Mountain Newcastle City Hall 2 Feb 1972 (and 2002, and 2003)

mountainMountain Newcastle City Hall 2 Feb 1972 (and 2002, and 2003)
My friend John is over from the USA this week, and he is a big Mountain fan, so for today’s post I thought I would cover the first time I saw Mountain, which was back in 1972. Support that night came from the Jimmy McCulloch Band. I remember that I arrived early for the gig, specifically to catch Jimmy. I’d seen him the year before at the City Hall when he was a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. He’d left Mayall to form his own band which was initially called Bent Frame, and by this stage was known as The Jimmy McCulloch Band. I remember being once again impressed by how bluesy and technically good this young guy was. The next time I was to see Jimmy was as a member of Stone The Crows, who he joined a few months later. They had been a rumour around before this gig, that Mountain’s bass player Felix Papalardi was unwell and that his place was to be taken by Jack Bruce. I don’t know how true the rumour was, but on the night Felix was in place, and the line up of Mountain was the classic line up of Leslie West on guitar, Felix on bass, Corky Laing on drums and Bruce Knight on keyboards. Mountain were just great. Leslie is a giant of a man, lumbering around the stage with his Gibson slung low across his knees. The music was very LOUD, and very heavy, with Leslie’s unique guitar style and tone riding across the top. The set included Mountain classics such as: Crossroader; Nantucket Sleighride; and Mississippi Queen, and great covers like Chuck Berry’s Roll Over Beethoven and Jack Bruce’s Theme from an Imaginary Western. I remember being surprised when I began to hear Nantucket Sleighride as the theme for the UK TV show Weekend World. I saw Mountain a couple of times some 30 years or so later, and saw West Bruce and Laing a year or so afterwards, but the best time that I saw Leslie and Mountain was definitely that night in 1972. The programme scan is of a copy from the previous year (thanks John). The Tyne Theatre tickets are from Mountain shows in 2002 and 2003. It was great to see Leslie and Mountain at the Tyne Theatre after so many years, and the shows were both memorable, featuring all the old classics. Leslie’s guitar playing was as good as ever, and Corky Laing was there on drums, Felix having sadly passed away in 1983. The great Stray were support at one of those gigs. Leslie hasn’t been so well, and hasn’t made it over to the UK for a few years now, but is still playing in the US.

Thanks to my friend, the aforementioned John, who has recently added the great psychedelic Mountain poster for the tour, which you can see at the top left of this post, to his fantastic collection of memorabilia.


8 responses to this post.

  1. I was at the Mountain gig in 1971. Loved it. Thanks for prompting me to relive the experience.


  2. Slaps own forehead – obviously I meant 72!


  3. Mountain – Live At the Newcastle City Hall 1972

    I was 16 years old , i saw Mountain at the City Hall in Newcastle with a few mates .We went to buy tickets for two shows , we bought a ticket to see Jethro Tull and only had enough money to buy one more i persuaded my mates to buy the Mountain Ticket. i was a bit worried as they had not listened to Mountain before, but as it happened i worried needlessly they were blow away by the magic of Leslie West’s Guitar Playing it turned out to be a great night . As you can see from the photo of the ticket it cost a whopping 60p (40cents)


  4. Thank you for the memories. Where are audience recordings from these 1971 and 1972 UK tours? Not a single one has surfaced after 50 years!


  5. I’m quite new to Mountain; yes, I know – 50+ years late!
    I remember growing up and seeing Brian Walden’s ‘Weekend World’, a Sunday morning TV political programme and always enjoying the theme tune. Well, only a few years ago I discovered that the music was in fact ‘Nantucket Sleighride’ by Mountain and I hunted down the album on CD. I’ve enjoyed it ever since and recently picked up a decent vinyl copy for just a fiver, and was amazed to discover that it is complete with the original lyric booklet and two band photographs!
    Now one of my favourite albums!



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