1974-07-12 Bottom Line (The), New York City, NY (Early)

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Scheduled: 20:30 Local Start Time ??:?? / End Time ??:??

Info & Setlist | Venue

First of two shows, 8:30pm, double billing, with singer-songwriter Jeffrey Comanor opening for Springsteen & The E Street Band, as noted on pre-concert advertising material. Comanor performed a short opening set. Recollections differ, but he may not have appeared at all six shows of the three-day stand. First night of a three-night (six-show) residency at the newly- opened club. Neither show on opening night was a sellout, although word spread quickly and the following two nights were packed. Although we have placed the listed tracks at the early show, they may have been performed at either or both of this night's performances. In an interview, long-time Bottom Line owner Allan Pepper stated that he has attempted to release two tracks ("Jungleland" and "Kitty's Back") from the opening night as part of a four-CD compilation box-set comprised of performances at the club by an assortment of artists. While he received permission to issue the tracks from Springsteen and Jon Landau, unfortunately Columbia did not give their approval. Part of the concert (either the early or late show) was recorded as a test-taping for a scheduled radio broadcast the following night by New York University's radio station. For reasons unknown, Mike Appel halted the test recording mid-show and cancelled the radio broadcast, despite the station having approval from Springsteen's record company. It's possible that the two fine quality rogue soundboard recordings of "Jungleland" and "Kitty's Back" that circulate are the two tracks that Pepper intended to release. Brucebase reader Chris Prondzinski writes about a friend who had connections with the Springsteen camp at the time: "He got a job at the Bottom Line when it opened, and Bruce was one of the first to perform there. Because of his employment and the very loose rules on security, he could get his hands on a recording of the show very easily. He said that he remembered on the first night of the Springsteen stand in the summer of 1974 barely anyone was there. So he didn't do much that night and he got an opportunity to watch the show. Afterwards, he talked to the club owner Allan and said "that was a great show, this guy should get booked here often. I really like his music." Allan responded with "Yes. If you like the show so much, I have two songs from the show that we got off the soundboard." He followed Allan into a back room with shelves and a brand new reel to reel tape was in a box on the shelf, labeled with the date. Now apparently Allan had a reel to reel tape recorder and player at the club, but the two machines were not able to make copies. So my buddy said he could make a copy at his apartment and bring it back in a few days. And so he lent him the master recording and he got a direct transfer from the original. He made two copies to two cassettes. He listened to the two songs until the tape was broken. The other one sat in a box for years, forgotten about. It finally saw the light of day recently and this story came with it." If the recording of "Jungleland" does emanate from this show, it would be the earliest circulating live rendition.

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