Luis Buñuel’s Perfect Martini

Luis Buñuel was one of cinema’s greatest film directors. From his first short, the Surrealist classic Un Chien Andalou in 1929, through The Exterminating Angel in 1962, to Belle de Jour in 1967, and his last, That Obscure Object of Desire in 1977, Buñuel created a brilliant body of work, which has rarely been equalled.

But film wasn’t his only passion. In his autobiography, My Last Breath, Buñuel gave his own special recipe on how to create the perfect Martini.

‘To provoke, or sustain, a reverie in a bar, you have to drink English gin, especially in the form of the dry martini. To be frank, given the primordial role in my life played by the dry martini, I think I really ought to give it at least a page. Like all cocktails, the martini, composed essentially of gin and a few drops of Noilly Prat, seems to have been an American invention. Connoisseurs who like their martinis very dry suggest simply allowing a ray of sunlight to shine through a bottle of Noilly Prat before it hits the bottle of gin. At a certain period in America it was said that the making of a dry martini should resemble the Immaculate Conception, for, as Saint Thomas Aquinas once noted, the generative power of the Holy Ghost pierced the Virgin’s hymen “like a ray of sunlight through a window-leaving it unbroken.”

‘Another crucial recommendation is that the ice be so cold and hard that it won’t melt, since nothing’s worse than a watery martini. For those who are still with me, let me give you my personal recipe, the fruit of long experimentation and guaranteed to produce perfect results. The day before your guests arrive, put all the ingredients-glasses, gin, and shaker-in the refrigerator. Use a thermometer to make sure the ice is about twenty degrees below zero (centigrade). Don’t take anything out until your friends arrive; then pour a few drops of Noilly Prat and half a demitasse spoon of Angostura bitters over the ice. Stir it, then pour it out, keeping only the ice, which retains a faint taste of both. Then pour straight gin over the ice, stir it again, and serve.

‘(During the 1940s, the director of the Museum of Modern Art in New York taught me a curious variation. Instead of Angostura, he used a dash of Pernod. Frankly, it seemed heretical to me, but apparently it was only a fad.)’

This wasn’t the first time, the genius director had shared his favored drink, in his Oscar-winning film The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, Buñuel had his actors prepare the perfect Martini.

This was no affectation, as Buñuel had his cocktail everyday and once remarked:

“If you were to ask me if I’d ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I’d have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead.”

As discussed in his essential autobiography, Buñuel’s passions for drinking, smoking and a love of handguns, defined who he was. It was a combination which would, you would think, make Buñuel the perfect choice as a director for one of those 1960s or 1970s James Bond movies. David Cairns, over at his excellent film blog, Shadowplay suggested this idea a couple of years back, proposing a Bond movie cast from some of Buñuel’s previous casts, with Dan O’Herlihy as Bond and Fernando Rey as the villain. Cairns also proposes:

Could we resist Catherine Deneuve as Bond girl Anne Dalou, and could she resist playing it if the high priest of cinematic surrealism were in charge? Zachary Scott, fresh from THE YOUNG ONE, could play Bond’s CIA counterpart Felix Leiter. Oh wait, he died in 1965. Damn. OK, Bernie Hamilton then. Sean Connery always thought Felix should be black — I presume on the basis that it was the kind of thankless part where nobody would object, and therefore you should make the effort.

Ken Adam, I submit, would have had a great time building sets for Bunuel, who loved “secret passages leading on to darkness”.

THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL would make a great title for a Bond. Imagine what Shirley Bassey could do with a lyric like that. Much better than QUANTUM OF SLOSH, anyway.

But let’s call our imaginary Bunuel Bond GRAN CASINO ROYALE. The globe-trotting narrative will take us through Spain, the U.S.A., Mexico and France. Bond will battle tarantulas, snakes and flesh-eating ants, and face enemies armed with razors, rifles, burlap sacks and buggy-whips. All in search of a mysterious box with undisclosed, buzzing contents…



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Creating the Indiana Jones Map of the World

I can’t say I was much of a fan of Indiana Jones, the first and third films were okay, but second and fourth - o boy. Hey, but what do I know? After all, I like Zardoz. So, if you like Henry Walton Jones jnr. Ph.D, then you might be tickled by this rather fab, behind-the-scenes film of artist Matt Busch making the illustrated Indiana Jones World Map:

... showing all of the locations that Indy has made archeological discoveries- not just the movies- but the novels, the comic books, the Young Indy TV shows, the video games, and more.

