Interview with The Tabarin Man: Jimmy Jackson
James “Jimmy” Jackson is an American pianist and organist who lived in Germany after serving in the US Army. In 1969 he performed at the Heidelberg Holy Hill Jazz Meeting with his trio. The following year he founded Haboob an released an album in 1971. He was also a member of Embryo in 1970 and had already played with Christian Burchard’s big band of the same name in 1969. Jackson also played Mellotron and is also known for its collaboration with Passport, Amon Düül II and Tangerine Dream. Very special thanks to Dolf Mulder.
The Tabarin Man Story
I was born in 1943 and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a ‘war’ baby. I have heard that there was 3 feet of snow on the night I was born. Maybe this was so whoever brought me here, or there, could cover their tracks.
Thinking back on my early childhood I can see why I am a ball of confusion!
Was music a big part of my family life…?
I was the first born and when I was born my father was playing in the Navy band and he was stationed in California. My mother wanted to be with him and gave me to my Great Grand Mother for safe keeping. However she must have stayed in California until my brother was born because I ended up living with my Great Grand Mother, who was in charge of me, my Grand Mother and my cousin. I was raised in a house full of … I realized in my later years… sad, broken hearted women.
My father played saxophone and my mother played piano. I never saw or heard my father play saxophone and don’t ever remember even seeing a saxophone in his apartment when I visited him. He was a drug addict. And a fighter. He and his 4 brothers did not take any mess from anybody. I even heard they fought the police. I sometimes regret that I did not inherit this take no mess attitude. More than once I have been in situations, which I will probably tell you about later, where it would have been good to ‘go up beside somebody’s head’ who was trying to mess up my gig. I will briefly come to this part later.
Was music a big part of my life…
My favorite musician was and is Miles Davis.
Miles for the way he played and also for his groups. Drummers…man for me Philly Joe Jones had that feeling, that motion in the way he played drums almost all of the time. And Tony Williams brought a whole new thing to the way drummers played. And the piano players, Red Garland, Wynton Kelly, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, the bass players Paul Chambers, also from Pittsburgh, Ron Carter, and of course the great unforgettable John Coltrane.
I say all of this to say that only when I was in my 60ties did I realize that my Grand Mother was my biggest influence. She was the one who made the ‘a born musician’ the one who put the music in my blood and bones, the one who made me want to be a musician. Of course I probably got this whole music thing from the genes of my mother and father who were both musicians, but it was my Grand Mother playing the piano who sparked these musician genes.
We had a piano in our house, one of those pianos with the paper piano roll. She was the first one I heard and hearing her inspired me to start ‘banging’ on the piano keys from the earliest time I can remember…maybe around 2 years old.
What kind of music did she play? It must have been church music, Gospel church type of music, with a little Pop and Blues thrown in secretly because my Great Grand Mother, her mother, did not like any ‘sinner’ music in her house! But today, many many many years later deep inside of my being I can hear and feel my Grand Mother playing…that Afro American church Gospel music with some Blues and Pop thrown in on the side…to fool her mother.
My Grand Mother was the pianist in a store front church. A store front church is a store that was made into a church. She also supported us by working in a laundry, pressing clothes.
Who were those women, my Great Grand Mother and Grand Mother. From where did they come from? Who were their husbands or men. I did hear that my Grand Mother’s husband left her and went to LA. My Great Grand Mother? I remember there was a man who use to come by to visit her and if she saw him coming she would run and hide and tell me to tell him she was not at home.
She had 3 children, my mother and my mother’s sister and a child that was killed by rats I was told.
Man, Ghetto life can be a sad affair with people many people going nowhere…fast! I can still remember standing in front of a store front Church on a rainy Wednesday night, people saying goodbye to one another and going home to continue their ‘nowhere’ life, like my Grand Mother getting up the next morning to go press clothes, for a little money, money she had to use to provide for me and my Great Grand Mother and my cousin…
Later I also had jobs, a paper route, a delivery boy at a drug store, worked for a while cleaning an old Jewish people house…the first thing I had to do when I arrived was to empty the bed pot… Also after a while my cousin also had a job. But at first it was only my Grand Mother who took care of everyone.
As I said before my Great Grand Mother was very religious and took me to church all of the time. Also to a lot of funerals. Unfortunately I must say that in my case a Great Grand Mother can be too old to raise a child. My Great Grand Mother was called Big Ma and was looked upon as Big Ma, and everyone respected and did what Big Ma told them to do. Her real name was Estella and my Grand Mother’s name was Stella…the first time I have thought about these names in many many years. Estella and Stella.
Before I move on to the next question let me say that I was a psychic child, a child with a lot of imagination or both, besides being a born musician and a artist.
Once I won 2nd prize in a Pittsburgh all schools art competition.
When I was very young I would wake up at night and see people sitting and talking around my room. Also one night my Great Grand Mother’s brother who had recently been killed in the Korean war, came to visit or say goodbye. One night after he was killed I heard a noise and when I looked up I saw my Great Grand Mothers brother coming into the room. He had bandages around the top of his head and his arm was in a sling. At this time I was sleeping in my Great Grand Mother’s bed, thank goodness; and after a few seconds he left.
I say I have a big imagination is because I really saw Santa Claus. As you know all children are suppose to be asleep when Santa comes and there I was laying in my baby bed, on a Christmas morning, and when I heard a noise and I peeped to see what it was and there was Santa coming into the room, a big white jolly Santa with red cheeks, the kind you see every where…and he did what Santa is suppose to do…he came over to me and threw ashes in my face!
Man for years no one could tell me there was no Santa Claus because I saw him with my own eyes, haha.
I was kind of a child preacher…tell the old church women, my Great Grand Mother’s friends, if they did not save their soul they would die and go to hell. They really liked that, a 4-6 year old kid, who had no idea of what he was talking about, telling them this, haha!
There was a woman named Mother Jones and Mother Jones had a children’s choir. How I connected with Mother Jones I can not remember, but somehow I ended up in Mother Jones’s children choir. We would sing in Afro American churches around the area and one time we even sang in an Afro American church in far away Chicago.
Somehow this led me to sing in the Pittsburgh children choir. There were only 2 other Afro American children in this choir. We sang classical choir songs like ‘Hallelujah’ from the great composer Handel, and also something from the great composer Bach.
What ever happened to the singing Jimmy Jackson is a very good question. It all came to an end and the next time I sang was on my Haboob record and I do not sound anything like a guy who had sung Handel and Bach and in churches and in the children choir or a Mother Jones choir. Maybe I will be able to figure this out as I go on.
When my Great Grand Mother’s brother was killed in the Korean war she got $10.000 from the American government, which was what they paid for a soldier being killed in a war. Today I think it is $50.000.
With this $10.000 my Great Grand Mother moved us out of the deep Ghetto to a lower class Afro American section of town. With my Grand Mother still working in a laundry we did not even belong there so there was no connection to other people living in the area which made me an isolated child. I think I was around 11 at this time. In our new house, before we had lived in an apartment, I got my own room and my Grand Mother gave me a record player and some Jazz records. How this all happened with my Great Grand Mother being so religious is a good question.
These Jazz records were a big influence on me. I remember one song I liked very much was a songs called ‘Nica’s Dream’. One could stack records on top of each other on this record player and I went to sleep every night listening to these Jazz records.
My cousin knew a girl and when I visited her apartment a couple of times she played a record from Jimmy Smith. Man I must loved the way Jimmy Smith played. Also there was a blues player named Jimmy Reed who was big at that time and I heard a record from him.
I took some piano lessons from a lady who beside having an upright piano also had one of those organs with pedals, pedals one had to pump to get a sound. It was extremely hard to do a Jimmy Smith on an organ like this, but was my first run in with an organ.
I also took some lessons at the Music Conservatory Of Pittsburgh but this came to an end after I took the money, the hard earned money my Grand Mother made and had squeegeed together to make it possible for me to take these music lessons…or maybe this money came from my Great Grand Mothers brothers who also lived in Pittsburgh…thinking back…there is only so much a person could do back then on $30 a week…so maybe the money came from another outside source but it made it possible for me to take lessons on harmony and theory at the Musical Conservatory Of Pittsburgh…but…man I have always been trying to be an escape artist…was always looking for a way to escape the situation I was in, escape the Ghetto! Have always had a passion for traveling. This passion, unguided passion, is the reason why I have ended up in the situation I am in today…coming to Germany with the Army in 1962 and still being here today in 2020…whew! More on this part later.
It is possible that had it been possible for an Afro American to become a Greyhound bus driver back then I would have became a Greyhound bus driver, got married, raise a family and would be a great grand father today. I always had the idea of finding that someone, someone to love me and who I loved, get married, have children, raise a family…it has happened! Anyway in my effort to escape I took the piano lesson money a couple of times and went for a ride on a Greyhound bus once and a train ride once. The 2nd time I did this the school called my Great Grand Mother and told her I had missed my lesson and my musical lessons at the Conservatory came to an end.
George Benson…way way way back then, in the Doo Wop days George and I played together. By Doo Wop I mean that back then the thing was to have a singing group (you can hear this type of thing on a much higher lever when you listen to groups like The Spinners, The Four Tops etc) of 4 or 5 guys singing with a guitarist and a drummer playing behind them. I was the drummer and somewhere along the line George was the guitarist.
How I came to be a drummer is a mystery, today, and where I got a drum set from even a greater mystery. But it must have had something to do with beating on Oatmeal boxes. Me and my closest friend at that time, a boy named Leonard, would get together and beat on Oatmeal boxes while listening to Art Blakely’s ‘Cubano Chant’ LP. My Great Grand Mother must have been out during these times. We had a lot of fun doing this. Maybe it was through Leonard that I came into connection with a Doo Wop group and someone, manager, must have had a drum set. We played a few parties and even played a gig where the singer Chuck Jackson was also appearing.
A lot of Afro Americans had their cellars fixed up so it looked like a club and would have parties and other events take place there..
At one time, for a short period of time, I had a job playing piano in a bar. How I got this job also remains a mystery. It could have come about from a job I had working as a pin boy in a bowling alley. I was under age and this was against the law but I do remember doing this gig for a while…maybe a month.
There was a big church in Pittsburgh, it had something like 2000 members, very big at that time and the minister had a lovely house in the Afro American upper middle class area. The minister had a son who loved Jazz and wanted to be a bass player. This minister was doing so well that he even bought his son a Ford Mustang convertible. I mainly say this to say that one sunny summer afternoon we were riding around in his car when all of a sudden Jimmy Smith’s ‘Organ Grinder’ song came on the car radio. Man!!! That was some bbaaadddd stuff. I will never forget that moment. The ministers son and I must have played a few gigs together but the only one I can remember was when we played at our school’s music contest. We came in 2nd place. What song did we play and what ever happened to the minister’s son and what was the name of the minister’s son? This lack of memory is not due to my age but due to the fact that I have done so many entirely different things. More on this later.
