Michael Bloomfield
in Film & Television

AN INDEX OF FILM, TV AND
RADIO APPEARANCES, 1964-1981

By David Dann

 

THE FOLLOWING LIST of films, TV shows and radio broadcasts has been compiled as a database for further research into the life and career of Michael Bloomfield. Though known to exist, many of the entries are currently unavailable. Additions to these listings would be greatly appreciated. Please e-mail them to David Dann at bloomsdisco@yahoo.com.


Film

"And This Is Free" (1964)

Directed by Mike Shea

Production assistance from Michael Bloomfield and Norman Dayron 

Bloomfield helped news photographer Shea with the music portion of this groundbreaking documentary filmed in September 1964 about the famous Maxwell St. market in Chicago. Scenes of blues artists Johnny Young and Robert Nighthawk and gospel player Jim Brewer in performance were coordinated by Bloomfield and Norman Dayron. While Dayron is seen in a doorway in the gospel segment, Bloomfield does not appear in the film. 

"Festival" (1967)

Directed by Murray Lerner

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This remarkable documentary about the Newport Folk Festival was filmed at the three festivals between 1963 and 1966. The 1965 segment features short clips of Bloomfield performing as a member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and as a part of the ad-hoc group that accompanied Bob Dylan when the folksinger ”went electric.” Michael also is briefly interviewed discussing Son House and Paul Butterfield and their relationship to the blues. 

"No Direction Home" (2005)

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

Scorsese’s documentary about Bob Dylan follows the folksinger’s evolution from 1961 to 1966. Bloomfield appears in scenes of Dylan’s electric set at Newport in 1965 taken from Murray Lerner’s “Festival” plus additional Lerner footage (much of which would be incorporated into Lerner’s “The Other Side of the Mirror”). 

"The Other Side of the Mirror" (2007)

Directed by Murray Lerner

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

 A documentary on Bob Dylan’s performances at the Newport Folk Festival from 1963-65, this film includes used and unused footage from Lerner’s earlier release, “Festival.” Bloomfield appears in the familiar “Festival” scenes and in “Like a Rolling Stone,” an additional sequence from Dylan’s electric set.   

"The Trip" (1967)

Directed by Roger Corman

Music by Michael Bloomfield and the Electric Flag (An American Music Band)

Released in August 1967, this feature-length film concerns the misadventures of a TV commercial director as he takes his first acid trip. Starring Peter Fonda and written by Jack Nicholson, “The Trip” is a typical, cheaply made Corman production involving a lurid subject. Bloomfield and his new band, the Electric Flag, were brought in by Fonda after the original soundtrack group, Gram Parson’s International Submarine Band, was nixed by Corman. The Flag provides an extensive soundtrack, employing a pastiche of musical styles ranging from pop to blues, rock, jazz and experimental. Bloomfield also incorporates Moog synthesizer and electric violin into the music, thus providing one of the first recorded examples of those two new instruments. 

"Monterey Pop" outtakes (1968)

Directed by D.A. Pennebaker

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield 

Pennebaker’s documentary about the watershed 1967 Monterey Pop Festival captures numerous soon-to-be-famous ‘60s-era bands in performance during the Summer of Love. The crowd at the festival is just as much a part of the film as the music, and Bloomfield’s Electric Flag, making its debut as a performing group, was one of the most highly anticipated of the festival’s bands. Pennebaker, however, decided to cut the Flag’s performance from the original release of the film, and Bloomfield’s searing performance on “Wine” is only available as an outtake. Michael is also briefly seen in the original edit of the released film listening to Ravi Shankar and applauding the Butterfield Band's performance. Additional footage of the Flag onstage is known to exist and has circulated among collectors, but is extremely rare.

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.

"San Francisco" (1968)

Unknown director

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield and the Electric Flag

This short film features shots of the Electric Flag onstage, probably at the Fillmore Auditorium in 1967. The music heard is not by the Flag but by is a Syd Barrett-era performance of "Interstellar Overdrive" by Pink Floyd. Thanks to Marc Skobac for this information.

"Live at the Cafe Au Go-Go" (1968)

Unknown director

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This film, subtitled "The Blues," features the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in performance at the venue in the title in November 1967. Bloomfield, who was in New York with the Electric Flag appearing at the Bitter End at the time, sat in with the Butterfield Band during the filming. He is seen only briefly, onstage plugging his guitar in and later soloing. More footage showing Michael in complete performances with the band reportedly exists.

