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Rob Schwarz

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Brief Encounters in Hollywoodagogoland

My brother Jack and I immigrated to S.Calif. as kids in ’57. Though we showed some interest in music, like millions of others, the Beatles Sullivan appearance really
kicked us into going after it.

In 63 thru 65 we watched the Surf scene in San Pedro, our next door neighbors were in a band called the Elements and built home made skateboards. Seems like we saw a Beach Boy or two once on that 1st street address….but I coulda been dreamin…..
it was long ago.

We moved to Upland , which is where we met Mark Anthony (as mentioned in my previous email) and briefly joined his band, The Hybrids. I know my brother saw Mark a few times thru the years….I believe the last time was in Nashville around 98.

When I was close to 14 in 68- our family moved to Oregon , where we finally formed a band in 69 that we named Heavy Martha….later just Martha, and we played throughout Oregon and Northern Calif. Mainly schools, community centers….but hey…we got paid.....a little bit anyway.

Since our agent Harry Arnold was also THE concert promoter in Southern Oregon , we worked a lot of concerts in the early to mid 70’s and met quite a few folks passing through. Others we shared actual playing gigs with went on to be in some bigger groups like Autograph, Masters of the Airwaves (Epic Records), and others. My brother is the Schmoozer of the family (and I the shy seemingly snooty lead singer), so he can name more names than I ever could hope to.

We used to travel back to So Cal in the summers and hit Hollywood most every summer trying to get into offices, to play and meet people in 70,71 & 72.

In 72 we did a demo at the old Wally Heider’s studio C, also hit Mystic Sound Studios on Selma and generally
made pests of ourselves.

In 71 we were walking the streets with our acoustics, looking through Office Directories for Management Companies, Record Companies, and Entertainment Lawyers, ---finding them----and basically asking them if we could audition for them on the spot. I believe that it was a lawyer in Westwood that we played for, who really liked us and told us to hang on while he made a phone call. He then told us to get back to Hollywood and go see Nick St. Nicholas, who used to be in Steppenwolf but was starting a management company. So of course, that’s exactly what we did.

We played for Nick in a conference room. He liked it. Called a couple of people in. We played some more. He called a couple more people in. We played some more. Anyway…..seems like it went on for awhile, but who knows? We finally ended up in his office, where he regaled us with a couple of Hollywood party stories…one of which somehow involved David Clayton Thomas of Blood Sweat & Tears. We then talked about contracts; I believe that we were all underage, so Nick & a partner spoke of getting parental permission etc. etc. It seemed like we were on our way. The tricky part was that we had a “friend” that we had dubbed “Manager” and he was, I’m sure,
wondering what his part would be.

At any rate they wanted to hear our “Electric” set, so our “manager” and Nick’s company set up an audition at the club- The Warehouse- in Anaheim .

Since we literally were “starving musicians”, we had shared a McDonald’s hamburger the morning of the audition and otherwise were subsisting on macaroni & Pork & beans and stuff.

Nick St . Nicholas didn’t show, he sent an emissary, we played our Electric set….all was fine.

I got off of the drums to sing an acoustic song…..got to the mike…. and fainted dead away. Oooops. Blew that one!

I believe that there were a couple more phone calls between our faux manager and Nick’s company, and we got the feeling that our guy was trying to cut himself in and not passing anything along to us that the company was telling him…….and pretty soon we just ran out of cash and time and went back home to Oregon. Till the next summer of course (sans faux manager).

And THAT is one of my brief Hollywoodagogoland encounters.

Oh yes…there’s more…..auditioning for Chuck Barris for the Gong Show- auditioning for the Dinah Shore show……and yes…..I even auditioned for “The Singing Cowboy” show at Burbank studios with a 4 minute “not even close to cowboy” song……and they let me finish! But I ramble………

Thanks (or shame on you) for encouraging me to write, Betty……cool site you have here.
……and I thought so before I wrote….
(install laugh here).
By the way...my brother and I have been working for
Fender Musical Instruments for quite a few years.

