Amazing Rhythm Aces
Some twenty-five years ago, six fresh-faced musicians gathered in a Memphis recording studio. The music they made didn't fit
neatly into any specific category; it was country-style storytelling with a soulful groove, world-wise poetry with a down-home
delivery. To the band we would come to know as The Amazing Rhythm Aces, it was simply American music - a mixed bag of the
influences that had drawn them together. Fans didn't seem to care about labels, either. For more than two decades, songs like
"Third Rate Romance", "Amazing Grace (Used To Be Her Favorite Song)" and the Grammy-winning "The
End Is Not In Sight" would remain etched in the hearts and minds of a genre-spanning generation as benchmarks of popular
music's better days. The group disbanded in 1981, but its songs lived on as radio staples and its albums were coveted by collectors.
In 1995 the original Aces teamed up to record a collection of their best-known material. Titled Ride Again and released
on their own Breaker Records label, it was their first-ever CD. Reaction was positive; too positive, in fact, to be merely
the result of older fans queing up to replace well-worn vinyl. The music was connecting with young listeners, too. The band
played a few club dates, then booked a tour of Australia, where they'd always enjoyed a large following. Interest was booming
Stateside as well, and the Aces returned to play venues throughout the US. In late '96 they recorded Out Of The Blue, an album
of new material also released on Breaker. By 1997, the re-formation was official; the Aces were back as a full-time band with
original members Jeff "Stick" Davis (bass), James Hooker & Billy Earheart (keys), drummer Butch McDade and vocalist
& primary songwriter Russell Smith. Their new CD, Chock Full Of Country Goodness, features more of Smith's uniquely rich
songwriting and the kind of soul-stirring playing that have kept fans loyal for more than two decades.
"What's happened for us is really gratifying," Smith says of the group's rebirth and subsequent popularity.
"When you consider the competition that's out there today, all the music available to people, it's truly humbling to
think that so many people want to hear what we do. We didn't have to run around trying to find something that 'worked,' either.
We've always had an identity, sound-wise, and we've stuck to it. New songs keep it fresh, and we've focused on recording in
a way that sounds as real as possible-as close to live as you can make it, with everyone playing together and very few overdubs
and soforth - but basically we're just the same bunch of fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants outfit we've always been. That's how
we play our shows, too-get things set as well as you possibly can, and then just go for it. I think that kind of energy is
a big part of our appeal."
If the method to the Aces magic is largely unchanged since their early days, one factor has made them even better, both
live and on record. During their fifteen-year hiatus, each member forged his own stellar career. Smith became one of Nashville's
most respected songwriters, penning hits for Randy Travis (Look Heart, No Hands), Ricky Van Shelton (Keep It Between The Lines)
and many others. Sammy Kershaw's cut on Russell's "Third Rate Romance" made the Aces classic a smash hit for a second
time. Pianist James Hooker logged sideman stints with Steve Winwood, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Nanci Griffith and played
dozens of Music Row master sessions. Organist Billy Earheart followed concert and studio dates for Memphis Slim, Waylon Jennings,
Wet Willie and Al Green with a long tenure in Hank Williams, Jr.'s band. Stick, who also toured with Green, built his own
long list of credits that includes B.B. King, Bob Dylan, Ron Wood and Tommy Tutone.
"It's funny how one thing builds on another," allows Smith. "We were lucky when we started out, and that
success opened a lot of doors for each of us when we went out on our own. Still, we had to figure things out for ourselves,
learn what we had as individuals and what we could make out of that. Then when we got back together, everybody brought back
a different perspective that made the combination even stronger."
There is, however, one significant part missing from today's Aces - a part that will never be replaced. In late 1998,
drummer Butch McDade succumbed after a lengthy battle with cancer. "The loss we all feel," says Smith, "is
just devastating. Butch was an absolute brother to me. We'd been together since the beginning. Every show we do, every time
we go into the studio, he's right there, still a part of it. Not just in spirit, but in a real, tangible way that's hard to
explain. It's like he took a part of each one of us with him, but he left a little of himself behind. We all miss him like
you wouldn't believe, and I'm sure we always will."
In sessions for Chock Full Of Country Goodness, McDade's role was filled by Nashville studio ace Milton Sledge. Steel
guitarist Jim Vest sweetens several tracks, as do special guests/background vocalists Gary Burr, Jim Photoglo and Beth Hooker.
Guitar duties are handled by new Ace Tony Bowles, whose previous gigs include a long tenure in Hank Williams Jr.'s band. Together
with the charter members, this extended cast makes for what's very likely the best Aces record to date. After all, the band
does have its "secret weapon," as Stick Davis calls it: "We have what everyone else would kill to have-a whole
record full of Russell Smith tunes."
The new batch of songs, according to Russell, is drawn from an energy that reminds him of his early tunesmithing days.
"Writing has really been meaning a lot to me again. Kind of an innocent thing, like when I first started out. I think
the album sounds like one of our original records - a pretty wide variety of stuff, but still cohesive. As far as a theme,
it's all fairly country-flavored, at least to me. I've never been very good at describing our sound, or even my own writing.
Whatever you call that spot a little south and east of country & western, I guess that's me. It's just the music I hear
in my head, and I never really felt a need to name it.
"Chock Full..." is Smith at his creative best, partnered with a handful of Music City's other top writers. Yippee
Yi Yo Yo (Smith, Gary Cotton) opens the set with a rural-route lope. "We poked a little fun at the average country fan,"
Russell admits, "which I'm proud to say includes me. Just your basic, hard-workin', hard-partyin', hard-chargin' kind
of guy. Like most of us, he's no movie star. Lots of people have really simple wants and needs - you know, gimmie a six-pack
and a night off. Those people need love, too. This song's for them."
Longtime listeners will recognize Russell's way with a heartbreaking ballad in The Rock (co-written with Jim Varsos).
...You think you hear the sound of distant thunder... that's just your ol' rock, rollin' away... "It's about not making
the same mistake over and over again," Smith explains. "You try to be steadfast and faithful as long as you can,
and then finally you face facts and move on. Now, the other side of that coin is what you have with Makin' Nothin' Out Of
Somethin', which was written with Cindy Green. These people have found out that being in love and living together isn't Disneyland
or Camelot, but they still believe in it, and they're trying to make adjustments. Relationships can go so many places, which
is great for writers. We'll never run out of situations to write about. Unfortunately, a lot of the best ones come from your
own life, like I Need A Heart To Come Home To. It came out of the time when I was newly-divorced. I came home one night with
this great song, and I wanted to play it for somebody, but nobody was there."
No Aces album would be complete without some lighter fare, and Rednecks Unplugged & D.U.I.S.O.L. fit the bill. They're
Russell's "it's okay to feed the rednecks" and "anti-drinkin', drinkin'" songs, respectively. Jerry Fontaine
And His Jammin' Guitar is a bit of a dichotomy, as Smith explains: "It's funny, but it's kind of sad, too. One of my
co-writers walked in one day with this old, beat-up, el-cheapo guitar, and on the back the former owner had written his name
over and over with a pencil until it was carved into the wood. Then on the tailpiece he'd engraved, "My Jammin' Guitar."
We've all seen a thousand of those guys walking down the street in Nashville or LA, just hoping to make it. This is kind of
a tribute to them."
With this solid set of new tunes and the classics fans still love, the Aces returned in early 1999 from yet another Australian
tour (their fourth) to begin a steady string of US dates. Their lineup is further strengthened by their newest member, drummer
Bryan Owings, whom Smith describes as "a perfect fit. Butch recommended him as his replacement, and man, was he on the
money with that one."Soon the one remaining drawback to their "do-it-yourself" style of record-making will
be addressed. "One thing we hear alot," says Russell, shaking his head, "is that people have a hard time finding
our records in stores. We sell a good number of CDs, but it's mostly through our website ( www.theaces.com ) or at the shows.
Now, it's flattering that people like our music enough to seek it out, but it looks like they won't have to do that much longer.
We're currently negotiating with some heavy-hitting distributors, and our goal is to be all over the place with this new album
by the end of the year. So it's true - the end is not in sight!"
featuring Joey Molland
Badfinger. It's a name that most music fans have heard at some time or another. 'Cos like, aren't they something to do
with The Beatles? Didn't Paul McCartney write one of their singles? Whatever happened to...?
Exactly. Rock history hasn't treated Badfinger very kindly at all. Walk into any major music chain in the UK and you'll
be hard pressed to find a Badfinger album. And when you do manage to strike lucky, nine times out of ten, it's a US or Japanese
import. When you consider that Badfinger were a British band, this is a very poor state of affairs. So, why no kudos here
in the UK? Why, when the band's name is mentioned, is it usually used to describe a band who sound like a second-rate Beatles
(I've heard it mentioned in connection with Oasis recently)? If you're expecting me to speculate on the answer to that little
poser, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm as baffled as the next Badfinger fan. All I can do is state the case for the band's
And the case for the defense is strong. Far from being the "poor man's Beatles" that they're often labeled,
Badfinger were actually pretty much the officially sanctioned 1970s version of the Fab Four. As The Iveys (Pete Ham and Tom
Evans on guitar, Ron Griffith on bass, and Mike Gibbins on drums), the prototype Badfinger were signed to The Beatles' recently
formed Apple label in 1968, having been discovered by Bill Collins, a friend of Beatles associate Mal Evans, and their first
LP, Maybe Tomorrow, appeared the following year. (It's worth noting that the first signs of dissension were starting to appear
in The Beatles' ranks round about this time, with Ringo briefly walking out on the band during the "White Album"
sessions. Is that a baton I see being passed on?!) Its release gained little fanfare, despite it being a thoroughly decent
debut (so decent, in fact, that six of the album's twelve tracks - seven if you count the re-recorded version of Fisherman
- also found their way onto the official Badfinger debut LP). The Beatles' influence on The Iveys' sound and songwriting was
obvious, but this didn't seem to bother anyone at Apple, Beatles personnel included. In fact, it seemed to work to The Iveys'
advantage, as the band became something of a pet project in Beatle circles. The Beatles saw something in The Iveys that they
understood and felt a kinship with, and friendships were forged.
Shortly after the release of their debut album, and with a change of name (it was thought that The Iveys' name was a major
stumbling block in getting the band some deserved recognition with the public - the new name came from Badfinger Boogie, McCartney's
working title for A Little Help From My Friends), a shift from guitar to bass for Tom Evans and the recruitment of Liverpudlian
guitarist Joey Molland (replacing Ron Griffith), Badfinger was born, and with the single Come And Get It - a Paul McCartney-penned
tune specifically written for Badfinger - made their debut in the UK charts, peaking at number 4 in January 1970. The sound
was distinctly Beatlesque, and the album from which it came, 1970's Magic Christian Music (named after the Peter Sellers /
Ringo Starr film, 'The Magic Christian', from which Come And Get It also came), showed Badfinger to be extremely hard working
students from The Beatles' College of Pop. If, as it's sometimes mooted, Rubber Soul and Revolver are volumes one and two
of the same record, Magic Christian Music must surely rank as volume three. It boasts an eclectic mix of song styles. From
lounge music (Knocking Down Our Home) to semi-Byrdsian whimsical pop (Give It A Try), from bluesy toe-tappers (Rock Of All
Ages) to epic, string-laden ballads (Carry On Till Tomorrow), all aspects of mid-to-late Sixties pop music were covered. And
well. Magic Christian Music is nothing less than one of the first classic records of the early Seventies.
It's the band's next album, though, No Dice (also released in 1970), which perhaps defines Badfinger in many people's
minds, as it includes the band's own recording of the song they wrote that Harry Nilsson took to number one, Without You (also
covered in recent years by Mariah Carey, but the less said about that the better) and No Matter What, the band's second UK
hit and a song covered relatively recently by the late US Power Poppers Jellyfish (and even more recently by scuzzy British
rock 'n' rollers The Wildhearts). Elsewhere on No Dice, the Beatles influence is still very much in the foreground. The smooth
vocal harmonies of It Had To Be wouldn't have seemed out of place on Abbey Road, and the slow, soulful groove of Believe Me
is an obvious close cousin of McCartney's Oh! Darling from that very album.
The term 'Abbey Road-esque' is often used to describe the flavour of the band's third LP, too. Straight Up was released
in 1972, and is a finely crafted, but immensely soulful, slice of Seventies Pop. Although not the album the band originally
planned to make (for a tantalizing glimpse of that, listen to the bonus tracks on the No Dice and Straight Up CDs; here you'll
find orchestrated versions of some of Straight Up's tracks that suprisingly put the admittedly superb released versions in
the shade), it's certainly the finest album Badfinger recorded for Apple. Produced by Todd Rundgren and George Harrison (although
not at the same time - Harrison handed over the controls to Rundgren when he had to dash off to put together the Concert For
Bangla Desh LP, a live album on which members of Badfinger played, along with Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Klaus Voorman and Harrison
himself), Straight Up is the spiritual successor to Abbey Road. It's the album The Beatles would have recorded if they'd made
it into the Seventies. It boasts perfect vocal harmonies, melodies in the finest Beatles tradition and a punchy but smooth
production. All this and twelve of Badfinger's best ever songs (Baby Blue, Day After Day, Take It All, Perfection, It's Over...
need I say more?!). Ironically, though, Straight Up sold poorly in the UK, with the public seemingly refusing to take Badfinger
seriously as an albums band. Legal problems were also starting to dog the band around this time. Their songwriting royalties
were tied up by a dispute with Apple, and they ended up falling out with the label and eventually signing to Warner Brothers.
Ass, Badfinger's final album on Apple, was released in 1974. The sleeve showed a donkey being lured away by a giant hand
holding a carrot; a reference to Warner's very tasty million dollar advance. The record's sleeve may have been a tongue-in-cheek
dig at Apple, but there was a definite sadness in Badfinger's voice. The band saw Apple as a spiritual home, and being forced
to leave in such circumstances was obviously very painful. The lead song on Ass, Apple Of My Eye, was penned as a fond farewell
to the label, and the album's final track, Timeless, even went so far as pondering Badfinger's place in rock history (at least
that was one interpretation of the epic song's lyric). It was as if they thought that their day had been and gone; which,
musically, it obviously hadn't, as they hit their peak later that same year with the flawless Wish You Were Here, their second
LP for Warner's.
Six weeks after the completion of Ass, the band were back in the studio recording their debut LP for their new label.
Badfinger (the original working title of the LP was 'For Love Of Money') is a strong and varied album, covering all bases
from heartfelt ballads (I Miss You, Lonely You), to Led Zeppelin-ish hard rock (Give It Up), to the band's trademarked Power
Pop (Shine On). Sadly, though, the album failed to sell. Happily, this pushed the band to further heights of excellence musically,
and just three months after Badfinger hit the record stores, they were back in the studio creating their swansong, the critically
acclaimed Wish You Were Here.
Wish You Were Here boasts a warm, rich, textured sound and a set of nine songs that, for the most part (Got To Get Out
Of Here being the main exception), ring out with an infectious joyousness. As Dan Matovina says in his sleeve note to Rhino's
The Best Of Badfinger Volume II, Wish You Were Here is an album that when "turned up, can leave you feeling like you've
just experienced the London Philharmonic!" From the chiming pure pop chorus of Know One Knows (with its cheesy but lovable
Japanese spoken word section), to the almost prog rock (prog pop, anyone?) epic In The Meantime / Some Other Time, to the
final glorious medley, Meanwhile Back At The Ranch / Should I Smoke - a track that actually has the power to take one's breath
clean away - Wish You Were Here is, without a doubt, Badfinger's most exhilarating and vibrant album. Which makes the fact
that it was pulled by Warners after a month on release all the more tragic.
Sadly, Badfinger once again found themselves embroiled in legal problems, as a lawsuit was filed by Warner's publishing
division against the band's management company, who had allegedly been tampering with funds. It was these problems that led
Joey Molland to quit the band at the end of 1974. Keyboard player Bob Jackson was recruited as Joey's replacement, and the
band began recording a new album, Head First. However, Warners refused to release the LP as the lawsuit was still ongoing
(four songs were released posthumously on The Best Of Badfinger Volume II, though).
On 24 April 1975, with no income, mounting debts and his band forcedly locked into a stationary position, Pete Ham hanged
himself at his London home. His suicide note laid the blame squarely at the foot of the music business, and, in particular,
the band's American manager.
Badfinger's eventual rebirth in 1978 (with Joey Molland and Tom Evans recruiting various other musicians, after spending
two years working as labourers) led to the release of two more LPs, Airwaves (1979) - a criminally underrated album, boasting
as it does some fine contributions from guitarist Joe Tansin, not to mention legendary keyboardist (and occasional Stones
collaborator) Nicky Hopkins - and the patchier Say No More (1981), a 'back to basics' LP that never really takes flight due
to its poor production. Both LPs flopped. Badfinger's 'comeback' attempt hadn't worked. Royalty disputes still followed the
band wherever they went, and Molland and Evans once more found themselves struggling financially.
Tom Evans took his own life on 18 November 1983. Just like his friend had done eight years earlier, Evans hanged himself.
As usual, the business side of the music industry had crippled the creative side. Speaking to the BBC in 1996, Tom Evans'
widow, Marianne, said of her late husband and his songwriting partner, Pete Ham: "They were too sensitive. They were
not business people, they were songwriters, and they couldn't stand up for themselves. They were not strong enough for the
business side of it. If they had been strong, they would still be alive."
The tragedy of the Badfinger story does tend to cloud their music with an air of sadness. But as so much of that music
is inspirational in tone, it's the kind of sadness one gets listening to, say, Abbey Road or John Lennon's Imagine LP. It's
the sadness of life, basically. The world is indeed an awful place, but it's reassuring to know that, despite this fact, Badfinger
tried their best to make it feel a little bit better. It's a cliche, I know, but their music really will live forever.
