Thursday, January 13, 2022

Nick Gravenites And John Cipollina Live At Rodon Club 1987/88

This is an album recorded live at Rodon Club in Athens - Greece on new year's eve 1987/88



Nicholas George Gravenites (born October 2, 1938) is an American blues, rock and folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist, best known for his work with Electric Flag (as their lead singer), Janis Joplin, Mike Bloomfield and several influential bands and individuals of the generation

springing from the 1960s and 1970s. He has sometimes performed under the stage names Nick "The Greek" Gravenites and Gravy.
Gravenites was born in Chicago, into a Greek-speaking family; his parents were from Palaiochori, Arcadia, in Greece. After his father died, he worked in the family candy store before he was enrolled at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy; he was expelled shortly before he was due to graduate.

Gravenites played in clubs with Mike Bloomfield, Charlie Musselwhite and others, and settled in San Francisco in the mid 1960s. In 1967 he formed the Electric Flag with Bloomfield. Gravenites also wrote the score for the film The Trip and produced the music for the film Steelyard Blues. According to author and pop music critic Joel Selvin, Gravenites is "the original San Francisco connection for the Chicago crowd."

Gravenites is credited as a "musical handyman", helping such San Francisco bands as Quicksilver Messenger Service and Janis Joplin's first solo group, the Kozmic Blues Band. He

wrote several songs for Joplin, including "Work Me, Lord"
and the unfinished instrumental track "Buried Alive in the Blues". Gravenites was the lead singer in the re-formed Big Brother and the Holding Company (without Joplin) from 1969 to 1972. He also worked extensively with John Cipollina after producing the first album by Quicksilver Messenger Service. He and Cipollina formed the Nick Gravenites–John Cipollina Band, which toured throughout Europe.

Gravenites was a key player and impresario on both the Chicago blues scene and the emerging blues-rock and psychedelic rock scene in San Francisco. In 1967, he formed a short-lived but legendary band, the Electric Flag, with guitarist Bloomfield, organist Barry Goldberg, bassist Harvey Brooks, and drummer Buddy Miles. The Electric Flag made their first performance at the Monterey

Pop Festival in 1967, and their first album, A Long Time Comin', made the Top 40; the group continued to record into the mid-'70s. Gravenites continued to perform through the 1970s and '80s around San Francisco and Northern California, filling his live shows with raw, burning, very economical guitar playing and soulful singing. His solo and collaborative albums during this period include My Labors (CBS, 1969), the Steelyard Blues soundtrack (Liberty, 1973), Junkyard in Malibu (Line, 1980), and Blue Star (Line, 1980).

A mid-'90s album with his group Animal Mind, titled Don't Feed the Animals, was released by Taxon Records, and Gravenites joined Bob Margolin and others in a Kennedy Center tribute concert to

bluesman Muddy Waters, taped in the fall of 1997 for airing on PBS. During the 2000s Gravenites could be found along with a host of other blues and blues-rock luminaries -- including Harvey Mandel (Canned Heat, John Mayall), Barry Goldberg (Electric Flag), Tracy Nelson (Mother Earth), Corky Siegel (Siegel-Schwall Band), and Sam Lay (Butterfield Blues Band) -- in Chicago Blues Reunion, an aggregation featured on the CD/DVD set Buried Alive in the Blues (recorded at an October 2004 concert in Berwyn, Illinois), released in 2005 by Out the Box Records.



John Cipollina (August 24, 1943 – May 29, 1989) was a guitarist best known for his role as a founder and the lead guitarist of the prominent San Francisco rock band Quicksilver Messenger Service. After leaving Quicksilver he formed the band Copperhead, was a member of the San Francisco All Stars and later played with numerous other bands.

Cipollina had a unique guitar sound, mixing solid state and valve amplifiers as early as 1965. He is considered one of the fathers of the San Francisco psychedelic rock sound.

"I like the rapid punch of solid-state for the bottom, and the rodent-gnawing distortion of the tubes on top."
To create his distinctive guitar sound, Cipollina developed a one-of-a-kind amplifier stack. His Gibson SG guitars had two pickups, one for bass and one for treble. The bass pickup fed into two Standel bass amps on the bottom of the stack, each equipped with two 15-inch speakers. The treble pickups fed two Fender amps: a Fender Twin Reverb and a Fender Dual Showman that drove six Wurlitzer horns.

Quicksilver Messenger Service (sometimes credited as simply Quicksilver) are an American psychedelic rock band formed in 1965 in San Francisco. The band achieved wide popularity in the San Francisco Bay Area and, through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe, and several of their albums ranked in the Top 30 of the Billboard Pop charts. They were part of

the new wave of album-oriented bands, achieving renown and popularity despite a lack of success with their singles (only one, "Fresh Air" charted, reaching number 49 in 1970). Though not as commercially successful as contemporaries Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver was integral to the beginnings of their genre. With their jazz and classical influences and a strong folk background, the band attempted to create an individual, innovative sound. Music historian Colin Larkin wrote: "Of all the bands that came out of the San Francisco area during the late '60s, Quicksilver typified most of the style, attitude and sound of that era."

