East West was my gateway.
Mike Bloomfield sat down and started playing, and I went, whoa! Because I had never heard any white person play like that before. And he was about my age, and he just, that finished off my guitar career, just like that, in one afternoon. He got rid of me in a hurry.---Al Kooper, who was supposed to play guitar on the session but ended up sneaking behind the organ instead---and making his own place in "Like a Rolling Stone's" impact.No Bloomfield lore is complete without Al Kooper’s account of the Like A Rolling Stone session.
Thank you. Great info.Mike Bloomfield sat down and started playing, and I went, whoa! Because I had never heard any white person play like that before. And he was about my age, and he just, that finished off my guitar career, just like that, in one afternoon. He got rid of me in a hurry.---Al Kooper, who was supposed to play guitar on the session but ended up sneaking behind the organ instead---and making his own place in "Like a Rolling Stone's" impact.
We began our relationship playing together that day on the track "Like a Rolling Stone" and took to each other immediately. And why not? From that day forward our careers paralleled in amazing ways. We both played on the Highway 61 album that brought Dylan into the hit parade; then, we both played in blues bands (he in the Butterfield band and me in the Blues Project); then we quit our respective blues bands to form horn bands (he the Electric Flag and me Blood, Sweat & Tears). Now it get particularly weird: we then both got thrown out of the horn bands that we started*, much like the Frankenstein story, with us playing the part of the slain doctor.---Al Kooper, booklet notes for the Sony Legacy "Roots & Blues" series intro to Bloomfield (covering his 1964 audition for John Hammond, Butterfield, the Flag, the Super Session album and concerts), Don't Say That I Ain't Your Man, 1994.
It was very much like a marriage. You took the good with the bad. And death did us part.---Al Kooper, summarising his friendship with Mike Bloomfield.
(Kooper was off only on how Bloomfield left the Electric Flag. It's true that there were rumours in 1968 that either Bloomfield would quit or the band would dump him, especially with Buddy Miles's shuck-and-jive style on stage moving him into being seen as the band's de facto leader by then---Miles also managed somehow to get his own cronies into the band whenever a Flagman left the group, beginning when he maneuvered Michael Fonfara into the band to replace Barry Goldberg. Bloomfield took a hike after A Long Time Comin' was finished. According to Guitar King, Bloomfield may actually have been a member of the Electric Flag when he agreed to join Kooper for the project that became Super Session, obliged to play a couple of last shows with them before leaving. Miles did keep the Flag going for one more album, but it's easy to see in hindsight that that may have been just a warmup for his eventual taking what was left of the Flag and forming his Buddy Miles Express from the ashes.)
On Amazon:Bloomfield said that "If You Love These Blues, Play Em As You Please" was his best recording. Released in 1976 by Guitar Player Records (offshoot of the magazine), it quickly went out of print. Not sure of it's availability now...
Oh man.....@4:50...raises my fur every time. And starting around 5:35 that Twin Reverb (or Super Reverb?) is begging for mercy. Beautiful.One of the great mysteries of the Bloomfield repertoire---does the complete recording of this performance exist and will it be included on a future remastering of this album?
My only quibble is that Al Kooper edited a few too many of the signature pieces on behalf of highlighting MB. (Especially the box's version of "His Holy Modal Majesty," but others as well.) I get what he was thinking, but removed from their complete contexts it dulled the impact of his playing to a certain degree and does no favour to someone discovering MB for the first time through the box set.The Bloomfield box with bonus DVD documentary is great.