-November 2005-

Other Fein Messes

1st record/1st Concert

In November of 1965, exactly 40 years ago, I was 14, a sophomore at aprivate school in Dallas. I was on scholarship (based on financial need,not outstanding academic performance). My best friend was a guy namedJimmie Savage. He started me smoking (unfiltered Camels), drinking (rotgut Bourbon), and, best of all, made me sit down and listen to this Bob Dylan guy that everybody was talking about.

We liked the early folk stuff okay, but BRINGING IT ALL BACK HOME was the album that really clicked for us. Nothing spoke to me more clearly than "It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)"--at least until that August, when HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED came out, with "Desolation Row" and "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and "Like a Rolling Stone."

I had a cheap green Japanese reel-to-reel tape recorder, and I took that over to Jimmie's house and recorded both albums, holding the crappy microphone up to the speaker. Those tapes were the only music I had other than the radio, and I played them over and over again.

It was in November that Jimmie told me his older sister Gail was gettingtickets to the upcoming Dylan concert in Moody Coliseum (where the SMU basketball team played). Did I want to go?I don't remember my reaction. I'd never done anything like that before and the notion was a little frightening. And of course I had to ask my parents. It was only the idea that Gail would be along that made them agree (which shows how little they knew about Gail).

We were high in the bleachers to stage right. The first set was just Dylan and his acoustic guitar. He looked small and fragile, and stood quietly at the microphone and played and sang. The crowd was wildly enthusiastic, and at one point a girl wandered up to the stage as if sleepwalking, one hand extended to touch Dylan's shoe. A cop gently led her away.

There was an intermission, and then the Hawks, aka The Band, came out. In Levon Helm's autobiography, THIS WHEEL'S ON FIRE, he said Dallas was something like the third stop on the tour, and he made the point of how much the Texas audiences loved the electric second set. This was true. There were no cries of "Judas," no boos, just screams and cheers.

The so-called Albert Hall bootleg, made six months later, gives you an idea of what the music was like, though the crowd reaction was so utterly different that it had to affect the sound. In Dallas the band was joyful; the next spring they were angry and determined.

I couldn't have dreamed a better first concert. The band was powerful, tight, and full of those rich instrumental sounds that I loved on therecords (even though, of course, it was Bloomfield and Kooper in thestudio). Hudson's shrill, burbling calliope of an organ, Robertson's sharp,wailing guitar, Levon's happy, cluttered drumming. If I remember correctly, it was Harvey Brooks on bass that night--Danko hadn't joined the tour yet. The acoustics were far from perfect, but that was part of the thrill--Dylan was, in fact, playing in the college gym.

I vividly remember the shadow of the tuning keys on the head of the bass guitar, magnified a hundred times and thrown up on the white scrim at the back of the stage in glowing blue light. Something about that image seemed impossibly glamorous to me. I needed to be part of it, and as a direct result of that concert, I asked for and got my first guitar for Christmas of that year.

While my passion for Dylan faded with BLONDE ON BLONDE and the many subsequent twists and turns of his career, the sudden, furious love of rock bands that he engendered never went away. From the electric folk of Simon and Garfunkel and the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield (their first album was the first record I actually bought with my own money), I soon hit the harder stuff: Hendrix, Cream, the Doors, Vanilla Fudge, Jefferson Airplane, and Country Joe and the Fish, all of whom I saw in the incredible spring and summer of 1968. I've continued to play various musical instruments, and play in various bands, ever since.

Lewis Shiner has written about music for CRAWDADDY!, THE L.A. WEEKLY, THE VILLAGE VOICE, and others. His novels GLIMPSES and SAY GOODBYE are about rock and roll music, fans, and musicians.

Another Fein Mess 11-02
AF Stone’s Monthly

Note: Last month, photos were inserted a week into the “run.”
If you missed’em, go back to October.

Shifting Thoughts

Before restoring Gulf coast towns, wait a year and see what the next huricane does. They might have to rebuild inland.