"You Are What You Eat" (1968)

Directed by Barry Feinstein, John Simon

Music by Michael Bloomfield and the Electric Flag, others 

A collage of frolics and revels from the Summer of Love that includes numerous Haight-Ashbury personalities and other ‘60s icons, this film stands today as a curiosity from a bygone era. Bloomfield and the Flag are joined by John Simon on Moog synthesizer to perform a “freakout” jam on the soundtrack at the end of the film. Vito’s dancers writhe on screen during that segment while Frank Zappa and the Mothers perform on stage at the Fillmore Auditorium with the Flag’s music overdubbed. There is some speculation that the Flag’s contribution here actually is an outtake from their music for “The Trip” done earlier that year. 

"Medium Cool" (1969)

Directed by Haskell Wexler

Music by Michael Bloomfield 

“Medium Cool” was praised by the French New Wave filmmakers for its weaving of actual events into its narrative about a TV cameraman who becomes involved with a single mother and her child. Filmed during the 1968 Democratic Convention and the ensuing protest and police riot, the movie features a soundtrack by Bloomfield working with several ex-Flag members and friends. The music he created may have been replaced in later editions of the film due to rights issues. Wexler, interestingly enough, was Michael’s cousin.

"Bongo Wolf’s Revenge" (1970)

Directed by Tom Baker

Music, appearance by Michael Bloomfield, others

This film’s protagonist, a Los Angles eccentric named Bongo Wolf, was a friend of Baker’s and co-star P.J. Proby. Baker filmed him one day while he visited friends and attended a gathering of vampire enthusiasts (whatever that might be). Bloomfield is one of the friends that Wolf drops in on. Singer Jim Ford and the Doors also provide music for the soundtrack (Jim Morrison was a sometime friend of Baker’s). Baker had earlier been a member of Andy Warhol’s Factory and had appeared in the Pop artist’s “I, a Man,” and presumably “Bongo” resembles Warhol’s oeuvre. 

VPRO Documentary (1971)

Unknown director

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This film about Frank Zappa features a brief backstage clip from the Fillmore West of the Mothers of Invention, Joni Mitchell and Bloomfield. Michael is shown chugging what appears to be a bottle of Jack Daniels to the delight of the band. Thanks to Marc Skobac for this information.

"Fillmore" (1972)

Unknown director

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This film about the famed concert hall in its last days has a brief segment where Bill Graham corners Bloomfield outside the Fillmore West and tells a story about how Michael once tried to hide from his mother (who was attending the show) before going on stage to perform. Thanks to Marc Skobac for this information.

"Steelyard Blues" (1973)

Directed by Alan Myerson

Music by Michael Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites 

A tale of gentle misfits who decide to escape to a better place aboard an old PBY Flying Boat, “Steelyard Blues” boasts fine performances from Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Peter Boyle despite looking a bit dated today. Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites created the music for the soundtrack using old pals Paul Butterfield, Maria Muldaur and others. The resulting tunes – acoustic blues, country tunes and old-timey music – have a lightweight charm to them. When the soundtrack recording appeared shortly after “Steelyard’s” release, it garnered far better reviews than did the movie. 

"Hot Nazis" / "Rampaging Dental Assistants"

"Marzoff and Day" / "Ultracore" shorts (1974)

"Sodom and Gomorrah" (1975)

Directed by the Mitchell Brothers

Music by Michael Bloomfield

These films, all short subjects with the exception of “Sodom,” were “artistic” pornographic movies created by Jim and Artie Mitchell. Bloomfield was contracted to create incidental music for their soundtracks. Michael later claimed that he often never saw actual footage, but worked from scene descriptions and timings. Norman Dayron produced the recordings. Bloomfield may have agreed to take on soundtrack work for the Mitchells in part because he was being hassled by the IRS for back taxes and needed quick cash. 

"Bootlegger Blues" (1975)

Directed by Brenda Balanda

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This 60-minute film was a Master’s thesis project made by Van Morrison’s girlfriend, Brenda Balanda. She was a film student at UCLA at the time. Morrison, John Lee Hooker and Dan Hicks were featured with Bloomfield having a small non-musical part as the "1st thug." The film is currently in the university's archives.

"Andy Warhol’s Bad" (1976)

Directed by Paul Morrisey

Music by Michael Bloomfield 

According to Norman Dayron, Warhol had canisters of the rough cut of “Bad” shipped to Bloomfield for use in creating a soundtrack for the film. But because they had no way of projecting the film, Michael and Norman simply worked from a script and scene timings. Rolling Stone reported erroneously that Bloomfield was to have appeared in the film. 

