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Jerusalem interview with Paul Dean


When and how was band Jerusalem formed?

In 1967 when Ray and I were 16 and still at school we went to see John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers and were absolutely blown away with a form of music we had never heard before. The next day we decided to form a band along with another friend Chris Skelcher. None of us had ever played an instrument before, Ray took drums, Chris guitar and I took bass and vocals.

None of us had any major influences, so we actually learnt how to play as we went along. I started writing as we decided we didn’t want to do any covers and liked the idea of creating something of our own that was a bit different. We practised at every opportunity and did part time and holiday jobs to pay for equipment. Our only focus was the band. Hardwork, but well worth it in the end.

Before Jerusalem, were you or other band members in any other bands? Any releases (45,tape..) from then?

No, none of us had ever touched an instrument before or had done anything musical. Even when Ray and I brought in Bill, Phil, Bob and Lynden at different times, none of them had actually been in another proper band. All performing virgins. The first recording we ever did was when Ian brought Roger Glover to Salisbury to do some recording on Rogers newly acquired Revox 2 track. Don’t know what happened to the tapes. Phil was the singer at this time.

In 1972 you released single called Kamikaze Moth / Frustration. What can you tell me about the recording. Can you tell me more about how it was all recorded?

Deram (Decca) contacted me and decided they wanted a single, but not something off the album. We literally had 2 days to put something together. I put a song together and got Lynden to write some lyrics that afternoon at my mother’s house. We then went to Decca’s studio in London two days later after hours of practise and recorded it within a few hours.

After the single was released you started recording LP. What are your strongest memories from the recording session and the production of the LP?

The album was actually finished already, that’s why there was a panic about a single. The album took about 2 weeks in total, recording, mixing and mastering. It was an exciting time for all of us, our first real recording session and Ian’s first production. We camped out at Ian’s house in Pangbourne and travelled up and down to London every day. Each day we started early afternoon and finished in the early hours of the morning. Bands become nocturnal creatures, so always better to record late in the day. It was a great time, hardwork, but also really good fun. A great time was had by all.

Ian Gillan is listed as producer. How did you get in contact with him?

He was an old friend of my sister Zoe. She brought him home one night to stay at our mother’s house during a Deep Purple tour and we got talking. Played him the first Black Sabbath album, which he liked. Zoe was kind of managing us in those days and a few months later Ian asked if he could have a listen to us. He liked something about what he heard and asked me if it was okay for him to become involved. The band had no problem with this obviously and neither did Zoe. He then set up management and publishing companies for us, Pussy Enterprises & Pussy Music. Then he got an Agency deal with NEMS and so everything began to move ahead at speed.

What were your influences and what is the main reason to create very heavy and dark album? You were one of the heaviest bands around.

I have been asked this question so many times, but there is no simple answer. Ray and I had very wide tastes in what we listened to, but enjoyed playing loud and powerfully. There were no major influences, it was just the way I wrote at the time and the way Ray and I liked to play. We were also quite adamant about trying to sound a bit different. We had no rules, if it sounded right to us, we did it and would not compromise in any way. People either loved us or hated us, no middle ground. Basically we had a sound that would take years to gather momentum. NWOBM  and bands like Metallica were not to appear for a few more years.

Could you say something about the cover design of the LP?

Yes, it is now considered a great cover. Bob Cooke came up with the idea and painted it (think his original is an oil painting). It is not meant to be religious in any way whatsoever, just something powerful that implies fighting and reaching out for your future, whatever it may be. Nothing comes to you in this life, you have to get out there and make waves!

How many pressing were made. I am also interested how did it sell?

Initially it sold well in the UK, Germany and Japan. From what I recollect, it sold 12,000 in the first few days. It then rippled out to many other regions from Scandinavia to S.Africa. It was never officially released in the USA or Australia. Over the years it became a cult album/band and there were many pirate versions, which is why I did a remastered reissue plus extra tracks with Rockadrome Records in 2009 on CD worldwide (first official release in the USA). Jerusalem is now bigger than it has ever been across all age groups and continues to grow as the word spreads and people discover something that existed ‘before its time’. Because of the success of the reissue and numerous requests, Rockadrome this week (March 2011) are releasing the first vinyl reissue for 39 years!

How far was the band's touring territory? I know you played with Black Sabbath, Uriah Heep... I would be very happy to hear a story about your touring etc.

Our main areas were the UK and Germany plus some major Rock Festivals in Europe. We shared the stage with most of the bands of the time, many of whom are now legends. The day we got signed to Deram we were supporting Status Quo at the Red Lion, Leytonstone. Ian had just invested in some brand new Marshall 200 watt stacks for us all coloured purple. Status Quo arrived and began to take the piss a bit as they didn’t know who the hell we were. Luckily, Ian then appeared and he was an old mate of Quo, so all turned out ok in the end and we all had a great drinking session at the end of the night. It turned out to be a great gig for both bands.

Did you ever appeared on TV?

No, except when we  played a Rock Festival in Vienna, Austria with many top bands, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart……. For some reason Austrian TV news decided to show us playing on their news programme. Which turned out to be great for us in Europe, as we were totally unknown at that time.
Why did you disbanded and what did you do after that? I know you formed a new band called Pussy. Can you tell me a bit more about that project. As far I know you only released Feline Woman / Ska Child. I am also interested if there is any unreleased material from Jerusalem?

No, there is no more unreleased Jerusalem accept if those missing Roger Glover tapes turn up!
This is taken from the booklet in the forthcoming release of the never before released Pussy album on Rockadrome Records (due out early 2011) and explains a bit about why Ray and I disbanded Jerusalem…………

“To Paul and Ray, Jerusalem was about rock in its purest and most basic state. Lynden and Bill were evolving and wanted to move in a more polished and progressive direction. Bob at that time just enjoyed playing. The Rock scene was exploding in so many directions within a very short period, from the Zeppelin, Purple, Sabbath to Pink Floyd, Genesis, Yes, etc. These bands themselves changed overtime and experimented in different directions, some of them returning to their roots many years later. Studio production was advancing in leaps and bounds. Paul and Ray felt that they had made their statement and didn’t want Jerusalem forced into areas created by peer pressure and the accountants and lawyers who were beginning to take over and run the music business, based purely on commercial terms. Luckily, up to this point in time, most of the Record/Music Industry  was run by ex-musicians and people with some understanding of music and the vision necessary to take gambles. Without these pathfinders many of the most successful bands of the 60’s and 70’s would never have been given a chance. After discussions with Ian and Sam everyone agreed that it was a good time to end, as to carry on would lead to compromise and changes which Paul and Ray decided would dilute and alter what Jerusalem was all about. They could have changed the line-up and continued as Jerusalem, but what Jerusalem had created was too important to both of them to merely use as a ladder for their next evolution. They decided to create something different once again, which was to become the Pussy band.


