for the Who, the stuff that ended up in the Who Sell Out Deluxe Edition are some of my favorite Who songs.

  6. That Who version of “Daddy Rolling Stone” could accompany me to a street fight any day of the week!

  7. Happiness Stan

    Dylan’s Please Come Crawl Out Your Window
    Floyd’s Scream Thy Last Scream
    Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers I’m Straight

    I’ve not come across those Who and Kinks ones, tempted to go and look for them, I’m classified as a key worker and am spending hours every day driving around, but not getting out of the car, so entertainment is more crucial than usual.

    Over here when I was a teenager, we’d stay up until midnight every school night with our fingers poised over the record buttons on our cassette players to tape the sessions bands had recorded for the John Peel show. Many have been released legitimately now, but in the seventies and eighties they’d be widely bootlegged as they were not only different versions but bands would often record otherwise unreleased tracks. There are many, many of these I wouldn’t want to be without, the two Joy Division sessions, the Slits, Magazine spring immediately to mind. Viv Stanshall’s Sir Henry at Rawlinson End was cobbled together from recordings he’d done for the programme. There was a band called the Ravishing Beauties who I saw supporting Teardrop Explodes who were just stunning musically, they were the band Virginia Astley were with before she did her own thing, they recorded a session which was phenomenal. I had a tape of it once, with the probability of free time ahead I think I’ll start organising those old tapes.

  8. Those were the days! I still play my cassette tape of the Wyman show. For years it was the only format I had to hear the Who’s versions of “Daddy Rolling Stone”, “The Last Time”, and “Under My Thumb”, another winner.

    And I love pulling out those comp tapes friends have made for me over the years. A lot of them really hold up!

  9. Stay healthy out there, Happiness! I trust you’re not looking at your phone while driving on the “wrong” side of the road, so I’ll say, OH, HOW MUCH I TREASURE THOSE NIGHTS WITH MY FINGER POISED TO HIT RECORD DURING THE RARE, COOL RADIO PROGRAMMING HOURS THAT EXISTED BACK THEN!

  10. diskojoe

    Speaking of John Peel, has anyone else read the book about his radio career called Good Night and Good Riddence? I also have a bio about him that started out as his memoirs but was finished by his widow.

    I remember taping that live Yardbirds album from 1968 from WBCN back in ’78

  11. Happiness Stan

    Mr M, would I do such a thing? Too busy watching out for wildlife, some of the pigeons are getting a bit cocky these quiet days. Back to 1955 levels of traffic over here, apparently. Llandudno, pron. Clan dud no, in Wales, has been invaded by goats coming down from the hills and eating people’s rose bushes, which would be pretty exciting for Llandudno I imagine. The ephemeral nature of entertainment just twenty years ago is something our children find quite baffling, when TV and radio were as fleeting as a gig or a trip to the theatre. Bet they’ve got really feeble muscles in their right forefingers as well, or left if they’re left-handed.

    DJ, have got Margrave of the Marshes, Peel’s autobiography completed by Sheila, but haven’t read it yet, along with so many other books. I miss him still, there has never been anyone else to hold a candle to him, he championed every scene from the late sixties to the eighties long before it became fashionable, played Bolan and Bowie when nobody would touch them with a bargepole. I’d argue that without him popular culture and even society would look very different, in the USA as well as here, can anyone imagine punk happening if glam hadn’t because Bolan and Bowie had knocked it on the head because nobody could hear their stuff? Sure, Lou Reed would have been doing his thing, but could he really have been pleasant enough for long enough to inspire a movement? In hindsight, his greatness probably lay with his ability to allow his children to leave home when his eccentric programme was no longer needed once these things became mainstream. I certainly struggled with his show once he’d let punk spread its wings and his show was a shop front for hard core reggae and nascent techno.

