Marbles – John McLaughlin, Buddy Miles and Carlos Santana

Yesterday I wrote about The Electric Church. I have been thinking more about Buddy Miles‘s discography and playing his recordings on Spotify. “Marbles” is an instrumental recording that Mr. Buddy Miles was involved with on two separate recordings.

I have a passion for the instrumental recording “Marbles” authored by John McLaughlin. Buddy Miles was the session drummer on the vinyl recording Devotion (Douglas Records, 9/70) which introduced “Marbles”. This instrumental is as psychedelic and trippy as the cover below.

Buddy Miles and Carlos Santana shared an affinity for John McLaughlin by performing “Marbles” together for their live concert album,  Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles! Live! ‎ (6/72).



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The Electric Church High Priests – Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana

Electric Church was a belief held by Jimi Hendrix’s knowledge that electric music (such as Jimi’s band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience created) brings out emotions, feelings and ideas in people as well as fosters spiritual maturity. In an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in 1969, Cavett asked Hendrix about the Electric Church. Hendrix replied by saying that he designed his music so that it would be able to go “inside the soul of the person, and awaken some kind of thing inside, because there are so many sleeping people”. I thought it might be interesting to review the three point intersection in the Electric Church shared by Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Miles, and Carlos Santana.

Jimi Hendrix

Jimi Hendrix considered “Electric Church” his religion and based his third album Electric Ladyland on that inherent belief.

When asked why he didn’t name his then-new album “Electric Church” instead of “Electric Ladyland”, Jimi said that some ladies were electric too. (then he laughed as if he were embarassed.)

Buddy Miles appeared on two songs on the Hendrix album “Electric Ladyland.” When Hendrix disbanded the Jimi Hendrix Experience and replaced the British musicians with African-Americans, Buddy Miles joined Jimi in the Band of Gypsys along with Billy Cox on bass.

Copyright 1968 Eddie Kramer

On the last night of the 1960s, a New Year’s Eve show, they recorded Band of Gypsys, an album that included “Them Changes.” This was the epitome of the Electric Church in the most spiritual rock hall at that time, The Fillmore East. If only the walls of that building could talk. Fortunately that concert was preserved on DVD (or YouTube I am guessing…).

Buddy Miles

The Buddy Miles Express album, Electric Church was partly produced by Jimi Hendrix.  It bridged the gap between the late 60s psychedelic rock scene and Miles’ R&B roots. The album Electric Church had a looser, more jam-oriented vibe than the first album, Expressway to Your Skull. 

Carlos Santana

Buddy Miles and Carlos Santana joined their talents to further grow the Electric Church as a live concert setting which became the album for Columbia Records, Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles Live!                 They recorded this performance in the Diamond Head Crater an inactive volcano in Hawaii. Embed from Getty Images

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I Heard It Through The Grapevine

I thought of a music blog post that has a retro commercial with famous music characters that were sold as bendable plastic collectibles.

The California Raisins were a fictional rhythm and blues musical group as well as advertising and merchandising characters composed of anthropomorphized raisins. Lead vocals were sung by the late great musician Buddy Miles which surprised people as they presumed it was a Motown Group performing combined vocals.[1]

The California Raisins concept experienced high popularity in the mid-to-late 1980s principally through Will Vinton Claymation TV commercials and animated specials, winning an Emmy Award and one nomination.[2][3]

Thinking About Buddy Miles

I saw a video of Buddy Miles on my Web page side bar and clicked on the YouTube video to watch the performance.

This is how I remember Buddy Miles best. Giving off that great soul vibe, singing his heart out for his fans. Notice he is wearing a Fillmore East staff shirt 😉


The band shown in this video was who I saw him play with in December of 1970. I loved that he was playing with Charlie Karp and David Hull from Westport, Ct. The word of mouth on these local musicians was that they were stellar and that proved to be true.  They are featured in this Helsinki 1971 broadcast television video.

In Honor of Buddy Miles

I’m writing to thank my loving wife for the surprise gift she gave me today. I was happily surprised with this framed piece for my music wall in my home office.

It’s a poster of Buddy Miles that has a couple of his signatures. I was corresponding with Buddy Miles and his wonderful wife, Sherrilae Chambers in 2004. He signed this poster and the CD cover of Buddy Miles Bluesberries I sent him. Buddy Miles surprised me by including a pair of signed Vic Firth drum sticks in the return package.

If you zoom closer you can see his signature on the mounted drum sticks.

