About Robert James Ritchie, aka Kid Rock
"Celebrity can't dilute Kid Rock's six-pack bravado"
By Greg Kot
Chicago Tribune, November 7, 2007
The recent news that Kid Rock got into a dust-up on the road at a Waffle House in Atlanta brings back memories. A few days ago, Rock found himself in a verbal tussle that escalated into a brawl, and now faces misdemeanor battery charges.
Rock was never one to back away from a fight: He warred with his father before he left home at age 15, scrapped and scraped to make a living out of music before he finally found success at age 27, and has had it out with a certain ex-wife and even the ex-husband of his ex-wife as documented in countless gossip rags.
I got to know Rock in the late '90s, in the days before he had hits and Pam Anderson. He was a Waffle House guy then, as he is now, celebrity marriage or not. We drove around his native Detroit in a $2000 vintage Coup de Ville convertible with the top down. Rock was at the wheel with a burgundy derby on his head, a sleeveless white T-shirt on his pale torso, and a 40-ounce malt liquor between his thighs. He owned a brick bungalow in a blue-collar suburb, where he lived with his then 5-year-old son, and we drove to his dingy studio in a bombed out section of Detroit, where he was greeted like a minor local celebrity. He had headlined a string of sold-out local shows and had self-released countless records over the previous decade, but he was barely known outside of Michigan.
He would go on to sell millions of records worldwide with an improbable mix of Southern rock, blues- and country-tinged ballads, and hip-hop. And he would become an international celebrity after his on-again, off-again engagement and marriage to Anderson, and their eventual break-up.
But that success and notoriety didn't really change Rock much, or push his music in any new directions. He has always played a bunch of instruments competently and written all his own music, even though his influences are often transparent and his lyrics sound like they were dashed off on a cocktail napkin after several rounds. On his new album, the modestly titled "Rock N Roll Jesus" (Atlantic), he initiates a shotgun marriage between Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" on the nostalgic "All Summer Long."
"My thoughts were short, my hair was long," Rock sings.
A man's got to know his limitations, Clint Eastwood once said. And Rock knows his. He doesn't pretend to be who he isn't.
The CD cover pays homage to AC/DC's "Back in Black," and the flip-side image evokes "Superfly," with a pimped-out Rock flanked by a couple of Pam Grier wanna-be's. Inside, the music is the usual mix of guitar raunch and stoned country laments from the eight-track cassette era. Rock can be a raving boogie monster in one song, a dead-earnest balladeer in the next. He also gets in a couple of predictable shots at the ex-wife ("I found someone now who treats me better Â… She's half your age and twice as hot"). His is an irony-free universe. He titles his songs "So Hott" and "Roll On," and he means it.
But in the spirit of working-class rockers from the great state of Michigan --- Grand Funk Railroad, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent, Mitch Ryder --- Rock doesn't believe music should be complicated. He's sincere without being sanctimonious. When he weighs in on more serious subjects, his attitude is live and let live --- a refreshing if somewhat dumbfounding stance from a self-professed red-neck who has been known to wave guns around.
Not that we haven't heard it all before. "Rock N Roll Jesus" is a lot like all the other Kid Rock albums: Party music for people who lived through the '70s, or wish they did.
As Rock once told me: "I love the '70s, because the music was ugly and great. The faces behind it were these ugly mothers, who were great musicians and made great music. It never got better than that."
Kid Rock. Twisted Brown Trucker Band. Rock N Roll Revival Tour. So Hott Sisters. Tribute to Joe C.
Stefanie Eulinberg (drums)
Drums & Backing Vocals
Stefanie Eulinberg grew up in Cleveland.
Note to aspiring rock stars: You can indeed make it big playing the lounge circuit. Just make sure you know the right people.
Stefanie labored for years in a variety of outfits, playing hotel bars, cruise ships, prisons, wherever the demand came for a pop cover band.
"I floated around just about everywhere," she says.
She was floating in Milwaukee when the call came from her pal DJ Swamp, who was out on the road spinning for Beck: This Kid Rock guy in Detroit has a record on Atlantic, and he needed a drummer. Like, now.
After a flurry of answering-machine phone tag, Eulinberg connected with Kid Rock. "We've narrowed it down to three, and you're one of them," he told her - despite not having heard her play.
"Let's face it," she says with a laugh. "I'm a black chick. Who wouldn't want something different like that?"
She shipped a tape overnight. Within days, she was in town, the latest, and final piece of Kid Rock's TBT puzzle.
Quite an artistic leap, it might seem, from playing pop covers to bulwarking the bottom end of a gritty rock ensemble. But Eulinberg insists the musical transition was a cinch.
"The only thing I had to get used to was living with 15 guys in an RV," she says.
Life's gotten a little easier now that the Kid Rock caravan includes three snazzy tour buses. Like her TBT comrades, she's getting used to being recognized out.
"It's always the same three questions," she says. "One: 'You're with Kid Rock, right?' Two: 'Where is he?' And three: 'Do you have any extra tickets?' "
Source: Brian McCollum
Paradime, born Freddie Beauregard, began his musical career in the mid-90's establishing himself as one of Detroit's elite with the release of his first solo album "Paragraphs" in 1999. Since that time he has become a living legend in Detroit music winning Detroit Music Awards for Album of the Year, Live Performer of the year, Outstanding Emcee and Outstanding Hip Hop Artist, as well as a plethura of Detroit Hip Hop Awards for Best Live Performer, and Lyricist of the year.
He was discovered by Kid Rock in 1995 while the two were both working at the White Room Studio in Detroit, and eventually signed to Rock's Top Dog record label. Since that time Paradime has released 4 critically acclaimed albums, and joined Kid Rock on stage as Rock's DJ/Hypeman, replacing close friend Uncle Kracker in 2001.
Paradime's latest album, "Spill at Will" is being touted as his best yet, and features much assistance from his Twisted Brown Trucker bandmates. Its is available for purchase on his website www.dimesworld.com and also on ITunes. You can also check Dime out at www.myspace.com/paradime.
