Various Artists / June 1, 1974 live LP

One-off black vinyl pressing of 1000 units

The classic live album June 1, 1974 will be reissued in a highly limited 180g black vinyl pressing in November.

The album documents a concert (performed at the Rainbow Theatre on the date in question) organised by Island Records’ A&R Richard Williams. The idea was that a reunion of these Island artists would help to generate interest in the label (which was primarily associated with reggae at that time).

Brian Eno performs two songs from his debut solo album Here Come the Warm Jets (1973), while Nico delivers a rendition of The Doors ‘The End’. John Cale performs an  “alarming take” on Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel, while Kevin Ayers‘ performances fill up side of the album. The backing band was incredible and included the likes of Robert Wyatt and Mike Oldfield. 

This vinyl pressing is limited to 1000 worldwide with only 200 allocated for the UK. It will be released on 2 November 2018.  The SDE shop has a limited quantity available for worldwide shipping.


Side one

  1. Driving Me Backwards (ENO) (6:07)
  2. Baby’s On Fire (ENO) (3:52)
  3. Heartbreak Hotel (CALE) (5:19)
  4. The End (NICO) (9:14)

Side two

  1. May I (AYERS) (5:30)
  2. Shouting In A Bucket Blues (AYERS) (5:07)
  3. Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes (AYERS) (3:27)
  4. Everybody’s Sometime And Some People’s All The Time Blues (AYERS) (4:35)
  5. Two Goes Into Four (AYERS) (2:28)

Line-up / Musicians

– Kevin Ayers / Bass, Guitar, Vocals
– John “Rabbit” Bundrick / Keyboards
– John Cale / Keyboards, Viola
– Brian Eno/ Synthesizer, Keyboards, Vocals
– Ollie Halsall / Guitar, Piano
– Archie Leggett / Bass
– Nico / Harmonium, Marimba, Vocals
– Mike Oldfield / Bass, Guitar, Vocals
– Eddie Sparrow / Percussion, Drums
– Robert Wyatt / Percussion, Drums, Vocals

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Hi Paul, after almost 4 weeks the album came in here in holland, extremely pleased with this one, dead silent vinyl, great atmosphere, … i wish for part 2 to complete the gig …..

thanks Richard

Neil Storey

Not quite sure where this sentence emanates from…’The idea was that a reunion of these Island artists would help to generate interest in the label (which was primarily associated with reggae at that time).’

The gig was put together by Richard (correct) – it had nothing to do with generating interest in the label..! Excerpted quotes from Richard (from an interview I did October 26 2015):

“A lunch I convened at the Tratoo on Abingdon Road off Kensington High Street; its not there anymore, it was the last survivor of the Mario and Franco tratoria. It was me, Kevin (Ayers), Eno and (John) Cale. Nico wasn’t there. Not sure why, but she wasn’t. The question was… what to do with all these people.

Kevin had been signed sort of to be a pop star; Muff (Winwood) had signed him and I think Muff saw him as a ‘pop star’ and he’d made that Doctor Dream record which was neither fish nor fowl in a way; certainly not the record that was going to make him a pop star nor was it a great classic post Soft Machine record.

I’d signed Cale and Nico and I will take credit for the idea, it just seemed like an obvious thing to do, to try and put them together to their mutual benefit with a good supporting cast.

It was really designed as a good old fashioned package so we had Robert Wyatt. Mike Oldfield. Kevin’s rather strange rhythm section at the time, Eddie Sparrow. Ollie Halsall played too. Rabbit as well. The Chanter Sisters as backing vocalists, Doreen and Irene. And the idea was to do a one off at The Rainbow. Brian Eno was very helpful and the structure of it all kinda just fell together.

Kevin got the whole of the second half because he was the notional star turn and I hoped his fans would be able to see the other people; Eno was sort of launching his solo career at the time ‘cos it would have been shortly after the Warm Jets album he made which he’d toured with The Winkies with Philip Rambow.

During the concert, I was in the Island Mobile parked on a side street beside The Rainbow with John Wood who was engineering the recording watching a pretty dodgy black and white feed coming from side stage. In the foyer before hand, it was obvious this was a hot ticket, especially for the scenesters of the summer of 1974. We got it out within a month which was, for then, a remarkably quick turn around. The gig was repeated later in Manchester and Birmingham.”

John Cale (undated): My first appearance on an Island recording was on an LP made from a concert which took place at London’s now defunct Rainbow Theatre on June 1st 1974; the date became the album’s title. This was the first time I’d gone on stage on my own. And, to me, it was so important, it was nerve-wracking.

The night before the concert, Kevin (Ayers) and Cindy got together. That did it for me. She lied about it but, in the end, I was able to go to Kevin and say, ‘Look, as a gentleman, tell me… did such and such happen?’ Kevin said, ‘yes.’

Kevin Ayers (April 2008): I was fascinated by Nico and, in fact, I wrote a song about called Decadence. It was more to do with the record company than any particular friendship; they decided because we were all on the same label that we’d have a sort of… concert. I did become fairly friendly with Nico but not with any of the others.

A pity its not the entire show… c’est la vie.


Martin Tolcher


Thank you – again!

BTW, are you to Soft Cell at the end of the month, you?

Paul Taylor



The story behind the cover photo is good. Wonder what’s going on between Kevin Ayers and John cale? Cale was rehearsing for the concert the night before and went home to find Ayers in bed with his wife!! They took a number of photos like this just before the concert and they all have the Cale stare

Ok and the album is great. Just dug out my original and gave it a play


Less than a year later, Cale would release the song ‘Guts’. I will leave you to search for the lyrics yourself as this is a family website but this incident was no doubt the inspiration.


…hence the over-riding bitterness of Heartbreak Hotel (which didn’t sound like that in rehearsal).
Strangely enough a similar thing happened with Shirley Collins & Ashley Hutchings on the south bank…
“Pop stars” stars eh?!?


Wonderful album. But somewhere in the vaults is the whole concert which would be a welcome release.


Saw the headline and was hoping it was a 2-4LP deluxe edition with complete show and rehearsals… still worth the purchase!