Ray Charles, one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century. Ray had it. I do not remember how and when I came upon Miles Davis. I do not remember his LP being amongst the LP’s my Grand Mother gave me, but maybe it was, the LP with the traffic light [‘Walkin”, 1959].
Miles was a genius. A musician who could play all kinds of music yet compose very simple songs like ‘So What,’ ‘All Blues;’ ‘Freddy The Freeloader,’….who was Freddy???…..’Miles Stones,’ songs that every young guy who thought they were Jazz musicians could play.
I remember the ‘white’ teenage musicians would pick me up on Sundays when their parents were at church, and take me to their house and we would have a jam session doing songs like ‘So What’ and ‘Miles Stones’…by this time I had broken away from my Great Grand Mother’s church going things.
However playing the ‘Miles Stones’ theme and playing to Cannonball’s solo are two different things. Like playing the first part of ‘Moonlight Sonata’ and playing the second part.
A piano was always around but I was never into piano. A piano was not in my ear. I have always heard a Synthesizer and a Hammond Organ in my ear. However there have been times, during my piano bar years, when I have played a ‘magic’ piano, a piano which had a sound that was…out of this world. These piano’s were usually in a hall where the acoustics were also out of this world. A lot of pianist take their piano with them to come close and to keep this ‘out of this world sound’ but of course this is very expensive and one has to get to that lever first.
The thing and big question is how to get to that lever? How to pay the price to get to that level. Someone may be able to get to that level very simply and someone else may have to sell their soul to get to that level. And once you get there everyone is the same. Strange is this life…but that’s life.
It took a very long time, an eternity, to get my first Hammond Organ and Synthesizer
The Army? Where would my life be without the American Army? The US Army has its good sides, however it would be nice to get to the good sides without an Army!
“My life would have been totally different had I been into Louis [Armstrong] instead of Miles [Davis].”
The first time I saw a whole band standing up playing, except the drummer, was when I saw a rock band and country band playing after I was in the army. There was no sitting piano player or a musician behind an upright bass. No horns just 5-8 musicians all standing playing guitars. No Doo Wop singing group.
Also the Army brings races together. I read not long ago that in the black section of Chicago one could walk 15 miles in any direction and not see a white face. I am sure this also applies to white community and the army brings a lot of these people together, the white and the black people and most of these people accept each other and a lot becomes friends. Of course in the ‘black lives matter’ of today this has changed somewhat.
Leonard, my close friend in Pittsburgh knew two other boys, Jerome and Skippy. Skippy had relatives in Detroit and after high school we all decided to go to Detroit to try our luck there.
Motown was in Detroit at that time and a big big big question I ask myself is why didn’t I go to Motown and try my luck? Where was the musical Jimmy Jackson? Why didn’t someone tell me to go to Motown??? Why didn’t I inspire myself to go to Motown??? Maybe some did say I should go to Motown but I did not hear them.
The thing could have been that I had no confidence in myself.
My Great Grand Mother never wanted me to be a musician. There were quite a few nights, tearful nights, telling my Great Grandmother I wanted to be a musician but she said I should put my mind on being a doctor or a lawyer.
Years later I came to the conclusion that the reason she said this was because she had seen how bad my father, a musician, had treated my mother. And also maybe the man who left my Grand Mother, her daughter, leaving her with two children, was also a musician.
But also the Miles thing was there somewhere. Miles feeding the rebellious part of Jimmy Jackson, the no smiling part, the turning his back to the audience part. Motown did not fit into this way of thinking..
It was only many many many years later that I realized how good the song ‘What A Wonderful World’ is and how nice Louis sang it. My life would have been totally different had I been into Louis instead of Miles. Turning your back to the audience, not smiling and etc was not something anyone could do if they wanted to work.
In any case I did not go to Motown.
My mother’s sister met and married a minister and they lived in Ft Wayne. They had a nice house. My sisters’s husband worked as a janitor by day and preached in his church during the week. He had a pretty big church. It was not a store front church. I looked forward to visiting them almost ever other summer. It was a great trip, being young, maybe 10 or 11, riding the Greyhound bus at night. It was on one of these trips that I heard Elvis singing ‘It’s Now Or Never’: I really liked that song and found it quite amusing to find out years later that this song in Italy was about ice cream, haha.
One summer when I visited my mother’s sister and her husband we went to a religious convention and my life changed.
At this convention I met and was accepted by young people who were around my age. This had a lot to do with my mother’s sister’s husband being one of the main ministers at this convention. It was not a thing of living in a lower middle class community where the Grand Mother is working in a laundry for $30 a week. The moment I returned home my Great Grand Mother could see I had changed, could feel I had changed. (now why did I come to this part?)
Anyway after a while in Detroit with nothing going on we decided to join the army. The Army had this advertisement which said “join the army and see the world” and that you could join on the buddy system and spend your army time with your friends. Well the last time I saw my friends, Skippy, Jerome, Leonard was when we joined the army…under the buddy system. I never saw them again. I do remember getting a letter from Leonard once but we have never seen each other again.
I was lucky. The Army sent me to Germany during the Berlin crises instead of sending me to Viet Nam.
When I got to Germany in my unit (I was with the bass singer of Smokey of the Miracles singing group who were big at Motown at the time). Still I did not think for checking Motown out.
I was also lucky that one day when I was playing piano for myself in a room of the service club and a guy came and asked me if I wanted to join their band. This band was a band that played in Army service clubs 3 or 4 times a week. That’s all we did. We were assigned to an entertainment personnel civilian man and did not have to make bed check or inspections or anything. The only thing we had to do was play 3 or 4 times a week in service clubs. It was really super.
However a car accident brought all of this to an end. Two guys were killed, and one lost a hand and another one a foot. Because I liked to ride the train so much I had taken a train to the job and was not in the car. Man, that night when I returned to the place where we all slept and realized that I was the only one there…what can I say…I felt that God was watching over me…felt how lucky I was to be alive. It is so unfortunate that in time I forgot the way I felt that night. This is the first time I have thought about that night in many years.
After this accident I had to return to my regular Army company, getting up at 06:00 having to be back at 24:00 at the latest. It was a big drag and I did miss bed check a couple of times.
And the Army brought me to Heidelburg!
Heidelburg as two parts, the Army part and the after the Army part
Before going into the Heidelburg let me say that I had two brothers and two sisters, Larry, David and Patsy, although my youngest brother I did not know well and my youngest sister I never saw because she was born during my Army time.
Things can happen really fast sometimes. Patsy had 4 children and her husband had died by the time she was 19 years old. This all happened during the time I went to Detroit and also my Army time.
I heard later that my brother Larry had joined the Navy and had become an officer which was pretty good but left the Navy and was driving city bus.
Also two months after joining the Army my Grand Mother passed away. I guess she was waiting for me to do something in order to take care of her mother.
One of the reasons I went to Detroit and joined the Army was my Grand Mother trying to tell me to get out and see the world. Don’t let what happened to her happen to me.
For a while my brother and sister lived with us. We use to have singing contest. We got this idea from a TV program. Nat King Cole was big at the time and I would always try to sound like him during our singing contest. All three of us had the music in our bones and it was unfortunate that we did not have parents to guide us and make the way for us.
At on time my mother had a boyfriend who was a drummer. He made a big impression on me when I saw him practicing on his snare drum with his brushes. He really looked good, moving his shoulders and doing his thing.
He also bought Philly Joe Jones to my mother’s house and one day when I went to visit her there was Mal Waldron sitting at the piano writing some music. Mal was the one who showed me my first blues progression on piano and later in Munich taught me how to play chess. More on this part in the Munich time.
My mother had a degree in music but she never taught me anything about playing piano. Maybe this was because I did not live with her and we did not see each other very often. Her sister also played piano in her husband’s church and she did show me some of the Gospel church piano progressions which had slowly came up from New Orleans or some other place. A certain style of playing could start in New Orleans, for example, and slowly work it’s way up to Ft Wayne. My mother played more in the Jazz style, the couple of times I heard her play, while her sister played in the Gospel church style.
So I was influenced by a variety of music when I was growing up, Jazz, Classical, Pop, Gospel Church music, Blues, Funk and Soul, Country, Rock n Roll….
Man what can I say…I lost my heart in Heidelberg as the saying goes. Fate played a big part in me loosing my heart because when I first started going to Heidelberg I had to be back at my Army base by midnight. I was stationed in Mannheim. The Jazz club, The Cave 54 only opened at 21.00 and the band started playing at 21:30 and I had to leave at 22:00 to be able to catch my train back to Mannheim. I must have made a name for myself running down the Haupstrasse every time I went to Heidelburg so I could catch my train back to Mannheim.
Heidelberg is a touristic and also a student town. A lot of international students were in Heidelberg and a few Afro American students studying there on Fulbright scholarships. There was even an Afro American professor teaching at the Uni. And here I come with the whiskey and the cigarettes from my Army ration card. I was quite popular and I loved every moment of it.
I mean you have to imagine that suddenly there I was amongst students and being important because I had the cigarettes and the whiskey and I also was very popular in the Jazz club. I was popular because I played that ‘funky’ church Jazz, ‘The In Crowd’, ‘Moanin” ‘The Side Winder’, ‘Mercy Mercy Mercy’… There was a piano player at the time named Bobby Timmons who was ‘funky’, had that Afro American Jazz feeling. You can hear him on Art Blakey’s ‘Moanin” LP.
I did the Bobby Timmons, Ramsey Lewis, Les McCann type of piano playing in the Cave 54 and the students just loved it.
Also there was a trio called ‘The Three Sounds’ and they had recorded a ‘West Side Story’ medley which I also played but the German musicians…were kind of cool, which I could understand later on in life because the ‘Funky Jazz’ was not in their culture. Their pianist was the great Bill Evans.
Much later in Munich I was going with a white lady who played a pretty good piano. She played in piano bars and also played trumpet and she could play piano and trumpet at the same time, the left hand playing piano and the right hand…along with her lips playing trumpet. Man she hardly knew who Miles Davis was and forget John Coltrane.
One time during the time I played in Kassel a very nice white man invited me to his house for a spaghetti dinner feast. Man this guy had tons of records but only one of those records was from an Afro American, Louis Armstrong I think it was. Man it was not in my conception that something like this could happen because after all Jazz was suppose to have been started by Afro Americans in New Orleans but here this guy with only one Afro American record and this lady who hardly knew who Miles Davis was.
