Mchael Bloomfield New Content






New at Mike Bloomfield: An American Guitarist

As features, interactive elements, text and other changes are added to Mike Bloomfield: An American Guitarist, those additions will be listed here to make it easier for returning visitors to find new content. Wherever possible, clickable links will be included as well.

Added 8/04/13

Updated listings 


Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.
Desiderata Cabaret, North Tahoe, CO; August, 11, 12, 1972
Unknown titles                                  
Live performances


Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.
Universal Studios, Chicago, IL; late(?) 1968

I Was Robbed Last Night                   
Demo recording
Can’t Wait No Longer
Working Man
My Old Lady
You’re Killing My Love
Reap What You Sow
Eager Beaver

This recording, from Norman Dayon’s archive, features Bloomfield recording some demos of songs he’d written for Otis Rush’s upcoming recording session. Thanks to Norman Dayron for this information.


James Cotton, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Robert Anderson, b, v; Sam Lay, d.
Universal Studios, Chicago, IL; March 29, 1968

Smokestack Lightning                         Demo recording
Bo Diddley
Everything’s Gonna Work Out Fine
Back Door Man
Messing with the Kid
Got My Mojo Working
Methedrine Blues

This recording, a reel in Norman Dayron’s archive, was given to Dayron by Bloomfield and is marked as a Grossman/Court production. Dayron believes it was recorded by Bloomfield as a demo of tunes that Cotton might want to use for his Verve recording session later that year. He thinks Albert Grossman probably paid for the session as Universal was the most expensive studio in Chicago at the time. “Methedrine” is a Bloomfield original. Thanks to Norman Dayron for this information.


Added 5/18/13

Updated listings 



Personnel as above. Michael Bloomfield, v*; Sam Lay, v**; Elvin Bishop, v***; Jerome Arnold, v****.

Poor Richard’s, Chicago, IL; May 12-22, 1966


Natural Ball #1*
All These Blues #1
River’s Invitation #1
Born in Chicago #1
Work Song #1
Medley Intro/Look Over Yonders Wall #1
Just to Be with You
Walking Blues
Midnight Hour****
Walkin’ Through the Park**
Got My Mojo Working #1**
Get Out of My Life Woman #1
Raga (East-West) (incomplete) #1
Got My Mojo Working #2**
Got a Mind to Give Up Living #1
I’m Ready
River’s Invitation #2
Feel It*
All These Blues #2
Shake Your Money Maker
Work Song #2
Get Out of My Life Woman #2
Danger Zone #1***
Got My Mojo Working #3**
River’s Invitation #3
Born in Chicago #2
(Cha Cha in Blues?) (incomplete)
All These Blues #3
Natural Ball* (incomplete)
Work Song #3 (incomplete)
Get Out of My Life Woman #3
Keep Loving Me Baby
Medley Intro/Look Over Yonders Wall #2
Got My Mojo Working #4**
Get Out of My Life Woman #4
Raga (East-West) #2
                                          “East-West Live,” Winner 447
Got a Mind to Give Up Living #2
Danger Zone #2***
You’re So Fine****
Watermelom Man


These titles were recorded by guitarist and technician Dan Erlewine. They come from what appears to be three or four different sets, probably recorded over several days. Erlewine has stated that he and his brother recorded “hours of Butterfield” during this period and that Mark Naftalin has had the tapes restored. Aside from “Raga (East-West) #2” which was released on Winner 447, they remain unissued. A brief review of a show at Poor Richard’s appeared in the June 1 edition of Variety and described the band’s performance of a piece called “The Ragga” (sic) as “outstanding,” and Billboard magazine cited a Butterfield Band stay at the club from the above dates. Jack Walroth, known as "Applejack," sat in with the Butterfield Band on "East-West" one night when they were at Poor Richard's. Thanks to Mark Naftalin and Peggy McVickar for some of this information.



Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Billy Davenport, d.

New York, NY, Chicago, IL and Los Angeles, CA; Recorded summer 1966; released August 1966


Walkin’ Blues                                      “East-West,” Elektra EKS-7315

Get Out of My Life, Woman                                   

I Got A Mind to Give Up Living                                         

All These Blues                                                                 

Work Song                                                            

Mary, Mary                                                           

Two Trains Running                                              

Never Say No                                                       


Come On In                                          Elektra 45609

If I Had My Way                                   Unreleased     

Raga                                                     Unreleased 


“East-West” was edited down for release. It was recorded in Chicago at Chess Studios by Ron Malo, possibly with Norman Dayron’s assistance. “Mary, Mary,” a tune written by Michael Nesmith of the Monkees, and “Come On In,” credited to Butterfield, Bloomfield and Bishop, were produced by the Butterfield Band in an effort to chart a commercial hit. “Mary, Mary” was done in Los Angeles while “Come On In” was recorded in Chicago in September. The former tune originally had jazz pianist and vibes player Victor Feldman playing tympani on it, but he was later edited out. The latter tune was released as a single. The Monkees recorded “Mary, Mary” themselves in July 1966, but it was not released until January 1967. “Raga” was a short version of “East-West,” slightly over two minutes long, that featured soprano voices and violin. Thanks to Mark Naftalin for these details.


Personnel as January 27. Michael Bloomfield, v*; Elvin Bishop, v**; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, v***

Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA; January 31-February 12, 1967


East-West #3                                 “East-West Live,” Winner 447

Tollin’ Bells                                     “Strawberry Jam,” Winner 448            

Come On in This House                                "                  "

Born in Chicago                                            "                  "

Coming Home (Coming Home Baby?)  
Feel So Bad
Drifting Blues
(Driftin’ & Driftin’?)
All My Loving**
Rocks Was My Pillow**
One More Heartache
Tollin’ Bells #2
Here Am I*
In the Midnight Hour***
Love Me or Leave Me**
Tollin’ Bells #3
300 Pounds of Heavenly Joy
Our Love Is Drifiting
Serves Me Right to Suffer
Tore Down**
Nobody Loves Me*

These titles come from tapes owned by Mark Naftalin. Several tunes have been issued on his Winner label but the rest remain unreleased. “Here Am I” is a Ray Charles song featuring Naftalin’s piano and Bloomfield’s vocal. Thanks to Mark Naftalin for this information.


Added 8/12/12

New Interview

Interviews  Drummer, guitarist and singer Bob Jones played with Mike Bloomfield as a member of Bloomfield & Friends for a decade beginning in 1969. Here he shares his memories of Michael and talks about a number of the guitarist's recording sessions.


Added 7/28/12

New Download

The Making of "Like a Rolling Stone"  Originally a radio broadcast heard over WJFF 90.5 FM, this 60-minute program discusses the genesis of Bob Dylan's famous song and Mike Bloomfield's contribution to it. David Dann narrates, with historic interviews, music and numerous takes of the title song.


