This Mahavishnu Orchestra Gig List is the product of hundreds of hours of laborious research and the hunting down of obtuse clues. The ultimate goal is to verify every single show the original Mahavishnu Orchestra ever presented. In the course of this endeavor an important historical document will be created. The imagery of the poster artwork and ads, the humorous misspellings, the growth from opener to headliner and the universe of diverse musicians sharing the bills paint a vivid picture of the ascending orbit of this truly remarkable band. The gig list also shows just how much this band worked! It was too much, really. How could you not be totally exhausted, physically and mentally, playing this demanding music day after day, night after night in city after city? It amazes me the band was able to keep it together for as long as it did. Every meteor eventually crashes.
The rise of The Mahavishnu Orchestra took place during a period of great artistic freedom and expression in the United States. Yet, the times were also enveloped in social, governmental and militaristic upheaval. It was in this vortex of volatility that Mahavishnu was born and thrived. It was the only time this music could have happened.