Both of these people were American. The world was really separated.
Back to Heidelberg…I had a lot of help in the Cave 54 Jazz club from an Afro American drummer who was in the Army. An Army band was stationed in Heidelberg and some of the Afro Americans would join me when I played, or sat in, in the Cave.
Later I played with another Afro American drummer who was in the Army whose name was Wilson.
Wilson had bought a Mercedes sports car and we would stand on the sidewalk watching the tourist pass by and looking at his beautiful car then he would surprise everyone by getting in his car and driving off. No one thought that a Afro American could have such a beautiful car. We once drove all the way to Rome to turn the Rome Jazz club out playing the ‘funky Jazz!’.
It was on the trip to Rome that we ran into the Rolling Stones. Wilson’s Mercedes was so pretty that the hotels always wanted him to park his car in front of the hotel. At one hotel they even picked up a little car, a Fiat; and carried it to another place so Wilson could park his pretty car in front of the hotel. In one of these hotels I was woken up by a lot of noise outside, Wilson also. So we went down to see what all of the noise was about. When we went outside we see all of these girls who seemed to be waiting for something to happen.
We got into Wilson’s car and waited to see what was going on. Then out of the hotel comes the Rolling Stones. Now Wilson had a record player in his car, this was the fashion then, and he was playing some kind of blues music. The Rolling Stones heard this music and all 5 of them came over and got into Wilson’s car and sat on the back seat to listen to the music! One can see why the Rolling Stones are so great, they were into the music not the girls.
Now man there I was asking myself who are these ‘jive’ guys…me being into Miles Davis and all. The Rolling Stones even gave us free tickets to their concert that night. We stayed and went to the concert. One of the first things Mick Jagger did when they came on stage was to throw a bucket full of water on a older man in a suit and tie sitting in the first row. I had never seen anything like that. Had Miles done something like that they would have locked him up forever! I think this was a promo trick.
Thinking of Miles makes me wonder, sometime, about the way the world is. There I was a very talented musician, on my way to ‘turn out another Jazz club’ and had no idea of the very big opportunity sitting there in the back seat of Wilson’s car. It was a chance for me to get to play with the Rolling Stones, or to at least make a contact. They were all very friendly.
Well maybe in a couple of years, when we are all 80, we will make a tour together and I will tell them about meeting them, haha.
Back to Heidelberg. I really enjoyed those Army times days in Heidelberg. Fell in love with a girl who for sure had other things on her mind then being with a Jazz musician who was bringing whiskey and cigarettes to town. Today I fully understand why. This girl was in love with another Afro American who was also studying on a Fulbright scholarship in Heidelberg. That the thing was, I wasn’t even studying.
After the car accident I was sent back to my Army company and could not make it to Heidelberg as much as I did before. Then my Army time came to an end but I knew I was going to return to Heidelberg, become a star and buy my Great Grand Mother a house back in the States, haha. You can see that I was way out there…naive…how was a college girl going to ever have anything to do with a person like this..
Make it in Heidelberg…Berlin would have at lease made some sense, or even Frankfurt but Heidelberg. Heidelberg is one small area, the area around the Cave 54. And put 100 people in the Cave and it is over crowded.
This is what I was coming back to, my dream.
The time after the Army, after the Army’s ration card which allowed me to to be the whiskey and cigarette man was quite different indeed, without the monthly Army check…!
Before I left Pittsburgh to return to Heidelburg, my Great Grand Mother, who probably knew it was the last time we would see each other, told me one thing which has turned out to be very true.
She said “why do you want to go over there fooling with those white girls” haha, or was it “don’t go over there fooling with those white girls!” Today I understand that she did not mean this in a racial way but was trying to tell me that those university white girls, over there in Germany, had no understanding for a young, poor, inexperience, uneducated Afro American boy. The first day I got back the girl I had eyes for broke with me. Man those were some sad sad sad days. They were so sad that even she was crying (haha) walking down the Hauptstrasse in Heidelbery with me trying to talk her into getting back together. Had I enrolled into a school it would have been a step in the right direction, or had I got a job could have also been a step in the right direction, however no matter how many steps in the right direction I took the fact still remained that what my Great Grand Mother said to me was and remain basically true.
A wise word to the men out there is don’t go messing with a woman, any kind of woman, white black, pink, a space woman etc and you don’t have any money in your pockets. Man you will be asking for double trouble. But that said some men are lucky. I am not one of them.
The after the Army days in Heidelberg was hard. A few nights I slept under the bridge, without doing a Sonny Rollins thing, and I was writing a letter home to my Great Grand Mother telling her to send me the money for a plane ticket back to Pittsburgh when I got a telephone call from a guy who had seen me playing in the Cave 54. This guy had a weekend Jazz club in Kassel and wanted me to come and play in his club for a longer period of time. Even though he could only pay 20dm a week I took this as another chance for me to make it big and buy my Great Grand Mother a house and etc so off to Kassel I went for around one and a half years.
While in Kassel I one time got a letter from my cousin informing me that my Great Grand Mother had passed away, one month before. It was a strange thing because during that time I had a couple of dreams about my Great Grand Mother running up a hill and doing other things that would have been impossible for a lady her age to do!
Also my cousin wrote, in big red letters, don’t think you will get this house. I was next in line to get the house.
This happened in 1965 and it was the last time I had any contact with anyone in America. I never heard from my mother or brother or sister or anyone. It is possible that my cousin did not give them my address: The whole thing was a big shock for me the way it happened.
In any case I let her have the house without a fight or anything. Not long ago I looked up the house address and 55 years later saw her name as the owner of this house.
I guess by now everyone thinks I must be dead.
While in Kassel, the guy who lived next to me, asked me to go and pick up a kitten for a friend. Which I did. I like little cats, also little dogs: they are so playful and can do very funny things. I carried this cat back to the place where we lived under my coat. A while later woke up one morning to feel something wet in the bed and there was this kitten, who had turned into a cat by then and she had given birth to 5 kittens right there in my bed.
In Kassel I remember hearing Wilson Pickett sing ‘Midnight Hour’. He really sang that song.
In Kassel I played on Friday and Saturday. I do not like playing solo piano. I like to have drums and bass playing with me, and a Synthesizer would also be super.
Roland Kirk was pretty big in the Jazz world and I had a little wooden flute where I would play Coo Coo on for a change of pace in the playing.
Somehow I connected with the Embryo. I think this happened in Hof, Christian Burchard’s home town. Where ever I met them resulted in them bringing me to Munich where the second great period of my life was awaiting me, Heidelberg being the first.
I think the club I had been playing in in Kassel was getting ready to close and by luck the job with the Embryo popped up.
Man when I arrived in Munich there was 4 clubs for American soldiers and 3 of these clubs had a live band!!! It was the first time in my life that I had seen something like this. And the keyboard player of one of these bands had just rotated back to America one week before I arrived in Munich. When I arrived in Munich within one week I had a job playing with a soul band in a club called The Tamborine and making 50dn a night plus a free dinner. The first 15 days we played every night and then 4 nights a week after this. In Kassel I only made 20dm… a week, without a free meal.
Oh I forget to say that when I was in the Army in Mannheim I played in and Afro American bar with a quintet. Sax, Trumpet, Bass, Drums and me on piano. The saxophonist was the leader and was the one who contacted me about playing with him. He also had a guy playing guitar and singing. We played blues music, BB King, Honky Tonk…man music has really changed. Every other weekend there would be a fight, then everyone would start fighting each other and throwing bottles and etc, just like in the movies, and the Military Police would come and take some people to jail, but in all of that fighting going on no one ever bothered the band. Of course we would stop playing but no one bothered us.
Now let’s go to Munich and the 2nd best time of my life. I was in Munich for 30 years…whew!!!
But before going to Munich I would like to say that remember my Great Grand Mother took me to church all of the time. On Sundays it was an all day affair. We would leave the house at around 08:00 in the morning so I could attend Sunday school and return at around 22:00 after the Sunday night service.
I remember in Sunday school I would be looking at all of the Sunday school children cards and asking myself aren’t there any black or brown people in heaven because every picture was a picture of a white person. Just like later when I saw a picture of Jesus with blue eyes and blond hair and looking like a hippie I would ask myself ?
Anyway one day all of a sudden I heard something on the radio which I am sure made a very big impact on the world…for sure it made a big impact on me…how old was I then?
Sputnik. Man had put something up in ‘heaven’!
I think it was unfortunate that everything got lost in competition, ending with the Americans landing on the moon…although many believe this whole thing was made in a movie studio…but as quiet as it was kept landing on the moon did not have the impact of…all of a sudden ….out of the clear blue sky a message came on the radio saying that man had put something into outer space, into heaven, the Sputnik.
I think this had a deep effect on the future generations.
Also: how could I ever forget that during my after the Army days a record came out that had a extremely big influence on me. Miles Davis ‘My Funny Valentine’! The LP was there is a picture of him wearing a polka dot tie. He recorded this LP at a benefit concert for some Afro American organization. The LP is in two parts but my favorite songs were and is 1) ‘My Funny Valentine’ 2) ‘Stella By Starlight’ and 3) ‘All Of You’. Such a great conceptional, creative way of playing. Herbie Hancock played some great piano on those songs.
Munich is a long story which I will try to make as short as possible. I lived in Munich for 30 years, way way way too long. Got stuck, lost in Munich, lost in Germany!!
How did this happen?
One thing is the Tamborine bar, the Tam they called it, was just a small bar on one small corner in Munich. This bar was for the amusement of Afro American soldiers, African students and other students (thank God for the students…they still have their dreams) and people, German people, who were ready to socialize with the Afro American soldiers and African students.
This small Tamborine bar area was by no means Munich and most of the Munich German people knew nothing about the Tamborine bar or the Tamborine band and also most knew hardly anything about soul music.
The world is high, much bigger than one can ever imagine!
Germany was the biggest record buying country in the world after America. This had something to do with the American Army playing loud American music on the streets of Germany after the war. This music was produced and made in America then put on the German market for Germans to buy it.
That’s the hook line…for an American musician trying to succeed in music in Germany…made and produced in America and then put on the German market.
Even in America each record company had a section for marketing their music to white people and another section for marketing their music to black people and other people.
Another way would have been to learn the German language, customs, culture and fit in, get hooked with some German person who was already in the music business, and do this on a conscious level, don’t wait or wish for it to happen all by itself as I did.