What if the first game of the World Series had been rained out? Restaging the opener would have been enormously costly, letting in 45,000 ticket holders for free with insufficient advertising, the cost of extra network tv time, security, lights, insurance etc. If the games went 3-2 in favor of the Astros, might the White Sox have been asked to throw the 6th (actually the 7th) game to save that 8th-game cost? There’s precedent.

Why isn’t Rush Limbaugh in jail?

Finke About It

In the L.A. Weekly last summer, Nikki Finke reported that a year earlier an L.A. Times executive named Baquet confronted an L.A. Times writer named Cieply who had just been courted by the NY Times.

“According to the Business section buzz, Baquet was threatening to throw Cieply out of the building....”

In her year-ago report of the same incident in the same paper, Finke supplied even more gusto, intimating that Baquet threatened him with bodily harm, crediting the same “buzz.” But later in that old article she reported that Cieply told her it was all untrue. So shouldn’t she have at least dropped the erroneous “buzz” from the NEW report?

Such flub-a-dub is Finke’s style. In her Weekly column she pontificates about show business with hilarious self-aggrandizement (“Tom Cruise, are you listening?”). It harkens back to her column in the Herald in the 1980s, her superficial observations both the weakest and the strongest case for reading her -- what silliness would she say next?

Not long ago in the NY Times she wrote loving reminiscences of the Plaza, a hotel familiar to well-off New Yorkers; she even alluded to her own deflowering there. (My local pride swelled to learn she’s not L.A.-bred.) On radio recently, she complained about the L.A. Times changing the Metro section’s name to California approximately thusly: “L.A. people don’t care about the rest of the state, we only care about L.A.”

What better spokesman for L.A. than a nostalgic New Yorker?

(NY “presence” in the L.A. Times never ends. They just hired a gal columnist to report “around town,” but at least she’s not from NY - she left there two years ago, and worked in Nebraska. For a tiny fraction of NY “news” from the L.A. Times this century CLICK HERE.)

Hamilton Camp (d. Oct. 2, 2005)

His first album (after splitting, as Bob Camp, from Gibson & Camp and becoming Hamilton) was 1964’s “Paths of Victory” on Elektra. He was on my tv show 4 or 5 times, and never failed to say how that album set him off on the wrong foot.

“I had my own songs, but they wanted me to do Dylan, Dylan, Dylan, so we put five of his songs on it.” Because the songs were from publishing demo recordings, he got some of the words wrong. But it was his picture on the cover wearing a work shirt and sporting a Dylanish harmonica holder that first caught my attention, and the unknown Bob Dylan songs listed on the back pushed me over the edge to buy it. And lured in thusly, I came to hear Camp’s version of his own song, “Pride Of Man,” which still sends chills down my spine.

Getting him on the tv show was a dream. (He did one show with Gibson.) He was just as talented and amiable as could be. His acting career brought him income, but his music brought people joy.

Eddie Schuler (d. Sept, 2005)

Eddie recorded many Cajun and country artists (including teenaged Dolly Parton) in the back room studio of his tv-repair shop in Lake Charles, Louisiana. In 1976 I visited him “Stanley” style, thinking I was bringing greetings from the civilized world to a little known figure in the outback.

“I’ve come from California to see you” I announced grandly. “Well, good” he said. “This morning there were eight people here from Japan.” He sat me down on the couch and someone took the picture you see here, in the spot where Phil Phillips recorded “Sea Of Love.”

Hamilton Camp, Bill Liebowitz. Canters Deli, L.A. 1988.

Eddie Schuler, AF. Lake Charles, La. 1976.

It Dawns On Me

Last summer I attended a Tony Orlando & Dawn show at the Grove, a shopping center in L.A. Halfway thru the show, goofing on his image, Tony criticized the drummer for being too “rock,” and the drummer laid into “Whole Lotta Love.” Then Tony and the group did Beatle songs for the rest of the show. Good-fun entertainment.

