COPPERHEAD


Apartment jams, 1970
1st unreleased LP, November 1970
Studio Sessions
Pacific High Recording Studios, Sausalito, 23 Jan 72
Copperhead
Live 73
Drunken Irish Setter
Brigelow 6500
Golden Gate Park, 1972
Lonesome Trails
Studio Out-Takes
Stained Glass Dreams
Hawaiian Sunset
Roy Chen's Studio, 1 Aug 73 + Record Plant, 22 Apr 73
Unreleased Second Album + Live Broadcast
Demos and Outtakes
Diamond Head Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 1st, 1973
Diamond Head Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 2nd, 1973
Live At Winterland, September 1st 1973
Winterland, 30 Nov 73
Rehearsals
Diamond Head Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, December 31st, 1973
Longbranch, Berkeley, Feb 1974?

Links:

Copperhead page at Bay Area Bands



Apartment jams, 1970

Tracks
All Over Now
Do Right Woman
Going Down
Don't Do It
Instrumental
Instrumental
All Strung Out (Got No Place To Go) (?)
Walking to the Plank
Don't Know Right From Wrong / Instrumental
?
Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar
+ ?



1st unreleased LP, November 1970

1st unreleased LP November 1970, SBD from John Cipollina's master cassette

Tracks
1.Untitled4:36
2.I Just Gonna Move You5:09
3.Drunken Irish Setter (1st ever known version)4:11
4.Untitled #2 (tape's speed is not stable on the original recording)4:15
5.Highway no.9 (acoustic version)3:36
6.Mama (title of the first incarnation of this song)3:36
7.Chameleon (Unobsky & McPherson on vocals)3:19
Total28:44


Recorded at John Cipollina's home's studio, Mill Valley, California

This is exactly the copy of the original John's notes reported on his reel

Notes:
1.Sometimes tape's speed gets funny, with some variations.
2.Copperhead 1st lp is from 1973, so this was John's first attempt to record an album as Copperhead.
3.Sound quality is ok, not the best, i guess he recorded this with a small tape recorder in his house.
 
Meanwhile, amellowsoul added the following "revision":
 
"While correcting JC's own writing is a wrong thing to do, and I don't suggest folks change it. But, perhaps, you will know the following numbers by the names:
"Untitled #1 = Rocket Ship (While this song isn't offically on any album, it was done live on a few Copperhead shows, its title probably came from a fan than a band member)
"I Just Gonna Move You = Putting It To You (Again, it's likely also that "P.I.T.Y." is a title made up by a fan, or perhaps it was later retitled by a band member)
"Untitled #2 = Motel Party Baby (A very, VERY early version of this Cipollina classic! Done by several of bands he was in, probably best known by Dinosaurs. Pity the speed issues, as this is an amazing "find"!)
"Mama = Bigelow 6-9000 (Retitled later by the band. A total knockout hearing this early version!)"


1st generation cassette > nack > amplifiers > tascam audio cdrw750 > cd > computer > plex tool professional XL > wav > flac.

Transfered, & uploaded by 38f on Dime, March 2007.

Personnel
John Cipollinalead guitar, hawaian steel guitar, steel guitar.
Mark Unobskyguitars & vocals
Jim Murrayguitars, tablas & Harmonica
Jim McPhersonPiano & vocals
David Weberdrums
Cyrusbass



Studio Sessions



Tracks
Disc One
Acoustic Copperhead (Second attempt to form Copperhead)
Studio, March 3rd 1971.
John Cipollina, Jim McPherson and Cyrus
1. Are You Lonely for Me Baby20:16
2. Instrumental 1 5:58
3. Instrumental 2 18:38
Studio, October 1970. (Really first attempt to form the band)
John Cipollina, Mark Unobsky, Jim Murray & Robertson
4. Instrumental 9:25
John Cipollina & Copperhead
Unknown Session and Line Up, Circa Winter 1971.
(This is the very first session as real Copperhead)
5. Roller Derby Star (Take 1)3:04(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
6. Roller Derby Star (Take 2)
(Amazing version with violin, i think is it Sid Page on violin)
7:20(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
7. Making A Monster
(really first embryo of it)
2:15(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
8. Brazil 1:04
9. You Know I Will (Take 1) 6:23(J. McPherson)
Total74:29
Disc Two
1. You Know I Will (Take 2) 4:19(J. McPherson)
2. Bigelow 6-9000
(First time ever played, partial)
4:58(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
Studio Sessions Someday of 1972.
(Really early & unusual versions of known songs)
3. Making A Monster 6:14(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
4. Wang Dang Doo 3:56(J. McPherson)
5. Bigelow 6-9000 3:53(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
6. Roller Derby Star (Partial)1:12(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Four Songs From The Unreleased 2nd LP
7. Putting It To You 5:03(J. McPherson)
8. Drunken Irish Setter 4:50(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
9. Bigelow 6-9000 3:21(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
10. Untitled 2:35
Total40:27

ALL THE TRACKS ARE IN A MAGNIFIQUE STEREO SOUNDBOARD SOUND!
MASTER REEL TO REEL > PRO EQUALIZER > CD > EAC > WAV > FLAC
NEVER CIRCULATED SESSIONS FROM MASTER
UPPED ON DIME BY 38F ON JUNE 27TH 2005, FROM HIS PERSONAL MASTERS REEL TO REEL
If you are a Cipollina's fan, what you find here and what I share with you is something unique. I've put together some completely uncirculated sessions from my personal masters starting from the really first attempt to form Copperhead to arrive to some tracks from the never released second LP. This is something I want to assemble together since a long time, and I never did before, so now I finally did it, and if you are a dedicated John's music fan, now you know that sometimes the dreams come true. - Fabio Nosotti



Pacific High Recording Studios, Sausalito, 23 Jan 72

(KSAN FM 95.5 San Francisco)



Tracks
1.Tom Donahue Intro 0:40
2.Kibitzer 6:15(J. McPherson)
3.Highway #9 (aka Back Roads)6:27(J. McPherson)
4.Spin-Spin 4:33(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
5.I'm Not the Man I Used to Be3:01
6.Sidewinder 5:10
7.Drunken Irish Setter 5:59(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
8.Dancing Shoes 6:23
9.Good Time Boogie 5:58
10.Keeper of the Flame 6:35(J. McPherson)
11.Tom Donahue Intermission/commercials2:34
12.Bigelow 6-9000 9:29(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
13.Roller Derby Star -> Tom Donahue Outro 4:50(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Total Time68:01


This show, together with many others, is legally downloadable in various formats from the Live Music Archive section of The Internet Archive.


