Get this crazy baby off my head!


Tim Hardin

Tim Hardin - Tim Hardin 3 Live In Concert - 1968 - Verve Forecast

Rolling Stone (2/1/69, p.29) - "...There is, to be sure, a very heavy charisma about Hardin and this album, recorded live at New York's Town Hall...is evidence of both devotion and charisma..."

Originally titled Tim Hardin 3, this set was recorded live in 1968 with a backing band comprised primarily of jazz musicians. The support crew is a bit tentative; it's evident that they hadn't played much with Hardin, and in places the tempo comes close to breaking down. It's still a good, effective performance; Hardin is in good voice (a condition which apparently couldn't be readily counted on, even in his early days), and on the songs that had already been released on his first two albums, the arrangements vary from the recorded versions in interesting fashions. Live in Concert includes renditions of most of his best early compositions ("If I Were a Carpenter," "Red Balloon," "Reason to Believe," "Misty Roses," "Lady Came From Baltimore," "Black Sheep Boy") and half a dozen Hardin originals that didn't make it onto his first pair of albums. The best of these is the Lenny Bruce tribute, "Lenny's Tune," which Nico covered on her first solo album (where it was retitled "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce"). The 1995 CD reissue of this album adds three previously unreleased bonus tracks from the same concert. © Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com

A great live concert, recorded at the Town Hall in NYC on April 8, 1968. The late Tim Hardin never achieved the success he truly deserved, but he was a great singer-songwriter , with a very distinctive voice. Tim's music style was fundamentally Chess blues influenced by artists like Mose Allison, Ray Charles, and Lefty Frizell. Tim once said that "I've always thought of myself as a jazz singer. Jazz to me is just personal. Everyone who is a jazz player, according to my definition, plays like only he (Lefty Frizell) plays. No one else plays that way. I also feel that jazz is blues is jazz is blues is... Blues is not a restrictive term... If it ain't true it ain't jazz and if it's true it's the blues". He tragically died at 39 years of age, but even today he remains a very influential artist, and his songs are consistently being covered by other artists. Listen to Tim Hardin's brilliant "Tim Hardin 1", and "The Shock of Grace" albums, and give a listen to Paul Weller's outstanding "Studio 150" album, on which he does a marvellous cover of Tim Hardin's "Don't Make Promises".


A1 The Lady Came From Baltimore 2:00
A2 Reason To Believe 2:30
A3 You Upset The Grace Of Living When You Lie 4:05
A4 Misty Roses 4:35
A5 Black Sheep Boy 2:05
A6 Lenny's Tune 6:45

B1 Don't Make Promises 4:02
B2 Danville Dame 6:15
B3 If I Were A Carpenter 3:20
B4 Red Balloon 3:21
B5 Tribute To Hank Williams 3:55
B6 Smugglin' Man 3:30

All songs composed by Tim Hardin


Guitar, Vocals, (Piano on track A6) - Tim Hardin
Guitar - Daniel Hankin
Bass - Eddie Gomez
Piano, Clavinet - Warren Bernhardt
Drums - Donald MacDonald
Vibraphone - Mike Mainieri