Butterfield Blues Band reunion at the Greek Theater (1978)

Directed by unknown

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

The Butterfield Band reunion produced by Chet Helms at UC Berkley’s Greek Theater was filmed for inclusion in a concert movie about the event. It was never released, supposedly because Elvin Bishop's management refused to sign a release agreement. Bishop had scored a hit with "I Fooled Around ..." and there was concern that the film might not benefit his career. Some of the footage was later shown on San Francisco TV, however. 

"The Wizard of Waukesha" (1979)

Directed by Susan Brockman

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield 

This documentary traces the career of inventor and guitarist Les Paul. Bloomfield appears in a brief segment, strumming a Les Paul Custom guitar and talking about his appreciation for the instrument.

 

Television  

Unknown show

KPIX, San Francisco, CA; January(?) 1966

Appearance by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band

The Butterfield Band performed a lip-synched tune on this program. Mark Naftalin reports that he jokingly played along on piano a half-step sharp and that Bloomfield used a piece of celery as a guitar slide. Hans Konried was also a guest on the program.

Hollywood-A-Go-Go(?)

Unknown studio, Los Angeles, CA; January(?) 1966

Appearance by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band

Mark Naftalin recalled that this show was hosted by Sam Riddle, thus making it likely that it was Riddle’s Hollywood-A-Go-Go program. The band lip-synched a tune and was co-billed with Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels. 

Ready, Steady, Go

BBC Studios, London; recorded November 15, aired November 18, 1966

Appearance by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band 

During the last week of their tour of England and Scotland, the Butterfield Band appeared on this music program along with the Four Tops. The group played its single release “Come On In,” or perhaps “I’m Droppin’ Out on You.” 

Stage 67(?)

ABC-TV Studios, New York, NY; late 1966

Appearance by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band 

Billy Davenport reported that the Butterfield Band taped a segment for Stage 67, an ABC program that was cancelled in its second season. As a result, the show did not air, but excerpts from it may have been used as part of The Songmakers, an ABC special which was broadcast in 1967. According to Davenport, Dionne Warwick was also part of the original program. 

The Songmakers

ABC-TV Studios, New York, NY; aired February 24, 1967

Appearance by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band 

The Songmakers, a special ABC show about the process of creating of pop music, featured the Mamas & the Papas, the Blues Project, Judy Collins, the Byrds, Simon & Garfunkel, Dionne Warwick and Smokey Robinson & the Miracles along with the Butterfield Band. The group was shown in rehearsal playing its signature tune, “Born in Chicago.” Their segment was probably recorded at an earlier date, perhaps originally for the cancelled program Stage 67. 

The San Francisco Sound

KGO-TV, San Francisco, CA; aired September 8, 1968

Appearance by the Electric Flag 

This special was supposedly filmed between October 1 and 5 of 1967 and aired nearly a year later on September 8, 1968. The hour-long show also featured the Buffalo Springfield, Blue Cheer, Spanky and Our Gang, and Richie Havens along with the Gary Burton Quartet. The program was filmed in a studio with a light show produced by The Headlights in an effort to recreate the feel of the city's rock venues. It was hosted by jazz producer Jimmy Lyons and Chet Helms of the Family Dog; Gordon Waldear was the producer.

The John Gary Show

Unknown TV studio, Los Angeles(?), CA; aired March 30, 1968

Appearance by the Electric Flag

The Flag performed on this two-hour variety show which was based in Miami but had begun taping performances in L.A. by spring 1968. The band’s appearance was probably recorded at an earlier date. The show was rebroadcast on June 2, 1968.

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.

Unknown variety show

WBBM-TV, Chicago, IL; aired January or February 1970(?)

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This guest appearance by Bloomfield on a local variety program that featured an interview with B.B. King was recalled by a fan. No evidence of the show has yet turned up, but the suggested date is possible as B.B. King was playing Mr. Kelly’s in Chicago at the time. 

Unknown documentary

Made for French TV; San Francisco, CA; 1972(?)

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield

This film, shot by director Claude Otzenberger for French television as part of a documentary on California, was made during a "happening" at artist Wilfred Satty's studios on Powell Street. Performers included included the Sopwith Camel with guests Bloomfield, Nick Gravenites and Mark Naftalin. Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen also performed. It is not known if the film was actually shown on French TV. 

In Concert

Royce Auditorium, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA; aired August 3, 1973

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield 

This show may have been “Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert,” but it was billed in the New York Times TV listings as above. Bloomfield performed along with John Hammond and Dr. John in support of the trio’s Columbia release, “Triumvirate,” which had just been issued in June. The segment was probably filmed at an earlier date. 

Soundstage

WTTW Studios, Chicago, IL; July 18, 1974; aired October 12(?), 1974, other dates

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield 

This first "Soundstage" show, called "Blues Summit in Chicago," was a tribute to Muddy Waters. The various combinations of musicians who performed during the course of the show – including Muddy's working band – were largely directed by Bloomfield, who played with each group throughout the program.