Personnel
John Cipollinalead and Hawaiian guitar
Gary Philippetvocals, guitars, bottleneck, and organ
Jim McPhersonvocals, piano, bass and percussion
David Weberdrums and percussion
Hutch Hutchinsonbass and vocals
Mark Unobskyguitar5
Jim Murrayharmonica9

Copperhead

Columbia booklet front Columbia booklet back

(The photo shows Philippet, Hutchinson, McPherson, Cipollina, Weber)

Tracks
Roller Derby Star4:16(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
Kibitzer3:45(J. McPherson)
A Little Hand4:59(J. McPherson)
Kamikaze5:24(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
Spin-Spin3:18(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
Pawnshop Man5:30(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
Wing-Dang-Doo4:04(J. McPherson)
They're Making A Monster7:35(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/J. McPherson)
Chameleon3:37(G. Philippet/K. Housman)Only on Acadia CD

Personnel
John Cipollinalead and Hawaiian guitar
Gary Philippetvocals, guitars, bottleneck, and organ
Jim McPhersonvocals, piano, bass and percussion
David Weberdrums and percussion
Hutch Hutchinsonbass and vocals


[Acadia CD booklet notes]

After leaving the seminal San Francisco "acid-rock" band Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1970 guitarist extraordinaire John Cipollina would spend much of the rest of his life (he passed away on May 29, 1989 of a life long respiratory ailment) playing in a slew of bands that often achieved considerable aesthetic and artistic success but received little in the way of commercial recognition (Terry and the Pirates, The Dinosaurs, Problem Child, Fish & Chip, Free Light, Copperhead, Zero, Thunder & Lightning and Raven were among them). Copperhead was the first and arguably one of the most interesting post QMS bands. Regardless it certainly had immense potential.

Cipollina's volatile, tremolo heavy guitar licks had been the trademark/signature of Quicksilver's psychedelic sound. No one played quite like him recalls long time friend and one-time Copperhead member Peter Sears "He had a unique guitar style, he played with finger picks and he played that fantastic Gibson SG... he was into his own thing. He was unlike any other musician."

Cipollina's shimmering and intense lead playing on the Happy Trails album, especially the 26-minute epic "Who Do You Love" many would argue represents the pinnacle of San Francisco-era rock. Of course, the ever-modest Cipollina once nonchalantly told me that he couldn't understand what all the fuss was about noting that "it was just a two-chord jam."

The affable and accomplished Cipollin's sinewy sound was to be a pre-eminent feature of most of the bands that he played with. His first "real" band after Quicksilver was Copperhead, a band that really promised much, but ended up leaving behind just one interesting self-titled album that hopefully you now possess, but first things first.

Back in '85 Cipollina explained that his departure from Quicksilver was two-fold. Firstly, he thought the band's music had gotten a little rudimentary and secondly this veritable music junkie had a penchant to play more sessions, which didn't settle too well with the other QMS members. Ironically during the Hawaii sessions for "Just For Love" and "What About Me," Cippo ran into an old friend, Jim Murray, the original vocalist with QMS. It was decided to bring Murray back to San Francisco to record a solo album. From the sessions of the "never-to-be-released Murray sessions," Copperhead took shape. This was late 1970 as Cipollina recalled "I formed Copperhead around the end of 1970 ... Quicksilver (the other members) said "if you want to do more session work you can't stay," so I started doing sessions."

From the time of the band's inception it underwent quite a few changes as Sears recently recalled. "I was in Stoneground and I met John and we hit it off quite well and there was another guy there, Mark Unobsky (he was a member for awhile and co-wrote "Pawnshop Man" on the album) a close friend of his and we jammed together. So I got Mario Cipollina to replace me in Stoneground ... it was a wild time and I ended up in Copperhead. John had a predisposition towards English keyboard players having played a lot with Nicky Hopkins."

The formative line-up of Copperhead begun with musicians that Cipollina had pulled together, Jim McPherson (ex-Stained Glass) on guitar and keyboards, Gary Philippet (ex-Freedom Highway) on guitar, keyboards and vocals and drummer Dave Weber. It was a loose agglomeration. The band started rehearsing in the "white house" in Corte Madera where Quicksilver used to rehearse. Sears recalled that was a very loose and informal atmosphere with a mixture of rehearsals and basic hanging out. The band did quite a few gigs including a KSAN radio broadcast (which has been much bootlegged) with Tom Donahue. Soon the band would generate a lot of interest in the industry with its dynamic live shows. Sears ended up leaving due to musical differences, which he sums up by saying, "I didn't think the music represented all that John could do. There were some great songs. Jim McPherson was a great writer but it just wasn't right."

By the time the band had begun recording for their album Hutch Hutchinson (now a famous session player and constant Bonnie Raitt sideman) was brought into the fold for the departing Sears.

The band's only album, a self-titled effort, was not released until mid 1973, which drummer Dave Weber (now a real estate salesman in Connecticut) recalls as being something of a mistake, "By the time we recorded the album much of it was stale. We were tired of playing those songs." The band also suffered other problems, mostly in that the two main songwriters didn't always see eye to eye." In Weber's eyes Copperhead was a band that was held together by Cipollina. It was very much John's band, but the recorded work didn't reflect the spontaneity of their live shows. "We did some sessions at Roy Chen's in Chinatown that had energy. I think the best cuts were actually cut in pre-production." In conclusion Weber recalls that the band over rehearsed for the album, perhaps as a result of the big record company contract.

