Mike Bloomfield Extras






The Electric Flag at the Bitter End

Offered in celebration of Mike Bloomfield's 68th birthday, July 28, 2011

Three Early Works by Ira Schneider (excerpt, 1967)

EXPERIMENTAL filmmaker Ira Schneider has been a creative force on the progressive art scene since the 1960s. His early work in film techniques, subject matter and imagery rank him with other pioneers in the field like Stan Brakhage and Kenneth Anger. In those days, Schneider's subjects often included members of the emerging youth and countercultures, and to that end he occasionally filmed rock performers. He caught Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, among others.

One of those others was Michael Bloomfield. We at mikebloomfieldamericanmusic.com are pleased to have discovered that Schneider documented Mike Bloomfield's New York debut with the Electric Flag at the Bitter End in November 1967. The band's manager, Albert Grossman, gave Ira permission to film the band backstage and in performance as long as he did not record sound. The resulting 8 minutes of color film offers a remarkable rare glimpse into the Flag's extraordinary intensity and Bloomfield's electric stage presence. Even without sound, the excitement the band was renown for generating comes through. Buddy Miles is a powerhouse, and Bloomfield grimaces and contorts with each note as he literally shakes the strings of his Les Paul.

Ira Schneider has graciously allowed mikebloomfieldamericanmusic.com to post this very brief excerpt from his footage. It is a low-resolution copy with timing bar and watermarks, but the power of Bloomfield, Miles and Harvey Brooks clearly comes across. To enhance the clip, we have added sound (taken from a Pyschedelic Supermarket show recorded several weeks before this Bitter End gig).

We offer this Bloomfield Extra in celebration of Mike's 68th birthday, and hope his fans will enjoy this very brief moment with one of American music's great pioneers.

For more information about Ira Schneider and his films visit his website at www.ira-schneider.com/artist/index.html. His email address is ijs99@yahoo.com. His films are distributed at www.eai.org.

Special thanks to Peggy McVickar of www.mikebloomfield.com for her help in locating this clip.