Saturday, March 30, 2013

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - The Gun Live (1970) Soundboard

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.
L to R: Paul Gurvitz, Louie Farrell, Adrian Gurvitz
The Gun were a little-known 60s British acid rock band who evolved into the 70s progressive hard rock trio Baker Gurvitz Army. The Gun began as The Knack, formed in 1963 by guitarist/vocalist Paul Gurvitz (born Paul Anthony Curtis), 6 July 1947, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; he was known by the surname Curtis until the early 1970s. Thereafter, he adopted his family's actual surname, Gurvitz. The Knack changed its name to the Gun with the development of a psychedelic style in the spring/summer of 1967, performing at the final UFO Club concerts with bands such as Pink Floyd. In November, 1967 they made recordings for the BBC's newest flagship alternative music radio programme, Top Gear and twice played in the air.

Soon to expand into a sextet, with Paul's younger brother Adrian, then they were consisting as a power trio of Paul Curtis as bassist, Adrian Curtis (Adrian Gurvitz) as guitarist/vocalist (he also wrote all music and lyrics of The Gun), and drummer Louie Farrell (born Brian John Farrell, 8 December 1947, Goodmayes, Essex; he joined The Knack in mid 1966) to release two albums after being signed to CBS Records in early 1968.

In early 1968 the band scored a hit with the opening track from their self-titled album (1968), "Race With The Devil". Issued as a single in October 1968 it reached the top 10 in its native UK and #35 on the Australian Singles Chart (Go-Set) in March 1969. Jimi Hendrix quoted the song's riff during his song "Machine Gun" at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. "Race With The Devil" has been covered by Judas Priest (on the remastered CD version of Sin After Sin), Black Oak Arkansas (on their album Race With The Devil), and Girlschool (on their album Demolition)

Their debut album's cover is noteworthy as an early example of the work of Roger Dean, who was later responsible for producing trademark covers for super bands such as Yes, Greenslade and Asia. Allmusic describes it as having a "distinctive psych-flavored proto-metal" sound [Extracts from wikipedia].

This live rendition of "Race With The Devil" was recorded at the 3rd International Essen Pop & Blues Festival in 1970-10-22 Essen, Germany Grugahalle. This is extremely rare as there are no other live recordings of the Gun that I am aware of. The band starts off playing their mega hit but soon digresses into a tribute to Jimi Hendrix playing a medley including "Who Knows", "The Wind Cries Mary" and "The Star Spangled Banner". The quality of the recording is excellent and would have to have originated from a Soundboard.  My research also tells me that the drummer on this live recording was probably Goeff Britton, as Louie Farrell had already left the band by the end of 1969.
See psychedelicbaby.blogspot for a better insight into Gun's short existence (a little over 2 years)
So this month's WOCK on Vinyl post is as Obscure as it can get, so enjoy it while you can.
Post includes both FLAC and MP3 formats with a selection of B&W photos (thanks to Paul Gurvitz website)

Track Listing
01. Race With The Devil -> Hendrix Dedication Medley -> Race With The Devil 

The Gun Link ( 90Mb)


  1. Great share, Race with the devil was a standard on my old record player



  2. Live i see Gun by Festival in Bremen 1970 . Great Gig. i remember very good.