"In no way did this band reach its potential," recalls Weber but also noted that there's some great material on the album "We had just played much better before." Of course the band had gotten signed to Columbia after having initially been contracted to Michael Lang's (Woodstock organizer) label Just Sunshine which just had no financial support. Unfortunately the band got caught in the whole "drug" scandal that surrounded CBS's Clive Davis and promptly got dropped. "We got caught up in the whole Clive Davis removal (as head of CBS). They dropped us real quick when they let Clive go." Cipollina recalled in the late 80's with absolutely no sense of malice. As a result the band promptly got dropped from the label and received little or no support. Weber feels that had that support been forthcoming the band might have overcome some of its problems recalling that it played some great gigs, some opening for Steely Dan and one before 250,000 people with Santana and Journey.

Overall Copperhead had a more urgent driving rock sound than Quicksilver but it also had a guttery energy and immense potential. This remastered version of the band's lone album shows that the band did pack a fairly potent musical punch and had quality songs. Sure, the sound was a little schizophrenic, but the band is musically tight and Cipollina's guitar is quite superb especially on the guttural rocker "Roller Derby Star" and the ragged but familiar Bo diddley riffs of "Kibitzer." But best of all are the truly menacing tones and textures of "They're Making A Monster" which Weber recalls "John was very sick when he recorded that solo. It wasn't easy for him." Included also in this disc is the rare 45 side "Chameleon." Which in many ways is an appropriate inclusion for this band that was a little out of the ordinary and sadly never got to reach its full potential.

Shortly after the album got shelved by Columbia the band folded although enough tracks for a second album were recorded. Hutchinson and Weber surfaced again in other Cipollina related bands, Raven and Terry and the Pirates, while Philippet had some tenure with Earthquake. John, of course, continued to make great music until his untimely death in 1989. In retrospect this album stands the test of time remarkably well and serves as a small chapter in the life of one of rock and roll's most original guitarists.

Mick Skidmore, April 2001

NB The Acadia booklet lists the personnel of the band but omits Hutchinson.



Produced by Copperhead and David Brown

Engineered by David Brown with Jack Adams at the Record Plant, Los Angeles
and Kurt Kinzel at the Record Plant, Sausalito. Phil Brown, Pete Romano,
Glen Kolotkin, George Engfer and Roy Segal at Columbia Records, San Francisco.
Recorded at The Record Plant - Los Angeles, Wally Heiders - San Francisco, The Record Plant - Sausalito, Columbia Records - San Francisco, (October 1972 - February 1973).

Remixed at Columbia Records - San Francisco March 1973. Original Vinyl Mastering by George Horn. Mastered for this release (Acadia) by John Dent, Loud Mastering, Taunton, Somerset.

Cover Art: Art Kane
Back Photo: Jim Marshall
Cover Concept: Jason Minkler and John Cipollina
Design: Ann Garner and John Cipollina
Original LP Sleeve: Courtesy of Andrew Lauder Archive
This release (Acadia) design remix: Pete Tytler

Copperhead Crew (1973):
Business Manager: Ron Poole. Secretary: Evy Sergeant. Trainer: Gordon Kennerly.
Equipment: Doug McGuire, J. Guy Bagg. Sound Engineer: Bart Jefferson.

Original album release on Columbia KC 32250 except "Chameleon" which appeared as a B side single only release on Columbia 45-45810.

Release History
LabelCat NoCountryFormatDate
ColumbiaKC 32250USLP1973
EdselUKLP19841 extra track
ColumbiaCOL 484003 2USCD
Evangeline/AcadiaACA 8005UKCD20011 extra track



Live 73

Tracks


Personnel
John CipollinaGuitar


Release History
LabelCat NoCountryFormatDate
Blue VelvetFCP 002 LP



Drunken Irish Setter

CD cover

Tracks
1Kibitzer4:45(J. McPherson)
2Drunken Irish Setter5:29(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
3Wing-Dang-Doo5:07(J. McPherson)
4Spin-Spin3:37(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
5Kamikaze5:54(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
6Chameleon5:44(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
7Pawnshop5:21(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
8Mama 6:21
9Brigelow 6500 2:41
Total:45:02


Recorded live in San Francisco, December 16, 1972

Personnel
John CipollinaLead and Hawaiian Steel Guitar
Gary PhilippetVocals, Guitar, Bottleneck
Jim McPhersonVocals, Piano, Bass, Percussion
David WeberDrums, Percussion
Hutch HutchinsonVocals, Bass



Brigelow 6500

CD cover
CD cover

Tracks
1Kibitzer (J. McPherson)
2Drunken Irish Setter (J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
3Wing-Dang-Doo (J. McPherson)
4Spin-Spin (G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
5Kamikaze (J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
6Chameleon (G. Philippet/K. Housman)
7Pawnshop (J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
8Mama
9Brigelow 6500
Total:


Live in San Francisco, December 16, 1972

Personnel
John CipollinaLead and Hawaiian Steel Guitar
Gary PhilippetVocals, Guitar, Bottleneck
Jim McPhersonVocals, Piano, Bass, Percussion
David WeberDrums, Percussion
Hutch HutchinsonVocals, Bass



Golden Gate Park, SF, 1972

Tracks


Personnel
John CipollinaGuitar



Lonesome Trails

Booklet Outer Back

Tracks
1.Spin Spin3:11(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
2.Chameleon4:44(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
3.Wang Dang Do4:05(J. McPherson)
4.Drunken Irish Setter4:52(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
5.Roller Derby Star4:09(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
6.Putting It To You5:00(J. McPherson)
7.They're Making A Monster7:18(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/J. McPherson)
8.California Blues2:36
9.Kamikazi4:39(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
10.Kibitzer3:41(J. McPherson)
11.Bigelow 6-90003:22(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
12.Pawnshop Man6:00(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
13.A Little Hand4:54(J. McPherson)
14.Spin Spin3:13(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
Total:61:52