I met Tony Orlando one night in early 1978 when he was on Elektra, where I worked. I was in the office at 8:30 pm, making long-distance calls1 or listening to records when Steve Wax, an exec there who never spoke to me before, came in and asked me to join him in an office. There I saw Allen Toussaint. “We’re looking for songs for Joe Cocker. Do you have any ideas?” I got my Billboard chart book and started skimming. Some time later Tony Orlando stuck his head in and was asked to join the quest. He sat next to me. We both suggested things, but after a short while Tony, who’d recently scored several hits with old songs, quietly turned to me and said “What the hell am I doing here? If I had any good ideas I’d use them for myself.” Then I came up with a good one: “Suspicious Minds.” Tony slapped my knee and said “That’s it!” Toussaint stroked his chin unexcitedly and said no. Tony left, and I left soon after him. Such is the story of my A&R exerience at Elektra, and my brief, but intimate, relationship with Tony Orlando.

1 In the 70s, long-distance calls were charged against your department. Capitol Records had a pair of WATS lines (Wide Area something) that the whole company used. If you wanted to call outside L.A. you called the operator and requested a line, and they’d call you back in about a half hour. Needless to say, you didn’t linger on your calls. But they let employees come in weekends to talk as long as they wanted.

Competing Versions

Last month I mentioned “From Me To You” being on the charts both by Del2 Shannon and the Beatles. And couldn’t think of any other dual versions after 1963. Some came in:

- “Concrete & Clay,” 1965. The Unit 4 & 2 version made #28 nationally. Eddie Rambeau’s version made #35. (Thanks, Sparky.)

- “Pied Piper,” 1966. Crispian St. Peter (real name Peter Smith) version made #4, The Changing Times #87.

- “Gloria,” 1966. The American hit, by The Shadows of Knight, made #10. Them’s version scraped the charts at #77. (This was bec the SOK’s version was bowdlerized, omitting the offensive “She comes up to my room.” We Americans don’t go for smut.)

- I was shocked to learn that Love’s version of “My Little Red Book” (#52, 1966) was the only one to chart in America. I prefer Manfred Mann’s, which was in the movie “What’s New Pussycat.”

A list of Beatle-Era British versions of American records, such as Cilla Black’s “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling,” would be endless. (Cilla’s version of “Alfie” was a U.S. chart-scraper, at #95 in 1966, trounced by Cher’s at #32. But Dionne Warwick’s, released 8 months later, went to #15. 3 )

2 “Mark,” of Nevada City, noticed Del was spelt “Dell” last month.

3 Billboard chart positions were not ‘real.’ If, say, Columbia had three consecutive #1 records for, say, six weeks, the other labels would force Billboard to put another label’s record at the top. And so on down the line. The under-#20 positions were especially meaningless, resting points for future jumps that often never came. It was manipulated in the specific, but true in the general!

Bye-Bye Wurds

* I hereby banish a word that has epidemicized (like tasked and efforted) our newspapers: Iconic. Like its cousin, Ironic, it is overused, abused, and unnecessary. Future users will be hunted down and bulletted.

* “Gas-guzzling” is an easy, cheap indictment employed by swaggering saps. (“Gas,” by the way, is pronounced gaz, as it rhymes with has, as, his, is, was, not was, etc. Just so you know.)

* A “hip, trendy” restaurant is a must to avoid:

- If a newspaper writer knows it, it’s by definition unhip. It also means there’s people like him or her there. A sure appetite-killer.

- Trendy means superficial and disposable. It’s dismissive, an insult. If you go, you’d better hurry - it’ll soon be gone. Be there and be square!

Dumb, Da Dumb Dumb

Do you know how much soup is in a 10 oz. Campbell’s soup can? Twenty oz. It’s a concentrate, you add water to make it complete. Girls learn this from their mothers. And some boys. Or did.

But since so many people know so little, I have seen people buy a can of Swanson’s soup saying “This one’s only 99 cents and the Campbell’s is $1.25” when the Swanson’s does not expand with water. Maybe they’re foreigners. But Campbell, you may have noticed, has lately been putting photos of the soup contents. For foreigners, I hope.

News Orlean

You can have respect for tv news people. I’m sure it’s possible.