    Ah well, off to cruise the mean and empty streets for a few hours…

  12. Happiness Stan

    And yes, cool radio hours were exceptionally rare, all those endless hours listening to ELO, the Eagles and Rumours in the hope of hearing the Jam or the Stranglers. It hardly felt like a golden age at the time.

  13. diskojoe

    Stan, I think that one of the most amazing facts about Jon Peel was his love for “Teenage Kicks” by the Undertones, so much so that one of its lines is engraved on his tombstone.

    Another amazing fact was that he actually witnessed Oswald being shot in Dallas when he lived there.

  14. mockcarr

    I agree with If You’ve Got Trouble, I’d rather the Beatles had set it aside for a bit to figure out how get a better take and arrangement than put Act Naturally on the Help album for Ringo, but they probably just moved on, and I kind of get it. But that’s a cool interplay of guitars for a Beatles song. The lyrics certainly aren’t any dumber than It’s Only Love or the like.

    I consider Mr. Moonlight totally out of place on any Beatles album, how about Leave My Kitten Alone instead? That album would have been improved immeasurably.

    I like the Kinks’ instrumental Little Women tacked onto the expanded Face to Face, but I like mellotron a lot.

  15. Picked up a Syd Barrett Pink Floyd bootleg a few years ago which had quite a bit of overlong psychedelic dreck, but “Lucy Leave” and “Candy and a Currant Bun” are first-rate. Don’t know why they couldn’t have been on “Piper at the Gates of Dawn.”

  16. One other good one is the alternate version of “Real Life Permanent Dream” that’s a bonus track on the CD of Tomorrow’s first album. No sitar. Steve Howe plays those parts on electric guitar, and it truly rocks.

  17. That track sounds worth tracking down, Dick Bonanza! Steve Howe is a musician I most wish I could move into another genre altogether. I like Yes way more than I ever thought I would as a teen, but it would have been cool to hear Howe play some more direct music, without all the Yes trappings.

  18. THAT’S what I’m talking about, Dick Bonanza. I need to find a way to steal some of that song. Thanks for the tip!

  19. Happiness Stan

    Candy and a Currant Bun was the b side of Arnold Layne, which wasn’t on Piper either, don’t know about over your side of the pond but here most bands with pretensions to being taken seriously didn’t put their singles on albums, presumably to distinguish between the serious stuff (like Bike, presumably) from the throwaway rubbish, or to give value for money, or both. In Floyd’s case, as they moved from being a band with feet in both camps to solely a serious albums band the great singles, and b sides, got forgotten about until Relics, which inexplicably in my opinion missed off not only Candy but also Point Me At The Sky, which has probably turned up on some expensive box set since I stopped buying them.

    Nick Mason came and have a talk at one of our local secondary schools a few years ago and somebody asked him about the rise of streaming and file sharing and he was refreshingly frank about not giving a monkeys about people taping Floyd albums but felt that people shouldn’t do it to artists who could use the money. I still have no idea why he came to one of our local schools, but it was free and a good night out.

    The Undertones always left me a bit cold, but I went to John Peel’s funeral, which was broadcast on speakers outside the church, and at the end of the service a bloody great world war two bomber from one of the local airfields flew over and then Teenage Kicks played. Even though I didn’t and still don’t like the song I admit I started to cry, it was hugely emotional.

    Agree with you about Steve Howe, great guitarist but I can’t get into Yes no matter how I’ve tried and even went to see them at Glastonbury to give them the benefit of the doubt, after about fifteen seconds I had to leg it, utterly unbearable. Tomorrow were great.

  20. saturnismine

    Happiness…ever here “Vegetable Man?”

  21. cherguevara

    One of my favorite rarities is not really a bootleg, it was a b-side which seems now to have been removed from the face of the Earth (I suppose it could be found by finding the CD single, but it’s not on any streaming/online service. I’m linking to a live version.). This is a straightforward power-pop nugget co-written by Glenn Tilbrook and Ron Sexsmith, and as such, is a seemingly simple I-V-IV tune with a few twists. It was b-side to “Parallel World,” from “The Incomplete Glenn Tilbrook,” so there’s that context.