Added 4/22/12

New Television Listing

The Joe Pyne Show

Probably KTTV Studios, Los Angeles, CA; 1968 or '69(?)

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

Susan Beuhler recalled that Bloomfield appeared on this controversial interview program. She said Michael was worried that he might use the pejorative term "lame" to describe something, thus offending Pyne who had a wooden leg.


Added 1/05/12

New Recollection

Recollections  John Ivey has uncovered some fascinating information about Bloomfield's trip to Denver and Boulder in the summer of 1962. He also learned that a tape exists of Michael performing a few demos for folk and blues singer Judy Roderick.


Added 12/29/11

New Chronology Listing


Michael Bloomfield, g, v.

The Attic, Boulder, CO; Summer 1962

Take This Hammer                                   Private recording

Bedbug Blues

Katie Mae

Walkin' Blues (Thinking About a Friend)

In 2011, an article in The Denver Post listed Bloomfield as one of the performers at this short-lived coffee house. It was a tiny venue seating only 50 people and was located ironically downstairs from a pharmacy, across the street from The Sink where Bloomfield and Fred Glazer played with their ad-hoc rock/R&B band. But the Attic's owner, Joe Loop, reports that Bloomfield never officially performed there; he was too busy with his electric band at the Sink. Blues singer Judy Roderick did play at the Attic, and she asked Michael to record four short blues tunes in the club's kitchen to demonstrate some licks for her. Two of the tunes ("Katie" and "Walkin'") were by Lightnin' Hopkins. Fred Glazer recalled that Bloomfield sat in with “Judy Collins” while they were in Colorado, but Collins was in New York City by 1962; it's very likely he was referring to Roderick. Thanks to John Ivey for this information.


Added 12/04/11

New Recollection

Recollections  Roy Jespersen, a high school friend of Bloomfield's and the drummer in one of his first bands, recalls the show that got Michael in hot water with the school's administration. Included is a never-before-seen photo of that fateful performance.


Added 11/12/11

New Chronology Listings

Paul Butterfield, v, hca; Elvin Bishop, g; Michael Bloomfield, g*; unk. b, d.
Twist party, Ida Noyes Hall, U. of C., Chicago, IL; October 2, 1963

Untitled shuffle blues #1                     
Private recording
Help Me
Crazy About My Baby*
What’d I Say*
19 Years Old*
Untitled shuffle blues #2*
You Got Me Runnin’
Daddy's Getting Old*
Break Song* (fades in)

Here is Paul Butterfield on a late Wednesday night, performing with Elvin Bishop and the two unknown black players – possibly the Wilson brothers whom Norman Dayron believes worked in the Ida Noyes kitchen – the first edition of the Butterfield Blues Band. Aural evidence indicates that a second guitarist joins them in mid-set, and the player is almost certainly Bloomfield. Norman Dayron came up with the name “Buttercups,” much to Paul’s chagrin.


Michael Bloomfield, g; Roy Ruby, classical g.
Norman Dayron's apartment, Hyde Park, IL; 1964(?)

Private recording

Ruby was Bloomfield's closest childhood friend and a budding musician and poet. Michael formally introduces this 15-minute piece, so he and Roy must have viewed it as a serious effort to create a raga. According to Fred Glazer, Ruby was the one who introduced Bloomfield and the rest of their high school friends to Indian music and ragas.

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Brian Friedman, el p; Roy Ruby(?), b; Norm Mayell(?), d.
Mike Shea's studio, Chicago IL; September 3, 1964

43rd Street Blues                  
 Private recording
Rambling Blues
Drifting and Drifting
I'm in the Mood
Five Long Years
I Got Fooled
The First Year I Got Married
I Done Got Wise
Katie Mae
I Got You in the Palm of My Hand

The Group recorded in photographer and film maker Mike Shea's small studio a full three months before they would do so officially for John Hammond. The identity of the bass and drum players is uncertain; the drummer does not sound like Mayell and the bassist may have been Bob Wolff. Mayell, however, confirms that he is indeed on drums. The pianist is most likely Brian Friedman who was described by his contemporaries as a brilliant blues player.

Musselwhite, v, g, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.
Norman Dayron's apartment, Hyde Park, CA; Late 1965

Strange Land #1                     
Private recording
Strange Land #2

Bloomfield helped Musselwhite work out a few tunes for his upcoming “Stand Back” Vanguard sessions. Chris Strachwitz and Norman Dayron can be heard talking in the background.


Michael Bloomfield, g, hca, v; Norman Dayon, v, hca; Betty Dayron, v.
Norman Dayron’s apartment, Hyde Park, IL; May 10, 1966

Raga Improvisation                                  Private recording
Country Blues Medley
Farther Along We'll Understand Why
New River Train
Slow Jimmy Reed Blues
Left My Mama Blues (incomplete)

Bloomfield was visiting his friend Norman Dayron during a Butterfield Band stopover in Chicago to do several weeks at Poor Richard's, and they made this casual recording. The second version of "East-West," released on Winner, comes from this time, and Michael is clearly thinking about Indian music in his first improvisation here.


Michael Bloomfield, g, hca, v
; Pete Welding, g.
Norman Dayron’s apartment, Hyde Park, IL; June 17, 1966

Blues #1                                          
  Private recording
Blues #2 (Blues in C)
Blues #3
Blues #4 (Blues Vamp)
Blues #5 (Slow Blues)
Never Say No
The date for this recording is given as above, though the Butterfield Band was supposedly still at the Cafe Au Go Go. Pete Welding, a music critic and editor at Downbeat magazine, was a close friend of Bloomfield. He proves himself here to be a capable guitar player. German record producer and author Chris Strachwitz (later owner of Arhoolie Records) and Norman Dayron are heard conversing in the background in the latter part of this recording. Norman at one point says something to Michael about going to the studio and Michael doesn't want to go because he's too tired to record. This was right around the time the PBBB recorded "East-West" at Chess, and perhaps the trip to the studio was for that purpose. Interestingly, Michael sings "Never Say No," a Percy Mayfield tune that Elvin Bishop would later do with the band.

