Volume 2-2013



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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.



Memphis Rock'N Soul Hall of Fame - A plea for good intentions

Tim Ryan - Tool Cool for Just One Band

Amy Lavere - Memphis Upright

8 Days to Amsterdam - Memphis Power Pop

Reba Russell - Memphis Queen Rips up "When Love Came to Town"

Matt Nathansan on the SF Links










Learning from Jimmy Iovine

Interscope Records CEO Jimmy Iovine 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 engineering. READ MORE...



(Click here)

New Releases on RARadio: "1,000 Leather Tassels" by The Blank Tapes; "We Are All Stone" and "Those Machines" by Outer Minds; "Another Dream" by MMOSS; "Susannah" by Woolen Kits; Jim Morrison, Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson and other dead celebrities / news by A SECRET PARTY; "I Miss the Day" by My Secret Island,  "Carriers of Light" by Brendan James; "The Last Time" by Model Stranger; "Last Call" by Jay; "Darkness" by Leonard Cohen; "Sweetbread" by Simian Mobile Disco and "Keep You" from Actress off the Chronicle movie soundtrack; "Goodbye to Love" from October Dawn; Trouble in Mind 2011 label sampler; Black Box Revelation Live on Minnesota Public Radio; Apteka "Striking Violet"; Mikal Cronin's "Apathy" and "Get Along"; Dana deChaby's progressive rock




"The Musical Meccas of the World"









Original Musical Compositions and Select Covers

Fiction and Non-Fiction

Special Projects



Boulder ArchivesBoulder Archives



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 RARWRITER.com.


Jim Mason

Jim 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.

Though 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.

Jim's 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.

1 You can read a good bio of Hammond at the American Masters site at http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/database/hammond_j.html . Hammond 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?

ABOVE: 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.




LEFT: 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.

BELOW 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.

Joe Lala and Jim Mason are playing as a duo in the Tampa area.


All American High - political "bushwacking"

Stealin' Horses - great country-rock

Sorry, Scott - Jim sings this song beautifully, always has. Great example of a singer connecting with a song.



Copyright © 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."


Kenny WeisSberg

Kenny 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:  







Among 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. 

Kenny and his wife of 34 years, artist Helen Redman  (www.birthingthecrone.com), 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, Creem, etc).

Kenny Weissberg, in a picture from his Music Without Boundaries website

Kenny 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 community.

Kenny 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." 

Interesting Sidenote: Kenny, on his return trips to the Rockies, takes guitar lessons from Jock Bartley, Chip McCarthy and Richie Furay.


I 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 Broussard, Chip McCarthy, David Muse, Michael Reese, Brian Brown, the late Jamie Kibben, Greg Overton, Jeffrey Wood, Hawk Hawkins, Peter Roos, Dr. Roc, Jamie Polisher, Milt Muth, Jim Waddell, Craig Skinner 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.


Radio Pioneer Kenny Weissberg

Kenny & 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 of:

CLAUDETTE/PARTY DOLL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=em4Zt1UmaFA

PEOPLE WHO DIED: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZxy4bsb-nQ

HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLkpjAFBO5U 

HIGH SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLkpjAFBO5U 

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

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. 

Peter 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 that).

Peter is working on a book about his career as a rock/talk radio pioneer.



Peter Rodman with The Ramones

Peter Rodman with Sheryl Crow

ABOVE: Peter Rodman with Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart. RIGHT: Peter and a really young Shawn Colvin.



LEE 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. 

Lee 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.


LEFT: This 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 / background vocals


CHECKING IN WITH BRAD ELLIOTT - "Still can't sleep before 3 a.m..."

I 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!"

Thanks Brad. Confession is good for the soul. Maybe you'll sleep now.


Michael Reese

Michael 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. 

Michael 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.

Michael's 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).


Michael's 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.

Old School Country with...

Eddie K Lively

One 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.

Eddie 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. 

Eddie 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.

Eddie 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."

Eddie, 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.

His 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 experience.











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 - 

"Ok, 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 Jamie) and Jock Bartley...we were havin' fun, lemme tell you...".

RAR - 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 and MICHAEL CLARKE reunite in The Flying Burrito Brothers - also in the Burrito Brothers is singer/songwriter RICK ROBERTS, who replaced the ill-fated Gram Parsons

· Rick Roberts moves to Colorado and signs with
Stephen Stills' publishing company - Stills' business is in part managed by Buddy Zoloth
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 and Jock 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 Boulder area
· 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 Crosby, 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 Linda Ronstadt

Chris Hillman produces a three-song Firefall demo and shops it to major labels

Chris Hillman splits from Souther-Hillman-Furay 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
Firefall travels to Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida to record their first album - a 16-track effort engineered by Karl Richardson of Bee Gees fame
· 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) stations
Firefall tours with Leon 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 Fleetwood Mac and new band members Stevie Nicks 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 (fictional) lyrics