During the first big September storm, I saw an anchor in the water but no ship: it was a news reader in hip boots. On another station I saw a gal, microphone in hand, in the storm soup just outside the network van. Silly posturing, theatrical staging. In this second squall I saw a reporter getting blown by hurricane winds. Weren’t people evacuated? How was this vain weather-cock allowed in the storm’s path? At one point in the first storm’s wake one news-geek stalked a passing policeman with “When is this all going to end? Sir? I’m with tv news. Can you tell me when help is going to arrive?” Cheap-shot bastard haranguing an exhausted, bewildered cop. More rude, arrogant senseless posturing.

Brings to mind a guy a couple years ago, the ‘prime suspect’ in the anthrax mailings held a press conference on his home lawn, accusing the FBI of harassing him, leaking info that he’s the perpetrator, making his life unbearable. “Hey, I didn’t do anything” the guy said. When it was finished, a tv-news genius observed that this was the second time the guy held such a conference pleading for the press, particularly, to leave him alone. The other news-sucker replied, “Yes, it’s getting a little tiring, isn’t it?” The first news-jerk nodded. Nobody slugged them bec I wasn’t nearby.

Back to Acting School

On the Today show, on the first day of the New Orleans hurricane, one of the hundreds of perfectly-beautiful 30-year-old women we trust to read us the news sputtered “Lake Phonch - Putonch - Tuponch” til someone smarter butted in “Ponchatrain.” Maybe she’s from Canada. Also, a gal on Fox News calling Palestinian resettlement a landmark in the “anals” of Israeli history. The gal had other incursions on her mind!


Early October when NY announced heightened security on its subways bec of a terrorist threat, L.A. stepped up ITS subway security. NY subways carry 4 million people a day. L.A. subways carry very few. Beefing up L.A. subway security in the wake of NY is like Norm Crosby getting a bodyguard after John Lennon was shot.

The Bubblegum Achievement Awards 10-7-05

Kim Cooper is a gal obsessed. With many things. “I love bubblegum music, but it occupies about 3.5 percent of my being.” Still, that’s plenty. She’s been writing about it since 1992 in her own magazine, Scram, and two years ago got together friends and allies to present the first ever awards show for their favorite sounds. That conclave honored Volman and Kaylan of the Turtles, Toni Wine, Artie Ripp and Ritchie Cordell.

This year’s bash honored radio’s Dr. Demento, producer Steve Barri, Archies singer Ron Dante and Ohio Express singer Joey Levine. All showed up for the honors (Levine winging in from New York) and it was a fabulous bash. Hostess was artist Kelly Kuvo, The Bubblegum Queen, attended by Canadian musicomedians Canned Ham. A screening of the unaired documentary “Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth” (also the title of the book assembled by Kim Cooper and David Smay), an exhibition by Bob Baker’s Marionettes (the event was held at his downtown theater), and especially the musical interludes by singers Levine and Dante (with vocal accompaniment by singer and songwriter Toni Wine, who sang the female part on the original “Sugar Sugar”) were terrific. Cookies and coffee and bugglegum were served in the anteroom.

More Crits

I got a magazine called Harp. Possibly in the packet of stuff from SXSW. One item was about singer Ryan Adams.

“...the songwriter’s churlishness reared its ugly head last year when he left a nasty voicemail with Harp columnist and Chicago Sun-Times columnist Jim De Rogatis to gripe about an unfavorable review...”

On the message, which “naturally made its way onto the Internet, the bleary-eyed singer suggested that ‘Old man, it’s time for you to probably get out of the fucking business’ and assumed ‘You obviously have a problem with me.’ “

The message “naturally” made its way onto the Internet because..... DeRogatis’s phone messages are sent out automatically? Why no. He e-shouted it to show how he was momentarily on par with greatness.

Musicians live at the top of mountain. Below them, far below, are the writers. When one “draws blood” from a musicmaker and hears from them personally, this momentary ‘equalization’ of puddle-dwelling writer and Olympian hero rocks the lowly crit’s world!

Look at the tone of the Harp item: in loyalty to their kind, they can not tolerate Adams’ objection. Because he disliked the slam of what he felt was a fine performance, he was “churlish.” He is a “blurry-eyed” singer. (What about DeRogatis, shown wearing glasses?) He “assumed” the Chicago writer had a problem. It’s a tempest in a sandbox.