Barry McGuire & Terry Talbot
Trippin' The 60's
Drawing from nearly 80 years of combined showbiz experience, Barry McGuire and Terry Talbot have just put together their
new show, "Trippin' The 60's". It's a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, high-energy, sing-along show that never fails
to take the audience on an emotional rollercoaster ride, leaving them spinning, weeping, laughing, dancing, and coming back
night after night for more.
Barry McGuire stepped into the public eye in 1963 on the Andy Williams Show as the gravelly voiced lead singer of the
New Christy Minstrels. He launched his musical career with the million-sellers "Green, Green" and "Green Back
In 1965, at the heart of the peace movement, McGuire went solo. His growing awareness of social hypocrisy was expressed
in his third hit "Eve of Destruction" which echoed around the world as an anthem of the times.
Three years later, Barry was cast as the male lead in the original Broadway production of the musical "Hair."
Once again his voice was heard proclaiming the ideals of a radical generation. Dick Clark says, "When world events
collide with "Rock & Roll" you get Barry McGuire".
Terry Talbot earned early recognition as an accomplished guitarist with Glen Campbell, Chad Mitchell and Sonny &
Cher. And, as the founder of the country rock band, Mason Proffit of Two Hangmen and Better Find Jesus fame, he contributes
his Grammy nominated music as he sings and shares of his touching friendships with John Denver, Janis Joplin and The Eagles.
Black Oak Arkansas
Southern rock veterans Black Oak Arkansas never quite achieved the level of success enjoyed by contemporaries like Lynyrd
Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, but have remained a cult band thanks to their raw, primitive energy and the testosterone-fueled
antics of lead vocalist/showman James "Big Jim Dandy" Mangrum. Named for Mangrum's hometown, Black Oak Arkansas
eventually built up a solid following through incessant touring and enjoyed a run of ten charting albums between 1971 and
1976. The band also found itself with a Top 30 single in their raunchy cover of a LaVern Baker's R&B hit called "Jim
Dandy to the Rescue," which became Mangrum's signature song. When album sales dried up, Mangrum re-formed the band with
more musically skilled veteran players and continued to tour, although the group's glory days were past.
Black Oak Arkansas dates back to the mid-'60s, when a group of young, long-haired misfits headed by Jim Mangrum, unable
to find work, turned to rock & roll. However, the group was unable to purchase equipment and ended up being arrested for
grand larceny after stealing items from the local school in order to get money. They were nearly run out of town and went
to live in the nearby hills, locating and borrowing equipment where they could. The band moved to New Orleans in 1969 and
called itself Knowbody Else, with a lineup of vocalist Mangrum; guitarists Ricky "Ricochet" Reynolds, Stanley "Goober"
Knight, and Harvey "Burley" Jett; bassist Pat Daugherty; and drummer Wayne Evans. Knowbody Else recorded a self-titled
album for Stax, which went nowhere; rethinking their approach, the band became interested in psychedelia and Eastern spirituality,
which they filtered through their Southern Baptist upbringing. Changing their name to Black Oak Arkansas, the band secured
a deal with Atlantic after several trips to Los Angeles and released its self-titled debut in 1971. While it wasn't a hit,
the band toured extensively, building a reputation as a raw, incendiary live act that made up for occasional musical deficiencies
with energy and the explicit sexuality of Mangrum, who flaunted his body at every opportunity and became known for such antics
as miming sex with the washboard he used for musical accompaniment.
The band's second album, Keep the Faith, was a noticeable improvement, as the band had honed its sound and material through
numerous live gigs; If an Angel Came to See You, Would You Make Her Feel at Home? followed the same year, featuring new drummer
Tommy Aldridge, but it was 1973's Raunch 'N' Roll Live that established the group as a commercial force. That year, High on
the Hog became their most commercially successful album, reaching number 52 on the charts. It was buoyed by the Top 30 cover
version of "Jim Dandy to the Rescue," which featured female vocalist Ruby Starr trading innuendoes with Jim "Dandy"
Several more albums followed before the group parted ways with Atlantic in 1976; Jett left the band in 1975 and was replaced
by Starr cohort James Henderson. Lineup shifts were rampant as the group switched to MCA; Aldridge left and was replaced by
Joel Williams, while the guitar/bass axis was gutted and rebuilt around Greg Reding, Jack Holder, and bassist Andy Tanas.
This lineup released Race With the Devil in 1977, after the band had one last taste of success with the "Strong Enough
to Be Gentle" single. Following several lackluster, straightforward Southern rock albums, the band called it quits in
1980. After recovering from a heart attack, Mangrum reunited with Reynolds in 1984 for a solo album, Ready as Hell; The Black
Attack Is Back followed two years later.
By the spring of 1995 Jim "Dandy" Mangrum was performing again and along with Rickie Reynolds (12 string) and
Par Daugherty (bass) and new members Rocky Athas (lead guitar) and Johnny Bolin (drums), they are destined to rekindle all
the successes of yesteryear and beyond. They are respectfully determined to make it look as though the past was but a dress
rehearsal for their future which is now at hand. In 1999, BOA reunited to release The Wild Bunch.
So prepare yourselves for what is destined to come, and is meant to be; the time of THE RECKONING is at hand.
"It makes you feel good inside." That's the catch phrase Nashville, Tennessee's Bonepony uses to describe what
they do, and you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who has seen the band that didn't agree. They've been making people feel
good inside for years as they criss-cross the nation, stopping in every big city and wide-spot-in-the-road town in America
and bringing their unique brand of "Stomp Rock" to their audiences with all the fervor of a traveling tent revival
mixed equally with arena-rock spectacle.
"We play our hearts out" says Bonepony front man and founding member Scott Johnson. I don't know any other
way to play these songs." The band: Johnson, Nicolas Nguyen and Kenny Wright, tour year-round and have developed a large
and devoted following. Bonepony has toured with acts like Bob Seger, Santana, and ZZ Top, played countless open-air festivals
like Farm Aid and the Telluride Bluegrass Festival and rocked every theatre, concert hall, club and roadside honky tonk in
the United States and Canada.
"That's the best part of being on the road. We've made friends in every small town and major metropolis around",
rhapsodies Nguyen. Their sixth release, "Feeling It," hit the number 1 spot on XM Radio's X Country chart; no small
feat for a band without label funding or radio promotion. The music itself is a melodious hybrid of rock and roll, folk, country,
bluegrass and soul, driven home with foot-stomping four-on-the-floor beats crowbarred into four minute musical masterpieces
that make it impossible to enjoy while standing still.
As one writer scribed; "If Bonepony doesn't make you move you're made of lead!" The live show is more of
the same, with the band tearing through their unscripted set with unconscious abandon; each band member seemingly playing
a different instrument on every song and using every limb available to do so.
March 2007 saw the band film their show at Nashville's historic Belcourt Theatre for a two disc live DVD/CD package.
"Celebration Highway" documents the bands performance in both CD and full-length concert film formats. The film
includes not only the Belcourt performance but also follows the band on it's seemingly endless tour to bring their music to
the masses. The Belcourt show was filmed as part of "Diehard" week; an annual gathering of Bonepony fans (or Diehards,
as they have dubbed themselves) from all over the world who meet in a planned city and travel in groups for a series of shows.
"We've got the best fans in the world," remarks Johnson.
Indeed, the bands relationship with the people who follow them is unique and a huge part of what keeps Bonepony making
music and touring 200 plus nights a year. As Johnson often says wryly during the course of a show, "You guys are our
record label." The band has been in DIY mode since parting ways with Capitol records after touring the U.S. in support
of their debut album "Stomp Revival". Although heralded by many critics as "the future of music" Capitol
was unmotivated to market the band and did nothing in the way of promotion. The band split from the label and all subsequent
releases have been on their own imprint, SuperDuperRecordings.
Undaunted by the fact that mainstream success has so far eluded them, Bonepony forges on. With 2008 already in full-swing
there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. Says Wright, "We're together 52 weeks a year. "It's a real family vibe
and I think it comes through in the music." Pausing slightly, he reflects, "It really does make you feel good inside."
Bowzer's Rock 'N' Roll Party
The stunning disparity between mild-mannered Jon Bauman and his creation and alter ego, the inimitable "Bowzer",
has raised a lot of eyebrows in the entertainment industry. That's because Jon's portrayal of "Bowzer", leader of
"Sha Na Na" for fourteen years, was so convincing that the casual observer was certain this hilarious, gangly greaser
actually stalked the streets of Brooklyn when he wasn't appearing with the group. Later, when Jon Bauman washed the grease
right out of "Bowzer"'s hair, he surfaced as one of the most multi-dimensional performers in show business today,
with careers as host, producer, writer, performer, actor, musician and social activist!
Jon, like "Bowzer", was born in Brooklyn, but there the resemblance ends. Jon was something of a child prodigy
at the piano, and started classical lessons at age seven. He attended the Juilliard School beginning age l2 and ultimately
graduated Magna Cum Laude from prestigious Columbia College in New York.
In l969, Jon joined several of his Columbia classmates in "Sha Na Na" and created the character of "Bowzer".
With "Bowzer" the dominant character on stage, Jon was a major force in leading the group to their successful TV
series. At its peak, "Sha Na Na" was the #1 syndicated show in America, and was also seen in 32 foreign countries.
The series ran for four years first-run and another three in syndicated strip.
While remaining the star of "Sha Na Na", Jon branched out on his own and made over l50 solo appearances. He
guest starred on programs ranging from "The Barbara Mandrell Show" to "Super Password", and guest hosted
such shows as "An Evening at the Improv". He also appeared with the group in the phenomenally successful movie,
"Grease", and sang the "Born To Hand Jive" number on the "Grease" album, then the biggest selling
soundtrack album of all time.
When Jon left "Sha Na Na" in the mid-80's, he began to explore his many talents even further. In a l80-degree
turnaround from "greaser" to game show host, he hosted the "Match Game-Hollywood Squares Hour" on NBC,
the nationally syndicated "Pop 'N' Rocker Game" and the ABC prime-time reality series "We Dare You". Jon
then spent two years as one of the original "VJ"'s on the music channel, "VH-1". Jon next wrote and hosted
LBS Comunications' twelve-part series "The Story of Rock 'n' Roll." The following year, he became co-host of KHJ's
"L.A. In The Morning", having broadened his skills to an issue-oriented talk show! He then hosted "Karaoke
Showcase", an hour-long syndicated series shot at Universal Studios, Florida and distributed to over 100 stations.
On the acting front, Jon has appeared on several episodics such as "Miami Vice" and he's also active in voice-overs
for animated series such as "Animaniacs" and feature films, including "My Little Pony" and "The Jetsons."
And Jon has successfully added the producer's and writer's caps to his versatile career picture. Jon Bauman Productions
followed "The Story Of Rock 'n' Roll" with "The Golden Age Of Rock 'n' Roll," a ten-hour series for A
Jon also served as executive producer, writer and host of "Bowzer's Rock 'n' Roll Party" (Jon Bauman Productions
in association with Tribune Entertainment). This 2-hour New Year's Eve special aired on l20 stations. The same year, Jon produced,
wrote and hosted "Blast to the Past!", a one-hour special based on the Disneyland 50's promotion of the same name,
shot at the Magic Kingdom.
Finally, Jon's live show, "Bowzer's Original Doo-Wop Party", was the most successful production show ever at
Atlantic City's Trop World Hotel and Casino.Jon has been performing ever since with his group, Bowzer and the Stingrays, at
fairs, amusement parks, cruise ships and conventions all over the country and the world! Jon Bauman freely gives what's left
of his time to several charities, notably Cerebral Palsy-Spastic Children. He recently started the Truth in Rock Association,
and is spending a lot of time in Washington with the Intellectual Properties Subcommittee of the House of Representatives.
They're working to change the law to better protect real artists from the 50's and 60's from knockoff impostor groups, and
Jon is currently writing a book on this subject.
Jon lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 31 years, Mary, and their two children, Nora, 23, and Eli, 21. Nora just graduated
and Eli is a sophomore at Columbia, where Jon went to college.
There's no telling where the multi-faceted Jon Bauman will turn up next, but one thing's for sure- he's going to be a
major force in the world of entertainment for a long time to come!
Brewer & Shipley
Recognized as one of the most successful folk rock duos of the 70's, Brewer & Shipleyhave remained true to their original
form throughout 3 decades.
Although best known for their Top 10 signature song, "One Toke Over The Line" which permanently etched their
names in rock history by becoming an anthem of the 70's counter culture, Michael Brewer and Tom Shipley were by no means a
one trick pony. In all, the duo landed 3 singles on the Billboard charts and had the pleasure of working with such notables
as Mike Bloomfield, Leon Russell, Jimmy Messina, and the late Jerry Garcia.
Constantly touring, Brewer & Shipley could be found performing in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, The Bottom
Line, The Troubadour, The Roxy, Keil Opera House, and Arrowhead Stadium. Because of their broad appeal, they became a favored
support act for major tours, sharing the stage with a diverse list of artists, including: Elton John, The Eagles, Bruce Springsteen,
Billy Joel, Bonnie Raitt, Electric Light Orchestra, Jethro Tull, Humble Pie, Ted Nugent and Black Sabbath among others.
In 1979, after more than a decade of writing, traveling, and performing, Brewer and Shipley parted company to pursue personal
interests. Michael Brewer continued to make music, recording a solo album for Full Moon Records entitled "Beauty Lies".
This release featured guest artists such as Linda Ronstadt and J.D. Souther, and was produced by longtime friend Dan Fogelberg.
Tom Shipley began working as a television producer/director, eventually forming his own production company (Tarkio Communications).
He later founded the Oral History of The Ozarks Project, a not-profit organization producing documentaries about life in the
In 1986,at the request of KCFX (Kansas City),the duo reunited for a concert to celebrate the station's first birthday.
Unsure of what to expect having been out of the public eye for so long, the duo was overwhelmed as they walked on stage to
over 10,000 cheering fans welcoming their return. Having come full circle from their days as staff song writers living in
Los Angeles, Brewer & Shipley began writing together again. Their first project? The soundtrack for one of Shipley's documentaries...the
award winning," Treehouse - An Ozark Story".
Inrecent years, the duo has witnessed rejuvenated interest in their music, beginning with BMG's purchase of their catalog
and subsequent re-issue of the critically acclaimed "Tarkio" release. This was soon followed by the inclusion of
"One Toke Over The Line" on the "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" Limited Edition 25th Anniversay CD on
(Jimmy Buffett's) Margaritaville Records, and later on the "Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas" motion picture soundtrack
(Geffen Records). In addition, the duo was invited to contribute guest vocals on their trademark song for the fall 98 release
of "Hempilation II" (CapricornRecords).
Brewer & Shipley continue to tour and record regularly, having released 2 albums since reuniting - "Shanghai"
(1993) and "Heartland"(1997). Regarding Brewer & Shipley, Ron Sylvester (The Branson Note) wrote, "An actual
group from the 70's still capable of making vital music in the 90's... For a duo best remembered as 70's folkies, this is
a solid blast into the present...undeniable proof these guys can still make evocative music".
The Stars Of Beatlemania
THE STARS OF BEATLEMANIA feature the same performers who starred on Broadway in BEATLEMANIA, the box office smash that toured
the world. This production recaptures the sights and the sounds of THE BEATLES with remarkable detail. These internationally
renowned performers have performed this exciting show all over the globe, thrilling audiences throughout the United States,
Canada, Europe, Central America and in such places as China, Singapore, Australia and Japan. Get on board the "Magical
Mystery Tour" and experience the 60's one more time. You'll be Twisting and Shouting the night away with THE STARS OF
David Leon as John Lennon - guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals.
David starred in the Broadway and motion picture productions of Beatlemania. He has also performed with The Rembrandts
and with such 60s legends as Mitch Ryder, Tiny Tim, Three Dog Night, Badfinger, Herman's Hermits and Dion.
Alan LeBoeuf as Paul McCartney - bass, guitar, keyboards, vocals.
Alan portrayed Paul McCartney in Broadway's cast of Beatlemania. After two years on Broadway, Alan moved to Nashville
to form the hit country act, Bailey and the Boys, who were signed to RCA and had seven straight top ten hits on the country
charts. Alan also toured with Legends In Concert before rejoining his Beatlemania band mates in THE STARS OF BEATLEMANIA.
David Brighton as George Harrison - guitar, keyboards, bass, vocals.
Brighton played lead guitar for the hit arena rock act, Quiet Riot, before portraying the quiet Beatle in many of the
worlds top Beatle acts. He has also performed with international superstars such as David Bowie, Little Richard, Kenny Loggins
and Stevie Wonder.
Carroll Beaver¯ Parker as Ringo Starr - drums, vocals.
Parker has a well-rounded career in the entertainment industry. He has recorded with stars such as Peabo Bryson and Nigel
Olsson. He has also performed in concert with Herman's Hermits, Paul Davis, The Shrimp Shooters, and the cast of Beatlemania
throughout the world.
"A Splendid Time Is Guarenteed For All"
Emerging in 1966, Canned Heat was founded by blues historians and record collectors Alan "Blind Owl" Wilson and
Bob "The Bear" Hite. They gained international attention and secured their niche in the pages of rock & roll
history with their performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival (along with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Who) and
the headlining slot at the original Woodstock Festival. Wilson was already renowned for his distinctive harmonica work when
he accompanied veteran bluesman, Son House, on his rediscovery album, "Father of the Blues." Hite took the name
Canned Heat from a 1928 recording by Tommy Johnson. They were joined by Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine, another ardent
record collector capable of fretboard fireworks at a moment's notice who was a former member of Frank Zappa "Mothers
of Invention. Rounding out the band in 1967 were Larry "The Mole" Taylor on bass, an experienced session musician
who had played with Jerry Lee Lewis and The Monkees and Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra on drums who had played in two
of the biggest Latin American bands, Los Sinners and Los Hooligans and then with The Platters, The Shirelles, T-Bone Walker
and Etta James.