Best wishes,

Rob Schwarz aka Robert Masters aka NewImprovedLove
(aka “lucky”)


www.myspace.com/newimprovedlove
www.myspace.com/wndrfl

www.roxstermusic.com


Don Waller

The Imperial Dogs

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"Animals! Animals at Gazzarri's! We've never had such animals at Gazzarri's!" screamed club owner Bill Gazzarri's sister. And even when you consider that the former stripjoint had hosted everyone from Stark Naked & The Car Thieves to the Doors to Van Halen to everyotherheavymetalband to come out of El Lay in the '80s, the lady just might've been right.
This was March 28, 1974 -- and this was the Imperial Dogs' first gig. Prophetically, it was w-i-L-d. Equally prophetically, it got them permanently banned from the club.
Half the crowd was then then-usual Gazzarri's regulars -- razor-cut sharpies with backcombed hair just over their earlobes and shirt collars that stretched almost to their armpits. Real hep cats lookin' for some action in a Sunset Strip scenario that went out when the Byrds flew in circa 1964.
The other half was the friends 'n' fans of the band (vocalist Don Waller, guitarist Paul Therrio, bassist Tim Hilger, and drummer Bill Willett), which had been playing together -- first as Sugar Boy, then as White Light -- for the past two years.
When they got the call from forgotten promoter asking if they would audition for "a big party he was gonna be throwing real soon" by playing Gazzarri's for free, no one in the Imperial Dogs bothered to mention that repeated police visits over noise complaints had left the band without a place to practice for the last two weeks.
After all, this wasn't opening for South Bay sensations/Rolling Stones imitations the Clap at a rented-out Shamrock Roller Rink in downtown Torrance for an audience of 500 beer-soaked teenagers, this was a chance to play uptown, Hollywood, the B*I*G T*I*M*E.
Fortunately, the boys in the band had the foresight to tape the evening's festivities on a portable cassette recorder -- mono, no less, as stereo cassette recorders weren't on the market yet -- and the result was captured raw and alive! on the first four tracks of the Imperial Dogs' posthumous Unchained Maladies: Live! 1974-75 album that was issued on Australian indie Dog Meat Records in 1989.
As anyone who's actually heard this long out-of-print LP can attest, the audience hoots 'n' hollers when the Imperial Dogs take the stage, but by the end of the first song -- a double-time rendition of the Kinks' "Till The End Of The Day" that, taking a cue from the tune's intro, recalls James Brown's similarly motorheaded transmogrification of the '5' Royales' "Think" -- allofasudden nobody seems to find anything quite so got-damn funny anymore.
And … if you listen closely to the Imperial Dogs' original, "Needle & Spoon," a punky, junkie, minor-key blues in a Albert King meets William Burroughs vein -- you'll hear the female members of the audience scream delightedly at the precise moment that Don does a long, slow, spread-legged slide down the microphone stand, causing his skin-tight jeans to split at the crotch, exposing his shortcomings. This isn't what got the band banned from the club, though.
It was their failure to vacate the stage and promptly remedy the situation, coupled with the irrepressible Don's comment ("Yeah, I know my dick's been hangin' out. Didn't yer Mama tell ya, it's impolite to stare?") as well as the obviously feigned "apology" offered before the club would let the band return and finish the set -- meanwhile, Don had borrowed a pair of hot pink bikini briefs from one of the band's female fans -- that fried Old Lady Gazzarri's resistors.
The next time the Imperial Dogs played up in Hollywood was on November 11, 1974 at Rodney Bingenheimer's English Disco, where the band, their friends, and fans used to drive up from their home base in Carson to dance to all the "glam-rock" records they loved, but rarely heard on the radio.
Curiosity piqued by Rodney's tales of "packs of wild girls that follow them around" (which is how they got the gig), Kim Fowley -- wearing one of the band's T-shirts that they'd silk-screened themselves -- took it upon himself to introduce the Imperial Dogs to a packed-to-the-rafters crowd of Hollyweird glitterati, including the band's spiritual godfather: Iggy Pop.
When asked what he thought of all these young Dogs doin' this Detroit-inspired material, the Igster replied, "You know that song 'The Bad And The Beautiful'? Did those guys write that? Man, that's a good song. I wanna record that." Unfortunately, the Igman's next stop was U.C.L.A.'s Neuro-Psychiatric Institute and it's doubtful he has any memory of that conversation …
But the main thing anyone remembers about that gig was that the Imperial Dogs planted one of their pals, Eric Saari -- a Carson guitar-hero who couldn't stand being out of the spotlight for more than five minutes -- into a wheelchair that they'd liberated in the name of the people and gave him a fistful of stage-blood capsules. Eric wheeled himself into the middle of the crowd that was sitting on the club's usual dance floor and proceeded to yell such bon mots as, "You suck!" or "Play something we know!" the entire night.
After about 40 minutes of this, the Imperial Dogs fired into "Lizard Love," during which Don -- in keeping with the song's S&M-theme -- took off his chromed-chain belt and after whipping himself, the stage, and everything else in sight, waded into the audience, and started beating on the wheelchair that Eric was sitting in, turning it over, and dumping him to the ground, whereupon Eric began spitting fake blood all over the place, sending half the people in the club running, screaming onto the sidewalk …