Marlon Young (lead guitar)
Marlon Young from Battle Creek, Michigan became the lead guitarist for the Twisted Brown Trucker band in 2007. He first appeared on Kid Rock's self-titled album in 2003, playing electric guitar on the track I Am. Marlon is also an established record producer and writer. He wrote the ballad Blue Jeans and a Rosary and co-wrote 6 songs on the Rock N Roll Jesus album released in 2007. His guitar work on Rock N Roll Jesus has been compared to that of AC/DC's Angus Young by Rolling Stone Magazine.
Larry Fratangelo (percussion)
LARRY FRATANGELO has recorded and toured with some of the top recording artists in the world today. His name appears on Gold, Platinum and Grammy award-winning albums. Larry has performed at the White House and for the British House of Parliament. He has performed with the Boston Pops, at the Grammy Awards, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies, on the David Letterman Show and Saturday Night Live. A graduate of Michigan State University, Larry is currently producing several World Music projects.
Jimmie Bones (keyboards)
Keyboard, Organ, Backing Vocals, Harmonica
Jimmie Bones is the quiet, behind-the-scenes musician who is part of the current national focus on the Detroit music scene. Besides recording as a member of Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker Band and with Uncle Kracker, he has also recorded with other artists including Hank Williams Jr., Beth Hart, R.L. Burnside, Five Horse Johnson, Robert Bradley's Blackwater Surprise, and Bootsie X and the Lovemasters.
It's been said that Jimmie's soulful keyboard skills could send an atheist to church. When Jimmie's fingers press the keys they become a circle of the same energy. The man and his talent are one in the same, but he doesn't take to the stage or studio alone. You may find Jimmie alongside the likes of Pinetop Perkins, Johnny Johnson, Otis Spann, Billy Preston, Floyd Cramer, The Reverend James Cleveland or even Sly Stone. They have all influenced Bones' style.
Kid Rock discovered that Jimmie played harmonica while Rock was producing a David Allan Coe recording on which Bones was playing the Hammond B-3. When Rock suggested finding a harp player for the track, Bones jumped in and played it, much to Rock's surprise. Rock asked, "Why didn't you tell me you could do that while we were recording Devil Without A Cause??!!"
Jimmie also has contributed backing vocals for almost everyone he's recorded with, including the Kid Rock records, History of Rock, Cocky, and the latest Kid ROCK as well as Uncle Kracker's No Stranger to Shame and the multi-platinum Double Wide. Perhaps most notably on the hit single Follow Me from that CD. As a writer, Bones, born James Trombly, has collaberated on Cowboy, Black Bob, Rock n' Roll, Do It For You and others as well as co-writing Double Wide's cuts Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Better Days and You Can't Take Me with Uncle Kracker and Kid Rock.
Add to the list, co-writing and playing keyboards, bass and harmonica for the latest R.L. Burnside release Darker Blues, a sampler of a forthcoming full-length release for ultra-hip roots label Fat Possum Records. Produced by Jimmie's long-time pal, Martin "Tino" Gross, this project's Detroit-meets-Mississippi vibe is undeniably cool. From the first notes of Glory Be, you just shut your eyes and enjoy the ride. The full-length CD is slated for an early 2004 release.
Northern Michigan farm life obviously imbedded a teamwork ethic into Bones. His family hails from the "thumb" area and it's Upper Peninsula, where hard work and an appreciation of simple things are part of the breeding. Hey, when your father was born in Rock, and you spent much of your life on the family farm near Bad Axe, I'd say your destiny was pre-determined.
Besides Jimmie's vintage, ball busting Hammond Organ and Leslie Speakers that Shakes, Mark Messina and the rest of the best road crew in rock and roll haul around, Jimmie Bones uses and kindly thanks the following companies.
KORG KEYBOARDS HOHNER HARMONICAS PEAVEY AMPS QUIK-LOK
Source: Linda Lexy
Jason Krause (metal guitar)
Metal, Rhythm and Acoustic Guitar
Jason Krause was born in Mt Clemens Michigan, in a hospital that was since turned into an insane asylum! He began playing metal guitar as a young teenager, with influences anywhere from jazz, to underground death metal. As a young teen, and even today, Jason has felt the influence of bands such as Slayer and guitarist Kerry King the most.
He began playing for Kid Rock in the Twisted Brown Trucker Band, in 1997, ending his career as a licensed builder in his home town. Krause was no stranger to the stage, as he had played and recorded locally with bands such as Black Anthem, and Aftermass, which he created with lifelong friends and even his brother, Scott Krause.
Jason's career with Kid Rock includes album credits such as, Devil Without a Cause, History of Rock, Cocky, Kid Rock, Live Trucker and Rock n Roll Jesus. Jason has also appeared on many TV and film credits including, the Simpsons, every late night or early morning talk show you can think of, Osmosis Jones, and even CSI in 2008. As Jason is known for his skill on metal guitar, he has recently made the transition into country, pop, and of course, he is still rocking n rolling!!! He has self taught the art of rhythm and acoustic guitar to add to the already impressive metal credit he is known for. His favorite guitars include Gibson, GMP, Crafter, and anything flying V.
You can see Jason Krause this coming year still touring with Kid Rock and the Twisted Brown Trucker Band.
Source: Francesca Krause
Aaron Julison (bass)
Aaron Julison from Nashville, TN became the bassist for the Twisted Brown Trucker band in 2003. He also collaborates and produces music in his hometown by co-writing songs for artists including his sister Danielle Bloom. Aaron has great harmony, exceptional skills on bass and brings tons of energy when performing. He is the youngest member of the band and loves to party.
Kid Rock. Twisted Brown Trucker Band. Rock N Roll Revival Tour. So Hott Sisters. Tribute to Joe C.
Dickey Betts, a founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, has one of the most distinctive voices in music today. Known as one of the most influential guitar players of all time, Betts has mastered a seamless style of lyrical melody and rhythm -- marrying country, jazz, blues, and rock into one unparalleled sound. The New York Times has called Betts "one of the great rock guitarists...[who thinks like a jazz improviser, in thoughtfully structured, cleanly articulated, intelligently paced phrases...[when] Mr. Betts was tearing into one of his improvisations, the music was about as exciting as rock and roll gets."