Canned Heat's unique blend of modern electric blues, rock and boogie has earned them a loyal following and influenced
many aspiring guitarists and bands during the past 40 years. Their Top-40 country-blues-rock songs, "On The Road Again",
"Let's Work Together", and "Going Up The Country" became rock anthems throughout the world with the later
being adopted as the unofficial theme song for the film Woodstock and the "Woodstock Generation". Right from the
start, Canned Heat has been at the forefront of popularizing blues music. Their second album, "Boogie With Canned Heat",
included the worldwide hit "On The Road Again" and a twelve minute version of "Fried Hockey Boogie" that
established them with hippie ballroom audiences as the "kings of the boogie!" Their third album, "Living The
Blues", included a 19-minute tour de force, Parthenogenesis" which displayed the quintet at their most experimental
along with their incarnation of Henry Thomas& "Bulldozer Blues" where singer, Wilson, retained the tune of the
original song, rewrote the lyric and came up with "Goin Up The Country", whose simple message caught the "back
to nature" attitude of the late 60's and went to #1 in 25 countries around the world.
The band can boast of collaborations with John Mayall and Little Richard and later with blues icon, John Lee Hooker, the
musician that they initially got much of their musical inspiration from in the first place. This union first produced the
spirited and revered album, "Hooker & N Heat" and then Hooker's 1990 Grammy Award-winning classic, "The
Healer". The band is also credited with bringing a number of other forgotten bluesmen to the forefront of modern blues
including Sunnyland Slim, who they found driving a taxi in Chicago, Skip James, who they found in a hospital in Tunica, Mississippi
and took to the Newport Festival, Memphis Slim and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown with whom they recorded in France
and Albert Collins. They brought Collins to California where they had their manager negotiate a recording agreement for Albert
that started him on his way to becoming a well known musician throughout the world.
On September 3rd, 1970, the band was shattered by the suicide of Alan Wilson. His death sparked reconstruction within
the group and member changes continued throughout the next three decades. On April 5th, 1981, at the Palamino in Los Angeles,
gargantuan vocalist, Bob Hite, collapsed and died of a heart attack and on October 20th, 1997, Henry Vestine died in Paris,
France following the final gig of a European tour. Despite these untimely deaths and assorted musical trends, Canned Heat
has survived under the leadership of Fito de la Parra since the late 70's. Since 1967, the band has toured extensively all
over the world, performing at numerous festivals including Monterey Pop, Newport Pop, the Sturgis Motorcycle Run U.S.A., and
the original Woodstock. They have performed at world-renowned venues such as Paris' Olympia, both Fillmore Auditoriums, The
Kaleidoscope, Carnegie Hall (with John Lee Hooker), Madison Square Garden and even Royal Albert Hall and have played more
biker festivals than any other band in the world including their recent headline stint at Europe's Love Ride.
They and/or their music have been featured on television (In Concert, David Frost, Merv Griffin, Midnight Special, Playboy
After Dark, etc.), and in films (Woodstock,Flashback, and Forrest Gump etc.). Their legend has recently been heard and felt
in various television commercials ("On The Road Again" for Miller Beer, Goin' Up The Country, for Pepsi, Chevrolet
and McDonalds, Let's Work Together, for Lloyd's Bank, England's Electric Company and for Target Stores along with other songs
for 7-Up, Levi's and Heineken Beer).
Now, more than forty years later and with thirty-six albums to their credit, Canned Heat is still going strong. Anchored
throughout by the steady hand of drummer/band leader Adolfo "Fito" de la Parra (a member since 1967) and with one
of their strongest lineups ever, Canned Heat is well on track to carry the boogie-blues it made famous, well into the 21st
century. Starting out 2006, the lineup has Fito on drums, Greg Kage on bass and vocals, Barry Levenson on guitar and the return
of Robert Lucas on guitar, harmonica and lead vocals. Their most recent CD is entitled "Friends In The Can". This
record brings together a number of Canned Heat's musical friends from the past and present to join them in this musical collaboration
and celebration of 40 years of Canned Heat blues and boogie. Fito's book, "LIVING THE BLUES" is available through
the band's website at www.cannedheatmusic.com and at most popular book outlets. It is the complete and outrageous Canned Heat
story of "Music, Drugs, Death, Sex and Survival" along with over 100 captivating pictures from their past.
And, as The Bear would say: "Don't Forget To Boogie!
featuring Sylvester Potts
In 1958, in Detroit, Michigan, Billy Gordon, Billy Hoggs, Joe Billingslea and Billy Rollins formed a quartet named The Blenders.
After a short period of playing together, the group decided to replace Billy Rollins with a better quality singer named Leroy
Fair. In 1960, the late Hubert Johnson, a cousin of the late Jackie Wilson, joined the group, making it a quintet. After a
visit to a recording studio called "Flick and Contour Records", the group "borrowed" part of the name
and changed its name to THE CONTOURS.
In Fall 1960, with some encouragement from Jackie Wilson, Berry Gordy, Jr, signed the group to a recording contract with
Motown. In January 1961, they released "Whole Lotta Woman" b/w "Come On And Be Mine". The record did not
have much success. Shortly afterward, there was some disappointing news for Leroy Fair. Despite his great voice, Leroy couldn't
handle the required choreography, and the group (to steal the words of the song to come) broke his heart, cause he couldn't
dance. The group replaced him twice before eventually finding Sylvester Potts as a replacement for Leroy Fair. This group
recorded, "The Stretch" b/w "Funny" which didn't fare much better than the first effort. However, for
THE CONTOURS, the third time would become the charm!
In 1962, Gordy created a new label for Motown Records called the Gordy label and signed THE CONTOURS as its first group.
In the summer of 1962, the group recorded Berry Gordy Jr's, "Do You Love Me," resulting in the group's (and label's)
first hit. Within two weeks of its release, the song roared to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, taking the #1 spot on the R&B
charts and #3 on the pop charts. It remained on the charts for five months. The song was the Gordy label's first million-seller,
and it still holds the record as Motown's fastest rising hit of all time.
In 1963, the group charted another hit, sending "Shake Sherry" to the #21 position on the R&B charts (#43
pop). In 1964, they charted "Can You Do It" at #41 R&B. Still in 1964, they recorded a ballad entitled "The
Day When She Needed Me". However, by the time this song was released, THE CONTOURS would undergo a major restructuring.
The group had irreconcilable creative differences with Motown. At a 1964 meeting with Berry Gordy, Jr., Billy Hoggs, Joe
Billingslea and Sylvester Potts announced they were quitting. A week later Hubert Johnson also resigned, leaving Billy Gordon
as the only original member of the group. Motown reconstructed the group as a quartet, adding Council Gay, Jerry Green and
Alvin English. The reconstituted group recorded and released "Can You Jerk Like Me??" On the flip side was "The
Day When She Needed Me" by the earlier members of THE CONTOURS. Both songs charted in 1965 (#15 R&B and #37 R&B/#47
pop respectively). The reconstituted group also charted "First I Look At the Purse" (#12 R&B/#57 pop, 1965).
After less than a year, in early 1965 Sylvester Potts returned to the group replacing Alvin English. However, almost immediately
afterwards, the only remaining original member, Billy Gordon, quit and was replaced by Joe Stubbs (former lead singer of the
Falcons and brother of the Four Tops' Levi Stubbs). This group charted "Just a Little Misunderstanding" (#18 R&B/#85
pop, 1966). Joe Stubbs quit and was replaced by Dennis Edwards (who would later replace David Ruffin in The Temptations).
This iteration of THE CONTOURS charted "It's So Hard Being a Loser" (#35 R&B/#79 pop, 1967). After their contract
with Motown expired, THE CONTOURS disbanded.
About 1971, original member Joe Billingslea revived the group, playing a few dates here and there. By 1981, the group
consisted of Joe Billingslea, former Contour Council Gay, Arthur Hinson, Martin 'Beanie' Upshire and C. Autry 'Breeze' Hatcher.
THE CONTOURS began to play a lot more dates. In 1984, Arthur Hinson left the group and was replaced by and current member
R. Charles Davis. A week later, Council Gay left and Sylvester Potts returned to the group. In 1987, Hatcher left the group
and Arthur Hinson returned.
That same year, "Do You Love Me" was included in the movie, "Dirty Dancing", starring Patrick Swayze
and Jennifer Grey. This revived the song and it returned to the pop charts in July 1988 for eight weeks, peaking at #11. As
certified by the Recording Industry Association Of America, "More Dirty Dancing (1987 Film Additional Soundtrack)"
(which included "Do You Love Me") went multi-platinum at level 4.0.
The movie soundtrack spawned a "Dirty Dancing Concert Tour", which featured THE CONTOURS and other artists including
Bill Medley, Eric Carmen, Ronnie Spector, Merry Clayton and a set of dancers from the movie. A week before the tour was to
start, Beanie Upshire was replaced by Darrel Nunlee. This version of THE CONTOURS played the ten-month "Dirty Dancing
Tour," entertaining over two million fans in eight countries. The "Dirty Dancing Tour" was Performance's 1998
Variety Act of the Year. The tour also gave birth to a live CD release. THE CONTOURS contributed "Get Ready", "Higher
and Higher", "Cry to Me" and "Do You Love Me" to the 1989 release "Dirty Dancing Live In Concert".
In September 1998, THE CONTOURS released a CD, "Great Dirty Dancing Hits", sprinkled with several of their hits
as well as hits of other artists.
In 1990, Arthur Hinson left the group and THE CONTOURS continued as a quartet until 1993 when Darell Nunlee left and Gary
Grier and Al Chisholm were added taking the group back to a five-man form. This configuration of THE CONTOURS existed until
early 2004, when Sylvester Potts quit. He was replaced by Dupree Sims. Sims left and in 2006, Odell Jones was added to bring
the group to its current configuration.
In July 1999, yet another Dirty Dancing CD, "Dirty Dancing: More Dirty Dancing [Original Recording Remastered]"
which included "Do You Love Me" was released. In all, re-released version contributed to ten million new copies
of the song, "Do You Love Me." It's fair to say that Dirty Dancing has been good to THE CONTOURS.
On July 20, 1989, THE CONTOURS were inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Walk of Fame outside Royal Oak's Metropolitan Musicafe
in Royal Oak, Michigan. They also received the Smokey Robinson Heroes And Legends Award in 2000 and have been nominated for
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They continue to perform in the US and abroad, bringing their energetic, versatile and entertaining
show to hundreds of thousands of fans every year throughout the world.
What do you get when you take 4 successful former country singer/songwriters with pent up energy? A kick-ass rockin' band
that is looking to make some noise. That's what THE DeVILLES is all about. Enter Duane Propes and Del Gray from LITTLE TEXAS
and James Watson and Scott Welch from JAMES..DEAN and you will have THE DeVILLES.
After an extremely successful run with the band LITTLE TEXAS, both Propes and Gray felt it was time to move on to a
different style. Along comes Watson and Welch from JAMES..DEAN looking for a new project. Put them together and leave them
alone for 6 months and what you have is some of the finest rock and roll music to be heard in the last ten years.
The sound is very fresh, yet very familiar. Blue collar writing about everyday hopes and dreams. THE DeVILLES have
had the luxury of taking their time to do it totally their way. No major label involvement here until the band decides it's
time. Not that numerous label heads haven't been sneaking around town spying on this band, because not less than three have
already approached the band. The general response from the band is "Thanks for your interest, but we'll call you when
we're ready". You see, THE DeVILLES know what they have going is more than just great music and songwriting, it's a chemistry
that can't, and won't, be denied.
With the interest of award-winning cinematographer Tom Bevins, the band agreed to allow Bevins' cameras to follow them
through the steps of forming the band, writing the music, rehearsing the music and finally recording the music. Bevins' and
his cameras have covered everything from band meetings to rehearsals and lunches at neighborhood diners. They will continue
following the band until the actual release date of the album and first tour date. Prior to that happening THE DeVILLES will
do a "Meet THE DeVILLES" tour of 15-20 cities in small, intimate nightclubs to try out their new material. Along
for the ride will be Bevins and his camera's. Bevin's says, "We want to get reaction from the crowd, the club owners
and anyone who see's THE DeVILLES. All of this tape that has been shot will be made into a documentary for a future release,
to be named later.
Corporate sponsors have been lining up to get on board for the project. These include Miller Brewing Company, Levi
Strauss & Co., Laney Amps, Avlex Microphones, Rock-Hard Road Cases and Gibson Guitars, just to name a few. The first date
will kick off in the bands hometown of Nashville, TN with a free performance at a yet to be determined location.
The Electric Flag
Electric Flag is a blues rock soul group, who was led by guitarist Mike Bloomfield (until his untimely demise), keyboardist
Barry Goldberg, and bassist Harvey Brooks. Bloomfield formed Electric Flag in 1967, following his stint with The Butterfield
Blues Band. The band released, A Long Time Comin', a fusion of rock, jazz, and R&B styles in 1968. The album charted
well in the Billboard Magazine Pop Albums listings. Their initial recording was a soundtrack for The Trip, a movie about an
LSD experience by Peter Fonda, written by Jack Nicholson, and directed by Roger Corman.
his great appreciation for blues, soul and R&B, Mike Bloomfield wanted to create a group of his own that would feature
what he called "American music." He was inspired not only by the big band blues of B.B. King, T-Bone Walker, and
Guitar Slim (Eddie Jones), but also by the contemporary soul sounds of Otis Redding, Steve Cropper, Booker T & the MGs,
and other Stax recording artists. He also drew inspiration from traditional country, gospel, and blues forms. He organized
the Electric Flag, initially called the American Music Band, in the spring of 1967, not long after he produced a session with
Chicago harp player James Cotton that featured a horn section. Bloomfield decided that his new band would also have horns
and would play an amalgam of those American musics he loved. He and Goldberg assembled the group, under Albert Grossman's
management, in San Francisco and immediately began working on its first project — the soundtrack for the film The Trip.
The band made its debut appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival, the first of the '60s
rock music extravaganzas. Now called the Electric Flag, the group was well received by the audience of 55,000, though its
performance fell short of Bloomfield's high standards. Following Monterey, the Flag proceeded to tour the Northeast and
perform in the San Francisco area while working on a recording for Columbia Records. Though a critical success, the Flag remained
largely unknown to the general public due in part to the band's inability to complete its initial record.
By early 1968, drummer Buddy Miles had become a dominant force in the Flag's esthetic
direction. The group's repertory by then included numerous contemporary soul covers which featured Miles and many classic
blues tunes. The band produced fewer than a dozen original pieces, mostly written by vocalist Nick Gravenites, and Bloomfield's
original "American music" concept appeared to have narrowed considerably. By May 1968, only a month after the release
of the aptly-titled A Long Time Comin', Bloomfield quit the group as aresult of conflicts with Miles, and though they
strove to carry on under Miles' direction, the Electric Flag was effectively finished. Personality conflicts, differing
esthetics, and a series of drug problems hastened the band's downfall.
Though the Electric Flag was together in its original configuration less than a year, the
band did make a strong impression on critics and musicians, primarily in the San Francisco area where they were based. One
of the first rock groups to include horns, the Electric Flag preceded the earliest edition of Blood, Sweat and Tears with
Al Kooper left BS&T in April 1968, and was inspired by a jam
recording with Moby Grape to the organize the similarly structured Super Session album. He included Bloomfield, Barry Goldberg
and, after Bloomfield left the session due to a bout of insomnia, Stephen Stills. Bloomfield and Kooper also toured together,
while drummer and vocalist Buddy Miles went on to form the Buddy Miles Express and also play in Jimi Hendrix's Band of
A reunion of sorts took place in 1974 with the Electric Flag releasing The
Band Kept Playing, but the recording was not a commercial or critical success and the band quickly disbanded after several
months of sporadic gigs.
On July 28 and 29, 2007, a concert took place at the Monterey
County Fairgrounds commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival. One of the acts featured was a one-time
reunion of The Electric Flag, anchored by original members Gravenites, Goldberg, and Hunter, backed by members of the Tower
of Power and The Blues Project. The one hour set featured material from the first album, as well as several blues covers.
They are still touring to this day.
The genealogy and musical roots of Firefall run deep into the fertile soil of american folk and rock music. It began with
Woody Guthrie and later Bob Dylan, evolving into The Byrds and The Buffalo Springfield. The genre established by these luminaries
continued with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Manassas, The Band, Neil Young, The Eagles, Poco, Loggins and Messina, The Flying
Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, Emmy Lou Harris, Dan Fogelberg and Firefall. Many of these participants mingled in the studio
and on tour. Individually and collectively they created a sound that changed the world's musical landscape. Firefall is one
of the few surviving bands of this genre, remaining true to it's founding vision and roots despite personnel changes over
it's twenty-five year history.
The band transcends and embraces many industry labels - rock, hard rock, soft rock, easy listening, unplugged and contemporary
country. It's comforting to know that in this day and age of trends that change overnight, a kind of music we helped create
over twenty years ago is still
around and growing in popularity. - Jock Bartley
For co-founder, Jock Bartley, Firefall has not only represented an opportunity to make quality music, but also represents
a personal, heartfelt commitment to maintaining the tradition of a contemporary musical genre he was instrumental in creating.