Early 70's rock band Pussy from Salisbury, UK, was managed and produced by Ian Gillan of Deep Purple. Paul Dean and Ray Sparrow formed Pussy along with Bob Cooke after disbanding cult rock band Jerusalem. They made the decision not to continue with the name Jerusalem out of respect for what Jerusalem was all about at that time in musical history, after all Jerusalem was a one-off moment in time creation and could never be recreated. Although the musical direction of Pussy was very different to Jerusalem, which is surprising as Paul was the main writer for both bands (although his liking for riffs is still prominent in places), they continued to keep that raw, no rules edge which set them apart from many of the bands of the period. At this time it was very fashionable to write very long songs and use the full repertoire of the latest studio equipment, but Pussy did the opposite, so all recordings were around single length and recorded virtually live in the studio. Very much a 'wham bam thank you mam' type impact. Paul has actually said that Pussy was a kind of ‘kickass’ to the way the music business was going in the sense that Record Companies were beginning to be run by accountants and lawyers and thus the control was changing to the extent that the business was telling the artists what they should do. Creativity and trying to be different were no longer acceptable if you wanted the support of the ‘Business’.”

Why the name Jerusalem and why the name Pussy?

Jerusalem - Absolutely nothing to do with religion. It was actually the only piece of music I liked during compulsory school assemblies, it had a bit of balls and passion about it (poem written by William Blake and Hubert Parry the music) plus it is an incredibly strong sounding word with many connotations outside of religion. Think the music was first performed in 1916 to support the Votes for Women campaign. There is a line in the piece of music ‘Till we have built Jerusalem on England’s green and pleasant land’. It kind of sums up the ideals of those people throughout the World who continue to fight for freedom, democracy and human rights for everyone everywhere in the World. To me Jerusalem stands for the vision and hope of the millions who are still oppressed throughout the World by those dictators who use politics, cultism, religion and fear to subjugate and fool the people. E.g. Iran, N.Korea, Zimbabwe, Burma and Tibet to name only a few - (taken from my interview with Sebastion Zwab of

Pussy -  simply because it’s a great sounding word with many connotations. Can mean many different things to many different people. Always gets a reaction, which is what you need in a name. Ian’s management and publishing companies were called Pussy Enterprises and Pussy Music, so it was an obvious decision.

Could you say something about your musical career and work during the 1980s & 1990s?

After Pussy I was involved on the business side of Ian’s companies for a few years. I used to also do the odd bit of recording, writing and production as well as trying to help younger talent. I did the Gillan/Dean album with Ian’s sister Pauline which was released in 1984. This used 20+ musicians, some well known, and others entirely virgin to recording. Soon after this I was told to stop singing as I had permanent damage in my throat. Since then I have tried to help others with advice and guidance all over the World and also really enjoy Producing from time to time.

Are you still in contact with other members of Jerusalem?

From time to time, they are still based around Salisbury. My main contact is Ray.

What are your current activities in music?

Organising the reissues of Jerusalem and the first issue of Pussy. Still help and guide young talent wherever I happen to be and Producing. I actually do long distance Producing, where I discuss songs with an artist in depth, they then record wherever they are and then send the files to me for further production and mixing. Good fun and actually works out well sometimes.

How do you feel about the fact, that young people from other parts of the world listen to your music (I'm 20 myself)?

Think it’s absolutely brilliant, nothing like trying to find the roots of something. Even in my day we used to listen to all the old black blues players from the USA who in actual fact were the foundation for all rock music. It’s also great to see that all the genres of music have reached all parts of the Globe now. To me music is a catalyst that has and still does so much in helping to change the World for the better.

 I think we mostly covered the whole Jerusalem story. I would like to say, I really appreciate your effort for making this interview. I'm really happy we talked. Would you like to share with us anything else about Jerusalem or yourself, that I perhaps didn't ask?

Just like to say I very much appreciate your interest and support in trying to expose Jerusalem to all those people out there who still have no idea of its existence. Maybe we never became a huge success at the time, but I think we did help to push the musical boundaries a bit further out, which enabled many other artists later on to push them out even further. Please keep spreading the word.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011

Autosalvage interview with Rick Turner


In 1968 Autosalvage released their only LP. I heard many amazing psychedelic albums, but this is for sure one of the most mind blowing ever. How did you first get interested in music, Rick?

I grew up in a home where music was constantly on the radio or record player.  My parents liked the folk music of the days...1940s...Weavers, Leadbelly, Josh White, Burl Ives, etc., and had a lot of 78's of that and big band music, and my dad was an "early adopter" of 45rpm and 33 1/3 rpm albums.  He was an artist who often painted to guitar music...classical, jazz, folk...

Your first music influences?

As above...Weavers, Pete Seeger, Josh White, especially Leadbelly, then good big band stuff...Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, etc.  Then when I was in high school ( three years at a great boarding school in Providence, RI) along came the Kingston Trio, the Limelighters, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Tom Rush, and then in 1962 I wound up at university in Boston...and that was it!

Where did you start your music carrier?

Boston and Cambridge as an habitue of folk coffee houses and music stores.

Were you or other members of Autosalvage in any other bands before starting Autosalvage? Any releases (45,tape..) from then? I know you were playing with Ian & Sylvia...

Skip had certainly been in a succession of bands.  It was a new thing for Darius.  Tom had played a bit here and there around the folk coffee house scene.  I was the only one with professional recording experience.

How and where did it all started for Autosalvage?

I was splitting my time between Cambridge and a place in New York...I was there because Felix Pappalardi and I had toyed with starting a band.  Then I ran into Tom on Bleeker St. one day and he asked if I'd like to sit in with the band he was was him, Skip, and another drummer who dropped out fairly quickly. 

You were found by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention while on a visit to New York, is that correct? Was Frank Zappa involved also in producing the LP?

Kind of.   We opened for the M o I at a club that was briefly called "the Balloon Farm" and then became "the Electric Circus" on St. Mark's Place in the East Village.  The place had been the old Ukranian Hall.
You were signed by RCA Victor around early 1968. Then you first released Rampant Generalities / Parahighway single and shortly after that, album called Autosalvage. Can you tell me more how did you get signed for RCA Victor?

It was actually 1967 when we signed.  We'd signed on with a manager whose name I forget, but he also managed New Orleans trumpeter Al Hirt, so he had pull at RCA who thought we'd be the New York version of the Jefferson Airplane...who were also on RCA.

Where and how did you record Autosalvage LP? If you can tell the whole story behind the album.

That was recorded at the RCA studios on (I believe) 23rd St. in New York...oddly, the same studio room in which most of the tracks were cut for the Ian and Sylvia album I did (Play One More) for Vanguard.   We were the loudest thing to hit that room other than a full orchestra, and we had a pretty good time recording there.  It was done on an Ampex 1" 8 track machine...state of the art at that time.  A major musicians' union guy did the did the string arrangements with the  help of Darius' father, as I recall, and he and Darius played the medieval instruments as our "horn section".

