The Mad Dog Diary
11th March 1970. Joe Cocker flies into Los Angeles with the intentions of recuperating from grueling months on the road and forming a new band to perform with during the coming summer.
12th March 1970. Dee Anthony (of Bandana Management) flies into Los Angeles bearing the tidings that a seven-week Joe Cocker tour, to begin eight days later in Detroit, has been negotiated and advises Joe that the Musician’s Union, immigration authorities, and promoters involved should be mightily chagrined (to the point of barring him from performing in America henceforth) should he fail to go through with it.
13th March 1970. Leon Russell, hearing of Joe’s plight, offers his services in forming and playing in a band for Joe to take with him on his tour. So great is his prowess on the telephone that, by day’s end, ten musicians have been assembled and rehearsals begun.
14th March 1970. Some three hundred people turn out to watch the new band (which now includes eleven singers as well as ten players) rehearse for twelve hours on the A&M sound-stage.
15th March 1970. Another twelve-hour rehearsal is held and a private airplane is hired.
16th March 1970. Eleven more rehearsal hours are put under the collective belt.
17th March 1970. Yet another marathon rehearsal is staged, this one recorded in its entirety, with “The Letter”/“Space Captain” single resulting. The entourage, henceforth known as Mad Dogs & Englishmen, now numbers thirty-six, including the musicians, three sound men, two secretaries, three roadies, 2 photographers, managers, wives, lovers, assorted children, and Canina, the little dog who gives birth on Mother's Day!
18th March 1970. Someone proposes that the whole tour be filmed. Another, bigger, airplane is ordered to accommodate the five-man-film-crew supplemented entourage, which now numbers forty-three.
19th March 1970. These forty-three crowd into the new Super Constellation and wing to Detroit, where their first live performance occurs the next day.
27th and 28th March 1970. Four appearances later Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen arrive at the Fillmore East, wherein this album was recorded in its entirety, the lion’s share coming from the Friday evening shows.
16th May 1970. After playing their last show together (in San Bernardino, California) and then kissing, embracing, flashing back sentimentally, and crying the odd tear, Joe Cocker, Mad Dogs & Englishmen go their separate ways, but not before having bestowed upon each of us who saw them or have heard this album or will see the film of their adventures a generous dose of joy.
– John Mendelsohn
Vendor of the Cosmic Comma
All photographs copyright © 1968-2014 Linda Wolf