Now shared with band member Steven Weinmeister (vocals and guitar), Sandy Ficca (drums), Bil Hopkins (bass) and Chris Ball
(sax, flute and keyboards), this commitment has successfully carried Firefall through more than two decades of distinctive
music. In the Seventies and early Eighties, the Boulder, Colorado-based rock band, saturated the national radio waves and
toured the world over, selling millions of records and earning numerous gold and platinum albums for their efforts. In the
Nineties, Rhino Records began releasing their original albums on CD. Including the new compilation: Firefall's Greatest Hits.
With lead guitarist and singer, Jock Bartley, as a constant, these classic albums boast such musical standouts as members:
Michael Clarke, Rick Roberts, Mark andes, Larry Burnett, David Muse and John Sambataro: with occasional guest appearances
on record by greats like Stephen Stills, David Sanborn, Timothy B. Schmidt (Eagles) and Bill Payne (Little Feat).
Throughout the years, Firefall has nurtured their faithful and growing audience through their dynamic live concert performances,
which have continually reaped new generations of fans. The experience of Firefall can be genuinely felt through the wealth
of hits that are called upon in their liver performances - songs such as "You Are The Woman", "Just Remember
I Love You", "Strange Way", "Cinderella", "Mexico", "So Long", "Good-bye,
I Love You", "Sweet and Sour" and others. These hits are faithfully recreated with a freshness rare in live
performances of such classics. Jock puts it this way, "The newer members have brought such a spark of fun with them,
that it's like being in a brand new band that's been together twenty-five years!"
With Firefall's 1995 release, Messenger, the band continued to expand upon their distinctive sound. It is filled with
passionate lyrical incisiveness, a great melodic range and diversity and socio-political musings. Both personal yet touching
on larger subjects as well, the album offers songs such as "Who Ran Away" and "Very First Moment", both
longing looks at love: to the social issues of today - including child abuse in "Innocent Victim" to the declining
ecological stare of the world in "Tell The Children" to the powerful "No Means No". Messenger also features
"When The River Rises" a song written for and dedicated to the 1993 Midwest Flood Victims, with a portion of the
proceeds from this song going into a disaster relief fund. Many local and national television stations and networks, including
CNN, used this song in flood-related documentaries and newscasts.
With the wealth of old songs and new, Firefall demonstrates the depth and diversity of the band's lyrical and musical
excellence, including an acoustic / "unplugged" mini-set in their longer performances. Their tight harmonies and
intricate vocal arrangements are a fresh reminder of what melodic music is all about. The excellence of musicianship is intense
felt and appreciated by audiences as the response to the solos and many extended "jams" in each concert is overwhelming
- infectious helpings of fun and spontaneity in the highest degree. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Firefall was one of the first
bands to bring the creativity and musical richness of the Rocky Mountain area to the forefront of the industry. The resurgence
of this diverse musical hotbed has since given way to the likes of Big Head Todd and the Monsters and The Samples...and once
And so, Firefall has come full circle. They helped spearhead the birth and continuation of the country-rock / folk-rock
sound of the Seventies. Firefall is as vital and valid as ever, standing out as one of the few remaining torchbearers for
harmony-laden rock; a welcome blast from the past focused firmly on the future.
Five Man Electrical Band
Although they never achieved lasting success, The Five Man Electrical Band was one of Canada's best loved and hardest working
rock and roll bands of the sixties and seventies. Originally formed in Ottawa, Ontario in 1964 as the Staccatos (Rick Belanger,
Les Emmerson, Brian Rading & Vern Craig), the group first gained national recognition in 1967, when they recorded an album
for Quality Records called, "A Wild Pair', shared with The Guess Who. The L.P. had some success in Canada, and later
that year a single was released by Capitol Records called "Half Past Midnight" which sold around 25,000 copies.
By 1968, The Staccatos featured guitarist/vocalist Les Emmerson, bassist Brian Rading, keyboardist Ted Gerow, and drummers
Rick "Bell" Belanger and Mike "Bell" Belanger. They released their second album called "Five Man
Electrical Band" which met with modest local success. The band made a brief and unsuccessful attempt to establish themselves
in Los Angeles, releasing a song called "It Never Rains on Maple Lane", which flopped completely. Without necessary
work visas, the band had a difficult time gaining steady bookings and further recordings went nowhere. Capitol eventually
released them from their contract and with their money running out, the band headed back to Ottawa without a record deal and
with a very cloudy future.
Rather than quitting, the quintet decided to change their style a bit and re-named the band after their last album. Heading
back to L.A. more organized, they soon caught the attention of Dallas Smith, who recognized their talent immediately. Smith's
enterprise, Renaissance Productions, was in partnership with Canopy, a production company owned by the successful composer,
Jimmy Webb and Webb's father, Bob. Canopy expressed interest in financing a project with the band and Smith produced three
songs, though none was released immediately. In November 1969, Canopy signed a deal with MGM Records, Inc., whose parent company,
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, decided to feature one of the tracks, "Moonshine (Friend Of Mine)", in one of its films, "The
Moonshine War", starring Alan Alda. Unfortunately, neither the song nor the movie became a hit. MGM records then released
"Hello Melinda, Goodbye" with a song called "Signs" on the "B" side. Les Emmerson had written
"Signs" after driving to California along Route 66, where he had noticed the many billboards obscuring his view,
and had seen them as a perfect metaphor for the frustrations of the band and the times they were living in. When the single
failed, the label quickly lost interest, and Five Man Electrical Band once again retreated to Ottawa to lick their wounds
and debate their future.
Dallas Smith Would was not as easily discouraged. His belief in the band was still very strong, and with no apparent interest
from MGM, Smith met with Clive Fox, a young music publisher who wanted to form his own label. Fox had a connection to Lionel,
manufacturers of model railroad equipment, whose expansion plans included a record label. In February, 1971, MGM Record Corp.
assigned all rights to Five Man Electrical Band, its masters as well as its production agreement with Renaissance (including
the Canopy masters) to the Lionel Entertainment Corporation. With Fox in the office and Smith in the studio, the new Lionel
label needed a promotion man, whom it soon found in the person of Abe Glazer - an old pro, by this time in his seventies;
whose energy, undiminished by his age, was to become crucial in the immediate future of the group.
In May, 1971, Lionel released the album "Goodbye And Butterflies" and its first single, "Signs", which
at Smith's urging, now became the A-side. Glazer, Smith and the band's manager, Abe Hoche started working the phones, trying
to break the record on U.S. radio. Meanwhile, disillusioned and broke, the band was very close to disintegration. Still in
Ottawa and only barely known beyond the borders of Canada, their seven years of hard work had resulted in little but disappointment.
The band members were ready to call it quits when Abe Hoche called them. "Signs" was getting a lot of air play in
the southern U.S., especially Georgia, Florida and Louisiana. To top it all off, radio station CKLW in Windsor, Ontario -
the powerhouse ratings leader in the middle U.S. due to its immediate proximity to Detroit, had added the record to its play
Quickly regrouping, the band rushed back to the States to perform some hastily arranged
dates. First to Detroit, then to West Virginia, then straight across the U.S. to Seattle for a series of shows. By the
time they reached the Pacific Northwest, "Signs" was a smash, eventually reaching #3 on Billboard's Top 100 and
selling over a million and a half copies. Basing themselves in Los Angeles, the band toured extensively for the next two years,
sharing the stage with some of the major acts of the era such as The Allman Brothers, Sly & The Family Stone, Jefferson
Airplane, BTO and many others. The album, "Coming Of Age" was released in January 1972 and contained the band's
second hit single, "Absolutely Right", which sold 750,000 copies and reached #26 on Billboard. The LP, "Sweet
Paradise" followed in 1973, but problems within the band began to surface and relationships became strained. As the primary
writer in the band, Les Emmerson was garnering much more attention for his songs than the others were for
their musical abilities, and he was receiving more money than the others as a result of his publishing royalties. He wanted
to come off the road. Never fully involved in the day-to-day business of the band, the others were finding it difficult to
justify the struggle, and nine years of constant touring had taken their toll. Prior to the completion of the album, Mike
Belanger left the band and Brian Rading left just as it was wrapping up. The group discussed becoming a recording unit only,
but no one could agree on a direction. In the absence of Rading and Belanger, new players were brought in to try to salvage
Although their next release, "Money Back Guarantee", got some attention in Canada, it did nothing in the U.S.
The follow up, "I'm A Stranger Here", fared only a little better and 1974's "Werewolf" got only limited
airplay. Emmerson and Gerow attempted to continue with new versions of the group, but by 1975 after their last release, "Johnny
Get A Gun", Five Man Electrical Band was finished.
Over two decades later, Five Man Electrical Band's songs are still a staple of Canadian Radio, and continuing airplay
attests to their popularity. They have taken their rightful place along side of Canadian rock legends, The Stampeders, April
Wine, BTO and Guess Who. Though they didn't achieve the same level of success some of their colleagues enjoyed, their contribution
to the Canadian music scene is well remembered. Over the years, the band still got together once in awhile to play for live
audiences. They performed at the 100th birthday of Maxiville, Ontario in 1992 and in 1997, they played at Major's Hill Park
on Canada Day.
Though St. Louis is often mentioned as Head East's hometown, the original members grew up in south central Illinois. Originally
known as the Timeations, the band adopted the name Head East at the suggestion of Baxter Forrest Twilight, who was a technician/stage-hand
for the band. August 6, 1969 is recognized as the date the band officially became Head East and they played their first gig
in Carbondale, Illinois about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis.
The band, originally comprised of brothers Roger and Larry Boyd, Steve Huston, John Schlitt, and Dan Piper, would
see many members come and go before forming the line-up that would take them through their first six albums. This line-up
began to take shape in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois in 1973 where Roger Boyd, Steve Huston, and John Schlitt were students at
the University of Illinois. That summer the band held auditions and selected Mike Somerville over numerous others to be their
new lead guitarist. Shortly thereafter, Roger Boyd who had left a few months earlier, rejoined the band. And by the summer
of 1974 Dan Birney had replaced Larry Boyd on bass guitar, joining Roger (keyboards), Steve (drums), John (vocals), and Mike
(guitar) as a member of Head East.
They entered Golden Voice studios in Pekin, Illinois that summer and recorded the tracks to their first album, Flat
As A Pancake, which they released on their own Pyramid label. A&M Records soon took note of the bands popularity, and
the airplay and record sales of the Pyramid release and signed Head East to the A&M label. Flat As A Pancake was re-released
on A&M in 1975 and was certified Gold (representing 500,000 in record sales) in 1978. Single releases of Never Been Any
Reason and Love Me Tonight both charted on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart. Never Been Any Reason has since become a staple
of classic rock radio and is one of the most frequently played classic rock anthems in many parts of the country.
In 1976, Head East released Get Yourself Up, followed by Getting' Lucky in 1977, the self-titled Head East in 1978,
and Head East live! and A Different Kind of Crazy in 1979. During this time the band was a huge concert draw, regularly playing
to large crowds at major venues as the headlining act. But this popularity did not show on the charts, with Since You Been
Gone from the self-titled Head East album being the only single during this time frame to crack Billboard's Hot 100.
In early 1980, John Schlitt was asked to leave the band due to problems with drugs and alcohol. John overcame his
problems with drugs and alcohol and has since embarked on a successful career in contemporary christian music, both as a solo
artist and with the band Petra. Soon after John Schlitt's departure, both Dan Birney and Mike Somerville left, choosing not
to continue on with Head East. Remaining original members Roger Boyd and Steve Huston quickly enlisted Mark Boatman (bass),
Tony Gross (lead guitar), and Dan Odum (vocals) and recorded the U.S. 1 album, which was released that same year. This would
be the last studio album that Head East would record on A&M Records. After the release of U.S. 1, A&M dropped Head
East along with other album oriented rock (AOR) bands in order to put more emphasis on promoting New Wave and Punk bands popular
at the time.
Head East released Onward And Upward in 1982 on Allegiance Records. Robbie Robinson joined the band on bass for this
release, having replaced Mark Boatman. Neither U.S. 1 or Onward And Upward achieved chart success, and the band once again
would see several members come and go over the next few years before recording their next album.
Choice Of Weapons, released in 1988 on Dark Heart Records, was Head East's last studio album. This album took a departure
from the traditional Head East sound and featured a more modern synthesized sound reminiscent of other popular groups of the
late 80's and early 90's. The band line-up at this time included Roger Boyd, Tony Gross, Kurt Hansen (vocals & bass),
and Donnie Dobbins (drums). Several other musicians are credited on this release, including former members Dan Birney, Ricky
Lynn Gregg, and Joel Parks.
During the next 5 to 6 years, the Head East line-up continued to evolve at a time when classic rock was beginning
to regain popularity. Around 1993-1994 the band would once again assemble a group of musicians who would not only remain together
for several years but would return to the classic Head East sound. This line-up included Mike Somerville who returned to the
band after leaving more than a decade earlier, Rich Creadore on bass, Dan Kelly on drums, and Tom Bryant who joined as lead
vocalist in 1995. This line-up remained intact until 2000 when Kelly left to work for the band Sister Hazel, and was replaced
by former Head East drummer Mike Mesey.
Head East has been regaining it's popularity over the last few years, no doubt due to the resurgence of classic rock
music and Head East's presence on the internet. This rise in popularity resulted in the issuance of two CD's, Concerts Classics
Vol. 7 on Renaissance Records in 1999, and Live On Stage on Universal/A&M in 2000. And a third release, The Best of Head
East - The Millennium Collection is due out on 25 September, 2001.
Head East has brought more than three decades of rock to their fans, a tradition that is destined to continue for
years to come. Roger Boyd, keyboardist and leader of Head East, has stated that Head East will continue to rock as long as
he can lift his synthesizer over his head and play. And that he looks forward to bringing another decade or two of music to
Head East currently performs about 20 to 30 shows each year, mainly in the Midwest and plains states, with shows
occasionally in the west and other parts of the country. They put on a high-energy show that is true to their original sound.
Their set list includes City Of Gold/Fly By Night Lady, Love Me Tonight, Lovin' Me Along, Brother Jacob, Jefftown Creek, Gettin'
Lucky, Every Little Bit Of My Heart, Get Up & Enjoy Yourself, Elijah, Since You Been Gone, Wrong Time, Never Been Any
Reason, and the traditional blues favorite, Stormy Monday.
Although the Toronto-based quintet Honeymoon Suite never managed to break through in a major way with audiences south of the
border, they did find their way onto the
charts a handful of times in the U.S. They also were a popular live act and opened for some of the period's biggest draws,
including Heart, Journey, and Billy Idol. The band's formation can be traced to the introduction of lead vocalist Johnny Dee
and guitarist Derry Grehan by the group's future manager in 1982. Within a year, Honeymoon Suite had been formed and earned
the attention of WEA in Canada on the strength of the song "New Girl Now," which had won an unsigned band contest
sponsored by a Toronto radio station. Their self-titled debut appeared in 1984 and established them as rising stars in their
homeland, charting four Top Ten singles. One of those hits, "New Girl Now," managed to crack the U.S. charts, reaching
the mid-50s, but garnered considerable airplay on rock radio.
For the follow-up, they enlisted producer Bruce Fairbairn, and the resulting The Big Prize equaled the success of their
debut, spawning four more Canadian Top Ten singles, including the ballad "What Does It Take," which managed to top
the chart. The album also included Honeymoon Suite's sole U.S. Top 40 hit, "Feel It Again" (although "What
Does It Take" would reach number 52). Despite working with another noted producer (Ted Templeman of Van Halen fame) for
1988's Racing After Midnight, the album failed to maintain their new-found momentum in the States. It didn't perform as well
as past efforts in Canada, either, and the band wouldn't release an album of new material during the '90s. There would be
a compilation of their biggest hits and best-known songs, including the theme from Lethal Weapon, in 1991. In 2002, the band
released Lemon Tongue. ~ Tom Demalon, All Music Guide
Over The Edge, the debut album by the duo james..dean is a collection of rockin' country tunes. More importantly, it's
a great record......with an attitude!
Over The Edge was written and co-produced by the duo of James Watson and Steve Dean, both award-winning songwriters.
The first single, "Everybody's Talking" has been released to immediate chart success and critical acclaim. The video
was produced by James Watson and directed by Tom Bevins with the help of Greg Crutcher and Joe Gutt. The video, released in
August, features James and Steve's closest friends and family.
James Watson was born in Portland, Oregon, and was raised on the central coast of California. He has achieved success
in both the film industry and the music business as a director, producer, an now, as a recording artist. Since moving to Nashville,
James has written hits such as "Rain Through The Roof" and "Didn't Have You" for Billy Montana.
Steve Dean was raised in Little Rock, Arkansas where, from an early age, he wrote songs and performed in bands. Since
moving to Nashville, he has achieved success as a songwriter, penning five number 1 hits such as "Roundabout Way"
for George Strait, "Southern Star" for Alabama, "Walk On" for Reba McEntrie, "It Takes A Little Rain"
for the Oak Ridge Boys, and "Hearts Aren't Made To Break" for Lee Greenwood. Steve also has had songs recorded by
numerous other artists.
james..dean has a fresh, yet familar sound that will excite you and leave you wanting more. The second video released,
"Fire Red Thunderbird" has also gotten tremendous airplay all over the world.
Joe Lynn Turner
In a career that spans nearly 30 years and includes over 60 album credits, Joe Lynn Turner ("JLT") remains one
of rock and roll's most distinctive, soulful and expressive vocalists. Born August 2, 1951 in Hackensack, New Jersey (U.S.A.),
he played the accordion as a child, grew up with an appreciation for classic Rhythm and Blues (R&B) and became an accomplished
guitarist in his early teens. In fact, his first band, Filet of Soul, featured singer J.T. Taylor who would later have success
with Kool and the Gang. While in high school, Joe formed Ezra, performing original material and cover songs by artists who
were a great influence on him: Jimi Hendrix, Free and Deep Purple.