All tracks are studio outtakes for their one and only album recorded in January 1973

Personnel
John CipollinaGuitar


Release History
LabelCat NoCountryFormatDate
Head USCD



Studio Out-Takes

Booklet Outer Back

Tracks
1Spin Spin3:11(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
2Chameleon4:44(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
3Wang Dang Do4:05(J. McPherson)
4Drunken Irish Setter4:52(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
5Roller Derby Star4:09(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
6Putting It To You5:00(J. McPherson)
7They're Making A Monster7:18(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/J. McPherson)
8California Blues2:36
9Kamikazi4:39(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
10Kibitzer3:41(J. McPherson)
11Bigelow 6-90003:22(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
12Pawnshop Man6:00(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
13A Little Hand4:54(J. McPherson)
14Spin Spin3:13(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
Total:61:50


Recorded October 1972 - February 1973

Personnel
John CipollinaGuitar



Stained Glass Dreams

Booklet Outer Back

Tracks
Disc 1
1.Roller Derby Star(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
2.Kibitzer(J. McPherson)
3.A Little Hand(J. McPherson)
4.Kamikaze(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
5.Spin Spin(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/M. Unobsky)
6.Pawnshop Man(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
7.Wang Dang Doo(J. McPherson)
8.We're Making A Monster(G. Philippet/J. Cipollina/J. McPherson)
9.Putting It To You(J. McPherson)
10.Drunken Irish Setter(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
11.Bigelow 6-9000(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
12.California Blues
13.Chameleon(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
14.Technical Difficulties
15.Inlaws Are Outlaws
16.See What Your Love Can Do
17.Angie
Disc 2
1.It's All The Same
2.Hawaiian Sunset
3.Wang Dang Doo(J. McPherson)
4.Roller Derby Star(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
5.Kibitzer(J. McPherson)
6.Drunken Irish Setter(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
7.Kamikaze(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
8.Chameleon(G. Philippet/K. Housman)
9.Pawnshop Man(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet/M. Unobsky)
10.Nightcap
11.Horse N Me (J. McPherson)
12.Two Made One (J. McPherson)
13.Light Down Below(J. McPherson)
14.I Sing You Sing(J. McPherson)
15.Finger Painting(J. McPherson, Bob Rominger)
16.Soap & Turkey (Bob Rominger)
17.Twiddle My Thumbs (J. McPherson)
18.Fahrenheit (J. McPherson, Dennis Carrasco, Bob Rominger)


Disc 1 Tracks:
1-8: 1973 CBS lp in True Stereo from Master Tapes
9-12: From Rejected Second Studio lp
13: Single Only Track
15-17: 1972 Terry & The Pirates Studio Outtakes
Disc 2 Tracks:
1-4: Live en KSAN Radio, San Francisco 1973
5-9: Live 12/72 Sausalito CA
10-18: Stained Glass lp, Jim McPherson's Band Pre-Copperhead!

Release History
LabelCat NoCountryFormatDate
Five Dollar RecordsFDR 17/18 CD



Hawaiian Sunset

Booklet Outer

Back

Tracks
Disc 1
CBS LP in true stereo. 1973 master tape:
1.Roller Derby Star(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
2.Kibitzer(J. McPherson)
3.A Little Hand(J. McPherson)
4.Kamikaze
5.Spin-spin
6.Pawnshop Man
7.Wang Dang Doo(J. McPherson)
8.We're Making a Master(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
Rejected second studio LP:
9.Putting It To You(J. McPherson)
10.Drunken Irish Setter(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
11.Bigalow 6-9000
12.California Blues
Single only track:
13.Chameleon
Terry & the Pirates 1972 studio outtakes:
14.Technical Difficulties
15.Inlaws Are Outlaws
16.See What You Love Can Do
17.Angie
Disc 2
Live on KSAN Radio from the Record Plant April 22, 1973:
1.It's All the Same
2.Hawaiian Sunset
3.Wang Dang Doo(J. McPherson)
4.Roller Derby Star(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Live at Roy Chen's studio Sausalito, CA August 1, 1973:
5.Kibitzer(J. McPherson)
6.Drunken Irish Setter(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
7.Kamikaze
8.Chameleon
9.Pawnshop Man
Jim McPherson's band pre-Copperhead "Stained Glass" LP:
10.Nightcap
11.Horse On Me
12.Two Make One
13.Light Down Below
14.Sing You Sing
15.Finger Painting
16.Soap and Turkey
17.Twiddle My Thumbs
18.Fahrenheit