What are your strongest memories from the recording session and the production of the LP?

It went really quickly, and I wish there had not been such a mania for track separation in those much isolation in the studio.  I'd love to remix it, but I doubt the 1" master still exists.

How many pressing were made. I am also interested how did it sell?

I have absolutely no idea on pressings.   It did not sell particularly joke is that it went lead...

Are you satisfied with the way the LP turned out, then and now?

As I said, I'd love to remix it.   It could be a lot more dynamic.   We did do some really neat stuff...the between tracks sounds...and I love the spoken intro...that was the girlfriend of Bob Cullen, the producer. 

Why the name Autosalvage?

That was the name of our big opus song.  We were originally "the Northern Lights", and Zappa heard us and suggested that we change the band name to Autosalvage.  We did.

What do you recall of the mastering and pressing of the album?

Absolutely nothing.  That was completely out of our hands.

 I found mix on the stereo noticeably different then on mono pressing...I think that only tracks like "Ancestral Wants" and "Parahighway" sounds better in stereo, but the whole album is far better in mono. Your thoughts about this?

If I knew then what I know now!   I wish we'd pushed the limits of stereo more...I love how the Beatles did it...a lot of hard panning left and right...

Why did you disbanded? I am also interested if there is any unreleased material?

We couldn't get any real traction in the business in New York.  "Voco", a San Francisco FM DJ tried to get us to move out to California and said there would be gigs galore for us.   I came out with my wife, supposedly as the advance guard, and the other guys just would not move out.   We'd have done really well in the San Francisco scene of that time, and it would have been really good for us musically...we'd have stretched out more.

What did you do after Autosalvage?

A lot of things:  I did studio work with Jerry Corbitt (ex Youngbloods) playing on his first solo album, playing on Don McLean's first album (pre-American Pie), being the bassist on a bunch of demos.  I worked as a silversmith's assistant making jewelry.  I roadied and did sound for the Youngbloods.  And finally I met the Grateful Dead and became a part of the technical arm, Alembic and we incorporated that company with myself, Bob Matthews and Ron Wickersham being the three stockholders in 1970.   Been making guitars and basses ever since with a few years off in the middle.

What are you doing these days?

See above and also the magazine stories I've referenced as well as this:

I think we covered the whole story about Autosalvage. Would you like to say anything else? I would also like to thank you for taking your time. I really appreciate this a lot.

I think that about covers it all, especially if you read the other interviews.

My Best,


Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011

Cathedral interview with Tom Doncourt


Cathedral was formed in the early 1975 in Islip Terrace, NY, United States. You were one of the few bands that played Progressive Rock in the States. I would like to hear a story about the beginning of Cathedral. I am also interested in what music inspired you to start a Prog band?

I met a bassist named Ed Gagliardi in a record store- we were both looking at Genesis albums and when he heard I played keys he offered to set up a meeting with guitarist Rudy Perrone. The band I had been playing mellotron for was winding down so the timing was good. Ed, Rudy and I started a group. In a short time Rudy and I started forming a chemistry that was much more progressive than the direction Ed was looking for.

Were you or other members of Cathedral in any other bands before starting Cathedral? Any releases (45,tape..) from then?

Odyssey was the group that Fred and I played in before Cathedral. I met the band when I was 15 and learned keyboards from watching them. They were very unique. There are a couple of releases out there but neither do them justice. They struggled for a long time but interest in original music , espeially progressive was not very strong in our locality.

"Stained Glass Stories" was your only album from that period. It was released in 1978. How did you record it?

We originally set out to make a demo and our management had connections with Delta Records, an old New York City studio upstairs from the Palace theater in Times Square. Duke Ellington's band was doing sessions across the hall. We were lucky to have a young engineer who was willing to experiment a little. We basically played live into a sixteen track Ampex and did very few overdubs. The whole thing took a week at the most. I wish I had that analog recording gear now!! The "chant" at the beginning of "The Crossing" was recorded in the immense staircase of the Palace building.

Do you perhaps remember how many pressings were made? How did it sell?

We shopped the demo around and RCA made an offer but we put all our hopes in Atlantic records. They came very close to signing us on the Swansong division but then backed out because sales in new progressive music were small by 1978. Delat Records had distribution connections and it was decided to release the record independently. 10,000 were pressed and eventually sold. The proceeds (I am told) went into renting a rehearsal space and equipment for concerts to promote the album.

Where did you get the idea for that kind of LP cover?

My girlfriend of the time was an artist and she offered to do the cover. She had a photo of the Sacre Cour cathedral in Montmarte and painted it on top of the little hill.

What did you do after the record was out? Touring?

After the record was released we spent a few months in our warehouse rehearsal space writing more music so that we would have enough for an entire show. We had our own lighting system and a large sound system and were able to practice the entire production. We rented out old movie houses, built our own stages and produced our own shows. It was a real marathon. If I worked that hard now it would kill me.

If you have some great concert memories, please share them with me.

I remember spending all night wiring upour system and then going to play my keys and....nothing!!! I remember Rudy carrying equipment and slipping on ice and hitting his head.
Walking out onto stage for our first concert for 'Stained Glass" in my home town for a packed house of all our fans that had followed us through the clubs, for our parents and friends- that was a great feeling!

We were so tired after setting up that I can remember so little of the actual shows. I remember having to rewrite parts on the spot because I couldn't recall them!!! It was insane but a grand experience!

Is there any unreleased material?

All of the material we wrote after "Stained Glass" for our concerts has never been released. This includes " Plight of the Swan" which may have been our best work of all. We also wrote several songs after the intial concerts prior to breaking up.

I recently dug through some of my tapes and put some things up on my facebook page "Tom Doncourt and FauveMuseum"

I'm not very familiar with what did you do after you quit the band. I only know that, Rudy Perrone did a solo album in 1981 called "Oceans of Art". I never saw this record. Can you tell me some informations about that perhaps? I am also interested in what did you do after that?

Post Cathedral- Mac and Rudy were in a band "Industry" with Jon Carin (Roger Waters keyboardist). I played on Rudy's solo album and started my own band Quiet. That featured Icelandic vocalist Gudrun Thrainsdottir. I went in a very experimental direction on through the 80's and released very little material.

In 1991 I made the first Fauve release which was done entirely in midi. ome instruments I designed and built were used by Jerry Marrota and Susan Vega. The bassist that introduced me to Rudy- Ed- joined Foreigner.

Oceans of Art was Rudy's solo work which he independantly produced and released.It was recorded in Brian Unger's "Paris" Studio. I played mellotron and some hammond on it. I don't believe he ever released it on CD.

In 2007 band was reformed. How did you get back together?

There were several attempts to bring back Cathedral in the decades between 1979 and 2000. I wasn't ready to do it until I found a place to get new tapes for my mellotron! In 2003 Fred called all the original members up and offered to put the band back together.I had started writng progressive music again by this time so I was eager.