In 1976, JLT enjoyed his first taste of national success with Fandango, a band described as an eclectic mix of R&B,
pop, country, jazz and melodic rock. Turner sang and played guitar on all of the band's four albums. Fandango toured with
numerous artists including The Allman Brothers, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Beach Boys and Billy Joel.
After Fandango split, in the first of two incredible twists of Fate, JLT received a phone call from legendary guitarist
Ritchie Blackmore. Turner's work with Fandango prompted an audition and Blackmore was so impressed that he immediately enlisted
Joe in Rainbow, a band that he formed after he left Deep Purple. Ironically, Joe spent his formative years covering Deep Purple
songs and now he found himself fronting a band with two former members: Blackmore and Roger Glover. Rainbow, while popular
in Europe and Japan, had not garnered the same level of notoriety in the U.S.A. It was Turner's contributions that helped
catapult the group to a new level of success. Several JLT-infused album tracks reached the Top 20 on rock radio charts. "Stone
Cold" was Rainbow's first Top 40 pop radio hit and the band's innovative videos were in heavy airplay rotation on MTV
(Music Television). Turner co-wrote and/or sang on Rainbow singles that helped define the melodic rock genre: "I Surrender,"
"Can't Happen Here," "Jealous Lover," "Death Alley Driver," "Street of Dreams" and
"Can't Let You Go."
In 1984, Blackmore reunited with Deep Purple. This gave Turner freedom to work on his first solo album, "Rescue You,"
produced by Roy Thomas Baker, known for his work with Queen and The Cars. JLT co-wrote most of the songs with keyboardist
Al Greenwood (Foreigner). The first single, "Endlessly," received extensive airplay on radio and MTV. A tour with
Pat Benatar and acting role in the movie, "Blue Deville" followed.
Turner also proved his versatility by working with a diverse array of artists, including Billy Joel, Cher, Michael Bolton,
Mick Jones (Foreigner), John Waite (The Babys). Bolton also encouraged him to enter the lucrative business of singing and
doing character voices for radio and television. This would afford Joe a steady income that was not reliant on the commercial
success of any band or project he decided to get involved with. In 1987, JLT became a member of Yngwie Malsteen's Rising Force.
Their union resulted in "Odyssey," the most commercially successful album for Malmsteen up to this point in history.
A follow-up world tour was highlighted by ten "sold out" shows in Russia that were recorded for the "Trial
By Fire: Live in Leningrad" album and video.
In the winter of 1989, Ritchie Blackmore and Deep Purple needed to find a lead singer to replace Ian Gillan. Several high
profile vocalists were considered. In a second ironic twist of Fate, Turner was invited to audition and found himself fronting
one of the major bands he was influenced by as a teenager! They released the album, "Slaves and Masters" and launched
an extensive world tour in the midst of The Gulf War. While many bands cancelled their tours, afraid to travel during turbulent
times, Purple and JLT forged on. Turner wrote and sang on several tracks for a follow-up album that were never officially
released. To this day, Blackmore maintains that "Slaves and Masters" is his favorite Deep Purple record since his
reunion with the group in 1984.
Joe took on many projects after leaving Purple. He joined Carmine Appice (Ozzy Osbourne), Bob Daisley (Ozzy Osbourne)
and Jeff Watson (Night Ranger) in the progressive rock band Mother's Army. He toured the U.S.A. with his own "JLT All
Star Band." He eventually returned to the studio for his second solo effort, "Nothing's Changed." In 1997,
JLT recorded the first of two of his own tribute CDs, paying homage to his rock and roll roots with his versions of songs
by Bad Company, Marvin Gaye and many others. With the release of his third solo venture, "Hurry Up And Wait," the
worldwide demand for his material increased dramatically. His next three solo albums---Holy Man," "Slam!" and
"JLT"---subsequently enjoyed critical and commercial success.
Turner continues to record and collaborate on a massive number of other artist's CDs and tribute albums. He is one of
the key members of Brazen Abbot, a project spearheaded by Bulgarian guitarist/composer Nikolo Kotzev. JLT co-wrote and sang
tracks on several albums and is spotlighted on the DVD "A Decade of Brazen Abbot." His schedule is constantly booked
with studio session work. It's difficult to listen to the radio or watch TV in the U.S.A. without hearing his voice coming
out of the speakers on a commercial. In fact, one of his beer adverts in Japan, "Challenge Them All," became a popular
rock radio anthem.
Turner has recorded and performed with the Voices of Classic Rock (VCR), Rock and Pop Masters (RPM) and New York's Hit
Squad. These groups feature some of rock and pop's elite: Hugh McDonald (Bonjovi), Mike Reno (Loverboy), Jimi Jamison (Survivor),
Larry Hoppen (Orleans), Spencer Davis, Bobby Kimball (TOTO), Ricky Byrd (Joan Jett), Liberty DiVitto (Billy Joel) and many
others. They have played festivals and concerts in South America, Japan, France, Asia, Hawaii, Central America, Mexico and
in many major U.S.A. cities.
Most notable is JLT's recent collaboration with former Deep Purple bassist/vocalist, Glenn Hughes. Turner asked Glenn
to tour Japan in support of his "Holy Man" disc. They enjoyed working together so much that they were inspired to
form the Hughes Turner Project (HTP). HTP released two studio CDs and one live disc. Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), John
Sykes (Whitesnake/Thin Lizzy), Steve Vai (Frank Zappa/Whitesnake) and other artists made guest appearances during the recording
sessions. The single, "Time And Time Again" ("HTP2") spent over 3 months in the Top 30 on the World Modern
Rock Chart. HTP generated a lot of fan and media interest, worldwide, appearing on national television and radio in many countries,
including the U.S.A. and Russia. And, after 2 successful tours of Japan and Europe, HTP remains a memorable and significant
part of JLT's career history.
Turner's most recent CD release is a collaborative project called, "Sunstorm." Serafino Perugino (Frontiers
Records President) and Mario de Riso (Frontiers Label Manager) used to exchange tapes as fans. One day, Mario gave Serafino
a cassette he had from a journalist, with the "unreleased Joe Lynn Turner" second solo album demos. This tape featured
some songs originally slated for release on the follow-up to "Rescue You" in the mid-1980s.
Taking inspiration from the material available, Perugino reconnected Joe Lynn with Jim Peterik, the legendary songwriter
(ex SURVIVOR) with whom he collaborated with several years ago in Deep Purple. Turner went through some of the material sent
by Peterik, along with a few other tracks submitted by Perugino and agreed to give birth to a project that could rediscover
and highlight his melodic rock roots. "Sunstorm" was released worldwide in the Fall of 2006 and it has received
rave reviews from critics as well as fans.
Joe has also been co-writing songs, lending his pipes to various projects and increasing his stateside visibility with
more live shows than he has ever played since 1996. The year 2006 was highlighted by a return to working with Blackmore on
a redux of the Rainbow classic "Street of Dreams." It's a duet with Candace Night (Blackmore's Night). Turner also
sang on all tracks on "Fire Without Flame," a disc he collaborated on with Blackmore-inspired Japanese guitarist
If all of this is not enough, JLT enjoyed what he calls "life changing" experiences last years when he performed
with the New Japan Philharmonic and on tour with Turkish guitar virtuoso Cem Koksal. He also traveled to Nashville to record
a DVD with Big Noize, a band that includes: JLT, guitarist Carlos Cavazo (Quiet Riot), drummer Vinny Appice (Dio/Black Sabbath),
bassist Phil Soussan (Ozzy Osbourne/Billy Idol) and keyboardist Gary Corbett (Cinderella/Lou Gramm). Current plans focus on
marketing the DVD to the corporate concert industry but a commercial release has not been ruled out.
In the beginning of 2007, he released his 10th solo album, "Second Hand Life" in Japan and Europe. Among the
highlights on the record is a song he wrote with Blackmore and Glover in the early 90s during his Deep Purple days called
"Stroke of Midnight." Other tracks include collaborations with Jim Peterik (Ex-Survivor), Martin Briley, Jack Ponti
(who wrote several songs for Bonjovi) and former TV star, Deanna Johnston (Rock Star: INXS). In May and June, JLT hooked up
with Rainbow alumnus Graham Bonnet for a sold out tour of Japan and a command performance for the Prime Minister of Russia's
cabinet. Turner's plans for the remainder of 2007 include the digital and physical USA release of "Second Hand Life,"
solo tour dates in Europe along with a July trek in the USA with Brian Johnson and Cliff Williams of ACDC and The John Entwistle
Band as a member Classic Rock Cares (www.johnentwistle.org). He's also doing a lot of writing with artists who work in genres
not limited to "rock and roll" with the goal of branching out, recording some of this material for either future
releases or films.
The Lovin' Spoonful
In early 1965 as the "British invasion" dominated the American music scene, two rockers from Long Island, Steve
Boone and Joe Butler, teamed up with two folkies from Greenwich Village, John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, to form the Lovin'
Spoonful and go on to record and perform some of the songs that would dominate the charts and establish them among the greats
of the mid-sixties era.
Combining the best of folk music and rock and roll, with a touch of country thrown in, they gave us such hits as "Do
You Believe in Magic," "Daydream," "You Didn't Have to be So Nice," "Nashville Cats" and
the anthem for a hot July evening, "Summer in the City." All this in the span of 4 years and 5 albums. In addition
to that they also wrote and performed two soundtrack albums for two directors very early in their careers, Woody Allen "Whats
Up Tigerlily" and Francis Ford Coppola "You're a Big Boy Now."They toured almost constantly during this period
and were one of the first rock bands to perform on college campuses almost as much as for teenage concert goers.
In 1967 Zal Yanovsky left the band to pursue a solo career and was replaced by Jerry Yester, a member of the Modern Folk
Quartet and friend of the band since its earliest days. All of the band's energy was soon focused on recording their fourth
album the very ambitious Everything Playing. It was the first attempt for a rock band to record an album on the new Ampex
16 track tape recorder and quite a challenge it was. It was worth the effort however, producing hits like "Darlin' Be
Home Soon," "Six O-Clock" and "She's Still A Mystery To Me" on the American charts and "Boredom"
and "Money" in the UK and Europe.
In June 1968 John Sebastian left the band to go solo and Joe, Steve and Jerry went back into the studio to record what
would be their last hit single of the 1960's, "Never Goin' Back" with legendary Nashville session player Red Rhodes
on pedal steel guitar. As 1969 approached the skies were darkening in Good Time Music land and sensing opportunities in individual
endeavors the three remaining members went their separate ways with a promise to not let the spark go out.
In 1991 a long awaited settlement with their record company inspired Joe and Steve to contact Jerry and start up the Lovin'
Spoonful again. After a two month rehearsal in the Berkshire Mts., the group started touring anew, visiting over 150 cities
and countries worldwide and reaching out to a whole new audience in addition to those that have enjoyed their music over the
years. So look for them coming to your neighborhood bringing a brand new batch of Good Time Music. You can also click the
concert info button for a calender of their future appearances.
March 6, 2000 marked a milestone for the band. They were officially inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.
Melanie, who became the voice of an era in one magical instant onstage at Woodstock, has been putting
the pieces in order. Pieces of a career, scattered by the winds of experience and assembled again by the force of love into
the most personal and brilliant moments of her musical journey. Melanie is poised to enlighten new generations about what
it means to sing with both passion and eloquence, to write at once with intelligence and emotion, and to inspire through song...
and nobody does this better than Melanie.
Others learned this that night at Woodstock, where as a New York kid barely
known outside of the coffeehouse circuit in Greenwich Village, she sang her song "Beautiful People" and inspired
the first panorama of candles and cigarette lighters ever raised at a concert event. That, in turn, moved the young singer
to write "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain"), which sold more than one million copies in 1970 and prompted Billboard,
Cashbox, Melody Maker, Record World, and Bravo to anoint her as female vocalist of the year. Her single "Brand New Key,"
an infectious romp about freedom and roller skates, topped the charts in 1971.
And so her story began. With guitar
in hand and a talent that combined amazing vocal equipment, disarming humor, and a vibrant engagement with life, she was booked
as the first solo pop/rock artist ever to appear from the Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House,
and later opened the New Metropolitan Opera House in New York, the Sydney Opera House, and in the General Assembly of the
United Nations, where she was invited to perform on many occasions as delegates greeted her performances with standing ovations.
The top television hosts of all time -- Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson, and Dick Cavett -- battled to book her. (After her
stunning performance on his show, Sullivan goggled that he had not seen such a "dedicated and responsive audience since
Accolades rolled in, from critics ("Melanie's cult has long been famous, but it's
a cult that's responding to something genuine and powerful -- which is maybe another way of saying that this writer counts
himself as part of the cult too," wrote John Rockwell in The New York Times) as well as peers ("Melanie," insisted
jazz piano virtuoso Roger Kellaway, "is extraordinary to the point that she could be sitting in front of us in this room
and sing something like 'Momma Momma' right to us, and it would just go right through your entire being.")
In the years that followed Melanie continued to record, continued to tour. UNICEF made her its spokesperson; Jimi Hendrix's
father introduced her to the multitude assembled for the twentieth anniversary of Woodstock. Her records continued to sell
-- more than eighty million to date.
She's had her songs covered by singers as diverse as Cher, Dolly Parton,
and Macy Gray. She's raised a family, won an Emmy, opened a restaurant, written a musical about Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity
She has, in short, lived a rare life. But all of it was just a prelude to what's about to come.
the first time, I'm not afraid to voice exactly what I feel. I used to feel that I didn't want to say too much, but
now I can say anything. I feel like a person who's never been heard. Maybe people think they've heard me, but they
never really have. I'm a new artist who is having so much fun with my voice -- a person shouldn't be allowed to have
so much fun. I'm the woman I wanted to be when I was sixteen and going for Edith Piaf. It's me -- I'm back."
(Written by Robert L. Doerschuk)
I'm a player in musical history.
Performing with the likes of Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Elton John, The Doors, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Singing
at all those festivals, you know, Woodstock, Isle of Wight, Glastonbury, Powder Ridge and in many instances risking arrest
just to sing my songs. Presented by Ed Sullivan, Dick Clark and yes, Bill Graham of the Fillmore.
quiets them down, sometimes not ~ I got away with obscurity, and just never stopped. Every night I play ~ the audience is
there (you might not read about it) and I do it one more time. I'm just a working legend. ~ Melanie
- Was the
first female singer/songwriter in the Pop/Folk Rock category and the top selling recording artist in the world in
- Won the Montreux Jazz Festival (Switzerland) jazz singer of the year in 1971
- Performed at the original
Woodstock Music and Art Festival in 1969, prompting the now common phenomenon of signaling an artist for an encore
by holding up candles. This later evolved into lighters, flashlights and more recently, electronic devices
introduced by Keith Moon and followed The Who at the Isle of Wight festival in England in 1970. She received four
standing ovations at the conclusion of her performance. Three weeks later, Melanie had two top 10 albums in England.
such a captive audience the first time she appeared on the Ed Sullivan show that he was quoted as saying that "Not
since Elvis Presley appeared have I seen such a dedicated and responsive audience"
- Released "Lay Down
Candles in the Rain" in the USA in 1970. The album sold over one million worldwide and garnered her Top Female
Vocalist of the Year awards from Billboard, Cashbox, Record World, Melody Maker and Bravo
- Melanie was the only
artist to brave the court injunction and perform at the Powder Ridge Rock Festival in 1970.
- Was the first
Folk/Rock artist to perform at London's Royal Albert Hall
- Was the first Folk/Rock artist to perform
in Carnegie Hall in New York City
- Was the first Folk/Rock solo artist to perform at the New Metropolitan Opera
House in New York City
- Was the first Folk/Rock solo artist to perform at Broadway's DeMille Theatre in NYC,
bringing live concert performances to Broadway
- Was the first Folk/Rock solo artist to perform at the New
Sydney Opera House in Australia
- Was UNICEF's chief spokesperson in 1971. For sixteen months, Melanie toured
the world on their behalf raising money for children
- Was the first person to perform in front of the General
Assembly and later again performed a song she wrote especially for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations General
- Was the first female Folk/Rock artist to have three records simultaneously on Billboard's charts,
and second overall next to The Beatles.
- Danced with Tina Turner on the Everly Brothers television show
invited to perform at the Olympic Stadium in Moscow during the historic Peace Summit of 1988
- The songs, "Brand
New Key" and "Look What They've Done To My Song Ma" have been used for television commercials
in the USA
- Received an EMMY award in 1989 for writing the lyrics to "The First Time I Loved Forever"
for the television show "Beauty and the Beast"
- Introduced by the father of Jimi Hendrix for the
official 20th anniversary of Woodstock
- Became the South Korean Ambassador of Peace and presented with the Declaration
of Peace Certificate by Jin Sun Kim, Governor of Gangwon-do Province
- Her songs have been covered by an amazingly
wide variety of artists from Ray Charles, Joe Pass, Macy Gray, Cher, Dolly Parton, Meredith Brooks and Queen Latifah
to alternative rockers The Dollyrots, Björk, Nana Mouskouri, Nina Simone and Australian hip hop group The
- Performed Candles in the Rain with the Medina Choir at Isle of Wight 2010
- Performed at
the Edmonton Folk Music Festival in 2010, joined during her finale by John Prine, Jakob Dylan (son of Bob Dylan)
and Mary Beth Chapman.