Michael Bloomfield, g, p*, v; unknown p.
Probably Chess Studios, Chicago, IL; April 4, 1969
Blues #1                                      
Studio recording
Blues #2 (Slow Blues #1)
Blues #3
Blues #4 (Shuffle Blues)
Blues #5 (Slow Blues #2)
I'm Gonna Love You (breaks down)
No Rest Blues (incomplete)
Young Girl Blues #1*/Conversation
Young Girl Blues #2*
Michael's Lament*
I'm Gonna Love You*
My Old Friends*
Nine Pound Steel*
Melancholy Baby*
Hard Train to Ride/Drown in My Own Tears*

This unusual session was engineered by Norman Dayron who was employed as a producer by Chess Records at the time. The pianist on the first seven titles may be Ira Kamin, or possibly Jon Cramer. Bloomfield plays solo piano on the remaining titles and does a version of “Michael’s Lament” which he’d composed for his solo Columbia album, a project he would start in May. Michael was probably in Chicago in preparation for the following sessions with Muddy Waters.


Michael Bloomfield, g, p, v; others unknown.
Inn of the Beginning, Cotati, CA; July 20, 1972
Unknown titles                                   
Live performance

Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this date.


Michael Bloomfield, g, p, v; others unknown.
Inn of the Beginning, Cotati, CA; November 22, 1972
Unknown titles                                   
Live performance

Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this date.



Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Mark Naftalin, p, v; John Kahn, b; Rick Schlosser, d.

Winterland Ballroom, San Francisco, CA; February 23, 24, 1973


I Ain’t No Doctor (beginning missing)          Private recording
Beautiful Mountain*
Mary Ann
Baby Let Me Kiss You/Sissy Strut
The Image of Me*
Linda Lu
All the Love I Want
Lights Out
Wolverton Mountain*
Poor Kelly Blues
La Bamba


This performance comes from a reunion of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Bloomfield played with & Friends to open the show, and the titles from their set come from the 24th. Butterfield also performed with his working band, Better Days, and Bishop played with his band, the Elvin Bishop Group.


Bob Greenspan, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Mark Naftalin, kybds; others unknown.
Blossom Studios, Mill Valley, CA; 1973(?)

Ready for Your Love                         
Demo recording
Crazy Mama
Sure Do Miss You
Baby What Can I Do (short)
Baby What Can I Do
College Boy (without tag)
College Boy (with tag)

Bob Greenspan, a high school friend of Bloomfield’s, did a demo tape of his original songs with the guitarist that Michael then took to Columbia in an effort to interest the label in signing him.


Michael Bloomfield, g, mand, v; unk. p, b, d*; others if any unknown.
Unknown studio, San Francisco, CA; 1973(?)

They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore            
Demo recording
That's Why Love Is Blind
I'm Sinking No Matter How Hard I Try
Make a Way for Us
The Start of the End
Soaping Miss Dolly Down
Do It with Jerry Lee*
They Don't Make Jews Like Jesus Anymore, alt. take*

These original C&W-style tunes may have been recorded by Bloomfield in an effort to interest other artists in singing and recording them. The recording location and date are unknown, but they were probably done in San Francisco or Mill Valley in the early ’70s.


Michael Bloomfield, g, v**; Mark Naftalin, kybds, v+; Roger Troy, b, v*; George Rains, d
Western Washington State College, Bellingham, WA; January 18, 1974

Linda Lu**                                    Private recording
Sweet Little Angel*
Hard Bargain**
Shadows Told Me All*
Never Be Lonely*
I'll Always Feel the Same+
All the Love I Want**
You Can't Judge a Book*
So Fine+
Drown in My Own Tears*
Mary Ann**
Beautiful Mountain+
Stormy Monday*

The title for “Hard Bargain” was suggested by the lyrics. “So Fine” was first done by Bloomfield in 1966 with the Butterfield band with vocal by Jerome Arnold. The source for this recording was marked “January 12,” so it may actually have come from the Queen Elizabeth Theater show a week earlier.


Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Howard Wales, kybds; Roger Troy, b; George Rains, d.
Inn of the Beginning, Cotati, CA; March 18, 1974

Unknown titles                        
  Live performance

Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this date.


Michael Bloomfield, g, p, v; Mark Naftalin, kybds; unk., melodica; Dave Shorey(?), b; Bob Jones, d, v*.
Bodega, Campbell, CA; 1977(?)

Big Chief from New Orleans               Private recording
You Must Have Jesus
Guitar King
Nobody's Fool
Blue Ghost Blues
19 Years Old
Shake, Rattle & Roll
You Took My Money
Little Sheba
Feel So Bad*
(beginning missing)
The date is uncertain for this show, but the year is probably 1977. A melodica (or harmonica) player can be heard in the background throughout much of the performance.


Michael Bloomfield, g, p, v; chorus including Anna Rizzo, others*.
Boarding House, San Francisco, CA; May 12, 1979.

Money Honey                            
Private recording
Sea of Love
Beat Up Motherferyou
I Can't Be Satisfied
Shining On
Maria Elena
My Home Town
I'm Leaving Baby
Sugar Bee
Prescription for the Blues
John, John on the Battle Ground*
Honky Tonk Angel
Whining Boy
Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone
I'm a Fool for a Cigarette
Come On in My Kitchen

These titles come from two casual sets played by Bloomfield as an opener for Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks. Norman Dayron recorded them, and Bloomfield played guitar along with a recording of himself on piano for “Maria Elena.”



Added 9/18/11

New Recollection

Recollections  Graphic artist Justin Green created this engaging remembrance of Mike Bloomfield for Pulse magazine back in 1992.

New Chronology Listing

Michael Bloomfield, g; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; unknown, p(?); Roy Ruby, b; Roy Jesperson(?), d(?).
Unknown venue, Gary, IN; 1962 or 1963(?)

Unknown titles                                 
Live performance

This is the gig that Roy Ruby recalled in a 1971 interview with Dan McClosky in which he described his misadventures with Big Joe Williams, a tale that was later incorporated into Bloomfield’s “Me & Big Joe.” The show took place in a “road house” in Gary and was broadcast live over WVON on Big Bill Hill’s radio show. Willie Dixon was the concert’s producer and Lightnin’ Hopkins was the headliner, with J.B. Lenoir’s “big band” and Bloomfield’s group opening. Michael recalled that the band included several kids they knew from New Trier, the high school both Ruby and Bloomfield had briefly attended in Winnetka. Big Joe went along as a sort of guardian for the white musicians, and played a few solo numbers as a guest during the show. Roy drove Big Joe to the gig in his mother’s station wagon, and on the return trip, Big Joe, by then dead drunk, took them on an extended detour to visit Joe’s relatives in Gary. Bloomfield escaped the junket by riding home with Willie Dixon. Ruby recalled this escapade as having taken place when they “around 16 years old,” but that seems improbable as Musselwhite didn’t get to know them until 1962 or ’63. It also seems highly unlikely that Dixon would have hired a group of white kids to open for Hopkins and Lenoir, but that is apparently what happened. Thanks to Allen Bloomfield for this information.