Playing since he can remember, Betts joined several bands in the sixties and eventually formed a band with bassist Berry Oakley. One fateful night in 1969, Betts and Oakley's band jammed with another local group featuring Duane and Gregg Allman, marking the birth of the Allman Brothers Band.
In addition to matching band leader Duane Allman lick for lick, Betts also wrote such memorable songs as "Revival" and the instrumental tour de force "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed." After Duane Allman and Berry Oakley were killed in accidents a year apart in 1971 and 1972, the ABB worked through their sorrow, with Betts writing and singing the group's biggest hit, "Ramblin' Man".
Members of the band ventured into solo careers in 1973, and Betts released his first solo album Highway Call, in 1974. The ABB split up in 1976, and Betts formed Dickey Betts and Great Southern. The group reformed in 1978, but soon split again, and Betts formed the Dickey Betts Band releasing Pattern Disruptive in 1988.
In 1989, their 20th anniversary, the Allman Brothers Band reformed. The chemistry that resulted from the unique two-guitar approach of Warren Haynes and Betts made the Allman Brothers Band once again one of the most compelling bands in the country. The ABB enjoyed continued success throughout the nineties -- being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, winning their first Grammy, and amazing audiences with their powerful live performances.
A year after the ABB celebrated their 30th anniversary, Betts formed the Dickey Betts Band and hit the road on his own. His guitar sound is still immediately recognizable, with soaring leads providing musical wings, and his road-seasoned vocals reflecting grit and hard-earned respect. The group released their first C.D.,"Let's Get Together" in June, 2001.
Dickey changed the name of the group to Dickey Betts & Great Southern in January, 2002. They recorded the critically acclaimed acoustic CD, "The Collectors Vol. I" that same year and have toured extensively ever since.
Dickey performed "Blue Sky" and "Ramblin' Man" at the Jammy Awards at Madison Square Garden in NYC and Instant Live recently released "Dickey Betts at the Odeon, Cleveland, OH, 3/9/2004". Dickey was featured alongside Tim McGraw in a salute to Southern Rock at the 2005 Grammy Awards.
Dickey Betts & Great Southern are looking forward to a dynamic touring season in 2008 and especially to hooking up with the "best friends they've got" - their extended family of fans.
Stacy Michelle is a full-time singer/songwriter who has performed on movie soundtracks, national commercials, and various albums. Her experience as a back-up and studio musician speaks for itself, having shared the stage with greats like: Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Joe Walsh and even recorded a duet with Jerry Lee Lewis. In addition, she's also recorded her own music and once won an award for being the best female vocalist in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 2007, Stacy went on tour as a backup vocalist, alongside Jessica Wagner, in Kid Rock's Twisted Brown Trucker band. She performed during the "Rock N Roll Revival" and "Rock N Rebels" tours with Lynyrd Skynyrd, at sold-out venues and amphitheaters.
Stacy is currently working on writing and recording her own record.
It has been a long road for Reverend Run: from the basements of his Queens, New York homeland where he once spun records as Kurtis Blow's DJ to performing in front of worldwide audiences as a premier rapper, this pioneer has seen more than most.
"I wanted my first solo single 'Mind on the Road' to feel like a man reminiscing," says the man known today as Reverend Run, baptized Joseph Simmons. "It's exciting being part of a great group, thrilling the crowd on stage and then signing autographs afterwards. That was the feeling I wanted to inject in 'Mind on the Road.'"
With Run's powerful voice and electric guitar energy reminiscent of Run-DMC classic collaborations with Eddie Martinez ("Rock Box"), Areosmith ("Walk this Way) and Rick Rubin, "Mind on the Road" is the perfect track to re-introduce this legendary artist to a new generation. "Before our DJ Jam Master Jay was killed (2002), we were on the road non-stop," Run says. "This is a tribute to those days of sweating on stage and playing spades on the plane."
As one-third of Run-DMC, the hip-hop group that changed the sound of rap by simultaneously being more street and rock 'n' roll than their contemporaries, Run-DMC emerged on the scene with boom box classic single "Sucker MCs" (1983), and never looked back. Dressed in their trademarked black hats, outfits to match and strangely laced Adidas sneakers, Run-DMC swaggered onto the stage of American's collective consciousness, determined to make rap music more than a street soundtrack for folks in the hood.
Indeed, the harder the beats and attitude the deadly trio laced in the grooves, the more suburbia wanted to be down with these kings. Managed by Run's brother and main supporter Russell Simmons, the awe-inspiring Run-DMC defined a new level of Black cool for the world. With a sonic canon that includes their self-titled debut disc, as well as King of Rock, Raising Hell and Tougher Than Leather, the illustrious group stayed at the top of the pop charts for most of the '80s. Although these brothers from separate mothers stopped recording in 1999 with the release of their last disc Crown Royal, Run-DMC has never become irrelevant in the eyes of the Hip-Hop Nation.
The first release on the newly formed Russell Simmons Music Group (RSMG), Run says, "I didn't play anything for Russ until I recorded eight songs. When he did finally hear the tracks, he started sweating and almost fainted. Then he screamed, 'My brother's still got it.' He couldn't believe how crazy the tracks and flow were on the album. Russell knew that Rev had struck gold. God has allowed me to recapture those yesterdays on Distortion."
"Run-DMC knocked open the doors to commercial freedom for the rap generation," stated Russell Simmons. "Their very best efforts were big in the streets and were ahead of their time when it came to the mainstream. The music from Rev Run on Distortion is honest; it's creative, special and refreshing. He's being true to himself."
While Run now spends the majority of his time with building the foundations of his church and family, working closely with big bro Rush at Phat Farm and taping his television show Run's House, he started feeling the urge to once again verbalize in the studio.