Nick Gilder & Sweeny Todd
Sweeney Todd was Nick's first group and earned their rock wings playing in every conceivable venue in the seventies, Nick
and the lads are now seen playing, the big Festivals, casino showrooms, etc. Its the result of #1 songs says Nick in response,
it always got a strong reaction people up dancing and singing, Jim and I did it again with Hot Child for my solo project,
that kind of success makes it possible to play all these years later, Nick is part of an upcoming CBC special entitled
Shakin' all over, named for the classic Guess Who song, this truly speaks of the longevity of these songs Nick says, with
hits from the seventies and 80's and beyond. Nick and his collaborater Jim McCulloch wrote the incredible hit, ROXY ROLLER,
Juno winning song of the year, it really started it all for us and went to the #1 spot on the Canadian charts, propelling
the record beyond platinum, and recieving many awards. SHES A STAR IN HER OWN RIGHT was released next, reaching the #4
spot. The momentum created by the success of Roxy, and the obvious song writing talent within, launched Nick Gilder internationally
to another multi Juno, for best selling record and vocalist category's multi platinum and Peoples Choice winning #1
hit song HOT CHILD IN THE CITY, and continued with the top 10 hits HERE COMES THE NIGHT , the song RATED X did well
for Gilder but it was Pat Benatar who got it climbing up the charts, as did the Mega #1 hit he wrote for Patti Smythe
THE WARRIOR, one of Nicks first videos was for the song FOOTSTEPS on RCA Records , His songs are often featured in movies
like, Youngblood the Rob Lowe movie, Barb wire with Pamela Anderson, Play to win, The Wraith, My science project, Hot child
in the city and hit TV shows like That 70's show, Ed, Sex and the City, Nip Tuck, Regis and Kelly, The Today Show,Must
See TV, many NEWS shows, David Letterman,Conan O'Brian many other daytime and late night talk shows etc.
Throughout his illustrious career, Nick Gilder has written and recorded many Top 20 hits internationally having recent
success with a song he penned, WHEN THE LIGHTS GO DOWN, remixed by Armand Van Helden, who recently scored wtih Justin Timberlakes,
Get Sexy Back, in Britain, Europe, and Australia Three of which reached #1 here in Canada and is still creating new highlights
for a journeyman musician. During this time he's also worked with some of the worlds most famous Producers including the Beatles
George Martin and Mike Chapman, Pete Coleman of Blondie, Pat Benatar etc. fame. Writing hits for some of the business' top
performers, including Bette Midler, Patty Smyth & Scandal, Pat Benatar and Joe Cocker. The variety of artists who have
covered his songs testify to his diverse influences, totalling over 20 million copies sold worldwide. The millenium has already
seen one of Canadian rock's true superstars release a greatest hits album. Compiling 25 years of a legendary career, THE
BEST OF NICK GILDER-HOT CHILD IN THE CITY and reissue of the CITY NIGHTS CD was released by EMI records and contains some
of the most affecting pop, rock, metal, music from the 70's thru to the 90's. Going full circle, a reissue of the first
SWEENEY TODD LP on CD is planned and Nick is once again working with Sweeney Todd's original drummer, Johnny Booth, with
Mark Kenney on bass, Robert Gray on keyboards and guitar virtuoso Joey Wowk. Together they produce a powerhouse performance,
which includes past hits , great new material and some faves, Nick and the group are touring this year with possible Australia
dates as well as writing and recording for new CD projects.
Having toured with The Cars, Cheap Trick, Peter Gabriel, Foreigner, Styx, Journey, New York Dolls, The Babies,
even hall of famers like Chuck Berry, to name a few. Nick and the "Sweeneys" have already had a busy tour schedule
this year of Festivals etc. Thunder Bay Fest, turned into an enormous success with 35,000 people showing up for a 3 day event.
last years Mattawa Fest was another huge success Nick and the Sweeneys are touring this year in between recording, we
can't wait to rock your town!
And The Knights
A quarter of a century after they were brought together to perform in the John Belushi-starring film Animal House, Otis Day
& the Knights continued to live up to their claim as "the number one party band in America." Led by effervescent
vocalist/actor DeWayne Jessie, the group continued to inspire dancing and good times with their treatment of late-'50s and
early-'60s R&B and rock.
Madison, WI-born Jesse has been performing since earliest memory. As a teen, he wore a mouse suit to entertain diners
at a local Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Making his film debut in Jeff Bridges' 1970 flick, Halls of Anger, he went on to appear
in Car Wash, Thank God It's Friday, and Where the Buffalo Roam. He received an Image award as a "supporting character"
in The Bingo Long Traveling All Stars and Motor Kings.
Jesse based his life-changing portrayal of the fictitious Otis Day on his brother, who played in a band, the Slayers.
When Animal House proved to be a major commercial success, and became one of the top 50 grossing films of all time, producers
Ron Kurtz and Don Polodor encouraged the band to tour. An immediate hit, Otis Day & the Knights performed more than 260
sold-out concerts the first year.
Primarily a live band, Otis Day & the Knights only recorded one album -- Shout, produced by George Clinton and released
in 1989. A concert video, Otis!, My Man!, had been released in 1986.
In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Animal House, Otis Day & the Knights embarked on a 70-city tour in August
While most bluesy hard rock acts of the '70s and '80s hailed from the United States (the south, to be exact), there were several
exceptions to the rule, such as Canadian singer/guitarist Pat Travers. Born in Toronto on April 12, 1954, Travers first picked
up the guitar just prior to entering his teens, after witnessing a local performance by the great Jimi Hendrix. It wasn't
long before Travers was studying the other top rock guitarists of the day (Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, etc.), and
paying his dues by playing in bar bands in the Quebec area. His first true touring gig came his way when he hooked up with
'50s rock n' roll vet Ronnie Hawkins (best known for performing with a backing cast that would eventually transform into The
Band). But Travers' main love was hard rock, so after a year, he packed up his belongings and headed to London. Shortly after
touchdown in the U.K., Travers recorded a demo that would land him a recording deal with Polydor and result in the release
of his debut, Pat Travers, during the spring of 1976. A performance at England's annual Reading Festival the same year only
peaked interest, which resulted in two more releases in 1977, Makin' Magic and Putting It Straight (both of which followed
a pre-Iron Maiden Nicko McBrain on drums), before Travers returned to North America and set his sights on the U.S. rock market.
Hooking up with a fine backing band comprised of drummer Tommy Aldridge, guitarist Pat Thrall, and bassist Mars Cowling, the
new Travers band lineup premiered on 1979's Heat in the Street. This led to Travers' most commercially successful period,
resulting in a pair of Top 30 releases, 1979's Live! Go For What You Know (considered by many Travers fans to be his finest
hour) and 1980's Crash and Burn. But soon after the dawn of the '80s, bluesy hard rock seemed to quickly fall out of favor
amongst the U.S. record buying public, in favor of slickly produced arena rock, and later, MTV-approved bands. As a result,
each subsequent Travers release sold less, as his last albums to appear on the U.S. album charts included 1981's Radio Active,
1982's Black Pearl, and 1984's Hot Shot. Unhappy with Polydor, Travers opted to take a break from releasing albums for the
remainder of the decade, but continued to tour. Travers' 1990 comeback album, School of Hard Knocks, failed to re-spark interest
on the charts, although he continued to issue new studio albums (Blues Tracks, Just a Touch, Blues Magnet, etc.) and archival
live sets (King Biscuit Flower Hour, BBC Radio One Live in Concert) throughout the decade. Travers continues to tour and record
regularly (playing alongside the likes of Night Ranger's Jeff Watson, Cinderella's Tom Keifer, and Rick Derringer), and in
2001, performed as part of the 'Voices of Classic Rock' tour. Travers emerged from the recording studio once more in 2003,
with P.T. Power Trio, a recording that featured covers by the likes of Cream ("White Room"), Robin Trower ("Day
of the Eagle"), and ZZ Top ("Nasty Dogs and Funky Kings"), among others.
One of the first and longest-lasting country-rock groups, Poco had their roots in the dying embers of Buffalo Springfield.
After Neil Young and Stephen Stills, the co-founders of that group, exited in the spring of 1968, only guitarist/singer Richie
Furay and bassist Jim Messina remained to complete the group's swan song, Last Time Around. The final Springfield track, "Kind
Woman," included only Furay and Messina, with a guest appearance on steel guitar by Rusty Young -- at the time, he was
something of a rarity as a talented lap-steel guitarist who was comfortable working in a rock idiom, and had previously belonged
to a folk-rock-turned-psychedelic band called Boenzee Cryque. Young stuck with Furay and Messina, in the process skipping
a scheduled audition for a new group that ex-Byrds member Gram Parsons was putting together. Auditions followed before the
fledgling group reached out, at Young's urging, to ex-Boenzee Cryque drummer/vocalist George Grantham, and also to bassist/singer
Randy Meisner, who had previously played with a band called the Poor. This lineup rehearsed for four months before making
their debut at the Troubadour in Los Angeles, in November of 1968. A month later, they made their first appearance at the
Fillmore West on a bill with the Steve Miller Band and Sly & the Family Stone.
At the time, they were using the name Pogo, but that didn't last. Walt Kelly, the creator of the comic strip Pogo, from
which they'd freely admitted borrowing the name, didn't appreciate the group's choice and filed a lawsuit. Not wanting to
lose all of the recognition and goodwill they'd built up locally over the previous five months, the result was a change of
just one consonant, to Poco. They impressed everyone who heard them, but getting them a recording contract was itself a difficult
proposition -- Meisner, Young, and Grantham weren't a problem, as they were essentially unsigned to any label, but Messina
and Furay, as members of Buffalo Springfield, were most definitely tied to Atlantic Records. As it happened, Columbia Records
was interested in the group -- and hovering somewhere around this situation was David Geffen, then a young talent agent who
was fast on his feet and persuasive in his manner. He, in turn, was trying to sort out the contractual situation surrounding
ex-Springfield guitarist/singer Stephen Stills, and his new association with ex-Byrds singer/guitarist David Crosby, and Graham
Nash, formerly of the Hollies, who wanted to record together but had the reverse problem; Stills was signed to Atlantic by
way of Buffalo Springfield (which very much wanted Crosby, Stills & Nash), while Crosby and Nash, through their previous
memberships in the Byrds and the Hollies, respectively, were both tied contractually to Columbia Records. With Geffen acting
as catalyst between Atlantic chief Ahmet Ertegun and Columbia president Clive Davis, Messina and Furay had their contracts
traded to Columbia in exchange for Crosby and Nash going to Atlantic.
The group's lineup problems, which proved to be perennial, started almost immediately after Poco was signed to Columbia
Records' Epic label in early 1969. During the recording of their debut album, Meisner suddenly left the band -- accounts vary
as to precisely when this took place; he left either at the outset of the recording, or after finishing the album. But the
basic disagreement concerned the fact that Messina, who had experience as both an engineer and producer, would not permit
Meisner (or anyone else) to participate in the mixing of the album. Whatever the circumstances, Meisner went on to play with
Rick Nelson for a few months before gravitating to a country-rock outfit that eventually christened themselves the Eagles.
Poco ended up recording their debut album, Pickin' Up the Pieces, as a quartet, with Messina handling the bass parts. The
album was issued in June of 1969 to enthusiastic reviews but not overwhelming sales, a pattern that would follow the band
for most of its history. Poco was back to being a quintet in 1970 with the addition of bassist/vocalist Timothy B. Schmit,
whose arrival coincided with the recording of their second album, Poco, on which he had two co-writing credits. The album
showed the group pushing its range and received even better reviews at the time than its predecessor, but failed to generate
a hit single or climb above the lower reaches of the charts.
It wasn't long after that Messina decided to leave, feeling that Furay had started to exert too much control over the
group's sound. Before departing, however, he secured the services of a more-than-capable replacement member, guitarist/singer
Paul Cotton, a onetime member of the country band Illinois Speed Press, which had recorded for Epic. Messina also played on
and produced their subsequent live album, Deliverin' -- the latter represented an interesting change in strategy for the label
and the band, which, after two artistically successful but commercially disappointing albums, was now looking to present itself
in the strongest light as possible. A live album consisting entirely of new material, Deliverin' offered the record-buying
public a glimpse of the group's on-stage sound, which melded the excitement and energy of rock & roll with the lyricism
and romanticism of country music. And it seemed to work to a degree, the album reaching number 26 and yielding a minor hit
in "C'mon." Messina's departure left the group in need of a producer, and for their next album, From the Inside
(1971), they turned to Booker T. & the M.G.'s guitarist Steve Cropper, who was an experienced producer but one mostly
associated with Southern soul music. The resulting album had a heavier and more soulful sound than their earlier studio releases,
but lacked the freewheeling spirit that had driven those albums. And, in a surprising development, this lineup -- Furay, Cotton,
Young, Schmit, and Grantham -- lasted for more than one studio album. The group decided to build their next release around
one of their most popular concert numbers, a Furay song called "A Good Feeling to Know," which was also issued as
a single -- the album A Good Feelin' to Know (1972) never got any higher than number 69, and the single never charted at all.
By this time, even Furay had begun to lose heart over the band's lack of commercial success, and began making plans to move
The band made one renewed effort, Crazy Eyes, their most accomplished studio album to date. Released late in 1973, it
became their most successful LP up to that time, reaching number 38 and staying on the charts for almost six months. Any good
news surrounding its sales was muted by the departure of Furay from the band upon its release, however -- he joined up with
Chris Hillman and John David Souther to form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band. Most music columnists were predicting Poco's
likely demise, but the group was able to continue as a quartet. Their next album, Seven, released in the spring of 1974, failed
to replicate the success of Crazy Eyes, although it was good enough to keep the fans interested. The group was at a critical
point in their history following the release of one more Epic album, Cantamos, which appeared in the fall of 1974 and got
no higher than number 76 -- it was the first album on which the bandmembers produced themselves, however, and offered a brace
of beautiful songs and gorgeous harmonizing, as well as virtuoso-level playing and beautiful textures, embodied in harder-rocking
tracks such as "High and Dry," which seemed to live up to all of the promise the band had shown in 1968; and it
included unusually strong songwriting contributions by both Rusty Young and Timothy B. Schmit.
At this point, the group and their record label came to a parting the ways, as Columbia's executives felt that they'd
given the band every chance for success across a period of nearly seven years, without more than middling results despite
often sterling reviews and a healthy concert audience for the band. Poco signed with ABC Records in 1975, and their first
album for the new label, Head Over Heels (1975), surpassed the sales of any of their recent Epic releases, climbing to number
48, and also generated a moderately successful single in "Keep on Tryin'," which reached number 50 on the Billboard
chart. It was also perhaps indicative of the perception of their aging appeal within the industry that the single also got
to number 45 on Cashbox's listings, which are based exclusively on record sales (as opposed to Billboard's mix of sales and
radio play) -- the group seemed able to draw fans more easily to their records than their label could induce radio stations
to play those records. The album's performance was all the more impressive, given that Epic issued a double-LP compilation,
The Very Best of Poco, just two weeks after Head Over Heels came out. That compilation reached number 90, which was probably
just enough to cost Head Over Heels a notch or two in its own chart placement, competing for the attention of the fans.
Rose of Cimarron (1976) offered a gorgeous title track by Rusty Young, with a melody it was almost impossible not to keep
humming once heard, and as high a "haunt count" as anything the group had ever released -- and the song was later
covered by Emmylou Harris and turned into the de facto title track of her Cimarron album, and was also included on her Songs
of the West compilation in the 1990s. But the Poco album only reached number 89, and their single release of the track just
made the Top 50 before disappearing. The album's release was complicated, as was its predecessor, by Epic's issue of another
catalog item, this time a previously unreleased concert recording, Live, just a couple of months before. The group came close
to splitting up at the time, and new member Al Garth, who had previously played with Loggins & Messina, did exit the lineup
midway through the year. In the spring of 1977, Poco released Indian Summer, which, fortunately, did somewhat better than
its predecessor, peaking at number 57. But those and other recent releases were not the kind of numbers that allow a band
to long sustain itself, except through a lot of hard work and extensive touring -- and even the most enthusiastic musician,
after a few years of that pace, can feel as though they're on a career treadmill.
Four months after Indian Summer's release, it was Timothy B. Schmit's turn to leave. His exit took place under more amicable
circumstances, however. He was happy in the group as anyone, and had been in there longer than anyone except Young and Grantham,
and they were all having to work a little too hard to sell fewer records than their music merited, and definitely harder than
they might have liked after a decade, just to sustain what momentum they had -- but he might well have stayed for the long
haul. That summer, however, lightning suddenly struck Schmit's career from an unexpected locale. Long-ago departed Poco co-founder
Randy Meisner, who had been with the Eagles from the beginning of their history, had quit the latter group just as they were
riding a wave of mega-platinum sales, and the kind of top-ticket, top-of-the-bill arena-scale bookings that most bands dream
of. And just as it had happened when Meisner quit Poco in 1969, Schmit was offered his bassist/vocalist spot in the Eagles
-- and not as a hired musician, which would have been the usual approach made to a potential replacement member, but with
a full share in a group that was counting both their annual album sales and their concert earnings in the millions. The other
members of Poco not only didn't try to dissuade him, but actively encouraged Schmit to accept the offer.
Grantham, who had been in the band longer than anyone still there except Rusty Young, left in January of 1978 -- he later
joined Ricky Skaggs' band. Meanwhile, Poco re-formed with two British musicians, bassist/singer Charlie Harrison and drummer
Steve Chapman joining Young and Cotton; Kim Bullard, a Crosby, Stills & Nash alumnus, came in on keyboards in December
of that year, and Poco was once again a quintet. All of these personnel changes seemed to have done the trick, because their
next album, Legend, released late in 1978, became the best-selling LP in their history, earning a gold record in the course
of rising to number 14. The accompanying single, the ethereal "Crazy Love," became their biggest hit ever, reaching
number 17 on the pop charts (and number one as an adult contemporary hit); and it was nearly matched by Cotton's "Heart
of the Night," one of the most beautiful songs in the group's history, which got to number 20 during the summer of 1979.
