Various Artists

Casey Kasem's Rock N' Roll Goldmine: San Francisco

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Casey Kasem's Rock N' Roll Goldmine: San Francisco Sound is about as superficial an examination of its subject as one could imagine, clocking in at 38 minutes (the Grateful Dead have done versions of "Dark Star" that run twice as long as that); and the commentary by the host between the clips is almost useless -- one should, instead, hunt down an old copy of Ralph J. Gleason's book on the subject. But the clips are unusually good and justify the purchase of this mid-priced disc, principally because they're all from actual live performances. That starts with a killer Van Morrison clip of "Domino" (though isn't Van Morrison a strange place to start a program on the San Francisco sound?) What follows are some great clips of much more relevant acts (in terms of the focus of this disc): Big Brother & the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin from a live TV appearance, doing "Ball and Chain," the Dead doing "Truckin'" (preceded by a great clip of Jerry Garcia talking about the band and the song), Santana doing "Jingo" from the German Beat Club program; Country Joe & the Fish from sometime in the mid-'60s, doing "The Fish Cheer" and "Feel Like I'm Fixin' to Die Rag" (one can only admire the TV station program director in the black-and-white era that allowed this to go out over the air); and the Steve Miller Band do "Livin' in the USA" from the mid-'70s, a little late for the focus of this disc, but a great performance.

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