Gentle Giant

Tour History

 

 

Compiled by Jack Skelly

Includes Research Provided by

Geir Hasnes and Tor Nygard

 

Updated August 1, 2001

 

 

Notes from the Compiler -

 

What follows is a compilation of information concerning the comings and goings and live activities, put into chronological order, of the English band, Gentle Giant.It includes

†††††† - general historical information

†††††† - tourdates (cities, venues, others on the bill)

†††††† - annotations of interesting happenings at concerts

†††††† - U.S. and U.K. album release dates

†††††† - radio and television appearances

†††††† - setlists through the years

†††††† - information on known live recordings

 

Most of the tourdates, as well as some of the other material here, were provided to me by either Geir or Tor.In his role as publisher of PROCLAMATION: THE OCCASIONAL GENTLE GIANT NEWSLETTER, Geir was able to compile vast amounts of information on the band's activities between 1970 and 1980.Many thanks to him and the others involved in the Newsletter for their monumental efforts poring through magazine and newspaper articles, ads and reviews, interviewing band members, canvassing other subscribers, etc.This document is as much theirs as it is mine and I am greatly indebted to them.

Likewise, Tor has put an incredible amount of time, on his own, into researching and gathering up documentation and details of the band's time together.He has been gracious enough to share information from his archives with me and allow me to include it here for all Gentle Giant fans to enjoy.

Additional sources used include

 

- THE OFFICIAL GENTLE GIANT HOME PAGE (hosted by Dan Barrett)

- GENTLE GIANT IN CONCERT (giglist compiled by Francois Angers)

- ON-REFLECTION (recollections from members of this Gentle Giant internet newsgroup - a collective goldmine of GG knowledge)

- the many, many fans and concertgoers throughout the land who willingly shared their memories and anecdotes (thanks to all)

- whatever else I could dig up!

 

†††††† This is most definitely a work in progress.There are no doubt cavernous gaps and countless inaccuracies in the information.Please feel free to contact me with corrections, additions, deletions, etc.Hopefully, this "labor of love" can continue to grow.

 

††††† Did you ever see Gentle Giant live?If so, get in touch with me!Personal recollections from concerts are especially welcome.

 

I can be reached at

JAskelly@aol.com

 

††††† Thanks!

††††††††††† Jack

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(scroll through everything or click on where you want to go)

 

Prologue(brief introduction)

 

PARTOneTHE EARLY DAYS (1970 - 1971)

 

PARTTwoHITTING THE ROAD (1972 - early 1973)

 

PARTThreeGOING ON AFTER PHIL (early 1973 - mid 1974)

 

PARTFourBACK TO NORTH AMERICA (late 1974 - mid 1975)

 

PARTFiveTHE PEAK OF SUCCESS (late 1975)

 

PARTSixSTILL PLUGGING AWAY (1976 - early 1977)

 

PARTSevenA CHANGE OF DIRECTION (mid 1977 - 1979)

 

PARTEightTHE FINAL DAYS (1980)

 

Valedictory(brief conclusion)

 

 

 

 

* Prologue *

 

 

Gentle Giant was formed by the three Shulman brothers (Phil, Derek and Ray), all of whom had earlier been in the late '60's British pop/soul/psych band known as Simon Dupree and the Big Sound.This earlier group played all around England for about four years with the odd TV and radio spot thrown in, as well.They managed one album and one UK Top 5 single, but failed to make any lasting impression on England's pop music scene.

By the end of 1969, the Shulmans disbanded Simon Dupree and set their eyes on the growing market for a more creative, intelligent type of music that eventually came to be called progressive rock. They formed a new group, retaining Martin Smith from his time at the tail end of the previous group, and adding new members Kerry Minnear and Gary Green.This new group strove for a sound that was adventurous, challenging and distinctly its own.Right from the start, their compositions seemed to be equal parts rock, jazz, classical, avant-garde, blues, medieval, and whatever else they could mix into the musical stew.They were ambitious, to say the least, but with their vocal and multi-instrumental virtuosity, they rightly assumed they could realize their vision.

 

 

 

*** Part One ***

*** The Early Days ***

 

 

††††††††††††††††† 1970

 

 

Feb. ?††††††† Gentle Giant was formed.Formal rehearsals and songwriting sessions began in Portsmouth, England and lasted for at least six months.

 

Feb. 23†††††† Kerry Minnear disputes the information contained in the liner notes included with the 1997 UNDER CONSTRUCTION album.According to these liner notes, the brand-new band went into Philips Studios in London to record an audition tape for the Vertigo record label on Feb. 23.The tape consisted of the songs Weekend Cowboy, Bringing Me Down and an early version of Nothing at All.Kerry claims that Gary Green didn't even audition for the band until March and there were no recording sessions until April.Whenever these three songs were recorded, they remained unreleased until their inclusion on UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

 

Mar. ?††††††† This is when Kerry claims that Gary Green joined Gentle Giant.

 

Apr. ?†††††††† Kerry says this is when the band's first recording session took place.However, instead of being a Vertigo audition tape, as indicated in the UNDER CONSTRUCTION liner notes, it may have actually been an intended single for the Philips record label and recorded at Pye Studios.The songs recorded for this alleged single were Weekend Cowboy and Freedom's child.Obviously, there is some confusion surrounding Gentle Giant's earliest recording session.

 

 

For the first several months of its existence, Giant was more or less a studio band.Instead of hammering out their live act, they were content to spend their time shaping the musical direction of the band in the rehearsal hall and recording studio.At the time, they mostly lived off profits from the Simon Dupree days and financial support from their manager, Gerry Bron.By mid 1970, the group began playing sporadic live gigs before recording their first album.As the year wore on, however, they did hit the stage more and more often.The vast majority of these gigs were in England, the band rarely venturing onto continental Europe.

†††††††† In concert, they mostly played the songs that would turn up on their first album.They are known to have played all seven of these songs live, plus a few others, though not all at every concert, and the order was undoubtedly switched around from time to time.Choosing from these songs allowed them to feature each of the players on a variety of instruments.Switching instruments back and forth became one of their trademarks.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Mid 1970 - Mid 1971)

 

†††††††† Giant

†††††††† Funny Ways

†††††††† Alucard

Isn't It Quiet and Cold?

Nothing at All - this song, in particular, showed off the group's versatility as it included a percussion break that not only featured Martin Smith, but also saw Ray and Kerry pounding on his drums.eventually, in later years, this evolved into a full 5-man drum bash

†††††††† Why Not?

Plain Truth - this was released on the second album, ACQUIRING THE TASTE.it served as a vehicle for Ray Shulman's violin solo.this solo became a fixture on many future tours.in later years, he added quadraphonic echo effects, making the song always a crowd pleaser

Hometown Special - never included on any of their regular albums, though it saw release many years later

City Hermit - also never included on a regular GG album, but released many years later.on stage, the band originally referred to the song by the name City Hermit, Me

The Queen - generally used to end the main set, giving the band members a chance to thank and say goodbye to the audience

Peel Off the Paint - often used as an encore, this still unreleased song could be considered an early precursor to Peel the Paint from the third album.however, although the lyrics were very similar, the music was quite different in nature.it included an extended guitar solo

 

 

Sadly, very few live recordings from the early days of the band exist, so it is not known whether any other material such as Weekend Cowboy, Bringing Me Down or Freedom's Child may have been included in their stage shows at that time.It is known that material from their first album continued to make up the bulk of their setlists well into 1972.

 

???†††††††††† Portsmouth, England††††††††††††† Art College†††††††††††††††††††††† an article in a later issue of Melody Maker mentions that the band did their very first gig in their hometown of Portsmouth, but apparently doesn't say exactly when.there may not have been anyone else on the bill

June 6††††††† Exeter, England†††††††††††††††††† Exeter University†††††††††††††††† at this gig, GG opened for Van Der Graaf Generator

June 20††††† Hamburg, Germany†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Giant appeared at the "Big Gig Festival" with five other bands.this was one of the few concerts the band played outside of England in 1970

June 25††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Country Club†††††††††††††††††††† this was billed as a special promotional appearance of some sort, with no other bands taking part††††††††††††††††††

 

June 29††††† There is evidence that the band recorded a studio session on this date for the BBC, with the intention that it air on deejay Terry Wogan's afternoon radio program.However, no information exists as to what songs were taped and there is no indication the program ever aired.

 

July 2†††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Speakeasy

July 4†††††††† Portsmouth, England††††††††††††† Greyhound Stadium††††††††††† this was billed as a "Pop Festival" and included ten other bands, including the Strawbs, Hartley, East of Eden and Uriah Heep.the master of ceremonies was Mike Raven, who introduced each band

July 10†††††† Birmingham, England††††††††††† Mother's††††††††††††††††††††††††† played in support of Andy Ferris

July 15†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Marquee Club†††††††††††††††††† played in support of Slade.it's unknown if this was their first appearance at this famous London club

 

July 21†††††† The band recorded their first verified BBC studio session at the Playhouse Theatre in London, England.Two out of the three songs from this session, City Hermit and Isn't It Quiet and Cold?, appear on the 1996 album, OUT OF THE WOODS and the 2000 album, TOTALLY OUT OF THE WOODS.The third song, Freedom's Child, is missing.†††††

 

Aug. 17†††††† The BBC session from July 21 was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by David Symmonds.Simon Dupree had had a number of BBC sessions aired, but this was the first confirmed time Gentle Giant appeared on British radio.

 

Aug. ?††††††† Their first full album, GENTLE GIANT, was recorded at Trident Studios in London.It took only a couple weeks to record.

 

Aug. 29†††††† The UNDER CONSTRUCTION liner notes state that on this date, at Trident Studios, the band recorded Freedom's Child and Hometown Special.In that case, these two songs would certainly have been recorded as part of the overall recording sessions for the first album.However, once again, there is confusion as to which non-album songs were recorded in April and which were done in August.Whatever the case, these two songs finally saw the light of day on UNDER CONSTRUCTION.

 

Sep. 14†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Marquee Club†††††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Czar and another band named Jenks

 

Sep. 28†††††† An ad in New Musical Express listed another BBC session as being broadcast on this date on Sounds of the Seventies, but no other information exists to confirm there ever really was another recording session.Perhaps the ad was for a re-broadcast of the earlier session.

 

Oct. 9†††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Temple†††††††††††††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Tear Gas and a band called Kiss.this is not the same Kiss that captured the hearts of American heavy metal fans later in the 1970's, although Giant and that band did actually play separate gigs at the same venue on August 23, 1975

Nov. 14†††††† Exeter, England†††††††††††††††††† Exeter University†††††††††††††††† Giant shared the stage with Quartermass, both opening for Ginger Baker's Air Force

 

Nov. 27††††† Their first album, GENTLE GIANT, was released in England, followed by European releases over the next few months.However, it was not originally released in America.

 

Dec. 1††††††† The band did their second verified BBC studio session, this time at London's Maida Vale Studio 5.The songs were Hometown Special, Nothing at All and Funny Ways.Unfortunately, this entire session is missing.

 

Dec. 2††††††† Harlow, England†††††††††††††††††† Aquarius Birdcage†††††††††††††† shared the bill with Gnidrolog.Stewart Goldring of Gnidrolog remembers Gentle Giant as being "not so gentle!"

Dec. 5††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Bumpers††††††††††††††††††††††††† the band played this gig alone

 

Dec. 8††††††† The second BBC session was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by Mike Harding.

 

Dec. 10†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Lyceum†††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Colosseum.Ian Carr's Nucleus also played support on this bill

Dec. 12†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Speakeasy†††††††††††††††††††††††

Dec. 18†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Redcar

Dec. 30†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Castle†††††††††††††††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Czar

 

†††††††† Long-time fans of the band remember several other English gigs from the early 1970's, but neither confirmation nor specific details exist.Even the exact year of the concerts is unknown, except to say that 1970 or 1971 is likely.

 

???†††††††††† Eastleigh, England††††††††††††††† Technical College††††††††††††† an unconfirmed show

???†††††††††† Southend-on-Sea, England††††† Palace Theatre††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed show at which they are said to have played in support of Uriah Heep

???†††††††††† Southend-on-Sea, England††††† Kursaal†††††††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed show where they supposedly opened for Egg

???†††††††††† Southend-on-Sea, England††††† Kursaal†††††††††††††††††††††††††† another unconfirmed show, but remembered as a different show than the previous listing

 

 

1971

 

 

During the first few months of 1971, Gentle Giant still tended to spend a lot of time on songwriting and recording, but they were also doing more and more live work.They stuck with the same basic setlist of their inventive originals but, unfortunately, they had some trouble shaking the Simon Dupree tag with the English audiences.

 

 

Jan. - Apr.Their second album, ACQUIRING THE TASTE, was recorded at A.I.R. and Advision Studios in London.

 

Jan. 16†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Imperial College††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Affinity

Jan. 22†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Bedford College†††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Uriah Heep

Jan. 29†††††† Essex, England††††††††††††††††††† Exeter University†††††††††††††††† opened for the Faces

Feb. 2††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Lyceum†††††††††††††††††††††††††† this was a lunchtime gig

Feb. 7††††††† North Finchley, England††††††††† Torrington††††††††††††††††††††††† a show they played alone

Feb. 12 ††††† Winchester, England††††††††††††† King Alfred's College - College Theatre †††††† an existing tape of this concert includes the only known live recordings of Hometown Special, City Hermit, Isn't It Quiet and Cold?, Why Not? and Peel Off the Paint, all of which disappeared from their setlist shortly afterwards.it is also the only known live in-concert recording to include Martin Smith on drums.Gary Green remembers this to be the band's fifth gig from 1970.however, he is incorrect.on the tape, Derek mentions that the first album had been released "seven weeks ago" and they had just been in the studio recording Plain Truth as their first recording for their second album.curiously, he also mentions that that recording was to be included as a bonus track on an upcoming U.S. release of their first album, an event that did not come to pass.on this night, the band played to a "packed house", as Derek described it, also claiming that to be "unusual" for the band's college gigs at the time.although this gig was in Winchester at a venue advertised as a College Theatre, the exact name of the college has not been confirmed.Gary remembers this as being at King Alfred's College, but no other evidence supports that contention, as of yet

Feb 18††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† NEL Polytechnic†††††††††††††††† they played in support of Colosseum

Feb. 26†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Horseshoe††††††††††††††††††††††† possibly another lunchtime gig

Mar. 1††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† City University††††††††††††††††††† Giant and a band called Gehenna opened for Swegas and Formerly Fat Harry.it's possible others were on the bill, as well.this event was advertised as a ragdance, basically a student charity dance

Mar. 5††††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††† Didsbury College of Education†††††††† another show they played alone

Mar. 19†††††† Blackpool, England†††††††††††††† Empress Ballroom - Winter Gardens†††††††††††† this event was called the "Arts Ball 71".at this show, Colosseum and Marmalade were both the featured bands while GG and Mott the Hoople played support

Mar. 20†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Thames Polytechnic - Student Union†††††††††† here they shared the bill with Maya and Third World War

Mar. 26†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Southend Technical College - Ballroom††††††††††††††† Giant apparently were booked heavily on the English college circuit in early 1971.at this show, also advertised as a ragdance, Gypsy, Egg and Giant all opened for Oblivion Express

???†††††††††† Haverfordwest, Wales††††††††††††† Market Hall†††††††††††††††††††††† a headlining gig with Gnidorolog as the opening act

 

Apr. - May††† Starting in late April and into the beginning of May, Giant went on its first known organized tour of Europe, opening for Colosseum, a band with which they had played a number of gigs in England.This tour reportedly took them to Scandinavia, Germany, Holland, Belgium, France, Italy and Switzerland, though few specific dates are known.They found that they were somewhat better received in Europe than they were back home in Great Britain.

 

May 4†††††††† Munich, Germany†††††††††††††††† Circus Krone Building†††††††††† opened for Colloseum.this building housed the famous European Krone Circus during the winter months, but hosted other acts the rest of the year

 

 

†††††††† Returning to England, the group found themselves gigging quite regularly.They also participated in the "Vertigo Showcase" tour.Vertigo, Giant's record label in England, was a branch of Philips Record Company, specializing in more progressive groups.The label organized this tour to promote some of the acts on its roster.

†††††††† ††††††††

 

May 8†††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Twickenham College - Student Union††††††††† at this college show, they opened for Stone the Crows

May 30†††††† Westcliff, England†††††††††††††††† Palace Theatre††††††††††††††††† opened for Lindisfarne.the date may have actually been May 29

June 4††††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† City University††††††††††††††††††† this was a part of the "Vertigo Showcase" tour.others on the bill this night were the Graham Bond Magick, Warhorse, Catapilla and Jimmy Campbell

June 13††††† England††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† it's believed they played at another "Vertigo Showcase" concert on this night somewhere in England, but where is unknown

June 17††††† Great Yarmouth, England††††††† Tower Ballroom†††††††††††††††† another "Vertigo Showcase" show. the Graham Bond Magick and Jimmy Campbell again appeared, as did May Blitz

June 18††††† Southampton, England†††††††††† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† another "Vertigo Showcase" gig was scheduled for this evening at the Melody Rooms in Norwich, England with the Graham Bond Magick, Jimmy Cambell and May Blitz, but Giant backed out.instead, they played in Southampton, opening for the Groundhogs.Gary Green remembers doing the rarely performed song Pantagruel's Nativity at least once, during a show in Southampton after the second album was released.it may have been this show, but it may have been a different show in Southampton†††††††††††††

June 19††††† Plymouth, England††††††††††††††† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† again, they opened for the Groundhogs

June 22††††† Oxford, England†††††††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† part of the "Vertigo Showcase" tour, this night sharing the bill with the Graham Bond Magick, Warhorse and Jimmy Campbell

June 24††††† Cambridge, England††††††††††††† Dorothy Ballroom††††††††††††††† once more sharing the bill with the Graham Bond Magick, Warhorse and Jimmy Campbell on this date of the "Vertigo Showcase" tour

June 25††††† England††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† it's believed another GG gig took place somewhere in England on this night but, again, it's not known where.it may have been a "Vertigo Showcase" show, but this also is uncertain

July 3†††††††† Widnes, England††††††††††††††††† Queen's Hall†††††††††††††††††††† a gig they played alone

 

 

A report in New Musical Express stated that Giant was set to record incidental music in late July in London for a movie by filmmaker Dario Argento, possibly the film Four Flies in Grey Velvet.It's not known if this recording ever took place, but it's relatively certain that no GG music ever appeared in an Argento movie.†††††††

 

 

July 16†††††† ACQUIRING THE TASTE was released in England.It was not originally released in America.

 

 

Starting in late July, the band found themselves back in Europe doing concerts and promotional appearances.Included were several radio and television appearances in various northern and central European nations.The original itinerary had them in Europe from July 26 through Aug. 2, but some evidence indicates they may have ended up staying longer than just one week.There were also tentative dates set for Scandinavia in August, but nothing is known about these.

††††††††

 

???†††††††††† Novara, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a partial tape of this concert exists.it could be from this period of time when the band was in Europe in July and August, but it could be from some other time

???†††††††††† Frankfurt, Germany††††††††††††††† Zoom Club†††††††††††††††††††††† an eyewitness clearly recalls Giant playing the Zoom Club in either 1970 or 1971, though 1970 is very unlikely.it could have been in July or August of 1971 but, like the Novara listing above, it could have been from some other time

 

 

†††††††† At some point in the latter part of 1971, possibly early August, drummer Martin Smith left, due to personal differences, mainly between him and Phil.He was replaced by 18-year-old Malcolm Mortimore.For the remainder of the year, they continued to gig fairly steadily in England, mostly at clubs and colleges.However, the time when Malcolm joined may be the time when Isn't It Quiet and Cold? and Why Not? disappeared from the set, along with all the non-album songs.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Late 1971 - Early 1972)

 

Giant

Funny Ways

Alucard

Nothing at All

Plain Truth - it appears that this song may have been the only song from ACQUIRING THE TASTE that was regularly played on stage†††††††

The Queen††††

 

†††††††† Even though the band now had two albums worth of material to choose from, in a live setting they still concentrated mostly on songs from their first album.It is unknown if any other material from their second album, other than Plain Truth, ever regularly made it into their setlists at this time.For that matter, the other songs from ACQUIRING THE TASTE remained unplayed for the remainder of the band's career.