Sad to say, the group was never able to replicate that sudden flash of success at the end of the '70s. Their next album,
Under the Gun (1980), was perhaps too accurate in its title, reflecting the sudden pressure they were under to re-create the
hit status of Legend; Blue and Gray (1981) was an ambitious Civil War-based concept album that failed to capture the public's
imagination; and Cowboys & Englishmen (1982) was their escape hatch from MCA Records, which had taken over ABC, and showed
as little inspiration as most contractual obligation releases. Each of their last three records performed more poorly than
its predecessor, and the group's problem seemed to go deeper than a lack of inspiration or time to generate good material.
A generational shift in music took place in the early '80s, as a whole new wave of post-punk/post-new wave bands started dominating
the marketplace and the airwaves, and veteran acts such as Poco -- whose audience had already been identified as "an
aging lot" in one review, back in 1977 -- were left behind. This new generation of acts was especially well versed in
the new marketing medium of the music video, which, with the rise of MTV, completely altered the manner in which new singles
gained exposure. In the midst of this transition, and a jump to Atlantic Records, the group issued Ghost Town in late 1982
-- it was superior to at least two of their three preceding albums, with some beautiful melodies and playing, but it peaked
at an anemic number 195. In 1984, the group seemed to turn backward for the first time in their history as Furay and Schmit
came back aboard as guest artists for Inamorata, which scarcely made any impact.
The group was on hiatus for the next five years. And then, in 1989, came the most unexpected turn of all in their history.
Furay, Messina, Young, Grantham, and Meisner, who had last all worked together in 1968, were suddenly back talking to each
other and working together, and recording as Poco, and even touring. Their comeback single, "Call It Love," hit
the Top 20, accompanied by the album Legacy, which made it to number 40. Although the 1968 lineup didn't stay together past
the tour, Poco was restored as a working band, and from that point on worked under the leadership of Young and Cotton at their
core, joined by Grantham for a time. Studio albums were few and far between, as the changes in the music marketplace made
the group less appealing to record labels in the 1990s and beyond, but they did release a new record, Running Horse, through
their website, www.poconut.com, in 2002, and The Last Roundup followed two years later on Future Edge. George Grantham was
with them until 2004, when he suffered a crippling stroke during a performance. Keeping the Legend Alive (2004), released
as a CD and a DVD, was a concert recording that brought Richie Furay back into the fold as a guest artist, and Bareback at
Big Sky, released in 2005, found Poco with their first unplugged live album. Two more live recordings, Keep on Tryin' and
Alive in the Heart of the Night, followed in 2006, and another live release, The Wildwood Tapes, appeared on CD in early 2007.
Poco in 2007 consisted of Rusty Young (playing an impressive array of stringed instruments, including mandolin) and Paul
Cotton, with longtime bassist/singer Jack Sundrud, and drummer George Lawrence, who stepped into the breach when Grantham
fell ill in 2004. Their set was weighted toward their middle years, in the 1970s, though Young and Cotton did a few of their
own numbers from the early Epic Records era, and rescued a few worthy favorite numbers from obscurity in their set. They and
Sundrud harmonized beautifully, and one year short of the group's 40th anniversary, they could still sell out two shows in
a single night in a major suburban northeastern market.
Pure Prairie League
Their rich history goes back to 1969 in the Southern Ohio area where a group of young musicians initially played cover tunes
at local bars. Original member Craig Fuller and early member George Powell were beginning to stir their song writing abilities
around the time original drummer Tom McGail happened to catch a late night 1939 Errol Flyn flick called Dodge City. The movie's
Pure Prairie League was the woman's temperance union attempting to clean up Kansas' most lawless town.
RCA signed Pure Prairie League after seeing them play in
Cleveland, Ohio. The first album was released the following year. The most memorable thing about it was the Norman Rockwell
cover from a 1927 Saturday Evening Post cover, recalls Mike Reilly. His (Reilly's) first gig with the band was on Labor Day
1972 thanks to member Mike Connor with whom he had worked previously. PPL's second album, Bustin' Out was finished and they
hit the road to promote the music. In February, 1973, however, Fuller received Uncle Sam's summons to go to Vietnam Nam.
He applied for conscientious objector status and ended up doing alternative service in a hospital in Covington, KY. The
band was dropped from RCA soon after. "The band was struggling at that point and we eventually parted ways",
recalls Fuller. "Even though Craig was the main founder of the three original members", says Reilly, "Craig
saw that we picked up the torch and continued with it." Incredibly, college stations continued to play cuts from Bustin'
Out until RCA was forced to seek out the group's whereabouts. Re-signed in 1975, the band recorded Two Lane Highway.
While they were in the studio, RCA released "Amie" from Bustin' Out as a single which has endured as a classic,
being played constantly still today. The changing musical times made it difficult for PPL to continue creating its same sound.
As Disco dominated the airwaves, the band became aware that it too, had to make some alterations.
Someone auditioning for the spot of the departing Gorshorn
brothers brought along a young man named Vince Gill. He hadn't intended on trying out for the band, but after jamming
for the band, they offered him the job on the spot. "We had seen him play in 1976 when the band he was playing with opened
up for us in Oklahoma City", remarks Reilly. "We offered him the gig then, but he said, 'Oh no, I'm playing bluegrass.'
Two years later he came to Los Angeles with Byron Berline and Sundance and after we jammed again for a few hours, we offered
him the job again and he accepted".
For their final RCA offering n 1978, Can't Hold Back, Gill, along with the other new member, Patrick Bolin, wrote more
rock influenced country material and they added saxophone to the tracks instead of pedal steal guitar. Although it seemed
to be an odd pairing, Casablanca signed the group and they enjoyed their biggest success with Firin' Up's first single "Let
Me Love You Tonight," reaching No. 7 on the Pop Charts and No. 1 on the Adult Contemporary Charts. Personnel changes
at Casablanca resulted in the loss of their deal once again and Gill departed after three albums in as many years. Reunited
to treat us to music that sounds as good today as it did when they first performed, PPL is touring and enjoying every minute
of it. PPL has been playing true to its original form. "People come to hear the music the way it was played back then,"
Fuller asserts. "We may have improved upon the fidelity, but when we do a song off one of our records, we do it just
like it was recorded." PPL in the new millennium may be a curious prospect to band members, but the bands longevity is
a testament of the timelessness of the music. As they write for a new project, they've returned to their roots and it's no
surprise that after all these years their sound is what Country Radio is about, proving good music is good music no matter
when it's made or played--and you can go home again.
Quicksilver Messenger Service
The band that became Quicksilver Messenger Service originally was conceived as a rock vehicle for folk singer/songwriter Dino
Valente (b. Nov. 7, 1943, d. Nov 16, 1994), author of "Get Together." Living in San Francisco, Valente had found
guitarist John Cipollina (b. Aug. 24, 1943, d. May 29, 1989) and singer Jim Murray. Valente's friend David Freiberg (b. Aug.
24, 1938) joined on bass, and the group was completed by the addition of drummer Greg Elmore (b. Sep. 4, 1946) and guitarist
Gary Duncan (b. Sep 4, 1946). As the band was being put together, Valente was imprisoned on a drug charge and he didn't rejoin
Quicksilver until later. They debuted at the end of 1965 and played around the Bay Area and then the West Coast for the next
two years, building up a large following but resisting offers to record that had been taken up by such San Francisco acid
rock colleagues as Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. Quicksilver finally signed to Capitol toward the end of 1967
and recorded their self-titled debut album in 1968 (by this time, Murray had left). Happy Trails, the 1969 follow-up, was
recorded live. After its release, Duncan left the band and was replaced for Shady Grove (1970) by British session pianist
Nicky Hopkins. By the time of its release, however, Duncan had returned, along with Valente, making the group a sextet. This
version of Quicksilver, prominently featuring Valente's songs and lead vocals, lasted only a year, during which two albums,
Just for Love and What About Me, were recorded. Cipollina, Freiberg, and Hopkins then left, and the remaining trio of Valente,
Duncan, and Elmore hired replacements and cut another couple of albums before disbanding. There was a reunion in 1975, resulting
in a new album and a tour, and in 1986 Duncan revived the Quicksilver name for an album that also featured Freiberg on background
Randy Hansen - In The Spirit Of Hendrix
He was born on December 8th, 1954. West Seattle was home for Randy. And it was from another Seattle native that he received
his greatest inspiration the year was 1967. Jimi Hendrix brought forth the catalyst for Randy's future when he released the
milestone album, Are you Experienced?
Randy IS experienced and he should be experienced by everyone. He grabs the attention of the audience with the first notes
of every performance. He holds their attention past the close of the show. The audience carries their unforgettable experience
into the streets for the best word of mouth stories since the Bible was merely oral tradition.
He exists as a mystery and a motivation to ax grinders young and old. Eddie Van Halen, "...he's hot...",and
calls him a friend ( Guitar Player Magazine ). Rocking teens hanging outside during pre-show sound checks, stand amazed after
hearing the searing passages of the Star Spangled Banner. His guitar is a weapon he handles with authority knocking them dead
every time it clears leather. Francis Ford Coppola used the staccato bursts and bombastic blasts of Randy's sonic arsenal
to add deathlike sound effects to the movie, Apocalypse Now
He's toured with Buddy Miles and with Mitch Mitchell. He's put notes on vinyl and celluloid. He's been experienced and
he is an experience. Oh how to properly tell the tales that fall so short of fact. The fact is , Randy Hansen is the slickest
thing since James Bond's Aston spewed oil slicks. This man turns Tasmanian Devil on stage. There's no stopping him and there's
no telling where he'll be at any moment in the show. He's been spotted on the stacks and swinging in the rafters 30 feet above
the floor. He's thrown himself into tumultuous throngs and has been thrown back by frenzied freaks that still sport tie-dyed
day glow. He plays the guitar with his whole body and soul. He is a high energy show. He consistently delivers a show that
cannot be forgotten by even the deadest of heads.
Tours, albums, movie sound tracks, studio work and jamming with the greats. Randy is a sincerely powerful man of monstrous
mood. This direct descendent of Adam sees himself as the reincarnation of Wally Cox. He enjoys drawing, painting, and cartooning
as diversions in his madcap life.
In 1961 a group of high school buddies formed a band and called it "The Sunliners".After playing for about seven
years the group decided to change the name of the band. Hence forth comes "Rare Earth".
Motown Record Corporation approached Rare Earth in the latter part of 1968 to sign a recording contract. At first the
group was reluctant to sign because of knowing of other white groups and artists before them that had not had any success
because Motown was geared for promotion and distrubution in the black market only. It was when Motown decided they wanted
to launch a new division of Motown to cater to white artists that Rare Earth started to seriously consider signing.
Motown did not have a name for the new division and lable so jokeingly the band suggested the name Rare Earth. Unbelieveably
they agreed. That convinced the band that Motown was serious about making Rare Earth their first successful white band and
they were going to sign more white acts to be on the "Rare Earth" Label. To clear up a long time false statement
that Rare Earth was the only white act to ever be signed with Motown, Rare Earth was the one and only successful white band
to be signed with Motown. Rare Earth was with Motown from 1968 to 1978.
Motown wanted an album from Rare Earth immediately after signing.
Rare Earth was playing bars for several years prior to signing with Motown. Motown music at that time was very strong
on the radio so Rare Earth was playing a lot of Motown songs in clubs. Thus the bands roots developed from R&B music.
Most people in the beginning thought Rare Earth to be black. Surprise, surprise. The band had been playing the song "Get
Ready" in clubs for about a year or two prior to recording it. It started out a 3 minute song until one member took a
solo and then everyone wanted a solo so over time the song became 21 minutes long. It became the closing song each night and
people liked it so much they would stay just to hear it.
The band decided that "Get Ready" would be Rare Earth's first recording, to be 21 minutes long and to be one
whole side of the first album. Motown was leary about doing this but the band insisted because radio was starting to play
album cuts which were longer than the normal 3 minute single. "Get Ready" first broke in Washington D.C. in the
black market, spread across the country and eventually into the white market. It was a huge hit selling millions of records
and remaining on the charts for almost 3 years. Some of Rare Earth's other hits from 1969 to 1974 were songs such as "Big
Brother","Born to wander", "Tobacco road", "Losin You", and "I Just Want To Celebrate".
The year: 1990. The place: Southern California. Danny Wilde and Phil Solem known collectively as the Rembrandts were holed
up in Wilde's walk-in closet of a home studio, knocking out demos.
"We didn't know what we were doing; we were just making music," admits Wilde, who years earlier had teamed with
Solem in the band Great Buildings. "I mean, it was a big surprise when we actually scored a record deal. We weren't even
thinking about having a single or anything like that."
That homegrown project became The Rembrandts, the duo's Atco/Elektra debut. The album spawned a Top 20 hit with "Just
the Way It Is, Baby."
"Just The Way It Is, Baby" was a top 20 hit in every country where it was released as a single, including the
U.S. The album cracked the Billboard top 100 and the Rembrandts were named one of MTVs most buzworthy bands of 1991, along
with Nirvana, Lenny Kravitz, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
The Rembrandts followed up their smash debut with 1992's 'Untitled.' For 'Untitled', the duno went back into Danny's garage
and cranked out 12 more gems, including the top 30 hit Johnny Have You Seen Her. Another fan favorite, Rollin' Down The Hill,
was featured in the hit comedy Dumb and Dumber.
A few years later, NBC producer Kevin Bright called, offering the band the chance to cut the theme song for a new romantic-comedy
series. The boys took the bait. The series was Friends, and the rest is history. The song "I'll Be There for You"
was added at the last minute to the pair's 1995 album, L.P. It became a huge hit. "There goes our career," Wilde
says. "We'll be forever known as the Monkees."
Sure enough the phenomenal success of "I'll Be There for You" typecast the versatile duo as a one-shot, happy-go-lucky
'60s throwback. The endless touring and inevitable backlash took its toll on The Rembrandts, and in 1997 Solem and Wilde split
up. Phil returned to his home in Minneapolis and formed the band Thrush, while Danny released the album 'Spin This' under
the moniker of "Danny Wilde + the Rembrandts." But old habits die hard, and as 2001 unfolded, the pair was back
together apparently none the worse for wear.
"I just thought it was time to drop all the animosity and see if we could salvage what had always been a great thing,"
Solem says. That year, The Rembrandts released 'Lost Together' on both J-Bird and Atenzia Records, and it is quite possibly
their strongest album to date. "It felt as if no time had gone by, and all the business stuff that had caused the rift
between us had magically disappeared. We got together, and it was like riding a bike and we haven't tipped over yet."
As 2005 came to a close, The Rembrandts signed with Fuel Records and released their 'best of' CD, Choice Picks. The remastered
Choice Picks features 13 fan picked favorites and one new song, "Don't Give Me Up". Danny calls the new tune "
a spirited lil' rocker, guaranteed to get your toes a tappin'"
In 2006, Rhino released 'The Rembrandts Greatest Hits', featuring 20 tracks, with all of The Rembrandts hits, in their
original versions. Two of the tracks are from the Great Buildings album 'Apart From The Crowd.'Look for The Rembrandts on
tour in 2006!
Young guitar great, vocalist and entertainer Rick Derringer was just 17 when his band "The McCoys" recorded the
No.1 hit "Hang On Sloopy" in the summer of 1965, knocking "Yesterday" by The Beatles out of the top spot.
"The McCoys" had enjoyed four years of successful touring, when Rick merged his talents with Johnny Winter
in 1969 forming "Johnny Winter And" ("And" referring to "The McCoys").
Rick was the only producer of all gold and platinum Winter Brothers recordings.
In '71 Rick was featured on three records, "Johnny Winter And", "Johnny Winter And-Live" and "Edgar
Winter's White Trash". "And" featured the first version of Derringer's "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo"
which was also released as a single, then selected again for "And - Live".
Eventually the busy Derringer joined Edgar's White Trash full-time and produced the gold LP, "Roadwork".
Derringer's solo album, "All American Boy" was released in '73 with the now already popular "Rock and Roll
Hoochie Koo", this time as a 'hit' single.
Rick was writer/producer of Johnny Winter's "Still Alive and Well" album and player/producer of the hit
album, "They Only Come Out At Night". The latter featured the No. 1, Grammy nominated monster hit, "Frankenstein"
and "Free Ride".
In 1976 Rick created the Derringer Band. He released four albums and in '83 returned to his solo career with the
LP, "Good Dirty Fun".
Throughout the 70's and 80's the popular Derringer appeared on numerous albums with artists Alice Cooper, Richie
Havens, Todd Rundgren and Steely Dan. The list also includes Cyndi Lauper, Barbra Streisand, Kiss, Mason Ruffner and Madam
In the mid-80's, Derringer discovered Weird Al Yancovic, producing music for Grammy-winning albums and videos. Derringer's
productions of the Michael Jackson parodies, the No. 1 hit "Eat It", and "Who's Fat", have been Yancovic's
most successful recordings.
It was also in the 90's that Rick was selected to be producer/writer/performer of the World Wrestling Federation
LP's. Hulk Hogan's theme song, "I Am A Real American" was written and performed by Rick as a part of these projects.
Derringer was once again sought after by Edgar Winter and in 1990, performed for the LP, "Edgar Winter and Rick
Derringer Live in Japan". Then in 1999 Rick and Edgar were back together again for their collaboration on his "Winter
Derringer also recorded four blues CD's starting in '93 with "Back To the Blues" followed by "Electra
Blues", "Blues Deluxe" and his 2000 release "Jackhammer Blues".