Added 8/25/11

New Guitar Lesson

A Bloomfield Guitar Solo  Guitarist Stewart Knight has created a guitar tab for one of Mike Bloomfield's most iconic performances – his solo on the Butterfield Band's "I Got a Mind to Give Up Living."


Added 7/28/11

New Video Clip

Extras  In celebration of Mike Bloomfield's 68th birthday anniversary, we offer this brief clip from a film of the Electric Flag's New York debut at the Bitter End in November 1967. The footage by Ira Schneider was recently discovered and is seen here for the first time.

New Recollection

Recollections  James Smith recalls seeing and talking with Mike Bloomfield in 1976 at The Great Southeast Music Hall in Atlanta.


Noted 6/15/11

Sydney Warner 1933-2011

Josh of Guitars of Pikesville in Pikesville, MD, sends the sad news that Sid Warner, guitarist, band leader and former bass player with Mike Bloomfield's first band, The Group, passed away on June 13. Sid, or Sydney, was a pioneer blues and R&B guitarist from South Central Los Angeles who worked with saxophonists Big Jay McNeely and Joe Houston in the late '40s and early '50s. In 1963 he met Bloomfield while living in Chicago and was soon playing bass in Michael's band. He participated in Bloomfield's first recording session with John Hammond, and was said to have shown Mike a number of "tricks" on guitar. Sydney went on to lead his own bands after leaving Chicago and was only recently getting back into playing. Read an interview with him here. Information on his memorial can be found here.


Added 5/07/11

New Articles Listings

Articles & Books

"A Sunburst Mystery." John Picard, Vintage Guitar Magazine; 2 pages; June 2011.

A recounting of the loss of Bloomfield's fabled 1959 Les Paul, tracing its history through several Canadian owners. Five photos, including three of Bloomfield and one of the guitar in the mid-'80s.


Added 4/29/11

New Chronology Listing

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Mark Naftalin, p; others(?) unknown.
Tulagi’s, Boulder, CO; November 16, 17, 1972

Unknown titles                                
Live performances

Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this listing. It was reported to him by a friend who was at one of the shows.


Added 4/16/11

New Chronology Listing

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Bob Jones, d; others unknown.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Civic Center, San Francisco, CA; July 10, 1976

Unknown titles                           
Live performance

This was a gala celebration put on by the San Francisco Art Dealers Association, and Bloomfield and Norman Dayron decided to call the band his "fabulous orchestra" to poke fun at the city's art elite. Thanks to Bob Jones and Peggy McVickar for this listing.


Added 4/14/11

New Recollection

Recollections  Dan Vineyard recalls seeing Mike Bloomfield perform with both the Butterfield Band and the Electric Flag.


Added 3/30/11

New Video

Videos 3  Michael Bloomfield: An American Guitarist is pleased to offer "The Michael Bloomfield Story, Part 3" and "Epilogue," concluding its video biography of Bloomfield's remarkable career. The film was produced especially for this website by site manager David Dann, and by filmmakers Nick Lerman and Alex Wernquest.


New Chronology Listings



Personal probably as January 23.
New Orleans House, Berkeley, CA; January 30, 31, 1970


Unknown titles                                    Live performances


Big Joe Williams was also on the bill for these shows. Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this listing and the ones below.



Personnel probably similar to January 23.

Keystone Korner, San Francisco, CA; February 21, 1970


Unknown titles                                    Live performance



Personnel probably similar to January 23.

Keystone Korner, San Francisco, CA; February 28, 1970


Unknown titles                                    Live performance


Added 3/14/11

New Recollection

Recollections  Michael Hubbert recalls seeing Mike Bloomfield with the Butterfield Blues Band, and at Monterey and the Cheetah with the Electric Flag.


Added 2/24/11

New Video

Michael Bloomfield's Guitars  In this brief video excerpt, guitar expert and dealer George Gruhn speaks about Bloomfield's effect on the collectible guitar market. The clip comes from "How to Buy a Vintage Guitar" with Happy Traum, a Homespun Tapes production. For more information, go to Thanks to Bill Keenom for finding this video.


Added 2/21/11

New Chronology Listing


Michael Bloomfield, g; Nick Gravenites, v, g; Mark Naftalin, p; Roger Troy, b, v; Bob Jones, d, v.
Starwood, Santa Monica, CA; July 21, 1977

Brown Paper Bag                            Live performance


Other unknown titles


Thanks to Peggy McVickar for finding this show.


Added 1/14/11

New Chronology Listing

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; probably Barry Goldberg, kybds; Roger Troy, b, v; Buddy Miles, d, v; Nick Gravenites, v, g; Tommy Bray, tp; Steve Lawrence, ts; Kenny Walther, tbn.
Toronto Island Blues Festival, Toronto, ON; July 13 or 14, 1974

Performance cancelled?

Billboard magazine reported that the Flag was scheduled to appear at this festival, but a poster from the event does not list the band.


Added 11/07/10

New Recollection

Recollections  Tom Ellis recalls a late-night conversation with Michael Bloomfield, an incident chronicled in Wolkin & Keenom's "If You Love These Blues."


Added 10/22/10

New Chronology Listings

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Ira Kamin, kybds; others unknown.
Unknown studio, Chicago, IL; Late 1968

Unknown titles                           
Demo session

Ira Kamin told Bill Keenom that Bloomfield called him when he was in Chicago to record some original songs for a demo. Kamin recalled the recording as “pretty good, but it was never released.” The tunes may have been some of those which Michael later recorded for his Columbia record, “It’s Not Killing Me.”


Michael Bloomfield, g, v; David Shorey, acc.
Reed St., Mill Valley, CA; probably summer 1978

Auld Lang Syne                           
Recording for Takoma
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Other unknown titles

Dave Shorey told Bill Keenom that he and Bloomfield recorded a number of traditional tunes at Reed St. for a proposed Takoma Christmas record. The label eventually decided not to do the album and instead gave Michael money for sessions that were released as “Michael Bloomfield.”


Added 10/11/10

New Chronology Listings


Personnel as above.

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA; January 28, 1966


Unknown titles                                   Live performance

A photo and caption in Stanford's student newspaper announced the Butterfield Band's appearance as part of the university's Chicago blues bands series, noting that the group would "demonstrate its inimitable style in a Friday afternoon concert." Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this information.


Kooper, org, p, v; Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.

Cafe Au Go Go, New York, NY; November 26-December 1, 1968

Unknown titles                            Live performance

A promotion for the Cafe Au Go Go's "Blues Bag" week mentioned Bloomfield and Kooper as participants, but it is uncertain which day (or days) they appeared and it is unlikely that they did any sort of "Super Session"-style performance. Other performers during the week included Danny Kalb, Richie Havens, Dave Van Ronk, the Ultimate Spinach, Big Joe Williams and the Butterfield Blues Band. Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this information.