    Also, I enjoy his pub rock banter here in this live version – a random statement that makes you say, “wha?” an abrupt intro, then he pounces into the song before there’s time for a reaction. I saw Nick Lowe a while back and he had a similar “power through” approach. Do all those pub rockers do this?

    Song is here:

  22. Hello Townspeople, I hope you are all healthy and safe.

    Don’t forget all of the EC & Attractions bootlegs I bought…and the 6 versions of “This Years Model” 🙂

    I used to love “If you got troubles” – I was the one who probably pushed us to do it. I had a bootleg that had a demo of John and Paul doing “Bad to me” with just the two of them which was great.

    The “sessions” version of I’m Looking Through You is great.

  23. Finally got to watch that Glenn Tilbrook performance and dug it, cherguevarra. Thanks!

  24. Happiness Stan

    Saturn, yes, love that as well, but didn’t want to use up two of the three with Floyd. Jesus and Mary Chain did a cover of it, b side of Upside Down if I recall correctly, which I may not.

    I need to check out the Glenn Tilbrook, recently saw Squeeze at the theatre where I volunteer as an usher (when it’s open, obviously) and they were great, hadn’t listened to them for years but been playing them a lot since. He and Chris Difford signed my purple vinyl copy of Up The Junction, too, which was the icing on the cake.

  25. One of my all time favorite boots is The Flying Burrito Brothers Live at Winterland 1969. Parsons sounds like he’s on a misson to show the people what they’re missing, that country music is the all and end all. As the show progresses, it becomes more and more apparent that there’s no takers. You can hear all that pain in his voice. I picture him looking a lot like Bob Dylan at the 1965 Newport Fork Festival, after he returned to the stage solo to appease the many who hated his electric performance, with “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue.” (and I don’t care one whit what any of the researchers have seen, heard, or read, I absolutely and positively see teary eyes when I watch that unforgettable clip). I see him turning around to the band, in between songs, adam’s apple going up and down, trying to get himself and his band through this whole thing so they can all go home, and he can have a good cry while he struggles with his cosmic country vision that no one else seems to understand and eats away at his brain until he calls it quits.

  26. 2000 Man

    There’s a bunch of good Stones ones. I’d love to get a shot at their vaults, but I doubt they’ll call me. I really thought the bonus disks to Some Girls and Exile on Main St. were worthwhile. I don’t care if Jagger did vocals for unfinished songs at a later date. I’ve got all those instrumental versions and I’m fine with what I have. I listen to the new bonus material way more nowadays because the songs are finished, which is a good thing.

    I like this one from Chess studios – Reelin and Rockin https://youtu.be/pMf9MsR_Jqo

    I think this one that sounds like Mick Taylor was using it to warm up is cool – Travelin Man https://youtu.be/US3fczvs6pQ

    So if we’re going to listen to Mick Taylor play a million notes we may as well listen to Keef blast some riffs – Highway Child https://youtu.be/NLpuKvGm2cQ

  27. For years I had a crappy cassette of a radio broadcast of the mono version of The Byrd’s “Lady Friend” (it possibly came from the WHRB-FM (Harvard radio in Cambridge, MA “Orgies” that happened annually) which I treasured as a lost janglepop masterpiece. In the late 80’s the set of unreleased stuff called “Never Before” came out and though Lady Friend was on it, the mix was weird. The cymbals had somehow vanished, along with much of their propulsive effect. A YouTube search reveals several versions: the mono version with some interesting old plate reverbs (on the expanded “Younger Than Yesterday”), the Never Before Version, a cool stereo remix version that came from the 1990 box set, and a curious and really speedy live version with a guest harmonica player from the Monterey Pop Festival. Lady Friend didn’t do so hot in the charts, apparently, and Crosby left the group soon afterwards.




Lost Password?

twitter facebook youtube