 

 

 

???†††††††††† Bournemouth, England†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a spectator remembers a gig here sometime in 1971, but exactly when it took place is unknown.who would have been on drums is also unknown

Aug. 21†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Temple†††††††††††††††††††††††††† along with a band called Flying Hatband, they opened for Black Widow

Aug. ?††††††† Clacton-on-Sea, England†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Giant originally intended to appear at the "Weeley Festival" along with 23 other groups, but they cancelled for some reason.this major rock music festival, headlined by the Faces and T Rex, took place on Aug. 27, 28 and 29, but it is unknown on which date Giant was originally scheduled

Sep. 4††††††† Speyer, Germany††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a festival called the "British Rock Meeting" was held here on Sep. 4 and 5.Black Sabbath and Deep Purple participated, as did GG and other bands.if the date of the Vienna listing below is correct, as it's believed to be, Giant's set must have been on Sep. 4.these two listings are part of another short European tour GG did from late August to Sep. 8

Sep. 5††††††† Vienna, Austria††††††††††††††††††† Stadthalle††††††††††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this concert, which is rather short, implying they were an opening act on this night, though who headlined is unknown

???†††††††††† Narberth, Wales††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a spectator at this show remembers it as being in 1972, but it was more likely in the second half of 1971.this spectator also remembers dancing on stage during Ray's Plain Truth violin solo.Malcolm played the drums

Sep. 10†††††† Buxton, England†††††††††††††††††† Pavillion Gardens†††††††††††††† the band was part of the "Sound 71 Blues and Progressive Festival", an event described as an "All-Night Music Festival".headliners were the Groundhogs and the Edgar Broughton Band.other bands appearing were East of Eden, Paladin, Juicy Lucy and more.the festival was scheduled to run from 8:30 P.M. until 7:00 A.M. the next day

Sep. 11†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Queen Elizabeth Hall†††††††††† here, the group got to play a more prestigious venue.they played two shows here on this day, opening for the Groundhogs

Sep. 27†††††† Chester, England††††††††††††††††† Quaintways†††††††††††††††††††††† this was possibly some sort of festival event.the headliner was the band If

Oct. 8†††††††† Romford, England†††††††††††††††† Ablemarle Club†††††††††††††††††

Oct. 9†††††††† Isleworth, England†††††††††††††††† Borough Road College ††††††† here they shared the stage with Black Widow and Supertramp.the name of the college may actually have been Isleworth University

Oct. 10†††††† Gravesend, England††††††††††††† New Lord's Club - Civic Centre††††††††† at this show, they played in support of ex-Jethro Tull guitarist Mick Abrahams.coincidentally, this foreshadowed the close working relationship Giant had with Tull in 1972

Oct. 15†††††† Swansea, Wales†††††††††††††††††† Laughor Welfare Hall

Oct. 16†††††† Southampton, England†††††††††† Southampton University††††††† they probably opened for Jude, though it may actually have been the Robin Trower Band

Oct. 23†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† London School of Economics

 

 

†††††††† Yet another trip onto the European continent was planned for late October through mid November, but it is unclear whether this tour ever took place, as no hard evidence has been found.The itinerary called for the band to be in Denmark and Sweden from Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, in Madrid, Spain on Nov. 7 and in France from Nov. 9 to Nov. 11.

 

††††††††††††††††††††††

Nov. 6††††††† Birmingham, England††††††††††† University of Birmingham†††††† this show had been originally scheduled and advertised a few months earlier, but no later ads have been located, so the show may very well have been cancelled.theoretically, there was a small window of opportunity in the scheduled European tour listed above which would have allowed Giant to return to the U.K. on this date.however, both the European tour and this individual gig lack confirmation

Nov. 18†††††† Southall, England†††††††††††††††† Underworld†††††††††††††††††††††† a show they played alone†††††

 

Nov. ?††††††† An article in Melody Maker indicated that Giant spent a few more days performing somewhere in Germany sometime in the second half of November, but no other details are known about these concerts.However, it is known that they were held up from returning to England on Nov. 24, due to a bad snowstorm in Germany.

 

Nov. 24†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Marquee Club†††††††††††††††††† this show was cancelled, due to the snowstorm that stranded the band in Germany on this day.Giant was scheduled to appear with the band Freedom

Dec. 3††††††† Braintree, England††††††††††††††† Two J's Club†††††††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Copperfield

Dec. 8††††††† Coventry, England†††††††††††††††† Whitley Abbey School††††††††† opened for a band called Dando Shaft

 

Dec. 12†††††† They recorded their third BBC studio session, the only one done with Malcolm, at London's Transcription Service Studio T1.The date may be slightly off on this one.They recorded Alucard, Plain Truth, Giant and Funny Ways.The first three were broadcast on Jan. 7, 1972, while Funny Ways was broadcast on Feb. 4, 1972.†† This entire session is missing.

 

Dec. 17†††††† Dartford, England††††††††††††††††† Northwest Kent College of Technology†††††††† this was billed as a "Giant Christmas Party".they shared the stage with acts by the name of Roger Ruskin Spears and Giant Kinetic Wardrobe.interestingly, a stripper by the name of Big Bertha was also on the bill

 

Dec. ? †††††† Giant's third album, THREE FRIENDS, was recorded in London at Advision Studios and at another unknown London studio.It was the only one to feature Malcolm on drums.

 

 

 

*** Part Two ***

*** Hitting the Road ***

 

 

†††††††† 1972

 

 

†††††††† Finally, at the beginning of 1972, Gentle Giant dropped its previous piecemeal approach and jumped headlong into extensive European touring.For the first couple months of the year, they supported Jethro Tull on that band's tour of the continent.This was their first serious organized tour experience and could be considered their first "big break".It was a grueling tour, with very few nights off built in.The two bands got along quite well but Ian Anderson of Tull claims that Giant frequently argued bitterly among themselves after the concerts.It's believed that, generally, they kept the same setlist they had been using in the latter half of 1971.However, they did play live, early on, all the songs from THREE FRIENDS, but some were quickly determined to be ineffective on stage and dropped.

 

 

Jan. 6††††††† †† Holsted, Denmark††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 7††††††† †† Odense, Denmark†††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

 

Jan. 7††††††† Three out of the four songs recorded at the band's third BBC session on Dec. 12, 1971 were broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by John Peel.The songs broadcast were Alucard, Plain Truth and Giant.The other song, Funny Ways, was broadcast on Feb. 4.

 

Jan. 8†††††††† Copenhagen, Denmark †††††††††† K.B. Hallen ††††††††††††††††††††† they did two shows, opening for Jethro Tull

Jan. 9††††††† Gothenburg, Sweden †††††††††††† Konserthuset ††††††††††††††††††† scheduled to open for Jethro Tull, but there is compelling evidence that Giant did not play this show

Jan. 10††††† †† Oslo, Norway††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Konserthuset ††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.Phil remembers this gig fondly

Jan. 11†††††† Stockholm, Sweden†††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† scheduled to open for Jethro Tull though there is a possibility that Giant may not have played on any of Tull's Swedish dates on this tour

Jan. 14†††††† Lund, Sweden††††††††††††††††††††† †††† University of Lund - Akademiska Foreningen††††††††††† again scheduled to open for Jethro Tulland, again, it's possible that GG may not have appeared

Jan. 15†††††† Copenhagen, Denmark††† ††††††† Tivoli Konsertsal†††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.the venue may possibly have been K.B. Hallen

Jan. 16††††† †† Copenhagen, Denmark††† ††††††† Tivoli Konsertsal†††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.this was their third Copenhagen gig in nine days

Jan. 17†††††† Munster, Germany†††††††††† †††††††† Munsterlandhalle †††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 18†††††† Berlin, Germany††††††††††† †††††††††† Deutschlandhalle †††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.Phil also remembers this gig fondly

Jan. 19††††† †† Hamburg, Germany††††††††† ††††††† Congress Centrum Halle††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.the venue may have been Musikhalle

Jan. 20††††† †† Lubeck, Germany†††††††††††† ††††††† Hansahalle ††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 21††††† †† Essen, Germany††††††††††††††† †††††† Grugahalle ††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.a tape of this show exists

Jan. 22†††††† Offenbach, Germany†††††††† †††††† Stadthalle †††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.a tape of this show exists, as well, though the tape is often mistakenly attributed to the May 12 Offenbach show at the same venue.that's not possible as Malcolm, who left the band at the end of March, appears on the tape.the band may have been originally scheduled to play at the Festhalle Messgelande in Frankfurt on this date.Offenbach is just outside of Frankfurt and concerts in Offenbach are often mistakenly attributed to Frankfurt.while in the area, Ray stopped into a music store in Frankfurt and bought the Fender Precision bass that he used from then on

Jan. 23††††† †† Nurnberg, Germany††††††††††††††† †† Meistersingerhalle†††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 24†††††† Vienna, Austria††††††††††† †††††††††† Konserthaus †††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.yet another gig Phil remembers fondly

Jan. 25†††††† Nurnberg, Germany†††††††††††††† Meistersingerhalle†††††††††††††† the original tour schedule called for another show here, opening for Jethro Tull.however, it appears to have not taken place

Jan. 26†††††† Ludwigshafen, Germany†† ††††††† Friedrich-Ebert Halle††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 27††††† †† Hannover, Germany†††††††† ††††††† Kuppelsaal ††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.the venue may have been Niedersachsenhalle

Jan. 28†††††† Offenburg, Germany†††††††† ††††††† OberheinHalle ††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 29††††† †† Zurich, Switzerland††††† †††††††††† Hallenstadion †††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 30††††† †† Bern, Switzerland††††† †††††††††††† Festhalle††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Jan. 31†††††† Milan, Italy††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Feb. 1†††††† †† Rome, Italy††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Palasport ††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Feb. 2†††††† †† Napoli, Italy††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.Gary thinks this show may have been cancelled

Feb. 3††††††† Bologna, Italy†††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Feb. 4††††††† Novara, Italy †††††††††††††††††††††† Palasport††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.a tape of this gig exists

 

Feb. 4††††††† Funny Ways from the group's third BBC session on Dec. 12, 1971 was broadcast on this date.The name of the show and its host are unknown.The other three songs recorded at the same session were broadcast on Jan. 7.

 

Feb. 5††††††† Lyon, France††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Palais des Sports †††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Feb. 6††††††† Paris, France†††††††††††††††††††† †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Feb. 11†††††† Rotterdam, Holland††††††††† ††††††† De Doelen Halle†††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Feb. 12†††††† Amsterdam, Holland††††††† ††††††† Concertgebouw †††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

 

††††††††

In March, Malcolm was injured in a motorcycle accident and the band was forced to find yet another drummer.They brought in John Weathers on very short notice, starting with a tour of the United Kingdom in April.Looking back, it may have been a somewhat humiliating experience for the band, as they actually had to serve as the opening act for a movie, the Jimi Hendrix live concert film, Jimi Plays Berkeley.Kerry has commented that this was a sure sign that Giant was not really gaining any ground with English audiences.Gary remembers it as an odd bill, certainly, but he enjoyed watching Hendrix every night.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Apr. 1972)

 

†††††††† Prologue - this THREE FRIENDS song was now used to begin Giant's shows

†††††††† Alucard

†††††††† Funny Ways

†††††††† Nothing at All

†††††††† Schooldays - another song from their new album, added to the regular set for this tour only

†††††††† Plain Truth

The Queen

 

 

Apr. 1†††††††† Blackburn, England†††††††††††††† Windsor Hall†††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 2†††††††† Folkestone, England††††††††††††† Leas Cliff Hall††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 4†††††††† Croydon, England†††††††††††††††† Fox at Greyhound†††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 5†††††††† Stafford, England††††††††††††††††† Stychfield Hall†††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 7†††††††† Epsom, England†††††††††††††††††† Ebisham Hall††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 8†††††††† Barry, Wales††††††††††††††††††††††† Memorial Hall†††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley.a spectator at the show remarked, while visiting with the band backstage after the show, that he preferred their two previous drummers over John Weathers.this angered John who rose to retaliate.fortunately, Kerry and Ray intervened

Apr. 9 ††††††† Oaken Gates, England††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 11†††††† Bradford, England†††††††††††††††† St. George's Hall††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley.in the band's early years, a roadie would lie under the vibraphone with a microphone during Kerry's solo in Funny Ways.at this particular show, an eyewitness recalls the roadie having a lot of trouble keeping up with Kerry's hands

Apr. 13†††††† Cambridge, England††††††††††††† Guildhall

Apr. 14†††††† Corby, England †††††††††††††††††† Civic Hall

 

Apr. 14†††††† They released THREE FRIENDS in England, though it actually saw its initial release in Germany two months earlier.

 

Apr. 15†††††† Norwich, England††††††††††††††††† St. Andrew's Hall††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 16†††††† Kenilworth, England††††††††††††† Chesford Grange††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 17†††††† High Wycombe, England†††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 18†††††† Southport, England†††††††††††††† Floral Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 21†††††† Sunderland, England†††††††††††† Top Rank Suite††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 23†††††† Edinburgh, Scotland††††††††††††† Caley Cinema†††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 24†††††† Glasgow, Scotland††††††††††††††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 25†††††† Sheffield, England††††††††††††††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 26†††††† Lincoln, England††††††††††††††††† Drill Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 27†††††† Northampton, England††††††††††† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 28†††††† Cheltenham, England††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley.an existing tape of this show includes the only known live recording of Schooldays

Apr. 29†††††† Saint Albans, England††††††††††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jimi Plays Berkeley

Apr. 30†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Greyhound†††††††††††††††††††††† the band played alone at this particular gig, which was a free admission show

 

 

While with Jethro Tull earlier in the year, Giant was particularly well-received in Germany and Italy.Because of this, they made it a point to return to those places on their own as soon as possible, first scheduling a German tour with the bands Chicken Shack and Man, the latter being the band that John Weathers became a member of in the 1980's.Also, Phil recalls a gig Giant played with T Rex sometime in mid 1972, but where or when this was is not known.

On stage, most of the group's live repertoire remained in rotation, though Schooldays was permanently dropped.This may also be the time after which the song Giant was no longer played on a regular basis.However, it is possible that the song did turn up now and again as late as early 1973.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Mid 1972)

 

†††††††† Prologue - the only THREE FRIENDS number now regularly remaining in the set

†††††††† Alucard

†††††††† Funny Ways

†††††††† Nothing at All

Plain Truth

†††††††† The Queen

 

 

May 9†††††††† Germany††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the tour may have started on this night, somewhere in Germany, but it is unclear.whether Chicken Shack and Man appeared is also unclear

May 11†††††† Oldenburg, Germany††††††††††††† Weser-Ems-Halle††††††††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man

May 12††††† †† Offenbach, Germany††††††††††††† Stadthalle††††††††††††††††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

May 13†††††† Kronau, Germany††††††††††††††††† Grosse Mehrzweckhalle†††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man.an existing tape of this gig includes what seems to be a portion of the German National Anthem played during The Queen

May 14†††††† Ludenscheid, Germany†††††††††† IKA-Traglufthalle††††††††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man

May 15†††††† Munich, Germany†††††††††††††††† Circus Krone Building†††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man

May 16†††††† Nurnberg, Germany†††††††††††††† Messehaus†††††††††††††††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man

May 17†††††† Dusseldorf, Germany††††††††††††† Rheinhalle†††††††††††††††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man

May 18†††††† Munster, Germany†††††††††††††††† Munsterlandhalle††††††††††††††† played with Chicken Shack and Man

May 19†††††† Hamburg, Germany†††††††††††††† Musikhalle †††††††††††††††††††††† they were scheduled to play in Hamburg, again with Chicken Shack and Man, on this date.however, a notice in Melody Maker mentioned they were slated to appear atPolytech in Huddersfield, England on the same date.at this event, they were supposedly to perform with Michael Chapman and an act called It's Yourself.a dance and the showing of various films were also planned to round out the evening's entertainment.nevertheless, they more than likely ended up playing in Hamburg

May 21††††† †† Berlin, Germany†††††††††††† †††††††† Waldbuehne†††††††††††††††††††† this Berlin venue hosted the "Super Pop Festival" from May 19 to May 22.advertisements for the event listed Man as appearing, along with many other bands, but did not list Gentle Giant.nonetheless, it's likely that Giant did indeed appear at the festival on this date, though it's unknown if Chicken Shack was there

June 13††††† The band did their fourth BBC studio session at London's Transcription Service Studio T1, recording Mister Class and Quality, Prologue and Schooldays.This session is missing.

 

 

Melody Maker reported that Giant planned to next go on a short tour of Eastern Europe, starting on June 20 with five dates in Poland, followed by two dates in Czechoslovakia and concluding with two dates in Yugoslavia.Gary Green claims this mini-tour never took place.However, this was to be followed in July by ten more days in Germany and sixteen days in Italy.While in Italy, they were to include some club dates and, according to a report in Melody Maker, record some unspecified "film music".Which film this music was intended for and whether any recording ever took place is unclear.

 

 

July ?†††††††† Venice, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GG was scheduled to play at the "Venice Arts Festival" while in Italy

 

???†††††††††† It's known that a brief segment on GG appeared during a news report on Italian TV in 1972.It possibly happened during the time of their sixteen-day tour in July, but possibly not.It definitely included John behind the drums, though.

 

July 10†††††† This is believed to be the date that THREE FRIENDS became the first GG album to be released in America.

 

July 14†††††† Giant's fourth BBC session was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by John Peel.

 

July - Aug.†† Between July 24 and Aug. 5, the band recorded their fourth album, OCTOPUS, at London's Advision Studios.It would prove to be the first album to draw significant attention to the band and many consider this album to be Giant's strongest effort.

 

Aug. 8††††††† They recorded their fifth BBC studio session at Maida Vale Studio 4 in London.The songs at this session, broadcast on Sept. 5, were Plain Truth, Funny Ways and The Advent of Panurge, a song from OCTOPUS, which was still unreleased at the time.A tape of this session exists, recorded by a fan from the radio broadcast, but the BBC's master tape is missing.For that reason, this session does not appear on OUT OF THE WOODS or even TOTALLY OUT OF THE WOODS, purportedly the complete compilation of Giant's extant BBC studio sessions.

 

 

†††††††† By the latter part of 1972, they had made it, at last, to North America.Their very first gigs there were as part of an odd mismatch with Black Sabbath.They had shared a stage with this band on occasion before but, on this tour, the band did not always go over well with the Sabbath crowd, giving Giant some unpleasant early experiences in America.Out of necessity, they had to sometimes play in a heavier style and "rock out" more, in order to get through the gigs.After touring with Sabbath, Giant did some dates opening for several other acts, including Edgar Winter and Humble Pie.Phil recalls them even headlining the odd gig here and there.At their shows, they continued to play most of the same songs they had been playing for a while.However, The Queen was apparently dropped at this time, probably due to its unique British flavor not translating well for North American audiences.There are rumors, possibly true, that they did perform rare material from THREE FRIENDS, as well as material that would appear on OCTOPUS, which was still unreleased in America at that time.Gary remembers A Cry for Everyone being played one time, before being dropped, but it's not known where that was or even which year.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Fall 1972)

 

Prologue

Alucard

Funny Ways

Nothing at All

Plain Truth- Ray's violin solo was, by now, getting a bit longer and wilder

††††††††

†††††††† ††††††††

It is believed that, at the time, the band employed a large, long-haired giant of a man in medieval clothing to start their set.He would carry each member to his position on stage and, with a dove resting on his finger, introduce the band with the words, "the sweet sound of Gentle Giant".It is not known when this opening gimmick was first used, but it continued until sometime in 1973, when the "giant" sadly died.The band advertised for a replacement, but none was found.Oddly, some band members contend that this man died earlier on and never actually appeared at any concerts.If true, then the identity behind the voice heard introducing the band on some early recordings is a mystery.

