Reflections of a Rock Lobster: Thursday, January 12, 2006

Reflections of a Rock Lobster: Thursday, January 12, 2006
The singer with the Vels was Alice Cohen, later Alice Mann.

The only band ever to play by contract with the Hard Rock Cafe was BeeWah; I still have the signed contract. One of the members, Dan McKay, was responsible for the Stickmen. Ted Reed may have also been in on the founding or something of that band. BeeWah had played the Temple orientation day or something like that either in '83 or '82, I forget which, but I still have the newspaper clippings from that one.

The Victory Club, and Warren and his son, dated back to the '70's.

Larkin, Cohen, and Alan Mann were regular players in Philly. The Vels had posters everywhere and played everywhere. We all knew each other, or knew "of" each other through one of the guys I grew up with, Jamison Smoothdog, whose real name was Jimi Hendricks. He couldn't use his name because although he pre-dated the other Jimi Hendrix, even during the San Francisco Summer of Love, played before Hendrix, someone else had trademarked his name and he was basically forbade from using it. Smoothdog was a great songwriter, but prone to getting ripped off by the powers that be. He, unfortunately, married Jamie, the daughter of a major record company president, someone like Clive Davies, at which point he was told he would never get off the ground. With 7 albums shelved in New York City by this record company, Jamsison stuck to nightclubing after his wife was killed in an auto accident and he was the last one to be told ["Hard To Believe"]. Jamison also cites his authorship of "Can't You See," which he sold to the Marshall Tucker Band for something like $5,000.00 or so and they put their name on the copyright form as authors, and an offer by Meatloaf for "The Ballad of Ginny West."

There were a lot of other bands and players around at the time, Ken Kweder, Mikey Wild, Johnnie O, Iroq, Glen Ferracone, to name a few, and all of the bands knew each other, as well as Pierre Robert, Robert Hazard, The A's, the Pedestrians, Cybdu Lauper, Essra Mohawk, and Jon Bon Jovi. The Alternative set were as much a part of it as the regular Rock and Roll set. But Philadelphia had a curse on it from the powers that be, mostly in Hollywood, New York, and Nashville; enforced by the mobs here and there. The order had been given that no white band was to be signed and successfully promoted if they were actually from Philadelphia. That was the mutual deal between to two biggest promoter/record companies operating studios in the city.

It traced it's origins back to the early radio and bandstand days before FM and the Beatles and involved four or five guys from Philly who are very well known in the music business and who moved to Hollywood in the 50's.

I'll post this in my own blog as well. I believe I remember you and Rock Lobster.

Terry James


Blogger Wingscannfly said...

Jamison was an awesome man. We were madly in love before he left us.

9:13 PM  
Blogger ShelleyDiane said...

Jamison madly in love? You must of been footing the bill! We were "madly" in love too until I stopped paying. Can't ya see?

9:55 AM  
Blogger Exit 4 TV Blog said...

Hey I just found out Jamison Passed...very sad...cool dude...and is the can't you see stuff true???I knew him from philly days... Society Hill, Samuel Adams, Grendells Lair...and the local spots...Jamison one of Philas's finest, and most talented.

12:19 PM  

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