Firefall, with Jim 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 Memphis Horns
· Atlantic C.E.O.
Ahmet Ertegen directs the band to develop more material and re-record
Firefall's Luna Sea LP is released
· The debut single "Just Remember I Love You," re-recorded with ex-
Poco and future Eagle TIMOTHY SCHMIDT singing background vocals, charts in the Top Ten
· 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 Fleetwood 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 Lynard Skynard
Deep Purple guitarist Tommy Bolin dies

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 & Nash)
· 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 January
· The single "Goodbye, I Love You" charts in the Hot 100
· "Sweet And Sour" is issued as a single and receives strong air play
Jock Bartley plays on the Criteria Studios sessions for Andy Gibb's 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 and Michael Clarke leave Firefall - Andes to join Ann and Nancy Wilson in Heart
· Former
Kenny Loggins Band bassist GEORGE HAWKINS joins Firefall 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 Zoo band
KIM STONE takes over as Firefall's bassist
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) Rick Roberts announces he is leaving Firefall
· Atlantic releases The Best of Firefall LP then drops the band from its label
Ron Albert suggests to lone remaining original band member Jock Bartley that singer/guitarists JOHN SAMBATARO and CHUCK KIRKPATRICK be added to the roster

· Miami entertainment lawyer
Alan Jacobi convinces Atlantic to underwrite Firefall demos
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 Rick Roberts (additional background vocals) and David Muse (flute, harmonica and vocoder)

· 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 (Chuck's bro) 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 abuse.

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 Richie Furay making guest appearances

1995 - 2003
· Florida drummer
SANDY FICCA joins the group along with vocalist BIL HOPKINS, guitarist/vocalist MARK OBLINGER (replacing Chuck Kirkpatrick), and DANIEL CLAWSON (ex-Pure Prairie Leaguer) who filled the sax, flute, keyboard slot
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
Steve Manshel leaves the band in 1998
CHRIS BALL joins the band in 2002

Firefall's first album 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


LEFT TO RIGHT: Chris Ball, Sandy Ficca, Jock Bartley, Bil Hopkins and Steve Weinmeister
Photo: Steve Collector

FIREFALL 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 above:

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 Gibb, Leon 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?

In 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. Play on 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.




G. 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 published Colorado Rocks! A Half Century of Music in Colorado. It is a "must read" for anyone interested in popular music.


Gil Asakawa

Gil Asakawa has done a nice job of capsulizing the music history of Boulder, Colorado.  





DICK 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.




There 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 Divas release.

Before 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.

Jinx 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."

Jinx has a great rockabilly album out, License to Twang, which the San Francisco critics are digging.


Jinx Jones MP3s:

Bumble Boogie

Need A Good Girl Bad

Copyright © Jinx Jones, All Rights Reserved

A young Jinx Jones on stage with the legendary Roy Buchanan at Sam's Ballroom in Fort Collins, 1985


Writes 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 awesome."

"One 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.

"On 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."

Announcing "Power Rock Guitarist!" Jinx at The Walrus in Boulder circa 1983


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.

However 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."


- 1979 WINNER

Gretchen 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 book.

Sadly, 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.

Highlight for Album: 2005 Pictures

Gretchen's multi-award winning "Independence Day" was recently included in Country Music Television's (CMT)  list of "The Top 100 Greatest Songs in Country Music."

Gretchen 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. 


- 1980 WINNER

Jon 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.)

Jon 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 1980.

What 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 http://www.taxi.com/transmitter/0305/headlineC0305.html 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 songwriting community.)

Jon Ims scored a BMI "Song of the Year" award for the Trisha Yearwood hit "She's In Love with the Boy"

Jon 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.  

Jon 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. 

There is also an interview with Jon Ims at http://www.baltimoresongwriters.org/pages/jon_ims/ that is worth checking.


- 1981 WINNER

It 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]).

Michael 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.

Then 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 songs.









The 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.

RAR Note: 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).



Ron Aguiar: Ron is 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.  







Photo 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, Gary Swan

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 Logan.

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."



The 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. 

Steve 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.


Keyboardist 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. 

Joey 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."

Joey 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.

"I am working on an album that is all original and features accordion and tremelo Tele."

I 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?)



One 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?"


If anyone happens to know what has become of Lenny, let me know and we'll update his story. Same with Titos and Mbemba - RAR


Don 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."



EARLY MTV:  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 is an astrologist with a wonderful site at www.lyndarayastrology.com.




Hi Rick,

A friend 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.

The 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.

In 1984, 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.

From about 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.

I know 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.

Dawne Belloise

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.



CATSEYE 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 recollections:

"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 to work. 

"Joey 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 something.

"I think we did do a gig, but it was at the Blue Note, not the Colorado Coal Company."

"I 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 well-meaning 
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



Just a thought, in retrospect, on Catseye, which I think is an interesting case in point.

There 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.

I 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 stars themselves.

The 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 know."

I "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.

Anyway, 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.

I 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.

So, 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




Jim Mason

RAR NOTE: Jim 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 d.n.) 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.



JIM 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.

His 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.

(RAR 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 media.




Man, 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.