Though Run could have surrounded himself with a posse of popular sideman (i.e. Carlos Santana on Supernatural), he boldly chose to roll alone in front of the microphone. Beginning with conceiving a concept for Distortion, he knew he wanted to do his own thing and sound like himself. He made a point of being true to Run. "After checking out a bunch of producers, I did a lot of soul searching and finally settled on a direction." says Run. "I decided to let go of any new school sounds. There is no Tim or Pharrell, just me and producer Whiteboy. I was not listening to any A&R person; I just waited for God to show me a sign of which route to take.
Producer Whiteboy, a virtual unknown, was recruited to work with Run. "I really wanted to create something hot for a man who was one of my rap heroes," says Whiteboy, who produced the majority of Distortion. "Watching Run work in the studio was an amazing experience. There was not a lot of fooling around, because Run knew exactly what he wanted. Run and I would be in the studio from 11 to 4. Run would come in, do his job well, then leave."
Citing the raw dawg track "Boom Ditty" as his favorite, Whiteboy adds, "I call the sound of this record Tough Fun, because we used a lot of big drum loops and aggressive sounds, but one can hear in Run's vocals he was having the time of his life."
Breathing fire as though bringing 1988 back, Distortion is a towering inferno of funky drummers, blazing guitars and quirky vocal styling that ranges from fierce to furious to a whole lot of fun. As Run informs the listeners on "Boom Ditty," a big beat boast that instantly restores the faith any naysayer might be feeling, "I got rhymes so def and rhymes galore, rhymes you never even heard before."
Dropping textual jewels about his late friend Jam Master Jay on the touching "Home Sweet Home," brother Run samples the country bumpkin funk of Lynyrd Skynyrd to create a beautiful autobiographical song of their life together. "Jay was the kind of dude who would give you his last dime," Run says. "I was determined to create a song that would enrich the man's legacy."
Working on Distortion, Run put himself and producer Whiteboy on a tight timetable. "I would go to the office in the morning and then be in the studio by 11 a.m. and out by 4 p.m.," Run recalls. "Whiteboy and I worked so fast, sometimes I was running to the booth while he was still looping the track."
Another track that harks back to the days of Cazel frames and shell-toe sneakers while firmly grounded in 2005 is the head nodding "I Used to Think." Filled with verbal images of beepers scattered on the floor after a show, battling the rap competition with nothing but words and "making money just to throw in the air," Run acknowledges that though he was "the greatest," none of that really mattered once the real King stepped into his life.
It's a subject Run revisits on the bombastic "The Way," perhaps the hardest track on a disc that makes Black Sabbath sound soft. "I got a way with my lady and a way with the wino/preaching like a preacher, healing people with the vinyl," Run proclaims, his boisterous voice a dope mixture of compassion and brimstone.
In an era of soft soul samples and electro music, Run has come back to the game bearing one of the hardest rap records ever made. On Distortion, Run has not lost the musical passion or verbal chops that once made him the most popular rapper in the world. For those sitting in the hip-hop congregation, this is the disc you have been waiting for. Once again, brothers and sisters, Hollis is in the house.
Born in New York City, Peter grew up in the Bronx during the mid-1950's in a small, three-room apartment where he lived with his parents, older sister, two cats, dog and parakeet.
For some time, Peter lived with his grandmother, an actress in New York City's Yiddish Theater. She and Peter had a strong bond, and she affectionately named him "Little Wolf" for his energetic and rambunctious ways.
His father was a musician, vaudevillian and singer of light opera. Like Peter did years later, his father left home at age fourteen to join the Schubert Theater Touring Company with which he traveled the country performing light operas such as The Student Prince and Merry Widow. He had his own radio show called The Boy Baritone, which featured new songs from Tin Pan Alley, and was a member of the Robert Shaw Chorale. As a result of such artistic pursuits, Peter's father underwent long periods of unemployment that created a struggle to make financial ends meet.
Peter's mother was an elegant and attractive woman who taught inner-city children in the South Bronx for 27 years. A political activist, union organizer and staunch civil rights advocate, she supported racial equality by attending many of the southern "freedom rides" and marches.
Peter's older sister was also a teacher as well as a photographer who now works as an advocate for persons with disabilities. She continues her mother's tradition, often marching on Washington to support the rights of the disabled. As a teenager, she was a dancer on DJ Alan Freed's famous rock 'n' roll television show The Big Beat. She brought Peter to his first concert, which featured Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers, the Chantels, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Ed Townsend, Buddy Holly, Jo Ann Campbell and Big Jay McNeely. The performers had a lasting influence on Peter.
Growing up, music continually filled the household. With his father, Peter attended many classical chamber concerts and early live bebop performances, as well as concerts by the folk group The Weavers. He took part in a series for children with Woody Guthrie at the Little Red Schoolhouse. Woody Guthrie's Songs To Grow On was the first record Peter owned.
As a child, Peter listened to the radio constantly, often taking it to bed with him and hiding it under the blankets, scanning the dial until dawn. His radio picked up Wheeling, West Virginia station WWVA, which broadcasted every Friday and Saturday nights a live country jamboree featuring the original Stanley Brothers, one of the great bluegrass groups. Through the years, Peter was influenced greatly by radio. Some of the DJs who affected him most were Alan Freed, Jocko Henderson, the Magnificent Montague and Symphony Sid. In fact, Peter later dedicated his first solo record to these DJs.
Peter was first exposed to the sounds of doo-wop by his older sister and the local groups that sang on street corners throughout the Bronx. By the age of 11, Peter started frequenting the legendary Times Square Midtown Manhattan Record Shop, which helped define New York's doo-wop sound. There he met record lovers from all over the city and other young disciples of rock 'n' roll. Many of the top doo-wop groups performed acappella in the back of the store and the shows were often broadcasted on the radio.
Peter attempted to study piano and guitar but his dyslexia, which went undiagnosed in those years, made the instruments difficult and frustrating to learn. At his father's suggestion, he began taking violin lessons. His teacher's apartment was on the first floor of the building, and his friends would gather outside the window to tease and distract him. Needless to say, those lessons did not last long.