For example record companies like Warner Brothers had a 90% share of the German music market. You had to take 90% of the products America was sending which left only 10% of the market to sell your own German product…then here I come wanting part of that 10%.
But this was also still possible. I remember once a producer from a record company called Liberty records, who also had Ike and Tina on their roster at that time, went to America and fell in love with their pianist, a guy named Patrick Gammon, and brought him back to Germany and tried to make him a star. He made a big production for Patrick with a big orchestra in the Bavaria studio and other things…or Donna Summers…I was in Cannes when Donna signed her contract and immediately she was given the highest credit card of that time and flown to LA where she was given a house and etc things do happen but had not happened to me yet…and when they did start to happen the results would very different.
I do not remember meeting Lothar Meid when I first got involved with the Embryo band but after thinking deeply about this for a few days I must have met him and he was the one who told me the Tamborine band would be looking for a keyboard player. He knew this because he was the bass player with the Tamborine band. How else could I know and find the Tamborine job so fast.
The band was referred to as the Tamborine Band. There was a guy from Austria Wolfgang Paap who played pretty good drums, Joe Quick who played a out of sight rhythm guitar (I had a dream about him last night…the first time I have ever had a dream about Joe Quick. He was very happy to see me). (Powell once told me that Joe said he was going to kill me. I imagine Joe said this because I stole his show). William Powell, the Afro American singer who really had that down home feeling and could really sing a song…one night Willy P (William Powell’s nickname) was singing and a woman cut his microphone cable right in the middle of a song, haha. Quite often George Greene who was a sergeant in the US Army would come by and play with us. He was super good and had that New Orleans motion in the way he played those drums.
Lothar was the one who turned me on to the Amon Düül II and Klaus Doldinger. He was responsible for almost all of my successes during the Tamborine time and later but I did not really notice this at that time. One of the reasons for this was Lothar told the band that his father had been a Nazi. We were not ready, intelligent enough to accept this information at the time and maybe Lothar was trying to get this problem off his chest. Plus Lothar and also Joe Quick were private people. Wolfgang and I, for example, spent quite a few mornings after playing driving out to the country…Wolfgang had a car…smoking a joint and listening to Santana and other music. Powell and I would also spend some time together drinking a beer and listening to the Isley Brothers, and other soul artist.
I read in an article a guy sent me not long ago that Lothar was a part of the German Kraut Rock conception that was trying to be created back then, around 1967/68 and that at one time Lothar and Christian, the founder of Embryo, had a falling out and Lothar left the band. Then when Christian talked about me he said the bass lines I played on keyboard were fantastic. That a few times when recording the song would start out with just me playing a bass line and him playing. Maybe this had something to do with Lothar and I never becoming close friends. But also there was the culture thing.
Munich was like a mirage in the desert! I had never seen anything like it before. When I arrived in Munich there were 4 bars for Afro American soldiers and 3 of these bars had live bands who were mixtures of German and Afro American musicians. Plus right around the corner from the Tamborine a retired Afro American soldier had opened a soul food restaurant. Man there I was playing every night with a super soul band, making 50 deutsche marks a night, getting a free meal each night, and a free beer and had a very cheap room right over the club…man for a while I was in heaven. Why oh why oh why couldn’t life just continue this way. I thought at that time that this would go on forever… never thought it would end! I was wrong.
A lady, Lotte Johnson, was the owner or the Tamborine bar and her husband, Otis, a big man, worked the kitchen cooking. Otis was a nice gentleman. However if there was a fight in the club word would get back to the kitchen and Otis would come running out of the kitchen, with his cooking apron still on, and with two policemen sticks tied around his arms and beat everybody who was fighting out of the club! Absolutely amazing!
Later Lotte and Otis separated and she got together with another Afro American guy, Slim. Slim was slim, not nearly as big as Otis but Slim shot and killed another Afro American soldier in the bathroom of the bar one night. This incident made the news papers and for a while caught the interest of the ‘normal’ German people and many of them would come to the Tamborine bar because of this. This was during the time when the US government had taken many soldiers out of Munich and sent them to Viet Nam. So all of the Germans coming to the Tamborine was good for business.
But the band did have some scary moments because the guy Slim shot had some brothers in America and they said they would come to the Tamborine and get revenge for their brothers killing.
There were a couple of nights when suddenly some Afro Americans would enter the bar, 4 or 5 together and the whole band just froze. We thought this is it, but eventually nothing happened and here I am today…live and kicking!
Today I regret that I did not make more of an effort to thank Lothar for all he did for me. I do have my bad luck times. One of these bad luck times was when I called Lothar. I had heard that Lothar had moved to Hamburg and in 2013 when I looked in the telephone book I found his name and I gave him a call. I called him to ask if he could get me into some studio work. At this time I had just bought a new wireless telephone and when I connected with Lothar all of a sudden this phone started making a lot of static and we could hardly hear each other. It was the only connection we made. I think I called a few months later but he had moved or was not living there any more or was not home. Then later I read that he had died in 2015.
I am sad that I did not tell Lothar how thankful I am for all he did for me
I really liked going to visit the Amon Düül II. They had a big house on the Ammersee which was about a one hour drive from Munich. This was also a brand new experience for me.
What keyboard did I use? Did the Düül have the ‘famous’ choir organ or did I take the Farfisa organ from the Tamborine bar, or did the Düül already have a keyboard there from the guy who was playing keyboard with them (it was probably not a nice feeling for him to have me come and take over his position on keyboards)?
I would usually call the Amon Düül to tell them that I was coming so they could tell me okay. A couple of times they told me it would be best not to come because they had all just taken LSD. This was during the time when Charles Manson and his friends took LSD and went and killed Sharon Tate and some other people…so a couple of days I would not visit the Düül’s but right after that I would be right back. I really loved going to the Ammersee to visit and to jam with the Düül’s.
One thing I do remember is after jammin with the Amon Düül. I was deaf for about 2 hours. Could not hear a damn thing! We played loud loud loud. I really like playing loud…but not so loud that I can not hear anything afterwards. Maybe one of the problems the Düül had was they were playing so loud that they could not hear the audience say thank you, applauding, haha. But the Düül’s audience were not the kind of audience who applauded. The Amon Düül II were a special kind of music group. It is also possible that this Kraut Rock thing was an idea that never got off of the ground. I for one would really like to be able to go back into the studio and do a remix of Haboob. If I listen to Haboob on Youtube I am absolutely amazed at how bad it sounds. The same thing with the Amon Düül. I think a better mix could be done…however I could be wrong.
The Embryo also had a nice house. However the difference between the Düül’s house and the Embryo’s house was the Embryo had some animals roaming around. Ducks and some pigs…man a pig will eat anything…will even eat you up if you let it…haha… pigs love to eat, like ducks love to walk in a line. I do not remember jamming much at the Embryo’s house but I am sure we did.
One thing I do remember with the Embryo was we made a tour of Spain, Portugal and northern Africa.
Man that was an unforgettable experience, super super super!!!!. Christian’s father, I think it was, worked with the Göther institute in Hof and had something to do with making this tour possible.
Everyone could take their girlfriend and we all packed ourselves into the VW van…or was it two vans…and drove to Spain our first stop.
The Embryo had a recorded a song titled ‘Spain Yes Franco No’ and was worried that something would happen but nothing did.
At that time it was possible to drive all the way from Germany to India which some people did. This is not possible today.
I remember one job we played in Morocco. We were playing and the audience started throwing things at us on the stage, tomatoes, eggs etc. I said what kind of ‘stuff’is this and walked off of the stage. The people who had organized begged me to please return to the stage and play, told me that this was the way the people showed they liked the music. Finally they were able to talk me into finishing the concert and when I went back on stage, when we went back on stage, the people applauded and were very happy to see us return and when we started playing they started throwing things again…hahaha…and there we were ducking tomatoes and eggs and etc…trying to finish the concert…hahaha. Really something. But this only happened at this one concert.
Then we went to Algeria. I remember seeing so many beautiful houses on the the coast of Algeria, all empty because of the French people who had fled Algeria during the war. Also in Algeria I saw the poorest person I had ever seen up until then…dirty…holes in his pants…also at one village when we went down the next morning we saw our VW vans standing on bricks because someone had stolen the tires…but luckily they left the music instruments, and in Algeria I was introduced to Cous Cous. Man words could never explain how delicious that first taste of Cous Cous was. Good beyond words. Cous Cour Royal. Super up there in mountains of Algeria!
In Tunis I was walking down the street with the ladies in the band when suddenly we found ourselves surrounded by hostile men. Then suddenly one of them smiled and said Mohammed Ali and another one said Louis Armstrong…man these two people probably saved our lives that day.
Klaus Doldinger. Even way back then Klaus was doing alright for himself. Lived outside of town in a beautiful big house had his own music studio and had a couple of cars…compared to me living in one room with my girlfriend in an apartment that had been broken up into 4 apartments with every one sharing the same bathroom.
I remember that Klaus drove fast fast…fast!! After riding to the job with him in his Mercedes I would be so shaken up I could hardly play…hahaha! You can hear this group on the 1st Passport LP. It was mainly from playing with Doldinger that I got to be voted 2nd or 3rd musician of the year in a leading music magazine back in 1971 0r ’72.
Haboob could have been an effort to help me do something for myself, buy some music equipment and etc, move into a nicer apartment, buy a car..etc and maybe, just maybe Klaus had something to do with this in the background….just maybe.
Klaus had a friend, Sigi Lock, who was the director of Warner Brothers record company and I recorded Haboob for Sigi’s record label.
The name Haboob came from Olaf Kübler. Olaf was a one of a kind nice man. He was also the manager of the Amon Düül II and I think he was kind of a close friend with Lothar. How the whole Haboob thing came about I can not remember but do recall all of a sudden Olaf saying something about making a record.
I think they expected me to make this record with Lothar and some of the German musicians I had been playing with. Also there was a good British drummer in Munich, Keith Forsey who later went to LA and help invent one of the first drum computers, I think they thought I would use some of these musicians…and I should have…or make Haboob with some songs with some of them on it.
But I must give Olaf the credit of he never told me who to use or what to play.
Now the thing was on the one side I had been jammin with the Amon Düül II, had played with the Embryo and Klaus Doldinger, I had been Keith Emerson and all of those Leslie speakers he had, and on the other side I had been playing with the Tamborine Band and playing soul music. And on the other hand I was into Jimi Hendrix, liked the loud way he played, also I was into Miles Davis, John Coltrane, ‘A Love Supreme’ and his very first recording of ‘My Favorite Things’….how could I bring this all together in Haboob????