Timothy James Hardin (December 23, 1941 – December 29, 1980, was an American folk musician and composer. He is best remembered for writing the Top 40 hits "If I Were a Carpenter", covered by Bobby Darin and Robert Plant, and "Reason to Believe", covered by Rod Stewart, as well as his own recording career. Hardin dropped out of high school at age 18 to join the Marine Corps. He spent part of 1959 in Vietnam as a military advisor. He told the story that his sergeant was killed on patrol that year, but because the US didn't admit to any military dead until 1961, his sergeant was listed as having been killed that year. Hardin is said to have discovered heroin in Vietnam. After his discharge he moved to New York City in 1961, where he briefly attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. He was dismissed because of truancy and began to focus on his musical career by performing around Greenwich Village, mostly in a blues style. After moving to Boston in 1963 he was discovered by the record producer Erik Jacobsen (later the producer for The Lovin' Spoonful), who arranged a meeting with Columbia Records. In 1964 he moved back to Greenwich Village to record for his contract with Columbia. The resulting recordings were considered a failure by Columbia, which chose not to release them and terminated Hardin's recording contract. After moving to Los Angeles, California in 1965, he met actress Susan Morss (known professionally as Susan Yardley), and moved back to New York with her. He signed to the Verve Forecast label, and produced his first authorized album, Tim Hardin 1 in 1966. This album saw a transformation from his early traditional blues style to the folk style that defined his recording career. This LP contained "Reason To Believe" and the ballad "Misty Roses" which did receive Top 40 radio play. Tim Hardin 2 was released in 1967 and contained one of his most famous songs, "If I Were a Carpenter". An album entitled This is Tim Hardin, featuring covers of "House of the Rising Sun", Fred Neil's "Blues on the Ceilin'" and Willie Dixon's "Hoochie Coochie Man", among others, appeared in 1967, on the Atco label. The liner notes indicate the songs were recorded in 1963–1964, well prior to the release of Tim Hardin 1 by Verve Records. Tim Hardin 3 Live in Concert, released in 1968, was a collection of live recordings along with re-makes of previous songs; it was followed by Tim Hardin 4, another collection of blues-influenced tracks believed to date from the same period as This is Tim Hardin. In 1969, Hardin again signed with Columbia and had one of his few commercial successes, as a non-LP single of Bobby Darin's "Simple Song of Freedom" reached the US Top 50. Hardin did not tour in support of this single and a heroin addiction and stage fright made his live performances erratic. Also in 1969 he appeared at the Woodstock Festival where he sang his famous "If I Were a Carpenter" song. He recorded three albums for Columbia—Suite for Susan Moore and Damion: We Are One, One, All in One; Bird on a Wire; and Painted Head—none of which sold well. His output as a songwriter decreased and eventually ceased during this period, a circumstance blamed on his ongoing drug problems. In 1973, Hardin appeared on stage with Harry Chapin as part of Chapin's concert in Potsdam, New York. They jammed on a blues riff that survives in a bootleg recording. Some of the topics covered in the seven minute jam include drug use, travel and death. In Chapin's introduction, he makes reference to Hardin's participation as a session musician on his first two albums. During the following years Hardin moved between England and the U.S. His heroin addiction had taken control of his life by the time his last album, Nine, was released on GM Records in the UK in 1973 (the album did not see a US release until it appeared on Antilles Records in 1976). He sold his writers' rights in the late 1970s. Tim Hardin died of a heroin and morphine overdose in 1980, and is buried in the Twin Oaks Cemetery in Turner, Oregon.


A gentle, soulful singer who owed as much to blues and jazz as folk, Tim Hardin produced an impressive body of work in the late '60s without ever approaching either mass success or the artistic heights of the best singer/songwriters. When future Lovin' Spoonful producer Erik Jacobsen arranged for Hardin's first recordings in the mid-'60s, Hardin was no more than an above-average white blues singer, in the mold of many fellow folkys working the East Coast circuit. By the time of his 1966 debut, however, he was writing confessional folk-rock songs of considerable grace and emotion. The first album's impact was slightly diluted by incompatible string overdubs (against Hardin's wishes), but by the time of his second and best LP, he'd achieved a satisfactory balance between acoustic guitar-based arrangements and subtle string accompaniment. It was the lot of Hardin's work to achieve greater recognition through covers from other singers, such as Rod Stewart (who did "Reason to Believe"), Nico (who covered "Eulogy to Lenny Bruce" on her first album), Scott Walker (who sang "Lady Came From Baltimore"), Fred Neil ("Green Rocky Road" has been credited to both him and Hardin), and especially Bobby Darin, who took "If I Were a Carpenter" into the Top Ten in 1966. Beleaguered by a heroin habit since early in his career, Hardin's drug problems became grave in the late '60s; his commercial prospects grew dimmer, and his albums more erratic, although he did manage to appear at Woodstock. His end was not a pretty one: due to accumulated drug and health problems, as well as a scarcity of new material, he didn't complete any albums after 1973, dying of a drug overdose in 1980. © Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com


A.O.O.F.C said...


p/w aoofc

mike mainieri said...