Bad Boys

The headline in the 10-2-05 L.A. Times Calendar piece was “ Bad boy turns warm and cuddly.” One of the L.A. Times New York staff writers -- there are hundreds -- interviews Dale Peck, who has retired from being a critic to write his own book. The page 1 intro jumps to a FULL PAGE adoration of Peck, including a 9 X 11 picture of his fantastic self.

The critic Peck, Josh Getlin writes admiringly, “became one of the most reviled critics on the literary scene, a brawler in a culture that has steadily grown more corporate and polite.”

Of what culture does he speak? American culture? Every moron in this country is presented as a bad boy! TV and radio news jerks strut and provoke -- One tv guy screams about financial news! Bumper stickers spit “How Am I Driving? Call 1-800-FUCKYOU.” Athletes strike their coaches and tv cameramen. Jerry Springer hosts the equivalent of bum-fights. And there’s this rap world....

So in Getlin’s fairyland, Peck is a welcome breath of fresh air when he “famously” (good word Josh, hardly ever see it) calls Rick Moody “the worst writer of his generation” and has “deliberately” (sounds like “heroically”) “used hyperbole, harsh attacks and ridicule.” Though his previous book, a compilation of venemous reviews, was “cheekily” called “Hatchet Jobs,” he now shows his tender side in a new book which Getlin finds to be “rich with cinematic detail.” (This is not a slam?)

Huzzahs to you Dale! And to Josh for finding in the vastness of polite Manhattan an ill-tempered creep who seeks publicity.

Doom Da Doom Doom

In the late 1980s I was asked to come up with a popular song from 1962 for a movie set during the Cuban missile crisis. I scoured 1962 for something moody or ominous or even a cha-cha that sang of impending doom. After coming up emptyhanded, I found 1963’s “End Of The World” by Skeeter Davis, and wished it had been a year earlier. But then chart-nut Mark Deaver told me “Oh, it broke out in Dallas and Pittsburgh 4 in November, 1962.” I love people like him. (There are more.)

I think that song was written BECAUSE of the 1962 crisis. Any look-back at late 1962 mentions that people all over the world were bracing for nuclear war: Armageddon. Turning that mood into a sad love song seems logically opportunistic.

What about songs of doom? In 1950, Guy Lombardo had a huge hit with “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think.)” I remember it in the air, it meant nothing to me as a child, but hearing it a couple of years ago I was shocked by it. It counseled that you should live it up, because you might drop dead or who knows what. What spurred this? Russia getting the Atom Bomb? The ‘police action’ in Korea? .

In 1960, Doug Warren had a song “If The World Don’t End Tomorrow” (I’m Coming After You)”. It got airplay in Chicago, at a time that I remember me and my young-teen friend scaring his little brothers by saying that the world was going to end. But I remember this NOT because of the song, but bec there was something in the air. But what? Bob Luman’s anti-negativity song “Let’s Think About Livin’” was not societal commentary, just a poke at death songs like “Tell Laura I Love Her.”

4 Not actual towns, my fuzzy memory.

Hot Air

In the 10/09 NY Times Book Review section P.J. O’Rourke assays a book by a woman who dislikes today’s slang.

“ ‘Slam Dunks’ is neither prescriptive nor descriptive, nor is it in fact about language at all. It is about Leslie Savan’s opinion of language...”

No kidding? A book with a point of view? His books, of course, walk that narrow road of neoconservative factuality. He ends, “Opinions of language are as interesting as opinions of arithmetic.”

The strained analogy aside, what’s with him? I don’t mind that he’s a reformed hippie, I mind that he’s a preening hypocritical jerk. He dislikes this gal, and premise, so much that he defends all linguistic offenses, even the arm-pumping “Yessss!” For this I would gladly draw and quarter him.
Don’t Knock Rock

Recently I went to a rock music-sharing gathering where I contributed the 1964 British tv show Don’t Knock Rock. Most there had never seen it.