The Imperial Dogs couldn't believe the audience thought that was real! All they wanted to do was show that wanna-be outrageous Hollywood crowd what true decadence really looks like, and, of course, get people talking about 'em.
Nevertheless, the club had made so much money that night -- the band got paid something like $86 bucks from the door -- that they were invited back. On February 16, 1975, the Imperial Dogs played Rodney's for the second time. They didn't pull any stunts, but had the foresight to watch over who got in for free at the door, and took home about $113.
The Imperial Dogs were invited to perform at Rodney's a third time, but a couple of weeks after playing a Carson "hall party" on February 22, 1975, the band broke up.
But the Imperial Dogs' story doesn't end there. Fowley introduced Don to then-Blue Oyster Cult co-producer/co-manager Murray Krugman, who was looking for material for the band's next album. After listening to a cassette that the Imperial Dogs had recorded live in their Carson practice space, Krugman took a copy of the lyrics to a Don Waller & Paul Therrio composition titled "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" back to New York with him.
A couple months later, Fowley told Don that Krugman had re-written everything but the title and hookline ("This ain't the Garden of Eden/This ain't the Summer of Love"), that B.O.C. drummer Albert Bouchard had written all-new music, and they wanted to put the song on the forthcoming B.O.C. album.
So … Don took a piece of the writer's share, Fowley took Don's share of the publishing for putting the deal together, and the B.O.C.'s version appeared on their 1976 Agents Of Fortune LP, which thanks to the success of the "Don't Fear The Reaper" single, sold 1,000,000 copies and went platinum.
The song has since been covered by Swedish garage-rockers the Nomads, operating under the in-jokey nom de rock the Screamin' Dizbusters; by Australian neo-punkadelic outfit the U.V.'s, by L.A. metal-mongers Lizzy Borden, by U.K. eclectics Current 93, by L.A. rock-grrrls L7 on the soundtrack to the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" film, and interpolated into the second (1988) recording of "Swallow My Pride" by "Godfathers of Grunge" Green River, who ranks included future members of Pearl Jam and Mudhoney. (The song also provided the title for Steve Waksman's 2009 book, This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk.)
In an attempt to capitalize on the B.O.C.'s success, Don -- who by this time had become one of the original staffers of the now semi-legendary, South Bay-based Back Door Man fanzine that was founded by Phast Phreddie Patterson in 1975 -- working with BDM staffers Tom Gardner and Gregg Turner (of future Angry Samoans fame) decided to issue the Imperial Dogs' original version of "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" b/w the I-Dogs' cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man" on the fanzine spin-off Back Door Man Records indie label in 1977. (The only other BDM label releases were two singles by the Pop! -- who'd later be signed to Arista -- and one by the Zippers, whose members included former Imperial Dogs drummer Bill Willett.)
About 11 years later, Australian indie label owner Dave Laing contacted Don and issued that abovementioned album's worth of live Imperial Dogs recordings.
And 19 years after that … San Francisco-based indie label owner Karl Ikola asked Don if he was willing to reissue this LP 'cause people now consider the Imperial Dogs to be "proto-punk" pioneers a la Cleveland's Rocket From The Tombs, Oklahoma's Debris, Canada's Simply Saucer, or Australia's Radio Birdman. (For the record, the Imperial Dogs not only predate all these bands, but also the Ramones, all the U.K. punk bands, and all the L.A. bands that came out of the Masque: the Germs, the Weirdos, the Screamers, Black Flag, et al.)
During the course of this conversation, Don mentioned the Imperial Dogs had also done a 1974 performance at California State University Long Beach, which had been videotaped on a (pre-Betamax) half-inch reel-to-reel in black & white and glorious mono, and that -- after viewing this once and HATING it -- he'd tossed it into a drawer for the last 34 years.
Since then, technology had advanced to where this antiquated video format could be easily digitized -- providing someone still had the original machine that the tape was designed to be played back on (and there's a company in Burbank that specializes in this sort of thing) -- that's what Don did.
After showing the results to the rest of the Imperial Dogs as well as several musicians and journalists -- all of whom were astonished by this historical/hysterical document, which provides incontrovertible audio-visual evidence that an L.A.-based band was playing punk-rock before there was punk-rock, the Imperial Dogs' hour-long Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) was issued on the ID Music label.
For further information, press coverage/links, and several song-length clips (also available on YouTube) go to theimperialdogs.com
-30-
Pic of T-shirt
Rodney's Alley shot LP cover
Iggy at Rodney's
Kim Fowley at Rodney's
DVD cover
Barf Bag handed out at door