 

 

Aug. 24†††††† Charleston, South Carolina†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this was scheduled as GG's very first North American concert, as the opening act for Black Sabbath, but whether this gig actually took place has not been verified

Aug. 25†††††† Nashville, Tennessee†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† they were supposed to open for Black Sabbath but Sabbath didn't show, so the headliner was Black Oak Arkansas.one eyewitness claims they played Why Not? and Working All Day, but both are unconfirmed.the eyewitness also remembers them playing The Advent of Panurge, not yet released in America.this is also unconfirmed, but certainly possible.the band went over fairly well, considering they were relatively unknown in the States

Aug. 26†††††† Louisville, Kentucky†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Aug. 27†††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Aug. 28†††††† Minneapolis, Minnesota††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath, possibly at the Civic Center

Aug. 29†††††† St. Paul, Minnesota†††††††††††††† Civic Center††††††††††††††††††††† this is a totally unconfirmed date, not in the original tour schedule or ads.possibly, a fan claiming to remember this is simply confusing it with the Minneapolis show from the previous night.it's also unknown whether Black Sabbath was headlining

Aug. 30†††††† Knoxville, Tennessee†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Aug. 31†††††† Roanoke, Virginia†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 1††††††† Savannah, Georgia†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 2††††††† Bull Island, Illinois†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Giant played a short set sometime between noon and 2 P.M. on this, the second day of the Labor Day Soda Pop Festival, held on a 900-acre site on the border between Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.a witness says they may have begun with Giant, but it's unconfirmed.the festival was poorly organized so many acts pulled out, including Black Sabbath, the Faces, the Allman Brothers and Joe Cocker.other bands appearing included Black Oak Arkansas, the Eagles, Canned Heat, Flash, Ravi Shankar andNazareth.Phil Shulman recalls this festival as being one of the highlights of his time in America.a few hundred thousand people were in attendance for this show, which was listed in the original tour itinerary as taking place in nearby Chandler, Illinois

 

Sep. 5††††††† The group's fifth BBC session from Aug. 8 was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies hosted by John Peel.

 

Sep. 7††††††† Jackson, Mississippi††††††††††††††† Memorial Coliseum†††††††††††† opened for Argent and Black Sabbath.a brief silent 8mm film clip of this performance is known to exist

Sep. 8††††††† New Orleans, Louisiana†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 9††††††† Mobile, Alabama††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath†††††††††††††††††††††††

Sep. 10†††††† San Diego, California†††††††††††† Sports Arena†††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 11†††††† Salt Lake City, Utah†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 13†††††† Portland, Oregon††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 15†††††† Los Angeles, California†††† †††††† Hollywood Bowl†††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath.a large billboard with the Giant's head was erected in town prior to the show to publicize GG's upcoming appearance, but much of the crowd was particularly unkind to the band.firecrackers were set off during the introduction to Funny Ways, causing Derek and Phil to yell at the crowd.a tape exists of this concert, at which 20,000 fans were present.Iron Butterfly may also have been on the bill, but this is not confirmed

Sep. 16†††††† Sacramento, California†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Black Sabbath

Sep. 20††††† Indianapolis, Indiana†††††††† †††††† Fairgrounds Coliseum ††††††††† opened for the Eagles and headliners Yes in front of an overly rambunctious crowd.as Yes started their second song, the police, fearing riots, actually stopped the show temporarily until things got back under control

???†††††††††† Houston, Texas††††††††††††††††††† University of Houston††††††††††† the band played at a free concert at this college.it's unknown whether they played alone

???†††††††††† Houston, Texas††††††††††††††††††† Music Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† this took place about a week after the earlier Houston concert in the previous listing.Giant opened the show and was followed by Frampton's Camel and then headliner Steve Miller

 

???†††††††††† An unconfirmed rumor has it that the band had its first US television appearance on a St. Louis station during this tour.

 

 

†††††††† Giant went over extremely well when they played their first Canadian dates.While there, they played colleges as well as some other venues.These appearances garnered the band quite a bit of good publicity.Peel the Paint is known to have turned up in their setlist at times, though this may not have been a regular occurrence.

 

 

Oct. ?†††††††† Quebec City, Quebec†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Phil remembers a very successful gig in Quebec City in 1972

Oct. 7††††††† †† Montreal, Quebec††††††††††† ††††††† Centre Sportif de l'Universite de Montreal††††† a local comedy/folk act named Plume and Cassonade opened this show which Phil says was also a very successful gig.an existing tape of the concert includes Peel the Paint done as a separate song, instead of combined with other songs, as would be done in later years.a very brief silent 8mm film clip of the show is also known to exist

Oct. 8††††††† †† Ste-Foy, Quebec†††††††††††† †††††††† Pavillon Maurice-Pollack - Universite Laval

Oct. ?††††††† †† Rimouski, Quebec††††††††† ††††††††† Centre Civique

 

???†††††††††† There is an unconfirmed rumor that Giant appeared on television in Montreal around this time.

 

 

†††††††† In mid October, Giant swung back through the States, once again securing the support slot for Jethro Tull.Unlike the Sabbath fans, the Tull audiences tended to accept the band more readily.This was a very important time for Gentle Giant, as Tull were on their very successful THICK AS A BRICK tour and played to huge crowds.Giant were able to pick up quite a few new fans.Very few live recordings from this U.S. tour with Tull have surfaced, so it's difficult to say whether the band performed any different songs on stage from what they had previously been playing.

 

 

Oct. 13††††††† Buffalo, New York†††††† ††††††††††† Memorial Auditorium ††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.Derek has said that Buffalo is one of the U.S. cities in which the band most enjoyed playing

Oct. 14††††† †† Rochester, New York††††† ††††††††† War Memorial †††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.a tape of this show exists

Oct. 15†††††† Bangor, Maine†††††††††††††††††††† Bangor Auditorium††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 16†††††† Springfield, Massachusetts†††††† Civic Center††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 17†††††† Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania†††††††† Civic Arena†††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 18 †††††† Charleston, West Virginia†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 19†††††† Columbia, South Carolina††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 21†††††† Cleveland, Ohio†††††††††††††††††† Public Hall†††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 22†††††† Memphis, Tennessee†††††††††††† Mid-South Coliseum††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 23†††††† Little Rock, Arkansas†††††††††††††† Barton Coliseum†††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 24†††††† Nashville, Tennessee†††††††††††† Municipal Auditorium†††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 25†††† ††Louisville, Kentucky††††††† †††††††† Convention Center †††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 26†††††† Bowling Green, Kentucky†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 27†††††† Jackson, Mississippi††††††† ††††††††† Memorial Coliseum†††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 28†††††† Baton Rouge, Louisiana††††††††† State University††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 29†††††† Macon, Georgia†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Oct. 30†††††† Philadelphia, Pennsylvania††††† Spectrum†††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.the band's flight itinerary from this tour implies these twoPhiladelphia shows on Oct. 30 and 31 may not have been on the original schedule

Oct. 31†††††† Philadelphia, Pennsylvania††††† Spectrum†††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 1††††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Boston Garden†††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 2††††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Boston Garden†††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 3††††††† St. Petersburg, Florida††††††††††† Bayfront Center††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 4††††††† Miami, Florida†††††††††††††††††††† Beach Convention Hall†††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.Gary recalls a gig in Miami when the whole band performed with food poisoning but still put on a good show.it's unknown whether it was this show or a later Miami date

Nov. 5††††††† Jacksonville, Florida†††††††††††††† Jacksonville Coliseum††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.a fan definitely recalls hearing Working All Day but, though it's possible, it's not confirmed.no live recordings have ever surfaced of this song which was also rumored to have been played at the Aug. 25 Nashville gig

Nov. 6††††††† Savannah, Georgia†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 7††††††† Fort Wayne, Indiana†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 8††††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Cobo Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.may have been the Ford Auditorium

Nov. 9††††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Cobo Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull.may have been the Ford Auditorium

Nov. 10†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††††† Chicago Stadium††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 11†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††††† Chicago Stadium††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 12†††††† Baltimore, Maryland††††††††††††† Civic Center††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Jethro Tull

Nov. 13†††††† New York, New York†††††††††††††† Madison Square Garden†††††† opened for Jethro Tull.Phil remembers this gig, as well, as being very successful

 

 

†††††††† In November of 1972, Giant returned to the U.K. to join a short tour with the British blues band, the Groundhogs, with whom they had already worked many times.Stray was actually the Groundhog's opening act on this tour, but GG joined the bill on many of the dates.Since no tapes of concerts from this tour have yet surfaced, it's unknown whether The Queen was returned to the set.

 

 

Nov. 16††††† The OCTOPUS album saw release in England on this date, though its official UK release date was not supposed to be until Dec. 1.Actually, it was first released in Italy in mid October.

 

Nov. 17†††††† Birmingham, England††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Nov. 18†††††† Edinburgh, Scotland††††††††††††† Empire Theatre††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Nov. 19†††††† Dundee, Scotland†††††††††††††††† Caird Hall ††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Nov. 20†††††† Glasgow, Scotland††††††††††††††† Green's Playhouse††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Nov. 23†††††† Oxford, England†††††††††††††††††† New Theatre†††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Nov. 25†††††† Hitchin, England†††††††††††††††††† Hitchin College††††††††††††††††† for this college show, they shared the stage with Medicine Head

Nov. 26†††††† Newcastle, England†††††††††††††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Nov. 30†††††† Hanley, England†††††††††††††††††† Victoria Hall††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 1††††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††† Free Trade Hall††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 3††††††† Bristol, England††††††††††††††††††† Colston Hall††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 5††††††† Bradford, England†††††††††††††††† St. George's Hall††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 8††††††† Bournemouth, England†††††††††† Winter Gardens††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 9††††††† Leeds, England††††††††††††††††††† Leeds University†††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs.Badger was also on the bill

Dec. 10†††††† Paignton, England††††††††††††††† Festival Hall††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs.Badger was again also on the bill

Dec. 11†††††† Wolverhampton, England††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† the group was scheduled to, once again, open for Stray and the Groundhogs on this date, but it is not known if they ever did.BBC records indicate they also recorded a studio session for them in London on this same date.it is possible they managed to fulfill both commitments but, then again, the BBC records could be wrong or they may have cancelled their appearance in Wolverhampton.actually, some evidence indicates that, if they did play the show in Wolverhampton, they did it by themselves, without Stray or the Groundhogs

 

Dec. 11†††††† According to BBC records, the band did their sixth BBC studio session on this date, the last one to include Phil.It was recorded at London's Langham Studio 1 and was made up of Prologue, The Advent of Panurge and A Cry for Everyone.The session is missing.

 

Dec. 12†††††† Hull, England††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† City Hall††††††† scheduled to open for Stray and the Groundhogs, but possibly cancelled

 

Dec. 14†††††† The group's sixth BBC session was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by John Peel.

 

Dec. 15†††††† Sheffield, England††††††††††††††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 16†††††† Liverpool, England††††††††††††††† Liverpool Stadium††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs

Dec. 22†††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Rainbow Theatre††††††††††††††† opened for Stray and the Groundhogs.a band called Mister Crisp was also on the bill

†††††††††††††††

 

†††††††† In the second half of December, Giant reserved studio time to record their fifth album, only four months after recording OCTOPUS.The exact schedule was for them to be recording between Dec. 18, 1972 and Jan. 3, 1973.Although an article in Melody Maker hints that some small amount of recording may have indeed taken place, it seems that no serious recording was done.Instead, at the tail end of December 1972, Giant embarked on a 15-day tour of Italy, a country where they were always well-received.This would, however, be Phil's last tour with the band.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Dec. 1972 - Jan. 1973)

 

Prologue

Funny Ways

Nothing at All

The Advent of Panurge - this song, which included a recorder quartet in the middle, was known to be added to the set, but it is not known what other OCTOPUS material may have been played live at this time††

Plain Truth

 

 

†††††††† Alucard may very well have been played in Italy, as well, but there are not enough existing tapes from the period to verify this.The Queen was, by now, gone for good.

 

††††††††

Dec. 30†††††† Bologna, Italy††††††††††††††††††††† Palasport†††††††††††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this gig

 

 

††††††††††††††† 1973

 

 

Jan. 2††††††† †† Genova, Italy†††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Teatro Alcione†††††††††††††††††† an existing tape of this concert seems to be the only known live in-concert recording of Phil playing OCTOPUS material.his trumpet playing is heard on The Advent of Panurge.the opening band was Area†††††††††††††††††

Jan. 3††††††† †† Rome, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Palazzo dello Sport†††††††††††† rumor has it that a tape exists of this concert

 

Feb. ?††††††† OCTOPUS was released in America with a slightly different mix than was used on the British release.The exact date was either Feb. 19 or Feb. 26.

 

 

 

*** Part Three ***

*** Going On After Phil ***

 

 

Immediately after the Italian tour of early 1973, Phil Shulman left Gentle Giant, due to personal differences.He was also considerably older than the others.The group decided to continue as a five-piece outfit.Their first tour as a five-piece was also their second North American tour.It is believed to have run between March and May of 1973, although there are indications that it may have started as early as Feb. 9.On many of the dates, GG played with the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Edgar Winter, Humble Pie, or the J. Geils Band.However, they appeared with other bands, as well, in some cities.Confirmation is unfortunately lacking for many of these dates in both America and Canada.Some information comes from schedules published in Melody Maker and Billboard, but these two magazines were not in complete agreement. It would be reasonable to assume that dates were changed and shuffled around somewhat after the band made up their original schedule.Most of the dates after the Canadian leg of the tour come from a printed schedule in Gary Green's possession but there seem to have been some changes made to that schedule and, again, some of the dates are unconfirmed.Information is definitely lacking on Gentle Giant's activities in the spring of 1973.

†††††††††††††††

TYPICAL SETLIST(Spring - Mid 1973)

 

Prologue

Alucard - may have been played more often earlier in the tour

Funny Ways

Knots

The Advent of Panurge - the recorder quartet began to include a rendition of Yankee Doodle, an addition which was commonplace during many future tours†††

Nothing at All

Plain Truth - may have been played more often later in the tour

 

†††††††† Even though they had to rearrange their songs for one less member, their shows were still musically satisfying and generally well-accepted.Mister Class and Quality is known to have been added during at least some of the gigs on this tour, segueing out of Peel the Paint, though this attempt at a THREE FRIENDS mini-medley may not have happened very often.Besides Knots and The Advent of Panurge, it seems no other OCTOPUS songs were played.

 

 

Mar. 8††††††† Hershey, Pennsylvania††††††††††† Hershey Park

Mar. 9††††††† Nashville, Tennessee

Mar. 10†††††† Louisville, Kentucky†††††††† ††††††† Convention Center †††††††††††† opened for Edgar Winter

Mar. 11†††††† Cleveland, Ohio

Mar. 13†††††† Wilmington, North Carolina††††† University of North Carolina††† opened for Jo Jo Gunne

Mar. 14†††††† Chattanooga, Tennessee†††††††† Memorial Auditorium

Mar. 15†††††† Morgantown, West Virginia†††††† West Virginia University†††††††††††††††††

Mar. 16†††††† New York, New York†††††††††††††† Felt Forum†††††††††††††††††††††† opened for the Mahavishnu Orchestra

Mar. 17†††††† Passaic, New Jersey†††††††††††††† Capital Theater

Mar. 18†††††† Allentown, Pennsylvania†††††††† Allentown Fairgrounds - Agricultural Hall†††††† shared the bill with Forrest Green, both opening for Edgar Winter.probably an outdoor concert and an existing tape of this show suggests it may have been a windy day

 

 

The shows in Canada were once again extremely well-received and Giant continued to be a major draw in Canada throughout their career.The promoter deserving the credit for initially breaking the band there was Alain Simard, who booked the original 1972-1973 GG concerts in eastern Canada, mainly in cities all over Quebec Province.However, there is very much confusion as to the exact dates and venues of the Canadian shows.Melody Maker mentioned there were nine concerts scheduled for Canada, but a schedule printed in Billboard only listed six.Personal recollections from fans in attendance at the shows at times differ from the information in either of these sources.All in all, what happened and when and where it happened is still largely unconfirmed for some shows on the Canadian leg of the tour.

 

 

Mar. 21†††††† Ottawa, Ontario††††††††††††††††††† School of Commerce†††††††††† a local prog act named Necessite was the opening act

Mar. 22†††††† Quebec City, Quebec†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† originally, according to Billboard, two Quebec City shows were scheduled, but it's unknown if they both took place.a tape exists of one of these scheduled Quebec City shows, but which one is unknown.Necessite was the opening act for at least one of the two Quebec City shows, if not both.likewise, the Palais Montcalm was the venue on at least one of these nights, if not both

Mar. 23†††††† Quebec City, Quebec†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† may have been at the Palais Montcalm†††††††

Mar. 24†††††† Montreal, Quebec†††††††††††††††† Centre Sportif de l'Universite de Montreal††††† a tape also exists for this show.a humorous moment happened when, towards the beginning of Knots, Kerry's keyboard broke down, forcing one of the band members to whistle the missing part.Necessite was again the opening act,actually, this tape, which is generally believed to have been recorded in Montreal, could, in fact, be of the other Quebec City show, as Derek is heard to say, "hello, Quebec"

Mar. 25††††††† Sherbrooke, Quebec††††††† ††††††† Salle Maurice-O'Bradey††††††† an existing tape of this gig shows the band combining part of Mister Class and Quality with Peel the Paint.this foreshadowed their later habit of combining songs, often from the same album, into medleys.Necessite was once again the opening act

Mar. 29†††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† Massey Hall††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Wishbone Ash on this, the opening day of Wishbone Ash's North American tour.GG was preceded by the UK band Vinegar Joe.a packed crowd of around 3000 attended

Mar. 30†††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the night after the Massey Hall concert, a fan recalls the band playing again in a general admission show at a local university.†† the Toronto Star, when reviewing one of the Toronto shows, used the headline, "Patience Tested at Rock Show", but it's not known to which show they were referring, or why.adding further confusion, Billboard listed the band as scheduled for a gig in Detroit, Michigan at the Masonic Auditorium on this date

Mar. 31†††††† Waterloo, Ontario††††††††††††††††† Waterloo Lutheran University†††††††††† the concert took place in the University's gym which had a proper stage set up on one end and could hold around 1200.Giant opened for Wishbone Ash and was preceded by Vinegar Joe.Billboard stated the band was scheduled to play in Buffalo, New York on this night, but it is pretty certain they actually did play in Waterloo

Apr. 3††††††† †† Fort Wayne, Indiana†††††††††††††† †† Lantern†††††††††††††††††††††††††† American prog band Ethos was the opening act

Apr. 7††† †††††† Roanoke, Virginia†††††††††††††††† †††† Civic Center †††††††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Humble Pie and Foghat.one fan remembers this as actually being held in nearby Salem, Virginia

Apr. 11†††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† they opened for the J. Geils Band

Apr. 13†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††††† Kinetic Playground††††††††††††† GG played in support of Procol Harum this time.GG supposedly put on a problem-free show, but Procol's set was bogged down by a myriad of technical problems

Apr. ?†††††† ††† Hampton, Virginia††††††††††††††† †††† Hampton Roads Coliseum††††† shared the bill with Humble Pie and Uriah Heep.Foghat may also have appeared

???†††††††††† St. Louis, Missouri†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† they opened for the J. Geils Band

???†††††††††† West Chester, Pennsylvania††††† West Chester University†††††††† GG cancelled this appearance in the University's gym.Grin, Foghat and Edgar Winter all appeared without Gentle Giant

???†††††††††† Denver, Colorado††††††††††††††††† Ebbett's Field††††††††††††††††††† an eyewitness recalls a 1973 gig here, but it's unconfirmed.perhaps, the show the eyewitness recalls was in the fall of 1974.Gary met his future wife after a show in Denver, but which one is not known

Apr. 15†††††† Baltimore, Maryland††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† one eyewitness seems to recall GG playing a 30-minute set in Baltimore opening for the Edgar Winter Band and Humble Pie.it was probably this date and the Civic Center may have been the venue

Apr. 18†††††† Warren, Ohio†††††††††††††††††††††† Packard Music Hall††††††††††††† Gary recalls playing a few dates in the midwest with King Crimson, with Giant probably opening.this is the first known show of that mini-tour.Gary's schedule lists a show in Cleveland, Ohio on this date but it is unknown whether that show took place on another evening

Apr. 20†††††† San Francisco, California†††††††† Winterland Ballroom††††††††††† first of two consecutive nights at the Winterland.Giant played second on the bill, after Colin Blunstone and before Commander Cody and The Lost Planet Airmen and headliners Sha-Na-Na

Apr. 21†††††† San Francisco, California†††††††† Winterland Ballroom††††††††††† second consecutive night in San Francisco.the order was again Colin Blunstone, Gentle Giant, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen and headliners Sha-Na-Na.Gary's schedule lists the band as playing San Francisco on Apr. 19 but this may have been changed

Apr. 22†††††† Kansas City, Kansas†††††††††††††† Cowtown Ballroom††††††††††††† another night sharing the bill with King Crimson†††††††††††††††

Apr. 23†††††† Witchita, Kansas†††††††††††††††††† Henry Levitt Arena††††††††††††† shared the bill with King Crimson

Apr. 24†††††† Oklahoma City, Oklahoma††††††† State Fairgrounds†††††††††††††† again shared the bill with King Crimson.there may have been other dates with Crimson other than those listed here, but they remain unknown

Apr. 25†††††† Salt Lake City, Utah

Apr. 26†††††† Seattle, Washington

Apr. 27†††††† Portland, Oregon †††††††††††††††† Paramount Theater ††††††††††† opened for Sha-Na-Na.some evidence indicates this show may have actually been on Apr. 26, meaning the Seattle show would not have taken place as scheduled

Apr. 28†††††† Long Beach, California†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Gary Green says this rumored concert did not take place.his schedule lists the band as playing in Ontario on this night, possibly referring to the city of Ontario, California.Ontario Province in Canada seems unlikely, as the band was on the west coast at the time

Apr. 29†††††† San Bernardino, California†††††† Swing Auditorium†††††††††††††† the group headlined this show

Apr. 30†††††† Phoenix, Arizona

May 1†††††††† Dallas, Texas†††††††††††††††††††††† Majestic Theater††††††††††††††† Steeleye Span was the opening act.it is believed only 32 people were in attendance at this old style movie theater

May 2†††††††† Springfield, Missouri

May 3†††††††† Little Rock, Arkansas

May 4†††††††† Austin, Texas

May 6†††††††† Houston, Texas

†††††††††††††††

 

†††††††† Mid 1973 was a difficult time for Gentle Giant as they struggled to make their first album without Phil Shulman.His creative contribution to the earlier albums was immense but the band's musical style did continue to evolve even after his leaving.John Weathers began to contribute more of what would become his trademark straight ahead drumming style.This made for a more concise, solid sound.

