Isle of Wight Deluxe Edition: The Tulip Tapes
Even the most casual music fan (of a certain age) knows Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Doors, The Moody Blues and a host of others played the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970. Numerous editions of the concert have been released over the years on eight-track, cassette, vinyl and cd. Bonus tracks, of varying quality, trickled out but every last one ignored Tiny Tim’s seminal contribution to not only the sound of the Sixties but the birth of country-rock. “There Will Always Be An England” and “Love Ship” are the only two Tiny Tim tracks previously released on any of the official Isle of Wight concert discs. Poisson d’Avil Records (a French label specializing in rarities) corrects this glaring oversight with the long rumored much anticipated “Tulip Tapes” which include a wealth of previously unreleased Tiny Tim treasures.
The super deluxe two disc set contains a DVD which includes Tiny’s complete live set, a brief interview and several clips of never before seen ultra rare backstage footage including some grainy black and white video of Jimi Hendrix tuning Tiny Tim’s ukelele while he tells Tiny “Don’t ever set this baby on fire”. In another clip Pete Townshend teaches Tiny Tim the chords to “Magic Bus” and the third and final clip shows Tiny dancing off stage as Donovan sings “Mellow Yellow”.
The audio disc includes Tiny’s soundcheck, the complete 55 minute live set which features a country-western medley honoring Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline, Tiny’s supergroup (Ian Anderson on flute and Richard Thompson on guitar) performing an extended version of “Matty Groves” and Tiny’s Hendrix inspired version of “The Star Spangled Banner” without the lighter fluid! And yes, Tiny closes his set with his international hit “Tiptoe Through The Tulips With Me” sung in his full falsetto/vibrato!
Eddy Vedder cited Tiny Tim as an inspiration for his “Ukelele Songs” album and he repays the debt on the “Tulip Tapes” with a bonus hidden track time-travel style computer generated digital duet with the dead (a la Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole) on an extended version of “Tiptoe”. This is truly a collection not to be missed honoring one of the unsung heroes of Americana!