At about that same period Derringer, who seems to be constantly in motion, released his destined-to-be-classic "Tend
the Fire" in Europe to rave reviews and is eagerly expected by his loyal fans here in the US.
The year 2001 was another busy one for Rick. His venture back into Rock & Roll with Vanilla Fudge superstars
Carmine Appice and Tim Bogert produced a recording of intense synergy - "D B A" (for Derringer, Bogert & Appice)
with vocals, writing and instrumentals shared by all three. 2004 promises a reprise for Derringer and Appice, with the release
After "D B A", the next project was truly a work from the heart and soul of Rick and his wife Brenda Jean(Jenda
Hall). Entitled "Aiming 4 Heaven", it brought forth their devotion to God and put it into song with help from their
children, Lory & Martin. That project opened the doors for a worldwide release on Reborn Records, as Rick and Jenda are
currently putting the finishing touches on the brand new "Still Alive And Well", their second all Christian CD.
With a scheduled release date of May, 2004, their fans are already expressing impatience.
We can't forget the Winter of 2002, where Rick ventured into a whole new musical world - Smooth Jazz. Interest in
"Rick Derringer Free Ride" grew quickly at radio, and the second single "Hot And Cool" (in the 'Radio
and Records' top 20 for 5 months, and number 42 for the year) showed Derringer right at home in the format. It might come
as a surprise, but as he explains, it's the kind of music he's been waiting to do his whole life. His wife Brenda is featured
as co-writer on three new songs, and arranger/singer on the title cut.
It seems like almost too much story to take in at one sitting, but the most surprising part is, after more than four
decades he's still going strong!
This rock star from Wales, who created the famed Spencer Davis Group in 1963, has close to a dozen top 10 hit songs, including
"Gimme Some Lovin", "Somebody Help Me", "I'm A Man", and "Keep On Runnin", helping
to bring British rock 'n roll to the rest of the world.
The popularity of his songs live on and Spencer recently accepted an award from BMI in London for over 3 million broadcast
performances of "Gimme Some Lovin."
Starting out with degrees in modern languages (with fluency in German, French and Spanish), Spencer had left his teaching
career to began his music career in Birmingham with drummer, Pete York and brothers, Steve and Muff Winwood.
Touring with the Rolling Stones and The Who when they were still working clubs, having after-hour drinks with Beatles,
John and Paul and the lads, jamming with Charlie Watts and Long John Baldry and Jack Bruce were heady days for Spencer. When
the hits started to come one after the other, his momentum spurred major US success.
Moving to America in 1970, Spencer went on to record a now-hard-to-find solo album, then played in an acoustic blues band,
which included Richard Landis (former Juice Newton producer and manager) and Peter Jameson. By the mid-70s Spencer worked
at Island Records (his group's label) and, as a record company executive, worked to further the profiles of people like Robert
Palmer and Bob Marley.
In the early 80's Spencer was head of A&R for a small Hollywood-based independent label and the itch to play in a
band again was coming back. That's when he made his next album, "Crossfire", with guests like Dusty Springfield,
Flo and Eddie, and Booker T. Jones.
In 1984 Spencer was back on the road with his own band in America. Then came European and Middle Eastern tours with Pete
York, plus other British rock legends, Brian Auger and Chris Farlowe. It was during this time he recorded pioneering CD albums
for German and Swiss release.
Days on the road increased, as did the fans, and by 1987 he was performing well over 100 shows a year. For a rock and
roll who's-who, he made guest appearances with the Grateful Dead, Gary US Bonds, Levon Helm, Springsteen's E Street Band,
Peter Noone, Downchild, and Alvin Lee.
In the early 90's. audiences watched Spencer pick up the pace at club and concert tours. His stature as a rock and roll
"legend" opened doors to a wide variety of benefits, telethons and special TV and radio appearances -- criss-crossing
through the US and Canada with forays into Europe, including opening acts for Hall & Oates and the Marshall Tucker Band.
His guest appearances on TV and radio talk shows mounted throughout most of 1990 as Spencer became involved promoting
the definitive photo collection of Michael Cooper's book, "Blinds and Shutters", -- Spencer being one of many contributors
to the book. His tours during that time took him through Australia, the US, Canada and Japan with his own group.
In 1993, Spencer united with three other famed musicians to form one super group, The Classic Rock All-Stars (Mike Pinera-Iron
Butterfly, Jerry Corbetta-Sugarloaf, and Pete Rivera-Rare Earth). The group released a CD together, simply titled, "The
Classic Rock All-Stars" and they toured the US, Canada and Japan.
Davis left the Classic Rock All-Stars in the summer of 1995, and continued touring in Europe and the US the rest of the
year into 1996 and 1997. In Europe, he played with drummer Pete York (the original drummer of the Spencer Davis Group), and
the Spencer Davis Group's popularity in Europe put Spencer on a World Tour with his European members, hitting Japan, the Far
East, Middle East and Scandinavia.
Spencer signed a record deal with CMC who released the recording initially throughout Europe. The recording consisted
of a mix of many new originals, old hits and classic songs.
In the Fall of 1996, Spencer teamed up with The World Classic Rockers, similar in concept to The Classic Rock All-Stars,
but with a larger line-up, comprising of Carmine Appice-Vanilla Fudge, Bobby Kimball-Toto, Denny Laine-McCartney and Wings,
Randy Meisner-The Eagles, and Michael Monarch-Steppenwolf. Spencer also contributed to the release of World Classic Rockers-Double
CD and toured extensively with them.
Spencer's songs continue to live on in movies, such as Iron Eagle, Big Chill, Mr. Destiny, Days of Thunder, Top Gun, Mr.
Holland's Opus, Notting Hill, Flight of the Phoenix, just to name a few! The mid 90's also landed him on TV commercials,
documentaries, and the TV special, "The History of Rock 'n Roll," as well as a co-starring role in the hit series,
"Married with Children."
2001 proved to be as busy as any of the mid and late 90's. From state fairs to casinos throughout the USA and Canada,
the Spencer Davis Group continued entertaining millions with their classic repertoire. Along with the spring and fall tours,
Germany and Europe were thrown in for good measure.
Spencer undertook a marathon tour with the Spencer Davis Group during the spring of 2002, with 47 shows over 60 days up
and down jolly old England. Drawing upon his teaching skills from the past, Spencer was invited on the famous cruise ship
QE2 in the summer of 2002 as a guest lecturer and performer. He then headed straight to Alaska and followed by a foray into
the Middle East, with a mini tour of Europe right behind that.
The first half of 2003 brought Spencer through tours of Italy, side-stepping into the studio to record three new songs
for his new upcoming CD, and then back to Italy and Germany. There were more state fairs and concerts in the park, where
Spencer hooked up with friend Alan White of Yes to guest with him in the Washington State area.
Early in 2004, his U.S. tour led him to Illinois and Florida, with a jump over to tours through Germany, Holland, Switzerland,
Denmark, Sweden, and Austria until Spring. After a brief rest, the Spencer Davis Group headed out for a month-long tour of
the U.K. starting in southern England, and going as far north as Scotland, and west into his native Wales homeland. He finishes
up in the Royal Festival Hall in London and tours with his friends, the Yardbirds before heading back to Hungary and Germany
Spencer is now teamed up with the Rock and Roll Army, consisting of Felix Cavaliere, Mitch Ryder, and Rick Derringer.
He went to New Zealand in June, playing acoustic shows with Ed Tree for the British Lions Tour. Then on to Australia in July
2005 with his own SDG. October and November rounded out with tours in Germany.
The Grand Finale of 2005 was a special guest appearance New Year's Eve at the Cologne Arena with Cologne's own Black Foess
in front of 12,000 people -- a great time was had by all!
This year 2006 kicked off with a special guest appearance at David Fishof's "Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp" at SIR
in Hollywood, followed by a Battle of the Bands at the House of Blues and concert with Roger Daltry, Neal Schon, Jack Blades,
Spencer has completed twelve tracks, all original, for a new CD/DVD, titled SO FAR for a summer 2006 release. SDG has
already made a quick foray into The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Scandinavia. In August he will be a counselor at the
"Rock 'n Roll Fantasy Camp" in New York, followed by a three-week tour of the U.K. He will wrap up this year with
three appearances in California in September, return to Germany in October, followed by an extensive tour of Australia in
As you can see this ol' rocker just CAN'T STAND STILL and KEEPS ON RUNNING...
THE ORIGINAL STAMPEDERS, KIM BERLY, RICH DODSON AND RONNIE KING, were one of Canada's top rock groups in the early 70's, having
won Juno Awards in the categories 'Best Group,' 'Best Single,' 'Best Producer' and 'Best Composer' for their platinum single,
SWEET CITY WOMAN. Their other hits include CARRY ME, DEVIL YOU, WILD EYES, OH MY LADY, THEN CAME THE WHITE MAN, MINSTREL GYPSY,
PLAYING IN THE BAND, HIT THE ROAD JACK, NEW ORLEANS, MONDAY MORNING CHOO CHOO and KEEP ME RUNNING WILD, to name just a few.
Between 1971 and 1976, the group went on to become a household name, with four songs reaching Top-30 in the U.S and twelve
Top-10 singles in Canada. They recorded nine albums, many achieving gold and platinum status. SWEET CITY WOMAN has since become
a classic and a standard in the world of pop music. In a recent poll, it was voted one of the Top-10 most-recognizable songs
of the 70's. The Stampeders are currently recording a new C.D., soon due for release.
In 1972, the band was awarded Holland's prestigious 'EDISON AWARD' along with RY COODER and CARL WILSON of THE BEACH BOYS,
during a televised award show with an estimated audience of over 30-million viewers throughout Europe. In 1991, THE STAMPEDERS
had the honour of being inducted into the Alberta Recording Association's "Hall of Fame," and in 1994, they were
inducted into the Calgary Rock Hall Of Fame. Also, in 1994, RICH DODSON was inducted into the SOCAN Hall of Fame for his compositions,
SWEET CITY WOMAN and CARRY ME along with KIM BERLY for his composition OH MY LADY.
From 1970 to 1977, the band completed six (6) tours across Canada and performed extensively
in Europe, South America (representing Canada at the Brazilian Song Festival to an estimated audience of 90-million viewers)
and the U.S. with acts like SANTANA, THE BEACH BOYS, THE EAGLES, MOUNTAIN, Z.Z. TOP, RUSH, BLACK OAK ARKANSAS, ROBIN TROWER,
SONNY & CHER, AMERICA, EARTH WIND & FIRE, JOE COCKER, STEELEY DAN, BLOOD SWEAT & TEARS, THE JAMES GANG and GENESIS,
just to name a few. According to promoter DONALD K. DONALD, they were the top Canadian concert draw from 1971 to '74, and
were the first Canadian band to tour from one end of the country to the other.
THE STAMPEDERS can also be credited with having some of the first rock 'videos' by a Canadian act, five of which are included
in a one-hour video entitled "CANADA'S ROCK LEGENDS - THE STAMPEDERS."
They made numerous TV appearances, including their own one-hour CBC special, "A SHORT VISIT TO PLANET EARTH,"
THE JUNO AWARDS, CBC'S "MISS TEEN CANADA", NBC'S "THE DATING GAME", the "SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. AMERICAN
SONG FESTIVAL", KENNY ROGERS' "ROLLING DOWN THE RIVER," and the U.S.-originated, "DON KIRSHNER'S ROCK
Recent television appearances have included "THE CCMA AWARDS", "MIKE BULLARDS COMEDY NETWORK", "THE
DINI PETTY SHOW", CBC NEWSWORLD'S "PETRIE IN PRIME" , features on MUCHMUSIC'S MINNEDOSA CLASSIC ROCK SPECIAL
and "BACKTRACKS" WITH TERRY DAVID MULLIGAN."
With over one hundred and thirty (130) reunion concerts to their credit and a brand-new album, "SURE BEATS WORKING"
(MPL-CD-0009) on Marigold Records (KOCH International), to the delight of their dedicated fans, old and new alike, THE STAMPEDERS
Who can forget "Wild Thing"? The Troggs have always been remembered for this 60s anthem, but it is just one of their
many UK hits. "With A Girl Like You", "I Can't Control Myself", "Anyway That You Want Me", "Give
It To Me" and "Love Is All Around". They all followed in rapid succession to give The Troggs world-wide acclaim.
Dubbed by many as the "first British punk band" they have continued playing in their own uncompromising style of
good basic rock music.
Never strangers to controversy, many of their records were considered by the "powers that be" too suggestive
for the masses, and they consequently banned them. How anybody could judge Reg Presley's tongue-in-cheek delivery to be dangerous
to the morals of the young is hard to believe.
The Troggs still boast two founder members - with the perpetual Reg Presley fronting the band, and Chris Britton on lead
guitar. They are now joined by Pete Lucas on bass and Dave Maggs on drums. Their popularity has never waned and they are still
in great demand both in the UK and the rest of Europe, where they regularly headline festivals attracting thousands of fans.
Their appeal hold no age barriers, fans ranging from the stalwarts who have supported them throughout the years to the many
new fans from the younger generation.
Reg Presley still pursues his acting career in between gigs. He has sparred with Mohammed Ali, secured a cameo role in
a Bob Dylan film and appeared in an episode of a Ruth Rendell's "Inspector Wexford" TV series. He has also participated
in two editions of channel 4's quiz "The Music Game".
The Troggs and "Wild Thing" have been used in many advertising campaigns in recent years. For instance "The
Rowntrees Lion Bar" in the UK, coffee in Scandinavia, Mexican relish in the USA and Canada and insurance in Europe. "Anyway
That You Want Me" was re-recorded for a Yoplait Fruit Royale commercial, and in Germany there was a re-release of "With
A Girl Like You" to coincide with a televised promotion for the milk and friut juice packaging company Tetrapak. A CD
which also included "Wild Thing" and "I Can't Control Myself" was issued to publicise the product.
Now, at the new millenium, The Troggs are very much a "cult" band. Polygram in the USA and UK released a 52
track CD box set, and Castle Music Pictures and Polygram co-operated to produce a video spanning twenty six years of great
Best remembered in the U.S. for the classic "Hitchin' a Ride," harmony pop ensemble Vanity Fare formed in Kent,
England in 1968. Comprising vocalist Trevor Brice, guitarist Tony Goulden, bassist Tony Jarrett, and drummer Dick Allix, the
group originally dubbed themselves the Avengers; soon local entrepreneur Roger Easterby signed on as manager, orchestrating
a contract with the Page One label and instructing the group to cover the Sunrays' "I Live for the Sun" for their
debut single. With their sophisticated harmonies and clean-cut image, the Avengers needed a suitably genteel name, remixing
the title of William Makepeace Thackeray's most famous novel to create Vanity Fare; "I Live for the Sun" cracked
the U.K. Top 20 in the summer of 1968, although it would take the group a year to return to the charts, with "Early in
the Morning" reaching the Top Ten on both sides of the Atlantic. Around this time, Vanity Fare jettisoned its tailored
suits for neckerchiefs and fashions direct from Carnaby Street; more importantly, they also added keyboardist Barry Landeman,
previously a member of Kippington Lodge, alongside Nick Lowe and Brinsley Schwartz; Landeman would prove the dominant instrumental
element in the group's biggest hit, 1969's infectious "Hitchin' a Ride," which sold over a million copies in the
U.S. alone. A North American tour was met with little interest, however, and soon after Vanity Fare returned to Britain. Goulden
quit, quickly followed by Allix; Candy Choir guitarist Erica Wheeler and Canterbury Tales' drummer Mark Ellen signed on as
their replacements. The new lineup scored a minor hit with 1972's ballad "Better by Far," and concentrated on touring
the cabaret circuit, performing as many as 14 dates a week; the grind ultimately forced Jarrett to resign, with former Tranquility
bassist Bernard Hagley signing on for "I'm in Love With the World," Vanity Fare's first single for new label Phillips.
In the wake of 1974's "Fast Running Out of World" their recording career screeched to a halt, but the group continued
touring, including several passes through Scandinavia. During one trek to Denmark, Brice fell in love and quit the group,
with singer Phil Kitto taking his place. Kitto also exited a few years later, with vocalist Kevin Thompson installed as frontman
by the time Vanity Fare recorded 1986's "Dreamer," its first single in over a decade. With 1993's "Rain,"
their recording career again went into mothballs, but the band continues touring, with singer Steve Oakman replacing Thompson
in early 2002.
Wavy Gravy (born Hugh Romney on May 15, 1936) is a life-long activist for peace and personal empowerment, best known for his
hippie appearance, personality, and beliefs. His moniker (which is the name he uses on a day-to-day basis: "It's worked
pretty well through my life," he says, "except with telephone operators", I have to say 'Gravy, first initial
W." was given to him by B.B. King at the Texas International Pop Festival while he lay onstage. It was announced that
B.B. King was going to play and Romney began to get up when a hand appeared on his shoulder. It was B.B. King, who stated,
"Are you Wavy Gravy?", to which Romney replied "Yes". "It's OK; I can work around you" said
B.B. King, and he proceeded to play. Romney considered this a mystical event, and permanently assumed Wavy Gravy as his legal
name. Wavy Gravy's clown persona grew out of his political activism. Constantly being arrested at demonstrations, he decided
he would be less likely to be busted if he dressed as a clown. "Clowns are safe," as he put it. He does however
enjoy traditional clown duties such as jokes, magic tricks and entertaining children. He is also the "official clown"
of the Grateful Dead, and has two radio shows on Sirius Satellite Radio's Jam On station.