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.
Gymnasium, College Park High School, Pleasant Hill, CA; November 6, 1969

Unknown titles                                   
Live performance

This performance was mentioned by columnist Ralph Gleason in his San Francisco Chronicle column of November 5. Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for this information.


Added 10/06/10

New Video

Videos 3  Michael Bloomfield: An American Guitarist is pleased to offer "The Michael Bloomfield Story, Part 2," completing its video biography of Bloomfield's early career. The film was produced especially for this website by filmmakers Nick Lerman and Alex Wernquest, and by site manager David Dann.


Added 9/22/10

New Chronology Listings

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Barry Goldberg, org; Harvey Brooks, b; Buddy Miles, d, perc; Marcus Doubleday, tp; Peter Strazza, ts; Nick Gravenites, v, g, conga.
Whisky A Go Go, Los Angeles, CA; mid-April 1967

Unknown titles                             Live performance

Producer Chet Helms visited the Flag at the Castle where they were staying in the Hollywood Hills during the recording of the soundtrack for “The Trip.” He recalled participating in a jam session at the mansion right after the Flag had “played a show at the Whisky A Go Go.” It’s hard to believe that the band would have been able to perform a full set of music at this early date, having no name and no repertory, but it’s possible they could have sat in with another band at the Whisky. Chronologies for the club have no performers listed for the second and third weeks of April 1967, so if Bloomfield and company did perform at the Whisky, it was likely to have been then. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.

Michael Bloomfield, p; Jerry Garcia, g, v; Carlos Santana, g; Jack Casady, b; others unknown.
Fillmore Auditorium, San Francisco, CA; January 22 or 29, 1967

Unknown titles                              Live performance

Carlos Santana told author Bill Keenom that he sat in on a Fillmore jam session one Sunday afternoon when he was still working as a dishwasher. The occasion was a Paul Butterfield Blues Band Band gig (Charles Lloyd's group was also on the bill). Butterfield was present but did not play, “having been dosed with something” according to Santana. Carlos played Bloomfield’s guitar, and on the strength of his performance was offered a slot by Bill Graham as an opener for an upcoming show (Santana recalled that it was to be for the Steve Miller Band). But he was diagnosed with tuberculosis a week later and was hospitalized until June, so he was unable to take Graham up on his offer until June 16 when the Santana Blues Band opened for the Who.
Thanks to Bruno Ceriotti for some of this information.


Added 8/31/10

New Interview

Interviews  Sidney Warner played bass in the group Bloomfield organized that played at Big John's and recorded for John Hammond. Here Sid talks about his early days in blues and pop music in Los Angeles and his experiences with Michael in Chicago.


Added 7/28/10

New Video

Videos 3  Michael Bloomfield: An American Guitarist is pleased to offer Part 1 of a video biography of Bloomfield produced especially for this website by filmmakers Nick Lerman and Alex Wernquest.

New Recollection & Album Release

Recollections  Drummer, singer and guitarist Bob Jones performed with Michael Bloomfield during the final decade of Bloomfield's career. Now Bob has released a tribute CD of material he played with Michael as well as a number of originals in the Bloomfield style.


Added 7/21/10

New Recollection

Recollections  A member of the audience recalls the night when Michael Bloomfield & Friends played the Bottom Line in New York and Paul Butterfield sat in.


Added 7/11/10

New Recollection

Recollections  Through a some diligent archive digging, John Ivey has uncovered when it was that he saw Bloomfield perform with his Count Talent and the Originals group. He has also discovered a brief interview with Michael that offers some insight into the guitarist's disregard for his former superstar status.


Added 6/11/10

New Film Listing

Short performance film (1967)

Filmed by Ira Schneider

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield and the Electric Flag

This performance footage, originally thought to have been shot of the Electric Flag in “small church or meeting house” in Woodstock, NY, was filmed by artist and filmmaker Ira Schneider. The 16mm color footage actually is of the band's New York debut at the Bitter End and captures about seven minutes of them in the dressing room and performing on what may have been their opening night. Albert Grossman is also briefly seen, but Marcus Doubleday appears not to be present, replaced by another trumpet player. The band’s manager permitted Schneider to film the group as long as he didn’t record sound and, as a result, the footage is silent. Thanks to Ira Schneider for some of this information.


Added 5/22/10

New Chronology Listing

Michael Bloomfield, g, p, v; Bill Rhoades, hca; Rod Kesey, g; Chris Porter, b; Mike Martin, d.
WOW Hall, Eugene, OR; September 3, 1976

Unknown titles                                
Live performance

This sold-out, two-set performance was billed as a solo appearance and Bloomfield did play a portion of the show on unaccompanied guitar and piano. But he was also backed up by the Bill Rhoades Blues Band, a local group brought in to play behind Michael and the concert's other featured player, Sonny Rhoades. Thanks to Peggy McVickar and Bill Rhoades for this information.

Added 4/18/10

New Chronology Listing

*Jam Session
David Crosby, v, g; Eric Clapton, Michael Bloomfield, g; Jack Bruce, b; Mitch Mitchell, d.
Private loft, New York, NY; February 20, 1968(?)

Unknown titles                                  Jam session

Singer Buzzy Linhart recalled this session as occurring sometime in 1967 or ’68. As Clapton and Bruce were in town for the start of Cream’s second American tour, the Experience was on a one-day New York layover before going to Philadelphia, and Bloomfield was working with James Cotton, all on February 20, that seems like a likely date for this momentous meeting. Linhart stated that the loft was a “spot where visiting bands scored from” and was consequently the site of numerous impromptu music sessions.

Added 4/02/10

New Chronology Listings


Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g; Elvin Bishop, g; Mark Naftalin, org; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d, v.