 

 

July ?†††††††† After the aborted attempt at recording during the previous December and January, IN A GLASS HOUSE, Gentle Giant's fifth album, was finally recorded at Advision Studios in London.The album was recorded during a time of stress for the band, being the first one not to include Phil, and they were not really satisfied with the results.

 

Aug. 28†††††† At London's Langham Studio 1, the band did their seventh BBC studio session, broadcast on Sept. 28.The songs recorded were Way of Life, The Advent of Panurge and The Runaway.This was GG's third BBC session in a row to include The Advent of Panurge, which would appear again in the next one, as well, as part of Excerpts from Octopus.This entire session appears on TOTALLY OUT OF THE WOODS, but not on the earlier OUT OF THE WOODS album.

 

††††††††

†††††††† By the fall of 1973, the band's live shows began to take on a more visual aspect with the use of projection screens placed behind the stage.Their popularity had been steadily rising for a while and they now found themselves headliners for many of their concerts in Europe.Before swinging through Europe, they were also able to headline a UK tour, supported by Wild Turkey, but their English concerts were not always as well received as the band would have liked.Wild Turkey included ex-Jethro Tull bassist Glenn Cornick, providing yet another link between Giant and Tull.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Fall 1973)

 

The Runaway - the "breaking glass" tape loop at the beginning of this song served as an intro to the shows

Way of Life

Funny Ways

Excerpts from Octopus - this new arrangement was to become their most famous medley.it combined portions of Knots and The Advent of Panurge and also included the recorder quartet, a Kerry Minnear organ bridge and an acoustic guitar duet.this duet, played by Gary and Ray, contained a theme taken from the song The Boys in the Band ††

Nothing at All - the percussion section began to include several toy glockenspiels on which were played a variation of the folk song Shortnin' Bread

Plain Truth

In a Glass House - this title song to the new album took over the encore slot and provided a vehicle for an extended Gary Green guitar solo.at the end, the "breaking glass" tape loop returned as an outro, gradually fading out

 

†††††††† By now, the only songs remaining in their live set from the early days were Funny Ways, Nothing at All and Plain Truth.Gentle Giant was definitely gaining a reputation as a band not afraid to rearrange its own music in unusual, creative ways and to show off its ensemble skills when in a live setting.Yet, at the same time, the last three songs of the set were more loosely structured and gave breathing room for individual members to act as soloists.

†††††††† There have been numerous reports through the years that Gentle Giant did another American tour with Jethro Tull in late 1973, while that band was on its PASSION PLAY tour.It could indeed have happened but there is, so far, no hard evidence that such a tour really took place.If the two bands did play together, a few dates in early September seems to be the most likely scenario, though this is just conjecture.Actually, there have also been reports that Giant and Tull played together in Europe in 1973, as well, and even as late as 1974 or 1975 during Tull's WAR CHILD tour.All, though not disproven, are unsubstantiated.A combined tour of Scandinavia featuring these two bands was indeed planned for sometime in 1975, but never came about.

 

 

Sep. ?††††††† IN A GLASS HOUSE was released in England, either on Sep 14 or Sep. 21.However, it was not originally released in America.

 

Sep. 17†††††† Plymouth, England†††††††††††††††† †† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show, with Rod Crisp also on the bill

Sep. 19†††††† Doncaster, England†††††††††††††† Top Rank†††††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show

Sep. 22†††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††† Stoneground†††††††††††††††††††† a tape of this show exists.Wild Turkey opened the show

Sep. 23†††††† Oxford, England†††††††††††††††††† New Theatre†††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show.Rod Crisp appeared on this bill, as well

Sep. 24†††††† Chatham, England††††††††††††††† Central Hall††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show

Sep. 26†††††† Southampton, England†††††††††† Top Rank†††††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show

Sep. 28†††††† Birmingham, England†††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show, with Rod Crisp also sharing the stage. after the show, John Weathers noticed smoke in the balcony and the fire department was summoned.the press the next day credited him with saving the building

 

Sep. 28†††††† Giant's seventh BBC session from Aug. 28 was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by Pete Drummond.

 

Sep. 29†††††† Glasgow, Scotland††††††††††††††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show

Sep. 30†††††† Edinburgh, Scotland††††††††††††† Caley Cinema†††††††††††††††††† a fan who attended this show claims the band played for two hours, but this would be unusual and is not likely.the fan also claims the setlist included Think of Me With Kindness, a song not generally thought to be performed live.this is unconfirmed.Wild Turkey opened the show

Oct. 2†††††††† Leicester, England††††††††††††††† Polytechnic††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show

Oct. 3†††††††† Bristol, England††††††††††††††††††† Top Rank†††††††††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show

Oct. 4†††††††† Llaney, Wales††††††††††††††††††††† Glen Ballroom†††††††††††††††††† Wild Turkey opened the show.this gig was not on the band's original schedule, which called for them to be in Neath, Wales on this night and Aylesbury, England on Oct. 5.both performances were pushed back one night

Oct. 5†††††††† Neath, Wales†††††††††††††††††††††† Gwyn Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† originally scheduled for Oct. 4 but changed to make room for the Llaney concert.Wild Turkey opened the show

Oct. 6†††††††† Aylesbury, England††††††††††††††† Friar's Club†††††††††††††††††††††† originally scheduled for Oct. 5 but changed to make room for the re-scheduled Neath gig.Wild Turkey opened the show

 

 

†††††††† Originally, the band's European tour was scheduled to take them to Italy from Oct. 9 to Oct. 22, to Switzerland on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, to Germany from Oct. 25 to Oct. 31, and finally to Belgium from Nov. 1 to Nov. 4.However, there were some changes made to this schedule, as they certainly found themselves in Germany earlier than planned.

 

 

Oct. 10†††††† Mainz, Germany†††††††††††††††††† Jahrhunderthalle††††††††††††††† like Offenbach, Mainz is just outside of Frankfurt.concerts in Mainz are also often mistakenly described as being in Frankfurt.Giant may have played alone at this gig.if another act did appear, Giant certainly was the headliner.this is another concert for which a tape exists

Oct. ?†††††††† Treviglio, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this show

Oct. ?†††††††† Torino, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††† Palasport†††††††††††††††††††††††† a roadie for this show remembers it being in January 1974, but this October date is more likely.there is an existing tape of this show, also

Oct. ?†††††††† Rome, Italy

Oct. 17†††††† Genova, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††† Teatro Garibaldi†††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this show, as well.during the guitar solo to In a Glass House, Gary threw in a brief theme from Peel the Paint

Oct. 20†††††† Genova, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††† Teatro Alcione†††††††††††††††††† a tape also exists of this show, showing Gary again played the Peel the Paint theme during his guitar solo

 

Nov. 16††††† The BBC recorded a short live set in Golder's Green, England at the Golder's Green Hippodrome.The band performed Way of Life, Funny Ways, Nothing at All and Excerpts from Octopus and the show is included on the 1998 OUT OF THE FIRE album.A musician named Dave Ellis was also on the bill.

 

Dec. 4††††††† At London's Langham Studio 1, the band did their eighth BBC studio session, broadcast on Jan. 8, 1974.This entire session, consisting of Excerpts from Octopus and Way of Life, appears on the OUT OF THE WOODS and TOTALLY OUT OF THE WOODS albums.

 

Dec. 8††††††† The BBC broadcast the Nov. 16 Hippodrome show on its In Concert radio show.Mike Harding did the narration.

 

Dec. 1973 - Jan. 1974 ††† GG's sixth album, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, was recorded at London's Advision Studios.It's a concept album about the abuse of political power.Interestingly, it was recorded shortly after America's devastating Watergate scandal, but the band has claimed this was merely coincidence.There is some evidence that recording was not completed during these two months, with some taking place later in 1974.

 

 

In addition to the unverified rumors of Giant touring in America with Jethro Tull, there are a number of other fan recollections of Giant playing with other bands in North America in late 1973 or early 1974.These include supposed gigs in Long Beach, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Chicago, Minneapolis and Toronto.None of these shows have yet been confirmed with any hard evidence.New Musical Express and Sounds had both announced a U.S. tour commencing on Nov. 9 and running until Dec. 23, but this tour was cancelled.It's possible that Gentle Giant, in fact, spent little or no time in North America between May, 1973 and October, 1974.

 

 

††††††††††††††† 1974

 

 

Jan. 8††††††† The band's eighth BBC session from Dec. 4, 1973 was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by John Peel.

 

 

†††††††† New Musical Expressannounced another tour of America starting in Memphis, Tennessee on either Jan. 25 or Jan. 27 and running for five weeks, but it appears that this tour was also cancelled, like the one the previous November and December.In March of 1974, Gentle Giant did hit the road again, staging another tour of Great Britain, supported by String Driven Thing.They followed this with another swing through Europe.Unfortunately, their reception in their homeland continued to be weak, compared to the rest of the world.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Spring 1974)

 

The Runaway/Experience - these two songs were combined by use a of a prerecorded keyboard bridge.The Runaway was shortened, due to Kerry's discomfort with singing in a live setting

Prologue - this made a brief return for this tour

Funny Ways

Excerpts from Octopus

Nothing at All

Plain Truth

In a Glass House

 

 

Mar. 7††††††† Norwich, England††††††††††††††††† University of East Anglia††††††† String Driven Thing opened.Melody Maker listed this as the date for the Norwich show, but New Musical Express listed it as being on Mar. 9

Mar. 8††††††† Chatham, England††††††††††††††† Central Hall††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 10††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† ††† Drury Lane - Theatre Royale††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened.again, there is some discrepancy on this one, as Melody Maker listed this show as being on Mar. 10, but New Musical Express listed it as Mar. 16

Mar. 11††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††††† Free Trade Hall††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 13†††††† Guildford, England††††††††††††††† Civic Hall†††††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 14†††††† Plymouth, England††††††††††††††† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing was scheduled to open, but Tangerine Dream may have opened instead.it's possible both bands played in support of Giant

Mar. 15†††††† Swansea, Wales†††††††††††††††††† Brangwyn Hall†††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 16 ††††† London, England††††††††††††††††† Theatre Royale††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 18†††††† Birmingham, England†††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 19†††††† Watford, England††††††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this concert.String Driven Thing opened†††††††††††††††††††††††

Mar. 21†††††† Derby, England††††††††††††††††††† King's Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 24†††††† Sutton in Ashfield, England††††† Golden Diamond††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 28†††††† Portsmouth, England††††††††††††† Guild Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Mar. 29†††††† Bournemouth, England†††††††††† Winter Gardens††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

Apr. ?†††††††† Hamburg, Germany†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† after opening for Giant in England, String Driven Thing appears to have also opened for the subsequent German shows.however, their presence at this particular show is unconfirmed

Apr. 4†††††††† Mainz, Germany†††††††††††††††††† Jahrhunderthalle††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing was again the opening act

Apr. 5†††††††† Munster, Germany†††††††††††††††† Munsterlandhalle††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened.a tape exists of this show.the song In a Glass House from this bootleg tape has been released officially as a bonus track on a 2000 CD reissue of the IN A GLASS HOUSE album

Apr. 7 ††††††† Kehl, Germany†††††††††††††††††††† Stadthalle††††††††††††††††††††††† String Driven Thing opened

 

???†††††††††† Giant was filmed for a German television program sometime in 1974, believed to be different than the one broadcast on that nation's ZDF-TV on Aug. 10, 1975.Details about this 1974 film, including exactly when and where it was filmed, are unknown, though it may have been filmed around this time.

 

Apr. 8††††††† †† St-Gallen, Switzerland††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the venue is uncertain on this one, but it may have been Africana.a tape of this gig exists, as well

 

 

Originally, the band had scheduled another try at an American tour after the European dates, starting in mid April somewhere in Florida and running for four weeks.Again, this did not come about.Instead, starting on April 10, GG went back to Italy to play some dates there.However, there was rioting and political unrest in Italy at the time, so the group abandoned the tour prematurely.It's not known how many concerts actually went on as planned.

 

 

Apr. ?†††††††† Rome, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† unknown whether this Italian concert took place

 

Apr. ?†††††††† Giant was filmed for Italian television in April, as well.The exact date and venue are unknown, as is the date of broadcast.

 

May ?†††††††† An article in Sounds stated that the band was to do six college gigs in England in early May.No details are known.

 

 

Once again, evidence indicates that the band unsuccessfully attempted to schedule an American tour, this time beginning on May 18.According to Sounds, this was supposed to be an eight-week tour but, keeping their losing streak going, it seems to have been cancelled, like all the previous attempts.

 

May 29†††††† The band recorded So Sincere, Aspirations, Playing the Game, and The Face, all songs from their new album, at their ninth BBC studio session in London.The studio used for the recording, broadcast on July 1, is not known.The session is missing.

 

June ?††††††† There are indications that, sometime in June, Giant may have spent a little more time in a studio in London recording tracks for THE POWER AND THE GLORY.

 

June 15††††† Sheffield, England††††††††††††††† ††† Sheffield University - Student Union††††††††††† a one-off concert, between regular tours.the stage was very small, creating a very intimate setting

 

July 1†††††††† Giant's ninth BBC session from May 29 was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by Bob Harris.

 

Sep. 20†††††† The band officially released THE POWER AND THE GLORY in England.However, copies of the album had leaked into the marketplace as early as late June.

 

Sep. 22†††††† This is believed to be the date that THE POWER AND THE GLORY was released in America.

 

Oct. 5†††††††† The non-LP single, Power and the Glory, was released.Specifics on where and when it was recorded are unknown.Derek said at one time that the band actually recorded three songs in an attempt to come up with a single and he joked that they "released the worst one".It's actually more likely that only two songs were worked on, the second still unreleased.Eventually, the single was included on the 1975 compilation album, GIANT STEPS, and was added as a bonus track on a later CD reissue of their THE POWER AND THE GLORY album.

 

 

*** Part Four ***

*** Back to North America ***

 

 

†††††††† Finally, after a series of aborted tour schedules and as many as seventeen months away from North America, Giant returned there in the fall of 1974, sometimes as a support act and sometimes as a headliner.Album sales in the United States, by this time, were fairly brisk and improving all the time, so their long-awaited concerts went over quite well.Giant's management had very little to do with the organization of this tour, the band doing most of the planning themselves.Upon arriving in North America, they had relatively few gigs lined up, but managed to add more as they went along.They had originally planned a short swing through Europe shortly afterwards, followed by a UK tour, but their success in the States caused all of that to be pushed back.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Fall 1974)

 

The Runaway/Experience

Funny Ways

Excerpts from Octopus

Nothing at All - the glockenspiels remained, but Shortnin' Bread was no longer played

Plain Truth

In a Glass House

††††††††

†††††††† Their setlist remained relatively unchanged, except that Prologue was again dropped, this time for good.Songs from their new album, THE POWER AND THE GLORY, strangely did not appear in their live shows at this time, as far as is known.

 

 

Oct. 9††††††† †† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† Whiskey A-Go-Go††††††††††††††† the first show of their late 1974 U.S. tour.it was also the first of five straight nights at this popular Los Angeles nightclub, where they were rapturously received.their success at this club ended up getting them more headlining engagements over the next couple months.ex-Canned Heat guitarist Harvey Mandel was the opening act.a tape of this first Whiskey gig exists

Oct. 10††††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† Whiskey A-Go-Go††††††††††††††† Harvey Mandel opened

Oct. 11††††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† Whiskey A-Go-Go††††††††††††††† Harvey Mandel opened

Oct. 12††††††† Los Angeles, California††††† ††††††† Whiskey A-Go-Go††††††††††††††† Harvey Mandel opened

Oct. 13††††††† Los Angeles, California††††††††† ††† Whiskey A-Go-Go††††††††††††††† Harvey Mandel opened

 

Oct. ?†††††††† According to an ad in Melody Maker, a film of the band was supposed to appear sometime in mid October on British television on the Old Grey Whistle Test program.No information is known about this planned appearance, but it is certain that it never took place.

 

Oct. 21†††††† Columbus, Ohio†††††††††††††††††† Agora

Oct. 22†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††††† Auditorium Theater†††††††††††† possibly shared the bill with Gary Wright.then again, Giant is known to have opened for Peter Frampton at one concert at Chicago's Auditorium Theater.it may or may not have been this one

Oct. 23†††††††† Parsippany, New Jersey†††††††† ††† A Joint In The Woods†††††††††† a tape of this small club gig exists

Oct. 24†††††† Northampton, Pennsylvania††††† Roxy Theatre††††††††††††††††††† P.F. and the Flyers were supposedly the opening act

Oct. 25†††††† Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania†††††††† Carnegie-Mellon University

Oct. 26†††††† Philadelphia, Pennsylvania††††† Spectrum†††††††††††††††††††††††† this large venue seems out of place on this tour.it's not known who shared the bill with GG on this evening

Oct. 28†††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Ford Auditorium

Oct. 29†††††† America†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Gary distinctly remembers an American show where Gentle Giant opened for Frank Zappa and even has a backstage pass from the event.however, he doesn't remember where it was or even which year it took place.this is one of the dates considered as a possibility.on this date, Zappa is alleged to have been either in Boston, Massachusetts or Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, so it certainly could have happened then.however, an eyewitness to this combined show recalls it as being from May 1980.adding further confusion, there are indications that John McLaughlin may have been on the bill, as well.McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra played some shows with GG in spring 1973, so it's also possible this particular gig dates from that time period.it's all really just conjecture

Oct. 31†††††† Springfield, Massachusetts†††††† Paramount Theater†††††††††††† Giant opened for Focus at this small theater gig.John Martyn may have actually come first, opening for both of them, but it's uncertain.during the Knots portion of Excerpts from Octopus, the band got a little off on their timing.a gentle wave of sympathetic laughter rippled through the crowd and the band recovered quickly.during Ray's violin solo, a screaming match developed between Ray and an audience member

Nov. 1††††††† New York, New York††††††††††††††† †† Academy Of Music †††††††††††† opened for Focus.this is the first known time they played at this popular New York venue, but they returned there many times in later years.at this show, which started at midnight, the transition tape between The Runaway and Experience played a half step sharp, for some reason.once again, a member of the audience recalls a fan near the front screaming at Ray during his violin solo.Ray then put his instrument down and engaged in a back and forth screaming match with the fan before resuming his solo.this was actually a common occurrence during the violin solos through the years, though it is unclear how much of it was spontaneous and how much was provoked by Ray himself

Nov. 2††††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Orpheum Theater

 

Nov. 3††††††† The group was filmed live in Los Angeles for the ABC In Concert TV program, probably at the Hollywood Theater.The location of this performance is often mistakenly listed as the Long Beach Auditorium in Long Beach, California.Apparently, the entire short set consisted of Experience, Excerpts from Octopus and Funny Ways.All of it was filmed, though only Excerpts from Octopus actually appeared on TV when it was broadcast in January, 1975.There were tuning problems at the beginning of Funny Ways, causing the group to stop and start over.

