Eric Clapton - Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds
Davenport, Iowa - July 27, 1974 - CD-R1 - SB 5 - 50:28:45
2) Presence of the Lord
3) Tell the Truth
4) Ramblin' on My Mind
5) Steady Rollin' Man
6) Blues Power
Recollections of the concert submitted by Steve Kountz:
"I was born and raised in Iowa. The town is Davenport, Iowa, the venue is the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds. Davenport is on the Mississippi river. The area is known locally as the Quad Cities, for two cites on the Iowa side of the river and two on the Illinois side of the river. Moline, IL is the "big town" on the other side of the river.
As I best recall it, July 27 was a cold (cold for July) and rainy (come and go showers that weekend). The concert was outdoors at the fairgrounds pavilion. If the ground was not muddy, it was damp.
Lots of folks like to bag on Stigwood, but he had done a very good job of keeping Eric in the spotlight while Eric had his "three years day off with the flu".
Here a quick time line of releases prior to the concert. Note the date is when the LP first hit the Billboard charts:
1972 ERIC CLAPTON AND THE YARDBIRDS
4/15/72 CREAM - LIVE CREAM II
4/22/72 HISTORY OF ERIC CLAPTON
8/72 ERIC CLAPTON AT HIS BEST
10/09/72 HEAVY CREAM
2/17/73 DEREK AND THE DOMINOS IN CONCERT
10/06/73 ERIC CLAPTON'S RAINBOW CONCERT
7/27/74 Eric Clapton Concert at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport, Iowa
7/27/74 461 OCEAN BOULEVARD
As you can see, it was like Eric had never gone away. All these LPs gave all the newbies a chance to catch up with Eric.
The HISTORY OF ERIC CLAPTON was a very popular LP and was played at parties all the time.
The world was primed for Eric's return. He had never played Iowa, so the crowd was very excited to see the world's best living guitarist.
As I said the concert was outside, there were fears that the show might be called because of rain. 461 OB was just released and hitting the charts as the concert was happening. We didn't know really what to expect. The show started very loose. The sound was getting worked out as they played. Eric had on a tee shirt, I think it was the Claptonmanina shirt. I remember trying to read it but his guitar covered up part of the writing on it. I've since recognized the shirt from photos of other concerts where he wore it.
The show started very rambling, the sound was off at first. As I recall the first third sucked. We were there to see the worlds best guitar player. I think he played a lot of songs at the first, that the crowd was not very familiar with. You got to remember that a lot of the folks at the show was not that familiar with his work and were there to see the worlds best guitar player - almost like going to see the circus elephant.
By the time they got to "Badge" the sound was worked out. When Eric hit the riff for "Badge", it was as many say the place where TIME STANDS STILL. THE NOTE every one talks about on the Slowhand Digest now.
The crowd was like gasoline were a match has thrown on it - WHOOOOF!! The crowd caught fire and Eric caught fire and it seemed like he played his ass off. As I said at the beginning of the show it was very loose. "Legless" Larry Smith was running around. The Providence Rhode Island Show I had sent you previous where you can hear Eric interacting with him on "Little Queenie" was like the mood of the Davenport Show.
This was the first time, I had seen Eric and it was a great show!