In 1971, Tom Pomposello was a guitar playing, married 21 year old father of a two year old boy, hippie co-owner of a suburban New York “liberation record store” in my hometown, who wanted to be a bluesman.
I was a 19 year old Columbia University student with a college radio show, who was dropping out of pharmacy school because I liked the Beatles better than chemistry.
Tom, who I’d interviewed excitedly, but badly, interviewed on my WKCR-FM show, told me he was the “New York bass player” for legendary country blues guitarist Mississippi Fred McDowell. Maybe I could record their upcoming set at the Village Gaslight for my radio show?
Let’s forget that the only blues I knew was from English rock bands (I did know that old black men had started it all, and they did it better) and I didn’t really play blues on my show. Or that I no absolutely no idea was Mississippi Fred McDowell was. Or how to record anything. Or that I was low man on the totem pole at the radio station, and there was no way the powers-that-be would ever allow me to take the expensive tape recorder out of the station. Somehow I ended up in the kitchen of the Gaslight with our only professional one-track Nagra recorder, a Shure mike mixer, some microphones, and my new buddy Roy Langbord roaring to go.
A still unrecorded Bonnie Raitt opened the show (Bonnie and Fred shared Dick Waterman as their manager). Roy and I recorded Fred and Tom’s sets. I took the 7” monural tape reels up to the station and dutifully played them on my show. The completely unanticipated record came later.0 comments Tagged: Bonnie Raitt, Dick Waterman, Greenwich Village, Mississippi Fred McDowell, New York, OD-1, Roy Langbord, Village Gaslight, flyer, origins, Live in New York,.