As described by eBay seller:
"The hard to find COPPERHEAD "HAWAIIAN SUNSET" import 2 CD.
Copperhead was the first and arguably one of the most interesting post Qicksilver Messenger Service bands. Regardless it certainly had immense potential. Cipollina's volatile, tremolo heavy guitar licks had been the trademark -signature of Quicksilver's psychedelic sound. No one played quite like him recalls long time friend and one-time Copperhead member Peter Sears "He had a unique guitar style, he played with finger picks and he played that fantastic Gibson SG... he was into his own thing. He was unlike any other musician." Cipollina's shimmering and intense lead playing on the Happy Trails album, especially the 26-minute epic "Who Do You Love" many would argue represents the pinnacle of San Francisco-era rock. Of course, the ever-modest Cipollina once nonchalantly told me that he couldn't understand what all the fuss was about noting that "it was just a two-chord jam." The affable and accomplished Cipollin's sinewy sound was to be a pre-eminent feature of most of the bands that he played with. His first "real" band after Quicksilver was Copperhead, a band that really promised much, but ended up leaving behind just one interesting self-titled album that hopefully you now possess, but first things first. Back in '85 Cipollina explained that his departure from Quicksilver was two-fold. Firstly, he thought the band's music had gotten a little rudimentary and secondly this veritable music junkie had a penchant to play more sessions, which didn't settle too well with the other QMS members. Ironically during the Hawaii sessions for "Just For Love" and "What About Me," Cippo ran into an old friend, Jim Murray, the original vocalist with QMS. It was decided to bring Murray back to San Francisco to record a solo album. From the sessions of the "never-to-be-released Murray sessions," Copperhead took shape. This was late 1970 as Cipollina recalled "I formed Copperhead around the end of 1970 ... Quicksilver (the other members) said "if you want to do more session work you can't stay," so I started doing sessions." From the time of the band's inception it underwent quite a few changes as Sears recently recalled. "I was in Stoneground and I met John and we hit it off quite well and there was another guy there, Mark Unobsky (he was a member for awhile and co-wrote "Pawnshop Man" on the album) a close friend of his and we jammed together. So I got Mario Cipollina to replace me in Stoneground ... it was a wild time and I ended up in Copperhead. John had a predisposition towards English keyboard players having played a lot with Nicky Hopkins." The formative line-up of Copperhead begun with musicians that Cipollina had pulled together, Jim McPherson (ex-Stained Glass) on guitar and keyboards, Gary Philippet (ex-Freedom Highway) on guitar, keyboards and vocals and drummer Dave Weber. It was a loose agglomeration. The band started rehearsing in the "white house" in Corte Madera where Quicksilver used to rehearse. Sears recalled that was a very loose and informal atmosphere with a mixture of rehearsals and basic hanging out. The band did quite a few gigs including a KSAN radio broadcast (which has been much bootlegged) with Tom Donahue. Soon the band would generate a lot of interest in the industry with its dynamic live shows. Sears ended up leaving due to musical differences, which he sums up by saying, "I didn't think the music represented all that John could do. There were some great songs. Jim McPherson was a great writer but it just wasn't right." By the time the band had begun recording for their album Hutch Hutchinson (now a famous session player and constant Bonnie Raitt sideman) was brought into the fold for the departing Sears. The band's only album, a self-titled effort, was not released until mid 1973, which drummer Dave Weber (now a real estate salesman in Connecticut) recalls as being something of a mistake, "By the time we recorded the album much of it was stale. We were tired of playing those songs." The band also suffered other problems, mostly in that the two main songwriters didn't always see eye to eye." In Weber's eyes Copperhead was a band that was held together by Cipollina. It was very much John's band, but the recorded work didn't reflect the spontaneity of their live shows. "We did some sessions at Roy Chen's in Chinatown that had energy. I think the best cuts were actually cut in pre-production." In conclusion Weber recalls that the band over rehearsed for the album, perhaps as a result of the big record company contract.
This retrospective cobbles together rarities, stero versions, outtakes and live tracks. Tremendous sound. Super art."



Roy Chen's Studio, 1 Aug 1973 + KSAN (Record Plant), 22 Apr 1973

Tracks
1.Instrumental5:03
2.My Own Twisted Way2:52
3.Read Between The Lines3:06
4.Instrumental2:59
5.Roller Derby Star (instrumental)4:17(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
6.Heebie Jeebies4:14(J. Cipollina)
7.Intro >
Spin Spin
4:10
8.Kamikaze >
banter
5:12
9.Keeper of the Flame9:26(J. McPherson)
10.banter (Randy, Chuck, & ?)4:40
11.Chilli Sunset4:58
12.banter (Randy, & ?)2:12
13.Wang Dang Doo4:30(J. McPherson)
14.Roller Derby Star5:51(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Total63:37


Roy Chen's Studio, January 8, 1973 + KSAN (Record Plant), April 22, 1973

As circulated via DimeADozen, November 2006

Tracks
1.Instrumental5:03
2.My Own Twisted Way2:52
3.Read Between The Lines3:06
4.Local Color2:59
5.Walking the Plank (aka Highway)4:17
6.Heebie Jeebies4:14(J. Cipollina)
7.Intro >
Spin Spin
4:10
8.Kamikaze >
banter
5:12
9.Keeper of the Flame9:26(J. McPherson)
10.interview4:40
11.Chili Sunset4:58
12.interview2:12
13.Wang Dang Doo4:30(J. McPherson)
14.Roller Derby Star5:51(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Total63:35


SBD > ? > unknown processing > CDR > EAC > FLAC

"It's VERY likely these are from JC's masters, or 1st generation, but this can't be confirmed.

Here is a MARVELOUS pair of Copperhead recordings for you!..and both will fit on to a single disc!

The Roy Chen's Studio material is rare! I will not say it's uncirculated, but it's pretty dang close. It's a great sounding recording. It features a few unreleased tracks (that on the offical "Copperhead" album), an awesome version of QMS' 'Local Color', done a few years after their version. Last, but not least, are early Copperhead versions of 'Walking The Plank' before the Terry & The Pirates, or the QMS' '75 rehearsals; and 'Heebies Jeebies', a few years before the QMS did it in '75!

The Record Plant material has seen wider circulation, but here again, this version is a great treat. This more rare version has better sound than the much more common one. It's also more complete, with an extra song, 'Chili Sunset', and even some interviews too, that the common version doesn't have!

Please do not sell.. let me repeat that.. PLEASE DO NOT SELL!! If I see it on Ebay or elsewhere, then "be prepared to be shot down." I will try my hardest to make sure you're a "cowboy on the run", and will eat cat food (or worse!) before you try to make any money off of it!

I would like to thank my source for this insanely great disc of amazing music. Speak up if you wish!

