Had they won the coin-toss it might all be different.

It’s A Beautiful Day – Fillmore West – 1968 – Past Daily Soundbooth (RIP: David LaFlamme)

Had they won the coin-toss it might all be different.
Had they won the coin-toss it might all be different.

– It’s A Beautiful Day – Live at The Fillmore West – 1st night – May 23, 1968 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

More sad news this week, although maybe not as widely felt as some other tributes, still – David LaFlamme and It’s A Beautiful Day were an excellent band that deserved much more than it got. And LaFlamme’s talent went without saying. I wrote the below post ten years ago and I didn’t change it – the sentiments were the same. Only now they are in the form of a tribute to a much admired and respected musician who was very much part of the San Francisco scene who is fondly remembered.

It’s A Beautiful Day were one of those bands that epitomized the San Francisco Sound in the late 1960s. Having been associated with and often on the same bill with The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother & The Holding Company, it would only seem natural they would achieve the same level of recognition and popularity.

Sadly, no. Chalk most of it up to terrible management and sheer bad luck, IADB got out of the starting gate a couple years later than their Summer Of Love counterparts and subsequently missed being part of the vanguard.

The sheer bad luck was losing a coin toss that would have sent them, rather than another band of contemporaries, Santana, off to Woodstock in 1969. Santana went on to achieve massive popularity. And that’s not saying the same would have happened for It’s A Beautiful Day. But it’s an interesting speculation.

It’s A Beautiful Day were a little hard to pin-down, musical style-wise. They were a mixture of Rock, Jazz, Classical and Folk – their two lead instruments were a violin and organ. They did have several hits in their career. The first, and probably best known is the haunting White Bird, which was a mainstay of the band from the beginning and has become synonymous with the San Francisco Sound ever since.

Tonight it’s the first of a three night stint the band did at The Fillmore West, before their debut album and even before their first record deal. It was recorded on the night of May 23, 1968 and features the original lineup of the band, which was to change repeatedly over the next few years. But here they are as they originally were, and it captures the spirit of what they were like when it was all new.

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