Peter's first public appearance was with an almost accapella group called The Three Imps (they were accompanied by a clarinet player). They performed at a Bronx Park talent contest and sang the Everly Brothers' hit "Bye Bye Love."
During elementary and junior high schools, Peter entered a special music program and became the drummer for the school's orchestra. However, the teacher decided he played too loud and wildly, so he was taken off the drums and transferred to the cymbals, and later the triangle, the quietest instrument.
When Peter was seven, his father began working the Tanglewood Music Festival, and the family moved near the town of Sturbridge, Massachusetts. So that his father could do chores, Peter would spend afternoons at the studio of a local painter, Norman Rockwell.
Peter had always had an interest in art. Since the age of two and one half, he drew constantly. His family couldn't supply enough paper, and neighbors would contribute large stacks. Peter would still draw on anything he could find, marking nearly every surface in the apartment.
Peter's interest in art ensued, and he attended art programs offered to talented inner-city children. At the age of nine, he was accepted to the Museum of Modern Art Special Art Development program. Just before high school, while attending one of the many summer art programs, Peter met a stunning young lady, Edie Marie, who became one of the great loves of his life. Edie lived in a low-income housing project near Peter's neighborhood, and they became inseparable. Together, Peter and Edie attended the High School of Music and Art, and both studied painting.
At the age of 14 and one half, Peter moved from his family's Bronx apartment to a painting studio in Manhattan that he shared with several friends. During this period, Peter frequented Birdland, the renowned jazz capital of the world, as well as the acclaimed Five Spot and Village Vangard. There he saw jazz greats Art Blakey, Jimmy Smith, Cannonball Adderley, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk and Charles Mingus.
During one of his many painting marathons, Peter heard an interview with a young folk singer who had recently moved to New York. He called the radio station to ask about the performer, and the show's moderator connected Peter with his guest, Bob Dylan. After the brief conversation, Peter, with paintings in hand, went to meet the young folk singer at his Greenwich Village apartment. Bob wasn't at the apartment, but was holding court with friends at a local bar, The Kettle of Fish. Peter eventually found him at the MacDougal Street bar. In subsequent years, Peter attended many of Bob's early and greatest performances.
Peter's high school was located in Harlem, only a few blocks from the legendary Apollo Theater. Peter attended the theater religiously and developed a love of soul music. He saw an endless list of soul and jazz legends such as James Brown, Jackie Wilson, Billy Stewart, Dinah Washington and Ray Charles, all of whom had a profound affect on his musical development and, later, his stage persona.
Interested in visiting friends involved in the folk music scenes, Peter began hitchhiking across the country and visited Chicago and later, his sister at the University of Wisconsin. Peter hung out at different college campuses, pretending he was a student so that he could use the school's art facilities. While living in Chicago, he was accepted to Boston's Museum School of Fine Arts and he hitchhiked to New England, where he spent several days living in cheap hotels.
During a visit to Brandeis University, he met and befriended student and musician Jon Landau, who later became an influential writer for Rolling Stone magazine, a record producer and Bruce Springsteen's manager. One day while searching for an apartment, Peter met another student who was looking for a roommate. Peter and that student, filmmaker David Lynch, became roommates.
One night, Peter went to a loft party that was attended by many painters and musicians. A band was performing, but its members had a little too much to drink and the singer couldn't remember the lyrics to the song "There's A Man Down There," by G. L. Crockett. Though he had drunk several glasses of wine himself, Peter jumped in and helped the band finish the song.
Performing at this party was a revelation for Peter. The experience was so powerful that he became completely consumed with the idea of joining this band. After much persistence, Peter became a member and, eventually, the band's lead singer. They all dropped out of art school to devote themselves completely to the band and rehearsed constantly. They called themselves the Hallucinations and became one of the most popular young groups in New England. They soon became drenched in early rock, R&B and Chicago Blues.
During this period, Peter became interested in Chicago blues. One night, he went to see John Lee Hooker perform at a coffee house and was shocked to find the club nearly empty. He went backstage to talk with him and tried to convince John Lee that if he let Peter's band join him on the bill, they could help fill the room. Hooker agreed, and Peter's group became the opening act, paving the way for a long friendship.
A newly formed band, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, was spending a lot of time in the Boston area. Along with guitar great Michael Bloomfield, they used the Hallucination's rehearsal loft to put together their second album, East West.
Peter's Cambridge apartment was just a few blocks away from the celebrated Club 47, which showcased great performers such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Junior Wells, Son House, Bill Monroe and Skip James. The club's dressing room was so small that Peter invited many of the performers to use his nearby apartment between sets. During this period, Peter had befriended Muddy Waters and became his unofficial valet when Muddy was in Boston. Many members of Muddy's band would stay at Peter's apartment when playing in New England.
In addition to playing with Muddy Waters, Junior Wells and Howlin' Wolf, the Hallucinations also toured with bands such as the Velvet Underground, Sun Ra, the Lovin' Spoonful, the Young Rascals, the Byrds and the Shirelles. They also became the house band at the famed Boston Tea Party club, which featured the first American appearances of groups such as Led Zeppelin, Traffic, the Who, Jeff Beck Group and Fleetwood Mac.
Peter became close friends with musician Barry Tashian, the leader of the Boston group, the Remains, an extremely influential band throughout New England. They toured the United States with The Beatles and were part of the Beatles' final American tour in 1966, which included the famed Shea Stadium concert. For a short time, Barry and Peter were roommates, and Barry helped influence Peter's musical career. Barry later went on to play with Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, who at the time was attending Harvard University. Gram later recorded J. Geils' song, "Cry One More Time," for his album Grievous Angel.
After the bars would close, many musicians would go to Peter's apartment and jam all night long. An eccentric Harvard University law student from Kansas City named Ray Riepen, who always sported a three-piece, pinstriped, Brooks Brothers' suit, frequented these sessions and often ended up passed out on Peter's couch. One day, he asked Peter to join him in a venture to buy an FM radio station WBCN in Boston. Peter, having no money and little entrepreneurial sense, passed on the offer and instead volunteered to help organize the programming.