Same year there was your second album out called "The Bridge". Can you tell me a bit more about this release?

"The Bridge" was difficult. In the 70's all of us were headed in the same direction, all we had to do was write and it would come together. By 2003-7 there were many different directions we could take any idea. Also there were many "expectations".

How are you satisfied with "The Bridge"?

I dont think anyone in the band is completely satisfied. Shortly after beginning the project Rudy left the band.There was open war in the control room over the mix of things and I think the mellotron in particular suffered as a result. I still stand behind the music however. I think it bears carefull listening and it was a great learning experience for me.

David Doig is a great guitarist and did his best to contribute to Cathedral's sound but the chemistry of the band was seriously changed and some "magic" went out the window. I think that is one of the biggest differences .

Did you do any touring after releasing "The Bridge"?

We did one big show in N.Y. and the the " Cathedral Curse" set in and everything got messed up. We were literally struck by lightening when we attempted to play at the "Power of Prog" festival!!!

What are you doing these days?

These days I have been completely busy with my own "FauveMuseum" compositions. I plan to perform in a duet with Rudy Perrone on acoustic and laptop steel guitars and recently toured with experimental group "Globular Cluster". My pet project is collecting unusual keyboards including my Chamberlin, Jennings Univox and Vox continentals. I like keyboards that come with "charactor"!!

Thank you for your time, Jim. Would you like to share anything else about the band or yourself that I didn't ask?

Thanks Klemen, I am so happy my music is being heard in Slovenia!


Tom Doncourt

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011

Edgar Broughton Band interview


Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, Edgar. I am only 20 year old and I have been listening to your music for many years now. Firstly I would like to ask you about your childhood. What were your main influences at that time?

I was interested in rock n roll music from Little Richard, onwards including Bill Hayley, Del Shannon, Elvis and then blues, Howling Wolf, John Lee Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Buddy Guy etc. I also liked some of the UK beat groups inc The Hollies, Searchers, The Shadows of course and Beatles and Stones. Then Capt Beefheart and the US West coast music around 66 / 68. The Animals, Yardbirds, John Mayall, Cream.

Edgar Broughton Band was founded in early 1968 in Warwick, England. You were called "The Edgar Broughton Blues Band". You played at that time mostly around Warwick. At the start you were highly blues oriented band. Can you tell me about that early years when you just started your band?

By now we had really discovered the blues. It was slowly gaining recognition in the UK and we were big fans. Also the music usually had three chords or some times just one so it was quite easy to get a handle on it. That said, we did have a very authentic sound as far as a white band could.  

Before Edgar Broughton Band, were you in any other bands? Any releases (45,tape..) from then?

We were called Tony and the Talons, don’t ask me why. I don’t know. Then The Original Road Runners and then The Edgar Broughton Blues band. No releases prior to The Edgar Broughton Band though we did make a couple of demos which are scattered across EMI s later compilation releases.

In 1968 you moved to London where you got your first record contract. Then your first single on Harvest records was released called "Evil / Death of an Electric Citizen" in June 1969. What can you tell me about this release? Were you happy how it turned out to be? I also have to ask you about Victor Unitt, who left your band at that time. Why? Is it because you were more into psych blues?

It was very exciting to have a single out and one that clearly shows our energy levels at the time. Vic left because we were no longer interested in being a pure blues band.

In July 1969 your first album was released, called "Wasa Wasa". It was produced by Peter Jenner. Can you tell me a story about your first LP? How it was recorded and how did you like it?

It was recorded mostly on eight track in lots of sessions over time as we began to learn what recording involved. I like it because it was of it’s time and represents a period in the history of bands becoming writers as well as performers. I also like that it is not like much else of it’s era and it is in fact quite strange and strong.

I really enjoy your raspy vocal, similar to Captain Beefheart and Howlin Wolf. Did Beefheart have any impact on your vocal?

Howling Wolf fascinated me as did Capt Beefheart. I found that the low low tone with a rasp was fairly easy for me to produce but it is only one of several “voices” that I use.

After the debut album was released you went touring England. Tell me a story about your first UK tour.

We were constantly touring. Not only that but we were the first UK band to play free music on a regular basis. It was part of our ethos and so we played a lot of gigs in those first couple of years. It was so good to be doing what we wanted, touring the country and meeting the people. It felt right and we all loved our jobs. Better than working in a factory. There are so many stories some true and some the stuff of legend and some complete lies.

I have to say you were one of the first bands from that era, that started this so called "dirty hard rock blues" How did the audience react to your music?

They responded massively and loudly to our music. Audience participation was a major contributor to the energy our gigs generated.

After releasing first album and touring you want to catch the live sound from concert. You recorded a live album at Abbey Road on 9 December 1969. Only "Out Demons Out / Momma's Reward (Keep Them Freaks A-Rollin')" was released in 1970. What happened with the whole recordings? I read somewhere it was lost for 30 years? In 2004 there was finally released live album with recordings called "Keep Them Freaks a Rollin' - Live at Abbey Road, December 1969".

I don’t believe any thing was lost. EMI will always find a way to get more mileage out of old material if there is any commercial potential in it. They will dig deep to add some unreleased material to their re-packaged offerings and that is what happened.

June 1970. New album was released called "Sing Brother Sing". What can you tell me about this release?

It was our second album. It is always difficult to make a second album because you have lots of material that has been performed over and over for the first album. By now we were a little more in tune and more comfortable in the studios at Abbey Road. I still like parts of Sing Brother Sing.

Later that year you released "Apache Drop Out / Freedom" single, which was very successful on UK charts. You mixed The Shadows with Captain Beefheart. What a combination! It's amazing!

Yes I still like it a lot. I met Hank Marvin at the studio when we were mixing it. He came in to listen and had a good laugh. He said that I could have borrowed his echo unit if he had known about the project. Nice man! Jerry Lordan who wrote Apache hated it. We wanted to call it Drop Out Apache but he insisted it be called Apache Drop Out. A couple of years ago it found it’s way onto a compilation of “Mash Ups” and we were the first band to construct one.

Why did you decided that you don't want to be trio anymore? You contact your ex.member Victor Unitt, who had been playing meanwhile in The Pretty Things, to rejoin the band.

Our manger and producer Pete Jenner floated the idea and it was agreed. Vic wasn’t playing with the Pretty Things at that time. We set him up for the gig with the P Ts a while after that, mainly because we had had enough of each other.

In May 1971 your third album was released. It was called "Edgar Broughton Band" album or just "The Meat Album" amongst the fans. Where did you get idea for the cover artwork? I just love it!

Storm and Po at Hypgnosis came up with that because we were all vegetarians at the time and we all thought it would have some shock value and, it did.

Tell me again, how it was recorded? How did you like it? 

It was recorded slowly on 16 track tape and included our first experimentation with orchestration courtesy of our good friend and co-conspirator David Bedford who arranged the strings.

