- Ronnie Dio's Early Years

The Elves Live
by Jim Pownall

The Elves were the most professional band we regularly saw in W. NY - we'd occasionally get a big name, or up-and-coming band, but mostly it was more garage band quality. The Elves were always worth the drive and cover - we'd drive up to 2-3 hours to see them , all over W. NY and N. PA.

Reading the 'Reflections' on your site brings them back to life - of course, while listening to them. They had the talent, the sound, and the clean volume. In the late '60s, Marshalls were the 'hot' guitar amp, available in the ear-splitting 50-watt and paint-peeling 100-watt versions. Rock played two 100-watt Marshalls - awesome, especially in the smaller venues! And they had the sound system (for vocals - this was before the trend of miking the Pignoses and pushing everything through the PA) to keep up. On the 'softer' passages - guitar, piano, or vocals, listen for the rattle of the snares! Occasionally a band would have the power to get a bit of a buzz from the snares - the Elves had them rattling all night!

For a taste of what a '71-'72 Elves performance was like, dig out that old PhaseLinear, the big speakers, queue up the following, and twist the knobs off!

Give Me A Chance 4:00
Stay With Me 4:25
Saturday Night 2:46
Cold Ramona 2:56
Dirty Dollar Bill 2:46
Drown Me In The River 4:47
Aqualung 6:31
Pisces Apple Lady 4:38
Four Day Creep 2:56
Crosseyed Mary 3:32
War Pigs 9:16
So Long 3:22
Teenage Wasteland 6:45
You Shook Me - Rock's Boogie 10:04
Buckingham Blues 5:49
Little Queenie - JBG - Whole Lotta Shakin' (Medley) 10:52

There's also a studio version of 'Driftin' which is quite good.

You can hear some of the evolution of the Elves into the harder, heavier, more metallic band - the Driftin', Wake Up Sunshine, Lura Lura, into the War Pigs, You Shook Me, Buckingham Blues style.

I was actually a bit disappointed in the original Elf album, I didn't think it really captured the talent and power of the band. Listening to this collection again reaffirms that - they were better than that!

I'm actually more of a Rock fan - (guitar), but Ron's talent is certainly part of the Elves sound - and it was clear back then that his vocals were in the rock elite.

Hope you enjoy the music - I'm looking forward to seeing it posted and other fans' reactions!