 

Nov. 6††††††† Flint, Michigan†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† shared the stage with Foghat

Nov. 7††††††† Allentown, Pennsylvania†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† promotional materials from Capitol Record Co. had this date listed on the tour schedule.however, Allentown is very near to Northampton, a city the same promo sheet listed as the site of another GG gig on Oct. 24.it seems unlikely both shows would have taken place

Nov. 8††††††† Teaneck, New Jersey

Nov. 9††††††† New Haven, Connecticut††††††††† Yale University - Woolsey Hall††††††††† the band opened for Poco on this night.Giant was booed for the first ten minutes of their set, but the crowd ended up giving them a standing ovation by the end

Nov. 10†††††† Baltimore, Maryland††††††††††††† Johns Hopkins University - Newton White Athletic Center

Nov. 15†††††† Knoxville, Tennessee†††††††††††† Knoxville Civic Coliseum†††††† this was a festival seating gig at which Giant opened for John Sebastian and headliner Dave Mason

Nov. 17†††††† Memphis, Tennessee

Nov. ?††††††† Sanborn, New York††††††††††††††† Niagara Community College†† opened for Focus†††††††††††††††

Nov. ?††††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† Massey Hall††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed date

???†††††††††† Montreal, Quebec†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed date

???†††††††††† Quebec City, Quebec ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed date

???†††††††††† Ottawa, Ontario††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the name of the venue is unknown but it was a concrete hockey arena.during the show, Derek jokingly introduced himself as Robert Plant.he used this gimmick of incorrectly identifying himself many times through the years.an eyewitness at this show remembers the band starting with Cogs In Cogs, but they are not believed to have played this song live until the European tour in late November, so it remains unconfirmed.the eyewitness may actually have been remembering the Ottawa show from Jan. 15, 1975.for that matter, it's not clear that the group played any Canadian shows at all in late 1974

???†††††††††† Upper Darby, Pennsylvania†††††† Tower Theater†††††††††††††††††† the band supposedly opened for Focus, though this gig is unconfirmed.the band was already scheduled to play a show in neighboring Philadelphia and two dates in nearby New Jersey on this tour

???†††††††† †††† Santa Monica, California††††††††† Civic Auditorium†††††††††††††††† Gary remembers a 1974 gig here as being one of the band's best west coast gigs ever.however, he may have been thinking of the Santa Monica show from Feb. 1975

???††††††††† ††† Denver, Colorado††††††††††††††††† ††† Ebbett's Field

 

 

†††††††† Upon returning to Europe, the group finally began regularly including songs from THE POWER AND THE GLORY in their live stage show.However, they ended up spending very little time in Europe, possibly because of the unexpected extension of their tour in America.One newspaper account stated they had other dates scheduled, but cancelled them.It implied they may have even returned to America for a short spell after their time in Europe, though this is unconfirmed.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(late 1974)

 

Intro/Cogs in Cogs - a brief instrumental snippet of the song Giant was used as an intro to this set-opener††††††††††††††††††††

Proclamation/Funny Ways

The Runaway/Experience

Excerpts from Octopus - the recorder quartet included a brief bit of Raconteur Troubadour instead of Yankee Doodle for only this minor European tour

Nothing at All

Plain Truth

Mister Class and Quality/Peel the Paint - Gary's guitar solo now found a home in Peel the Paint.the "breaking glass" tape loop was now faded out at the end of this, as an outro

 

†††††††† Most notable at this time is the band's increased fascination with combining songs or portions of songs into mini-medleys.This would continue into future tours.

 

 

Nov. 21†††††† Basel, Switzerland†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an existing tape of this concert shows the band, on this tour, used a slightly different arrangement of Mister Class and Quality/Peel the Paint than was used at the Sherbrooke show on March 25, 1973.the venue here may have been a casino or it may have been Volkshaus

Nov. 22†††††† Basel, Switzerland†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† unknown if this was at the same venue as the previous night, but it's likely

Nov. 23†††††† Ascona, Switzerland†††††††††††††† Palazzo Scolastico

Nov. 25†††††† Torino, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††† Palasport††††††††††††††††††††††††

Nov. 26†††††† Rome, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† PalaEur†††††††††††††††††††††††††† this venue was a large circular hall built on a hill.GG almost didn't make it to the show when the security guards didn't recognize them and wouldn't let them in the building.about 20,000 fans were in attendance.this show was released on the 2000 album, LIVE IN ROME.interestingly, this album is a direct copy from a bootleg, right down to the artwork.the band does receive royalties from it, but they are dissatisfied with its sound quality

 

 

†††††††† After originally planning on being in Great Britain earlier in the fall, the band eventually scheduled a tour of England for the month of December, 1974, with Joe Brown's Home Brew planned as the opening act.However, it had to be cancelled.There are differing reports as to why.It's been said that Derek developed a stomach ulcer, throat problems, or both.John claims it was because of management problems.Listed here is the originally planned tour itinerary.

 

 

Dec. 5††††††† Sheffield, England††††††††††††††† ††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 6††††††† Leeds, England††††††††††††††††††† †††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 7††††††† Norwich, England†††††††††††††††† †††† University of East Anglia††††††† cancelled

Dec. 8††††††† Birmingham, England†††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 9††††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††††† Free Trade Hall††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 10†††††† Stoke on Trent, England†††††††††† The Steam Machine††††††††††† cancelled

 

Dec. 10†††††† In London, the band did their tenth BBC studio session, broadcast on Dec. 17.As far as is known, it was their only performance that month.The studio used for this recording of Proclamation, Experience, Aspirations and Cogs In Cogs, is unknown.This entire session appears on the OUT OF THE WOODS and TOTALLY OUT OF THE WOODS albums.

 

Dec. 11†††††† Glasgow, Scotland††††††††††††††††† †† Apollo Centre††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 12†††††† Liverpool, England††††††††††††††† ††† Royal Court Theatre††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 13†††††† Newcastle, England††††††††††††††† †† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 14†††††† Edinburgh, Scotland††††††††††††††† Usher Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 16†††††† Bristol, England††††††††††††††††† ††††† Colston Hall††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

 

Dec. 17†††††† The band's tenth BBC session from Dec. 10 was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by John Peel.

 

Dec. 18†††††† Redruth, England††††††††††††††††† ††† Regal Cinema†††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 19†††††† Plymouth, England†††††††††††††††† †† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† cancelled

Dec. 22†††††† London, England†††††††††††††††††† ††† Rainbow Theatre††††††††††††††† this show was first set for Dec 22, then moved two days earlier to Dec. 20, and then ultimately cancelled

 

 

†††††††† 1975

 

 

†††††††† As 1975 rolled around, Giant once again toured heavily, beginning in North America and then, by summer, returning to Europe.This year, they managed to gain quite a bit of public exposure through an increased number of live radio and television appearances.Their itinerary also included a few more successful eastern Canadian dates.By this time, promoter Donald Tarlton was booking the band in that country.He claimed that Montreal, in particular, was a North American springboard for Giant and other progressive bands, and he openly took pride in his role in that.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Early - Mid 1975)

 

Intro/Cogs in Cogs

Proclamation/Funny Ways

The Runaway/Experience

Excerpts from Octopus - Yankee Doodle was returned to its place during the recorder quartet

So Sincere - the 5-man drum bash was now performed as part of this song.during this, the stage lights would go off, revealing strobe lights and twinkling lights around the glockenspiels

Plain Truth

Mister Class and Quality/Peel the Paint/Valedictory - Gary's guitar solo was again a part of Peel the Paint.once more, as an outro, the band faded out the "breaking glass" tape loop

 

†††††††† This was the time when Nothing at All, a staple of their shows since 1970, was finally retired.Derek has said that the band attempted to perform Playing the Game briefly in 1975, but it isn't known exactly when during the year this happened.The song was considered unsuccessful and was quickly dropped, but it resurfaced starting in early 1977.

 

 

Jan. 1††††††† In Hollywood, California's Capitol Studios, Gentle Giant made a live studio recording, with no audience, meant for later broadcast over KMET Radio in Los Angeles.It appears to be a run-through for the live set they planned on using in early 1975.Possibly, the recording wasn't made on Jan. 1, but it was definitely made within the first week or two of the month.

 

Jan. ?††††††† The ABC In Concert TV program, filmed Nov. 3, 1974, was broadcast.Excerpts from Octopus was shown, though more was performed and filmed.Also appearing on the program was the Climax Blues Band.The show was also either simulcast or rebroadcast at some point on FM radio.

††††††††††††††††††††††

Jan. 8†††††††† Philadelphia, Pennsylvania††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed concert

Jan. 14††††††† Montreal, Quebec††††††††††††††††† ††† Montreal Forum†††††††††††††††† an act named Maneige was scheduled to open this show, but one eyewitness claims there was no opening act, so perhaps they didn't show.it is illustrative of how well respected Gentle Giant had become in Canada that they were able to play in a venue as large as this one.total capacity of the Forum was 20,000 and somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 attended this concert

Jan. 15†††††† Ottawa, Ontario †††††††††††††††††† Lansdown Park - Civic Center Arena††††††††††† bluesman John Lee Hooker opened this concert.the venue, a hockey arena, seated 5000-7000 people, but was not sold out on this night††††††

Jan. 16†††††† Sherbrooke, Quebec††††††††††††† Centre Culturel

Jan. 18††††† †† New York, New York††††††††††††††† †† Academy of Music ††††††††††††† two shows, preceded by American Tears and followed by Alvin Lee and Company.both shows were recorded by King Biscuit Radio, who broadcast a small part of one of them on Sept. 28, probably the second show.songs from both shows were also released on the KING BISCUIT PRESENTS GENTLE GIANT album in 1998.It's believed that most, but not all, of the material on the album was taken from the first show.Ray laughingly remembers that during his violin solo at one of the shows, someone in the crowd yelled out "you suck!"that segment of the King Biscuit tape was cut out and placed in a locket still owned by Ray

Jan. 19†††††† Trois Rivieres, Quebec††††††††††† University of Quebec - Sports Center

Jan. 21†††††† Quebec City, Quebec†††††††††††† Centre Municipal des Congress†††††††† the opening band was a Quebec area prog/jazz fusion band named Sloche.Giant may have originally been scheduled to play the following night, as well, in Quebec City, but that did not happen

Jan. 22†††††† Buffalo, New York††††††††††††††††† Kleinhan's Music Hall†††††††††† opened for Alvin Lee.at this particular show, one audience member recalls two whole rows of fans near the front screaming back and forth with Ray during his violin solo.another remembers the Giant fans standing and cheering wildly after each song.actually, very few GG fans were even in attendance this evening and the rest of the audience, there to see Alvin Lee, gave the band a poor reception.this was unusual in Buffalo where the promoters, the team of Harvey and Corkey, always did a good job of publicizing GG's appearances.this particular gig was promoted by Concerts West who, perhaps, did not do as well of a job.the local newspaper's review the next day was favorable of Giant and made note of the fact that many of the very vocal Giant fans left shortly into Alvin Lee's set

Jan. 24†††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† University of Toronto - Convocation Hall†††††† the Myles and Lenny Band opened this show.a tape of Giant's performance exists which shows that Derek had problems with his microphone and monitor at the beginning, but also includes one of Ray's most energetic violin solos known on any recording.ironically, Ray was not even using his own violin this evening, as it was stolen before the show.he borrowed a violin from Lenny Solomon, a member of the opening band

Jan. 25†††††† Waterloo, Ontario††††††††††††††††† Wilfrid Laurier University†††††††††††††††† the Myles and Lenny Band opened this show, as well.previously, this college was known as Waterloo Lutheran University, a college where Giant had played on Mar. 31, 1973

Jan. 27†††††† Cleveland, Ohio†††††††††††††††††† Agora Ballroom††††††††††††††††† recorded by Cleveland's WMMS Radio for broadcast two days later.at the very tail end of Excerpts from Octopus, the band got off and the music nearly fell apart.fortunately, they recovered and ended together

Jan. 29††††††† Utica, New York††††††††††††††††††† Memorial Auditorium†††††††† ††† opened for J. Geils in front of 3500 fans.a tape of this show exists.for some reason, So Sincere was omitted on this particular night, possibly because they didn't think it would go over too well with a J. Geils crowd.fireworks were unfortunately set off during Giant's opening song

 

Jan. 29†††††† The Cleveland show from Jan. 27 was broadcast on WMMS Radio in edited form as part of that station's regular Monday Night at the Agora series.

 

???†††††††††† Springfield, Massachusetts†††††† Civic Center††††††††††††††††††††† opened for J. Geils.the crowd was quite rude to Giant, who were shaken by the experience and rushed through their set

Feb. 1††††††† Tulsa, Oklahoma††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Alvin Lee

Feb. 2††††††† St. Louis, Missouri†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Alvin Lee

Feb. ?††††††† Austin, Texas

Feb. ?††††††† San Diego, California†††††††††††† San Diego State University†††† the college's student newspaper, the Daily Aztec, claimed that GG stole the show from headliner Alvin Lee.there is a possibility this show may actually have taken place at Golden Hall.possible dates are Feb. 6, Feb. 9, or Feb. 10

Feb. ?††††††† Santa Monica, California†††††††† Civic Auditorium†††††††††††††††† an opening act named Captain started the show.this may be the show that Gary described as one of GG's best west coast gigs ever, mistakenly thinking it was from 1974.the Capitol Studios recording from Jan. 1 is often mistakenly described as having been recorded in Santa Monica

Feb. 15†††††† San Francisco, California†††††††† Winterland †††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Alvin Lee

Feb. 17†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††††† Auditorium Theater†††††††††††† a tape of this gig is rumored to exist

 

Mar. 1††††††† A newspaper ad exists which claimed Giant was to appear on this date on a television show called Wide World of Entertainment in Concert.Nothing is known about this program, including whether it ever aired.

 

Mar. ?††††††† The live studio recording made at Hollywood's Capitol Studios on Jan. 1 was broadcast, in slightly edited form, sometime in March over KMET radio in Los Angeles. It was part of a longer special on Gentle Giant.

 

 

†††††††† Information is very sketchy as to Gentle Giant's live activities between early and mid 1975.Very few concert dates are known from this time period., although there are unconfirmed fan recollections of U.S. shows in Houston, Dallas and Washington, D.C.It is known that, between spring and summer, they spent most of their time writing, recording and mixing the music for their next album.The band was supposedly planning to do a tour of Scandinavia with old friends Jethro Tull sometime in 1975, but this never materialized, even though posters advertising this double billing are known to exist.When this was intended to take place is unclear.

††††††††

†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Mar. 24†††††† Torino, Italy††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Palasport†††††††††††††††††††††††† this date is suspect

 

???†††††††††† There appears to have been an Italian broadcast featuring Gentle Giant somewhere around this time.A partial audio recording of the program seems to indicate it was a television broadcast, rather than a radio show.It included live music and interviews with all five band members, complete with an Italian translator.It is unknown when or where this was recorded or when it aired, though John Weathers states during his interview that he had been in the band for "three years."This would imply a recording date sometime during the first half of 1975.

 

Apr. ?†††††††† The band recorded their seventh album, FREE HAND, at London's Advision Studios.Apparently, the band considered mixing a quadraphonic version of the album, as well, but this did not happen.

 

May 5†††††††† Breda, Holland†††††††††††††††††††† Turfschip

June 21††††† Dusseldorf, Germany††††††††††††† Philipshalle††††††††††††††††††††† there is an existing tape of this gig that shows that Derek had trouble communicating with the audience, many of whom apparently did not understand English

 

 

Some people recall dates Giant played in England in the period between late spring and early summer of 1975.Supposedly these include stops in Southend-on-Sea, Torquay and Portsmouth, but none of these has been established with certainty.

 

 

???†††††††††† A live studio concert was filmed in Brussels, Belgium.This concert is often mistakenly assumed to have been filmed in Czechoslovakia, but was actually filmed in Brussels for a German television program called Sonntagskonzert.This was a show that normally featured classical performances, but ran a series of shows on rock bands that displayed classical influences.The exact date of filming is unknown, though it could have been any time between the end of 1974 and the summer of 1975.

 

July ?†††††††† FREE HAND was released in America.The date was either July 21 or July 28.

 

Aug. 10†††††† ZDF-TV in Germany broadcast the Belgian film on its Sonntagkonzert program.It was also broadcast on VARA, the Dutch TV network, on the same day.It's possible that it was also broadcast at some time in other parts of Europe, as well, including a Dutch re-broadcast in December.

 

Aug. 22†††††† FREE HAND was released in England.It went on to become the most commercially successful album Gentle Giant ever made, with songs that were musically challenging, yet accessible.The album sold very well in most parts of the world and the band began to think that maybe they were finally set to conquer the world.

 

 

†††††††† In August, the group put on a short series of concerts in eastern Canada and the northeastern United States.This mini-tour may have been somewhat promotional in nature, as it seems they were also doing interviews and personal appearances at the time.The band headlined most of the shows but played as an opening act at others.A number of changes were made in their live setlist, including the addition of three songs from the new album.†† Also, Gary Green's guitar solo was deleted, beginning with this tour.

††††††††

TYPICAL SETLIST(August 1975)

 

Intro/Cogs in Cogs - a new prerecorded original instrumental was now used as the intro.this new recording can be found on UNDER CONSTRUCTION, mistakenly titled Intro 74

Proclamation/Funny Ways

The Runaway/Experience - the prerecorded bridge section was now no longer used to connect these two songs

On Reflection

Excerpts from Octopus - this popular medley was rearranged, making it a bit longer. it now began with a full band arrangement of The Boys in the Band, complete with the "coin toss" recording, before going into the other material.the acoustic guitar duet was rewritten and included themes from the songs Raconteur Troubadour and Acquiring the Taste

So Sincere

Plain Truth

Free Hand

Just the Same - a new outro was used after this song.it was a tape loop fashioned from the song's saxophone riff and would gradually fade out

 

 

Aug. 16†††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Boston Garden†††††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this gig, at which the band opened for Steppenwolf.before Excerpts from Octopus, a member of the band's crew made a mistake by playing, instead of the "coin toss" tape, a snippet of the pre-recorded tape loop used as an outro to the song Just the Same.Plain Truth was not played in its entirety this evening.however, a brief instrumental portion of the song was played as an intro to Free Hand, with the guitar taking over some of the melody line from the violin

Aug. 17†††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† University of Toronto - Convocation Hall†††††† an unconfirmed show

Aug. 18†††††† Trois-Rivieres, Quebec††††††††††† †† Stade de Trois-Rivieres†††††††† the stage was set up on two flatbed trucks on second base at the local baseball stadium and the band began quite late.about 2500 were in attendance, making the place about half full.two Quebec area acts, prog group Pollen and prog/folk singer Raoul Duguay, were the opening acts

Aug. 21†††††† Quebec City, Quebec†††††††††††† †† Colisee†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Pollen was the opening act at this Quebec City hockey arena

Aug. 23†††††† Hempstead, New York†††††††††††† Calderone Concert Hall†††††††† this is the band's first performance at this Long Island venue, but they returned there several times more in later years.Ray remembers a very odd bill with Giant actually opening for heavy metal favorites Kiss.actually, he is incorrect.both bands did play there that day but in two completely separate gigs.Giant played the earlier show while Kiss played later in the evening.a tape of GG's performance is rumored to exist

Aug. 30†††††† Montreal, Quebec††††††††††††††††† ††† Autostade††††††††††††††††††††††† this was an outdoor gig and it was a rainy day.12,000 tickets were reported to have been sold, with only about 7,000 showing up in the bad weather.Weather Report opened the show, followed by Pollen and then Giant, in the headlining slot

 

 

There are personal reminiscences from fans who claim the band played gigs with Jefferson Starship, Greenslade and Traffic, probably sometime in 1975.The locations and exact dates of these gigs are undetermined so the shows are, of course, unconfirmed.

 

 

Sep. 16†††††† On this date, in London, the band recorded their eleventh and final BBC studio session, consisting of Just the Same, Free Hand and On Reflection, all songs from the newly-recorded FREE HAND album.It was recorded at Maida Vale Studio 4 and broadcast on Oct. 13.After this, the band's record label no longer considered the BBC helpful in the band's promotion.This entire session appears on the OUT OF THE WOODSand TOTALLY OUT OF THE WOODS albums.

 

 

 

*** Part Five ***

*** The Peak of Success ***

 

 

†††††††† In the fall of 1975, Giant began another round of full-scale worldwide touring to support their new album.Their stage set was, by now, even more visually elaborate, utilizing slide presentations synchronized to the music.The group seemed to be operating at the peak of their commercial and creative abilities.As a whole, the band was a force with which to be reckoned.Their live shows were tight, brilliantly arranged and performed, and usually very well received.However, in North America, they still at times found themselves serving as an opening act, notably for the Strawbs and Rick Wakeman.