Later that year was released single 45 called "Hotel Room / Call Me a Liar". What can you tell me about that?

Tony Blackburn ( Radio 1 DJ) didn’t care for the EBB but he loved the recording and played it every day for a week. If it hadn’t been for a UK postal strike we would have played it on Top Of The Pops. It’s a dark record that struck a chord with people all across Europe and became an essential part of our live shows.

Call me a liar was a stomping cruncher with lots of hidden messages but the main thrust of it was and still is that “ The planets in a bad, bad way”. Again this became and stayed a popular song in the live show.

Your third album was successful. You started working on your next album called "In Side Out". Please tell me more about it. I know after the release of this album Unitt was gone.

No Victor was still on guitar as he was on Oora.
It was written in North Devon where we all lived in a mansion owned by Sandersons the wallpaper people. It is a very dark record with lots of angst and some rather pretty high lights. Not the happiest time of my life though I still like parts of the album, especially the beginning sequence including Side by Side.

After that you released "Oora" album in 1973. Share a few words about that release.

Lost of variation on this album and I like lots of it.  

What did you do from 1973 until 1975, when you signed to NEMS Records?
Not much. 

You released "Bandages" album in early 1976. It's a little different album than previous. How did you like it? I also have to mention, that John Thomas left and was replaced by Terry Cottam. In late 1976 you recorded a live album called "Live Hits Harder!", but it was released in 1979. Why?

I like Bandages and it reminds me of crazy times in Norway where it was recorded.
Live it’s harder took that time to get finished and the band broke up.

"Parlez-Vous" English was another album released in that period. You have some serious legal action problems at that time. Can you tell me more?

We had had problems with our management prior to this and sued them in the High Court. We are one of the only bands to recover all rights and everything else we demanded because our management World Wide Artistes didn’t bother to do their homework. They were awful people and it served them right. Private Eye did a very funny piece about the whole sordid affair.
Parley Vous English was financed by a Swiss company who were not really up to the task of marketing it.

In 1982 your released your last studio album called "Superchip: The Final Silicon Solution?" on your own label. What can you tell me about that?

Superchip was begun with financing by our Swiss friends who were so horrified when they heard the first songs that they pulled out entirely and we finished it by ourselves.
I like a lot of this recording because it was quite a departure for us. I think you either love or hate it. Some of the songs seem to have been quite prophetic and could be written about some of the issues and circumstances we all find ourselves in today.

In 80's you infrequently toured. Same goes for 90's. In 2006 you recorded "Live at Rockpalast" which was released on DVD. How did you come to record a DVD?

We reformed to tour because EMI were releasing our early catalogue re-mastered.
The guy who was co-ordinating the project put a UK tour together and arranged the Rokpalast show.

You recently disbanded. May I ask why? Will you reunited in future?

Friction in the band lead to a couple of the guys leaving. I could not see how they could be replaced easily. We had been working together for 5 years by then and I didn’t want to spend a year looking for committed musicians of the same calibre. Also the person who was mainly responsible for the debacle did nothing at all to put things right and for this reason  I have absolutely no plans or current desire to go back to that.

Do you have any solo plans for future?

Yes I have been invited to play on the Spirit of 71 Stage, Glastonbury Festival 2011 on Friday the 24th.

I am also playing some UK Dates towards the end of the year. See for details.

I am also playing some dates as part of what I call A Fair Days Work For A Fair Days Pay. I will play at a private event for any one, any where for the equivalent of one day of their wages plus accommodation, my supper and travel costs. Now that is a deal!

Does any unreleased material exist?

Not much.

Again I would like to thank you for your time and effort. I am really happy we did this. Would you like to share anything else about the band or yourself that I didn't ask?

I guess we’ll leave it there.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011

Ilyas Ahmed interview


How did you start making music?

I started out playing trombone in 5th grade concert band. I quickly degenerated to drums, and then guitar.

What are your main influences? Which artists and maybe which genre?

Keiji Haino and my girlfriend.

You were born in Karachi, Pakistan, but moved to New Jersey, then Minnesota at a young age. Now,  you're based in Portland, Oregon. Your first self-released album is called Between Two Skies. It was released in 2005. I heard you recorded the songs surrounded by nothing more than the trees? Can you tell me more? What does the cover art represent and how many copies did you release.

Besides trees, there was grass and fields, and my then-girlfriend and my now deceased dog Winston. I  needed to tune in ,turn on, and drop out for awhile and a small house in rural Minnesota fit the bill perfectly.  The initial run of the self-release was 50 copies.

To You Soon/Silence The High is a track that I love the most. Can you tell me a bit more about it? What does represent for you?

It was an attempt to make manifest some of the turmoil in my head at the time. I'm very glad you like it.

In 2005 you also released Towards The Night. What can you tell me about that release?

Towards the Night  was made right after I finished Between Two Skies while still living on the farm in Minnesota. After spending so much time working on layering sounds on  BTW , it was kind of a way to relax, have a beer or two,stare out the window and just play guitar.  It's music that I imagined a friend of mine who died would have liked to listen to.

Then in 2006 you released another album called Speaking of Shadows following Yahan Dur Wahan and Naqi. This are all self-released albums, right? Again I would be glad to hear the story behind those releases.

Those are all self-released albums. I had, and still have, a lot of music inside I needed to get out.  Yahan Aur Wahan was made right after Century of Moonlight while still living in Minnesota and the other two were made after moving to Portland.


Century of Moonlight is the fourth album you did in 2006. It's the first one released on label called Time-Lag Records. Share a story about how did you record this album.

Century of Moonlight was dealing with more drawn out extended forms that sort of began on Between Two Skies.  As I remember, the repetition on some the songs was inspired by the repeated modes of behavior I was noticing, politically/socially, etc. I remember thinking wanting the song Red Spring  to be a cross between Leonard Cohen and AMM.   There is also a theme of sleep running through the songs.

In two 2008 you released EP called Arroyo and The Vertigo of Dawn album. Vertigo of Dawn has an amazing cover art. Tell me what does represent? In my opinion this is my favorite album from you. Can you share few words about this releases?

The Vertigo of Dawn was made under the influence of war, and is essentially a tribute to my family and heritage, and wanting to put forth sounds/thoughts that reinforced that.

In year 2009 you released album called Goner on Root Strata records. This release is more bluesy, then the rest. What did inspire you to change a style a bit?

I started listening a lot to early Fleetwood Mac and and Sticky Fingers, and I've always loved Clear Spot-era Captian Beefheart.  I remember just not denying myself any impulses that I might have earlier.  I think in relation to Naqi the progression makes more sense. 

Live at On Land 2009 is your latest release. What can we expect in the future?