Peter became the station's music and program director as well as its late night, fast-talking Disc Jockey, the "Wolfa Goofa Mama Toofa." He created a program that fused rare rock 'n' roll with rhythm 'n' blues. The show, influenced by many of the R&B DJs he heard growing up in New York, became extremely popular, not only with the general radio audience, but also as a resource for musicians in New England.
Peter interviewed many artists on the show, including John Lee Hooker, Carla Thomas, Howlin' Wolf, Mose Allison, Roland Kirk, Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart and a young Irishman who had recently moved to town, Van Morrison. Peter and Van became close friends and spent many sleepless nights listening to their favorite records and playing together at the same clubs.
In 1967, several members of the Hallucinations began to pursue other artistic interests, leaving Peter bandless. In his search for new musicians to play with, Peter attended an open mike night at a Boston coffeehouse where he met J. Geils, Magic Dick, and D. K.. Together, with Stephen, former Hallucinations drummer, they decided to form a band. At the time, guitar player J. Geils was under an exclusive management contract. The manager, to protect his interests, would not allow Peter and J. Geils play together unless the group was called the J. Geils Band.
The band moved to Montreal, where they learned obscure blues and R&B material, mainly from Pete's vast record collection. When they finally returned to Boston, the J. Geils Band immediately became a popular local favorite.
A year later, Mario Medious, a hip, south side Chicago, fast-talking promotion man for Atlantic Records, was visiting Boston with Dr. John. While attending a show at the Boston Tea Party, Mario heard the J. Geils Band from the back room. He assumed they were a south side Chicago blues band and went backstage to introduce himself.
To his surprise, Mario found five young, white musicians from Boston. Instantaneously impressed, he called his boss, Jerry Wexler, then co-owner and Vice President of Atlantic Records. The next week, Peter and his friend Jon Landau met with Jerry Wexler in New York. In 1968, with the approval of saxophone legend King Curtis, the band was signed to Atlantic Records.
Wexler asked Landau, who had just produced a record for the MC5 in Detroit, to explore what the J. Geils Band sounded like in the studio. After a week, they all agreed they needed more time before recording an album.
Back in Boston, the Geils band set up home base at a basement club underneath several pool parlors called the Catacombs. The club offered a unique roster of artists such as John Lee Hooker, James Cotton, Billy Boy Arnold and Pharaoh Sanders. It was also the place where Van Morrison debuted the songs he eventually recorded for his classic album, Astral Weeks.
Seth Justman, a young Boston University student and musician from Washington, D.C., became a frequent visitor to the Catacombs. After much persistence, he eventually became the final member of the J. Geils Band.
After Seth's first performance with the band, it was decided that Peter's unconventional vocal style and frenetic stage performance might be an illogical hindrance rather than an asset. Much to Seth's surprise, the other members thought it would be best for Peter to leave the group and drummer Steven Bladd became the new lead singer. Several weeks later, they asked Peter to return. Seth and Peter cultivated a strong friendship, and shared many musical interests and became the band's song writing team.
The J. Geils Band established a reputation for their exciting live performances and built a large following in New England. This grassroots enthusiasm reached the ear of legendary rock promoter Bill Graham, and he invited them, sight unseen, to perform at his famed Fillmore East, a concert hall. After the band received five encores, Bill immediately booked them again and asked them to appear at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. This started the band's long journey outside of Boston and began to expose them to a national audience. Peter not only functioned as the band's lead singer, but also handled its business affairs.
In 1970, the band released their first recording the J. Geils Band. They toured non-stop, building a fan base in every city they played. Soon, they appeared on television for the first time on Dick Clark's American Bandstand.
Peter and Bill Graham remained close friends for the next two decades. Years later, after Graham tragically died in a helicopter crash, Peter was asked to record the audio version of his autobiography, Bill Graham Presents.
Later that year, the band signed with Frank Barsalona's Premier Talent, which at the time was the world's most prestigious booking agent for rock artists. After several years touring the states, music industry veteran Dee Anthony became their manager.
Anthony felt their studio albums lacked the excitement of their live shows and encouraged the band to record a live album. In 1973, the album Full House was recorded in Detroit and became one of the band's most sucessful and critically praised albums. The album captured the raw energy that became the trademark of the band's popularity and is considered one of the most exciting "live" rock recordings.
After several European tours, the band returned to the United States where they traveled endlessly. While away on tour, Peter received devastating news that his girlfriend and high school sweetheart, Edie, had been killed in a car accident.
Years later, while performing at the Fillmore West in San Francisco, a friend introduced Peter to actress Faye Dunaway. A strong friendship evolved and, after a whirlwind courtship, they married. Their lives were filled with countless adventures in the worlds of Hollywood and rock 'n' roll. After four years, the constant travel and separation took its toll on the relationship, and they divorced.
Edie's death and his divorce from Faye, along with the band's increasing financial debt, made for rocky times for Peter. The band ended their working relationship with Dee Anthony, and Peter once again assumed the managerial role for the band. In 1978, after their contract with Atlantic expired, Peter was able to help get the band signed to a new record label, EMI America.
The company provided hope and energy for the financially distressed and road weary band. They recorded a series of albums, each one further expanding their popularity. Their first release on EMI America was Sanctuary in 1978, followed by Love Stinks in 1980.
In the new decade, the fast-paced lifestyle began to exhaust some of the group's members. Ironically, in 1981, during the making of what later became their greatest commercial success, Freeze Frame, some of the members expressed a desire to leave the band. But with the release of Freeze Frame, the advent of MTV, and a worldwide tour with the Rolling Stones, the J. Geils Band finally achieved international acclaim and became known as one of America's great rock 'n' roll bands. During their own headlining tour, one of their opening acts was U2, who were just beginning to gain recognition.
