Monday, February 16, 2015

Beaker Street with Clyde Clifford - June 1-2 1972

It's Summer 1972, and here is Beaker Street on the skywave as received in Evanston, Illinois.  It brings back a lot of memories for me.

I grew up in Evanston (a northern suburb of Chicago), was an active DX-er, and I was fascinated by this powerful, exotic station from Arkansas that boomed in every night on 1090.   The signal was sometimes almost as strong as our local big city rockers, WLS and WCFL.  But Beaker Street sure didn’t sound like anything on the air on AM or FM in Chicago!  The underground rock music with the southern blues, folk and country influences, Clyde Clifford’s laidback style, the “Head” music bed under his raps – it was all such a strange, spooky, interesting mix.  I can’t count the number of nights I stayed up late to listen, keeping the volume low so as to not wake up anyone else in the house.  As a young man who was fascinated with radio and so eager to work in the business, Beaker Street and KAAY were radio magic to me. 

This is a full 3-hour show I taped the night of June 1-2, 1972, 11pm-2am, telescoping the aircheck along the way (sorry, there is no untelescoped version).  The signal fades up and down, but as you’ll hear it’s pretty good skip reception most of the time.  The aircheck ends with the intro to Beaker Theater and Clyde’s dry, funny description of what was to come.   

This show has been posted previously in two parts, but this is first time the entire show is posted in one single file.  Bud Stacey says this aircheck may well be the best and most representative of the original Beaker Street, and I agree.  The music is a rich mix of artists that includes:

Hour 1:  The Flock, McKendree Spring, Nick Drake, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Robert Johnson, Leon Russell, Judy Collins.
Hour 2:  Hawkwind, Daddy Cool, Steppenwolf, Joyous Noise, Vigrass & Osborne, Bloodrock.
Hour 3:  Dust, Bloodrock, Arlo Guthrie, Foghat, The Chambers Brothers, Spooky Tooth, Mason Proffit. 

The commercials are great, too.  It amazes me how someone could to go to A Warehouse in New Orleans and hear such tremendous music for just $4! 

Listen to this show in a dark room or on a dark road at night to best capture the mood.   Thanks Clyde, for all the entertainment and music discovery you provided for us young people growing up in the Midwest. 




Greg Barman

8 comments:

  1. Does anyone out there have any Beaker Street shows on tape or disc they can share with me? I have a whole bunch of B.S. shows on MP3 from 1970 to the very last show of 2011. I would particularly like some of those shows from the 60s if anyone has them? Let me know what you all have. THANKS!

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  2. Hi Kenneth - Other than what I've found online I have one cassette from about 1975. I think the host was Stuart, but he doesn't say his name so I'm not sure. The reception was very sketchy and it's not exactly a great recording so I haven't bothered to share it yet. On the other hand, what you have sounds like the Holy Grail of Beaker Street! I've been posting requests on various forums looking for recordings since the internet began. I sure regret recording over all mine, but then again if I still had them I'd probably take them for granted.

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    1. If you e-mail me your mailing address at goherd_stlmo@yahoo.com, StegorBatLenny, then I will send you a copy of all my Beaker Street airchecks on a disc for you to enjoy. Like Greg, I am able to help you digitize your 1975 tape to the best quality using Audacity. You will enjoy the hours upon hours of Beaker Street I'm willing to give you! Hope to hear back from you soon and have a good one!

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  3. StegorBatLenny -- I invite you to share that 1975 show with the Blog. Please contact me and I can help you digitize the cassette -- gbarman@q.com - Greg

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  4. Hi, It's almost 2 year after thst <
    I found this fórum about beaker street,I'm cuban,and Still live in Cuba.But in my youth I used to gathered with some Friends to listen to Beaker Street every night on a transistor radio.I remember there was a time when the show first play,was a versión oficial the House of the Rising Sun.I never knew whose version It was,can sombody Tell me about It.
    Pedro

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    1. Probably "Frijid Pink" Dude.
      (Always Great to find a surviving Beaker Street fan!!
      : )

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  5. Remembering Beaker Street brings tears to my eyes-
    The Great Clyde Clifford
    +
    Cindy's Crying
    &
    Ballad of USS Titanic
    &
    Court Of The Crimson King
    &
    Iron Man
    &
    In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
    &
    Hot Summer's Day
    &
    One Toke Over The Line
    &
    Ballad of Dwight Fry
    &
    SO MANY!!...



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  6. Don't forget D.O.A. Where else could you hear that?

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