In the end I used George Greene on drums and William Powell to accompany me on vocals and guitar. The thing was no one was on the musical point I had in my mind during that time and I should have done what Stevie Wonder and Prince did go in and record the whole LP by myself. All of the parts I could play on keyboards and the drums I could also play myself since I can play a little drums. It would have turned out much better.
Or I could have just made a nice and easy Hammond Organ Jimmy Smith type Blues LP. At lease with a nice bluesy LP I could have played some live jobs.
Haboob? Some people told me that they could not find Haboob in the music stores. When I went to the company who was suppose to deliver Haboob and records to the music stores I was told that I better just stay with Klaus Doldinger!
Thinking back on Haboob it was a mystery for Sherlock Holmes and Scotland Yard to solve! Being voted 2nd musician of the year, Haboob at number 10 on the HörZü charts…Jimmy Jackson nowhere in sight…the drummer saying it was his record…the record is not in the music stores, …a real ball of confusion.
I made two other singles with Olaf, ‘Keep On Movin’ and ‘Jimmy J’ but nothing happened with these singles also. For these singles I had back up vocalist and I think even Lothar was playing bass. We were trying a new direction but…?
The Holy Hill Jazz Festival in 1969…what happened to the Hammond Organ I had? Why didn’t I use it on Haboob? I must think about this.
The Holy Hill Jazz Festival. I took Joe Quick, William Powell and George Green, the soul guys, with me. It is possible that I also took Eddy Taylor on sax.
I did the Jimmy Smith on the Hammond Organ, playing the organ bass. We were a huge success. Right away got into the song ‘Soul Man’ instrumental and people got up and started dancing, right there at the Jazz festival.
However after playing a couple of encores when leaving the stage the German musicians who played in the Cave 5, about 5 or 6 of them, started shouting and chanting ‘we want Jazz, we want Jazz, we want Jazz” and took the joy of the moment away from me. It messed me up so much that everything stopped right there and also no one ever asked me to play at another Jazz festival. Also strange.
George Greene had worked with an agent is Switzerland. This agent had a tour with an American Gospel singing group in Switzerland, The Stars Of Faith. Their pianist, Jerome Van Jones could only start playing with them later so the agent asked me to play with this group for a couple of days.
This was how I met Jerome. Jerome lived in Paris. He also had a job in a Jazz club in Paris and asked me if I could fill in for him for a couple of days and I could also use his apartment which was located in the artistic section of Paris.
Super. I drove to Paris and played in the Jazz club for Jerome. While playing there a lady who had a club on the other side of town, a club mostly for North African people and other foreigners asked me to play in her club Super.
While playing in this club, Sara’s, a group by the name of the Curtis brothers came in one night and asked me if I could play with them. Super. The Curtis Brothers were 3 Afro American singers and they had a 4 piece band and I would make it a 5 piece band.
The Curtis Brothers had somehow managed to get a chance to play at the Midem music festival in Cannes. There in Cannes a guy by the name of Carl Douglas heard us. Carl had the big hit ‘Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting’ at the time and he wanted to have the Curtis Brothers band. We switched over to play with Carl Douglas.
While there in Cannes I ran into Donna Summers. I had known Donna in Munich. Man the biggest thing to come to Munich was the musical ‘Hair’! Anybody musician who had any sense would make it their business to join Hair. I did not have any sense unfortunately. All eyes of the music business in Germany were on Hair. Donna sang in Hair.
Donna called me a couple of times about getting together to compose some songs but man I was always too busy to do this, mainly because I was working on my own songs. Man I have songs I have been working on, composing since…before I was born…it has been so long ago…and I still have not been able to get them on the music market.
The best part of playing with Carl was rehearsing in Paris in the Phillips music company building. Man it is really true. The French know how to eat. When I was in Cannes with the Curtis Brothers we lived in a pension and every night there was an 10-11 course meal, a 3 hour dinner.
When we started playing with Carl Douglas the Tour started in Munich and I was really looking forward to come to Munich with Carl on tour, Carl had 2 songs in the top 10 in Germany. Number one was ‘Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting’ and number 5 was ‘Dance The Kung Fu’. Man we were ready to really do it with Carl!!!
We played in a hall which seated 2000 people but only around 150 people showed up. In London we played in a football stadium where thousands of people could come, there was also another British band playing on the show. Man only around 200 people were there and around 50 of these people were security people. People bought Carl’s records but were not interested in seeing him live. In London the Carl Doughal thing came to an end.
In London a guy who I knew from Munich from the early Tamborine days saw our show and this guy wanted to do a big thing with me…in LA! John Mack. He had a little office and invited me to his nice apartment and ordered Chinese food from a restaurant to be brought to his apartment and etc. He asked me what would I need in LA and I told him a house, a secretary, a Hammond Organ, a Synthesizer some loud speakers a round trip ticket etc. He wrote it all down and said he would take care of it.
I remember the night before I was to fly to LA I called him or he called me and I asked him is everything ready and he said yes…he had sent me a one way ticket instead of a round trip ticket.
So I flew to LA. You can not imagine how I felt the next morning after I arrived in LA, 25,000,000 miles from home, sitting in some people’s kitchen… haha. I was in Beverly Hills, true, but not in my house! Where was my house, where was my Hammond Organ…where were the secretaries? What was going on? I never really found out. I never got any of these things. However I did get a book, by accident, called The Laws Of Success and this book has a lot to do with me being here today and being able to write this interview.
I stayed in LA for one whole year and had even enrolled into LA’s city college.
As I said before after I arrived in LA there I was in Beverly Hills. The first two or three nights I shared the bedroom with the people’s small son. It was a chance for me to do something for myself, but what was I suppose to do? I had no music equipment, no money.
Finally after a year I decided to return to Germany. Two things made me come back to Germany. One, in a small way, was Donna Summers’s ‘Love To Love You Baby’ was a big big hit all over the world….strange that I never thought of contacting Donna…and the other reason, the main reason was ‘Fly Robin Fly’ which was also a big hit in America at that time.
On the cover of the ‘Fly Robin Fly’ LP were some musicians I knew in Munich and one of the singers on ‘Fly Robin Fly’, Ireen Sheer had sung on the singles I made, ‘Jimmy J’ and ‘Keep On Moving’!
This all turned out to be a Munich mirage. Ireen was one of the group singers but the musicians on the LP cover, the guys I knew, had only been hired for the LP’s cover. They even did not play on the record.
It is quite amazing that none of the very good musicians of colo in Munich was ever used for anything. Powell a super singer, Joe Quick…Lothar did arrange for him to do a couple of studio jobs at least, but there were a whole lot of super musicians, Dully, Roykey, George, Winston etc never used for anything. Music producers would use their secretaries or delivery boys to do something before using one of us.
I was the exception. This was because I liked all kinds of music and not every one was ready to go out into the country and play with a group who took LSD and may flip out at any moment and harm you, haha. I guess you could say I was ambitious and had courage. I really wanted to make it…but was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
One of the musicians of color was a drummer from ‘the islands’ named Rasta Allen. He taught me a lot about playing Reggae music.
I had quite a name around Munich and also in the Afro American military communities in Germany. People would come from Berlin, Frankfurt etc to hear me and other musicians play at the Jam sessions which took place every Sunday afternoon in the Tamborine.
However my name turned to mud..that’s MUD or MMMuuuuUUUUdddDDDD!!!! after I started playing with a Rock n Roll band, The Rigan Clan!!!! Hahaha. People could not believe I was doing such a thing, but man I needed to support myself. The Rigan Clan did a Elvis type of thing. They had a bar in Dachau where they played every Tuesday and the place would be packed packed packed. Later they opened another bar in Munich with the same effect over flowing crowds every night we played which was Thursday. And the crowd loved to see me doing my piano tricks, playing with my feet, my ass… standing on the keyboard, doing the Jerry Lee Lewis thing and etc. I wrote two songs for this band in the Elvis style but due to our ‘culture differences’ they did not record when they did have the chance to record a couple of songs. Instead of recording the song I wrote for them they recorded a song from the Beach Boys, ‘Fun Fun Fun’ I think it was called.
In any case it is time to enter my piano bar period.
Well everybody you are witnessing a rill (real) event. I just lost a long draft about the above subjects…and I was just getting into the groove!!! So I will have to write the whole thing over again. It won’t be the same, unfortunately….but maybe even better! That’s Jazz!!!
Now where did I start?… The Laws Of Success.
It took around 7 or 8 years for the laws to start working. But I think to read and apply all of the laws one would have to go to Tibet and become a Buddhist Monk or something like that! Each law has a lot of things one has to do.
After reading the first page the very first thing I should have done was to keep my ass in America or return to America as soon as possible because in the first paragraph of the Laws Of Success it said something like ‘success is a matter of coming into harmony with your environment’, which meant that I would have to become a German. Nothing against Germans. The war has made Germans very, friendly and helpful people. At 77 I am still alive and kickin…no money, car or anything else, but alive and kickin, at least and I feel the best is yet to come!
However I came to Germany with the US Army to help protect Germany from those…baaad…Russians and because of my musical success in the Cave 54 Jazz club in Heidelberg decided to return after the Army and become a successful musician and make some money. You see, I was a naive, ignorant, ghetto boy, haha.
I knew another Afro American, Charly Cambell, who was a hobby bartender, and had taken a job in a cellar bar in a town named Rosenheim which is not far from Munich and the two owners of this bar, two young guys who were studying in Rosenheim, decided to try out live music for a while and Charly contacted me about playing there.
This was the spark of my piano bar time. I had always been looking for ways to finance my musical hopes and dreams in a narrow minded way. This is the way things can happen if a person has a closed off mind or their attention is taken up with other things like those German Cave 54 Jazz musicians, or sleeping under a bridge or going through all of the hassle I went through with my Great Grand Mother about being a musician and etc.
In my unconscious mind piano bars had always been around. When I was Heidelberg there were piano bars, in Kassel when I was making 20 deutsche marks a week there were piano bars in my unconscious mind, meaning I saw the bars but it did not have an interest in playing in them. It was not the hip thing to do.
This was the reason why so many young people did recognize the greatness of Louis Armstrong because it was not the hip thing to do. Louis smiling and laughing with those white people was not hip. Miles Davis turning his back to the audience and never smiling was the hip thing to follow, rebelling against the white society.
I saw on the internet that Miles Davis is supposedly the most influential Jazz musician of all time. Louis was 2nd. So there I was sleeping under a bridge. Had I been into Louis Armstrong I would have been out there smiling and trying to make friends and find a job in a piano bar when I was in Heidelberg. What does all of this mean.