I love the shadow box technique that Jason of Framer’s Edge Gallery & Frame did for this piece. He frames our music art and we love his attention to detail.

I especially love the color green he and Rosemary chose for the frame, isn’t it cool 🙂

I was very fortunate to see Buddy Miles with Poco on December 6, 1970 in the Fairfield University Gym. We sat in the second row that night. He was in rare form getting the gymnasium on their feet saying “Hell Yeah” to the song “We Got To Live Together”. I’ll never forget the energy he gave us that night.

The song I liked the best by Buddy Miles and his band that  evening was “Dreams” a powerful soul cover of The Allman Brothers. Of course they played “Them Changes” which was great to hear as well.

Jimi Hendrix, Band of Gypsys

Jimi Hendrix Band Of Gypsys
Image by basspunk via Flickr

The Fillmore East established a rich heritage of live rock music with groundbreaking acts and hosting legends in an intimate setting. When Jimi Hendrix decided to premier his new musical group, Band of Gypsys he chose the house that rock built, The Fillmore East as the venue to record the historic New Years Eve concert on December 31, 1969.

It was more than fitting that Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsys ushered in the next decade 1970, which proved to be a monumental year for the music industry. Jimi Hendrix had broken the mold of The Jimi Hendrix Experience and was seeking a new live sound and direction for his music. He partnered with ex-Electric Flag drummer Buddy Miles (who also appeared on Electric Ladyland) and his old Air Force buddy Billy Cox, on bass.

My personal memories about these concerts are that a late friend of mine, Rudy Graham attended the New Years Show. I’ll never forget bumping into Rudy on New Years Day. He had spent the previous evening and most of the next morning hanging out at a special after party hosted for Jimi Hendrix. Rudy was always in the know for music happenings. He and I ran the concert committee at Norwalk Community College later that year. Rudy was smiling ear to ear. He said to me, “Ed, man you missed a great show at the Fillmore East last night. I caught Jimi Hendrix bringing down the house with his new group, The Band of Gypsys.”  I was excited to get first hand information about Jimi Hendrix fresh from the show from Rudy. I’ll never forget talking to Rudy on the street as he wore his Fillmore East green and yellow Fillmore jersey he was given as a present at the party. He was soaring about Hendrix’s guitar playing. All he would say was. Hendrix hit the stratosphere last night into today.” 😉

There is the now famous Band of Gypsys recording available as well as a DVD of The Fillmore East concerts, Band of Gypsys: Live at the Fillmore East which features film shot by a fan in attendance on a hand held movie camera. Find a copy and rent it or better yet own it. 

Here are the real set lists of all four shows on December 31, 1969 and January 1, 1970.

Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (First Fillmore East set)

  1. “Power of Soul”
  2. “Lover Man”
  3. “Hear My Train A-Comin'” ~ +
  4. “Them Changes” +
  5. “Izabella” +
  6. “Machine Gun”
  7. “Stop”
  8. “Ezy Ryder”
  9. “Bleeding Heart”
  10. “Earth Blues”
  11. “Burning Desire”

Wednesday, December 31, 1969 (Second Fillmore East set)

  1. “Auld Lang Syne” +
  2. “Who Knows” +
  3. “Stepping Stone”
  4. “Burning Desire”
  5. “Fire” ^
  6. “Ezy Ryder”
  7. “Machine Gun” +
  8. “Power of Soul”
  9. “Stone Free/Nutcracker Suite/Drum Solo/Outside Woman Blues/Cherokee Mist/Sunshine Of Your Love” ^
  10. “Them Changes”
  11. “Message of Love”
  12. “Stop”
  13. “Foxy Lady” ^
  14. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”
  15. “Purple Haze”

Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Third Fillmore East set)

  1. “Who Knows” *
  2. “Machine Gun *
  3. “Them Changes”
  4. “Power of Soul” +
  5. “Stepping Stone” +
  6. “Foxy Lady” ~
  7. “Stop” ~ +
  8. “Hear My Train A-Comin”
  9. “Earth Blues”
  10. “Burning Desire” +

Thursday, January 1, 1970 (Fourth Fillmore East set)

  1. “Stone Free/Little Drummer Boy” +
  2. “Them Changes” *
  3. “Power of Soul” *
  4. “Message of Love” *
  5. “Earth Blues” +
  6. “Machine Gun” +
  7. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” +
  8. “We Gotta Live Together” * +
  9. “Wild Thing” +
  10. “Hey Joe”
  11. “Purple Haze”

(I plan to update this blog post with more specifics when my schedule permits later this week….)