††††††††

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Fall 1975)

 

Intro/Cogs in Cogs

Proclamation/Funny Ways

The Runaway/Experience

On Reflection

Excerpts from Octopus

So Sincere

Plain Truth - for this tour, the vocals were omitted.the song still spun off into Ray's violin solo

Free Hand

Just the Same

 

 

Sep. 21††††††† London, England†††††† ††††††††††††††† New Victoria Hall††††††††††††††† numerous conflicting reports have circulated as to the date and circumstances of this concert, but newspaper ads and reviews verify this date as the correct one.it was supposedly a very long concert and has also been described as a "comeback gig", since the band had not played England in quite a while.Michael Moore played in support of Giant, as he would on many occasions during the band's full English tour coming up in December

Sep. 22†††††† Amsterdam, Holland††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed gig

Sep. 23†††††† Rotterdam, Holland†††††††††††††† De Doelen Halle†††††††††††††††† this was in a venue described as having excellent acoustics.the crowd of 1500 - 2000 fans was quiet and respectful

Sep. 24†††††† Frankfurt, Germany††††††††††††††† Festhalle Messgelande†††††††† a tape exists of this gig.after the encore, the crowd continued to applaud wildly.Derek eventually came back out and thanked them but the band did not play again

 

Sep. 28†††††† A small portion of what's believed to be the second of the two New York City shows from Jan. 18 was broadcast by King Biscuit Radio.Only Intro/Cogs In Cogs and The Runaway/Experience were aired.The Runaway/Experience from this same show was also included on the official KING BISCUIT PRESENTS GENTLE GIANT album. Aerosmith was also featured on this particular broadcast which some believe to have actually taken place on Sep. 25.

 

Oct. 3††††††† †† White Plains, New York††††††††††† White Plains Music Hall††††††† the intro tape leading into Cogs in Cogs at the beginning of the show didn't work.this caused some restless moments in the audience.a tape of this concert exists, showing that the "breaking glass" tape normally used to lead into The Runaway also didn't work.there are conflicting reports as to the identity of the opening act.it may have been Randy Hansen, but it was more likely Gary Wright

Oct. 4††††††† †† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† †† Orpheum Theater†††††††††††††† Giant played in the middle of a triple bill here, coming after Golden Earring and before headliners Black Oak Arkansas.a tape of Giant's performance exists

Oct. 5††††††† †† Buffalo, New York†††††††††††††††† †††† New Century Theater †††††††††† Gary Wright and Brian Augur's Oblivion Express both opened for Giant

 

Oct. 7††††††† †† In Hempstead, New York at Ultrasonic Recording Studio, Giant performed in front of a studio audience.The concert was broadcast live over New York City's WLIR radio, as part of that station's regular series of broadcasts from Ultrasonic Studio.On July 14, 1976, a portion of this concert was broadcast in England on the BBC Rock Hour radio program.

 

Oct. 9††††††† †† Waterbury, Connecticut††††††††††† Palace Theater †††††††††††††††† opened for Rick Wakeman

Oct. 10†††††† Philadelphia, Pennsylvania†††††† Spectrum ††††††††††††††††††††††† preceded by Larry Coryell and the Eleventh House and followed by Rick Wakeman.a tape exists of this show

Oct. 11†††††† New York, New York††††††††††††††† †† Academy Of Music †††††††††††† White Lightning was the opening act.a tape also exists of this show

 

Oct. 13†††††† Gentle Giant's eleventh and final BBC session, recorded on Sept. 16, was broadcast on Sounds of the Seventies, hosted by John Peel.

 

Oct. ?†††††††† Kalamazoo, Michigan††††††††††† Chenery Auditorium†††††††††††† an unconfirmed show

Oct. ?†††††††† Largo, Maryland†††††††††††††††††† Capital Center ††††††††††††††††† a bootleg recording incorrectly lists the band as also playing the Hollywood Palace in nearby Baltimore around this time, but that is unlikely.Jethro Tull is known to have played at this venue in Largo on Oct. 1, providing another possible time for GG and Tull to have hooked up for a one-off concert together

Oct. 16†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††† †††††† Auditorium Theater†††††††††††† a poorly attended show with the hall only half full.Gary Wright opened and Giant headlined

Oct. 17††††† †† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Cobo Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† preceded by Gary Wright with Rick Wakeman the headliner.it's rumored Giant played The River at this gig, though it's unconfirmed, since it's generally believed this song was never performed in concert

Oct. 18†††††† Cincinnati, Ohio††††††††††††††† †††††† Riverfont Coliseum †††††††††††† the venue may actually be called Riverfront Auditorium.the band opened for Rick Wakeman.Procol Harum was supposed to appear second on the bill but was unable to, due to their equipment truck breaking down in West Virginia.Giant agreed to let Procol use their equipment, but Wakeman vetoed the idea.this led to a nasty scene backstage between Procol and Wakeman which, after the show,went public as the warring parties argued live over Cincinnati's WEBN Radio

Oct. 19††††† †† Indianapolis, Indiana†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† possibly held at the Fairgrounds Coliseum

Oct. 21††††† †† Milwaukee, Wisconsin†††††††††††† Riverside Theatre†††††††††††††† it's possible they again followed Gary Wright and preceded Rick Wakeman, but it's unconfirmed.another source claims they actually played a 30-minute set opening for Golden Earring and Aerosmith and received a lukewarm reception

Oct. 22†††††† St. Louis, Missouri†††††††††††††††† Opera House

Oct. 23†††††† Vancouver, British Columbia ††† Commodore Cabaret Ballroom†††††††† REO Speedwagon may have been also on the bill

Oct. 24†††††† Portland, Oregon††††††††††††††††† Paramount Theater†††††††††††† opened for the Strawbs

Oct. 25††††††† Seattle, Washington†††††††††††††††† Moore Egyptian Theater †††††† opened for the Strawbs.a tour ad in Billboard magazine lists this Seattle show as taking place between the Vancouver show and the Portland show, so the dates listed at this part of the tour may be off a bit.many in the audience were apparently there to see Giant, as two thirds of the crowd were reported to have left by the Strawbs' third song

Oct. 28†††††† Berkeley, California††††††††††††† †††† Community Theater†††††††††††† a tape of this gig exists

Oct. 30†††††† Phoenix, Arizona †††††††††††††††† Celebrity Theatre

Nov. 1††††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† Shrine Auditorium†††††††††††††† Gary remembers there being problems with the lights at this show

Nov. 2†††††† San Diego, California†††††††††††† †† Golden Hall††††††††††††††††††††† opened for the Strawbs.on an existingtape of this show, Derek tells the audience that this is the last gig of the band's present North American tour, making the next two dates suspicious

Nov. 5††††††† New York, New York††††††††††††††† †† Academy of Music†††††††††††††† questionable date

Nov. 7†††††† †† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Cobo Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† questionable date, especially since they had just played Detroit on Oct. 17.on the other hand, this date is listed in the inside gatefold of the 1977 PLAYING THE FOOL live album and they reportedly shared the bill with Gary Wright and Rick Wakeman.it's possible this date was a late addition to the tour schedule

Nov. 10†††††† Oslo, Norway††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Chateau Neuf††††††††††††††††††† a full house of around 1500 fans attended this show

Nov. 12†††††† Stockholm, Sweden†††††††††††††† Studentkaren†††††††††††††††††††† this show was recorded by Sweden's Radio 3 and then broadcast at a later date, possibly a week later, in edited form.†† a slightly edited version of this show was also re-broadcast in January of 1976 as part of the Tonkraft series

 

Nov. 14††††† It is believed that this is the date the band released its first compilation album, entitled GIANT STEPS, though it could possibly have been on Nov. 1.It included the song Power and the Glory, previously only available as a single.It was only released in England.

 

Nov. 15†††††† Hannover, Germany†††††††††††††† Niedersachsenhalle

Nov. 16†††††† Berlin, Germany†††††††††††††††††† †††† HDK Concerthall

Nov. 17†††††† Dusseldorf, Germany††††††††††††† Philipshalle††††††††††††††††††††† a tape of this show exists

Nov. 18†††††† Hamburg, Germany†††††††††††††† Musikhalle

Nov. 20†††††† Gutersloh, Germany†††††††††††††† Sporthalle

Nov. 21†††††† Wiesbaden, Germany†††††††††††† Singen Scheffelhalle

Nov. 22†††††† Munich, Germany†††††††††††††††††† †† Circus Krone Building††††††††††

Nov. 24†††††† Basel, Switzerland††††††††††††††† †††† Volkshaus††††††††††††††††††††††††

Nov. 25†††††† Karlsruhe, Germany

Nov. 26†††††† Mannheim, Germany†††††††††††† Rosengarten

Nov. 27†††††† Zurich, Switzerland††††††††††††††† Volkshaus†††††††††††††††††††††††† there is an existing tape of this gig††††

Nov. 29†††††† Paris, France†††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Olympia††††††††††††††††††††††††† broadcast over Paris radio, but it is uncertain whether it was broadcast live or at some point after the concert took place

Nov. 30†††††† Brussels, Belgium††††††††††††††††† Ancienne Belgique†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Dec. 1††††††† Amsterdam, Holland††††††††††††† Carre Theatre††††††††††††††††††† Mike McClintock opened for GG at this show.this venue has been described as an intimate "circus theatre", with very steep seating.about 2000 fans enjoyed this show, but influential Dutch pop critic Elly de Waard hated it

Dec. 2††††††† Rotterdam, Holland†††††††††††††† De Doelen Halle†††††††††††††††† this is an unconfirmed date

 

 

†††††††† In December, Giant finally brought a tour to England, making up for the cancelled tour from the previous December.It was their first regular British tour since spring 1974.Unfortunately, even though they were at the height of their success in most countries, the band still did not receive the fan support at home that they felt they deserved.It is also not known if they made any changes to their setlist at this time, since no recordings from this tour have surfaced.

 

 

Dec. 5††††††† Norwich, England††††††††††††††††† ††† University of East Anglia

Dec. 6††††††† Leeds, England††††††††††††††††††† †††† Leeds University††††††††††††††††

Dec. 7††††††† Hemel Hempstead, England††† Pavillion

Dec. 8††††††† Birmingham, England†††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† Michael Moore was the opening act††

Dec. 9††††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††††† Free Trade Hall††††††††††††††††† Michael Moore was the opening act

Dec. 11†††††† Bristol, England††††††††††††††††† ††††† Colston Hall

Dec. 12†††††† Cambridge, England††††††††††††††† Corn Exchange††††††††††††††††† Michael Moore was the opening act

Dec. 13†††††† Liverpool, England††††††††††††††† ††† Liverpool Stadium††††††††††††† the crowd was large and appreciative.Michael Moore was the opening act

Dec. 15†††††† Derby, England†††††††††††††††††† ††††† King's Hall

Dec. 16†††††† Newcastle, England ††††††††††††††††† City Hall

Dec. 17†††††† Sheffield, England†††††††††††††††† †† City Hall

Dec. 19†††††† Portsmouth, England††††††††††††† †† Guildhall

Dec. 22†††††† Portsmouth, England††††††††††††† Guildhall†††††††††††††††††††††††† Melody Maker reported the group did two concerts in their hometown just three days apart.however, a conflicting report in another newspaper claims they played the Guildhall in Plymouth, England on Dec. 22

 

 

 

*** Part Six ***

*** Still Plugging Away ***

 

 

†††††††† 1976

 

 

†††††††† After the success of FREE HAND, Giant felt poised to continue their commercial ascent.However, things did not go as smoothly as they would have liked.They kept on working and touring hard around the world, but they made no new headway and their rise more or less leveled off.Their star did not dim, but neither did it glow brighter.

 

 

Jan. ?††††††† A slightly edited version of the Stockholm show from Nov. 12 was re-broadcast over Sweden's Radio 3 as part of the Tonkraft series.

 

Feb. - Mar.†† The band's eighth album, INTERVIEW, was recorded at Advision Studios in London.They only had about three weeks to write and record the whole thing, taking from mid February to March 12, so the band found this to be a difficult album to record.It has been said that, musically, it was very much a pale rehash of their previous album.

 

???†††††††††† The group made a promotional film for the title song, Interview, from the INTERVIEW album.The music was lip-synched.Possibly, this was made in the latter part of April in Hannover, Germany for the Beat Club TV program.

 

Apr. ?†††††††† Copenhagen, Denmark†††††††††† Hard Rock Cafe††††††††††††††††† a gig was scheduled here in April, but was cancelled because the stage was too small.the venue may be incorrect

 

Apr. 30†††††† The INTERVIEW album was released in England.

 

 

†††††††† After the December 1975 tour of England, Gentle Giant apparently put on a few shows in Europe before returning right back to the U.K. again in the spring of 1976.However, they had, by now, become very disillusioned with the lack of headway they were making there, and it proved to be their last tour of their native land.From that point on, they decided to concentrate their live efforts in Europe and North America.Again, no live recordings from this time period have surfaced, but it is known that they added at least the title song, Interview, from the new album into their setlist and it's believed they added other new songs, as well.Other specific details about the songs played on tour are not known.The band Solution opened all of the British shows.

 

Apr. 29†††††† Derby, England††††††††††††††††††† King's Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† this, the first scheduled gig with Solution, may have been cancelled, but it is uncertain

Apr. 30†††††† Cambridge, England††††††††††††††† Corn Exchange††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 1†††††††† Southend-on-Sea, England†††† Kursaal†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show.they were originally scheduled to play at a University in Leicester, England on this date, but that show was cancelled

May 2†††††††† London, England†††††††††††††††††† ††† Drury Lane - Theatre Royale††††††††††† Solution opened the show

 

May 4†††††††† It's believed that this is the date INTERVIEW was released in America.

 

May 5††††††† †† Norwich, England††††††††††††††††† ††† University of East Anglia††††††† Solution opened the show

May 6†††††††† Warwick, England††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show. the show was at a University, the name of which is unknown

May 7†††††††† Birmingham, England†††††††††††††† Town Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 8††††††† †† Malvern, England††††††††††††††††† ††† Winter Gardens††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 10††††††† Oxford, England†† †††††††††††††††††††† New Theatre†††††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 11†††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††† Palace††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this show with Solution may have been cancelled, although the band did play in Manchester the next night

May 12††††††† Manchester, England†††††††††††††† Free Trade Hall††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 13††††††† Sheffield, England†††††††††††††††† †† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† During Interview, the title song to the new album, Derek's microphone failed, so the song ended up being mostly an instrumental.one fan recalls them possibly playing Empty City, not believed to have been done later in the year or on later tours.this is unconfirmed.Solution was again the opening act

May 14†††††† Newcastle, England†††††††††††††† ††† City Hall††††††††††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 15††††††† Edinburgh, Scotland†††††††††††††† †† Usher Hall††††††††††††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 17††††††† Southampton, England††††††††††††† Gaumont Theatre†††††††††††††† Solution opened the show

May 21††††††† Breda, Holland††††††††††††††††††† ††††† Turfschip

May 22††††††† Delft, Holland††††††††††††††††††††† DHC Soccer Stadium†††††††††† participated in an event called the "Oor Festival"

May 25††††††† Lille, France††††††††††††††††††††††† Palais Rameau††††††††††††††††† a fan joked that this show was played "in a glass house", since the building had lots of windows.the sound at the show was described as "church-like"

May 26†††††† Lyon, France

May 27††††††† Grenoble, France

May 29††††††† Bordeaux, France

 

 

The following few dates were scheduled in Italy.However, as had happened in April 1974, the band's time there was cut short due to riots and unrest in that country.It's not known which, if any, of these Italian concerts went on as planned.

 

 

May 31††††††† Torino, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† unconfirmed show

June 1††††††† Brescia, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† unconfirmed show

June 4††††††† Reggio Emilia, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† unconfirmed show

June 5††††††† Rimini, Italy††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† unconfirmed show

June 7††††††† Rome, Italy†††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††† Palazzo dello Sport†††††††††††† unconfirmed show

 

 

†††††††† The Bicentennial summer of 1976 found the band in North America.Although they did headline some gigs, they still, part of the time, had to play a support role.During some huge stadium dates with Yes, they sometimes had to appear third or fourth on the bill.The biggest surprise in the new setlist was the deletion of Funny Ways, played at possibly every previous concert since 1970.Plain Truth, another long-time staple of their live shows, was also apparently dropped, though Ray's violin solo was not.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Mid 1976)

 

Intro/Just the Same - the opening song was preceded by yet another prerecorded instrumental intro.this intro appears on UNDER CONSTRUCTION, with the title Intro 76.a portion of the album version of the song Talybont from FREE HAND was also played before the concert began

Proclamation

On Reflection

Interview - this one began with the "interviewer" recording taken from the beginning of the new album

The Runaway/Experience

So Sincere

Excerpts from Octopus

Give It Back - this tribute to reggae music was reportedly put into the set specifically to replace Funny Ways, of which the band had grown tired.like Funny Ways, the live arrangement of this song included a solo on vibraphone by Kerry.however, the song appears to have been dropped by late July, never to return

Timing - the new home for Ray's violin solo

Free Hand

Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head - this mini-medley was apparently added to the set in late July, after Give It Back was dropped.however, only the second half of I Lost My Head was played

 

Curiously, it seems that the band used no encore for the first several weeks of this tour, simply ending the show with Free Hand.Starting in late July, however, Free Hand still ended the main set but was followed by Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head, played as an encore.

 

 

June 17†††††† Upper Darby, Pennsylvania†††††† Tower Theater††††††††††††††††††† Starcastle was the opening act.Giant managed to draw around 4000 fans to this show which was no small feat, considering that Yes was playing to around 100,000 in nearby Jersey City on the same night

June 18†††††† New York, New York††††††††††††††† †† Central Park - Wollman Rink††††††††††† part of Central Park's annual Shaeffer Festival.Starcastle was the opening act.a partial tape of this gig definitely exists and a complete tape made by a second member of the audience is also rumored to exist.this time, Derek introduced himself as Barry Manilow

June 19†††††† Baltimore, Maryland††††††††††††† Hollywood Palace†††††††††††††† it's not known whether Starcastle was at this concert††††††††††††††††††††

June 22†††††† Springfield, Massachusetts†††††† Civic Center††††††††††††††††††††† Giant may have opened for Todd Rundgren's Utopia, with Rick Derringer possibly also on the bill.however, this is not confirmed

June 24††††† Moncton, New Brunswick††††††††† Moncton Coliseum††††††††††††† Starcastle was the opening act

June 25†††††† Quebec City, Quebec†††††††† ††††† Colisee†††††††††††††††††††††††††† Starcastle was the opening act

June 26†††††† Ottawa, Ontario††††††††††††††††††† National Arts Centre†††††††††††† Starcastle was the opening act

June 27†††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† Massey Hall††††††††††††††††††††† Starcastle was the opening act.the venue, which seats around 3000, was virtually sold out

June 28†††††† Montreal, Quebec††††††††††††††††† ††† Place des Nations†††††††††††††† Starcastle was the opening act.about 10,000 were at this show

June 30†††††† London, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† London Arena†††††††††††††††††† the last show for which Starcastle was the opening act.Starcastle has claimed to have very much enjoyed their concerts with Giant

July 1††††††† †† Binghamton, New York††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† GG headlined, but the support act is not known

July 2††††††† †† Rochester, New York†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this show was a theater gig.Giant played in the middle of a triple bill, after Angel and before the headliners, Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow.Gary recalls a theater gig, probably in Rochester, where the set started with Kerry playing Experience on a giant Wurlitzer organ in front of the stage.it may or may not have been this gig

July 3†††††† ††† Hempstead, New York†††††††††††††† Calderone Concert Hall††††††††† live broadcast on New York City's WLIR radio as part of that station's Bicentennial celebration.at one point between songs, Derek joked that he would "forgive" the Americans for "dumping all that tea in the water".it's the longest known broadcast the band ever did.there was no opening act.like was the case with the LIVE IN ROME album, this show appeared on a bootleg then, in 2001, on an official album entitled IN'TERVIEW, copied from that bootleg.the band, though not endorsing the album, does receive royalties

July 5†††† ††††† Elyria, Ohio††††††††††††††††††††††† Joker††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an eyewitness recalls this as being a long gig

July 6††††††† †† Columbus, Ohio

July 7††††††† †† Chicago, Illinois††††††††††††††† †††††† Riviera Theatre††††††††††††††††† the Riviera was an old refurbished 1930's movie theater on Chicago's north side.it's possible that some or all of this concert was broadcast on radio, but it's not certain.a partial soundboard recording exists of this show, but it's unclear whether the tape is of a radio broadcast.Creation shared the stage with GG

July 9††††††† †† Terre Haute, Indiana††††††††††††† Indiana State University - Hullman Center†††† Giant followed Starz and Wet Willie, all opening for headliner Ted Nugent.

