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You have a very noticeable black eye in the clip from the Smothers Brothers show, when the band played Touch Me. What’s the story there?
“Jim and I got in a tussle… and he won. [Laughs] They wanted to put makeup on me, but I said, ‘Nah. Maybe in 40 years somebody’ll ask me why I have a black eye.’ And I do get asked that all the time, so it worked.”
Ray is seen directing the horns and strings during that segment. Was he really conducting them, or was he just being dramatic?
“Wow, I don’t really know. I don’t remember if they were actually playing or not; they might have just been miming. They still had to know when the parts were coming up, though. Of course, Jim forgot to come in with the ‘C’mon, c’mon, c’mon’ part. He was definitely singing it. It was kind of a train wreck, but hey, it was live TV.”
The footage of the band doing Crawling King Snake – is that from an actual rehearsal?
“Yeah, we were recording LA Woman, and there were these Australian TV guys hanging around. They wanted to film something, so we said, ‘Well, we’re workin’ up this song. You can shoot that if you want.’ We were in our own place on La Cienega, where we recorded LA Woman. We might have been recording the song right then. The place was bigger than it looked in the video. With all the TV stuff, it was kind of tight.”
I love the performance of Break On Through from the 1970 Isle Of Wight Festival; it’s tough but a little art-rocky. What are your recollections of that gig?
“It was kind of weird, you know? The Isle Of Wight was cold and rainy. It was a big audience – I think it was 100,000, maybe 200,000 people – but there were a lot of problems going on. I remember Joni Mitchell was in tears because some people had broken down the fence and were getting in for free. The cops were called in, and they started beating people – it was a mess.
“Unfortunately, Jim wasn’t at his best at that point. It was right in the middle of the Miami trial, so he was preoccupied to say the least. It was really cold on stage, and so he didn’t really move; he was just standing at the mic. It wasn’t one of our best performances, but it still sounded good.”