Years in the making, there are 36 different archeological artifacts displayed with legend sections listing info on the items. The Key chart lets you decipher symbols for each artifact to see how the story was presented, be it film, novel, TV Episode, etc… Here, Busch shares some insight into the extensive research and detail he put into illustrating this monumental image.


Previously on Dangerous Minds

Tom Selleck and Sean Young’s screen test for ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Indiana Jones iotacons

Via Geeks are Sexy. With thanks to Maria Guimil

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Photo-spread for John Boorman’s ‘Zardoz’, 1974

I read the novelization of John Boorman’s Zardoz when I was about 12. It was a defining moment, as it confirmed my thoughts about the control of religion, the division of class, society’s inequalities and its endemic violence. You could say, it was the start of my adult education. It had extra importance as I’d walked home from school to save the bus fares to buy the book, and after reading it, nothing was ever the same. How could it be? Within its opening pages a flying godhead, Zardoz, has landed and announced to his murderous followers:

“You have been raised up from Brutality, to kill the Brutals who multiply, and are legion. To this end, Zardoz your God gave you the gift of the Gun. The Gun is good!

“The Penis is evil! The Penis shoots Seeds, and makes new Life to poison the Earth with a plague of men, as once it was. But the Gun shoots Death and purifies the Earth of the filth of Brutals. Go forth, and kill! Zardoz has spoken.”

When Sean Connery was sent the script, he was “absolutely caught by its originality”, as he told Gordon Gow from Films and Filming in 1974:

“It was one of the best ideas I’d come across for ages…So by the following weekend I was over in Ireland to prepare for filming.

“What gripped me especially was the direction the people in [the script] were taking in the future existence, as opposed to space ships and rockets and all that…[..]...What does interest me is the possible development of society in centuries to come. The way different levels and types evolve in the script is intriguing and refreshing, and could well be true. The fact that people are not going to die, for example.

“Many things are changed by the knowledge you’re not going to die. There’s no need to procreate, therefore it takes away the sexual drives. Today we live in the age of analysis: we can give answers as to why people do things, whether it’s ambition or fighting for power or because they hated their father or their mother - their hangups become a kind of blueprint to their behavior. But if you take that away you get an entirely different concept of human beings.’

Connery hadn’t been Boorman’s first choice, that had been Burt Reynolds, with whom Boorman had scored the major hit Deliverance. Somehow I can’t imagine Reynolds carrying off the thigh high boots or red loin cloth, or exuding the necessary untrammeled masculinity. With the success of Deliverancve, Boorman was given a carte blanche to make what he wanted. He started working on a science fiction script, Zardoz, in 1972, and brought in Bill Stair to “ rationalize the visions that threatened to engulf me.”

Zardoz is certainly rich with ideas, some better developed than others, but all have their own merits. That’s one thing about the best of seventies’ films, they had intelligence behind them, ideas at play, rather than today’s reliance on CGI and anodyne stories.

Set in the 23rd century, where Exterminators trade grain with their god - Zardoz - for guns to exploit and kill. Enter Zed (Connery) who questions why a god would require grain, and sneaks on board the flying godhead to uncover the secret of Zardoz and life beyond the Outlands in the Vortex.

The Outlands: once it was called the good Earth. Now it is the desolate, exhausted, polluted wasteland all the world has become, except for the lush Vortex.

The Eternals: members of the Vortex. Highly privileged scientists and intellectuals, eternally young, who have learned all the Secrets of Life - except one.

The Exterminators: a privileged and physically superior group permitted to breed under strict control to fight the Brutals and support the Vortex.