4 video clips

Bobby Jameson's Story

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In 1963 I made my first record. It was called "Let's Surf/Please Little Girl Take This Lollypop". It was a big hit in Truckee CA.. I actually went there in 1963 to a high school dance and lip synced the record while standing on a lunch table. "Ahh show business." My next record was in 1964 and it was called "I'm So Lonely/I wanna Love You." that record was preceded by a 9 week Billboard and Cashbox ad campaign that took me from unknown to known and the record was#1 throughout the midwest and parts of Canada. After viewing Tony Alamo's christian conversion, he was the guy who put the ads in Billboard and Cashbox, I found that working with Tony was impossible. I had received a letter from Andrew Loog Oldham,who was producing The Rolling Stones in 1964, offering me an opportunity if I should ever come to England. A couple of month's later I was there. I met Mick Jagger, Chrissy Shrimpton, Jaggers girlfriend, and Andrew Oldham a few days after I arrived. We went into the studio almost immediately and recorded All I Want Is My Baby/Each And Every Day". I was unhappy with "All I Want Is My Baby" because I never got to learn the song before it ended up as a release on Decca Records. I had to go on British T.V. and lip sync it even though I made it clear to Andrew that it could have been a lot better. There is some controversy as to whether the guitar solo on that recording is early Jimmey Page or Keith Richards. My opinion is that it is Page who Oldham borrowed from a group called the Poets. Following that record I moved over to Brit Records which was the forerunner of Island Records. I wrote and recorded "Rum Pum Mum Num/I Wanna Know in the latter part of 1964 and beginning of 65. It was pretty much a bubble gum recording and again I did alot of tv and magazine promotion for it. Seeing that the direction of my carreer was not going where I wanted, I pretty much sabotaged it, for a reason to leave England. I learned that trick from P.J. Proby, who used to rip his pants on stage as a publicity stunt. I used to talk to P.J., who was from Texas, and he said he'd been in England long enough and he'd just keep ripping his pants in public till they threw him out of the country, which they did. I returned to America after almost a year in England. I met a girl named Pam Burns who was Randy Woods secretary at Mira Records. Mira had a budget label that they put stuff on they weren't sure what to do with. One of the recordings they had scheduled for release in Europe was "Songs Of Protest And Anti Protest" by Chris Ducey. Mira ran into contract difficulties with Ducey, but they still had thousands of album jackets printed and a European release date to honor. They figured out that they could alter the album covers to say Chris Lucey instead of Chris Ducey so they did that. Now all they needed was someone to be Chris Lucey. Pam Burns convinced Randy Wood to let me give it a try, cause he was runnung out of time. I had to rewrite all of Ducey's songs, the titles were already printed on the covers, and record the whole album in a couple of weeks, which I did. Marshall Lieb, who had worked with Phil Specter at one time, was hired to produce the album. The album turned out better than Randy Wood expected and he attempted to sign me to a long term contract, which I refused to do. There was never any contract between me and Surrey Records and Randy Wood. I had been hired to rewrite Ducey's songs and sing them, that's all. For the next 6 months Randy had to endure me hanging around Mira-Surrey's offices because part of the deal he had orriginally made with me was, if I did the Lucey album and it turned out ok he would let me cut a record(single) and release it on Mira. Pam Burns made him keep his promise. I wrote and recorded Vietnam/Metropolitan Man and it was released as a single on Mira Records. DJ's in LA refused to play it because it was "anti-American and too political" they said. It did make it's way into Robert Cohen's "Mondo Hollywood" though. Following Vietnam I cut "All Alone/Your Sweet Lovin" on Current Records, "Gotta Find My Roogalator/Low Down Funky Blues" on Penthouse Records and "Reconsider Baby/Low Down Funky Blues" on Penthouse records. Frank Zappa arranged "Reconsider Baby" and "Gotta Find My Roogalator". I wrote each of the songs. Following the lack of success of those 3 records Phil Turetsky, one of a few truly decent persons in the music business, began to lead me away from the Randy Wood era toward new and hopefully better places. Two of the things Phil came up with were, meet the people who were planning the tv show "The Monkies", which I did, I met with them at Columbia pictures. Burt Schiender and Bob Raphelson. They were nice guys, but I didn't believe their show was going to be as hip as they claimed and I bowed out. I was then introduced to Steve Clark, by Phil, and that's where I met and began to work with Curt Boettcher on "Color Him In". From the very beginning Curt and I found it easy to work with each other. I'd play him a song and he'd just start arranging it right then and there. Vocal harmonies, what kind of instruments he wanted to use and a hundred other things. He was a real wizard. I have been fortunate to have worked with a number of real wizards in my time.


