"Who wrote it?" shouted somebody in the crowd at the 12 Bar Club.
"Who cares?" replied Tim Rose. "What are you? My publicist?"
The guy from Greenwich Village had a little trouble at first from the odd heckler in the audience, but he soon settled in once he recognised it as friendly fire. People had come to listen to a musician who started out in the same band as Mama Cass Elliot, and who once turned down a song offered by an unknown Bob Dylan. Accompanied by Michael Winn on electric guitar, Tim Rose performed tunes such as "Come Away Melinda", and "Eat, Drink and be Merry", silencing the 120 or so people packed into this tiny venue. A bit of blues and a bit of country.
But the song they wanted to hear most was "Morning Dew". Since he made his original recording in 1967 there have been over 60 other versions of this classic, including one by the Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart on vocals. Yet Tim Rose set the benchmark. Clocking in at a mere two minutes 46 seconds, "Morning Dew" received extensive airplay on the infant Radio 1 at the time but, in spite of this, CBS decided never to release the single in Britain. Instead, it developed a cult following. People who don't know this song should seek it out and have a listen. That early recording featured a subtle slide guitar signature as well some portentous drumming by Bernard Purdie. On Thursday night, however, Tim Rose and Michael Winn performed the song without embellishments, Rose's soaring voice underpinned by two acoustic guitars and nothing else. A lot of people had waited a long time to hear the man himself sing "Walk me out in the morning dew". He saved it until last, said goodnight, and played no encore.