Essential Listening: Last Orders (CD) by Creedence Clearwater Revival

On the 4th of July, 1971, The Fillmore West hosted its final show. The Fillmore’s proprietor, Bill Graham was San Francisco’s most famous promoter and impresario and had made the live music scene both enormously profitable and spectacularly creative. The combinations of bands, light shows and artists that he put on during a three year run at the Fillmore West made it the number one venue in California, rivalled nationally only by Graham’s own place in New York, the Fillmore East. Due to changes in the concert business, however, Graham decided to close both venues in the summer of 1971, with the final night at Fillmore West headlined by the Bay Area’s very own Creedence Clearwater Revival.

In the early years of the 70s Creedence were having trouble. Tom Fogerty had departed at the close of 1970, accusing his younger brother John of having become autocratic, and stifling other members of the band. Though the group continued as a trio, tensions remained between John Fogerty and Stu Cook and Doug Clifford over Fogerty’s domineering role.

This show is not only a farewell to the Fillmore, but also something of swansong for Creedence Clearwater Revival. Broadcast live on KSAN-FM, the band play a greatest hits set, in a party atmosphere on a landmark night in San Francisco; ‘Last Orders’ is essential listening for both Creedence fans and those into the San Francisco scene in general.  Careful listeners will notice a bittersweet moment when John Fogerty takes to the mic during the performance to cheerfully mention that they have played several closing nights and ‘make a habit of showing up at the end, I guess’ – it proved to be an accurate portent, as just a few months later this remarkable band dissolved.

Born On the Bayou                                                 5:23

Green River                                                             3:55

It Came from Out of the Sky                                   3:32

Don't Look Now/Door to Door                              3:26

Travelin' Band                                                         3:30

Fortunate Son/Commotion                                      6:34

Lodi                                                                         4:02

Bad Moon Risin'                                                     2:11

KSAN-FM aircheck                                                0:06

Proud Mary                                                             4:09

Up Around the Bend                                               3:33

Hey Tonight                                                            3:05

Sweet Hitchhiker                                                     3:20

John Fogerty announcement                                   0:35

Keep On Chooglin'                                                  9:53

Bill Graham outro                                                   0:48