For the first time in more than 12, the band was finally out of debt and filling arenas and stadiums as headliners. Just when they seemed to achieve everything they had worked so hard for, artistic differences between Peter and Seth became more divisive. Seth disbanded their collaborative team and began working independently. The tension continued to build. Peter presented the band with many songs that were rejected. They felt his material was too roots and R&B-based and wanted to move in the Pop direction that Seth was leaning towards. Ultimately, the band decided to continue without Peter's involvement. After 17 years with no personnel changes, Peter was gone and Seth became the band's new lead singer.
Peter turned the materials he had written for the J. Geils Band into his first solo effort Lights Out, which was released in 1984.
Peter put together an eclectic ensemble to create the record. The album was engineered by Ed Stasium, who produced most of the Ramones' recordings. The musicians involved ranged from hiphop pioneers to marquee name rockers, including, Mick Jagger, Elliot Easton of the Cars, Adrian Belew, G.E. Smith, members of the P-Funk Horns, Yogi Horton, Maurice Starr, and Michael Jonzun, leader of the Jonzun Crew. The album received great critical acclaim. The top charting single, "Lights Out," was a product of Peter's collaboration with one of his favorite songwriters, Don Covay. In addition to recording albums of his own, Don penned hits such as Aretha Franklin's "Chain of Fools," "Mercy Mercy" which was recorded by the Rolling Stones, and many songs recorded by Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett.
In 1985, Peter recorded a duet with Aretha Franklin that featured Carlos Santana on guitar. The song, "Push," was featured on Aretha's Arista album, Who's Zoomin' Who?
In 1987, Peter returned to a small group ensemble and recorded his next release, Come As You Are, on EMI America. (The video of the same name received many awards.) Recorded live, this album returned to a more basic rock edge. Eric "E.T." Thorngren, who worked with Talking Heads, Robert Palmer and Grandmaster Flash, helped Peter produce the album.
Later that year, Peter took part in the making of the anti-apartheid project Ain't Gonna Play Sun City. Spearheaded by rocker Steve "Little Steve" Van Zandt, the project united R&B, hiphop, punk rock, and hard rock, and included artists such as Bono, Joey Ramone, Eddie Kendricks, Jimmy Ruffin, Bruce Springstein and Lou Reed. Many also participated in a video directed by Jonathan Demme. The project had a street vibe and strong political ambitions, both of which contributed to its character and success.
In 1990, Peter recorded his next album, Up To No Good, on MCA records. He recorded the entire album in Nashville with a songwriting team comprised of Taylor Rhodes and Robert White Johnson. While in Nashville, he met and began working with Will Jennings, who remains an important friend and collaborator. Will has achieved one of the broadest ranges in contemporary music, having collaborated on "Tears In Heaven" with Eric Clapton, "Higher Love" with Steve Winwood, The Crusaders' "Street Life," and many albums for B.B. King.
Peter's 1996 release, Long Line (on the Reprise label), was co-produced with musician friends Stu Kimball and Johnny A. For the recording, Peter returned to Longview Studios where J. Geils had recorded many of their albums. Several of the songs were written with Boston-based singer and songwriter Aimee Mann. Another collaberator was playwright and poet Tim Mayer. With "Long Line," Peter began to shift toward a more personal approach to his songwriting.
In 1997 he put together a group of Boston musicians and called them the House Party Five. Once Peter started touring again, he did not want to stop, and his shows often lasted well over three hours.
Peter met producer Kenny White, who was instrumental in helping him make his most notable recording to date. Together they incorporated recording techniques from the early blues and R&B records they both loved. Using vintage equipment and recording live with an impressive group of legendary musicians, they created one of Peter's most respected and enduring Fool's Parade, his first CD for Mercury Records. Fools Parade was later named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the 50 most influential recordings of its decade. Peter created the album he'd been trying to make for many years, achieving a certain honesty between himself, the music, and the listener. The album started a new chapter in his career.
Peter was asked to host the Royal Soul Review, a star-studded gathering of soul artists including Lloyd Price, Chuck Jackson, Sam Moore, Ben E. King, Irma Thomas, Percy Sledge, Gene Chandler and Jerry Butler. This tour gave Peter the opportunity to work alongside the legendary artists he so much admired. Soon after, Peter was asked to record with blues great Little Milton. They worked at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and are featured on the Malaco Records album, Welcome to Little Milton.
In the summer of 1999, the J. Geils Band reunited for a historic end of the century tour. They performed in 13 cities throughout the United States. Their two and one half hour long performances were fueled by the hard-driving energy that made them so unique.
In 2001, Peter was signed to the short-lived label Artemis Records. His 2002 album, Sleepless, is considered to be one of his most distinguished recordings. Once again sharing production duties with Kenny White, the album features some of his most personal songs, and with backing by an amazing rhythm section consisting of Larry Campbell, Stu Kimball and Tony Garnier (from Bob Dylan's band), Duke Levine, Shawn Pelton, the Uptown Horns, Paul Ossola, Cornell Dupree and Charlie Drayton. The recording also features duets with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Steve Earle. Rolling Stone magazine named it "an instant classic" and later listed it among the 500 greatest albums of all time. Unfortunately, due to the label's poor marketing and distribution, Sleepless went nearly unnoticed.
Peter formed a new band called the Sleepless Travelers, which was a quintet of artists of the highest musical caliber. With this new band, Peter gave some of his most intimate performances, interweaving theatrical narratives and vignettes with the music. A small portion of their two and one half hour show was captured and shown on PBS's Soundstage.
For two consecutive years in a row, the J. Geils Band has been nominated for the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Peter still actively participates in numerous projects. He recently authored a chapter on his friendship with Muddy Waters for Martin Scorsese's book, The Blues, edited by writer Peter Guralnick. He also contributed two pieces to Rolling Stone magazine for their "Immortal" issues -- one on his friendship with Van Morrison and the other on Jackie Wilson, who he proudly inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame.
In 2005, the J. Geils Band reunited again for a special charity event hosted by the Cam Neely Cancer Foundation, Denis Leary's Firefighters Association of New England and Michael J. Fox's Parkinson's Disease Research Foundation.