New York, NY; September 9, other dates, 1965


Shake Your Money Maker**           “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,” Elektra K-294

Born in Chicago                                                        

Blues with a Feeling                                            

Thank You Mr. Poobah**                                              

I Got My Mojo Working (SL, v)                                

Mellow Down Easy*                                        

Last Night*                                                      


Our Love Is Drifting**                                            

Mystery Train                                                

Look Over Yonder’s Wall*

Other unknown titles


Mark Naftalin, who played piano occasionally with Butterfield in Chicago at University of Chicago twist parties, was added to the band during this session. Naftalin does not play on these tunes (*); Bishop does not play on these (**). According to Paul Rothchild, the first Butterfield album, consisting of titles recorded during the winter of 1964-65 (see listings there), was scrapped right before it was scheduled to ship because the producers felt they hadn’t really captured the essence of the band. In his liner notes for the above CD, Rothchild seems to suggest that other titles from this session remain unissued, and an ad from the September 1965 edition of “Sing Out” magazine proves this to be the case. The ad – for the original version of Elektra EKS-7294 – lists the following titles and personnel:

Butterfield, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g, org, p; Elvin Bishop, g; Jerome Arnold, b; Sam Lay, d.
New York, NY; Winter 1964

Born in Chicago
(1)(2)                           Elektra EKS-7294 (withdrawn)
Hate to See You Go
Look Over Yonder’s Wall
Lovin’ Cup
Black Night
Off the Wall
Just to Be with You
Mystery Train
Rock Me
Good Mornin’ Little School Girl
Blues for Ruth
I’m Goin’ Home
One More Mile

The “Sing Out” ad also has a picture of an album cover which is the same design as the cover for the record that was actually released. Most of the titles from this original release have been issued on (1)”The Original Lost Elektra Sessions,” Elektra/Rhino R273505; (2) “What’s Shakin’,” Elektra EKS 74002; or (3) the released version of “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band,” Elektra EKS-7294. The remaining three titles have never been issued.

Michael Bloomfield, g; Muddy Waters, Pop Staples, v, g; Willie Dixon, b; plus Booker T & the MGs.
Grant Park, Chicago, IL; Summer 1970(?)

Unknown titles                                      Live performance

Author George Manno recalled that this jam session took place as part of a benefit concert for Jesse Jackson's Operation Breadbasket. According to Manno, Bloomfield “danced around and played his ass off.”


Added 3/19/10

New Chronology Listing

Sylvester, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Ben Sidran, kbds; others unknown.
A&M studios, San Francisco, CA; Winter 1971/72

Demo recording

Other unknown titles

Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner produced this demo session for A&M with soul and blues singer Sylvester, using Bloomfield on guitar. They did many takes to "Superstar" with Bloomfield "never playing the same thing twice," according to Wenner. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.


Added 3/5/10

New Recollection

Recollections  David Gedalecia knew Paul Butterfield and Elvin Bishop at the University of Chicago and met Mike Bloomfield in New York City. He recalls attending one of the Butterfield Band's first recording sessions for Elektra in 1965.


Added 2/23/10

New Recollection

Recollections  Frank Richards saw Mike Bloomfield's last performance with the Butterfield Band.


Added 2/16/10

New Download

Mike Bloomfield's Lost Masterpiece  An audio essay on Bloomfield's renditions of "Maria Elena."


Added 2/08/10

New Recollection

Recollections  Douglas Green recalls seeing the Butterfield Band and the Electric Flag in New York City.


Added 1/30/10

New Chronology Listings


Personnel as July 19.
Civic Auditorium, Chicago, IL; July 25, 1974

Unknown titles                                       Live performance

Michael Bloomfield, g, p(?), v; others unknown.
West High Auditorium, West High School, Anchorage, AK; September 17, 1976

Unknown titles                                       Live performance

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; probably Ira Kamin, kybds; David Shorey, b; Bob Jones, d.
Old Waldorf, San Francisco, CA; June 24, 1978

Unknown titles                                   
Live performance

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; unknown, p; probably David Shorey, b; Bob Jones, d, v.
Unknown venue, Rouyn, QC; January 19, 20, 1979

Unknown titles                                       Live performances

Personnel as above.
Unknown venue, Quebec City, QC; January 21, 1979

Unknown titles                                       Live performance

Personnel as above.
Cafe Campus, Montréal, QC; January 22, 1979

Unknown titles                                       Live performance

This is the brief Canadian tour that Bloomfield complained bitterly about in his April 1979 interview in Guitar Player magazine. “It was hellacious,” was his observation, noting that “Nothing worked ... everything was frozen solid.”

Michael Bloomfield, g, p, v; Woody Harris, g; others, if any, unknown.
The Main Point, Bryn Mawr, PA; July 12, 1980

Unknown titles                                     Live performance


Added 1/12/10

New Recollection

Recollections  Paul Petraitis describes seeing Bloomfield perform with Muddy Waters at the "Fathers and Sons" concert in 1969.


Added 1/08/10

Additions to the Guitar Page

The Legendary '59

Michael had heard guitarist Eric Clapton's work with Powerhouse, the Yardbirds and with John Mayall, and was eager to meet the British guitarist when the Butterfield Band arrived in London at the end of October 1966. He was particularly taken with Eric's sound on Mayall's "Bluesbreakers" LP, a record which had just been released that July. Clapton had recorded it with a newly-purchased Gibson Les Paul Standard, a model that Gibson had discontinued in 1960 because of poor sales. It differed from the more common Goldtop and Custom models in that it had been given the more traditional orange-and-brown color scheme – a look that became known as the "Sunburst."

Michael knew that model Les Paul well because John Sebastian of the Loving Spoonful had one and Bloomfield had frequently played it when the Butterfield Band was in New York in 1965. The Spoonful used rehearsal space at the Albert Hotel and Butterfield and company roomed there when they were in town, so the two musicians saw each other frequently. Sebastian was also a close friend of producer Paul Rothchild's and was often in the studio at Elektra when Butterfield was recording. So Bloomfield had ample opportunity to try the Sunburst and he very much wanted one for himself.

The Later Years

In mid-'70s, Bloomfield occasionally used a hollow-body Gibson ES-355 – B.B. King's "Lucille" – for recording sessions and gigs. It's not known if he actually owned the guitar or if it was a loaner from a repair shop while his Tele or Sunburst were being worked on. He also bought a Fender Stratocaster in the mid-'70s, and began using that for his electric gigs almost exclusively after 1975. For some reason, Michael was dissatisfied with its finish and repainted it black himself using modeler's spray paint. The late bassist and author Dave Shorey told Bill Keenom that the Strat was actually a rare 12-string body combined with a standard neck. This was the guitar that Bloomfield used in 1976 and '77 when he frequently performed at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco. He also briefly used a Gibson Marauder, a double-cutaway model that Gibson gave him in 1976. He used one during a performance at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, CA, and at his appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival in New York. The Gibson company had contracted with Bloomfield around that time to have him endorse Epiphone guitars, and in exchange for his doing radio ads and symposiums for them, they gave him a number of Gibson instruments including the Marauder and a 1976 Gibson Les Paul Custom. Michael reportedly disliked the Custom and rarely if ever used it on gigs, even though he is pictured with it on the cover of the April 1979 edition of Guitar Player magazine.


Added 1/07/10

New Chronology Listings


Personnel as above
Cafe Au Go-Go,
New York, NY; August 25-30, September 1-4,  1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performance

Oscar Brown Jr. shared the bill with the Butterfield Band for these dates.