The Brutals: the last survivors of the dying world outside the Vortex, who live at subsistence level.

The Apathetics: victims of the pursuit of perfection, they are Eternals who have found the strain of immortality too great and live only for the one thing their society denies them.

The Renegades: malicious, embittered offenders in the Vortex who would defy and destroy the establishment - if they could only find it.

Connery explained the film to Gow:

“Then society, a sit always does, starts to fragment into different strata. There are the Apathetics and the Renegades. They are all Eternals, these people, who are going to live forever. The base of all the great learning that the world has accumulated by that stage becomes a Tabernacle, which gives people information as to how to act, like a major computer, a great feed-tank put together by the best minds of the world. But the human condition is such that it still retains anger and other emotions.

“There are areas like oases: each is known as a Vortex. They exist throughout the world on a system of highly democratic rule with guidelines supplied from the Tabernacle. But the Renegades abhor the system and fight it…[..]...On the other hand, the Apathetics are reluctant to do anything at all..the Renegades they’d really like to die, to get out.

“Beyond the Vortex areas, there are the Outlands: very barren. The inhabitants there are called the Brutals, they’re rather like our present society, not very civilized. The god Zardoz gives the Brutals something to worship, the gun. the penis is evil, the gun is good. The Brutals are necessary to each Vortex, because they’ve been taught to provide wheat and other food substances…[..]...This is where the character I play comes in. I hide in the head…[..]...and set about destroying the society.”

For your delectation, here is the original photo preview for Zardoz, which appeared in Films and Filming in March 1974.
More pics from ‘zardoz’, after the jump…

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Slade: Proto Punk Heroes of Glam Rock

Slade never looked cool, but that wasn’t the point. They were four young lads out for a good time, and they wanted you to have a good time too. You can hear it on their classic album Slade Alive, when lead singer, Noddy Holder encourages everyone to get up, get ripping and really let themselves go. And during the 1970s, that’s just what their fans did.

Slade were Noddy Holder, Jimmy lea, Don Powell and the sequined Dave (“You write ‘em I’ll sell ‘em”) Hill. Between 1970 and 1975, they sold over 6.5 million records in the UK alone, chalking up 6 number ones, 3 of which went straight to the top of the charts - a feat not achieved since The Beatles - and this at a time of 3-day weeks, power cuts and food shortages.

For their energy, dynamism and 4-chord songs, Slade were more of an influence on Punk than Iggy and The Stooges. Just listen to the opening riff for “Cum on Feel the Noize”, it sounds like the start of a Sex Pistols track. Or try “Mama Weer All Crazee Now”. As latter-day Mod-Father and frontman for The Jam, Paul Weller noted:

“The whole punk rock thing really happened because of bands such as Slade and the like; rock bands that wouldn’t back off.”

Then there’s Noddy Holder, who may have looked like a grown-up Artful Dodger, but had a brilliant and unmistakable voice, which inspired Joey Ramone:

“I spent most of the early 70s listening to Slade Alive thinking to myself, ‘Wow - this is what I want to do. I want to make that kind of intensity for myself.’ A couple of years later I found myself at CBGB’s doing my best Noddy Holder.”

The tags were all there: Slade’s first single was produced by Kim Fowley; their manager, was ex-Animal, Chas Chandler, who had managed Jimi Hendrix; and their writing partnership of Holder and Lea was compared to the greats who’d gone before, one of which, Paul McCartney saw the future of pop divided between Slade and T.Rex, just like The Beatles and The Stones.

It should have been, but in 1973, drummer Don Powell was seriously injured in a car crash that tragically killed his girlfriend. Slade nearly split. Then, there was their film Flame, not a mop-top romp, but a long-hard look at the music business - it alienated fans though is now considered the “Citizen Kane of rock musicals”. Then, in a bid to conquer America, they spent 2 years Stateside, when Slade returned to the UK, Punk had taken over, and they were “old farts”, even though the Pistols’ Steve Jones thought that:

“Slade never compromised. We always had the feeling that they were on our side. I don’t know but I think we were right.”

