David LaFlamme - violin, vocals; Linda LaFlamme - keyboards; Patti Santos - vocals, percussion; Hal Wagenet - guitar; Mitchell Holman - bass; Val Fuentes - drums
Although they were one of the earliest and most important San Francisco bands to emerge from the Summer of Love, It's A Beautiful Day never quite saw the success that so many of their fellow local musicians achieved. Launched in 1967 by violinist/vocalist David LaFlamme (a former soloist with the Utah Symphony Orchestra) and his wife, Linda, on keyboards, It's A Beautiful Day created a unique blend of rock, jazz, folk, classical and world beat styles during the seven years the band was officially together.
This recording was made at the Fillmore West just prior to the making of the group's self-titled debut album for Columbia Records. It features the original lineup and showcases It's A Beautiful Day in their San Francisco hippie prime. The recording does not include their biggest song, "White Bird," but it's still a good representation of what their live show was all about. The band created long, dream-like musical voyages that were often a vehicle for David LaFlamme's distinctive electric violin. During this period, Linda LaFlamme's organ playing was integral to the band's sound, but it was the harmonic blending of David and singer Pattie Santos' voices that was the band's strongest asset.
Most of the material from this show holds up well, although some of it ( such as "Countryside") seems contrived (and "Heavy Changes" definitely sounds a little dated now). The show's best song is the opener "Hot Summer Day"; along with "White Bird," that song became a concert staple and FM radio hit for the group. Shortly after this concert and the release of the debut album, Linda LaFlamme left to form her own group, Titus Mother, and was replaced by Fred Webb. The group endured other personnel changes, and in a 1973 dispute over songwriting royalties, David LaFlamme was ousted from the band he had started. The group continued through 1974 and then folded.
David LaFlamme did a solo album 1977, where he reprised much of the classic It's A Beautiful Day material, but it received little attention. Singer Pattie Santos died tragically in 1989 in an auto accident.