As always, ENJOY!" - Tom Shyman (amellowsoul@happyhippie.com)

Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar, vocals
Gary Philippet Guitar, vocals
Jim McPherson Piano, vocals
Hutch HutchinsonBass, vocals
David Weber Drums



Demos and Outtakes

Tracks
1Hyperspace9:13
2My Own Twisted Way3:03
3Doublemint Theme0:30
4Instrumental3:50
5Instrumental #25:12
6Backwoods3:48
7Bigelow 6-90003:33(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
8Read Between The Lines3:29
9Honky Tonk Jekyll and Hyde3:48
10Rocketship4:41(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
11Motel Party Baby4:37
12Drunken Irish Setter4:52(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
13Putting It To You5:00(J. McPherson)
14California Blues2:36
Jim Murray Solo Demo, Dec 1971:
15All Right Girl6:04
Hollywood, 28 Apr 1972:
16Rider >
Cobra
12:44(J. McPherson)
(J. Cipollina)
77:11


[JC Tree #3]

Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar
+ ?



Diamond Head Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 1st, 1973

(This is the incomplete version copied by John Cipollina for Rob Southern in November 1979)

Cassette J Card

(Cassette and J Card written by John Cipollina in November 1979)

Tracks
1. 0:05
2.Kibitzer 4:28(J. McPherson)
3.Drunken Irish Setter5:53(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
4.Wing-Dang-Do 5:41(J. McPherson)
5.Spin-Spin 4:59
6.Kamakaze 4:56
7.Chameleon 4:33
8.Pawnshop Man 5:51
9.Rocket Ship 4:46(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
10.Bigelow 6-9000 5:02(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
Total46:20


This is not the complete show. The remaining tracks (Making A Monster, and Roller Derby Star), which were on Side 2 of the original tape, from this show were omitted from Rob's tape as the other side of that was filled with other tracks (see J-card image for details).

Lineage: FM > Cass/3 > CD
FM to Cassette transfer of complete show as broadcast, and Cassette to Cassette transfer by unknown fan, who mailed the copy to John Cipollina. Cassette to Cassette transfer by John Cipollina in November 1979 for Rob Southern. Cassette to CD transfer by Rob Southern, August 2005


Diamond Head Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, January 2nd, 1973

(This is the version seeded, together with the December 31st show, on DimeAdozen in June 2005)

Tracks
1.Chameleon 5:34
2.Pawnshop Man 6:21
3.Rocket Ship (fades in)3:46(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
4.Bigelow 6-9000 5:00(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
5.Making a Monster 8:52(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
6.Roller Derby Star 7:34(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)


uncirculated soundboard show from master

This show, together with many others, is legally downloadable in various formats from the Live Music Archive section of The Internet Archive.



Rehearsals

Tracks
Disc 1
1All Over Now4:33
2Do Right Woman4:55
3Going Down 7:12
4Don't Do It 12:08
5Instrumental 8:50
37:41
Disc 2
1Instrumental 9:10
2 6:06
3Instrumental 6:14
4Walkin' Blues?5:33
5Instrumental 3:59
6Instrumental 8:58
7 5:42
45:47


[JC Tree #3]

Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar
+ ?



Unreleased Second Album + Live Broadcast

Tracks
Studio Tracks
1Born Loser 4:01
2Brown's Gold 4:01
3Busted 4:48
4Lazy days 3:35
5Long Way From Home8:18
6The Scar 4:20
7Where Will I Be4:40
8Whiskey 3:59
9Highway 4:56
Live Tracks
10Kibitzer 5:00(J. McPherson)
11Spin Spin 3:21
12Instrumental 5:07
13Drunken Irish Setter 5:45(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
14Roller Derby Star4:50(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
15Keeper of the Flame6:17(J. McPherson)
16?Rocketship 6:23(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
Total79:31


[WARNING: The first 9 tracks are NOT by Cipollina's Copperhead! The track titles match 9 of the 12 tracks (in a different order) of an album called Copperhead released by a Southern US rock band of the same name. See www.copperhead.info for more info.
The live tracks have some announcements between them that mention KSAN and Pacific High Recording, so they may be from that show.]

Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar
+ ?



Live At Winterland, September 1st 1973

Tracks
1.Rocket Ship 5:55(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
2.Spin Spin / Kamikaze10:42
3.A Little Hand 6:50(J. McPherson)
4.Little Cindy 4:46
5.Chameleon 4:31
6.Wang Dang Doo 4:13(J. McPherson)
7.Wrong Time 5:34
8.Keeper of the Flame9:40(J. McPherson)
9.Roller Derby Star 5:18(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Total


Copperhead was a short-lived hard rock group led by John Cipollina, who played guitar for Quicksilver Messenger Service until leaving that band in 1970 following such classic discs as 1969's Happy Trails and their first, self-titled record from 1968. At first, Copperhead was a loose association of musicians centered around Cipollina, but eventually Copperhead tightened up into the four-piece lineup that recorded their sole, self-titled 1973 LP, and that appears at this show. The show, recorded at Winterland in San Francisco, includes four songs from that album, including single "Roller Derby Star." It also features a few tracks that would have appeared on their second LP, which Columbia refused to release after Clive Davis, who signed Copperhead, was fired from his position as President of the label.

The band's vocal duties were split between bass player Jim McPherson, whose gruff singing style can be heard on "Wang Dang Doo," and Gary Philippet, who sings lead on several tunes here, including the "Roller Derby Star" b-side, "Chameleon." Copperhead also took stabs at more reflective, ballad-type tracks like "Keeper of the Flame," which appears here but has no released version on record. That track is directed by Cipollina's distinctive, trebly leads into heady, psychedelic territory less than three minutes before gradually moving back into the delicate piano-driven groove on the verses. "Wrong Time" was written by Gary Wright of British hard rock group Spooky Tooth, and receives an impassioned rendition here.