It’s Slade is a well-deserved and refreshing reassessment of one Britain’s greatly under-rated bands, with excellent archive and contributions from Slade, Ozzy Osbourne, Toyah Wilcox and Noel Gallagher.

The rest of ‘It’s Slade’, plus bonus clips, after the jump…

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‘Lost’ Press Video for The Smiths, 1992

Those darlings at Rhino UK have uncovered this little gem of a “lost” press video for The Smiths, commissioned in 1992 to coincide with the release of their Best… albums.

With thanks to Nerdcore

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Neil Young busking in Glasgow 1976
05:02 pm


Pop Culture
Neil Young

Hoots mon! Rare film of Neil Young busking in Glasgow city center, April 1 1976, prior to headlining at the city’s legendary Apollo Theater later that night.

Mr Young performed outside Glasgow’s Central Station, on Gordon Street, where he sang “Old Laughing Lady”. Because of the date - All Fool’s Day - it has been suggested that Mr Young was carrying out his own practical joke for the benefit of those lucky denizens of the Dear Green Place.

With thanks to Neil McDonald

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Backstage footage of the Rolling Stones: Hampton Coliseum, VA, 1981

Video filmed backstage at a Rolling Stones concert, from the Hampton Coliseum, Virginia, in 1981.

Alway wanted to know about the backstage antics???
Here’s your chance to be with the Stones before they go on stage.
I guess the routine of touring has gotten to the point of ...well this!
Warming the crowd before they go on is George Thorogood & the Destroyers, on stage in the background.

Your Backstage pass says “ALL ACCESS”.
Please follow through this door and onto your left!

Taken from the December 18 performance, this was broadcast as The World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll Party on pay-per-view and in closed circuit cinemas - the first use of pay-per-view for a music event.

It’s interesting footage, inasmuch as it belies the backstage tales of excess most associated with the “World’s Greatest Rock’n’Roll” band.

With thanks to Vince Giracello

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Hair raising: More of Al Pacino as Phil Spector

Al Pacino sporting a giant hairpiece like the one worn by Phil Spector during his trial for the murder of club hostess Lana Clarkson, in 2005.

Filming continues on David Mamet’s biopic of the infamous record producer, though there has been much controversy over Mamet’s alleged belief Spector was wrongly jailed for the killing.

Pics and story here.
Previously on Dangerous Minds

First Look at Al Pacino as Phil Spector


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Winter on the Strip: Beautiful footage of LA from the 1940s
08:38 am


Pop Culture
Sunset Strip

It almost makes me feel festive - beautiful footage of Christmas time on Hollywood and Sunset Strip during the 1940s.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Stunning film clips of Sunset Strip in the mid-sixties

Via Vintage Los Angeles

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Debbie Harry: Late on a Saturday Night, 1981
04:04 pm


Pop Culture
Debbie Harry

Highlights of Debbie Harry hosting a certain late Saturday night show from 1981. The clip includes what is now believed to be the first appearance of a rap act on national US TV - the Funky Four Plus One More.

The Videodrome Discothèque is pleased to present these excerpts from the rarely seen 10th episode of the ill-fated 6th season of a certain rather popular late-night weekend entertainment program.

Fronting a marvelous one-off band, Ms. Harry offers up fabulous versions of both “Love T.K.O” (made famous by Teddy Pendergrass) AND Devo’s “Come Back, Jonee”. Chris Stein plays on both, with Clem Burke joining in for “Come Back, Jonee”.

Also included: a sketch featuring Debbie & Joe Piscopo, as well as the performance of Debbie’s special guests, The Funky Four + 1 More.


Via The Videodrome Vault

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Original Photo-spread for Ken Russell’s ‘Lisztomania’, 1975

This year marks the bi-centenary of Franz Liszt‘s birth - that legendary composer, pianist and mad shagger.

