Left to right: Steve Marriott, Peter Frampton, Greg Ridley, and Jerry Shirley.
It is easy to forget that at it's heart, Rock 'N Roll has the Blues. It might never be more evident than when you look at some of the Classic Rock bands of the 1960s and 1970s, like Led Zeppelin, The Who, The Rolling Stone, Cream, and so many others. They all loved to do covers from the Jazz greats, like Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, and artists like them. They grew up listening to the music, and took it to a new level, utilizing the modern technology, like the electric guitar, to add something new. When done right, they could deliver the goods. In 1971, Humble Pie, a British band with a heavy sound, recorded a concert at the iconic Fillmore East, Rock promoter Bill Graham's club on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The album was a great double-album set, and remarkably consisted mostly of cover songs. But before I go on much longer, for those who might not know, Humble Pie featured guitarist and vocalist Steve Marriott from the Small Faces, vocalist and guitarist Peter Frampton from The Herd, former Spooky Tooth bassist Greg Ridley and seventeen-year-old drummer Jerry Shirley. One of the great tracks on the album was the bands cover of a great song written by Soul legend Ray Charles, "Hallelujah, I Love Her So". Steve Marriott took on the lead vocals, with Frampton joining in the background vocals.
Before the live album could be released, friction in the band between Marriott and Frampton drove Frampton from the band. He embarked on a solo career, leaving Marriott and humble Pie to move more toward the Blues side of their music. A few years later, Peter Frampton became a household name with his own live recording, 'Frampton Comes Alive'. While it might be tough to find the double-album version of the concert, it still can be found for those interested. You can purchase 'Performance: Rockin' The Fillmore' on iTunes and on Amazon.