Taken from the Bill Graham archives, this show is an interesting artifact of a band that is hardly documented beyond their studio album and a live LP that is now out-of-print. After this group, Cipollina continued to be active on the music scene, working with bands like Zero, Terry & the Pirates, and the Novato Frank Band, collaborating and touring with long-time friend Nick Gravenites on many projects, and releasing one solo LP in 1980, Raven. Cipollina passed away due to emphysema in 1989 after a few years of battling respiratory problems.



Personnel
John Cipollinalead guitar
Gary Philippetvocals, guitar, organ
Jim McPhersonvocals, bass, piano
David Weberdrums


Release History
LabelCat NoCountryFormatDate
Concert VaultUSCD2014


Live At Winterland, September 1st 1973

Tracks
1.intro > Rocket Ship5:54(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
2.Spin Spin 4:11
3.Kamikaze 6:48
4.A Little Hand 6:33(J. McPherson)
5.Little Cindy 4:46
6.Kibitzer 4:32
7.Wing Dang Doo 4:19(J. McPherson)
8.Wrong Time 5:27
9.Keeper of the Flame9:31(J. McPherson)
10.Roller Derby Star 5:16(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
Total57:21


[Back Cover Text]

Formed by psychedelic guitar hero John Cipollina after leaving Quicksilver Messenger Service in 1970, this sadly short-lived quartet released one fine album in May 1973. That September they played this superb set at San Francisco's legendary Winterland Ballroom, taking in most of thrie album and showcasing their unrivalled jamming talents, with Cipollina's searing guitar leads to the fore throughout.

DIGITALLY REMASTERED

[Notebook Text]

My first project upon leaving Quicksilver Messenger Service was to produce an album by Jim Murray, who was originally in Quicksilver with me - we were the first two members. The fact that the album never appeared could be attributed to 'record company hang-ups'... There was this crazy kid who had come out from Boston with Earl Weinstein (of Copperhead's management) and he was real red hot - he kept calling me up, and I eventually got to meet him at this guitar show that I get involved in every year in Mill Valley. He walked up and said 'Hi, my name's David Weber. I'm a drummer, and I mean a good drummer'. 'Well,' I thought, 'this guy's really off the wall, I might as well chance it, see where he's at,' and when the time came that I needed a drummer, I called him up.

So, round he came, and I stuck him in a corner in my living room; there's a little alcove which is a perfect drum booth, and this floor heater with a rug over it makes a perfect conga stand. So anyway, we started playing and David became a regular visitor. Whenever musicians dropped by for a jam or to party, David would come over to drum, so he became a logical choice for Copperhead... Around this time (winter 1970) I had thoughts of producing this other guy called Mark Unobsky, who's a super guitar player and has shown me all sorts of picking styles - writes great songs and sings and plays. He was later in the original Copperhead, too.

There was a jam at my parents' house (they have a very large living room), a sort of rehearsal for a live radio show that a bunch of people were going to do. My little brother Mario was playing bass, Jerry Garcia pedal steel, Pete Sears was on piano, Micky Waller on drums and then Mark and I joined in. Well, Mark had never played with other people before but I plugged him in and away he went; whenever he gets excited he plays more precisely and faster and then he gets crazy - and he just began to blow everyone away. He subsequently became Copperhead's guru, spiritual adviser and weapons expert. He taught everybody in Copperhead to throw knives. We're all pretty good knifethrowers now, and he's also improved our shooting - we're pretty good shots, too. Him and another guy called Jim Jensen were really the strong influences outside the group - Jim was a crazy wizard / jeweller / sculptor and has helped us with lyrics too (he did Kamikaze).

Anyway, Pete came round to see me (at Mark's insistence), and we played a lot more stuff together. He flipped out over my collection of Winchesters, said 'OK if I stay here?' and I said 'Sure'. (Nicky Hopkins did the same - fell in love with the same room and ended up staying 14 months.) Pete was there about six months, I guess, and we did a lot of partying, jamming, running around... We had a kind of gang revolving around me, Pete and David the drummer. Pete left and came back - went to play with John Baldry, and to do another Rod Stewart album, then he came back and joined Copperhead.

David knew this guitarist called Jim McPherson, who he said was really super. He gave me such a hype on him that I called him up. So he came over, we checked the situation out and found we liked each other - he got along with my music, I got along with his morbid sense of humour... anyway, it turned out that he could also play piano, but was really a bass-player. Well, my brother Mario, who was only 16 and was playing bass for us, found it kind of strange playing with all these crazy people at night and going to school during the day, so he decided to divert all his energies into his studying and Jim moved to bass, doubling on piano. Then we brought in Gary Phillippet.

I'd known Gary for about four years prior to our playing in Copperhead - he and I were managed by the same people when I was in Quicksilver and he was in Freedom Highway - and we did a lot of gigs together. Then I didn't see him for years until one day he hitchhiked over in the rain to give me an old Remington rolling block, which I thought was really far out. Anyway, my then-current manager was advising me to check out Gary as a potential group member, and all of a sudden we all came together - five guys, plus Mark ... Copperhead was ready!

We started playing the weirdest gigs; we played a private party in Mexico for Alexandro Jodorowsky, the guy who directed El Topo, and then we did the Crater Festival in Hawaii, and altogether we played a lot of very strange places. We started to get into the club scene and the bizarre private party scene. Copperhead was always a bizarre band and a band of change. It touched on a lot of musicians, and was more of a concept than anything else. It was never a solid group in that sense, even though everyone who's ever been in it remains a lifetime member - l still keep in touch with them all. For instance, Pete Sears left, and Jim Hutchinson, a friend of Gary's, came in to replace him,- but I still see Pete a lot. He and I are thinking of starting a club for fliers; he's got his pilot's licence and I'm trying to get mine.

