Harvey Mandel of Pure Food & Dug Act - One of the uknsung giants of Blues Guitar (Photo: Mendelson Archives)

Pure Food And Drug Act – In Concert From Chicago – 1972 – Past Daily Backstage Pass

Harvey Mandel of Pure Food & Dug Act – One of the unsung giants of Blues Guitar (Photo: Mendelson Archives).

Pure Food & Drug Act – Live At Alice’s Revisited – September 1972 – band soundboard

Diving into what might be unfamiliar territory to some, but a sound for sore ears to a lot of us others. Pure Food & Drug Act, featuring the legendary Harvel Mandel on guitar, recorded live at Alice’s Revisited in Chicago in September of 1972.

For the uninitiated, there’s an excellent bio by Richard Skelly on Harvey’s website that lays it all out and gives you some idea of what the fuss has always been about (here’s a taste):

Mandel was born in Detroit on March 11, 1945 and raised in Chicago. He began playing guitar while in his early teens and found his inspiration in the sound of the Ventures. Whole new vistas in guitar appreciation opened up for him once he had the chance to hear musicians like Buddy Guy in the small blues clubs of Chicago’s West and South sides. Mandel learned from and performed with such greats as Guy, Albert King, Muddy Waters, and Otis Rush. He got his nickname, “The Snake,” from master blues harp player Charlie Musselwhite, who admired the way Mandel’s left hand would effortlessly snake up and down the guitar neck. He later took on the moniker “The King of Sustain,” for the long, ringing tones he was able to coax from his instrument.

Mandel’s solo career began in the late ’60s, after his based manager got him signed to a deal with Philips, a label distributed by Mercury Records. Mandel’s first album, Cristo Redentor (1968), was well-received on the then-growing underground radio scene in California, and he followed it with two more albums for Philips: Righteous in 1969 and Games Guitars Play in 1970. In 1971, he recorded Baby Batter for the Janus Records label, and that company later released an album called The Best of Harvey Mandel in 1975.

In 1972, Mandel produced a group of Chicago-area musicians on Get Off in Chicago, a jam-session album recorded in three days. After a brief tour with John Mayall in Europe in 1972, he recorded The Snake in 1972, Shangrenade in 1973 (featuring a guest appearance from Bobby Lyle on clavinet), and Feel the Sound of Harvey Mandel in 1974, all for the Janus label. For much of the rest of the ’70s and ’80s, Mandel performed club engagements, despite his lack of a record. In the ’80s in Florida, where he had family, he spent time in a house band at Woody’s, a club owned by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood.

There’s a lot more – so head over there and give the complete rundown.

And I have to add this postscript because it’s important you know and it would be awesome if you could chip in:

Harvey is battling for his life, fighting cancer again. Facing several more grueling surgeries. And he needs your help. Please visit Harvey’s go fund me page and contribute whatever you can. It will mean the future for Harvey:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-harvey-mandel-kick-cancer

Okay – now settle in, relax and travel back to 1972 for a dose of Pure Food and Drug Act.


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