However before I continue let me say I do not know any, nor have I ever met any, friend, for, dentist streetcar driver, airplane pilot, anyone who has ever went to a piano bar…yet the piano bars have many guest and Billy Joel even wrote a song called ‘Piano Man’. It is a big big big world!
So Charly and the Rosenheim bar along with the book the Laws Of Success sparked the piano bars from my unconscious mind into my conscious mind.
Since many years I had seen something about Harry’s New York Bar in the Munich news papers and when it finally entered my conscious mind I went to see if I could get a gig there as Afro American woman was playing there at the time. She was not bad but by then I knew that the people, in Germany, were basically into Jerry … that’s Lee Lewis!!!!!! Hahaha. Harry’s was owned by a white American man who also came from Pittsburgh! I was very lucky. I told Harry that I could play better than the woman who was playing and he asked me to play. I think I played a blues and a kind of ‘soul’ boogie woogie and unfortunately for the woman who was playing in Harry’s Bill liked me and the next month I started playing in Harry’s. Harry’s was a 8-9 month a year gig.
When I started playing in Harry’s I started doing more Jerry Lee Lewis tricks. I wanted to keep the job. Now Jerry only did his tricks at the very end of his song or once during the middle of a song. Me there I was doing the Jerry Lee Lewis thing around 3 hours a night. Many people would come at 21:00 order a beer or a cocktail and still be drinking that beer or cocktail at 01:00 and also wanting me to play an encore!!!
Have you ever seen a legend? I did see once. Fats Domino. Man all Fats had to do was raise his hand and get ready to play and the people would flip totally out.
After playing in Harry’s for a couple of months I had a job in Switzerland and when I came back to Harry’s Paulo, the co-owner of Harry’s told me they had made more money then when I was playing. This was because when the other pianist played the people would have their drink and then leave. Where as when I played they would sit around all night on one drink. So I started to cool it on Jerry Lee, thank goodness.
A guy I knew from the Tamborine days had a bar on the corner not far from Harry’s and as luck would have it he had a lot of records and cassettes from music, ‘New York, New York’, ‘My Way’, ‘As time Goes By’, ‘Blueberry Hill’, …the piano bar classics, and also some blues and boogie woogie cassettes from musicians like James P. Johnson. He let me take these cassettes home or made a copy for me and I was able to learn a lot of new music to play in Harry’s.
Most of this music I had never heard before or never paid any attention to. Blueberry Hill? My Way? As Time Goes By? James P. Johnson?
I started to get the piano bar thing together, but unfortunately never wrote another ‘Piano Man’.
An Afro American pianist turned me on to a man who had connections to the high society because he had married a high society lady and this man also hired piano players to play at certain functions for these people.
One of the jobs I had for this man was a wedding in London. I wanted to play the job alone because by then I had my MIDI file thing going on but the wedding people wanted me to bring a band. So I took a guitarist and a congo player. The reason I took this guitarist was because he came into Harry’s sometime and would sing a song and after he was finish I would introduce him to the audience and he in return would say Jimmy Jackson, Jimmy Jackson. The congo player I took because he was a light congo player and I knew he would not get in the way of my MIDI files.
The wedding was in Hyde Park and all of the high society people were there, the ladies in those little hats and things. When it was time for me to do me show I got on the piano…I played piano and had my Synthesizer on top of the piano…I said “Imma count it offf Jack…..are you ready for me to count it off….imma count it off jack…1234…and I zoomed into ‘Sex Machine’ and those high class society people flipped totally out, went raving mad, jumping and dancing like crazy.
Let me say here that anything I play, I play my way. Anything thing I play I put some Jazz, Jimmy Jackson Jazz into it. For example when I went into ‘Sex Machine’ the very first thing I did was take a solo. Then after ‘Sex Machine’ I played ‘Celebration’, then ‘Midnight Hour’ then ‘It’s a Man’s World’…not in this order but some of the songs I played.
Now while we were playing a friend the guitarist had brought with him to the show, was standing on the stage, just standing there with his arm leaning on the microphone stand, looking at the people dancing and the ladies. I called the guitarist over and told him to tell his friend to leave the stage.
At the end of out show while the audience applauded I introduced the congo player and was getting ready to introduce the guitarist when his friend ran to the the microphone and was going to make a big thing out of introducing his friend, the guitarist. When the sound man, who I had been talking to on the phone about the job for around two months, saw this he just cut the electricity off, hahaha. Man, the guitarist friend was mad mad and wanted to fight me right there on stage in front of all of those people. Then the guitarist came and wanted more money. This party was voted one of the 10 best parties of the year in London. We really passed up a big chance.
In Munich a man opened a club called the Nacht Cafe. This club was suppose to be for the hip people and had live music which started at 23:00 until 04:00 or 05:00 with long breaks. I one night asked him if I could play in his club and he answered … when!! Just like that ‘when can you start!’. Maybe this was because I had played in the club he had before with the Rock n Roll band.
In Harry’s New York Bar a heavy set Afro American woman who liked to wear tight dresses, had came and sang with me a couple of times… How did I get that band together?
She, Nadine was the female vocalist, a guy in a wheel chair, Klaus played soprano sax, people really loved him…two guys from Senegal on congos, the drummer and bassist came from Aruba … man we tore that place up. People were standing in line to get in. One night a guy even tried to drive his van through the door because they would not let him in…fortunately no one got hurt. We played all cover versions of songs. Nadine’s big songs were ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’, ‘Teardrops’, ‘The Greatest Love Of All’… we played instrumentals like ‘Take 5’ and ‘Watermelon Man’ and I sang a couple of blues and would close the night off with ‘Hit The Road Jack’ and or ‘What I’d Say’ and this would have the people standing on their seats jumping up and down to the music.
A couple of times I was also playing in Harry’s. I would play in Harry’s from 21:00 until 22:30 then take a taxi to the Nacht Cafe and played from 23:00 until 23:45 with the band then take a taxi back to Harry’s to play until 01:00 then back to the Nacht Cafe to finish the night there.
But let me say that when the two Germany got back together I was watching the whole thing on TV and decided to get some musicians together and go play in the Nacht Cafe to celebrate this great day. I called up around 25 musicians and only 3 showed up. When the band who were playing took a break I went to the stage and told the audience we have come here to celebrate this great day. Man those people looked at me like I had lost me mind. Later I understood why. The two Germany’s getting back together was not good for me at all. The thing with the Nacht Cafe came to an end when I took two Rap guys to sing as part of the show. The owner did not like Rap. Rap had a very name at that time, and also these two guys had been thrown out of the club before but did not tell me.
One of the best concerts I ever saw was Lionel Richie’s concert back then in 1987 or 89? It was a super concert and after the concert his band came to the Nacht Cafe and we jammed until 07:00 or 08:00 that next morning.
Also Herbie Hancock was there one night and he played a couple of songs with the band.
Somewhere along he way I ran into Mal Waldron who had came to Munich to live. Remember I first met Mal at my mother’s house when I was a teenager. Mal was the one who showed me my first variations on the blues progressions. In Munich Mal taught me how to play chess. I was at his apartment almost every night when he was in town. I remember telling Mal that I wanted to play in big halls, reach a lot of people and Mal told me that he would only like to reach one person. Also one time when someone asked him wasn’t he afraid of loosing his roots by living in Germany and Mal said “I carry my roots with me!”.
Mal was also nice enough to have me playing on his LP ‘The Call’. The American Down Beat Jazz magazine wrote a couple of nice things about me while reviewing the LP. Said something like I was original and up and coming…..well at 77 I am still on my way….up! Not many people can say this.
I think European people who are in the music business do not know much about black music, or at lease did not know much then. Instead of taking some of the good musicians in Munich, and there were quite a few, they would take their secretaries or delivery boys to make LP’s in a small way. I was an exception, an exception because Lothar Meid helped me but also an exception because after something like the Düül’s telling me it was best if don’t come that night because they had all just taken LSD right next day I would be there.
I was lucky because I was and am open to all kinds of music. I remember a drummer from the Islands taught me a lot about Reggae music just like the Rigan Clan taught me a lot about Rock n Roll and playing in Harry’s taught me a lot about the ‘evergreens.’
It was not the kind of thing like preparing for the Ray Charles Christmas show. The problem was this show was being recorded in Germany however it was suppose to look like it was being recorded in America….some flakey stuff there.
So the thing was to get as many Afro American people as possible to come to the show and the only possibility of doing this was to get the Afro Americans who were in the Army.
One day we all were suppose to meet at some church. For some reason I got there early and decided to play the Hammond organ they had there in the church. An Afro American man, maybe around 30, was doing some cleaning and I decided to show him how much I knew about music. Not only could I play some of Ray Charles music but I could also play some classical music as well and I started to play a song from Bach on the organ…Bach composed 4 concertos and I played the first one which was really written for Harpsichord but I thought it sounded good on organ or synthesizer or piano. Right in the middle of playing this guy came over to me and said: “what’t that? It sure sounds spooky”….hahaha.
Now to my travels and closing thoughts about the Corona virus
Before we start to travel I would like to make a comment on a few things.
LSD! Man one of the reasons I am alive today is I never take anything…thank goodness. One evening, long ago, I took one half of a LSD…it was a drop of LSD on a piece of a kind of small cardboard paper. I think I also smoke something. Everything was alright…until around 21:00. Around this time I could feel something enter my toes and start to slowly come up my legs…and I knew when it got to my brain I was going to think I was a bird and could fly…and I was I was on something like the 10th floor, haha. I got out of there fast, got into my girlfriend’s car and we drove around Munich all night long. Didn’t go back home until the next afternoon. If anything I was flying in my car.
I took a couple of other trips but they were not as intensive as the first one…as Rod says ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest!’
Nothing was ever the same after taking LSD. It activates your senses. You see things in a different way. It was so long ago but I do know that LSD changed the way I looked upon things.
In which way………I can not say…….see ……that’s LSD!
I did not take any LSD with the Düül’s…that was too risky….me on a LSD trip and the Düül’s also trippin…no telling what would happen. haha. The Amon Düül were very nice to me, especially I remember Chris Karrer. It was mostly all business. I get to the Düül’s house and we would start Jammin then after that there was nothing to say because we had been playing so loud that we could hardly hear each other.
Is there any unreleased material, haha. Man I only made one record and two singles and that was so long ago I don’t even remember when it was, 1972? I had to even find out on the internet that I had played on the first Tangerine Dream LP. That was a surprise.