After leaving Quicksilver in 1971, Cipollina formed the band Copperhead with early Quicksilver member Jim Murray (who was soon to leave for Maui, Hawaii), former Stained Glass member Jim

McPherson, drummer David Weber, Gary Phillipet (AKA Gary Phillips (keyboardist), later a member of Bay Area bands Earthquake and The Greg Kihn Band), and Pete Sears. Sears was shortly thereafter replaced by current Bonnie Raitt bassist James "Hutch" Hutchinson who played on the Copperhead LP and stayed with the band for its duration. Copperhead disbanded in mid 1974 after becoming a staple in the SF Bay Area and touring the West Coast, Hawaii (Sunshine Crater Fest on New Years Day of 1973 with Santana) , the South (opening dates for Steely Dan) and the Midwest.

In 1975, the Welsh psychedelic band Man toured the United States, towards the end of which,

they played two gigs at the San Francisco Winterland (March 21 and 22), which were such a success that promoter Bill Graham paid them a bonus and rebooked them.
While waiting for the additional gigs, the band met and rehearsed with Cipollina, who played with them at Winterland in April 1975. After this, Cipollina agreed to play a UK tour which took place in May 1975, during which their "Roundhouse gig" was recorded.

During the 80s, Cipollina performed with a number of configurations, including Fish & Chips, with Barry Melton, Thunder and Lightning, with Nick Gravenites, with The Dinosaurs, and Problem Child. He was a founding member of Zero and its rhythm guitarist until his death. Most often these bands played club gigs, mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, where Cipollina remained well-known to aficionados as among the great psychedelic guitarists. His style influenced many upcoming younger players, including Trey Anastasio of Phish.

Cipollina died on 29 May 1989 at the age of 45 after a career in music that spanned twenty five years. His cause of death was alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, which he suffered from most of his life, and which is exacerbated by smoking.  

Nick Gravenites And John Cipollina - Live In Athens At The Rodon 1987/88
Label: Music Box International – CD 40421.2
Format:    CD, Album
Country: Greece
Year: 1991
Genre: Rock, Blues
Style: Blues Rock



01. Walkin' Blues  (Arranged By – Nick Gravenites/Written-By – Robert Johnson)
02. Funky News
03. Anna
04. Get Together  (Written-By – Chet Powers)
05. Born In Chicago
06. Small Walk-In Box
07. Four Floors Or Forty
08. You Can't Hurt Me No More


Bass, Vocals – Doug Killmer
Drums – Tony Johnson
Engineer [Post Production] – Takis Argyriou
Guitar, Vocals – John Cipollina
Producer – Theo Manikas
Vocals, Guitar – Nick Gravenites
Written-By – Nick Gravenites (pistes : 2, 3, 5 to 8)


From the Back sleeve:

This is for Josef who likes Qicksilver Messenger Service

MP3 @ 320 Size: 111 MB
Flac  Size: 307 MB


  1. Dear friend, that's nice that you remember that QMS is one of my favourite bands.
    When i say Quicksilver i mean especially the first two lps. Although live they were very good up until the late of 1970.
    Then it becomes a problem for me.
    I could go on and ob about it here, because it would be to extensive.
    I any case the thing with Gravenites and it at this time i din't like it.
    Gravenites a major figure in the 60's S. F. scene.
    I like his collaboration with Big Brother & the holding Company after Janis Joplin. I especially love the album BE A BROTHER 1970!!! One of my favourite albuns and very underrated. I also have live recordings from that time. GREAT !!!
    The wouldn't be much to say about it.
    Thanks Kostas for everything.

    1. Thanks to you and your comment

    2. Maybe a few sentences in addition to the above.
      There are various tapes from 1968/69 Gravenites with Cipollina or Quicksilver live with Gravenites from 1969. (By the way, the only time Quicksilver performed live was in 1969,
      Shady Grove time).
      All of this of course much better than the stuff from the 70's and later, i can't hear it, it just bouring and bad. I have maybe 60 live most as sbd from Quicksilver and until autumn 1970 will be excellent.
      One more word about Cipollina.
      Copperhead is ok and really good.
      I already have problems with Terry & the Pirates. They remind me as if they were a bar band. Although here i have an radio live recording from June 1973
      which is good.
      Raven from 1976 is still ok too.
      But then it's over.

    3. Ok Josef. I have 2 albums of Terry and the Pirates. Commence boots and Too close for comfort. Sometime I Will post them (Not for you - you know very well this music scene - but for the younger followers)

    4. Yes do that !
      My judgement is subjective.
      It is free for everyone else to think differently.

  2. Apropo Terry & the Pirates:
    There is a very good cd by Terry Dolan rec. 1972/73. Was only released maybe 5 years ago.
    Highly recommended !