I hesitate to describe it bec you can’t see it: it simply is unavailable except through bootlegged copies. But I must. Opens with motorcycles in the London night entering an arena surounded with teenagers on scaffolding. On the stage below, Gene Vincent in black leather launching into Be Bop A Lula backed by Sounds Incorporated. Then the Animals doing Talkin’ Bout You. Later we have Jerry Lee Lewis doing three songs, looking like a maniac just escaped from the booby hatch -- the ROCK & ROLL booby hatch! His last song, “I’m On Fire,” has him standing on the piano waving his coat around while rock-crazed British fans clutch at him. Then six songs by Little Richard. He was just out of the ministry and full of fire. When he wasn’t pounding the piano he was jumping up and down with the band. It’s probably the most rockin’ film ever made. According to my Scottish contact, it ran on tv there in 1964, once in 1986 (in the U.S. too) and has never been released commercially or aired again.

Tales of LA City -1

I used a $20 bill for a $4 purchase at Sav-On Drugs in Hollywood. I got home and noticed I had only $6. I patted my many pockets - money meanders on me - but no ten-spot. So I drove back and told the mgr the clerk must’ve miscalculated my change, so should have $10 extra at closing time. The mgr said “Come with me.” She opened a safe, and took out a $10 bill. “One of our employees found it by the front door. Nobody claimed it, but we couldn’t ask over the PA if anyone lost a ten-dollar bill. You asked.” I shouldn’t have been stunned, but I was.

Gay Banter

In “The Very Thought of You,” 1944, a bunch of submariners are about to go on leave. “Will I still be attracted to women?” Dana Andrews ponders. (Not “Will I remember what to do with a woman?” or “How will I get a woman?”) Later, at a bar, he says “I feel queer talking to women.”



Artists Bill Stout and Nigel Waymouth at Chez Bronson, 10-11-05 (0702)

Guitar technician David Neely signing the new “Skip Heller Model” guitar
(Subway Guitars, Berkeley, CA)
at Skip’s 40th birthday party, North Hollywood CA.
Dave Alvin, middle, waits his turn. 10-09-05 (0607)

Steve Barri, Joey Levine, Toni Wine, and Ron Dante at
the Bubblegum Achievement awards show, 10-07-05 (0651)

Dr. Demento, Art Laboe, AF. Adelphia Cable studio. 10-05-05 (0644)

Jim Dawson, Harold Battiste, AF, Mark Humphrey. AF Poker Party, 10-04-05 (0628)

Scott Kempner, Amoeba Records, Hollywood 10-15-05 (0697)

A Fogey Day In L.A. Town

I bought a bunch of old tv-show DVDs at the 99 Cent Store. I don’t dwell on the past so much that I need to watch 3 episodes of Ozzie & Harriet, but it seemed like such an opportunity!

Mr. & Mrs. North did not hold up well. The tv show I thought was Dragnet bec Jack Webb was pictured in a trenchcoat was listed as Treasure Man, which probably means Treasury Man. (I didn’t view it.) One was 1959’s The Third Man, starring Michael Rennie. It was the adventures of Harry Lime! In the 1949 movie, Lime was a vile black-marketeer who sold watered-down medicine that crippled children. But apparently he had a good side - by 1959 he was running around (with a valet) solving crimes.

Make Room For Daddy was eye-opening. As a child I didn’t understand the title, which meant that Danny Thomas was a traveling entertainer who only came home occasionally. But my blast was seeing his first-season (1953) wife Jean Hagen. I know her from the many times I’ve watched “The Killing” (1956) but seeing her on MRFD made me realize that I was in love with her, boy-child puppy love, and I suddenly recalled my attraction to a couple of women that looked like her in my post pup-escent years. (It helped that some gals were donning 50s getups in the 1980s.)

I had another tv crush, Phyllis Coates, who played Lois Lane on first season of “Superman” in 1952. What a doll! But she looked real tough. I’ll bet she slammed the door when she quit. My first real gf looked like her.

A DVD of the film “Down Among The Z-Men” showed Peter Sellers on the cover. I showed the package to Paul Body, who knows movies, and he never heard of it. It was a 1952 Goons movie, incomprehensibly English.

Some Otherbody!

On the 1976 ‘live’ album, The Reason I’m Talking S--t,” Eddie Harris makes
(approximately) this speech:

“I want to tell you that somebody is gonna be playing here next week. The management keeps asking me ‘Tell them who’s gonna be here next.’ Shee-it, I’m not in the business of telling you who’s gonna be here. Some otherbody! Some other motherfucker! Shee-it, when I’m done they can burn the place down, I don’t give a fuck.”

That rap came to mind while I was watching a tv interview with Joe Smith, former president of Capitol, Elektra, Warner Bros. The Adelphia Cable guy asked him if he kept up with music now that he’s retired. “Oh yes, I have a grandson who burns me CDs” he replied.

A former record industry big-shot saying he trades in illegally duplicated music? He shoulda added “Shee-it, when I leave the record business, they can burn the motherfucker down.”

Wayne’s World 2

Holding a Gerry & The Pacemakers album, Mike Myers says:
“You know, today I’ll bet these guys are WEARING pacemakers.”

- 57 -


Jim Holvay donated a 1st record/1st concert thing a year ago, and added this biographical bit, which I neglected to “run” til now.

The Capsule: Born and raised in Chicago. After seeing "Love Me Tender", "Loving You" and "Jailhouse Rock" numerous times, I went out and bought a $12 guitar. In 7th grade formed my first band, The Rockin' Rebels. My first paying gig was at the opening of a Go-Kart Shop in Lyons, Ill. During my high school years I first played in a group called Jimmy & The Jesters and later joined a band of much older fellas from Aurora called The MayBees. We recorded 3 singles for Terry Records. During my junior & senior years in high school we were fortunate to connect with Jim Lounsbury, the local TV dance show host. We played at his record hops thruout the Chicagoland area, as well as in Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin.

In the summer of '63, we changed some personnel and our name to The Chicagoans. We became the house band on Danceville USA, Lounsbury's weekly "live"tv show . In the fall we moved to New York, (i.e. post-twist era) and played The Peppermint Lounge, The Metropole, Arthur’s, while also doing some recording. Returned to Chitown after a year and had a local hit instrumental called "Beatletime" by The Livers. We were booked on tours playing ballrooms thruout the midwest backing up Terry Stafford, Chubby Checker & Nino Tempo & April Stevens. After the tour, we kicked out the lead singer and moved to San Francisco. We worked clubs in North Beach (pre-”Monterey”) alongside Sly Stewart & his Mojo Men, The Beau Brummels, Pat & Lolly Vegas, The Gauchos, The Nooney Rickett 4. After one year, I returned home and registered for Junior College.

While in college, I wrote and produced various local artists, most notably Ral Donner and Dee Clark. Later I was offered a gig as the guitarist for the Dick Clark Caravan Of Stars. I went back on the road, criss-crossing the US and Canada in Greyhound buses, backing up The Supremes, Del Shannon, Brian Hyland, Tom Jones, The Velvelettes, Mike Clifford and on and on. Tired of the road and the afraid of getting drafted, I enrolled back in junior college. That summer, I hand-picked the "best young musicians" in Chicago and formed The MOB. The goal was to play clubs inorder to help finance the coming fall school tuition.  The band was getting standing ovations every night and raves from the press that we all decided to quit school and give show business our best shot.

I was always writing original songs and during this same time period, I was approached by a local promoter. He managed a teeny bopper group called The Buckinghams. He was looking for original songs to record. I had written "Kind Of A Drag" 6 months earlier and gave him a tape and the rest is history. The MOB stayed together for 14 years and played the top showrooms and venues in the country. In Vegas, we became the opening act for Wilson Pickett, BB King, Ike & Tina Turner, Fats Domino, etc. We had numerous singles and albums out on various labels over our 14 year career, however the hit record eluded us. Though we had formed The MOB two years before BS&T, Chicago, The Ides Of March and Chase, we were not able to capitalize on the unique rock horn sound that we had created. Even The Buckinghams added horns to their records after seeing us at clubs in Chicago. We inspired all of these groups to success and yet the record labels stereotyped us as "just another horn band". After some 16 years on the road and the lack of recording success, I became a card-carrying member of the world of 9 to 5.

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