Tuesday, 24 June 2014


I'm afraid I just couldn't resist when, in Dave Laing's otherwise fine obituary of Gerry Goffin, he spoke of Goffin pairing up with guitarist Barry Goldberg to write 'more political' songs. My letter of correction is online at the Guardian now, you can see it here or if you don't like links, here it is:

"Barry Goldberg, with whom Gerry Goffin wrote songs in the 1970s, was a keyboard player, not a guitarist, from a Chicago blues background (and the band the Electric Flag). And far from being more political, the pair's biggest hit was I've Got to Use My Imagination, for Gladys Knight & the Pips."

The Barry Goldberg Reunion's There's No Hole In My Soul was one of my early favourite records. He then went on to play in some of my all-time best: the Electric Flag, on their great first album, in Al Kooper and Mike Bloomfield's Super Session (though you have to listen hard), and made another great record, with Bloomfield playing under the alias 'Great' called Two Jews Blues. Bob Dylan produced the eponymous Barry Goldberg, which has been re-issued recently with the original vocals; Jerry Wexler made Goldberg re-record his vocals and they weren't as good. He also played in one of the least super of the super groups, KGB.

That Chicago scene, made up of young white kids in love with Chicago blues, included Bloomfield, Paul Butterfield, Goldberg, Steve Miller (the Goldberg-Miller Blues Band was their early group), Harvey Mandel, Nick Graventies, and many others, and they made some great music. And 'I've Got To Use My Imagination' is a really fine song. You can listen to it here.

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