Live at On Land documents a period when I was burned out on playing solo gigs, and was really lucky to have Honey Owens and Jed Bindeman play with me. Honey's records as Valet are some of my favorite music of recent years...hell, some of my favorite jams ever. 
I have a new record done and just figuring out the tricky business of how & when it's going to come out.  I think it's the closest 

I've gotten to capturing all the impulses in my head.

Also have a  12" coming out soon on the Social Music Record club (part of Yeti Magazine) that's a document of Visitor, which is the duo of myself and my friend Liz Harris.

Many thanks for your time and effort, Ilyas. Would you like to share anything else about yourself, that I didn't ask?

Thanks a lot for your interest and time Klemen.


Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011

Johnny Ace interview


Thank you very much for agreeing to this interview, Johnny. You were born in Queens (N.Y.C.) Since you were born in New York, you probably saw many great artists in late 50's and early 60's. What were some of the most important artist you loved?

Yea..I was VERY LUCKEY to grow up in New York....I loved Music from the very beginning.  I loved and STILL love Jackie Wilson, James Brown, then Wilson Pickett..So many of the great rock n roll singing groups. The Harptones, Little Antony & The Imperials, The Jive 5,The Isley Brothers. When I first heard them do "SHOUT' on T.V. in 1959 I knew then..that that's what i wanted to do...Many very obscure vocal groups I still love very much. i guess there called "collector groups..I collect records..45's..78's..& LP'S...Then all the great jazz..from back in the 50's & 60's..Bird..Monk..I also go back to Louie Armstrong to Count Basie for the love of it all..Plus all the great blues artists..I listed to all of them. I learned from all of those GREAT artists.When I was little..1955-on..New York had all the greats in the clubs and theaters.Live shows...And all the greats were on TV...On TV I saw EVERYONE when I was a kid.Plus radio was GREAT then too..The DJ Joco Henderson.."THE ACE FROM OUTA SPACE was my hero..Murry The K & Allen Freed were huge influences on me too..I can list 100's & 100's of artists that I love then and STILL love now..But there's no time for that.........

You were about 15 years old when you started playing bass. Your first band was called The Thompson Ferry Blues Band. Do any recordings from that band exist?  Can you tell me few words about The Thompson Ferry Blues Band?

I did start out playin bass at 15...But I was in a basement band for a year and a half..Till 1967 with The Thompson Ferry blues Band. The basement band was "The United Popcorn Federation". We won the talent show at FK Lane High School in Brooklyn..Where we all went. I left for the blues. The lead singer  from The Federation. Kose J. Maldiado AKA. Joe Mala a year later formed KOALA . They went made one LP for Capital Records..They had to pretend they were from Australia...That LP was reissued 3 or so years ago.

The Thompson Ferry blues Band was formed in 1967 by Bobby Dupree who in 1980 had the huge hit.."Steal Away"..WE made demos, but couldn't get a deal. The only music on that band that exits was our last gig in 1970 at Oueens Coledge. But the tape is UNTOUCHABLE...I still have it. That band over three, four years had about 37 or so different members!!..Ha Ha!!! The guy who really turned me on to blues, the late Matty Puluso, guitarist was in that band. He also sat me down and taught me a lot about bass playing when I was 16-17.. He was very very good. and such a dear friend. Also Niles Rogers was with us. SHIEK..He then went in to produce Madonna, Mick Jagger, and Stevie Ray Vaughn..In 1969 I answered an ad in Rolling Stone that Niles and his pal Tom Murry on guitar put out. .Tom Murry was a really GREAT lead player..Him and Niles lived up in The Bronx..Tom Murry should have been very famous. He was that good. I think he passed on. We called that band "Smoakin Gauge"..We NEVER , unfortunately recorded. That band ended in 1970...Great times and music...NO $$$$$!!...Ha Ha!!

Probably the most important thing with The Thompson Ferry Blues Band for you was to open for Muddy Waters around 1968. Around 1970 you went to join The Brooklyn Blues Busters. Again I have the same question, if you could share your thoughts about this band. Do any recordings exist from that band, besides Live in Ann Arbor from 1973?

You often backed up John Lee Hooker and Victoria Spivey, right? How do you remember them?

Your right ..The gig at Ugano's on West 70th Street in NYC in June of 1970 with Muddy Waters was our most important gig..Muddy was very nice to us. i meet then and I'm still great friends with Paul Oscher, Muddy's harp player then. .But..I had just as much fun jamming down in our keyboard players  Antony Capone's Basement in East New York , Brooklyn..That shit was TO-TO DEEP..I guess you had to be there!!!..WOW!!! All those jams and gig's back then 67-70 were so very deep and soulful to me..We were all playing like EACH note was gonna be our LAST!!!.. But we just weren't gigging enough. Poverty was our best friend..Bobby got a real job..And a bout 3 months later I did too.Then in the beginning of Spring, 1970 I joined up with The Brooklyn Blues Busters.
Like you said,I was with The Blues Busters till The Spring of April 1974. Other than that CD Live with Victoria Spivey from the 1973 Ann Arbor blues & Jazz Festiville. The Blues Busters were on a LP on Queenie's (Victoria Spivey)s label..Spivey Records.She put out about 20-25 LPS..I can't remeber its name.It had a bunch of blues bands from the New York area..It wasn't to good.
The Blues Busters mistake was we didn't record a LP..We were very good and should have..We were just to busy having fun.

John Lee hooker was a true GREAT..I always loved him and got along with him very well..We remained friends till he passed on. I took some nice photo's of him 7 days before he passed. Tommy Castro had John sing a song on his LP..i think the LP was on blind Pig.."Guilty Of Love'..You can see the photo's on our bands website. John had a great life.And I'll say it again..He was SO GREAT..His slow blues would kill me..He never really needed any band..His voice and message got over just fine when he was solo. Of course he made GREAT records with bands too!!!..WOW!!

Victoria Spivey I loved like she was my Grandma..She  loved all us young players comin up back then when we were kids..she gave us all a chance. She was a very strong minded willful women. she really saw it all. Did you know that she had her own booking agency in the late 1920's , early 30's? She recorded with Louie Armstong, Lonnie Johnson, Tampa Red..That's pretty much the top of the tops back then. She retired in the 1940's..went and did church work..Then got back with the blues in 1959..She started her own Record company..Spivey records. She recorded bob Dylin blowin harp with big Joe Williams in 1960..And like i said, she let all of us blues kids..young and old record. She recorded a lot of the older greats too..Just google Spivey Records and you can read who she recorded..Just great. That was all done with her husband -partner Lenny Kunstant..He was a musicologist. He did most of the liner notes for their records.I miss them both SO -SO MUCH!!


Perry and the Pumpers is another band you were in for awhile. I had been searching, but I didn't find any material from that band. Do any exist?