Personnel as above
Cafe Au Go-Go,
New York, NY; September 6-12,  1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performance

John Hammond shared the bill with the Butterfield Band for these dates. Thanks to Peggy McVickar for these listings.


Added 1/04/10

New Chronology Listings


Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Nick Gravenites, g, v; others unknown.
Student Union, U. of Wisconsin, Ann Arbor, MI; 1963(?)

Unknown titles
                                    Live performance

Guitarist and technician Dan Erlewine recalled seeing Bloomfield and his band as early as 1963 while Dan was in college. He believes Gravenites was also in the band.

*The Group

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Michael Johnson, g; Brian Friedman, p; Charlie Musselwhite, hca; Bob Wolff or Sid Warner, b; Norm Mayell, d.

Chess Studios, Chicago, IL; Winter 1964

Unknown titles
                         Studio session

Norm Mayell told Bill Keenom that he could remember The Group doing a session with Norman Dayron at Chess Studios where they recorded "three or four tunes." Years later he contacted Dayron and tried unsuccessfully to get a copy of the date.


Personnel as above.
Unknown folk festival, unknown town, IL; Winter 1964


Unknown titles                          Live performance

Charlie Musselwhite recalled to Bill Keenom that The Group sat in at a folk festival in one of Chicago's western suburbs just before they broke up.


Added 12/13/09

New Articles Listings

Articles & Books

"First Annual Monterey Pop Festival." Barry Hansen, Downbeat magazine; 4 pages; August 1967.

A review of the Monterey Pop Festival, with several paragraphs about the Electric Flag.

"Mocha Blues: Butterfield and Big Brother." Ken Greenberg, Crawdaddy magazine; 6 pages; October 1968.

An overview of the music and albums of the Butterfield and Joplin bands. Five photos, one showing Bloomfield at the Cafe Au Go-Go.

"Jokin' & Smokin' at the Bottom." Unknown author, Crawdaddy magazine; 1 page; April 1975.

A brief review of Bloomfield's performance at the Bottom Line, with Paul Butterfield sitting in. One photo of the group.


Added 11/18/09

New Essay

How I Met Michael Bloomfield  Guitarist Paul Lerman recounts his days spent with Bloomfield in Philadelphia and Lagunitas, CA.

New Recollection

Recollections  A fan recalls seeing Bloomfield at the Catalyst Club just weeks before his death.

New Chronology Listings

Lucas, v, hca; Michael Bloomfield, g.
Unknown college, unknown location; Summer(?) 1963
Unknown titles                                  
Live performance
George Mitchell reported that Bloomfield accompanied Lucas during a college gig, possibly in the summer of 1963. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.


Personnel as above
Mooncusser Cafe, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard, MA; Early fall 1965

Unknown titles                                   
 Live performances

Geoff Muldaur recalled that the Butterfield Band performed at this venue not long after its appearance at Newport. They were so loud that the mirror on the wall in the bar next door fell and smashed on the floor. Thanks to Bill Keenom for this information.


Personnel as February 4.

Pauley Ballroom, Berkeley, CA; Spring(?) 1966


Unknown titles                                   Live performance


Guitarist Barry Melton recalled that he and Country Joe McDonald first saw the Butterfield Band perform at this venue in "late 1965 or early 1966." The earliest date, however, is probably spring 1966. If it occurred later, it would almost certainly have to have been a Bill Graham show.


Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.
Keystone Korner, San Francisco, CA; December 5-7, 1969

Unknown titles                                  
Live performance

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Nick Gravenites, v; Ira Kamin, kybds; John Kahn, b; Bob Jones, d; others unknown.
Unknown venue, Ventura, CA; 1970(?)
Unknown titles                                     Live performance

Personnel as above.
University of Texas, Austin, TX; 1970(?)
Unknown titles                                     Live performance

These two gigs were described to Bill Keenom by road manager Phil Brown as occurring sometime in 1970. According to Brown, Albert Grossman convinced Bloomfield to call the bad the Electric Flag in order to get more money for the shows. The Austin performance was late due to Bloomfield missing his flight and the band’s connecting flight being cancelled. Skip Prokop’s band (presumably Lighthouse) opened for them and played for several hours while & Friends struggled to get to Austin.

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.
Keystone Korner, San Francisco, CA; March 12, 13, 1971

Unknown titles                                  
Live performance

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown.
Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; August 22, 23, 1972

Though Bloomfield showed up on at least one of these nights, he never actually performed. Thanks to Paul Lerman for this information.


Added 11/02/09

New Download

Andy Warhol's Bad  A compilation of the music Bloomfield provided for this 1977 Warhol production.


Added 10/15/09

New Chronology Listings

Prestopino, v, bjo; Michael Bloomfield, p; others unknown.
The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; Spring 1963

Unknown titles
                                    Live performances

A fan recalled seeing Bloomfield play piano with Paul Prestopino’s bluegrass group when Michael was producing shows at the Fickle Pickle. Prestopino later went on to join the Chad Mitchell Trio.



Gray, g, v; Michael Bloomfield, g; Jim Brewer, g; Chicago Slim, hca.

Maxwell Street market, Chicago, IL; Summer 1964(?)


Unknown titles                                    Live performance


This Maxwell Street session was recalled by folk singer and guitarist Art Thieme. Gray was a street singer on Maxwell Street who played with a unique bottleneck style. The date is unclear and the jam may have occurred in 1963 or earlier.


Added 10/05/09

New Page

Michael Bloomfield at Newport 


Added 9/30/09

New Recollections

Recollections  Two new contributions of fans' memories of Mike Bloomfield.

New Articles Listings

Articles & Books

"Pop Eye" Richard Goldstein, Village Vanguard; 4 pages; June 29, 1967.

A review of the Monterey Pop Festival with several paragraphs about the Electric Flag and Bloomfield.

"Performances" Gary von Tersch, Rolling Stone; 1 page; April 1973.

A second review of the Butterfield Band reunion at the Winterland Ballroom.

"WOW Artists Headed by Guitarist and Singer" Unknown author, Eugene Register-Guard; 1 page; September 2, 1976.

A preview of Bloomfield's solo appearance in Eugene, OR.

"Chet Helms' Hippie Reunion" Michael Branton, Rolling Stone; 1 page; November 16, 1978.

A review of the Helms' "Tribal Stomp" concert and the Butterfield Band reunion at the Greek Theatre. One photo of the Butterfield alumni.

Added 9/05/09

New Chronology Listings


Personnel as February 4.
Recreation Hall, Penn State University, State College, PA; April 24, 1966

Unknown titles                                       Live performance

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; others unknown
Pete’s Tavern, Bellingham, WA; November 16,1980

Unknown titles                                  
Live performance

This two-set show was billed as Bloomfield’s “only Northwest appearance.” Thanks to Peggy McVickar for this listing.