Speakeasy

New York, NY; aired August 3, 1974, other dates

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield 

This program, hosted by Chip Monck, featured Bloomfield and Al Kooper playing a few tunes and chatting with Monck. Alvin Lee, who was also a guest on the show, sat in, and the three exchanged instruments. Bloomfield also demonstrated his fire-eating trick.  

Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert

Los Angeles, CA; aired April 26, 1975

Appearance by the reunited Electric Flag

This appearance was probably recorded in late 1974 as the Flag had disbanded by January 1975. The show was also listed simply as "Rock Concert" and aired on various dates through May 1975.

Michael Bloomfield & Woody Harris in concert

Bottom Line, New York, NY; April 7, 8, 1980; aired in May 1980

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield  

This performance was filmed by producer Antoine de Caunes for the French television channel France 2, a program called "Chorus." It featured Bloomfield performing several tunes on piano and then switching to acoustic guitar for three more.

Michael Bloomfield & Woody Harris in concert

Mascheroni, Italy; September 1980

Appearance by Michael Bloomfield 

This performance was filmed, probably for Italian television. Bloomfield first appears as a solo performer and with harp player Fabio Treves, and then is joined onstage by Harris and Maggie Edmondson.

A Special Tribute to Michael Bloomfield

Mill Valley, CA; August 1983

A documentary about Michael Bloomfield 

This video, made by Marty Balin, Spencer Dryden and the Marin Video Archives, was shown at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 1983 during its "A Celebration of the Blues" program. It features rare clips of Bloomfield in performance at Monterey and with Butterfield at the Greek Theater in 1978, plus interviews with Ron Butkovich and Nick Gravenites.

 

Radio  

I Blueskvarter

Swedish Radio programs

Sutherland Hotel, Chicago, IL; recorded May 16-21, 1964

Performance by Michael Bloomfield 

These were a series of sessions done for a Swedish Radio program hosted by Olle Helander. Helander journeyed to Chicago in order to record a number of legendary black players in situ. Bloomfield backed up Eddie Boyd, Yank Rachell, Sunnyland Slim, St. Louis Jimmy and Little Brother Montgomery in separate segments.  

Murray the K show

WOR Studios, New York; aired March(?) 1968

Interview with Michael Bloomfield 

Bloomfield was interviewed by Murray the K while the Electric Flag was gigging in New York during the month of March. He discussed the band’s upcoming record release and was highly complimentary of the recently issued Blood, Sweat & Tears album. 

Dan McClosky show

KPFA, San Francisco, CA; aired in 1971

Interview with Michael Bloomfield 

McClosky taped an interview with Bloomfield at Michael’s home and later mixed it with music to create a two-part feature on the guitarist. Additional segments of the interview which did not appear in the program include comments from Roy Ruby and Fred Glaser. 

Unknown program

KSAN Studios, San Francisco, CA; March 3, 1973

Hosted(?) by Michael Bloomfield

Bloomfield was featured on this one-hour broadcast which debuted on the above date. He may have been a guest, or he may have actually been the host. Michael was known to have done several broadcasts as a guest DJ.

Unknown program(?)

Unknown studio, San Francisco, CA; November 6, 1975

Performance by Michael Bloomfield 

Details about this show are not known, but Bloomfield did appear with a version of & Friends that included Nick Gravenites. 

Unknown program(?)

Record Plant(?), San Francisco, CA; 1975(?)

Performance by Michael Bloomfield 

Bloomfield performed on this KSAN broadcast in duet with Mark Naftalin and with a quartet with guest vocalist Frank Biner. The date is uncertain and has been listed as early as 1971, but it is more likely to be from the mid-'70s. 

Concert broadcast

Oakland Auditorium, Oakland, CA; February 26, 1977; aired over KNEW

Performance by Michael Bloomfield & Friends 

This show was a 24-hour benefit for the Leukemia Society. The performers also included Johnny Paycheck, Barry Melton and the New Riders of the Purple Sage. 

Bob Simmons show

KSAN Studios, San Francisco, CA; aired January 31, 1978

Interview with Michael Bloomfield

Details for this program are not known. 

Guitar – A Rock Episode

KSAN Studios, San Francisco, CA; recorded February 13, 1981

Interview with Michael Bloomfield 

Portions of this interview with Bloomfield done by Tom Yates, part of 36-show series, were probably aired in 1981. This segment also featured Duane Allman. A dozen radio stations around the country and Canada were signed to air the shows.

© 2010 David Dann