I left The Blues Busters two times in my time while with them . One time love called in Montreal, Canada. That was Oct. -Nov. 1971..To COLD and NO WORK..Then on July 5 1972 I left New York and went out to San Francisco and put Perry and The Pumpers together. I meet Perry  Welsh ,singer-harp player in 1969 when he was a roadie and back up singer in Elvin Bishops's group.That was after  Elvin left Paul Butterfield in 1968. That was at NYC's famed Cafe Au GoGo. I stayed with Perry and The Pumpers from July-Nov. 1972..It was a real good blues-r&b band.. But we were all out of control..We were to busy going wild having fun. I lived with Elvin Bishop then. He put me up. When I left, Fly Brooks took my place on bass..Johnny V was on guitarist...A year  or so later, Elvin got Johnny . Fly in his band...In 1975 or 76 Elvin with them recorded his huge hit "Fooled Around And Fell In Love". There band was TREMENDOUS! .I'm still very good friends with Perry Welsh and Johnny V. Fly passed on last year. So we, Perry And The Pumpers NEVER recorded..

Later you were forming Steve Miller band, but the band didn't survive, because Steve wanted a solo carrier. Is that right? Later around 1975 you went to form Rhythm Rockers. You were backing up blues legend like Big Walter Horton and Boogie Woogie Red. You also opened a lot for legendary blues band called Roomful of Blues. How do you remember this period?

Steve Miller was a great singer and Hammond B3 player. He played piano too..both electric and acoustic., He's not to be confused with the Steve Miller guitarist rock star of "FLY LIKE AN EAGLE"  fame.Steve  Miller was in Linn County. They were formally The Profitts from Cedar Rapids, Iowa..They were a rock n roll,blues- psychedelic band from 1966-70. They got signed to Mercury Records in1967. They made three LP's for Mercury. They moved out to San Francisco from Chi. in 1967.They did all the great hippie venues at that time..The Fillmore West, The Carosell Ballroom, etc.etc.etc. Then Steve joined Elvin Bishops first band in 1969. I meet Steve  when I meet Perry Welsh & Elvin in 69  like i just told you.

Steve was tired of San he and Perry  moved back to Iowa. in 1973 ..I joined up with them in July 1973.. The band was called "Steven Miller And The New Linn County. The band was GREAT!..It lasted one year, as Stee got an offer to join "Grinder Switch" former roadies and friends of The Allman Brothers.  They were with Capricorn Records The label The Allmans were on..It's good to have good friends! And that ended that.

Then I went from Iowa to Boston and joined up with The Rhyum Rockers..This band was really good too. John Nickalas singer-guitar.i meet Jon in Ann Arbor in 1970He had a real nice band there..David Maxwell piano.David  befor that was with Freddie King for 2-3 years and Bonnie Raitt. He jouined James Cotton later. Mark "Kazz" Kasonoff sax & vocals. Franie Christina drums. I stayin for about 6 months. The money was thin, and we were to good..We recorded a live LP for Ron Bartaluchi, the owner of a Boston label that now slips my mind..It was NEVER released. Frannie later  joined The Fabulus Thunderbirds..A young  just learning Ronnie Earl used to come by and study us..He'd occasionally sit in..but he could hardly play..He got better!..Ha Ha!!..Boogie Red was great and so much fun to be with. I knew him from my day's in Ann Arbor. He still played well. Big Walter Horton was one of the greats.And when we backed him, he played great, I never really spoke with him. He was a strange one to get to know..

You also played  with The Lynne County Band and around 1978 you joined The Elvin Bishop Group for awhile. If you can describe experience with that band?

I then went back to New York i put a vocal group together..we rehearsed about 7 months..maybe more. It was vERY good. This was thous time I was also playing with Chicago Breakdown..Brooklyn Slim--Aka. Paul Oscher. This was very good too.. Chicago Breakdown was on one Spivey LP.."NEw Yorks Really Got tHE Blues..The late Rose Melledy sang. ? Perdinnie was on guitar. Paul taught him..He got very good. He also blew really strong harp. I can't remember his first name.Paul was always great. I then in 1976 went back to Cedar Rapids ,Iowa to reform Linn Couny with Perry Welsh, Ron Dewiit, Walter Sufflesworth and Tommy Giblin on Hammond B3. As I write this..I think after we split up with Steve Miller we put a band together in Cedar Rapids . another Linn County Band...Yea, we did...Then to Boston. This now was ANOTHER attempt. G Churchill was on tenor sax..He was with The Bluesbusters in 1972 & amp; 3....This shit is confusing!!!...I know this Linn county Band lasted more that one year.....

Then in late 1977 or early 1978 I went back to San Francisco. It was when I was with The vocal Group..The Blendairs  in 1976. We did record, but I left to go West, and they took my first tenor background note off one song because it was to thin and tin sounding..I was supposed to do the lead to "Sweet Sue"..but that never happened. A 45 was released on Roy Adams Arcade label. A small company he had from Jackson Heights, queens.  Then I  went to Florida and did some work with Elvin Bishop. Elvin was recording his "FOOL AROUND AND FELL IN LOVE" LP ..Since I meet Elvin, he'd let me at first jam on bass in 1972..Back then we'd have these great all night jam-party's. at Elvins pad in San Francisco..That's when I'd just sing.. Elvin told me "there's a lot of bass players,you should just sing'.You got something special".So he'd occasionally let me sing lead  on his show's..It was BIG FUN! That lead to him inviting me out to Florida I'd be the secret weapon in his shows.. We had a ball!!...I knew when I first heard Elvin workin out "Fooled Around" that it was a hit.. And in Florida when they were recording it and mixing it, I KNEW it was a HIT! I asked Elvin if he'd let me dub a bass vocal note in the harmony..I said you can mix it way down..I just wanted to be on a hit record, plus get some of those hit record royalties!!..Elvin no way wanted a bass vocal note on that record..It would make it sound to old and dated..Like doo wop..Well it was great for Elvin...And the rest is history.

 Later you went to play the bass with legendary Charlie Musselwhite. That must be an interesting time for you, right?

In 1978-79 I was living in San Francisco with my friend and drummer Walter Shuffles Worth. We were trying to put a KILLER R&B band together..But we couldn't find the right players. While trying to get this together..When Elvin was off the road His bassman the late Fly Brooks along with Elvins tenor player with Rick McCrakkin on guitar, Tommy Giblin from the last Linn county Band. and a drummer I can't remember put a band together called "The West Coast Sheiks"..This band was really greaT and REALLY FUN!!!..It lasted off and on for about a year.  i wish we recorded it.. We has some act1.with a might too!!!..There are NO videos  unfortunately of this group..i wish there were!!  We should have been really successful..But Lady luck in strange!!..Ha HA!!..Then in that time 78-9 i went with Charlie Musselwhite..Walter Shufflesworth got me the gig. Mike Watson from La was on guitar. He wasn't called Jr. then. The band never really burned like it should have..I guess the chemistry was off..It was weird...But we did have a lot of fun.