Added 8/26/09

New Chronology Listing

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Mark Naftalin, p; others unknown.
Golden Bear, Huntington Beach, CA; May 14-16, 1971

Unknown titles                                   
Live performances

Naftalin’s name was mispelled as “Mike Naftalin” in advertisements for this show. Someone named “Anderson” was also included in the ads, but it is unclear whether he performed with Bloomfield and Naftalin. Thanks to Mark Skobac for this information.


Added 8/18/09

New Download

The Best of the Boots  A sampler of Bloomfield performing live with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band,
the Electric Flag and Mike Bloomfield & Friends


Added 8/10/09

New Video

Videos 1  A brief clip of the Electric Flag performing "Over-lovin' You" at Monterey

New Chronology Listings

Personnel probably as above.
Joshua Ives Celebration, Philip Menn Arena, Austin, TX; February 14-16, 1976

Unknown titles                                  Live performances

This three-day festival featured Bloomfield as a headliner along with Booker T., Link Wray, the Rowan Brothers and nearly 40 local bands. Michael probably played on Saturday, February 15.


Added 8/09/09

New MB Extras

"The Trip" radio spot
 Audio clip

Norman Dayron on Monterey  Audio clip

The Flag at the Supermarket  Audio clip

The Flag at the Fillmore  Audio clip

The Flag at the Carousel  Audio clip

The Flag at the Santa Clara Pop Festival  Audio clip


Added 7/28/09

New Pages

Bloomfield Biography

Bloomfield in Video & Film

Bloomfield in Photos

New Chronology Listings


Michael Bloomfield, g; Paul Zupec(?), org; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Danny Woods, d.
Numerous small clubs, private parties in Glencoe, Highland Lake, other North Shore towns in IL; 1959-60

Unknown titles                                   Live performance

Horace Cathcart reports that he and Bloomfield had a quartet that played mostly folk and blues around the North Shore area for several years. One club they performed at was the Hideout in Highwood; they also played dances at Michael's high school, New Trier in Winnetka.

Michael Bloomfield, g; Horace Cathcart, b; Dean DeWolf(?), v, g.
The Fickle Pickle, Chicago, IL; Spring 1963

Unknown titles                                    Live performances

Horace Cathcart recalled that he and Bloomfield began performing as a duo at the Fickle Pickle, and later were joined by Big Joe Williams, Sunnyland Slim, Washboard Sam and – on one occasion – Muddy Waters. Cathcart also says that Dean DeWolf was their regular “featured artist”, though Bloomfield’s manager from 1964-’65, Joel Harlib, does not believe that DeWolf and Michael ever played together.

Williams, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Sunnyland Slim, v, p; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; Washboard Sam, wshbd.
Parsons College, Fairfield, IA; Spring 1963

Unknown titles                                      Live performances

Bloomfield played two dates with Big Joe, Sunnyland and Washboard Sam at this college one weekend in spring 1963. Thanks to Horace Cathcart for this information.

B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, v, g; Michael Bloomfield, g; Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; others unknown.
Ashland Auditorium, Chicago, IL; July 7, 1963

Unknown titles
                                    Live performance

Originally scheduled for the Regal Theater, this three-night show – billed as the “Battle of the Kings” – was moved to the Ashland because of overflow crowds. Bloomfield was invited to sit in for the show’s closing performance on Sunday night. He took Cathcart with him and played for several hours during the final“jam.”



DeWolf, v, g(?); Michael Bloomfield, g(?); others unknown.

Chicago IL; 1964


Unknown titles                       Demo recording


Some sources report that this was the recording that got John Hammond Sr. interested in Bloomfield. This seems doubtful as Joel Harlib, Bloomfield’s agent at the time, reports that he took a tape made from Norman Dayron recordings of Bloomfield to Hammond and that recording caused the producer to arrange the following session. The confusion may stem from the fact that Harlib also managed DeWolf. Bloomfield may not have known DeWolf and probably did not play on the singer’s demo. Thanks to Joel Harlib for this information.


DeWolf, v, g(?); Michael Bloomfield, g(?); Horace “Ace” Cathcart, b; others unknown.
Chicago, IL; 1964(?)

Unknown titles                       
Argo recording

DeWolf later recorded one album for Chess’ Argo label called “Folk Swinger.” Horace Cathcart reports that he played on the record and that, contrary to Harlib's recollection, Bloomfield was indeed the LP’s guitarist. The titles on this record and on the demo cited above may actually be the same session.


Personnel as November 17; omit Goldberg, add Michael Fonfara, org(?).

Bitter End(?), New York, NY; November 24-December 2, 1967


My Baby Wants to Test Me          Live performances
You Don’t Realize
Killing Floor
Groovin’ Is Easy

Other unknown titles

These four tunes have been issued by various labels as “The Best of the Electric Flag,” “Small Town Blues” or “The Electric Flag Live.” They appear to be sound board recordings which some sources attribute to the Flag’s May 18 Santa Clara Pop Festival appearance. Aural evidence indicates, however, that they originate from a club appearance. A notation on a copy of the tape says "Electric Flag NYC 1967," suggesting that these four tunes may very well come from the band's New York debut at the Bitter End. “My Baby” may be a topical blues by Bloomfield, describing the state of his marriage in late 1967. “Killing Floor” is mislabeled as “I Should Have Left Her” on some issues.
 A New York Times ad for the November 17 Village Theater performance billed the show as the Electric Flag’s “first New York appearance.” A New York Times review of the November 24 Bitter End performance describes it as the band’s “New York debut.” That the Flag would fly to New York, then back to California, only to return to New York two days later over a one-week period in mid-November seems unlikely, but these dates and locations are confirmed in published advertisements. The original starting date for the Bitter End appearance was given as November 22, but the Cheetah gig must have necessitated the change to November 24. Barry Goldberg had probably left the Flag by December 1967; on April 25, 1968 he appeared at the Whisky A Go Go with his new group, the Barry Goldberg Reunion. He might, however, have left before the band’s Bitter End gig, replaced by Michael Fonfara, future Rhinoceros keyboard player. Fonfara was a Canadian friend of Buddy Miles and had been performing with David Clayton Thomas at the Scene in New York in October. Herbie Rich became the group’s permanent organist after Fonfara was booted, reportedly by Albert Grossman, after being busted for drugs at the Tropicana Hotel in L.A. in mid-December. Thanks to Nick Warburton for this information.

Michael Bloomfield, g, v; Nick Gravenites, g, v; others unknown.
Redwood Acres, Eureka, CA; October 31, 1975

Unknown titles
                             Live performance

This concert was billed as “The Great Pumpkin.”


© 2010 David Dann