Bloodrock

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On promo: Yes
Performed: No

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Bloodrock was not doing well – the band broke up in May 1972 following a short headlining tour of the West Coast to support Bloodrock USA (some of these shows were photographed; the better shots have been added to the One Way re-issue of Bloodrock Live). Bloodrock also flew out to the Mar y Sol Pop Festival in Puerto Rico (the ‘last of the great festivals’) in April but they didn’t perform as scheduled – ostensibly because the program was running late. As fate would have it, Nitzinger was also playing the gig.

Rick Cobb (February 3 2004) describes Mar y Sol and the breakup of the band:

[NOTE: this interview was not done by me. I got it somewhere on the internet]

“What a fiasco, a disaster, a complete and final undoing of the band!! I was very naughty and had reached a point in this rock opera where I was oblivious to any form of responsibility. It wasn’t self-destruction so much as temporary insanity by denial and unchecked hedonism. The narcissism had reached maximum saturation.

The band was breaking up but we didn’t know how to stop it. Rutledge had probably long ago decided he wanted out and he thought Nitzinger wrote tunes that could take him farther than Bloodrock. I understand this now. It’s okay, but at the time these were very serious matters.

The first thing that happened to me upon arrival on the gorgeous beaches of Puerto Rico was that I stayed out in the sun too long and got a very debilitating burn. Second degree burns in fact. I had to call the hotel nurse to address my condition. And give me some ointment. So, by dinner I was stiff, in pain and feverish. And I needed someone to administer that ointment.

They had given Rutledge and I a room together, probably to save on expenses. This is something that never happened because Jim needed his own room. We were to the point in our career where he needed to distance himself from us, so we, as well as the audience, would view him as the star. This is common practice in show business. The building of image and charisma is a very exacting and cutthroat manipulation of reality. Of course, as grateful serfs, we had no choice but to accept this arrangement. So, Jim goes and moves into his own room.

I do not remember the details or the behind the scene decisions regarding our performance time at the Mar y Sol Festival. We would shuttle from the hotel to the festival site by helicopter. I was busy becoming intoxicated and hustling the impressive array of beauties around the hotel. Sunburn, fever and all, nothing could stop my quest for pussy. And about midnight, after many hours of charm offensive, I finally convinced one young lady to come to the room and administer the oils.

Others might be more equipped to explain the politics surrounding our cancellation from the concert and thus a place on the Festival LP. The one explanation that seems to make the most sense is that the promoters of the festival were running drastically behind schedule and were looking for bands to drop out (for a fee). Since Rutledge had already moved his allegiance into the Nitzinger camp and saw his future there, he volunteered our cancellation and turned his attention to John’s performance.

By this time, I was backstage smoking Angel Dust. The festival was in a large field and the overwhelming desire to rip my clothes off and run naked through the crowds was a dementedly happy temptation. The only thing that stopped me was the presence of John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra preparing to go onstage. I had such respect for these musicians that I was able to gather my wits and control these haphazard instincts. I look back at this behavior and just shake my head in disbelief, but these are the kinds of stories upon which rock was built and people still like to hear. I mean, me too, I think they’re classic little stories.