In mid 80's you played with Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Otis Rush and Roscoe Gordon. In early 90's you played with Johnny Nitro and the Doorslammers, who sadly passed away recently. Blackie Jones and Nathan Cavaliere are also two musicians that you play with. If you can please share a story from mid 80's to 90's.

In May of 1979 I had two kids in San Francisco. I was very upset that Walter and me never could find the right guys for our wailin R&B Band..We wanted guy's like James Brown had in 1959 plus The Flames.. And in 1979 in San Francisco that just didn't exist. So my lady and me with the two kids moved back to New York. My Father got us a cool little pad way up on the sixth floor above his little junk store. I was still trying to get a great band together..I knew in New York I'd have a better chance.

I couldn't find the right guy's going into 1980 and got a gig with my o'l pal Paul Oscher. We gigged off and on for 2 -3 years. David Maxwell would come in from Boston  to do these gigs just because he loved the music and Paul and me so much. There was some real good  deep blues bein played. On drums we had Candy McDonald from Harlem. Candy had worked before with t-bone Walker and Big Mabelle. He was so so good!& Ola Ma Dixon who was also very good who was livin up in The Bronx. We NEVER unfortunately recorded. One film was made on us, but I NEVER got to see it. I don't think it ever got made. Then Paul dropped out.

From 1985-6 I finally put a group together with my man Brian Bisesi on guitar. I got my ol' pal Danny Spurduto from The ol' Blues Busters on drums and Brian got his ol' pal Jimmy VaVino to play organ. Jimmy was a guitarist, but I saw him playin organ in a club and it was just fate that Brian knew him..They actually grew up together!.. We used Jimmy brother Jerry on tenor sax and a bass player I  can't remember. I was singin lead.And we had a MC ..Danny's Brooklyn pal "Satch" The VaVino's later on went to play on The conan o'Brain Show..There still with him. The name of this group was "Johnny Ace & The Atomics".

This group was good. We gigged mostly in New York City. And in between gig, Danny Dryer a Chicago guitarist who played off and on with Paul Oscher and me would call me to do gig's at Tramps backin up all the greats Otis Rush took us to Europe.There's a video of that floating around somewhere. Tramps was really was Otis Rush. We'd back up Lowell Fulson, Fenton Robenson, Pine Top Perkins. I had money to do a session with our band The Atomics..It was all set up. Danny the drummer didn't want to do the session. I was really hurt..And that ended the group. I needed Danny in there for that greese connection. With out Danny, I didn't want the group. And that was the end of that.

Brian and me then got Ola Dixon and we gigged as a trio called The House Rockers. We were the house band at Aberlines on 1st Ave. and 16th St. for about a year. There Brian would have the club fly all the Chicago guys in and we'd back em. Jimmy Rodgers,Johnny Little John,  Hubert Sumlin, AC Reed. I got John Hamond & Charlie Musselwhite in there. All that music should have been videoed and recorded.Well it wasn't. When we went in for a year at a club in The Village name Mondo Cane'. That was a real ball. We also played with Rosco Gorden a lot. He was really great in all way's. we made a video that was never put out. His Family wouldn't alow it.  In these times David Maxwell my great friend and piano player would send me into Boston at a club named Back Stage"to back up John Hamond, Guitar Jr. and my favorite of all..Eddie Cleanhead Vinson. He was just about a genius. I loved playin with him. He was just so so great.

In 1980 Walter Shufflesworth finally got his cool R&B band going The Dynatones. I was happy for him. I wanted to sing lead for them but he just hired a lead singer from Florida CC Miller so that ended that. They lasts 25 years..and a bunch of records.and they came close with Warner Brothers to "The Big Time"..but not close enough..

In 1987 my Family now a wife and four kids moved back to San Francisco. I was still lookin for that magic band. I got in San Francisco Oct 22,1987. It took me about 4 months to put a band together and it didn't work. Johnny Nitro hired me in 1988 I don't remember the month. I stayed with Johnny till 1991. The band had many different members, but it was a very good band. Always. Johnny & the band were goin to Italy, But paying to get there. I no way wanted to pay to play, I wrote a screen play that I thought I'd sell in about 2 months.and I'd be rich...I'm STILL tryin to sell it!!..Ha Ha! Johnny just passed on and I'm still nunb. Johnny was such a good person and character. He helped so many people with there music. Johnny was The King Of North Beach! in San Francisco. He's very missed. We recorded one CD for The Saloon Lable."Drinkin Triple's Till Your Seein Doubles"
In 1991 the late Stu Blank wizard showmen -keyboard player along with guitarist Victor Vocchi put a band together called "Blackie Jones' This band was really good also..We went in the studio, but never made a recorded  real record. We made a jam - party CD  that you mentioned.In 1992 I  made a CD with guitarist Paris Slim for the Mountain Top lable. Slim is a very fine player. Slim & Mt. Top made an instuctional video on me teaching blues bass playing. I felt it wasn't good enough for release so it was never put out. I don't regreat that one. From 1992 till NOW ..I'm every Sun. 4-8 at The Saloon in Norh Beach San Francisco with Blues Power. Apple Jack the lead singer I meet in 1969 at The Cafe Au Go Go in NY when he was with Elvin Bishop blowin harp and singin.  As I think back on it..Those 3 -4 nigtes Elvin was there really helped shape my life. Ron Bokavitch Blues Power's guitarist is my dear-dear freind. A CD from blues Power should be out by 2012. In 1999 Apple got me a gig with Boz Scaggs R& B Review. I did two tours with that and it was fun.

Around mid 90's you started a new music project called Cathy Lemons and Johnny Ace. You released album called «Lemonace». Tell me more how it was recorded, what inspired you?

In 1994 went with singer Cathy Lemons. I meet her in 1988 at a Nitro jam. I worked with her in 1993-4 in guitarist David Workmens band till we deciede to live together and put a band toghter. In 1997 I got my ol pal John Lelie Nuzzo out of retirement and back in the blues. We made a CD in 1998 titled "In The Kitchen'.John very saddly passed on last Dec. He was one of my best friends.. Cathy and I are still together. We put out 2 CDs.The first in 1998 on The Saloon Lable named "Dark Roard" and the second On VIZZTONE titled "LEMONACE" On both of these our friends Tommy Castro and David Maxwell help out. Plus dear frieds Paul Oscher, Rusty Zinn, Kid Anderson,Steve Feund,and Ron Thompson. Our band for the last 5 or 6 years has Pierre LaCorre on guitars and Artie Stix Chavez on drums. Where's many videos and interviews of us on youtube and our website. Where very proud of these musicians. The last 11 years I've been writing articles on blues and all my musical experiences for Detroits Big City Blues..Pick one up. Also for the last 3 years I've been writting for Golden Gate Grooves.  It's The San Francisco  Blues socity's blues letter...Pick these up. I'm also a photographer. I've been trying to get my book published. You can go to our music website to see all this stuff at  You can also visit me on Facebook..Be Well and with The Blues.


Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2011
© Copyright 2011