From: Mike Mainieri-
jazz vibraphonist comments on:

Evidently this reviewer hadn't done his due diligence as to how long the
'jazz' musicians had performed with Tim.
Bernhardt, MacDonald, and Gomez had performed with Timmy for several years. Danny even longer.

We all met Tim when we were members of the group Jeremy and the Satyrs in the early 60's.
(Flutist Jeremy Steig).

Pianist, Warren Bernhardt and knew then and still today every song and lyric of Tim's music.

In fact, Bernhardt, Donald and I moved up to Woodstock to be next to the talented poet and singer-songwriter and rehearsed with him constantly. I personally had played with Tim on and off for about two years.
The problem we encountered at the Town Hall performance, and in many of Tim's concerts, was that Tim was completely strung out which made his performances so inconsistant.

In musical terms, one never knew if Tim was going to add one bar or two to a phrase or skip a beat, or completly miss a verse or a chorus.

On this particular night at Town Hall, Tim was in terrible shape and what seemed like hesitancy on the part of us 'jazz' musicians was the result of us having to guess when he would strike the next chord or suddenly move to another section of the song.
We played his music hundreds of times over the years and knew the music intimately.

This critic seems so have placed the blame on the fact that we were 'jazz' musicians and not familiar with Tim's music or the genre. I suggest he look up the bios of the musicians listed in this lineup.
I personally have performed with Don McLean, Carole King, Paul Simon,
Art Garfunkel, Jon Sebastian, Laura Nyro, Carly Simon, Linda Rondstat, Bonnie Rait, James Taylor, Mark Knopler and many other folk and rock artists along with my 'jazz' appearances with Buddy Rich, Billie Holiday, Wes Montgomery, Art Farmer, Herbie Hancock etc. I have also led the group Steps Ahead with the late Michael Brecker and still do today since 1978.

We all loved Timmy and his artistry,
but performing with him could be both a revelation when he was 'on' and a game of chance when he was 'off'.

RIP dear Tim.

Mike Mainieri

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, Mike. Thanks a million for your comment. What a great insight into Tim Hardin. Reviews are just opinions, as we all know. "Those who can, do. those who can't, criticize". I know many music "critics"/"reviewers" are notoriously ill-informed on the lives of musicians, and who they played with, etc, etc. It is wonderful to receive a comment from musicians like yourself, who know what they are talking about. Thanks again, and I would love to hear more from you. (A.O.O.F.C).

mike mainieri said...

Hi A.O.O.F.C- Thanks for the compliment. I rarely bother posting
my views on critiques but this in not the first reviewer who has blamed the 'jazz musicians' for Tim's uneven performance at Town Hall.
Just needed to set the record straight.

Mike Mainieri

A.O.O.F.C said...

Thanks, Mike. And you HAVE put the record straight. I have received comments from other notable musicians, correcting various "reviews" on this blog, and I'm really grateful. It's wonderful to get artist information "from the horse's mouth", so to speak. Thousands of people won't believe me, but my blog is genuinely trying to promote new artists, as well as remind people about artists like Tim Hardin, who are unknown to so many younger people. I know there is a problem with copyright, etc, and everybody has their views on this tricky file sharing subject, however I know for a fact that much of the music on this blog has encouraged people to buy albums. Two questions, Mike...Did J&TSatyrs release only one album, and have you ever played with Walter Becker and/or Donald Fagen? I admire Steely Dan greatly. If you can find any spare time, please keep in touch, Mike...All the best! (A.O.O.F.C)

bluesis said...

A.O.O.F.C. thanks to you for this Tim Hardin Live. It was a favorite of mine, but went missing decades ago. If Tim was sloppy here then so were my ears. I love it and your blog.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hi, bluesis. Thanks for your comment. Mike Mainieri, who played with Tim gives some great insights into Tim's performance, in his comment here. Come back soon, and it's great to hear from somebody who appreciates Tim's music. Cheers!