I have composed a lot of songs over the years. Today I have 200-300 songs that I have changed around so many times. Back then going into a studio was not possible because I had no money. Then when I did have a little money other things started to happen. For instance I had a Yamaha SY 99 keyboard and I broke a key. I put it in the music shop for repair and it took ‘9 months’ for them to repair one broken key and when the SY99 was returned to me not only was it a very little bit out of tune but I found out later it was not even the SY 99 I bought. When played for the wedding of the Daughter of the Aga Kahn, this was after I had played the Hyde Park wedding in London, the first thing I saw coming down the luggage line was my MIDI cable. Man British Airways broke my MIDI file player. Now the thing is I did not even have to make a complaint or anything because just as soon as I saw the MIDI cable a guy from British Airways came and gave me his card to make a complaint! Now that was really strange! How could he have known so fast!
My MIDI machine broke, the job is that night…another long story…I had a band with me and this story could get very complicated… These things are so mind blowing that I never took British Airways to court.
One thing for sure is you just do not walk into London and take over just like that. Britain has its own musicians. For every American musician who plays in Britain America must take 2 British musicians to play in America. The London Hyde Park party being voted one of the 10 best parties of the year had caused some people to take notice of this Jimmy Jackson. Keep that…guy out of London!
I have told you quite a few crazy stories in this interview…here is another one, haha.
I played at the Salzburg Music Festival. I got this job through the Munich City Artist Buro. Nestle Chocolate company wanted to make a piano bar night at the Salzburg Music Festuval. Something like having a piano bar night at the Munich Octoberfest (beer festival), haha. Man that is really funny, haha.
So I go to Salzburg. A lot of big politicians and people are there in a large hall getting ready to have dinner. The stage is set up for a orchestra to play? I am standing beside the stage, besides the piano and when I touch the piano while standing beside the stage the top lid if the piano opened up all by itself. Really. I was surprised. However here comes the orchestra. So I said I’ll let the orchestra play and when they take a break I will go and do my thing. Man that orchestra did not take a break. They played from 20:00 until 23:00 straight through and when they finish only around 10 people were there. So I started to play for these 10 people. One guy was dancing around and playing some kind of spoon (I guess because he knew he was going to get fired, haha) and he he came over to me and said you can stop now. I told him I could not stop because I was suppose to play until 01:00 and he answered you can stop. I am the one who hired you! Then he took me to dinner, probably also for his last meal. A very unorganized way of doing thing. A big company like Nestle should have known that you just don’t walk into the Salzburg Music Festival and make a piano bar night, just like that.
In 2009 I bought a stand alone computer and a CakeWalk Sonar DAW. Microsoft had just come out with Windows 7. The Sonar did not work on the computer. Luckily I was able to give the computer back and bought a Sony Vaio computer. The Sonor also did not work with the Sony computer. For around one and one half years I was trying to solve this problem. I got telephone calls from call centers all over the world telling me I was doing something wrong. Then one and a half years later Sonar came out with an update and zooom everything worked alright. The problem was Sonar, and a lot of other companies, were not ready for Windows 7. The same with Windows 10. A lot of companies were not ready for Windows 10. With Windows 10 I was smart enough to call Sonar and ask them would the Sonar I have, Sonar X1 work on Window 10 and they said no. I would have to buy the newest version. This is the way they keep the cash flowing.
One of the smartest things I have ever done was to buy a DAW with Soft Synths. Having played Synthesizers and knowing how heavy they are it is absolutely amazing that they can put a synthesizer on a DD ROM. Absolutely amazing! The Sonar I have has 8 Synthesizers in it and a lot of effects. It cost me 400€. In 2001 I bought a Roland 2480 which was a 24 track digital recorder. It cost me €8,000. Each effect chip cost €500. I had 4. Now beside this I had a Roland 1080, a Roland 3080, a Korg Triton Synthesizer, a Roland G1000 and a Boss drum computer. The problem with this set up was the signal was too strong for radio play. The very next year they came out with a Roland 2480 that had a CD recorder in it however I did not have another €8,000 to spend.
When I bought the Sonar the salesman tried to talk me out of it. He tried to talk me into buying a DAW with no Synthesizers in it. These same people also broke my EP piano…a long story… The first module I bought 25 years ago is still working. I like to say this was before they put me into the computer. However I also think it can be the will of God, or my lucky charm. It is the only thing I have from that time that still works. Everything else is gone.
About Eddie Taylor? We made the Marius Müller Westernhagen tour together. Man when Eddie took a solo the audience, thousands, would light their cigarette lighters or candles or what ever they had. Eddie had also played with Peter Maffey. Man Eddie is a nice quiet person, never a bad word to anyone but no one ever did anything for Eddie as far as recording him and promoting him is concerned. He made one record, paid for it himself I think, a good record but nothing ever happened with his record. Every one knows that a record and a artist has to be promoted. You just don’t record an artist one day then the next day say what ever happened to him.
I have written a lot of songs and will start to upload them to Youtube in the future. Basically I have everything I need to do what I want to do as far as equipment is concerned.
I do have ‘my style’ of playing however I have not played ‘my style’ in many years because of the piano and piano bars. My style consists of Electric Piano and Synthesizer. I look forward to getting back into playing ‘my Style!’
Now it is time to travel some
I found it to be really true. Africa does start in Marrakesh.
I played there at a hotel called the La Mounia. Walking out of this hotel to the left was Europe, McDonalds, western shops etc and to the right the small African cafes with men sitting talking and drinking their African coffee. At night I could hear African drums being played over at the market square where there were a lot of places for people to eat and socialize. Even today I am amazed that I was once there sitting in a restaurant or cafe on this market square and the African, or Moroccan congo players can start to play very complicated rhythms in a fraction of a second, in the blink of an eye. Of course this is/was all for the tourist.
When I went to Morocco there was an airline strike. They called me the night before tell me that the flight would only be to Casablanca and from Casablanca to Marrakesh continue by bus. The bus trip was very interesting. I remember the bus passing two guys on a small road sitting in a donkey cart. I had never seen anything like that before. However a piano bar is a piano bar all over the world, I guess. At lease they have been the same everywhere I have played and Marrakesh was no exception. I was there for 5 months the first time and really loved it. Later I played 3 months in Casablanca, the famous ‘As Time Goes By’ city. The thing I liked about the hotel in Casablanca was the kitchen was open 24 hours a day and many times around 03:00 in the morning I would order Cous Cous Royal with a nice cool beer on the side. After the my first time in Marrakesh I went to Muscat Oman for 4 months and really liked it there also. I remember once seeing a group of people at the airport and these were people you would only see in Africa or the Middle East. These people would never travel to Europe or America. These places were not in their system nor mind. It was quite an experience seeing them.
The piano bar in Muscat consisted of a group of men who came to the bar 7 days a week drinking beer and talking to each other and looking at the attractive waitress. They were there more than I was because I only played 6 days a week. Another thing I liked about Muscat was not far from the hotel was an Indian section. The piano bar was the same as any piano bar with the exception of mostly men being in the bar drinking beer. The pianos in all of the bars were very good, especially the piano in Marrakesh. It was easy to play and had a nice bassy sound. In Marrakesh I only played piano. For some reason I did not take my equipment with me. But over the years I have found out that taking my equipment does not make much difference in these piano bars because people are not listening. They talk and drink their cocktails.
In Muscat in 2005 I met a guy from Belgium who told me that Mal had passed away in Brussels in 2002. This was the same year Powell from the soul group in the Tamborine had passed away in Munich. Also in Muscat I met a guy who knew Micheal, no not Jackson…but Micheal Silvers. Micheal Silvers had been the drummer for Sammy Davis for many years. Micheal was a show drummer. He played in the dixieland style. When he took a solo he would play on the floor, on chairs on peoples tables and drinking glasses. I played a couple of jobs with him. Strange that I would hear about Micheal and Mal in Muscat.
Did I mention Moscow and Hong Kong? When I went to Hong Kong to play in a piano bar for 4 months I had planned on never coming back to Germany again. What led to me coming back after the 4 months is good question. First I had food poisoning, then the hotel told me I would be the first pianist who would live in an apartment and not the hotel and finally I had a culture shock in Hong Kong I only realized this later. Every night I had to walk to the apartment and there were newspaper headlines that people should not be on the streets at night because of gangsters. One night I decided to take a shortcut through the night market. It was around 01:30 and the night market was closed. I was the only person present. As I approached the middle of the night market suddenly I could feel myself being surrounded by hundreds of rats and I got the feeling they were looking at me. Man I got out of there fast fast fast and never went that way again.
I was offered a job in Shanghai but did not take it. An Italian agent ordered me a Job in Dubai and I told him I wanted $200 a day and to be able to use the fitness room. He told me this was impossible. Had I known what Dubai would turn out to be I would have went there…but I came back to Germany!
Being in Hong Kong for 4 months I lost all of my German connections and they had even moved the airport way out of town and I had spent almost all of my money in Hong Kong buying clothes. What ever you want clothes wise you can buy it in Hong Kong. I saw a nice ladies pocket book and said it would make a nice pair of shoes and the salesman said come back tomorrow morning and when I went back he had made a pair of shoes from the pocket book. Another thing they had in Hong Kong was one could walk past a store and see something for $25 then the next week walk past the same store and see a big sign saying super sale everything must go and see the same item that was $25 now costing $35.
Dubai. I played at the Carlton Hotel in the financial district. The point that makes Dubai stand out is that the Carlton Hotel had a Galaxy white and glass show piano with a good bassy sound. The Galaxy and I were instant hits. People just loved us. What happened? I have no idea but one night when I went to play a waiter told me that someone was waiting for me and when I went to where the piano was I found that they had changed the show Galaxy fantastic sounding piano for a dull sounding Yamaha grand piano. They did this without saying anything to me, the person who was playing the piano. One would think they would have asked me to help them pick out a good substitute piano for the Galaxy. I wonder if the girl, the skinny Russian girl, playing in the lobby had anything to do with this. She played very good piano. Once when I was talking to her she told me she was renting her own apartment in the city. Now in Dubai you have to rent an apartment on a yearly basis. This prevents many married couples who work there from living together, and working for different companies makes living together impossible. Husband and wife both working in a rich city like Dubai but can not afford to live together.
When I first arrived in Dubai I was taken to a lovely little apartment in a place called Motor City. Man I fell in love with Motor City. KFC, McDonalds, Wendys and a super supermarket right around the corner from this nice apartment had a lot to do with this. However Motor City was super. Something like Los Angeles However three weeks later I found out they had this law where different genders who are not married are not allowed to be in the same room together after something like 22:30. Man that cancelled my plans to bring my girlfriend to visit me in Dubai. When I arrived in Dubai I stopped smoking and drinking from one moment to the next. Just stopped. I did this because I wanted to make every effort so my girlfriend could come and we spend some time in Motor City. Stopping to smoke and drink probably has a lot to do with how I can be in such good shape at 77.
