Disraeli Gears: the recording dates?

The session dates have loosely been quoted as: April in Eric’s ‘Crossroads’ box set, Marc Roberty’s and John Pidgeon’s Clapton bios; May in Roberty's "Eric Clapton: Complete Recordings "(8-19th) and ‘Those Were The Days’ boxed set. However it is agreed that it was recorded very quickly over three days before their work visas expired.

Cream were in New York to mainly perform on the farcical "Murray the K Show"at RKO Theatre. They arrived on 22nd March for the rehearsals, which began on Thursday 23rd March. The show ran from Saturday 25th March to Sunday 2nd April. These dates are cross-confirmed against the Who histories as they were on the bill and the reason Cream got the gig (a package deal of Mitch Ryder who was desperately wanted as the headline act, The Who and Cream). At the conclusion of the shows they did a few gigs at the Café Au Go Go and The Village Theatre (later Fillmore East) plus sat in on some gigs. Then off to the Atlantic studios.

Logically they couldn’t have sat around in NY for a month and Roberty lists them as touring England and Europe in May. Also they would have only had short term work visas as the States was very restrictive on overseas performers who had to have guaranteed work ie the Murray the K show plus the recording sessions. Further information (Dec '97) indicates that the two Lawdy's were laid down on the 4th April to try to produce a single and subsequently Felix got involved. So my calculation is now the sessions were spread over 4-10th April which still fits with a three-week visa i.e. depart 11th April. Jack refers to about five days of recording, whether that involved full-time is unlikely, which fits my scenario. My modified scenario: one day on Lawdy, another day overdubbing for Strange Brew and working up songs, and then three days full time on the album. Further information at February indicates that it was most likely 4-7th April (4 days) ie 1 day on Lawdy and then 3 days on the album and I'm now sticking to that unless it's proven otherwise!!

The Set Lists (based on Roberty's Clapton: Complete Recordings) quote 8-19th May but also say that "Disraeli Gears was recorded in three days" – not logical. And Roberty himself is inconsistent!

Session Tapes Destroyed
Why the confusion? Well it’s all because of a fire that destroyed Atlantic’s tape archives in 1976. Unbelievably, but tragically true, these were stored on the fourth floor of a wood–framed, family owned, department store (an incalculable loss of so much great music!). This would have included the Gears session tapes and session records. However copies of the masters would have been made and sent to Britain. Felix may have finalised the production and completed mastering during 8th-19th May as the original sessions were rushed..

Well that’s my proposition – anyone got something better?

Corrected 10th March 1998

Since 31st Oct 1997