July 11†††††† Dallas, Texas

July 13†††††† Austin, Texas†††††††††††††††††††††† Armadillo World Headquarters††††††††† the band has claimed that Austin was one of their favorite places to play and immediately after this show, Kerry, Ray and Gary told a fan that they thought this was one of their better played gigs.the audience was very receptive.the opening act was a band called Texas

 

July 14†††††† The BBC broadcast a portion of the Oct. 7, 1975 Ultrasonic Studio performance on its BBC Rock Hour radio program, hosted by Brian Matthew.The songs broadcast were Intro/Cogs in Cogs, So Sincere, Free Hand and Just the Same.Appearing on the same program was John Miles.

 

July 16†††††† Santa Barbara, California†††††††† Arlington Theater†††††††††††††† an existing tape shows that, for some reason, before Excerpts from Octopus, they played a modified version of the intro tape played before their fall 1975 gigs.Giant headlined this show.in fact, there may have been no support act

July 17†††††† Anaheim, California†††††††††††††† †† Anaheim Stadium ††††††††††††† opened for Gary Wright, Peter Frampton and Yes.Gary Green says he was a bit intimidated by the 70,000 in attendance

July 18†††††† San Diego, California†††††††††††† †† Balboa Stadium ††††††††††††††† opened for Gary Wright, Peter Frampton and Yes.an existing tape of this gig shows that they included no INTERVIEW material, instead relying on their more familiar songs from previous albums.the group was very poorly received, with lots of booing from the audience

July 19†††††† Fresno, California††††††††††††††† ††††† Selland Arena ††††††††††††††††† opened for Peter Frampton and Yes

July 20†††††† Daly City, California††††††††† †††††† Cow Palace †††††††††††††††††††† opened for Yes, whose fans supposedly booed Giant off the stage, according to an eyewitness, although this may be an exaggeration.the sound for the band was sub-par this night and there were equipment problems, as well.at one point, John went to play the vibraphone, only to find the instrument's microphones were dead.he held his sticks up in frustration.actually, there was discussion, prior to this concert, of Giant playing at a different venue than Yes on this night, but that didn't come about.as it turned out, Giant was the only opening act, unlike at most of their other dates with Yes

July 22†††††† Vancouver, British Columbia†††† Pacific Coliseum ††††††††††††††† opened for Yes.a tape of this gig exists

July 23†††††† Seattle, Washington†††††††††††††† †† Memorial Coliseum ††††††††††† opened for Yes

July 24†††††† Spokane, Washington†††††††††††††† Coliseum†††††††††††††††††††††††† opened for Yes

July 25†††††† Portland, Oregon††††††††††††††††† †††† Memorial Coliseum ††††††††††† opened for Yes

July 27†††††† Salt Lake City, Utah†††††††††††††† Salt Palace††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed gig.Yes played in Salt Lake City on this night, but it has not been verified that Giant opened for them

July 28†††††† Denver, Colorado†††††††††††††††† †††† Denver Coliseum††††††††††††††† opened for Yes.it's been reported that only 3000 tickets were sold in this large arena, making this a poorly attended show.however, more than likely, there was a larger crowd than that

 

 

†††††††† A fall 1976 European tour was next, with very few setlist changes.Give It Back had been deleted and, as it turned out, all songs from the INTERVIEW album disappeared from their concerts by the next year.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Fall 1976)

 

Intro/Just the Same

Proclamation

On Reflection/Interview

The Runaway/Experience

So Sincere

Excerpts from Octopus

Funny Ways - this crowd favorite was put back into the set

Timing

Free Hand

Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head

 

†††††††† During this European tour, Giant recorded four of their concerts with the intention of sifting through them and compiling a live album.Music from these four concerts did indeed make up the 1977 PLAYING THE FOOL live album.Gary actually recalls five concerts being recorded, but this is not verified.

 

Sep. 16†††††† Oslo, Norway††††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Chateau Neuf††††††††††††††††††† a full house of around 1500 fans attended this concert

Sep. 17††††† Gothenburg, Sweden†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a tape of this concert exists.the venue may have been Konserthuset or it may have been Studentkaren

Sep. 18††††† Stockholm, Sweden†††††††††††††† Konserthuset

Sep. 19††††† Lund, Sweden†††††††††††††††††††† Olympen-Sparta†††††††††††††††† an existing tape of this gig shows that the band seemed to take their time on the songs, making this a longer than usual performance

Sep. 20††††† Kiel, Germany†††††††††††††††††††† Audimax††††††††††††††††††††††††† the venue is not verified for this gig, as one fan remembers seeing the band at Ball Pompos in Kiel, though this fan doesn't recall the year

Sep. 21†††††† Hamburg, Germany†††††††††††††† Musikhalle††††††††††††††††††††††† at this show, they shared the bill with the Italian band Banco

Sep. 22†††††† Berlin, Germany†††††††††††††††††† Philharmonie††††††††††††††††††† the band may have been scheduled to play here, but the show may have been cancelled

Sep. 23††††† Dusseldorf, Germany††††††††††††† Philipshalle††††††††††††††††††††† this was one of the four concerts from the fall of 1976 that Giant recorded for use on a potential live album, the other three being the Munich, Paris and Brussels gigs.when the PLAYING THE FOOL album was released, it included Intro/Just the Same, Proclamation and On Reflection from Dusseldorf.The songs Interview and Timing, as well as Intro 76 from this show, appeared on the UNDER CONSTRUCTION album.the mini-medley of The Runaway/Experience from this show was included on the 2000 CD reissue of the IN A GLASS HOUSE album

Sep. 24††††† Mannheim, Germany†††††††††††† Rosengarten†††††††††††††††††††† again shared the bill with Banco††††††

Sep. 25††††† Munich, Germany†††††††††††††††††† †† Circus Krone Building†††††††††† another one of the four concerts taped by the band for the PLAYING THE FOOL album, though only Funny Ways from this show appeared on that album.shared the bill with Banco

Sep. 27††††† Ulm, Germany†††††††††††††††††††† Donauhalle††††††††††††††††††††† the band may have originally planned to play here, but this show may also have been cancelled

Sep. 28††††† Frankfurt, Germany††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this concert may have been at the Stadthalle in nearby Offenbach, but this is unconfirmed. GG again shared the stage with Banco.there is some evidence that the band may have also planned to record this gig, but it may not have happened

Sep. 30††††† Zurich, Switzerland††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this is another gig that some evidence indicates the band may have originally intended to record, though it may not have happened

Oct. 1††††††† †† Neuchatel, Switzerland††††††††††† Temple du Bas

Oct. 3††††††† †† Liechtenstein†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the only known time the group ever played in this tiny European nation.the city where this concert took place is unknown.the date may have actually been Oct. 2

Oct. 5††††††† †† Paris, France†††††††††††††††††††† †††††† Pavillon de Paris††††††††††††††† this was another of the four concerts definitely recorded for use on the PLAYING THE FOOL album.Excerpts from Octopus, The Runaway/Experience, So Sincere and Peel the Paint/I Lost My Head on that album came from this concert

Oct. 7††††††† †† Brussels, Belgium††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† the last of the four concerts definitely recorded by the band for use on the PLAYING THE FOOL album.a total keyboard breakdown after just two songs led to a delay in the show, during which Ray and Gary played a few impromptu numbers.one of them was a spontaneous improvisational version of the song Sweet Georgia Brown.it appeared on the live album, retitled Breakdown in Brussels.the keyboards were eventually brought back to half strength so the band could at least finish the show.the song Free Hand from this concert also appeared on the live album

 

Dec. ?††††††† There is a rumor that Giant appeared on Brazilian TV at some point in the last month of 1976.The song Free Hand was supposedly broadcast, but no information as to when or where it was filmed is known.However, the Italian band PFM also allegedly appeared on the broadcast.

 

 

†††††††† 1977

 

 

Jan. ?††††††† Rehearsals for the next tour began in a public room in a pub in Portsmouth, England.

††††††††††††††††††††††††††

Jan. ?††††††† Later in the month, they moved to a soundstage at Pinewood Studios in London for a week.While there, they settled on a setlist for their next tour and even recorded a run-through of that set.

 

Jan. 18†††††† This is the date Giant is believed to have released their live album entitled PLAYING THE FOOL in America.To come up with the title, they modified the name of a 1975 bootleg of their material called PLAYING THE FOOLE.The tracks on this live album were recorded in Dusseldorf, Munich, Paris and Brussels in September and October of 1976.

 

Jan. 28†††††† PLAYING THE FOOL saw release in England.

 

 

†††††††† Never a band to take an extended break from touring, they hit the road again in North America during February and March in support of their new live album.At last, the group was able to headline most of their concerts in North America.However, they did co-headline some dates with Renaissance, the two bands switching off the closing spot on the bill.Information is sketchy as to which band headlined on each date.This PLAYING THE FOOL tour was unique in that the band broke tradition and premiered four songs that they intended for their next studio album, but which had not yet been recorded.There were also a number of other changes to their stage show.Besides dropping all material from the INTERVIEW album, Ray's violin solo was missing, as well.Kerry said in an interview in a Canadian publication at the time that the band had intended to play The Face during this tour, with the violin solo included as part of that song.Unfortunately, he said that equipment problems of some sort made that impossible.Actually, the song may have been played on the first couple nights of the tour and been dropped by the time the group reached Quebec City.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Feb. - Apr. 1977)

 

The Runaway/Experience - beginning the concert, a prerecorded classical piece was played.then the group used the novel idea of playing a tape of them pretending to be tuning their instruments and testing their equipment before the "breaking glass" tape would signal the start of the show††

On Reflection

As Old as You're Young - not yet recorded

Just the Same/Playing the Game - on Playing the Game, Derek played the "shulberry".this was a simple 3-string instrument invented by the band's keyboard roadie, Phil Freeman†††††††††††††††††

Memories of Old Days - not yet recorded.Kerry played a brief keyboard version of the song Giant as a lead-in.†† during the song itself, all five members played one type or another of guitar ††††††††††

Winning - not yet recorded

For Nobody - not yet recorded.Ray often got to introduce this song on stage, though not always

Funny Ways - John got to showcase his comedic skills as his humorous introduction to this song became a nightly ritual††††

So Sincere - for this tour, the beginning of this song was played on vibraphone

Free Hand

Excerpts from Octopus - this song was the new encore but was not played every night.it featured a new keyboard bridge section and during the recorder quartet, they did not play their customary version of Yankee Doodle

 

††††††††

???†††††††††† Montclair, New Jersey†††††††††††† Montclair State Teacher's College†††† an eyewitness recalls Giant opening for Renaissance here, but may very well be mistaken.there is no hard evidence to support this claim

Feb. 17†††††† Buffalo, New York††††††††††††††††† New Century Theater†††††††††† just as the band was arriving in Buffalo to prepare for the start of the tour, one of the worst snowstorms of the century hit the area. the opening acts were Rodan and Mr. Big

Feb. 18†††††† Cincinnati, Ohio†††††††††††††††††† Riverfront Theater

Feb. 20††††† Quebec City, Quebec††††††††††† ††† Centre Municipal des Congress†††††††† the Quebec area band Et Cetera was the opening act and they were not well received.a tape exists of this gig

Feb. 22†††††† Toronto, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† Maple Leaf Gardens††††††††††† a tape is rumored to exist of this show, for which Symphonic Slam was the opening act.around this time on the tour, possibly on this date, members of the band were interviewed in Toronto's Thunder Studios.portions of these interviews, combined with musical selections, appeared on a promotional record called INSIDE GENTLE GIANT.this record was sent by the band's record company to radio stations in order to promote this early 1977 tour

Feb. 23†††††† Montreal, Quebec††††††††††††††††† ††† Montreal Forum†††††††††††††††† Et Cetera again opened and were better received than they were in Quebec City

Feb. 24†††††† Albany, New York††††††††††††††††† Palace Theater††††††††††††††††† at this show, Giant opened for Renaissance

Feb. 25†††††† Boston, Massachusetts†††††††††††† †† Orpheum Theater†††††††††††††† Renaissance shared the bill with GG at this show, for which conflicting reports exist.one fan specifically remembers Giant playing a relatively short set in the opening slot and getting a much more favorable audience response than the headliner.however, another fan clearly recalls waiting in the lobby while Renaissance opened for Giant.interestingly, yet another fan seems to remember Renaissance canceling and a blues act, the James Montgomery Band, substituting and opening the show for Giant.harmonica player James Cotton supposedly sat in on a few songs with the opening band.this is unlikely on this date but it is, of course, possible that the show with the James Montgomery Band was actually some unknown earlier Boston gig

Feb. 26†††††† Upper Darby, Pennsylvania†††† †† Tower Theater†††††††††††††††††† a tape of this gig exists.the opening act was Ace.Renaissance is known to have played at the Palace Theatre in Waterbury, Connecticut on this night and some evidence indicates GG may have originally intended to open for them there.however, it didn't happen

Feb. 27†††††† New York, New York†††††††††††††† Avery Fisher Music Hall†††††††† a tape also of this gig exists.the crowd was quite annoyed during the opening song, as the volume was apparently set too low for some audience members' taste

Feb. 28††††† Hempstead, New York††††††††† †††† Calderone Concert Hall ††††††† Ace was the opening act and was booed off the stage after two or three songs.a tape exists of this gig, as well

 

 

Sometime in February or March, it is possible that Giant may have been filmed for Canadian television.No details are known.

 

 

Mar. 1††††††† Baltimore, Maryland††††††††††††† Palace Club††††††††††††††††††††† a band called Zed was the opening act

Mar. 2††††††† Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

 

Mar. 3††††††† It seems a 30-minute news special on Gentle Giant was broadcast over WXFM Radio in Chicago, Illinois on this date.What this broadcast was comprised of is unknown.

†††††††††††††††

Mar. 4††††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††† †††††† Riviera Theatre††††††††††††††††† at this show, Renaissance opened for Giant

Mar. 5††††††† Akron, Ohio†††††††††††††††††††††††† Civic Theater††††††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Mr. Big andRenaissance.the venue was an old opera house.unclear as to who headlined

Mar. 6††††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Ford Auditorium†††††††††††††††† shared the bill with Renaissance.an existing tape of this performance shows Giant doing a modified, shorter setlist than appears on other tapes from this tour.this could indicate that Giant was the opening act, with Renaissance headlining, but it is unconfirmed

Mar. 8†††††† †† Indianapolis, Indiana†††††††††††† ††† Indiana Theater ††††††††††††††† Giant opened for Renaissance on this evening

Mar. 9††††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Paradise Club††††††††††††††††††† this is another totally unconfirmed gig

Mar. 11†††††† Atlanta, Georgia†††††††††††††††††† Fox Theater††††††††††††††††††††† possibly shared the bill with Renaissance, as either opener or headliner, but it's also possible Sea Level and the Mike Green Band were on the bill

Mar. 12†††††† Tampa, Florida††††††††††††††††††† University of South Florida†††† shared the bill with Renaissance, possibly as the headliner.after this show, the band enjoyed a few days off during which they apparently soaked up too much Florida sun

May 13†††††† Miami, Florida††††††††††††††††††† Gusman Cultural Center††††††† shared the bill with Renaissance, possibly as the headliner

Mar. 18†††††† Austin, Texas†††††††††††††††††††††† Armadillo World Headquarters††††††††† the Wommack Brothers opened this show.the crowd this night was not as receptive as they had been at GG's previous Austin gig on July 13, 1976.at one point, John Weathers had to chastise the audience and one spectator remembers the band struggling to "keep their cool" in front of a rather rowdy audience

Mar. 19†††††† Dallas, Texas†††††††††††††††††††††† Electric Ballroom††††††††††††††† Prism was the opening act.a tape exists of a brief portion of GG's soundcheck before this show.the venue, which was packed on this night, was basically a big barn with a stage at one end and a 100 foot bar running the length of the room.Ray remembers a gig at a club in Texas where a spectator in the back attempted to steal a rear speaker during his violin solo until apprehended by the tour manager.it may have been this show, but it may have been a different Texas show

Mar. 20†††††† Tulsa, Oklahoma††††††††††††††††† The Wharf

Mar. 22†††††† Kansas City, Missouri††††††††††††† Uptown Theater†††††††††††††††† although not part of the band's original tour schedule, one of the roadies for this tour thinks this gig may possibly have been planned at one point and subsequently cancelled

Mar. 25†††††† Portland, Oregon††††††††††††††††† Paramount†††††††††††††††††††††† Starcastle opened this show.the soundcheck took longer than usual, which pushed the starting time for the show back a bit.since the audience was then restless, they were not kind to the opening act

Mar. 26†††††† Seattle, Washington†††††††††††††† Paramount†††††††††††††††††††††† Starcastle again opened for Giant

Mar. 28†††††† San Jose, California†††††††††††††† San Jose Center for the Performing Arts††††††† a country-rock band named Stallion went first.this opening band actually had a tumbleweed blow across the stage at one point in their set.Pablo Cruise was supposed to headline but, for some reason, Cruise and Giant switched places and Giant went last.many left during GG's closing set, leaving only a couple hundred fans

Mar. 30†††††† San Diego, California†††††††††††† †† Golden Hall †††††††††††††††††††† Renaissance opened for Giant.during the show, Derek commented on the poor reception the band received at its previous San Diego appearance on July 18, 1976.an existing tape of this gig shows that for some reason,as an encore, they played The Advent of Panurge by itself, instead of playing the entire Excerpts from Octopus, as was usually done on this tour.the show was late starting, which could have been the reason

Mar. 31†††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† Shrine Auditorium†††††††††††††† a tape that exists of this concert shows that they played In the Midnight Hour as a surprise second encore after the crowd of around 5000 fans would not stop cheering.Gary has fond memories of this show at which Giant headlined, preceded by Gallagher and Lyle and then Renaissance

Apr. 1†††††††† Phoenix, Arizona††††††††††††††††† Celebrity Theater††††††††††††††† a roadie at the time claims the band was not originally planning on playing in Phoenix on this tour, but this date was added at some point

 

 

 

*** Part Seven ***

*** A Change of Direction ***

 

 

†††††††† The English music scene went through some radical changes in 1977, with the rise to prominence of punk rock.Progressive acts were quickly falling out of favor and found themselves under extreme pressure to simplify their music.Gentle Giant, either because of this pressure, or for reasons of their own, began their own simplification process that year, writing and recording somewhat simpler music.

 

 

May ?†††††††† Giant's ninth album, THE MISSING PIECE, was recorded at Relight Studios in Hilvarenbeek, Holland.On it were the four songs they had debuted live earlier in the year, though Winning had been rearranged considerably.These were all in a fairly progressive style, but the album also contained a number of more mainstream rock songs which startlingly contrasted with their earlier material.

 

Aug. 26†††††† This is the date THE MISSING PIECE was officially scheduled to be released in England.However, there is evidence that it may have been delayed for a week or two.

 

 

†††††††† †††††† The band once again took to the road in the fall for their MISSING PIECE tour.First in Europe then followed by North America, they went out strictly as headliners.They made room in their set for quite a few of the songs from their new album, perhaps in an extra effort to promote its more accessible music.Their record label, for its part, also put somewhat more effort into promoting the album than it usually did.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Fall 1977)

 

Intro/Two Weeks in Spain - a classical recording was again played before the show, this time leading into the intro tape used on the Fall 1975 tour.this, in turn, led into a prerecorded Spanish-flavored instrumental which was used as the intro for the opening song

Free Hand

On Reflection

I'm Turning Around

Just the Same/Playing the Game

Memories of Old Days - the keyboard Giant intro was deleted

Betcha Thought We Couldn't Do It

Funny Ways - John still got to do his comedic introduction

The Face - this was the new home for Ray's violin solo which, in turn, led directly into the 5-man drum bash

For Nobody

Excerpts from Octopus - still used as the encore. it was sometimes preceded by a short instrumental blues jam

Mountain Time - this was frequently used as a second encore

 

 

Sep 20†††††† THE MISSING PIECE saw release in America.