I was suppose to go to Doha starting February 1st 2012 but at the last minute this was moved up to May. It was only by luck that an Italian agent contacted me about playing in Dubai starting February 18th I think it was.
In Doha I played at a hotel called The Torch. You can see it on the internet. The piano bar restaurant is on the 47th floor and rotates. It takes around 30 minutes for a guest to rotate back to where I was playing. Doha, Abu Dhabi, my return to Dubai and what I have been doing since my Middle East time I must tell you next time.
The future….man there is so much to do, to look forward to. First of all finish the songs I have been working on since 3 year then after this start working on the songs I have been composing over the years. I have most of them on DD disk. Also while working on a song somehow another song pops up. It’s a never ending story. I really love composing a new song and trying out different chords to different themes.
And I will be so very happy when I can get my music out to the people who want to hear my music. When all of this takes off I will probably make a ‘Once In A Life Time’ when I am 80. I plan on doing a lot of traveling, India, Australia, Africa, Motor City,… April in Paris would be interesting…there is only one Paris…. going to music fairs and meeting positive people who are also in the music business and meeting positive people in general. Thanksgiving dinner in America, Christmas in Switzerland, check out the entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas, Brasil and Cuba for the music, also Senegal, take some piano and singing lessons, Hong Kong and buy some nice clothes, …..a nice kind of sweet cocktail now and then and give the piano player a good tip I know what it is like playing in a piano bar… some good American BBQ, Mexico a good Taco, take the Amtrak from Chicago to LA etc…and most of all financial security, not having to worry about how to pay a bill tomorrow.
I was very interested in 2020 because my birthday is on the 20th and I was born in February. That’s 20.02.2020. Someone once told me that 20.02.2002 was more correct but I always knew my time would be 2020, I always knew something would happen in 2020. As 2020 approached I searched the internet but was very disappointed that I could not find anything about 2020. Now that the Corona virus is here the internet is full of things about the Corona.
This Corona Virus is some strange stuff indeed… Some people say it is a fake, some people say it is the 3rd world war, a possibility…but whatever it is it is strange! You can get it but don’t know you have it, go to a doctor to see if you have it and the doctor can tell you you have it, and then you disappear. This virus seems to like people with no money or home and also mainly old people. One interesting thing I learnt with the Corona virus was every year 20,000 people die from flu related viruses here in Germany. Every year. I was surprised to learn this. At one time people thought the earth was flat and just recently I read that there are around one million, that’s one million earth like planets in the Milky Way (can this be true or did I misread?). Now with all of the information that has been gathered over the centuries and the super high level of education and intelligence today, what make a person still think that Aliens will come here in a spaceship, haha. What Alien would be stupid enough to come here in a spaceship or a flying saucer? If they wanted to mess up something or destroy the Earth why would they have to come all the way here, possibly traveling millions of light years, to land here and do harm, all the time knowing that just as soon as the earth people sees anything like a flying saucer or spaceship the first thing they are going to do is get the nuclear bomb ready, hahaha-
This Corona virus, I am not saying it is, but it maybe could have something to do with an Alien invasion. I mean there are quite a few things we as humans are not aware of. We may have heard about them but are not really aware of. Like there is a higher vibration that exist. That we can not see. Animals are somewhat aware of a higher vibration, like dogs, but unfortunately we can not talk dog talk…the next time you hear a dog barking it could be trying to say can you hear that high C note, or Wufff Ww ufff boww wowww….dog language…translated says ‘Hey I’m Miles Davis!’
Today we know there are planets millions of light years away…are you aware of how far light travels in one second….Man you…could be Alien and don’t even know it…lost…trying to find your way back home, haha.
When this Corona virus levels out the whole world will be different. Things will not be the the way they were yesterday. Maybe this could be extremely good for my music and the musical world.
Really strange…this LSD talk…after over 50 years later!
Today the lady I have been living with since going on 21 years…she will start to get mad if I say my partner because she insist that I am just her boyfriend and not her partner…after over 20 years …and me being 77 years old…she is 17 years younger than me…insist that we are not partners…this has something to do with two foreigners meeting and living together for going on 21 years in a foreign country like Germany…and are looking in different directions…but staying together. She likes to travel around the area and every once in a while I go with her. I had not planned on going with her last Sunday because I wanted to finish this interview but somehow I went and something happened which would change the ending of this interview,
It was a lovely little town. While walking, somehow we came upon this church and decided to have a look inside. When we entered this church I saw that this church was made in the memory of 4 priest who had been executed by the Nazi’s on the 10th of November in 1943. There was further information which said 1943 was the year of the turning point in the war, when Germany lost the battle of Stalingrad.
1943 was my birth year.
Now I had seen a movie about Stalingrad and knew a whole lot of soldiers died there and also a lot of soldiers froze to death on the retreat and of course I knew about the Nazi’s even before
we had a TV where every night there was a something about Hitler and the Nazi’s on some TV channel. My appearance in Germany was indirectly because of Hitler and the Nazi’s. Because of Hitler and the Nazi’s I came to Germany during the Berlin crises.
“The story you are about to hear is true but the names have been changed to protect the innocent” …..(this is from an old TV series)
In 2014 I played a job in the German town of Berchtesgaden and the housekeeper of the building where the pianist lived while playing in the hotel, a very nice gentleman, told me I was about to live in a very famous place. This building where I was to live was a retreat for Hitler, Himmler and others. I later found out this building was called The Eagle Nest. The apartment for the musician was very lovely, comfortable, newly furnished, and I was thinking how nice it would be to live there for a year, which could possibly, make it possible for me to finish composing the songs I had been working on since around 2016 and upload them to Youtube. The gig was very easy. Only 4 days a week with weekends free. I know an Afro American who is playing there right now and when I send him an email I ask him how everything is going down there at the Nest!
Now man you can imagine what would have happen to us had we been at the Nest in 1943! Haha. It is absolutely amazing how time and the need to survive has made it possible to take Hitler and the Nazi’s so lightly, on the surface.
I saw there was a comedy movie about Hitler which had been nominated for an Academy award during the last Academy awards ceremony back in February and I thought this can’t be true, nominating a movie about Hitler and the Nazi’s, a comedy?! for an academy award! How could they ever do something like this? Have people forgotten so very fast who Hitler was and what he did!?.
I for one, for sure know that Hitler is no joking matter!!! Every person with even an ounce of intelligence could know this. However greed…for money people will do anything even make a joke about over six million people being murdered,in the most brutal way. Behind that friendly, smiling innocent face what ever happened to Eddie Taylor’s record…where is George Greene……..what is going on!
I remember once while I was riding a street car I saw two African guys talking then suddenly one of them started to get up and the other one started to pull him back down then sudden the one who was trying to get up got quiet and kind of collapsed in the other guys ones arms. Watching this I thought it was a lovers quarrel, however the look on the face of the guy who had his arm around the guy who had suddenly kind of collapsed was a look of worry. Then a German lady who had seen this whole thing happen, like I also had, came over and asked if she could help and was something wrong with this man’s friend. She was was very concerned and helpful and did much more than I did. I thought it was a quarrel between two lovers but she saw that it was more then this and offered to help. And I think a German man also came to inquire if he could help. I had to get off of the streetcar but later I saw an ambulance at this streetcar station. I felt bad about my reaction during this situation!
Who, oh who, is this guy named money….that’s m o n e y !
Many people get frustrated and have to hate their fellow man in order to be happy and to find fulfillment in their lives. This fulfillment is hard to find because happiness is an elusive state of mind, especially if you are not making 49.000€ a month like a CEO of an airline makes…each month. Every man wants to provide for his family, send his children to a good school, buy a nice car and a nice house, give his wife a expensive gift, go on vacations etc etc…then here comes those refugees…here comes that damn Jimmy Jackson!
Not long ago I was walking down the street and came upon the beginning of what would become a large ‘black lives matter’ demonstration: I have no idea of the ‘black lives matter’ demonstrations in America but the one I came upon seemed to be getting ready for a one night affair, a Saturday night, with people, mainly young people, out to have a night of fun…for that night. What happened on Sunday??? Monday ??? today ???? what will happen tomorrow……….who has the time to worry about something like black lives matter when they are trying to be extra careful about the Corona virus, worried about will they be able to make a vacation this year..
……………………………..we want Jazz, we want Jazz, we want Jazz (holy hill jazz festival) all innocent people.
Meanwhile life goes on…………….and I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (U2)…………..all innocent people………..what a lovely little apartment (Jimmy Jackson at the Eagles Nest)…………………………….be nice, have manners (childhood teaching) ………….this was Hitlers retreat (Berschesgaden)…..two innocent people however one of these innocent people is the owner of the house and the American Army along with the Marshalll plan has made it possible for the owner of the house to chant…Free Mandela, Free Mandela…Black Lives Matter….we want Jazz, we want Jazz……the rebuilding of Germany was not made for a Jimmy Jackson or a Eddie Taylor.
I will tell anyone that I got lost. It is not hard and playing in in a piano bar can make anyone get lost, because in the piano bars the names really have been changed to protect the innocent. Nobody knows anything except……… cocktail time!
“The names have been changed to protect the innocent!”
One time around Christmas when I had no money I wanted to donate, sell, my blood so I could buy my…girlfriend…a little Christmas present. There was a blood donating place I had passed a few times while walking so I went there.
When I walked into the room I was surprise to see quite a few people there ready to ‘sell’ their blood. These people were professional blood sellers. On top of this it was around the Aids time and as far as the innocent Germans were concerned most people of color had Aids! ha!. See that’s the system working. The common person on the street, the ones who can not do anything for you, but could have the possibility to buy Haboob……if they could find it, …… may not think you have Aids, but the ones who have the possibility to help you, can’t or won’t, using something like as a Aids….the what ever happened to Jimmy Jackson effect………, and this has a lot to do with all of the innocent people, who already get extra money for Christmas, (Germany pays an extra month’s salary for Christmas) sitting there trying to get a few coins more which forces me, a foreigner of color, with no work, having to find another way to buy his girlfriend a small Christmas present.
I truly thank you for taking your time to read this interview Merry Christmas to all……and to all a good night!
Jimmy Jackson, The Tabarin Man
– Klemen Breznikar
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More information about Jimmy Jackson can be found at: http://www.popolvuh.nl/d/pvchoir