There are supergroups and there are SUPERgroups. And Dirty Mac are about as super as they come! A four piece taking one member each of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Cream and the Jimi Hendrix experience… and for one night in late 1968 only. This recording has to be one of the highlights of recorded music of the last century. Check it out… Yer Blues by the Dirty Mac
But where, when and how did this occur? The one-off performance was part of the The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus – a multi-band spectacular recorded in December 1968, but not actually released until 1996. Dirty Mac, of course, comprised John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards and Mitch Mitchell – playing the Beatles Yer Blues, written by Lennon, and only released (on the White Album) a couple weeks earlier. And despite containing a full set by the Rolling Stones, the Who, Jethro Tull, and many others, this is one of the highlights.
The Song itself was written by Lennon in India in 1967, supposedly as a parody of the British blues boom taking hold at that time.. but when considered alongside other Lennon tracks of the time (Happiness is a warm gun from the White Album and Cold Turkey, the first Plastic Ono Band single) it’s hard not to see a lyrical connection with John and Yoko’s Heroin use.
The Beatles version of Yer Blues is fantastic too (equally heavy, a little more effect-laden, and as a studio track, a fair bit tidier) – but as the band were no longer playing live at this time there is no footage. The addition of Clapton’s signature blues licks, and a strong groove feel from Keith Richards give the Dirty Mac version a little more blues.