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The Crystal Palace Garden Parties.

July 31st 1976.

Eric Clapton, The Chieftains, Freddie King,

Dick and the Firemen.

(with guests Larry Coryell and Ron Wood. )


ticket courtesy Michael Poole

Its so cool in the pool. Eric at Crystal Palace bowl 1976 © Chico Wright

Recordings and setlists

An audience tape exists of Clapton's set : length- 73:39 minutes

Hello Old Friend
All Our Past Times
Tell the Truth
I Shot the Sheriff
Double Trouble
Blues Power
Going Down Slow #
Stormy Monday
Layla #
Further On Up the Road

There are guest appearances by Larry Coryell on 'Layla' and 'Going Down Slow'

Ronnie Wood, Freddie King, and Larry Coryell appear on 'Further On Up the Road

Cover of one of three unofficial CD's that circulate of this show

I was at this gig. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had only been out of Jail for just over 4hrs and a friend got 2 tickets and took me. I'm a blues fan and singer for as long as I want to remember.
Dick and the Firemen were awesome and Ronnie Wood and Larry Coryell played with them that day. They came on with Eric for the encore where they played "Blues Power". Freddie King
(RIP) also came on for that.

When they first went off at the end (before the encore) I heard my name being shouted. It was one of the roadies on the stage... he was an old long standing friend who I had work with me before Jail. I swam over the moat alone.. people were leaving thinking it was over. Jim pulled me up on the stage and I sat there chatting with him about old 1/2 forgotten memories when Eric and Pals came back on stage.... He just smiled at me so I didn't budge and at here for the rest of the show. They did more then Blues Power but I had too much herbal woodbine in me to remember it all. There was a pint of beer just near me so I picked it up and looked guiltily shy around me and Eric just smiled and nodded at me... I gratefully sipped most of it at once... it was a searing hot day. At the end they went and I finishedthe beer... pretty chuffed cos I'd drunk his pint.

I went backstage after and met the man. There was a few of us sat in a ropey old caravan with smokes and a shitty old acoustic with the bottom E string missing trying to, very roughly, do Crossroads. EC popped his head through the door.... watched a bit then got into the van, took the guitar... tuned it as he played it then played Crossroads.. Mine was the loudest voice and he got into it with me cleverly covering up my timing issues.
The gig.. including The Chieftains and Barbara Dickson who were a little out of place but got through to all was amazing.. Jess Roden and The Bicentennial Blues King, Freddie King were awesome and the Firemen the most
entertaining band I ever saw. Stevie Winwood was with them but I never see him credited.
I think Eric is 'still one of the lads' and always will be... it's be nice if he saw this email and remembered it.....

Ray Cooke

Eric and Freddie King jam it up

Eric Clapton -guitar, vocals
George Terry -guitar, vocals
Carl Radle -bass
Dick Sims -keyboards
Jamie Oldaker -drums
Sergio Pastora Rodriguez -percussion
Yvonne Elliman -backing vocals
Marcy Levy -backing vocals

Special Guests
Larry Coryell (Guitar) #
Freddie King (Guitar)
Ronnie Wood (Guitar)

Extremely rare and excellent quality Super 8mm material of Eric Clapton's performance with original sound overdubbed was for sale a few years ago, Crystal Palace Bowl, London (1976) 18 mins


Dick and the Firemen setlist

  • Pardon Me Sir
  • Save Me
  • Why Pick On Me
  • Get Up And Do It
  • Ain’t No Love In The Heart Of The City
  • Must Have That Man
  • Nadine
  • New Morning
  • Travelling Shoes

Dick and the Firemen was an impromptu band put together by friends of the ailing singer Mike Patto. Mike had been undergoing treatment for cancer and this was a show that meant a lot to him as it probably gave him some purpose and promise of getting back into singing full time. Regretfully, it was not to be , he died in 1979 after battling the disease for several years.

No known recording .


I attended the ’76 Garden Party. I remember it was a very hot day and sitting in the sun with no shade for several hours was uncomfortable. I went with two friends and it was mostly to see Eric Clapton and Freddie King.

I think the nature of the venue worked against Freddie. He obviously liked the sort of crowd feedback he’d get in a smaller more intimate setting and with a big pool of water in front of he wasn’t even getting much from the front row. Despite that he turned in a professional set but it lacked impact.

Later Eric came on and gave a rather dull uninspired performance. It was the first time I’d seen him live and he barely played anything worthy of a ‘guitar hero’. I think Freddie joined him onstage later but it didn’t help things much. I also saw The Chieftains who played traditional Irish music. That’s not really my sort of thing but they seemed competent at what they did. Amusingly, I remember the early publicity for the gig listed ‘Eric Clapton and his band The Chieftains’. Sadly, overall it was a disappointing day.

I was there, and I also remember Barbara Dixon had a “solo” slot ...... no mention of her on the page.



My name is Lewis Stephens and I played piano with Freddie King on this show.  I also played on EC's encore with Freddie King, Ronnie Wood and Larry Coryell. 
I have several photos of Freddie's set taken by a friend but have been looking for photos of Freddie and Eric jamming that would show the Keyboard players on Further on up the Road (Dick Simms and myself).
If you can help, or direct me to some of the photographers working that day, I would greatly appreciate it.
Lewis Stephens
Fort Worth, Texas 

Garden party features

   We have been endeavouring to collect audience or sbd tapes of the performances at this festival , so we can effectively review the performances, provide set lists and band line-ups. The intention is to also display as many personal histories of the festival as possible.

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