It was Ken Russell who first saw the similarities between Liszt and the excesses of modern day rock stars. Liszt’s concerts were attended by hundreds of young women, who screamed their hearts out at the composer’s flowing locks, long, dextrous fingers and incredible virtuosity at the piano. He was mobbed by these fans, who tore at his clothes, and ripped souvenir handkerchiefs that had been cast into the crowd (just like Elvis would do over a century later) to shreds. Liszt’s concerts were said to raise the mood of an audience to “mystical ecstasy”, all of which led to the term “Lisztomania” to describe the public’s excessive adoration of the randy composer.

Lisztomania became the title of Russell’s “scandalous” and “outrageous” 1975 cartoon bio-pic, starring Roger Daltrey as Liszt, with Paul Nicholas as Wagner, Ringo Starr as the Pope, Fiona Lewis as Marie d’Agoult and Sarah Kestelman as Princess Carolyn. As Films and Filming noted in this pictorial preview it was to be Russell’s “most spectacular and controversial” film, and while it turned the critics off, it is a film that has grown in reputation and influence since its first release. While not Russell’s best work, it’s still sand-in-the-face to the majority of pap pumped out into today’s multiplexes.

Previously on Dangerous Minds

Original Photo-spread for Derek Jarman’s ‘Jubliee’

More pics from ‘Lisztomania’ after the jump…

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Alice Cooper picks his favorite records

Alice Cooper guested on the classic BBC Radio show Desert Islands Discs in 2010, where he discussed the highs and lows of his long and successful career, and chose some of the records which best captured those moments from his past. Dear olde Auntie described Alice Cooper thus:

As a teenager he says it was British music that he tuned in to - listening to The Beatles, The Yardbirds and The Who. He realised that while rock music had many heroes, there were few villains - that was the territory he marked out for himself. He developed his trademark look - blackened eyes, straggly hair and glamorous clothes - and set about designing live shows that were gleefully gory and macabre.

While critics have described him as ‘the world’s most beloved heavy metal entertainer’, it took him a while to untangle himself from his creation. “For a long time I honestly didn’t know where I began and Alice ended. My friends at the time were Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and I was trying to keep up with them. And I realised when they all died that you didn’t have to be your character off stage.”

Alice’s selection:

The Yardbirds - “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago”
The Beach Boys - “I Get Around”
The Who - “I’m A Boy”
Laura Nyro - “Timer”
King Crimson - “21st Century Schizoid Man”
Jane’s Addiction - “Been Caught Stealing”
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - “Work Song”
Bob Dylan - “Ballad of a Thin Man”
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Alice Cooper: Black Juju, 1971


Special Bonus Clip - Alice Cooper live showcase 1971, after the jump…

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Grilled Friend in a Korma: Morrissey Eats Meat?

Now wouldn’t this be ironic, especially after his recent comments?

Back in March 1996 under the headline “Meat Is Magic!Select magazine ran a story that claimed celebrated vegetarian, “Mozzer eats meat!”

Morrissey eats meat?

Yes, Mozzer eats meat!

But how did they know?

How do we know? Because he does so at George & Niki’s in Camden. It’s also caff-by-appointment for Björk, Meanswear, Goldie and Blur…

George & Niki’s? What’s that then?

Forget The Good Mixer, George and Niki’s Golden Grill caff in the heart of cosmopolitan Camden has become the palatable place to be for London’s pop glitterati.

“There’s this place in America where the five states meet,” says George. “This is its London equivalent. we get regulars, nutters, kids and then we get the pop stars.”

The Golden Grill has stood on the same sight for 50 years - three generations of the Georgio family - serving roasts, fry-ups and quality vegetarian alternatives. Select, in an attempt to unveil the covert culinary habits of pop celebrity, spent an afternoon in the company of Niki, George and their rocker-coiffed assistant of 13 years, Vange (“Just call me Vange. That or Elvis.”) The results…

Vange: “Yeah, this bloke called Morris…Morris? The rocker bloke. Lovely man.”


“That’s him! Comes in about once a month. A roast he has, yeah a roast dinner!”

Er…not the vegetarian option?

Vange: “Nah! Roast dinner. Lots of gravy.”