In November, 2005, Peter participated in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame's tribute to Sam Cooke in Cleveland, Ohio. He sang along side legendary performers such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Costello, Solomon Burke, William Bell, Otis Clay, the Dixie Hummingbirds, the Manhattans, the Five Blind Boys of Alabama and Cissy Houston.
Written & Researched by Bryan Wiser, and Sheila Warren with Mimi Fox.
Jessie Wagner is a rising star in the music world today. A native of Norfolk, Virginia, Jessie's musical adventure has allowed her to travel the world, broadening her sound and her fan base! Her career blossomed as she began writing songs for Black House, a production company in Jacksonville, Florida. From there, she was encouraged to continue writing and singing with other artist in the area. While performing in clubs and venues in the South, she met Bo Bice, who went on to become an American Idol finalist. She then began singing and touring with his band, Sugar Money. Shortly after finishing a tour of Alabama with Sugar Money, Jessie moved to New York City to further her singing career.
Her next step was becoming one of the lead singers in the most renowned disco groups in history - Chic. Since then, she has performed at such prestigious venues as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the Grammy's, and the legendary Roskilde Rock Festival. She has also experienced the honor of singing with artists from all facets of the music industry - such as Patti Labelle, Sir Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Sister Sledge, Musiq, the Pointer Sisters, Bebe Winans, Leela James, and many more. Recently, Jessie performed on Kid Rock's latest album and is currently on tour with him.
Jessie's newest project is a pop-rock album with her band Envy. Envy blends the soul of her voice with the fervor and intensity of a guitar - driven rock band, thus creating a hybrid sound that is unique and exciting. Recently, they have begun recording their debut album. Envy can be found performing in and around New York City.
Aside from performing, Jessie continues to make her presence known through her gifted writing abilities. Along with her partner Matt Cowan, she has created a small production company called Majessie Music. They are currently writing for various artists of all genres of music. By tackling different aspects of the industry, Jessie is securing her place in music history!
Kid Rock. Twisted Brown Trucker Band. Rock N Roll Revival Tour. So Hott Sisters. Tribute to Joe C.
So Hott Sisters.
The So Hott Sisters
Shelley has bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism and years of experience as a news anchor, style editor and TV show host. She has appeared on Good Morning America as well as co-produced and hosted Hot Cars and Fashion Frenzy. Her experience also includes professional cheerleading with the NBA's Detroit Pistons and New Jersey Nets.
Becky is a former college cheerleader, and an accomplished swimsuit model appearing on the cover of several catalogs and in magazines including Playboy and Maxim. She's worked as a promotional spokesmodel for radio stations and marketing campaigns. Becky is a licensed aesthetician and has built a career as an expert in the beauty and fashion industry.
Kid Rock. Twisted Brown Trucker Band. Rock N Roll Revival Tour. So Hott Sisters. Tribute to Joe C.
Joesph Calleja was born on November 9, 1974 in Taylor, Michigan.
Joesph Calleja later became known as Joe C, the man who's 3 Foot 9 with a 10 foot dick.
Joe C. use to come to all of the Kid Rock concerts and he'd be standing on the table in the front singing all the lyrics. Then after one of the shows Joe asked Kid if he wanted to smoke a joint. Kid Rock was like how old are you. Joe then replied by saying he was 21.
Then at another show Joe was dancing off to the side as Kid was singing and he couldn't keep his eyes off him. After that show Kid offered Joe a job.
Joe C became part of the Twisted Brown Trucker Band, singing backup vocals with Kid Rock. But it wasn't all peaches and cream. He had a celiac disease, a chronic digestive disorder which made him take 65 pills a day. At night he was hooked up to an I.V. machine.
While being with the T.B.T. Band, Joe C guest sang on song tracks such as Devil Without A Cause off of the Devil Without A Cause CD, Early Mornin' Stoned Pimp off the History of Rock CD, and Kyle's Mom Is A Big Fat Bitch off the South Park - Bigger, Longer, & Uncut soundtrack.
Joe C also made guest appearances at Woodstock 99, Saturday Night Live, WWF Raw Is War, MTV, Music Award Shows, and at Kid Rock concerts.
Then tragedy struck. On November 16, 2000, Joe C died at the age of 26 in his hometown of Taylor, Michigan. He died in his sleep from natural causes.
Thoughts From Others
Kid Rock - "We have lost part of our family. Family and friends are everything. Without them, all of the fame and fortune means nothing. Joey gave us and the world his love. He brought a smile to everyone who has ever known or seen him. In a world full of confusion, Joey made all of us laugh. No matter what color, religion, race, or beliefs we have, he made us all smile. He gave us the gift of joy. Joey, thank you. We will never forget you. We love you."
Kenny Olson - "Spiritually, he was on a different plane, the way he touched everyone's life. He was always there to say the right thing, help me make sense to myself when I was acting up on the road. Joe was real, said what was on his mind. He was a very, very smart person, very tuned-in. In my opinion, he was taller than the rest of us."
Korn's Jonathan Davis - "He had a really positive energy about him, for such a little guy, he really lived big and walked big, and he's going to be missed. He did bring happiness to a lot of people."
Lava Records President Jason Flom - "Joe C. was an extraordinary inspiration. He overcame tremendous adversity to become a great performer and a truly wonderful human being. Despite living with chronic pain, Joe C. never let his condition prevent him from living life to the fullest and brightening the lives of everyone who knew him, on or off the stage. He was a deeply loved member of our extended family and we will all miss him greatly."
Wrestler Chris Jericho - "First off, I'd like to express my sympathies and condolences to the friends, family and fans of Joe C. For those of you who don't know who he is, he's the little guy that was in Kid Rock's band. I first met Joe in Detroit about a year ago when he was talking with Road Dogg. I thought to myself, "Who is this little kid that Dogg is having such an involved conversation with?" Anyways after meeting him and demanding to see his identification for proof of age, I found him to be a really cool cat. He survived a multitude of health problems through the years and his courage is a lesson for us all. God bless you Joe C!".