My Top 1000 Songs #182: Low Spark Of High Heeled Boys

Back in college, the annual springtime Lawn Parties were a chance for all the social clubs up and down the main drag to host Sunday afternoon events, from quiet brunches to post-Saturday-night-continuous-party bacchanalia. 

One of the clubs regularly invited a long-running East Coast '60s/early '70s cover band called Yasgur's Farm (named for the site of Woodstock) to perform in the front yard. I remember arriving with a bunch of friends and crashing out on the lawn, blissed out on herbal refreshments we needn't get into here, staring up at the sky, watching the clouds waft by overhead. I think the band played some Santana and Neil Young. And then they launched into Traffic's "The Low Spark Of High-Heeled Boys." I wasn't familiar with the song at the time--wasn't much of a Traffic fan, though they've grown on me since--but the long, jazzy jams full of crazy sax, grounded by that infectious monster bass-and-piano-driven hook, sent me deep into outer-space. Pretty sure it last for, like, six hours.

I still play the song (the title track from the 1971 album if I need a relatively pithy 12 minutes, but preferably the even-more-extended live version from 1973's On The Road to more accurately recreate that college afternoon) when I need to re-ignite the booster rockets.

Live in 1972, Steve Winwood in full-on hippie-in-a-jazz-bar mode:
A reunited Traffic live in 1994: