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MINE YOURS & OURS: That Christmas shot above is a far cry from
what is presently happening in the streets of Cairo, Greece, and even
Sweden. Here is a plea for a global reset narrated against the awful
news that has become the soundtrack of our lives. PLEASE PLAY LOUD
ENOUGH TO WAKE THE NEIGHBORS.
NO MATTER WHAT
SHE SAID: We have this cat, a Snowshoe Siamese, who my wife
named "Magnolia Thunder Pussy" after a '60s San Francisco radio spot,
and who came to us as a replacement for our dear deceased cat "Gary
Gilmore", also named by my wife. (One can imagine the psychological
damage or purr enlightenment the children have endured.) Anyway,
"Maggie" was a rescue cat, plucked from the Stanford University
campus by a student who found her injured, starving, alone; a refugee
from God knows what. Maggie grew to the size of a house living in the
student's apartment, but upon graduating Maggie's student-savior had to
give her up to move wherever Stanford graduates move to, so she put
Maggie on Craigslist and my wife brought this fat cat home. She slimmed
down, given some room to roam, and is now a much different cat from that
which she was when she came to us - accept for her monotonic meow.
I have no idea what this cat is saying. It may be "hello"; it may be
"there is a tarantula on your head", I don't know, it all sounds the
same. I assume her issues in this song. PLEASE PLAY LOUD SO I CAN CLAIM
THIS ON MY RESUME AS A BROADCAST PRODUCTION.
Soul Hall of Fame - A plea for good intentions
Tim Ryan - Tool
Cool for Just One Band
Amy Lavere -
8 Days to
Amsterdam - Memphis Power Pop
Reba Russell - Memphis Queen Rips up "When Love Came to Town"
Nathansan on the SF Links
IN THIS EDITION
from Jimmy Iovine
Interscope Records CEO
was featured in a recent piece in Rolling Stone, and it was one
of those rare celebrity interviews that actually yield insight and
useful information for people interested in music production and
New Releases on
RARadio: "1,000 Leather Tassels"
by The Blank Tapes;
"We Are All Stone" and "Those
Outer Minds; "Another Dream"
by MMOSS; "Susannah" by
Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael
Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by
A SECRET PARTY; "I Miss the Day"
My Secret Island,
"Carriers of Light" by Brendan James;
"The Last Time" by Model Stranger;
"Last Call" by Jay; "Darkness"
Cohen; "Sweetbread" by
Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep
Actress off the Chronicle
"Goodbye to Love" from
October Dawn; Trouble in Mind 2011
Black Box Revelation Live on
Minnesota Public Radio;
Apteka "Striking Violet";
Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get
Along"; Dana deChaby's
|"The Musical Meccas of the World"
NEW YORK CITY
Musical Compositions and Select Covers
RARWRITER.com began, in some respects, with a tightly knit
creative group from Boulder, Colorado, a music mecca that continues to be
important to this site. The profiles on this Archives page include people of
historical importance to the Boulder scene and to the development of
Mason was signed to Columbia Records by the
legendary John Hammond1 in 1965. He was an Iowa boy who went to high school and
college in Michigan, moved to Chicago to pursue music, and has
been pulsing away at its vibratory center ever since.
he emerged A.B. -- "After Beatles" -- Jim came out of the folk
tradition. He holds wordsmiths and story tellers in high regard, and he favors
stories of common people. I have heard him talk about his reverence for The
Band in that light. Jim winded his way through New York City on his way to San
Francisco and then Los Angeles, where he experienced a near-star experience. In
1967 he was in a folk-rock unit, founded in NYC and based in L.A., called Wings
-- no, I'm not kidding -- that seemed on the verge of breaking big. The Spanky
and Our Gang site at http://www.spankyandourgang.com/ozbach/wings.html
has a section devoted to Wings and is worth checking out. According to Jim,
Wings was playing a club in L.A. one night when Paul McCartney and John
Lennon arrived for a listen. Somehow Jim's band didn't quite reach their
apparent potential, but "Wings" took flight anyway, pardon the pun.
Not to be denied, Jim co-authored with Paul Stookey and somebody Dixon "I Dig Rock'n Roll Music," a Top 10 hit for Peter, Paul &
Mary that enrolled him in the annals of folk-rock. That song was on
PP&M's Album 1700 LP, produced by Albert B. Grossman and Milton Okum, and I've
always thought it
was nicely done. Listening to that track -- which, oddly to my mind, some reviewers
characterized as a satire on The Mamas and the Papas -- I feel like if
you freeze-dried Jim Mason, spooned him into piping hot water, and poured the
mixture into the radio you would get "I Dig Rock'n Roll Music." He is in that
rhythmic acoustic guitar sound, that is really folk, and you hear it in the MP3s
below, as varying in style as they are.
work with harmonizing folkies drew the attention of the country-rockers of the
'70s, and in 1972 Jim came to Boulder to produce
Poco. He stayed to produce Firefall, Chris Hillman and a
range of other acts as diverse as Michael Woody and the Too High Band and
jazz vocal group Rare Silk. Jim's choral
arrangement experience seems to have been good training ground for writing horn
arrangements, which is among his many strengths as a producer. He has
written smoking horn arrangements for Chris Daniels and Dusty Drapes
and the Dusters, among others.
You can read a good bio of Hammond at
the American Masters site at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/hammond_j.html
discovered all sorts of legendary artists, from Robert Johnson to Bob
Dylan. It's a ridiculous resume that makes me wonder what it means to
"discover" a talent. How hard were Benny
Goodman, Count Basie, Billie
Holiday, Bessie Smith, Aretha
Franklin, Pete Seeger, and Bruce Springsteen to find?
Gary Swan, pictured on the right behind the
keyboard, and being worn by a suit from the Mad Hatter collection,
provided this photograph (from around 1981?) of Jim
Mason and the Exceptions playing the Boulder Theatre. As Gary
identifies them, that's Jim "Let Me Play You A
Tape" Mason on the left - he of the Gerry Marsden School of
I've Got My Guitar Too Damned High - and Michael
"Never E-Mailed Me Back" Reese, who had apparently just
thrown a rock at a member of the audience. (It was a rock show.) It
is impossible to imagine what had gone wrong with Gary's hair at this
point in his career.
ABOVE: I have always loved this
photograph of young producer Jim Mason conferring with Eagle Timothy B.
Schmidt while working on a Cate Brothers album at Davlen Studio, in Los
Angeles, in 1977. Looks like a still from a movie, doesn't it? They both
seem so serious and earnest, like there is real drama in the works.
Wings, including a properly "tuded" Jim Mason (far right on the
album cover) had a song titled "General Bringdown" that cracked
the Top 100 on radio play charts.
WITH JIM IN FLORIDA: Movie, TV and stage actor Joe Lala, who began his
career as a percussionist with Blues Image and has recorded and toured
with Stephen Stills' Manassas, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Eric Clapton,
and many others.
Jim will officially become an author when his book The Record Producer:
The Magic in the Music is published later this year. He is also offering an
excerpt from a second book, in progress, titled Famous
People Who Somehow Knew Me.
There again, vintage Jim.
Lala and Jim Mason are playing as a duo in the Tampa area.
American High - political "bushwacking"
Horses - great country-rock
Scott - Jim sings this song beautifully, always has. Great
example of a singer connecting with a song.
© 2007 Jim Mason, All Rights Reserved
The MP3s provided here are from Jim
Mason's A Face In The Crowd CD.
|When I saw that title on his CD cover I immediately flashed on the great
movie of the same name; a potent satire on America's popular culture,
featuring a tremendous performance by that folk singing Andy Griffith.
That was a smart movie and Jim's a really literate guy. Here again is a
theme I sense in his creative interests: connecting with the "common man."
WeisSberg got in touch recently to report that he is no
longer with Humphrey’s Concerts by the Bay, a San Diego,
California outdoor amphitheater that he played a big part in building into a
desirable SoCal performance venue. He had been Producer/Talent Buyer at
Humphrey's for 23 years, during which time he presented over 2,000 acts,
including such big names as Miles
Davis, Ringo Starr, Aretha Franklin, Alison Krauss & Union Station,
George Carlin, Roy Orbison, Leonard Cohen, Norah Jones, Fats Domino, Dana
Carvey, Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett, James Brown and The Buena Vista Social
Club. Kenny has said that he "left the building" in
October to pursue other creative projects. Here are links for additional
information on Kenny's San Diego experience:
his current passions are his weekly radio show "Music Without
Boundaries" (Saturdays 7-9 a.m. PST on San Diego's 100,000 watt
powerhouse 91X which streams at www.91x.com)
and a return to his Boulder roots as writer/musician. A book of his
humorous ramblings will be published in the summer of 2007.
and his wife of 34 years, artist Helen Redman
whose name I apologize for misspelling in an earlier gaffe, lived in
Boulder, Colorado from 1971 to 1983. He was a multi-media guy, working in
radio (KRNW, KBCO, and co-founding the public station KGNU) and print
journalism (Boulder Daily Camera, Rocky Mountain Magazine, Denver Post,
in a picture from his Music Without Boundaries website
was a knowledgeable music reporter who had rubbed shoulders with a lot of
big names in music, and in 1980 he took the stage himself, fronting Kenny
& The Kritix. I was there for his first show, which was highly
entertaining and got off to a theatrical start with Kenny appearing on
stage in a wheel chair because, you know, he was at an advanced age (early
30s?) to be launching a rock career, and not particularly well. Well, I
think what was intended as a one-off lark as an ersatz rocker was so much
fun that he just kept doing it. You can see the sidebar below of all the
"local" players who worked with him. Everybody liked Kenny and
the community supported him well. He had, after all, done a lot for the
wrote recently - "I still love Boulder, visit at least once a year and we're
looking to live there for a good part of the year now that I have moved on
from my full time work at Humphrey's."
"I've been in San Diego for 23 years, but I still consider myself a
Boulderite at heart."
Kenny, on his return trips to the Rockies, takes guitar lessons from
Bartley, Chip McCarthy and Richie Furay.
KENNY & THE KRITIX
had wondered aloud, in some earlier edition, about whom all had
participated in Kenny's band The Kritix. Our friend Otis contacted
me with the information requested, to wit: "He fronted Kenny &
The Kritix which featured a revolving cast of characters...including
Mark Andes, Sam
Brown, the late Jamie Kibben, Greg Overton, Jeffrey Wood, Hawk Hawkins,
Peter Roos, Dr. Roc, Jamie Polisher, Milt Muth, Jim Waddell, Craig
and Tim Duffy.
The Kritix packed The Blue Note and The Boulder Theatre from '80-'83."
(Surely Otis over-reported that last part; there weren't that many
musicians in the band, plus they had to have gone home at some point.)
Those names that are highlighted are links to profiles of former "Kritix"
offered on the current edition. Other of those names pop up time and again
on this site.
Pioneer Kenny Weissberg
& The Kritix On YouTube
The shots above are stills from four
Kenny & The Kritix videos available on YouTube
Before embarking on a successful career
as a west coast concert producer (Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay,
San Diego) and "Music Without Boundaries" radio host, Links buddy
KENNY WEISSBERG was as a radio personality and newspaper
music critic in Boulder, Colorado. In 1981, with the help of
musician friends like Sam Broussard, Jaime Kibben and Tim Duffy,
Kenny mounted his rock band The Kritix, which he premiered at the
legendary Blue Note club on the Boulder Mall. What may have
initially been conceived as a one-night pastiche of theatrics and
New Wave style garage rock went over so well that Kenny kept the act
together over the following couple years. Always tuned into media,
Kenny had his appearances captured on video and several are now
available on a limited edition DVD produced by Dave Foster (learn
more about him at
www.davefostermedia.com), who has uploaded four to YouTube.
Click on the following links to go to YouTube to see performances
PEOPLE WHO DIED:
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL:
HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL:
Kenny writes, here "are four links to songs that
my band, Kenny & The Kritix, performed at the Blue Note in Boulder, CO in
1980. This is version #2 of the Kritix and featured incredible musicians
like Sam Broussard (guitar/vox), Chip McCarthy (guitar/vox), David Muse
(sax/keyboards), Greg Overton (bass/vox), Brian Brown (drums) and the late,
great Jaime Kibben (keyboards)."
Peter Rodman is a radio personality whose
credential is that he has interviewed everyone who has ever been anyone in the
music business and done it without working in a major market. That’s tenacity.
Peter was once the booker for the legendary Tulagi's in Boulder,
Colorado, the club that launched such legendary bands as The Astronauts
and Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids. Peter and I used to play on a softball team together. I was even a guest on Peter’s
radio show – once.
After being a fixture on Boulder, Colorado radio for many years,
Peter took his "Sunday Night with Peter Rodman" show, originally
developed at KBCO in Colorado, to Nashville's Lighting 100 radio station. He
continues to rub shoulders with the stars and travel internationally.
is also a musician/singer/songwriter and we are awaiting Peter's CD release, which features an impressive roster of
music celebrities (follow the link above to his website to learn all about
Peter is working on a
book about his career as a rock/talk radio pioneer.
Peter Rodman with The
Peter Rodman with Sheryl
ABOVE: Peter Rodman with Ann and Nancy
Wilson of Heart. RIGHT: Peter and a really young Shawn Colvin.
TREES has been one of Boulder's more enigmatic musical genius
types for something like 30 years. In the golden years of the Boulder club
scene, Lee laid claim to a certain musical real estate, which I recall
being smooth jazz of the
Airto, Flora Purim variety. He had a Latin rhythm sensibility and playful
attitude in mixing time signatures. He was sweet-voiced like Stevie Wonder,
and he had a small but fanatical following. In a village where a lot of
people expected to become a star, Lee seemed distant and deserving, like a
guy who had other things to do. In the 1980s he did try the music scene in
Los Angeles, at the same time as did his friend Steve Conn, but
like Conn he returned to Boulder.
didn't release his
first CD until 2004, which typifies his approach to his career. He put out
a polished release that featured some of the Boulder area's top jazz
talents and included the now Nashville-located Conn. The release showed
that Lee was busy evolving in the years leading up to Shadow Play.
The music from the CD veers more toward Americana R&B than I might
have expected. It is all smart, sophisticated stuff, beautifully
performed. Lee is a talented singer and a guitarist who is able to lay
down a sweet rhythm structure or toss out a Larry Carlton lead lines with
fluid grace. It is impressive stuff, more accessible than I recall Lee
being when he was younger; more Steely Dan at times, more southern-rock at
others. That Lee is so good only advances his mysterious
nature. It still feels like this guy could take it global.
photograph from Lee's website is pretty much the Lee Trees I have
perceived him to be: serious, inwardly drawn, smart.
Lee is good friends with Steve Conn,
having shared both a Boulder and a Los Angeles music experience. They seem
like a good match, both bright and political.
Lee is interested in performing in
association with political campaigns.
|Lee Trees' 2004 release Shadow Play
featured names familiar to the Colorado jazz community: Lee Trees /
vocals, guitar; Kip Kuepper / keyboards, bass; Bob Rebholz / flutes, ewi;
Garner Pruitt / flugel horn; Christian Teele / drums, percussion; Eric
Gunnison / keyboards; Steve Conn / B3, accordian; Mark Oblinger /
IN WITH BRAD ELLIOTT - "Still
can't sleep before 3 a.m..."
was so pleased to get an email message from Brad Elliott, with the
above subject line: proof that musicians aren't born they are made in odd
hours. Turns out Brad has lived next door this entire time. Well, no, not
really - he lives on the north side of the 707 area code up in Pengrove,
California. We all remember Brad as all around good guy and drummer for Gris-Gris.
Brad remembers fellow drummer Michael Clarke and wrote this in his
email message: "I was thrilled to
see some old chums still playing music. I
miss those folks terribly and feel fortunate to have known such wonderful
people during such a musical period. The Michael Clarke short brought
back fond memories of always keeping a spare snare head in my van
just in case Michael stopped in and wanted to sit in. I started playing
relatively late in life and never really developed the strength to hit
hard. I have never really even dented a drum head. I saw a Remo ad once
with some poor member of the Elephantidae family standing with one foot on
such a membrane. I remember Michael breaking two of my heads in one
night. "Sorry man. It was tuned a little loose." I was in awe!
A week or so later I tried to break a snare head. I tried two hands with
marching sticks, a baseball bat, and finally succeeded with some sort
of carpenter's tool. I never told any of my band mates this story.
What a wimp!"
Brad. Confession is good for the soul. Maybe you'll sleep now.
Reese is now a Colorado Springs-based guitarist but was a friend of
mine in Boulder. He mentored me on guitar and we have collaborated in writing and recording.
Twenty years ago he visited me in San Francisco while he was in town
gigging and he recorded some rough four-track stuff for a tune I wrote
called "Nicaragua" that to this day is some of the most amazing
guitar work I have ever heard. Michael is incredibly inventive, whatever
"instrument" he is employing. Using a cheap drum machine and a
Boss digital delay pedal he created a sonic backdrop for that song that
approximated the sound of military helicopters in full attack mode, and
somehow synched it to the tempo of the song to amazing effect.
has played on national commercials, feature film scores, Discovery Channel
documentaries, ski movie icon Warren Miller's "Snowriders," and
numerous film scores of composer Alan Reeves. He was nominated as
"Best Guitarist of the Year" at the Los Angeles Music Awards for
his work on his first solo CD, "Dragonflyer." Later the same
year, he performed in the Tommy Bolin Tribute Concert and was named an
Official Fender Endorsee by Fender Musical Instruments, Inc.
CD "Dodging the Dream Killers," recorded with his band F5 and
produced by famed Santana drummer Michael Shrieve was nominated by Jazz
Central Station as one of the ten best jazz CDs of the year (1996).
most recent CD release is "Treasured Path." Check out his
amazing music and virtuoso guitar work, which always puts me to mind of
the marvelous Lee Ritenour.
School Country with...
of the nice things about doing this RARWRITER thing is that I hear from
the most interesting and wide-ranging group of people. Sometimes, as is
the case with Aurora, Colorado-based songwriter Eddie K Lively, they are
people whom I might never otherwise meet, yet share much in common.
K, pictured on the right, hails from Herndon, Kansas, a small farming
community not far from the town where I went to high school. We share a
range of references shared by few others. Herndon only had a population of
149 at the 2000 census.
K is also a graduate of Fort Hays State University, another thing he and I
have in common. And perhaps most importantly, we share a love for classic
country music, most especially that of Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash.
K is a songwriter/musician and apparently a stand up guy, traits not
always found within the same person. "Most of my songs were
written in the mid-sixties and early 70's," says Eddie, who is 73
years old and now retired from his career as an equipment Design/Sales Consultant.
"Of course I was inspired to write the 'Ode To John Denver' shortly
after his death in '97'and I wrote 'Gypsy in my Soul' in 2000. My
venture into cyber space with my music after retirement is simply an
outlet from having put all that stuff on the back burner and
dedicating my life to being a responsible husband and father of four
children. You might say I have a few regrets but I am still married and we
celebrated our 51st anniversary this year."
it turns out, is a writer with a strong romantic streak that plays itself
out through stories of lasting love and tales of forgotten towns. He has
become a fascination for yours truly. I admire his respect
for the honest sincerity of classic country, as well his arms wide open
approach to all of his subjects. Maybe it is a generational thing, but
Eddie K comes across as undeniably real and utterly without pretension.
And he's good.
LP Eddie K Lively and Friends is available on CD Baby. Click here
to hear sample tracks. You can also check out Eddie's website at www.harmonicaflavoredcountrymusic.com.
Beyond tracks of him singing and playing guitar, harmonica and mandolin,
Eddie provides background information on each of the songs he has
available on his recordings. Checking it all out is a really pleasurable
Here's one from the fantasy
cab of every rock'n roll kid who ever lived - a group of young
about-to-happen rock'n roll stars poolside. In this case it is a
photograph sent by Jim Mason, who wrote -
here's one more for the archives. I was just cleaning my desk, and came
across this old pic from Miami, Dec '76. It was the sessions for the first
Firefall album, (which did pretty well, as I recall) ...from L to
R...Jim Mason, Larry Burnett, Rick Roberts, Bobby Beigle (road
crew-deceased), Michael Clarke (d.), David Muse, Mark Andes, Jock's first wife (pregnant w/their son
and Jock Bartley...we were havin' fun, lemme tell you...".
- In putting together the Colorado
Links it feels to me that much of Boulder, Colorado's "golden
period" was driven by the personalities in and around the band Firefall.
In fact, a significant part of the history of the country-rock wave of the
1970s (the precursor to the "modern country" movement) connects
in some way to the Boulder-based band. To illustrate the point, here is
the FIREFALL timeline,
with additional notes of interest and names highlighted:
* * * *
· Former Byrds CHRIS HILLMAN
CLARKE reunite in
The Flying Burrito
Brothers - also in the Burrito Brothers is singer/songwriter
ROBERTS, who replaced the ill-fated Gram
· Rick Roberts moves to Colorado and
signs with Stephen Stills' publishing
company - Stills' business is in part managed by Buddy
· JOCK BARTLEY ends his stint as the Tommy
Bolin replacement in Zephyr
· Rick Roberts releases a solo album
on A&M Records
· While performing in Washington D.C., Roberts and Chris
Hillman discover Emmylou Harris,
introduce her to Gram Parsons, and
they work together on Parson's solo LP G.P. then tour as the The
Fallen Angels with Jock Bartley
on lead guitar
· Rick Roberts
Bartley meet when Roberts performs one night after The Fallen
Angels play Max's Kansas City in NYC
· Rick Roberts releases another solo
LP on A&M and has a chance meeting with Jock
Bartley on the street in Boulder
· Bartley and Roberts form a duo and they recruit former Spirit/Jo
Jo Gunne bassist MARK ANDES, who is living in retirement in the
· Roberts recruits Washington D.C. singer/songwriter LARRY
BURNETT and hires Michael Clarke,
who is on hiatus in Hawaii
· Just before their first full-band gig, Rick
Roberts gives FIREFALL its
name based on a fiery display he had witnessed years earlier in Yosemite
National Park - Firefall starts gigging in the Boulder area
· Gram Parsons dies mysteriously in a
motel in Joshua Tree, California
· Stephen Stills splits with
Stills & Nash, records a solo album and tours to support
the release with a band that includes Rick
Roberts on backing vocals
· Rick Roberts sings
"Colorado" on the Stills tour, a song that will become a hit for
· Chris Hillman produces a three-song
Firefall demo and shops it to major labels
· Chris Hillman splits from
and tours as a solo artist supported by Firefall members Jock
Bartley, Mark Andes, and Rick Roberts
· Scheduled to play The Other End in NYC,
Hillman becomes ill so Michael Clarke
and Larry Burnett are flown in from
Colorado so Firefall can replace
Hillman on the bill - an Atlantic A&R rep sees
Firefall perform and offers them a multi-album contract
· Rick Roberts recruits his old
friend and multi-instrumentalist DAVID MUSE
to join Firefall
· Former Poco Producer JIM MASON is
brought in to rehearse Firefall
travels to Criteria
Studios in Miami, Florida to record their first album - a 16-track effort
engineered by Karl Richardson
· Firefall is released by Atlantic
Records and becomes the quickest album to
go gold (500,000 units) in Atlantic's history
· Firefall's first single, "Livin'
Aint Livin," charts in the top 40 and the tracks "Mexico,"
Robert's original version of "It Doesn't Matter" and Burnett's
"Cinderella" go into rotation on album oriented rock (AOR)
· Firefall tours with
and Mary Russell, The Doobie Brothers and
The Band (on their final tour before making their farewell
documentary movie, The Last Waltz).
· Firefall's second single, "You
Are The Woman," charts in the Top 10
· Firefall tours with
Mac and new band members
and Lindsey Buckingham
· Firefall's third single,
"Cinderella," becomes a target of influential woman's
organizations on the east coast who didn't like the 'message' of the
· Firefall, with
Mason producing, returns to Miami and Criteria Studios to
record their second LP with help from Percussionist JOE
LALA, (ex Manassas and CSN
percussionist and an occasional touring Firefall member) and the legendary
· Atlantic C.E.O.
directs the band to develop more material and
· Firefall's Luna Sea LP is
· The debut single "Just Remember I Love You," re-recorded with
ex-Poco and future
TIMOTHY SCHMIDT singing background vocals, charts in the Top
· Luna Sea is certified gold on Oct. 3, after less than two months
on the Billboard charts, where it peaked at #27
· Firefall tours with
Mac during their Rumors Tour (playing sold out stadiums
nationwide), as well as with
The Doobie Bothers,
Chicago, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Beach Boys and
· Deep Purple guitarist
· Firefall works at Criteria Studios
and at the Record Plant in L.A. to record their third album, Elan,
with heavyweight producer TOM DOWD
(Aretha Franklin, The Rascals, Cream, The Allman Bros., Eric Clapton)
· Firefall's new manager,
Mick Fleetwood and Limited
Mgmt., demands that
the LP be re-recorded with the production team of Ron and Howard Albert
(The Allmans, Clapton, Stephen Stills/Mannassas, Crosby, Stills &
· Elan ships gold, with a half million copies in stores on release day
· Rick Roberts' "Strange Way" is the album's first single,
which charts on Top 40 and AOR radio
· Firefall tours to support the album
· Elan is certified "platinum" (over one million units sold) in
· The single "Goodbye, I Love You" charts in the Hot 100
· "Sweet And Sour" is issued as a single and receives strong
· Jock Bartley plays on the Criteria Studios sessions for
platinum album Shadow Dancing with versatile Miami based
singer/guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter John Sambataro
· Firefall records their fourth album,
Undertow, with the Albert brothers
producing and Joe Lala on percussion -
Producer Kyle Lehning finishes the
recording in Boulder and L.A.
· The first single, "Headed For A Fall," with Paul Harris on
electric piano, charts in the Top 40
· The second Undertow single, "Love That Got Away," recorded
with Little Feat's Billy Payne playing organ, stalls on the charts during
the summer of 1980
· After a tour of Japan, Mark Andes
Andes to join
Ann and Nancy Wilson in Heart
· Former Kenny Loggins Band
bassist GEORGE HAWKINS
replacing Mark Andes
· Drummer TRIS IMBODEN joins Firefall
replacing Michael Clarke
· Firefall releases its fifth album,
Clouds Across the Sun, produced by
Kyle Lehning in Boulder and Nashville
· "Staying With It" is released as the first single off Clouds
Across the Sun as a Rick Roberts-Lisa Nemzo duet, to the surprise of the
band members, and charts in the Top 40, but album sales lag
· George Hawkins leaves Firefall to join
Mic Fleetwood's ill-fated
· KIM STONE takes over as
· Larry Burnett leaves Firefall due to ill health
· Firefall enters into negotiations with RCA
· After playing a concert in Hawaii on a bill with Pure Prairie League
(which turned out to be Vince Gill's last appearance with that band)
Roberts announces he is leaving
· Atlantic releases The Best of Firefall LP then drops the band from its
· Ron Albert suggests to lone remaining original band member
that singer/guitarists JOHN SAMBATARO and
CHUCK KIRKPATRICK be added to
· Miami entertainment lawyer Alan Jacobi
convinces Atlantic to underwrite
· Firefall returns to Criteria Studios in Miami to record
Break of Dawn,
with the Albert brothers producing supported by Stephen Stills (vocals,
guitars, piano), David Sanborn (alto sax), plus former band mates
Roberts (additional background vocals) and
David Muse (flute, harmonica
· The Sambataro/Paul Crosta power ballad "Always" is released
but doesn't break the Top 40
· Firefall adds a new rhythm section with SCOTT KIRKPATRICK
on drums and backing vocals, and bassist GREG OVERTON
· Firefall records their LP Mirror Of The
World, which gets some MTV
exposure but doesn't sell
· Firefall tours without a record deal playing fairs, festivals, theaters
and bigger clubs
· David Muse rejoins the band occasionally then departs to rejoin the
Marshall Tucker Band
· Band members changed over the decade to include STEVE HADJOUPOLOS on
woodwinds and keyboards (who tragically died of cancer in 1986), BOB
GAFFNEY on bass and vocals and briefly, EDDIE GLEASON on bass and vocals
· In 1989 RICK ROBERTS returns to front the group once again
· Rhino Records releases Firefall: The Greatest Hits featuring all of the
singles and AOR favorites, and included one previously unrecorded new
song, Jock Bartley's 'Run Run Away,' about the adult victims of past child
· Jock Bartley writes "When The River Rises" about flooding he
witnessed in the Midwest and the song is used by CNN and other TV networks
and stations behind coverage of the year's flood disaster
· Firefall releases a new LP Messenger on Colorado independent label
Redstone Records, with Jim Mason producing and
Mark Andes and
making guest appearances
· Florida drummer SANDY FICCA joins the group along with vocalist
BIL HOPKINS, guitarist/vocalist
MARK OBLINGER (replacing
and DANIEL CLAWSON (ex-Pure Prairie Leaguer) who filled the sax, flute,
· Firefall tours regularly
· Mark Oblinger and
Dan Clawson are replaced by Denver vocalist and
guitarist STEVEN WEINMEISTER and singer/guitarist
STEVE MANSHEL and alto
sax, flute and keys player JIM WADDELL are added
· Touring band members include BRAY
GHIGLIA, BRUCE CRICHTON, BOB FISHER
and STEVE JENKS
· Steve Manshel leaves the band in 1998
· CHRIS BALL joins the band in 2002
Firefall is certified platinum (28 years after
its release) with over 1,300,000 units sold
· Firefall continues with band members
Jock Bartley, Sandy Ficca, Bil
Hopkins, Steven Weinmeister and Chris Ball
TO RIGHT: Chris Ball, Sandy Ficca, Jock Bartley, Bil Hopkins and Steve
Photo: Steve Collector
LINKS - So here's
the tally I came up with: 30 of the biggest acts most of us have known in
our lifetimes. And it probably goes beyond that to include many other
connections. Here are the Firefall associations indicated in the timeline
Byrds, The Flying Burrito
Brothers, Gram Parsons, The
Fallen Angels, Tommy Bolin, Emmylou Harris, Spirit, Jo Jo Gunne, Crosby
Stills & Nash, Souther-Hillman-Furay, Linda Ronstadt, Bee Gees, Andy
and Mary Russell, The Doobie Brothers, The Band, Fleetwood Mac, Manassas,
Poco, Timothy Schmidt,
Chicago, The Marshall Tucker Band, The Beach Boys, Lynard Skynard, Little
Feat, Heart, Kenny Loggins, Pure Prairie League, Vince Gil, Chris Hillman
|Feelings On A Sleeve?
reading Firefall's history and noting the titles of their albums
one is struck by how revealing they were of the band's steadiness at the
times of their releases. Firefall
is pretty straight forward, i.e.,
this is who we are and this is our album. The band's second album has to
be re-recorded and is issued under the title Luna Sea.
words maybe? Lunacy? The boys are already feeling a little tweaked. Then
they issue Elan - you know, perception of style and grace while the
band is rife with turmoil. Works like a charm - they go platinum. The
fourth LP, however, is Undertow. Could that be more ominous? The
fifth album is Clouds Across the Sun and Freud is scribbling wildly
now! The obligatory Best of Firefall
is a tombstone, Atlantic drops
the band from its label. In their afterlife, Firefall has grown
understandably philosophical, even spiritual with Break of Dawn, Mirror
Of the World, and Messenger.
BROWN has long been "the guy" in Colorado when it comes to
having a finger on the musical pulse of the region and in-depth knowledge
of Colorado music history. For 26 years, G., who earned a degree
in Journalism from the University of Colorado, wrote about popular music
for The Denver Post. His work has appeared in Rolling Stone, National
Lampoon and numerous other magazines, and his first book, How to
Survive Your College Daze, was published in 1982. He is
currently the morning guy and
music director at KCUV, AM 1510, Colorado's Voice for Americana, and
he has also served stints at
area stations KAZY, KBPI, KTCL and KHOW. He was on television, too, as
Uncle G., the host of Fox 31 Kids Club during the height of Mighty Morphin
Power Rangers Mania.
This picture was provided
by Teresa Taylor of Nissis: G. Brown signing a copy of Colorado Rocks! for
Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Souther-Hillman-Furay)
In 2004, G. Brown
Rocks! A Half Century of Music in Colorado. It is a "must
read" for anyone interested in popular music.
MCCLEOD (aka Dark Cloud) is a guy who has been around the Boulder
scene forever. He has been a band manager, venue manager, radio show host,
businessman. His site has a bunch of interesting Boulder stuff on it,
including a Links page similar to this that currently has information on Deborah
McColl and Nancy Cook.
may be cooler guys in the world than Jinx Jones but...well,
probably not. He's pretty unstoppable on the strength of his rippin'
guitar work and his too cool name. A Denver native, now a resident of San
Francisco, Jinx was showing up on the Boulder scene around the time I was
heading for the West Coast. I had known him only by reputation but
recently made his acquaintance through Jerry Kazzaz of Denver's Latitude
Experience vocal jazz band (see the Colorado
Links). You want versatility? Jinx,
the rockabilly wonder, played on Latitude's recent CD. Hard to imagine
greater range and versatility, but then this is the guy who played both
guitar and bass on En Vogue's triple platinum Funky
exploding onto the Boulder scene nearing the mid-1980s, Jinx had already
been around. In 1976 he toured with Solomon Burke, the "King of
Rock and Soul," and backed soul-singer
Howard Bomar in opening slots for Johnny Taylor, Harold Melvin and the
Blue Notes, the Dells, the Sylvers, and Hot Chocolate. The following
winter, Jinx was a member of the R&B group Distinctive Movement who
performed concert dates with Natalie Cole.
Jinx toured the United States as part of Tom
Slick's doo-wop show band in 1978 and between 1979 and 1988 performed
regularly with rock pioneer Chuck Berry as a member of one of Berry’s
regional touring bands.
left Boulder for the West Coast in the late '80s. From his website (with
really good biographical information) - "During
1991 and 1992 Jinx played with R&B superstars En Vogue on their
triple platinum album Funky Divas, and played both guitar and bass
on their signature hit 'Free Your Mind.' Other sessions with En Vogue followed,
but Jinx Jones was then moving into another musical direction, and his
days as a sideman for hire were quickly taking a back seat to his pursuit
of a solo career."
has a great rockabilly album out, License
to Twang, which the San Francisco critics are digging.
A Good Girl Bad
Copyright © Jinx Jones,
All Rights Reserved
young Jinx Jones on stage with the legendary Roy Buchanan at Sam's
Ballroom in Fort Collins, 1985
JONES - ON BOULDER AND ROY BUCHANAN
Jinx - "Wow, reading your links page sure takes me back. Many of the
names are ones I hadn’t heard in quite a spell, and I enjoyed many a
misspent evening cranking out loud rock music at the Blue Note, the
Walrus, the Olympic, and even the Skunk Creek Inn when I was younger.
Some of my old bands like the Tel Rays, Jinx Jones and the Jaguars,
and later on Jinx Jones and Friends were regulars at the Blue Note,
one of the better Colorado venues for both good sound and a great scene.
Do you remember Craig the sound man at the Blue Note? He was
of my fondest memories of playing in Boulder was my first night on stage
with the great Roy Buchanan. I was hired to be part of his backing
band for several dates in Colorado about two weeks ahead of time, and had
spent most of those fourteen days trying to learn as much of his material
as I could, and generally freaking out over the thought of being on stage
with him. The first date was at the Olympic in August of 1984.
the night of the show, I was assured that we’d have a proper rehearsal
at sound check and that we would have a few hours to kill in which I could
ask Roy a few questions about what we’d play that night. The promoter
came in at about 7 PM and said that Roy’s plane was late and that he’d
be just barely able to make the show on time, without a sound check or
rehearsal. I was already nervous as I could be, so when Roy finally walked
in (about five minutes before we were to go on), I approached him and said
, “Uhh, excuse me Mr. Buchanan, could you tell me which songs you’ll
be playing?” He just calmly looked at me and said, “You know, we’ll
just go out there and play, and it’ll be all right.” Something about
his stoic demeanor and soft spoken charm totally relaxed me and we did
just as he said we’d do. It turned out to be one of the most important
encounters of my life, and I treasure every moment I spent on and off
stage with Roy Buchanan."
"Power Rock Guitarist!" Jinx at The Walrus in Boulder circa 1983
KBCO SONGWRITER COMPETITION
Boulder, Colorado radio station KBCO
in the 1970s and '80s sponsored a series
of songwriter competitions in which writers from anywhere could submit
songs for judging with the winner awarded a Martin acoustic guitar and an
opportunity to perform at the event announcing the winner. It was an event
tinged with irony given that KBCO, as a station, was never particularly
supportive of the Boulder music scene. I don't believe that to be a snarky
comment as much as a matter of fact. The station, which was a historical
(though not a direct business) descendant, of KRNW had been home to
disc jockeys Kenny Weissberg and Peter Rodman. Rodman
continued with KBCO, where he launched his successful "Sunday Night
with Peter Rodman" rock/talk show. In 1979,
the judging was done by a 12-person panel, that included Weissberg and
Rodman, who demanded that Gretchen Peters be declared the
"winner." (Weissberg is often considered the person who
"discovered" Gretchen as a 17-year old songstress.) In
1980 it was just Weissberg and Rodman doing the judging, and in 1981 it was just Rodman. The descending number of participating judges
pretty clearly demonstrates the distancing of KBCO station management from
the entire enterprise.
lacking in commitment KBCO may have been to the whole thing, the judge's
prescience in selecting the three winners of 1979-80-81 was really quite
extraordinary in that each of the winners eventually went on to
national, even international success as hit songwriters in Nashville.
Pictured below are these "big three."
Peters is among the luminaries featured in G. Brown's Colorado
Rocks! A Half Century of Music in Colorado. She was a daughter of
divorced parents who came of age during a kind of a golden period in
Boulder when there were a dozen live music venues downtown, many on or within
walking distance from the Pearl Street Mall, where a young songstress
could explore her options. "Boulder was a whole other universe,"
she says in Brown's book. "..it reinforced the notion you didn't have
to have a house in the suburbs, a husband, the four kids..." She
thrived in what must have seemed a supportive creative environment.
"I did everything wrong - playing five and six nights a week, living
in shacks, playing whatever I liked...Rodney Crowell songs, Bonnie
Raitt, Emmylou Harris. We had a ball," says Gretchen in Brown's
the Boulder live music scene went into decline in the 1980s and there was
a tremendous exodus of musical talent from the area, Gretchen Peters among
them. In 1988 she went to Nashville, paid her dues in the songwriter
showcases and in 1995 saw her efforts pay off when Martina McBride's
recording of Gretchen's "Independence
Day" went to #1 on the country charts and received a Grammy
nomination. That was followed shortly thereafter by a Grammy nomination for
“You Don’t Even Know Who I Am,” a hit for Patty Loveless.
Gretchen was then on a roll, following with a string of hits for Faith Hill,
Bonnie Raitt, Etta James, The Neville Brothers, George Strait, Trisha Yearwood, Bryan
Adams, Billy Ray Cyrus, Pam Tillis, Neil Diamond and a host of others.
multi-award winning "Independence Day" was recently included in
Country Music Television's (CMT) list of "The Top 100 Greatest
Songs in Country Music."
was nominated in 2003 for a Golden Globe award for her work on the
DreamWorks animated film, “Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron”, and her
multi-award winning "Independence Day" was recently included in
CMT's list of The Top 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music. Gretchen's own
CD Halcyon is enjoying great reviews and brisk sales in the UK and
Northern Ireland on Curb Records, Ltd. Gretchen's first live CD, Trio
was released in 2005.
Ims was a guy around a lot on the Boulder scene during the time I was
there. A serviceable guitarist and singer, he would perform his songbook
accompanied by Sam Broussard doing guitar colorations, and they
would play quiet places like the Mezzanine in the Hotel Boulderado,
which functioned as a songwriter's showcase. (Steve Conn played
there regularly, like the house pianist.)
Ims would also occasionally be found at Mountain Ears Recording Studio,
which held a lot of open house affairs. I would see him huddled in an
anteroom with an audience of four or five admirers listening to him do a
song. He seemed like a bright, sincere guy, an authentic songwriter, maybe
a little too earnest in that way that Harry Chapin seemed, at least to me;
very straight forward communications, delivered with folk theatricality.
No one was particularly surprised when he won the KBCO competition in
was something of a surprise to me has been Jon Ims' success as a
songwriter in Nashville, if only because he hadn't seemed particularly
"country" to me. In 1994, however, Trisha Yearwood went to #1 on
the country charts with Jon's "She's
in Love with the Boy." There is a really interesting speech from
Nashville hit songwriter Steve Seskin at
that includes a first-hand account of how "She's
in Love with the Boy" went from a song heard at a campfire sing to
become a BMI Song-of-the-Year.
(Seskin also has a lot of interesting things to say about the Nashville
scored a BMI "Song of the Year" award for the Trisha Yearwood
hit "She's In Love with the Boy"
Ims has been in the Nashville trenches as a staff writer for Little Big
Town Publishing, from which he wrote "Fallin’ Out Of Love," a #1 hit
for Reba McIntyre and BMI’s Song Of The Year in 1992, and songs for the Dixie Chicks,
Confederate Railroad, Hillman, Peterson &
Rice and many others. He is a past recipient of BMI’s
Robert J. Burton Award, Music Row Magazine’s Breakthrough Writer Award,
and the Kerrville Music Festival’s 1978 New Folk Award.
remains a top songwriter in Nashville while also teaching songwriting,
serving as a judge for songwriting competitions, performing at major
songwriter events like the Kerrville Folk Fest, and contributing tracks to the
Silverwolf Homeless Project and other compilations.
is also an interview with Jon Ims at
that is worth checking.
is hard to fully appreciate the level of optimism that characterized the
Boulder music scene of the 1970s. The city was under the influence of
celebrity, having so many national acts living in and around, and
under-the-influence-of-possibility intoxication was prevalent, if not
fully epidemic. There were certainly players and songwriters around whom
there existed a sense of fated stardom. Steve Swenson (Dusty Drapes)
was "famously" of that ilk as was another country maverick in
town, Michael Woody, who fronted the Too High Band. (There
still another golden boy was preparing for a bright future - drummer Cactus
Moser [Highway 101]).
Woody became a respected songwriter early on, and his penchant for Everley
Brothers harmonies - he performed them regularly in a duo with
angelic-voiced Robert Anderson - made him seem like a guy who could
fit in somewhere in some vacant slot with a national act, the way Rick
Roberts had in filling the hole Gram Parsons left in the Flying
Burrito Brothers. Singer/songwriters were in the catbird seat in those
days when a guy with an acoustic guitar, a voice, and a bunch of songs
might elevate a band to the top. Like Swenson with the Dusters, Michael
and the Woodys flirted with a label contract before finally dissolving in
1985, after which Michael left for Nashville.
in 1988 the Desert Rose Band (with former Byrd and
Boulderite Chris Hillman) took Michael's song "He's Back and
I'm Blue" to #1 on
the country charts. In 1989, Barbara Mandrell
took his song "My Train of Thought" to the #19 position. Michael
then continued to land songs on the
releases of Steve Earle, Clay Walker,
David Lee Murphy and other country stars. And, at the same time, things
began to gell for the duo The Woodys, in which he was united with
his wife Dyann. In
1998, their debut album, with songs by Michael, shot to #1 on the Gavin
Americana Chart. Dyann and Michael wrote and recorded their sophomore
album, "Teardrops & Diamonds," which in 2004 charted in the
top 30 on Americana Radio. The Woodys have two more of Michael's songs on a
Compilation Bluegrass/Gospel Record with Ricky Skaggs and other bluegrass
artists. Michael's "Circle Of Angels" is one of the featured
Woodys released an acoustic/bluegrass album in September of 2005 on
Evertte Family Records/Madacy Entertainment. Telluride To Tennessee
is one of the TOP 20 albums on the R&R Americana Music Charts. The
record was described by Music Row Magazine as 'one spectacularly
gorgeous record"' and features Chris Hillman, Herb Pederson,
Gretchen Peters, Pat Flynn, Al Perkins, Ronnie McCoury and Tammy Rogers.
How blissfully out of touch am I? I've never really been a huge fan of
country music and growing up in Colorado didn't really think of myself as
being in "country music territory." I entered those KBCO
songwriter competitions. For the record, I entered the three finest songs I have ever
written: "You Look Stupid in that Cowboy Hat" (1979);
"Everyone Who Drives A Pickup Is Stupid" (1980); and "You
Like Country Music Ergo You're Stupid" (1981). (For those of you
reading this while wearing a cowboy hat, these are the jokes.) Looking back, I'm
thinking my failure to achieve fame and notoriety through the KBCO
songwriter competitions was pretty unfair. Hell, among all these cow folk,
I bet I'm the only one who ever actually pulled a calf (and I don't mean jogging).
a consummate, long-time Boulder musician who plays bass, guitar, saxophone
and keyboards and is currently the sax player for The Legendary 4-Nikators. He has
previously performed with Chip McCarthy in Gran Slam and The
Rules and with Michael Wooten for Aura and The Curve.
In addition, Ron has played with acts as diverse as Alive and
Kickin’ and The Shirelles and has led the powerhouse swing
rock band BiG BanG! for the last 20 years.
Copyright © 1982 Peter Rodman
Joey DeLauro (aka
Joe Nelly) found a copy of
Audience Magazine dated Feb. 26, 1982, the cover of which was this
photograph taken in front of the Blue Note. The people pictured were
musicians and technicians who played roles in making the event, which
was a benefit for local music shop owner Warner Logan, whose home had
been lost to fire. Here are the names of those listed:
Top Row: Forrest
Means, Dusty Drapes, Steve Conn, Brad Elliot, Peter Bartrum,
Andy Peake, Washboard Chaz, Eugene Smith, Brian Brown, Cactus Moser, Sam
Broussard, Randy Barker, David Givens, Jim Mason
Second Row: Jim Cramp, Joey
DeLauro, Tim Duffy, Jock Bartley, Rich Fifield
Third Row: Pete Adams,
Tom Graham, Tom Wassinger, Rob Galloway, Greg Overton, Carl Greco (d.), Rob
McLerran, David Seago
Front Row: Keith
Murdock, Craig Roush, Fly McClard, Dayre Davidson, Michael Reese,
The names indicated in
bold are individuals currently profiled on this Links page.
|The response to the photograph
above has brought a wave of nostalgia over those Boulderites who were
around the year the photograph was taken. It has also reminded people of
the guy who was the honoree of the event, Music Store owner Warner
Joey DeLauro (aka
Joe Nelly): "Warner let my band The Cheaters use
the basement of his store for our rehearsals. He was one of the guys who
on Friday and Saturday nights would just make the rounds of the clubs and
see how everybody was doing. And if somebody blew an amp or needed
something, he would run off to his store and pick up whatever was required
and bring it back. It wasn't a money making thing with him. He was just
looking out for everybody..."
Joey Conway: "Warner was one of
those Colorado people who lent us instruments, let us try out anything,
really supported the musicians who were working $6/hour day jobs and
playing out at the Hungry Farmer on the weekends. There's a story
there because Prosound and now Guitar Center don't do that. I
remember going into The Music Store (on the same block as the Aristocrat
home of the biggest breakfast for the buck) and buying one of the first
digital tuners so I could tune my Wurlitzer e-piano with a soldering iron.
This was before I had a credit card or credit and Patrick let me take it
for a handshake and $10 a week payment. No signature required and
when I asked him if he wanted so see my driver's license, he said 'why?
know you, you'll pay it.' And I did."
reference to Steve Ignelzi in the Girls On Top piece above
brings to mind the mighty-mighty Pedestr...well, maybe "mighty"
and "Pedestrian" aren't really marrying words. I used to have
this conversation with Pedestrian bandleader...see!...Gerry
Capone, because I couldn't come up with an association with the word
"pedestrian" that was really positive. The thing is, The
Pedestrians were really positive! They didn't have the cache of Pearl
or The Rave, a couple other of the local bands around Boulder in the early
'80s that were playing new wave. In fact, The Pedestrians set list
probably skewed younger, given that Pearl was doing Gene Pitney and other
'60s classics - pretty cool, when you think about it. Maybe someone can
let me know what The Rave's set list was, but I remember The Pedestrians'
well. They were doing really lighthearted, entertaining versions of stuff
that then would have been only slightly more commercial than college
radio. And as a band they projected, at least to my mind, as the guys who
were having the best time. They were a zany crew, with bass player Don
Read wearing a toy plastic Army helmet and the wild red-head guitarist
Phil Beckett playing his SG like a demented farmboy. Gregg
Blanton, the original "boy singer" of the group - the Peds
also had a girl singer, Steve Ignelzi's wife Chris Williamson - was
a natural entertainer, a real showman. He would dance wildly around the
stage and give a lot of energy to his singing, and he was also the guy who
seemed to bring The Pedestrians cutting edge tunes to their list. They
would do Romeo Void and Missing Persons, as well as Joe
Jackson and various ska bands. Blanton and Williamson played off one
another well. With the tastefully jazzy Ignelzi on
one guitar and the all-purpose rocker Phil Beckett on the other, The
Pedestrians had great range. And they had the irrepressible Gerry
Capone on drums, he of the traveling schtick kit who would rise from
his stool and play while walking around the stage with his drums strapped
to his frontside. Gerry is the only guy friend I've ever had who
my wife really liked. He and his wife-to-be visited us in San Francisco
back in the '80s, and we went to a ska show at the Fillmore and Gerry
and my wife dove into a slam dance, while Mrs. Gerry and I just got
slammed. The great San Francisco band The Freaky Executives played
along with a great L.A. ska group whose name completely escapes me.
(Gerry?). Anyway, Gerry Capone brought a lot of energy to The Pedestrians
and the entire sextet was great.
Ignelzi is now a very learned bass player, having studied with all
sorts of jazzheads passing through the various great programs at the
Naropa Institute, and he plays for G.O.T. Outdoorsman Phil Beckett
lives in Alaska and fishes a lot. He remains in touch with uber-athlete
musician-producer Steve Sirockin. Phil writes - "Remember
Steve Sirockin? He played keys with Firefall, was on their first
album. He lives in Sugarloaf, has a big studio there. Me and him really
got into backpacking together, and did many epic trips in the Wind River
Mountains, and in the San Juans." Phil Beckett still playing in
country and rock bands - those of you whom are unfamiliar with Alaska may
be surprised by how much live music there is in that state with so few
people, probably related to liberal cannabis laws that allow people to
have in their possession up to an ounce of pot. (Having lived a long eight
months in Alaska myself, I have some theories about why Alaskans are
coddled so, but the Alaska Tourist Bureau would feed me to the bears.)
Anyway, back to Beckett (and waiting for Godot), Phil is teaching guitar
and veering these days toward jazz. Don Read is in Long Beach and
playing in five different bands of various genres and not gigging
frequently enough to suit him. Chris Williamson is Chris Williamson-Ignelzi
now, married to bassist Steve - who, by the way, has had a lot to do with
getting this Links thing off the ground, updating me on events over the
last two decades, introducing me to new people like Jerry Kazzaz
and the Latitude Experience and Rogue Sound. Steve in part
drew the lines on the wall chart that connect the people represented on
this page - true links. A hand for Mr. Ignelzi, please. Anyway, his
wonderful wife Chris, a natural bonvivant, may not be singing any longer,
I'm not sure. Gregg Blanton left The Pedestrians to entertain
at a Caribbean resort and died there soon thereafter. (If it wasn't a
human life we were dealing with here, and wasn't in such poor taste, it
could be sort of funny, so I won't go there.) Oddly, Gerry Capone
is the one Pedestrian I haven't been in touch with in a while. He may only
be playing in church these days, which would be ironic.
Joey Conway, now with The Legendary 4-Nikators, joined The
Pedestrians at some point and played a lot of shows with them - this
happened after I left Boulder, so not a part of history of the band with
which I'm familiar.
wrote recently - "I run into Jerry (Capone) several times a
year and I last saw him at an outdoor Firefall gig this summer
in Louisville. Firefall, with Jock, Billy Hopkins - who was
just great on the high vocals and bass, Sandy on drums.
Jerry and I played many a gig in The Pedestrians and have remained
friends. I'll put you in touch with him. In fact, I'm sure I met you
through him in those days. Jerry has exactly the same laugh, smile,
everything - same great guy."
Conway played with Lon Bove for years in Johnny and the
Sunsets (Bo Diddley's Colorado band), Sleeper, and The
Pedestrians. He recorded on three records with Nancy Cook, three with
blues recording artist Sammy Dee, appeared on Navarro's second
album Straight To The Heart, played in Mark Halman's
follow-up band to Navarro, played on an Iain Matthews record,
and for the last 13 years has been keyboardist for the 4-Nikators
with Chip McCarthy.
am working on an album that is all original and features accordion and
am looking forward to Joey's MP3s.
ABOVE: Joey Conway in a picture taken at
the Pearl reunion at Nissi's. He is with 'Sally Bowman (left) and Nissi's
Teresa Taylor (formerly of the Jim Guercio/Caribou Ranch operation).
(RAR NOTE: I don't really know Joey
but have exchanged emails with him and I think I hope to talk with him one
day. Before I do, though...this picture of him...could somebody tell me
truthfully - is Joey Conway the Devil?)
PEDESTRIANS REHEARSAL HOUSE and LENNY LOBANCO
of the more colorful characters to inhabit Boulder in the 70's and 80's
was guitarist Lenny LoBanco, also known as Lenny Charles.
Lenny was one of the pirates who used to live out on North Broadway in
Boulder in The Pedestrians rehearsal house, and his name came up recently
while I was communicating with former Pedestrian bassist Don Read.
Here are the memories I shared with Don regarding the talented and
eccentric guitarist - "Lenny was over at my apartment a few times and
was very generous of spirit and I admired his technique. And he was a
character. I remember that he had devised a shoulder strap so that he
could carry his amplifier around on his back, which I thought was rebel.
He played, as I recall, a hollow body electric, like my Epi Broadway, that
fed back like mad and he played Hendrix. Those are about all the things I
know about Lenny. He had an adoring girlfriend who talked him up a lot,
sort of sat at his feet. I watched a session he did with Titos Sompa,
the little Congolese drummer who taught for a time in Boulder. Remember
him, and his ally Mbemba Jean Louis?"
anyone happens to know what has become of Lenny, let me know and we'll
update his story. Same with Titos and Mbemba - RAR
Read, who is profiled on the At Large Links, sent this -
"Lenny liked calling himself Lenny Charles. I guess he felt that
LoBanco carried a bit too much of a shall we say ethnic cachet. He and Kim
Stone had a little jazz-fusion band for a while. I saw them at the
Walrus one time as well as heard them play together at our house. They
started out with this guy Brian Moffit on drums whom Lenny had
lured from someplace in Florida to be in the band. He ended up melting
down completely while staying at the Ranch - something to do with a
substance-related past combined with fundamental instability and a fickle
female - Boom! It made for a few interesting months there until we finally
literally packed him up and escorted him to a bus. Anyway, back to Lenny:
you remember the hollow body right, and I think that I sort of remember
the strap-mounted amp thing. He was a capable mechanic and general
tinkerer. I do not remember the African guys you mentioned, unfortunately.
"Kim's big claim to fame was his stint
with Spyrogyra. He is on one of their early albums. A great player, fast
and melodic, who had the funk-slap thing down at a time when it was a
complete mystery to me. Thus I wished for his technique to leave his body
and enter mine in a single handshake. Didn't happen like that, although I
guess I can hold my own these days.
"Did you never come over to the Ranch?
I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. A whole cast of characters went
through the place, most of whom found it attractive either for its
immediate proximity to North Boulder liquor or for its ample back yard for
the parking of inoperative vehicles. It was originally settled by me,
Lenny, and Fred Jaeger, who was the original singer for the Pedestrians.
He did not last long with the band but continued to live there for a year
or so. After that I stuck with the place for another couple of years,
during which time a number of nefarious characters darkened various
doorways in their turn."
The Pedestrians were a 1980s New Wave band that never made it to
MTV but clearly copied the styles on view there when Music
Television Launched in 1981. The Pedestrians were an important
Boulder band because they were a "hub" unit, with numerous local
players passing through over the course of nearly 10 years time.
That is singer Dawne Belloise
(above right), who is featured prominently in the story below
regarding Lynda Ray and the Michael O'Neills. Dawne has provided
an insider's view of being in the band (click
here to read). The guys, from left to right, are
Phil Beckett, Scott Bingham, Gerry Capone,
and Joey Conway.
Note (060909) from Dawne Belloise on
the photograph shown left.
"I'm not sure exactly when that pic of
us, in front of Lucille's after one of their gut exploding breakfasts,
was taken but I had gotten that leather jacket on the Korean tour of 87,
so had to be post that... probably 88-90 since I was living in NYC and
she was visiting from California."
LYNDA RAY ASTROLOGY
Lynda Ray is an astrologist with a wonderful
sent me the link to your Boulder archives of 80s bands. I have to say..
I laughed, I cried.. the memories of people long forgotten until names
and faces were jogged from my memories... it was wonderful. Thanks so
much for gathering all that info.
I was the
second Dawne of the Peds (Dawn Roberts
had no "e" at the end of her first name). I had moved to Boulder in 1984
from Crested Butte, having fronted DD & The
Bombsquad on the Western Slope. I joined the Peds soon after,
since Dawn Roberts was leaving for California. I was with the Peds for
well over 2 years (possibly 3 but can't remember) through various
incarnations. At one time Gerry Capone,
who was like a brother to me (especially since we were both quite
Italian), was playing along with a drum machine and we even had an
electronic bass player (never really a substitute for the real thing but
it was the fad of the 80s). Phil Beckett
was in the early version of "my" Peds, as was Joey on keys. I brought in
Rick Dracup and
Scot Bingham (from Grand Junction) on
bass. After Scott left we hired Rob Galloway for
a short spell. Also Rick Corrigan on
keys. We were auditioning guitarists after Rick Dracup left and
Bill Whiteacre got that gig with us,
over some young kid we thought had potential named
Drew Emmitt. Drew has been very
gracious in reminding me that he didn't get the audition. Drew and his
now wife Renee would come see us play, and although they were underaged
at the time, they somehow managed to sneak in to the shows. They were
both in high school. They now live in Crested Butte, Colorado.. which is
where I moved back to in 2004. I had been in NYC as well as upstate NY
since late 1988. BTW, Glenn Keefe was also our sound man for awhile.
Overall, my favorite sound guy of all time was Craig Roush, who could
make a train wreck sound like a symphony from the gods.
Pedestrians did half originals and half covers, so we could play diverse
venues. Fortunately, both Gil Asakawa and
Leland Rucker were fans and we somehow managed to always get
great reviews from them. They remain friends of mine today, recently
reconnected through Facebook.
Jock Bartley asked me to do some back
up harmonies for a tune he was recording at
Mountain Ears. The tune was called "1984" and recorded under
the name "The Proletariat". Don't think anything ever became of it (it
was already March of 1984...) but it was a fun project. We brought Rick
Corrigan in to play keyboards. I think I still have the tape of it
somewhere in storage.
1985 through 87 I lived with my then boyfriend
David Coddington, the bass player for the original
"alternative" band, Diet Plan. Ironically, he had also been the
boyfriend of Dawn Roberts, the other Pedestrian lead singer. After the
Peds disbanded, David & I started a band that never got off the ground
as we couldn't find the right mix of players to really make it work the
way we wanted with the quality we expected. But we did have fabulous
promo pics by Natvig! Meanwhile, I joined a top 40 band playing 6 night
a week gigs in Denver (spirit deadening...). After about 6 months I
needed a breather... however, an agent called and asked if I would do a
DOD (Department of Defense) tour overseas with a band named
Manhattan Beach. Long story short...
THEY were a nightmare and although I met wonderful people and service
men who took care of me along the tour, and experienced incredible
places... after that, I went to NYC to study voice methods in top
studios. But I never sang in a band again. On that same tour was Phyllis
(oh dear, I've blanked out suddenly on her last name!)
Michael Schueller was playing guitar
with her. I'll get the rest of the names to you later. I almost up and
quit Manhattan Beach at the start of that tour and took the offer to
join up with Phyllis. Alas, there were contracts... Michael is back in
Boulder. I think he was also playing with Chris
Daniels for a spell back in the 90s maybe.
Prosound was a great source for all of us, but Robb's Music was also.
I'm sure I
could come up with many more memories and names. One of my dearest and
closest friends through all these decades is
Chris Engleman (bass, still plays with everyone on the front
range.) I still seek out Billy Brennan
(drums) when I get over to Boulder. And Neil
Thompson (bass/ Chucky & the Cyclones) still emails once in
awhile. Patty Carpenter calls in
occasionally and Teresa of Nissi's
is a reconnected friend. Steve Conn
is in contact whenever we have things to say.
All in all,
I'm delighted for all the memories. The 80s were fabulously creative for
Boulder. Seeing all the photos made me giggle and reminisce. Thanks
again... so much.
PS.... I've been singing again up here at the end of the road in Crested
Butte with friends and local musicians... .long time comin' but it was
certainly well worth the wait.
was a much ballyhooed band in Boulder that included Robert Anderson, Sam
Broussard, Joey DeLauro, Andy Peake, Ron Cobb and others. The band had
high expectations, and people had high expectations of it, but like a
wooden airship it just only barely got off the ground. And yet the band
remains in memory as an unfulfilled promise. Here are Sam Broussard's
"Catseye was formed around Robert Anderson,
who had a record company friend named Jonathan Coffino. I forget
which company, but it was a major (that's all there was). Robert wrote
beautiful music and sang like an angel. A precursor to this group was me,
Robert, and John Manion. We had Joey (DeLauro) on drums (and
later Andy Peake also) and Ron Cobb on bass. (Ron
is running his own electronics company in Florida, and making music in his
basement.) We had a keyboard player named David Sisson (?) - not
sure about the name. It was a good band with a rehearsal hall, budget
courtesy of Bill Fay productions in Denver. Oh boy. Memory is trying
had just started writing songs. This is important. Out of nowhere,
he began pounding away on some dinky keyboard that he had, and immediately
great melodies and chord structures of high sophistication came out.
Really, it was...freaky. He didn't know anything about chords, they
were just shapes on the keyboard to him. And his lyrics were
astounding. His first song was "Action House," I believe. I wish I had
a copy. I have some of the other stuff on cassette somewhere, my songs
mostly, and one or two maybe that I wrote with Joey. The repertoire
of the band was ambitious, somewhat Steely Dan-ish, but there were
some really good lyrics in there. The songs we all wrote were by degrees
quite hard to play. We were operating above our abilities, which is
think we did do a gig, but it was at the Blue Note, not the Colorado Coal
don't remember the exact reason why Catseye broke up. It may have been
that Coffino didn't get a good response on his end, it may be that he
himself lost his job, it may have been that we had no star power or that
our music wasn't 'new' enough. Making the big time is a convergence of
money, a little talent, street buzz and inside machinations among higher
contacts. We apparently lacked an effectiveness with most of those things,
many of which were out of our control. We badly needed a producer, and
Jonathan Coffino was not it, although he tried to be. I probably thought
we could produce ourselves, which was boneheaded and naive. The tapes
reflect that; some songs just don't sound good. There were a lot of
people around, but none of us or them had the effectiveness to compete.
Some good stuff came out of early and late (with Conn) versions of the
band, but basically, nothing anyone did was good enough. That's all it
ever comes down to." - Sam Broussard
WHEN NOTHING HAPPENS TO
GOOD PEOPLE - ROBERT
ANDERSON & CATSEYE
a thought, in retrospect, on Catseye, which I think is an
interesting case in point.
was just no getting around the amount of musical talent that existed in
Boulder around the time of Catseye. In terms relative to the size of the
"town," the quality of music on the local scene was as good as
you would find in any of the music meccas. There was that mix of name acts
and their associated players, old pros, and young guys coming up who could
compete with all of that. Music is a competitive thing, even before it
becomes a business, when the playing field moves to an even
"higher" competitive plane. Music was happening in Boulder at a
really competitive level.
saw and heard Catseye play once - Sam Broussard's and my memory do not
correspond on the location, which makes me think Catseye ventured out more
than the one time he remembers - but Catseye mostly existed as a myth made
up of knights we all knew: Sam Broussard, Joey DeLauro, Steve Conn,
Andy Peake, and I knew less well Ron Cobb, John Manion and
David Sisson. These were among the top guys around, every one of them
destined to be life-long professional players at the higher ends of the
business - national tours with big names, that type of thing, maybe become
Catseye myth really centered around the ultra-enigmatic Robert Anderson.
Robert, as Sam described above, had this "deal." Did you read
Gary Swan's quote (from "How To Build A Band")? "He
whose got the gig rules." Robert had the gig - and I'm talking
about a years-long financial underpinning that included studio time
and players and rehearsal space, like an established act might have. But
who exactly was Robert? I asked that question of someone once, who
shall remain nameless, and got the response - "You'll never
"knew" Robert Anderson in the way you know someone with whom you
have some focused involvements. We didn't hang out and talk, we
"worked" and played together. Sam Broussard produced a song for
me, "Dancing With Angels" (same song that's available on this
site, but different version), and brought Robert in to sing, and he was
perfect. Too perfect. Robert actually had the voice of an angel,
and somehow that syrup over my sap just puddled into a sticky mess on the
floor. Sam played a perfectly elegant acoustic guitar part but it was
throwing a rug over a spill. (Besides it's I, IV and V, you know?) The
track suffered death by niceness.
Robert was sort of ethereal and dreamy. He was quite beautiful, like you
could make a Ricky Nelson poster of him. Slight. He wore clothes
effectively, in that way that models do like a coat hangar. In fact, that
night that I saw him with Catseye (the one Sam Broussard doesn't recall)
Robert was playing an archtop electric, like a 335, and he was dressed
beautifully in earth colors and a vest - in the Colorado Coal Company, for
Christ's sake! - and he just looked cool, like a star. He had that
quality, like he was already there.
also knew Robert from the Prosound Musicians softball team, for which he
was third sacker. Now there his particular build probably didn't help the
uniform - and there's the principal difference between a musician and a
jock. If you look good in a uniform you are probably not a musician.
Anyway, Robert was surprisingly into it. I mean, he showed up for
practices and games and tried really hard to do a good job with the third
base position. He wasn't exactly athletic, but he was serviceable. He
could stop a ball and somehow throw it over to first, often in time to
beat the runner. It seemed like a lot of effort for him, but he was game
and he was always affable, if somewhat aloof. I thought he was charming.
Had no idea who he was.
in Catseye you have the unfathomable leader and this bag of cats. They all
contributed original material - and of course you have the Joey DeLauro
fugue state in Sam's account above, and the supernatural composing powers.
And you've got no real control coming out of the control room. In that
vacuum, I wonder if some over-thinking wasn't occurring. Steely Dan, with
the Elliott Randle and the Larry Carlton guitar parts, and the piano and
the Steve Gadd, was completely infecting the Boulder music community at
that time. Everyone was taken by Fagan and Becker's voicings and chord
transitions and by their lyrical hipness. They all raised their bar in
terms of their own musical standards, and there was a lot of focus on
sophistication and "what was good enough." That occurs in all
kinds of human communities and it is almost never productive. I no longer
have a strong sense that the mathematical approach of Steely Dan had any
extraordinary long-term impact on the general craft of songwriting. I
think the bottom line is still as basic as capturing some shared human
experience and expressing it as an emotion. In fact, I bet the reason
Robert Anderson originally got "the deal" was because his songs
were sweet and simple. But I bet I never really know. - RAR
Mason is one of those guys whose long history in the music business
included some of modern music's most interesting times. He was around
during the pre-Beatles folk period (a close friend of Paul Stookey), and a
signed act when the U.S. music and television industries transitioned from
New York City to Los Angeles in the mid-'60s. He was on the west coast
during the late '60s and a contributor to the soundtrack of the "love
generation," and then became a foundation of a 1970s Colorado
country-rock revolution that gave the world Poco, Highway 101, Firefall,
The Woodys, Dusty Drapes and the Dusters, Junior Brown, Gretchen Peters, John Ims, Manassas, Dan
Fogelberg and a host of other prominent players, many with whom he had
direct involvement. He probably wouldn't like being called an "elder
statesman" of anything, but he is a deep well of music, industry and
historical knowledge and an extraordinary resource. His song "All
American High" also indicates to me that he has a lot of strength
left in him.
I couldn't not use (pardon the
this shot of Joe and Jim. I love the Four
Freshman -- you know, after the accident -- bonhomie of the
thing. (They are okay with it now.) It says something about a sweeter
time and makes me grin.
MASON'S LITTLE BLACK BOOK - APRIL 1981
MASON was cleaning out his place a few days ago and an old planner
fell open to this page - his appointments for April 1981. It is fun to see
how many people referenced on this issue of the Links were on the docket
with Jim that month 25 years ago.
month starts with work on a Firefall project, as well as with Bad
Boys, a group with Michael Clarke on drums, Milt Muth on
bass, John Manikoff on piano, and Michael Reese on guitar.
The next week there are appointments with songwriter Jon Ims and David
Small, who was prominent on the scene at the time (RAR NOTE:
Someone please send email on the band he had - memory fails.) Mason is
back to rehearsing the Bad Boys, working with Chris Daniels' band
Spoons, and meeting with "Liz" (Tuzzolino?). The next week
its John Ims again, then studio work with Juli Young. (RAR NOTE:
Does anyone have information on Juli?) Jim apparently checked Nancy Cook
out at Peggy's Hi-Lo. Spoons was back in the studio with Jim the next
week, and on a Thursday night the Bad Boys packed 290 people into the Blue
Note for what I recall as their only appearance.
NOTE: Set me straight if that isn't right.) The Bad Boys were
designed to break out, but didn't
stay together long enough to get a rash. Jim's final week of April 1981 was
to be focused on Spoons, but was apparently ruined by interruptions from the
is it hard to find a picture of John
Ims. The one used for the story on the KBCO
Songwriting Competition is about all I've been able to come up
with - the one where he looks like Jean-Paul Sartre. Is that even him? Who
knows - and this is a guy who has had number one hits with "Fallin’ Out Of Love"
(Reba McEntire) and "She's In Love With The Boy" (Trisha
Yearwood), which was BMI's Song of the Year in 1992. Gads, wasn't there an
awards presentation of some kind, a press release with photo? (Actually,
interesting to note that year because it relates to how new a phenomenon
the Internet still is. If Ims waits a few years to get that award he lives
"virtually" forever, however long that lasts.) The thing about
John Ims is that he has never become a recording artist himself, which is
odd because he has been a performer forever, as far as I know. He played
the university circuit years ago and was
playing the Hotel Boulderado with Sam Broussard in the early '80s,
and Sam wasn't playing with "nobodys" even back then. John was a
respected performing songwriter with a following. He does continue to
appear at festivals, like the songwriter's fest at Kerrville (Kerrville
Music Festival), he shows up for panel discussions and teaches
songwriting, and he gets interviewed by on line journals, but apparently
this guy can't be captured on any medium beyond the printed word - which,
as we know, cannot be trusted.
Few pictures have been taken of the illusive John Ims, who is
believed to stand between 6 and 9 feet tall, weigh 400 to 800 pounds, and
have a conically shaped head.
Considering John Ims' stature as a hit Nashville songwriter, remarkably
few articles have been written on him. The ones that have been yield
precious little information about their subject beyond his creative
process - Title then Angle.
NEWS!!! JOHN IMS SIGHTING!
just received this startling photograph purported to be of the allusive JOHN
IMS. Big Hit Hunter "Safari Jim" (Mason),
known to many as the "Mensch of the Veldt," claims to have taken
this visual evidence while on expedition last year (2005 for those of you
with calendars) in Nashville, a heavily wooded area of Tennessee. It is a
region known for mysterious, unexplained phenomenon(s).
If this is Ims - and I believe it is - this
is a shocking development. It means that RARWRITER has apparently been
"hoaxed," or possibly "pranked" (in the vernacular of
today's youth). Evidence has surfaced that the photographs above are not,
in fact, John Ims, but rather are photographs of a mythical "Big
Foot," the existence of which is questioned in some scientific
And RARWRITER would like to further report
that the existence of Big Foot is questioned in the music community as
well! We may have fraud upon fraud here! I have searched the ASCAP data
base using keywords "Big" and "Foot" and come up with
several "Feat" and a number of "Bigs" but found no
single occurrence of the name "Big Foot." RARWRITER is
embarrassed to report that, at this time, I can neither confirm nor deny
the existence of Big Foot. That is, however, John Ims pictured there on
the left with "Safari Jim," who apparently will not be
photographed without his weapon of choice. (See Jim
Mason on the At Large Links.)
Ims is another former Boulder artist who moved to Nashville and
had success as a songwriter. John has had number one hits with "Fallin’ Out Of Love"
(Reba McEntire) and "She's In Love With The Boy" (Trisha
Yearwood), which was BMI's Song of the Year in 1992. He continues to
be a featured player at songwriter get togethers like the Kerrville
is a past recipient of BMI’s Robert J. Burton Award, Music Row
Magazine’s Breakthrough Writer Award, and the Kerrville Music
Festival’s 1978 New Folk Award. His songs have also been recorded by
the Dixie Chicks, Confederate Railroad, Gary P. Nunn, Emilio, Chuck
Pyle, The Seldom Scene, Hillman, Peterson & Rice, Bill and Bonnie
Hearne, and Steve & Cindy Gillette, among others. Jon is
also a teacher who conducts songwriting seminars across the country. He
has been a faculty member of the Kerrville Music Festival’s
Songwriting School, The Telluride Bluegrass Festival’s Songwriting
School, the Nash Camp School, and the Nashville Songwriters
Association International Song Camps."
preceding paragraph is from an
interview that Jim Bowley of the Baltimore Songwriters Association did
with Jon, which you can read at http://www.baltimoresongwriters.org/pages/jon_ims/.
The Bowley piece reveals some very interesting mechanics in the
writing of songs for sale in Nashville. Jon's formula is to write the Title
of the song - something attention grabbing, or memorable - and then
develop an Angle for the narrative, some odd spin on a familiar
line. It's good stuff, definitely worth checking out if you are a
songwriter yourself, or want to be.
IMS photographed with fellow songwriter JIM MASON in Nashville in 2005.
Ims was an important presence on the Boulder scene back in the early '80s.
He won a KBCO radio songwriting competition, which you can read about at KBCO
Songwriting Competition on the Colorado Links. Jon has
tracks on a couple currently available releases, including the Kerrville
Folk Festival - 25th Anniversary (2005) LP, and The Silverwolf
Homeless Project (1995), a release aimed to raise funding for projects
for the homeless.
can hear Jon Ims MP3s at http://www.rhapsody.com/jonims.
Overton -- played bass with Spoons, Firefall, Peter Kater
-- lives in Ridgeway, Colorado, plays music and is a Rolfer. For the
uninitiated, "Rolfing, also known as Structural Integration, is a
codified series of soft tissue manipulation, which purports to organize
soft tissue relationships, with the objectives of realigning the body
structurally and harmonizing its fundamental movement patterns. This is
said to enhance vitality and well-being." (Wikipedia)
Galloway -- former bassist with Navarro; still plays
bass and does a lot of "alternative" housing projects
Rouche -- notorious sound man from Blue Note -- doing
well with his Colorado-based sound company and has three trucks running rigs
around the state
Means -- After 16 years with Chris Daniels and The Kings,
returned to Indiana in 2000, got a college degree and is doing well
Duffy -- back in Boulder; after recovering from health
problems is working on a new CD with Mark Oblinger -- classic
Duffy and great
McClard -- doing grand -- still in Louisville -- is the head
of "sheet music" at Fletcher Hinton Music in Denver -- plays
what he calls "Tuxedo Gigs" with various bands around town and
is still as funny as ever
Peake -- in Nashville playing drums and producing records --
has played with everybody from Don Williams to Tanya Tucker
BECKETT -- former lead guitarist for The Pedestrians
now lives in Eagle River, Alaska, teaches guitar and plays in local
bands - has daughters ages 14 and 17
READ -- former bassist for The Pedestrians, now lives
in Long Beach, CA and plays in five bands of various genres
RANGELL -- still fronting Paula and The Pontiacs and
playing in the New Orleans area
FIFIELD -- has resurrected The Cheaters and is playing
along Colorado's front range
DeLauro (aka Joe Nelly)
- Boulder reminisence
“Wow, Boulder, Colorado seems like a different lifetime, and it was. We
were in a special time in a special place. All of the musicians in town had a
bond with each other in that we were all busy chasing that dream
together. Most of the dream part has faded, but some of us are still out there
doing what we do for the love of it. Remember the benefit for Warner Logan
my band The Cheaters hosted at The Blue Note? I'm sure you do. We
did that photo shoot with most of the musicians in town that were
playing at it on the Pearl Street Mall in front of the club. Peter
Rodman took the photo (included on this page), and it was on the cover of
The Audience Magazine. I still have a faded copy of it as memorabilia
from that time, and look at it often with fond memories.” - Joey DeLauro
Copyright © 1982 Peter Rodman
Joey suggested that the
famous Warner Logan Benefit photograph be posterized to look something
For those of you with failing eye-sight, it reads: "Once Upon A Time
In A Kingdom Not Very Far Away...
Summer of 2007 - Reunion Celebration - Boulder Theater - Anyone
BUCHANAN (1939-1988) - A lap steel guitarist turned "master of
the Telecaster," Buchanan rose from humble beginnings in Pixley,
California. He first recorded in 1957 on Chess Records, then played in
Canada as lead guitarist with Ronnie Hawkins. That band included
young bassist Robbie Robertson, who took over guitar duties when Buchanan
left. That band later became "The Band." Buchanan pioneered
numerous techniques, most notably "pinch harmonics" (muting
individual strings with free right-hand fingers while picking or pinching
others), double and triple stops, staccato hammer-on/offs and volume/tone
knob sound effects. He would often imitate lap steel effects, bending
strings to the required pitch rather than starting on the desired note.
His signature technique of partially muting strings to suppress lower
overtones and expose harmonics is apparent in the work of Jeff Beck.
Buchanan's long-standing alcohol and
substance problems worsened with time, culminating in a domestic dispute
with his wife at their Reston, Virginia home in 1988. She called the
police, who arrested Buchanan. Several hours later Buchanan was found
hanged in his cell. His cause of death was officially recorded as suicide,
a finding disputed by some of Buchanan's friends and family. He was only
48 years old. (Wickipedia)
Was there ever a cooler rock chick than
Candy Givens? Let me answer that for you: NO!!!
David Givens has a wonderful piece
on Candy on the Tommy Bolin archives site at http://www.tbolin.com/zephyr/zephyr_candygivens.html.
Go there. You'll fall in love with her all
PERSONAL NOTE: Somewhere around 1982
or so, I wrote a piece in my column in Audience Magazine in which I named
those people on the Boulder scene whom I thought "the best"
(a suspicious notion) in various musical categories. It was the beginning
of the end for me in Boulder. Up to that time I had thrived on being a
neutral, unbiased voice (almost like a real journalist), and after that
musicians in the community seemed to grow more wary around me.
In that column I stated that Candy Givens
was "the best female vocalist in Boulder, hands down." I will
never forget running into Candy shortly thereafter and she was so
appreciative. "When you said I was the best 'hands down'..." She
didn't finish her thought. I thought she was going to cry. It was as if no
one had ever said anything like that to her before, which I can't believe
was the case. Underneath all the surface distractions, she was a really
From the Tommy Bolin Archives - Candy
(seated) with Zephyr mates John Faris, Tommy Bolin, David Givens and
Robbie Chamberlin. Photo by Rod Dyer.
was the son of a painter-father and a musician-mother and was
"discovered" in San Francisco's North Beach by singer/songwriter
Ivan Ulz. Despite an acrimonious relationship with his mates in The Byrds
(he was fired and replaced by session drummer Jim Gordon for The Notorious
Byrd Brother sessions) he made it to the Rock'n Roll Hall of Fame with
that unit. Michael struggled with alcohol and died of liver failure. During
his final days he is said to have expressed a wish to appear on television
in the hope of alerting children to the dangers of alcoholism. Following
his wishes, Clarke's girlfriend Susan Paul started a foundation in
Clarke's name, called the Campaign for Alcohol-free Kids. In 1994,
Michael's paintings were published in Dick Gautier and Jim McMullan's
book, Musicians As Artists.
||It has been written that
drummer Michael Clarke was not an accomplished musician when he joined The
Byrds - in fact was recruited for his resemblance to Rolling Stones
founder Brian Jones. The resemblance in this photo from 1966 is notable.
NOTE: Michael may not have started his career as a formidable
musician, but in reviewing a performance by his short-lived band The
Bad Boys (which included Milt Muth, Michael Reese, and John
Manikoff), I wrote that "Michael Clarke lays down a foundation on
which you could build a sports arena." He had become a hard hitter.
recall meeting over at Michael's house one night - he lived just up the
street from me in Boulder. We were getting ready for a night on the town
and he came out of the bathroom to say - "Shit! I pissed all over
myself! You ever do that?"
Michael, I'm sure we all have.
Played with Tim Duffy and a bunch of folks. Jamie gained a tremendous
reputation as a documentary filmmaker and journalist after he moved to the
San Francisco Bay
area. There is a great piece on Jamie at http://www.cinematexas.org/festival/piece.html?id=165
- Flat-picking genius guitarist of Hot Rize.
There is a great piece on Charles at http://www.greatdividemusic.com/Charles_Sawtelle.html
Leader, precision bassist, vocalist and songwriter of Fat Chance. I played
on a musicians' softball team with Adam and he used to sport me home on
his Honda Gold Wing. Then he would try to persuade me to go into the
wholesale fish business with him. I was always perplexed by this, having
no history in wholesale and knowing nothing about fish. Always wondered
what it must have been about me that made Adam think I'd make a good fish
- Guitar player/songwriter for
Freddi-Henchi. He was
playing with Eric Burden at time of death.
- Incredibly colorful proprietor of
The Music Store.
The famed photograph in front of the Blue Note was taken in advance
of a benefit for him, because he had lost everything in an apartment
fire. I bought a great 1967 Fender Deluxe Reverb from him, lost it in my
own home fire then paid dearly for another just like it.
- Tour manager/sound man for
Hot Rize, sound man for E-Town, tour manager and sound man for
Alison Kraus until time of death.
- Percussionist with Freddi-Henchi.
player from Denver, played with a lot of Boulder groups.
BLANTON - With Chris
(Williamson) Ignelzi, was the original singer for The Pedestrians.
Left the band to work at a Club Med in the Caribbean and died soon
RAR NOTE: Please send email to
me at Rick@RARWRITER.com if
you have additional information on the people mentioned here, or on other
community members who should be recognized in this section.
What becomes of the people with
whom in innocence we define our joy? Brief dalliance makes roadmap of our souls,
as they leave by imperceptible degree to further become the measure of our loss.
Can we know the consequence? Just when it is time, we are borne by they to new
plateaus, which later linger as shadows across our days. And yet, life happens
too late. Before we understand its ephemeral nature, it is done. -
Excerpt from Landscape Architecture
Zoloth was a friend of mine from my Boulder daze and has always been
one of my favorite people. I reconnected with him through that great Hollywood
Hangover website, on which he has been immortalized. The site serves
as an online diary and reunion ground for people who lived the high life
as part the L.A. music scene in the later 1960s. There I found this
posting from BZ:
was the original manager at Thee Experience, and then road manager
for Blues Image. These were the days when the Whisky rotated
three opening acts a lot -Three Dog Night, Chicago, and Blues Image.
Mario used to call us his 'favorite jag-offs'. I remember when we
got robbed at gunpoint in the Whisky dressing room while Jimi (Hendrix)
was on stage jamming. I later went to work for Rita Coolidge
(70-71) then Stephen Stills (with [Joe] Lala, 71-76.) I live
happily in Oregon with my wife and three kids. I found it very interesting
that many of those no longer with us had liver failure. Add me to the
list, but I ain't dead yet."
have always enjoyed BZ for his intelligence, worldliness and humor.
Everyday he regales me in email with the odd, the profane, the
fascinating, and the funny. Buddy is not well these days and I wish
everyone would send some positive energy his way.
Buddy Zoloth pictured
with his daughter Sarah
(What do you think, Zappa or
Buddy Zoloth Dies in Oregon
BUDDY ZOLOTH, whose 59-year life included connections with some of the
biggest rock names of the 1960s and '70s, passed away Sunday at his home in
Nancy issued this statement: "At 11:55 AM today my best friend, partner,
loving companion passed away peacefully. He stayed through our daughter’s
graduation and passed with both our daughters, his sister and her partner
close by and with me beside him talking to him."
Buddy was a
friend to many readers of this site. He rose to a certain prominence on
L.A.'s Sunset Strip in late 1960s, running the club Thee Experience, road
managing the band Blues Image, and performing other management duties with
Rita Coolidge before moving to Colorado and becoming road manager for
Stephen Stills. Buddy also assumed a management role with Stills' Gold Hill
Music label. He got songwriting credits for the tune "Happy Ways" on the Joe
Walsh album The Smoker You Drink, the Player You Get and production credits
on numerous albums.
Buddy moved to
New York City for a period after leaving Boulder, Colorado in mid-1980s, and
in New York he became involved in film production. He scored a production
credit on the Ruben Blades vehicle Crossover Dreams.
In later years,
Buddy obtained a 50-Ton Offshore Captain's License with auxillary sail
endorsement and worked as a Charter & Cruising Captain for Full Wind
Charters in Oregon.
Buddy had been
in failing health for the past several years. In recent weeks, the Zoloth
family has been deluged with calls and letters from well wishers. "He
touched many lives and only of late have I learned how many of you he made a
difference to. He would love it if all of you would take a moment, (or
hours, days), and celebrate for him. (Remember, Jose Cuervo Gold was his
best friend too!)" wrote his wife Nancy. "You all held a special place in
"We will be in
Miami for his Celebration of Life and his ashes will be spread over the Gulf
Stream where his parents, Shirley and Milton, were spread."
Photo taken in 2007 shortly before his death
|The 1982 edition of
Softball Team - as reviewed by the editors of The
||Peter Rodman (Rock Jock)
||Solid left-handed hitter,
decent first baseman, immaculate in uniform
||Gerry Capone (Drummer)
||The swat hitting drummer
never misses a beat, makes every play more interesting than absolutely
||Robert Anderson (Singer)
||Metaphysically gifted third
sacker, can't throw the ball all the way to first...and yet somehow does
||The percussionist is way too
talented for these guys, a gifted player
||Grant Smith (Songwriter)
||Technician, on-field coach,
an organization man and a solid player
||Phil Beckett (Guitarist)
||Excellent dexterity, strong
arm, rock solid hitter with roving ability
||Steve Ignelzi (Guitarist)
||Ray Wedrick ("Cat")
||Trash talking backstop,
doesn't let the team down
||Adam Taylor (Bassist)
||Mr. Finesse, looks at every
game as a journey
||R. Alan Rice (Encumbered Atheist)
||Clearly the handsomest, most
powerful man on the team, but throws underhanded and grows introspective
in the clutch
1982 (I think) I convinced the Prosound Music people of Pearl
Street to sponsor a musicians' softball team, for which I committed to
serving as chief organizer and team captain. This was easy to
organize, because I had a weekly public platform from which to plead, so
the effort started quickly and with great promise. At our first practice
we had a strong turnout of 25 to 30 guys from the Boulder music community,
plus a handsome group of onlookers, meaning girls. It was a brilliant
collection of cream-of-the-crop players, but softball not so much. After
two or three practice sessions, a lot of standing around cracking jokes,
some bored looks, and diminishing crowds we saw a dwindling in our
numbers. Finally there were only 10 or so of us left, and these guys are
represented in the scouting report above. (Nearly one-third of our team was
comprised of Pedestrians.)
plucky little group of survivors used to practice with the fabulous Mud
Sharks, the best team in the league, and in this company we seemed to
get better and better. The Mud Sharks were a decidedly blue collar group
of beer drinking sports nuts, and they sort of demonstrated how the game
should be played. We lost our early games, but as the season wore on we
started to beat some people. (As I recall there was a Catholic Girls
School that we whipped up on pretty bad, and the team from the Leg Brace
Academy. Our best game of the year came against the Blind Boys of Alabama,
against whom we deployed a successful base stealing strategy.)
our final game of the season we finally faced off against the Mighty
Muckin' Mud Sharks. To the surprise of everyone, we led most of the game,
then in the late innings I stepped to the plate and hit a monumental --
no, really, it was monumental -- shot off the fence in left-center. I
thought I had a homerun the moment I touched off the tater and went
immediately into my trot. The ball seemed hit as high as it was deep. My
wheel-chair bound grandma could have rounded the bases in the time it took
for the ball to come down, even after stopping to potty, but somehow I
only managed a double -- and that was only because I went low and got in
under the tag. I've always had "big wheels," which in baseball
parlance means I run like a...well, I don't know what it means. But I
do remember the razzing from my own bench. I'm one of the few players who
ever had more guys routing against him from his own team than I had
opposing players, though I suppose Barry Bonds may argue that. Anyway, the
shot should have put the game out of reach, but I think I died on second.
In the bottom of the final inning, still in the glow of my monumental
moment, I put myself into right field and, in the final inning of the
final game, misplayed a sure fly out into a game losing inside the
park homerun. I went from tarnished hero to goat in that heartbeat. It was
the last time I ever played.
I really wanted to beat those Mud Sharks.-RAR
ANYONE READING THIS HAS CONTACT INFORMATION FOR ANY MUSICIANS OR OTHER
OF THE BOULDER CREATIVE COMMUNITY THAT YOU KNEW FROM THE
ERA 1970 THROUGH 1990 AND WHO ARE NOT REPRESENTED ON THIS SITE,
PLEASE BRING THEM TO MY ATTENTION. I WOULD LOVE TO HAVE THEM
ON THE LINKS AT RARWRITER.COM.
Beckett, former guitarist for The Pretenders and centerfielder, as I
recall, on the Prosound Musicians softball team sent an email including
the extraordinary images on the right. Phil filled in some important
couple of guys I remember being on that softball team were T-5 and Davis
of the Skatterbrains, and Tex, drummer for Blue Moon."
course - T-5 and Davis! How could I have forgotten them! And didn't anybody know
Tex the drummer for Blue Moon's last name? I can't remember it either.
my friend Eric Silverberg, bassist for Mixed Company, R&B band from
Denver, roamed right field, in an artistic, abstract way."
Silverberg, of course! I first met him one night while he was busking on the
Pearl Street Mall. I was doing a story on circus people and he gave me some
really remember the Mudsharks, and I think I was on first base when you hit that
drive, I was thinking, 'wow, Rick!'"
it, Phil! That's the stuff!
BECKETT - ALASKA
the things one's brain remembers. Pretty macho bunch of guys for
there's what you want - somebody who was an eye-witness to history and remembers
your (my) brief moment of triumph much in the same way that you (I) do. I always
liked this guy Beckett. Then he wrote more:
Davis was a power hitter! I am thinking maybe Tex was in the outfield
somewhere. I cant remember. I remember T-5 always wearing (for me) the
hated blue NY Yankees cap. Wasn't he a shortstop?"
then - the pictures, the evidential stuff.
of this team, I suddenly realized I still had the original
obviously got hung up there on "still," because memories like
these will do that to you.
punked the sleeves out a little during the eighties, but anyway had
my wife take some pics of me modeling it. Here's the pictures!"
they are Phil Beckett. Nicely done.
THE BOULDER LINKS ARCHIVE
Alan Rice (RAR),