 

Sep. 26†††††† Cambrai, France†††††††††††††††††† P. des Grottes - Jardin Public

Sep. 27†††††† Brussels, Belgium††††††††††††††††† Theatre 140

Sep. 28†††††† Eindhoven, Holland†††††††††††††† Stadsschounburg††††††††††††††† an eyewitness remembers that at the soundcheck for this show, the band played the Derek and the Dominoes song, Layla

Sep. 29†††††† Nijmegen, Holland†††††††††††††††† †† De Vereenigung

Oct. 1†††††††† Hannover, Germany†††††††††††††† NDR Sendesaal

Oct. 2†††††††† Berlin, Germany†††††††††††††††††† Eissporthalle

Oct. 3†††††††† Offenbach, Germany††††††††††††† Stadthalle†††††††††††††††††††††††

Oct. 4†††††††† Munich, Germany†††††††††††††††† Circus Krone Building ††††††††† an unknown local act opened this show

Oct. 5†††††††† Heidelberg, Germany†††††††††††† Stadthalle††††††††††††††††††††††† a tape exists of this concert

Oct. 6†††††††† Koln, Germany†††††††††††††††††††† Sporthalle

Oct. 7†††††††† Zurich, Switzerland††††††††††††††† Volkshaus

Oct. 8†††††††† Basel, Switzerland†††††††††††††††† Mustermesse Riehenring†††††† a tape also exists of this concert

Oct. 9†††††††† Feldkirch, Austria††††††††††††††††† Stadthalle

Oct. 10†††††† Lugano, Switzerland††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† an unconfirmed show

Oct. ?†††††††† Essen, Germany†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† there was possibly a show in Essen during the first half of October, though it is not certain

 

Oct. ?†††††††† On either Oct. 21 or Oct. 28, the group released its second compilation album, entitled PRETENTIOUS.It was only released in England.This covered the band's recorded output after the time of the GIANT STEPS release in November of 1975.

 

 

For its late 1977 North American tour, Giant made the unusual move of choosing, as its support act, the U.K. punk/pub rock band Dr. Feelgood.Although gaining widespread popularity in England, punk rock was definitely not easily accepted by American fans of progressive rock in 1977.Dr. Feelgood found itself the constant source of jeers and derision during this tour, sometimes being chased completely off the stage by an intolerant audience.

 

†††††††††††††††

???†††††††††† Portland, Oregon††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† a show in Portland was supposedly cancelled due to poor ticket sales, but it is unconfirmed that there ever was a show scheduled there, since the known dates from this North American tour are all in the eastern and midwestern portions of the continent

Oct. ?†††††††† Center Valley, Pennsylvania†††† Allentown College††††††††††††† this is an unconfirmed gig, though GG supposedly shared the bill with Robin Trower

Oct. 27†††††† Blue Bell, Pennsylvania††††††††† Montgomery County Community College††††† at this college just outside of Philadelphia, the band played in a Science lecture hall before a very small crowd.400-500 had originally attended, but more than half left before the show even started.the band was three hours late, due to a truck break-down.the only lighting used during this show was the normal fluorescent lights present in the lecture hall.Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Oct. 29†††††† Upper Darby, Pennsylvania†††††† Tower Theater†††††††††††††††††† Dr. Feelgood was scheduled to open this gig, but did not show up.during the show, John wore a Philadelphia Flyers jersey which Derek kept mistakenly referring to as a Philadelphia Eagles jersey.finally, an audience member corrected him during the encore, to which Derek replied, "Oh, it's a Flyers jersey!That's what you've been shouting!"during the violin solo, screaming again erupted from some in the audience.Ray turned his back on them while playing, causing much applause from the rest of the crowd.a tape exists of this show

Oct 30††††††† Guelph, Ontario†††††††††††††††††† University of Guelph - Athletic Building††††††† Dr. Feelgood was scheduled to open this show, but the opener actually ended up being a band called Garfield

Nov. 1††††††† Montreal, Quebec†††††††††††††††† ††† Montreal Forum†††††††††††††††† this time, rock legend John Mayall was the opening act.on a tape that exists of this gig, Ray can be heard having equipment problems during his violin solo in The Face.there were about 6,000 people in the crowd.apparently, this gig was originally scheduled to take place on Oct. 31 with Dr. Feelgood again playing in support

Nov. 2††††††† Waterloo, Ontario††††††††††††††††† Waterloo University††††††††††††† this scheduled show with Dr. Feelgood was cancelled, due to only 200 tickets being sold.this was an unusual occurrence for the band in Canada, where they were enormously popular.Giant still apparently received a $3000 cancellation fee out of a $5000 plus percentage contract

Nov. 3††††††† Albany, New York††††††††††††††††† Palace Theater††††††††††††††††† Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Nov. 4††††††† Buffalo, New York††††††††††††††††† New Century Theater†††††††††† Dr. Feelgood was again scheduled to open the show, but one eyewitness claims that may not have been the case.another eyewitness claims Rodan also was on the bill, but this is not confirmed.Rodan had already appeared with Giant at this Buffalo venue back on Feb. 17 so, perhaps, this second eyewitness is confusing the two concerts.more clarification is needed as to the exact bill on this evening

Nov. 5††††††† New York, New York†††††††††††††† Palladium††††††††††††††††††††††† the Palladium was the renamed Academy of Music.Dr. Feelgood opened and was booed off the stage.referring to the punk explosion in Great Britain, Derek joked that "back in England, we open for them!"during John's introduction to Funny Ways, an audience member repeatedly interrupted by yelling out the song title.finally, in exasperation, John yelled back, "up yours!"Giant started their set late

Nov. 6††††††† New Paltz, New York††††††††††††† New Paltz College - Elting Gym††††††† Dr. Feelgood opened this general admission show and was greeted with more booing.John, during his intro to Funny Ways, joked about the town they were in, describing it as "New Paltz - 5000 bars and a Post Office!"

Nov. 8††††††† New Haven, Connecticut ††††††††† Yale University - Woolsey Hall††††††††† Dr. Feelgood opened the show.a tape exists of this concert

Nov. 9††††††† Baltimore, Maryland††††††††††††† Hollywood Palace†††††††††††††† they were originally scheduled to play in Washington D.C at Warner Theater on this night with Dr. Feelgood, but it was apparently changed to Baltimore where a band called Source served as the opening act

Nov. 10†††††† Bailey's Crossroads, Virginia††††† Louie's Rock City††††††††††††††† Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Nov. 11†††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Paradise Club††††††††††††††††††† although originally scheduled to play in Boston only on Nov. 11, GG ended up playing three consecutive nights at this venue.Dr. Feelgood opened on this first night and was again booed off the stage about twenty minutes into their set, after spitting on the front tables and being pelted with ice cubes from the audience.in fact, the entire crowd was described as a bit "raucous", even during Giant's set

Nov. 12†††††† Boston, Massachusetts†††††††††† ††† Paradise Club †††††††††††††††††† a tape exists from this second of the three Boston performances.at one point, Derek mistakenly referred to the venue as the Orpheum, though it was definitely the Paradise.it's unknown if Dr. Feelgood opened for this show

Nov. 13†††††† Boston, Massachusetts††††††††††† Paradise Club††††††††††††††††††† a heckler in the crowd tried to give Derek a hard time at the beginning, but the band didn't seem to let it affect their performance.a tape exists of this evening's performance, also.like the previous night, it's unknown if Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Nov. 15†††††† Cleveland, Ohio†††††††††††††††††† Agora Ballroom††††††††††††††††† Dr. Feelgood opened this gig, which was recorded by Cleveland's WMMS radio.it was broadcast by the station in an edited form, probably a few days later, but exactly when is unknown.an audience tape of the entire performance also exists, which includes John singing during the blues intro to Excerpts from Octopus

Nov. 16††††† Hempstead, New York†††††††† ††††† Calderone Concert Hall†††††††† Dr. Feelgood was the opening act and was again not well received

Nov. 17†††††† Asbury Park, New Jersey†††††† †††† Convention Centre - Paramount Theater†††††† Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Nov. 18†††††† Chester, Pennsylvania††††††††††† Widener University††††††††††††† a tape of this show exists.Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Nov. 20†††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††††† Uptown Theater†††††††††††††††† according to an eyewitness, the audience at this concert was supposedly very well-dressed and well-behaved, more resembling a classical audience.Dr. Feelgood opened the show

Dec. 2††††††† Stevens Point, Wisconsin†††††††† University of Wisconsin††††††††† originally scheduled for Nov. 21 with Dr. Feelgood, it was apparently changed to this date

Dec. 3††††††† Milwaukee, Wisconsin†††††††††††† Oriental Theater†††††††††††††††† this concert was originally scheduled for Nov. 22 with Dr. Feelgood, but it seems it was changed to this date.since this was the final gig of the tour, the band handed out prizes to the roadies during the show, an event which Derek has since recalled with embarrassment.the opening act at this, the only Milwaukee show GG ever headlined, ended up being a funk/rock band called the Law

 

 

†††††††† 1978

 

 

Jan. 5†††††††† The BBC filmed Giant at the Golders Green Hippodrome in Golders Green, England.The concert was intended for broadcast on the Sight and Sound TV program later in the year.This was the first time the group had played in England since the spring of 1976 and it was also the last time they ever played there.

 

Jan. 21†††††† The BBC Sight and SoundTV program was first broadcast.This was the only performance by Gentle Giant ever shown on British television.It was also simulcast on British FM radio in quadraphonic.Most of this broadcast appears on the 1994 IN CONCERT album, while all of it is included on OUT OF THE FIRE.

 

Apr. - May††† The band continued its musical redirection by recording its tenth album, GIANT FOR A DAY at Ramport Studios in Battersea, England.It featured more straight-ahead rock songs, and many today consider the album somewhat of a failure.

 

???†††††††††† The group made promotional films for two of the songs on GIANT FOR A DAY.These songs are Words From the Wise and the title song, Giant For a Day.They were both lip-synched.

 

Aug. 19†††††† The BBC Sight and Sound TV program, filmed in Golders Green on Jan 5, was rebroadcast in a slightly different edited form than was used for the original broadcast on Jan. 21.

 

Sep. 11†††††† It's believed that this is the date that the GIANT FOR A DAY album was released in America.

 

Sep. 29†††††† GIANT FOR A DAY was released in England.

 

 

†††††††† For the first time, the band organized no tour in support of their current album, even though some promoters had made offers of tours, including one in Portugal.Instead, they decided to take a long overdue break from live appearances, not performing live at all for most of 1978, all of 1979, and the first few months of 1980.

 

 

†††††††† 1979

 

 

Mid 1979†††† John wrote and recorded a demo of the song You Haven't a Chance for possible inclusion on the band's next album.This did not come about, but the song finally appeared on the UNDER CONSTRUCTION album.

 

???†††††††††† At some point in 1979, the band held some rehearsals in Atlanta, Georgia.At least one new untitled composition was recorded at these rehearsals and surfaced on the UNDER CONSTRUCTION album.

 

Aug. - Nov.After nine months of songwriting and rehearsal, the group's eleventh and finalalbum, CIVILIAN, was recorded, somewhere in Los Angeles.By this time, their musical change of style was complete.The songs they included on this album bore little resemblance to the progressive body of work they had produced earlier.

 

 

 

*** Part Eight ***

*** The Final Days ***

 

 

†††† 1980

 

 

???†††††††††† CIVILIAN was released in America, in either February or March.Many dislike this album, claiming the band had completely "sold out" by this point, but just as many others see it as a collection of quality rock songs, with freshness and vitality.

 

 

†††††††† Finally, after being off the road for nearly two and a half years, Giant staged their CIVILIAN tour in May and June, though only in North America.This tour saw them not only making their way around the normal concert hall circuit, but also playing a larger number of smaller club dates than they'd done in quite some time.As was the case on their late 1977 MISSING PIECE tour, they again added quite a few new songs into their setlist.However, they kept things simpler this time, with less multi-instrumental interplay between the members than on previous tours.Gone were the elaborate lights and staging, along with the violin, cello, vibraphone, saxophone and trumpet.Still present, however, were the recorder quartet during The Advent of Panurge, the guitar quintet during Memories of Old Days, and the "shulberry" during Playing the Game.

 

TYPICAL SETLIST(Mid 1980)

 

Convenience

All Through the Night/Free Hand

Memories of Old Days

Knots/Playing the Game - the song Knots was played in a heavier, considerably different arrangement than had been used previously

Giant For a Day/Inside Out - the song Giant for a Day became the only song from their album of the same name to ever be performed live.during this song, Derek would wear the "giant mask" pictured on that album's cover

It's Not Imagination

Underground - the new home for the 5-man drum bash.the song began with the "subway" recording heard on the new album

For Nobody

The Advent of Panurge - played in the encore position.Yankee Doodle was back during the recorder quartet, this time doubled on the bass

Number One - this was usually performed as a second encore

 

†††††††† The rock and roll drum lead-in of John Weathers before the opening song, Convenience, set the tone for the straight-ahead nature of Giant's 1980 gigs.However, these shows were certainly not devoid of creativity.Several new mini-medleys, combining songs from different albums, were put into the setlist.The full-length Excerpts from Octopus was retired, but Knots and The Advent of Panurge were still played individually.

†††††††† Derek's habit of introducing himself as some other famous singer continued on this tour.At times, he even introduced himself and the whole band, by name, as the members of Yes, much to the audience's delight.On occasion, the group would even follow this with a couple measures of Yes' Siberian Khatru.

 

 

May 6†††††††† Asbury Park, New Jersey††††††††† Fast Lane†††††††††††††††††††††††† there is evidence that the band may have played here at the start of the tour. however, Asbury Park was not on the original schedule and Ray, in an interview in Chicago on May 20, claimed Rensselaer and Syracuse were, in fact, the first two stops on the tour, as originally scheduled

May 7†††††††† Rensselaer, New York†††††††††††† Hullabaloo†††††††††††††††††††††† Syracuse prog band 805 was the opening act.Ray claimed to like this venue

May 8†††††††† Syracuse, New York††††††††††††††† Stage East†††††††††††††††††††††† Ray claimed to like this venue also.a tape of this gig exists

May 9†††††††† Montreal, Quebec††††††††††††††††† ††† Theatre St-Denis ††††††††††††††† they did two shows.the opening act was pop/jazz/bossa nova singer Diane Tell.a very brief silent 8mm film clip of one of these shows exists, but which show was filmed is not known

May 10†††††† Toronto, Ontario

May 11†††††† Rochester, New York †††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††

May 12†††††† Detroit, Michigan††††††††††††††††† Harpo's Theatre

May 13†††††† Cleveland, Ohio†††††††††††††††††† Agora Ballroom††††††††††††††††† a tape of this concert exists.there were equipment problems, causing a slight delay, before All Through the Night

May 15††††††† Buffalo, New York†††††††††††††††† †††† Kleinhan's Music Hall

May 16††††††† Upper Darby, Pennsylvania††† ††† Tower Theater†††††††††††††††††† the opening act was the Granati Brothers.this show was over an hour late, as the band was late arriving at the venue.a tape exists that is believed to be of this show.however, Derek says "hello, New York" at one point on the tape, putting the location in question.it could be a tape of the Palladium show from the following night

May 17††††† †† New York, New York††††††††††††††† †† Palladium

May 18††††††† New Haven, Connecticut††††††† ††† Toad's Place†††††††††††††††††††† broadcast live over New Haven's WPLR radio station

May 20††††††† Chicago, Illinois†††††††††††††††† †††††† Park West†††††††††††††††††††††††† they did two shows.during an interview conducted between the two shows, Ray claimed to not like this venue, saying it was too business-like and didn't lend itself to rock and roll.it is known that, while in the Chicago area, Giant looked at a nearby recording studio with the possibility of considering its use for their potential next album

May 22†††† †† Boston, Massachusetts††††††† ††††† Paradise Club††††††††††††††††††† they did two shows.it seems that at the early show, they may have left out the song Number One, traditionally done as a second encore on this tour.this could have been due to time constraints.one tape of the early show definitely exists, while a second tape of the same show, recorded by someone else in the audience, is also rumored to exist.the band was originally scheduled to appear in Boston on May 21, but it's not known if they played both nights

May 24††††† †† Hempstead, New York††††††††† †††† Calderone Concert Hall ††††††† broadcast live over New York City's WLIR radio station.Regina Richards & the Red Hots were the opening act.during Memories of Old Days, Gary's acoustic guitar died, so he finished the song using an electric guitar

May 25††††††† Baltimore, Maryland†††††††††††††† †† Painters Mill†††††††††††††††††††† the opening act, a pop/rock band called Facedancer, was very poorly received and left the stage in humiliation after just a few songs.a tape exists of Giant's gig

May 27††††††† Virginia Beach, Virginia††††††††† †† Rogues Gallery††††††††††††††††† Robin Thompson, a very popular local beach music act, opened this club gig.at first, the club was packed with 1500 fans, but a number of them left before Giant came out.unfortunately, those that remained were reportedly quite noisy during GG's performance.during Giant for a Day, Derek did not need to wear his own mask, as an audience member gave him one.after the show, Derek autographed the mask for its owner.this gig was originally scheduled for May 26

May 28†††††† Charleston††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† could have been Charleston, West Virginia or Charleston, South Carolina

May 29†††††† Atlanta, Georgia††††††††††††††††† †††† Agora

May 31†††††† Gainesville, Florida†††††††††††††† Great Southern Music Hall

June 1††††††† Miami, Florida†††††††††††††††††††† Gusman Cultural Center

June 2††††††† Houston, Texas††††††††††††††††††† Agora Ballroom

June 4††††††† Dallas, Texas

June 5††††††† Austin, Texas†††††††††††††††††††††† Armadillo World Headquarters††††††††† a fan recalls this as being yet another well-received Austin show, with about 2500 in attendance.it's possible the band changed their normal song order and opened with Playing the Game

June 6††††††† Norman, Oklahoma †††††††††††††† Boomer Theater†††††††††††††††† this was a fairly small venue

June 8††††† †† Denver, Colorado††††††††††††††††† ††† Rainbow Music Hall†††††††††††† Denver's KAZY radio station broadcast an edited version of this show shortly after it ended, the broadcast starting at midnight on June 9.a funny moment happened during the broadcast when, before Memories of Old Days, the announcer started the tape at too slow of a speed, then had to adjust it.the Rainbow was a converted movie theater with a capacity of about 1000, and it supposedly had terrible acoustics

June 9††††††† Albuquerque, New Mexico†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† this show was cancelled, due to too few tickets being sold

June 10††††† Tempe, Arizona

June 11††††† Tucson, Arizona

 

June 13††††† It is believed that this is the date when CIVILIAN was released in England, though it could possibly have been as early as sometime in May.

 

June 13††††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† The Roxy†††††††††††††††††††††††† they did two sold-out shows on this, the first of three nights at this famous Los Angeles nightclub.an audience tape exists of the early show, though it's believed that the Roxy's sound man recorded both shows on the house soundboard

June 14††††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† The Roxy†††††††††††††††††††††††† they did two more sold-out shows, again both supposedly recorded by the Roxy's sound man.in addition, two separate audience tapes, recorded by two different people in attendance, are known to exist of the late show

June 15††††††† San Francisco, California†††††††† Old Waldorf Hotel ††††††††††††† the band played upstairs at this hotel.this was originally scheduled as the final gig of the tour.however, the band subsequently added one more night in Los Angeles for the following night.a tape of this show is rumored to exist

June 16†††††† Los Angeles, California†††††††††† †† The Roxy ††††††††††††††††††††††† they again did two sold-out shows, both added after the original tour schedule was set.again, the Roxy's sound man is said to have taped both shows.a different, totally separate soundboard recording ofthe late show, taped by a roadie named Ritchie, was made into the 1996 LAST STEPS LIVE AT THE ROXY album.this album, which was released with the incorrect date of June 14, preserves Giant's very last live performance

 

 

 

* Valedictory *

 

 

After the 1980 tour, Gentle Giant quietly broke up.Some of the members had simply grown tired of touring and the everyday struggles of keeping a band together.There is reason to believe that Derek and Kerry had made their decisions to leave before the last tour even began, but the exact nature of what happened remains very hazy.Unfortunately, contractual complications with the bandís record label remained after the band split.Finally, in 1984, Kerry recorded five demos and presented them to the label as the potential nucleus of a new GG album.The songs were not particularly inspired so, predictably, the record label signed off on them and the band was officially finished.

†††††††† However, they left behind a remarkable legacy of work for all to enjoy, and historical and archival interest in the band is still very high today.There is no doubt that fans of sophisticated music will continue to be inspired, long into the future, by the music of that mythical beast from the past known as

 

GentleGiant

 

 

†††† ††††