“Roast dinner”? “Lost of gravy”? Incredible. One can only imagine what the tabloids would do for a picture of Mozzer with his mouth chockfull with meat.

But surely Vange was obviously confusing Mozzer with er, Morris….Morris… Hm. Not many pop stars with Morris as a first name.

Click on the above image to see larger version of the article.
Previously on Dangerous Minds

Back to the nineties: Fabulous scans of ‘Select’ music magazine

Morrissey compares Norway massacre to KFC

With thanks to Tommy Udo and Tara McGinley

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Back to the nineties: Fabulous scans of ‘Select’ music magazine

Fuck me but pop music hasn’t changed much in 20 years. Headlining this year’s UK festivals is the very best of what the 1990s had to offer, Radiohead, Primal Scream, Pulp, The Prodigy, The Charlatan, and even, er, U2. Okay, the Gallagher brothers are unlikely to kiss-and-make-up, but there are still rumors about a Blur reunion, which means we can party like it’s 1995.

The very thought could make a fan weak-eyed and teary-kneed for the glorious UK music mag Select, which faithfully documented the very best of music during the decade.

Select‘s dedication to Brit Pop was only part of its appeal, for what made the magazine delightful, fun and certainly essential, was the quality of its writers who penned columns, interviews and reviews in its silky pages.

Now these names read like a Who’s Who of TV and pop culture, from the darkly handsome genius of Graham Linehan, through the grumbling brilliance of wit and wisdom from David Quantick, to the ever-smiling J. B.Priestly of pop, Stuart Maconie, and let’s not forget Miranda Sawyer, Alexis Petridis, Andrew Collins, Sarra Manning, and Caitlin Moran.

To jump start the memories, some kindly soul has scanned a damn fine selection of covers and some lovely features from Select magazine “to give random flashbacks to the 90s music scene.” How cool is that? Answers on a postcard, please.

Now check the Select scans here.
Previously on dangerous Minds

David Quantick: The Music Industry Hates You

More groovy covers, after the jump…

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Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band, Knebworth 1975

Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band perform at the Knebworth Festival, England, 1975-07-05.

Headlining was Pink Floyd, with the Steve Miller Band and Captain Beefheart in support. The festival also had Roy Harper with Trigger, Linda Lewis, John Peel and Monty Python‘s Graham Chapman and Friends.

Ben Waters at Captain Beefheart Radar Station writes:

Beefheart was introduced by John Peel with the words “Here he is, the guv’ner, Captain Beefheart!” The drums beat a couple of times, and they launched into a gloriously lurching, cacophonous version of “Moonlight on Vermont”. There were two distinct reactions from the audience. The Pink Floyd fans put their hands over their ears and looked at each other as if to say “What is this shit?!”. The Beefheart fans lunged forward, electrified by the sound. It was so off kilter; so alien; so “other” to what we’d been hearing all day, yet so much better, deeper; so RIGHT.

The line up was a strange one: Winged Eel Fingerling and Ella Guru Davidson (who he?) on guitars; Drumbo on guitar and drums; Jimmy Carl Black (introduced as Indian Ink) also on drums; and, instead of a bassist, Bruce “fossil” Fowler on trombone, or air bass as Beefheart called it. You couldn’t really say they were tight; one or two songs sort of slowed down halfway through, and the trombone made the rhythm kinda slurry; but it was a great sound; like a load of drunks trying to play impossibly complex music, and threatening to collapse into chaos at any moment, but always just avoiding it.

Captain Beefheart Don Van Vliet vocals, saxophone, harmonica
Indian Ink Jimmy Carl Black drums, percussion
Greg Ella Guru Davidson guitar, slide guitar
Bruce Fossil Fowler air bass, trombone
Drumbo John French drums, percussion
Winged Eel Fingerling Elliot Ingber guitar, slide guitar

Here’s the whole show, track-by-track - sound quality isn’t perfect, but it’s Beefheart.

01. “Moonlight On Vermont”

02. “Abba Zabba”

03. “Band Introductions”  04. “Orange Claw Hammer”
Full concert performance plus bonus TV clip, after the jump…

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