When I returned from England in 1965 I made the CHRIS LUCEY album. "SONGS OF PROTEST AND ANTI PROTEST". I then wrote and recorded "VIETNAM/METROPOLITAN MAN" under my own name BOBBY JAMESON for Mira Records. Mira Records owned Surrey Records, who released the CHRIS LUCEY album some months before. "VIETNAM/METROPOLITAN MAN" also made it into the movie "MONDO HOLLYWOOD", in 1966-67, but was not played in LA as a single at anytime that I know of. Following the making oF "VIETNAM" I wrote and recorded 3 more singles on different labels over the next 8 month period. "ALL ALONE/YOUR SWEET LOVIN" on Current Records. "GOTTA FIND MY ROOGALATOR/LOW DOWN FUNKY BLUES" on Penthouse Records. And "RECONSIDER BABY/LOW DOWN FUNKY BLUES on Penthouse Records. "RECONSIDER BABY" was arranged by FRANK ZAPPA, as was "GOTTA FIND MY ROOGALATOR" and I will always consider myself lucky to have worked with FRANK ZAPPA on those 2 records. Both Penthouse records had the same b sides. The 2 Talamo records "I'M SO LONELY/I WANNA LOVE YOU" and "OKEY FANOKEY BABY/MEADOW GREEN" were written and recorded pryor to my going to England, where I recorded "ALL I WANT IS MY BABY/EACH AND EVERYDAY with MICK JAGGER and ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM for Decca Records and "RUM PUM MUM NUM/I WANNA KNOW on Brit Records, the forerunner of Island Records. "COLOR HIM IN" was recorded in 1966 with CURT BOETTCHER and was released on Verve Records in 1967. Curt and I met at the offices of OUR PRODUCTIONS, which had just had a hit called "ALONG COMES MARY". I had been offered a lead in the a new tv show "THE MONKIES" but decided to do an album with CURT BOETTCHER and STEVE CLARK in stead. I didn't want to do anymore bubblegum music and Curt told me I would have the freedom to work on my own stuff, which wouldn't have been possible with "THE MONKIES". I have been told I made the wrong decision many times, but I am still convinced I made the right one. It was David Jones and myself who were the first two "MONKIES" and I am glad I was even offered the chance. CURT BOETTCHER and I went through the songs I had written and decided on the final selections for the album "COLOR HIM IN". The record was picked up by VERVE RECORDS, thanks to FRANK ZAPPA'S input to TOM WILSON, who produced "THE MOTHERS OF INVENTION" along with FRANK ZAPPA for VERVE RECORDS. Let me go back to the real beginning of my story, which only got off the ground because of someone named TONY ALAMO. Tony and I met in Hollywood in 1964. I was 19 years old and played guitar and wrote songs. For some reason, that is still a mystery to me to this day, Tony just started promoting me in Billboard and Cashbox magazine without ever telling me he was going to do it. He just showed up one day in a coffee shop in Hollywood with a copy of both publications and I was in them. We had no contract, no agreement of any kind and no record. But there I was, world wide in both mags. I don't know what I can say to describe how weird it was to be nobody and then have that happen. The ads were black and white quarter page ads that said BOBBY JAMESON, "The World's Next Phenomenon". I was literally speechless if you want to know the truth. The ads continued to run for 9 weeks doubling in size with each new edition. Half page, three quarter page, full page and so on. By the 8th week the ad ran in Billboard only and was a 4 page, full color fold out of a limo with me standing on top of it, while surrounded by numerous uniformed motorcycle security officers. The picture was taken at Griffith Park Observatory in 1964 by Peter Caine. The 9th and final ad was a black and white full page of my face, which up till then had not been seen. It said BOBBY JAMESON says "I'M SO LONELY/I WANNA LOVE YOU", the title of my record, which I cut while the ads were running.


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January 6, 2003 - 2012