We ended up signing with Just Sunshine, but Copperhead was always a rather unstable unit. People had trouble understanding us, and somehow there was a clash between our manager, who had the band's interests as his primary concern, and the record company, who somehow weren't clicking or at least didn't seem to appreciate what we were about. So, we reopened negotiations with Clive Davis of Columbia and signed with them - and, for a while, everything was going great. You see, in the first place, we wanted to play, do gigs, but the whole scene had changed. You couldn't get gigs until you had an album out, and you couldn't get an album out until you had gigs!"

We cut the album which was a party - but there again, it wasn't enough of a party. The trouble was that we were just looking for an excuse to go out and play live. That's what we really wanted to do. But the only place we had to play in was the studio, so we recorded 15 tunes and put eight of them on the record. But there was a perspective missing, and the pause when we switched labels kind of threw us. We felt we were really smart signing with Columbia, because we'd refused to deal with anybody but the president - we were really being cool, getting it together with Clive Davis, Mr Rock'n'Roll, and then all of a sudden Clive got his walking orders. Then Jim McPherson, the piano player, disappeared, and everybody was saying 'Hey, why aren't you playing?' and then we decided 'to hell with gigs - let's write some more music. So we wrote some more music.

All Columbia knew was that we were Clive's boys - and they weren't sure what to do. They couldn't believe the figures involved. 'Why did Clive spend so much on these guys? Who are they?' And we were nowhere to be seen! We were out playing some exotic party somewhere, and we sort of got lost. Maybe they didn't think it was a good album, I don't know. They sold every copy that they printed, nevertheless - sold them all in four days or something like that, and as far as I know, they don't intend to press and release any more. We haven't heard any sales figures since the first week, when they told us 17,000. But you can't buy it anywhere in the San Francisco area - so, like I say, I can't understand what makes record companies tick. There are seven tracks still in the can, but I don't think Columbia would go for releasing them on any new album. They think of them as rejects from the first sessions."

We're thinking of recording again, but this time, we don't go into the studio until we feel right. We've got a lot of songs, but we're still looking for a piano player and a better relationship with Columbia. Clive always had faith in us. If Clive was still there, we'd have gone all the way; we'd have toured and sold records, I'm sure. But the whole scheme of things has changed since he left and we've become a really elusive band; we can't figure Columbia out, and they sure as hell can't fathom us out. We became branded as 'one of Clive's groups' - or else they assumed we were dope writeoffs. I don't know. I do know that they never ever ran an ad on the album.

Copperhead has always had this philosophy which permeates all the members, past and present: we're a good-time band, we have a good time and cause a good time, we're pleasant troublemakers - so the Columbia situation in no way hangs us up. "The last time I spoke to the people there, I told them that one of my biggest disappointments was not being taken out to lunch anymore! I'm not going back into the studio till I get at least two big dinners and a lunch! And some reassurance. I mean, it is my business.

[Edited version of John Cipollina's words from Pete Frame's "John Cipollina in the 70's" from] Zigzag, April 1975



Personnel
John Cipollinalead guitar
Gary Philippetvocals, guitar, organ
Jim McPhersonvocals, bass, piano
David Weberdrums


Release History
LabelCat NoCountryFormatDate
KeyholeKHCD9106USCD2014



Winterland, 30-Nov-73

Tracks
1.// Kibitzer 2:59(J. McPherson)
2.Spin Spin 4:34
3.Kamikaze 6:53
4.A Little Hand 5:31(J. McPherson)
5.Little Cindy 6:45
6.Wang Dang Do 5:25(J. McPherson)
7.Wrong Time 5:44
8.Keeper of the Flame8:17(J. McPherson)
9.Roller Derby Star 7:03(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
10.Rocketship 5:33(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
Total58:48


Opening for Quicksilver & Sons Of Champlin

SB Master > 2nd Gen Cassette > Audio CD > Sound Forge Extraction > CD Wave Editor > FLAC

This show, together with many others, is legally downloadable in various formats from the Live Music Archive section of The Internet Archive.


Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar
Gary Philippet
Jim McPherson
David Weber
Hutch Hutchinson



Diamond Head Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, December 31st, 1973

(This is the version seeded, together with the January 2nd show, on DimeAdozen in June 2005)

Tracks
1.Kibitzer 3:46(J. McPherson)
2.Drunken Irish Setter3:41(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
3.Wang Dang Doo 3:43(J. McPherson)
4.Spin Spin 4:04
5.Kamikaze 4:45
6.Chameleon 4:20
7.Pawn Shop Man 5:28
8.Rocket Ship 4:16(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
9.Bigelow 6-9000 3:14(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
Total37:17(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)


Master reel to reel > equalizer > cd > eac > wav > flac

This is a soundboard or audience from master, good sound, but a little gloomy

This show, together with many others, is legally downloadable in various formats from the Live Music Archive section of The Internet Archive.


Honolulu, Hawaii, December 31st, 1973

(Another show with this date that is in circulation)

Tracks
1.Spin Spin
2.A Little Hand (J. McPherson)
3.Little Cindy
4.Wang Dang Doo (J. McPherson)
5.The Wrong Time
6.Keeper of the Flame (J. McPherson)
7.Roller Derby Star (G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
8.Rocket Ship (J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)


Soundboard


Longbranch, Berkeley, Feb 74?

Tracks
1Spin Spin5:49
2Drunken Irish Setter4:42(J. Cipollina/G. Philippet)
3Cobra4:49(J. Cipollina)
4Little Cindy4:33
5Pawnshop Man6:17
6I Hate My House5:58
7Something Inside You5:28
8Making A Monster18:04(J. McPherson/J. Cipollina)
Winterland, 30 Nov 1973:
9Roller Derby Star6:20(G. Philippet/Kent Housman)
10Rocketship5:39(J. McPherson, Mark Unobsky)
11?4:52
12Interview with JC4:10
76:48


[JC Tree #3]

This show, together with many others, is legally downloadable in various formats from the Live Music Archive section of The Internet Archive.


Personnel
John Cipollina Guitar
+ ?



JC Home

Last updated: 5-Oct-2014