ABOVE: 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.
RIGHT: 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.


RARWRITER 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 quarters.

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.)



Jon 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 Music Festival

"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. 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." 

That 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.

JON IMS photographed with fellow songwriter JIM MASON in Nashville in 2005.

Jon 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.





You can hear Jon Ims MP3s at http://www.rhapsody.com/jonims.



Greg 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)

Rob Galloway -- former bassist with Navarro; still plays bass and does a lot of "alternative" housing projects

Craig Rouche -- notorious sound man from Blue Note -- doing well with his Colorado-based sound company and has three trucks running rigs around the state

Forrest Means -- After 16 years with Chris Daniels and The Kings, returned to Indiana in 2000, got a college degree and is doing well

Tim Duffy -- back in Boulder; after recovering from health problems is working on a new CD with Mark Oblinger -- classic Duffy and great

Fly 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

Andy Peake -- in Nashville playing drums and producing records -- has played with everybody from Don Williams to Tanya Tucker

PHIL 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

DON READ -- former bassist for The Pedestrians, now lives in Long Beach, CA and plays in five bands of various genres

PAULA RANGELL -- still fronting Paula and The Pontiacs and playing in the New Orleans area

RICH FIFIELD -- has resurrected The Cheaters and is playing along Colorado's front range


Joey 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

Photo Copyright © 1982 Peter Rodman

Joey suggested that the famous Warner Logan Benefit photograph be posterized to look something like this.
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 Interested?"


ROY 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)


Candy Givens (1946-1984) 

Candy, Candy, Candy, Candy, Candy...

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 over again.

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 sweet person.

From the Tommy Bolin Archives - Candy (seated) with Zephyr mates John Faris, Tommy Bolin, David Givens and Robbie Chamberlin. Photo by Rod Dyer.

MICHAEL CLARKE (1946-1993)

Michael 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.

PERSONAL 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.

I 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?"

Yeah, Michael, I'm sure we all have.

Jamie Kibben (d. 2003) - 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 

Charles Sawtelle (1946-1999) - Flat-picking genius guitarist of Hot Rize. There is a great piece on Charles at http://www.greatdividemusic.com/Charles_Sawtelle.html

Adam Taylor  - 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 man.

Larry Wilkins - Guitar player/songwriter for Freddi-Henchi. He was playing with Eric Burden at time of death.

Warner Logan  - 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.

Frank Edmondson - Tour manager/sound man for Hot Rize, sound man for E-Town, tour manager and sound man for Alison Kraus until time of death.

Tony Bunch  - Percussionist with Freddi-Henchi.

Marty Ruddy - Bass player from Denver, played with a lot of Boulder groups.

GREGG 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 thereafter.

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



Buddy 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:


"I 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."

I 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 Mephistopheles?-RAR)

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 Eugene, Oregon.

Buddy's wife 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 his heart."

"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


prosound report
The 1982 edition of the prosound Musicians Softball Team - as reviewed by the editors of The Sporting News


1B Peter Rodman (Rock Jock) Solid left-handed hitter, decent first baseman, immaculate in uniform
2B Gerry Capone (Drummer) The swat hitting drummer never misses a beat, makes every play more interesting than absolutely necessary
3B Robert Anderson (Singer) Metaphysically gifted third sacker, can't throw the ball all the way to first...and yet somehow does
SS Tudie (Percussionist) The percussionist is way too talented for these guys, a gifted player
LF Grant Smith (Songwriter) Technician, on-field coach, an organization man and a solid player
CF Phil Beckett (Guitarist) Excellent dexterity, strong arm, rock solid hitter with roving ability
RF Steve Ignelzi (Guitarist) Chemist
C Ray  Wedrick ("Cat") Trash talking backstop, doesn't let the team down
P Adam Taylor (Bassist) Mr. Finesse, looks at every game as a journey
P R. Alan Rice (Encumbered Atheist) Clearly the handsomest, most powerful man on the team, but throws underhanded and grows introspective in the clutch

In 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.)

Our 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.)

In 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.

Man, I really wanted to beat those Mud Sharks.-RAR




Phil 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 blanks: 

"A couple of guys I remember being on that softball team were T-5 and Davis of the Skatterbrains, and Tex, drummer for Blue Moon."

Of 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.

"Also, my friend Eric Silverberg, bassist for Mixed Company, R&B band from Denver, roamed right field, in an artistic, abstract way."

Eric 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 Spanish. 

"I really remember the Mudsharks, and I think I was on first base when you hit that drive, I was thinking, 'wow, Rick!'"

That's it, Phil! That's the stuff!


"Funny the things one's brain remembers. Pretty macho bunch of guys for musicians."

Now 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: 

"Yes, 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?"

And then - the pictures, the evidential stuff.

"But....speaking of this team, I suddenly realized I still had the original t-shirt still..." 

He obviously got hung up there on "still," because memories like these will do that to you. 

"...I 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!"

Indeed they are Phil Beckett. Nicely done.



©Rick Alan Rice (RAR), May, 2013