Friday, January 21, 2005

Kent Oddballs

Maybe it was just an alignment of the stars, but we sure had a slew
of colorful characters inhabiting Kent in those days, 1964 to 1974.

Freddie Palumbo, (I originally identified him as Freddie Salem, a few crossed circuits in my mind!) who was the subject of a James Gang song, would drift into your pad, utter some mystical statement and then seem to vanish into thin air.

Charles Swanson, Don Titto, Andy Anderson, Ted Bliss, and Jim Greathouse were all among the cast of exteme personalities that made life interesting.

Let's hear what you remember.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Concerts at Memorial Gym

I was working for the KSU audio-visual deptartment, and I set up and ran the P.A. for most of the concerts held in Memorial Gym. Two of the most outstanding shows were the Blues Project with Al Kooper and Sly and the Family Stone, who rocked the Kent crowd.
Years later I worked on Al's solo album at the Record Plant in L.A.

Chippewa Lake and the Chylds

Back in the early 60's Medina County had a rockin' fair and concert series at Chippewa Lake Park. I saw Creedence Clearwater Revival, Bob Seger, Ted Nugent and the Amboy Dukes, and the Chylds, featuring Joe Vitale (standing up) on drums. They wore black and white checked harlequin suits...they looked sharp!

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The Mystery of Piper Rock

David Scroggy wrote me about possible blog topics, one of them was Piper Rock, a rock concert that I supposedly stage managed, the problem is I don't remember any of it. It's keeping me awake at nights, so if anyone can refresh my memory, when was it? who was the promoter? exactly where was it?

Here's what I wrote to Scroggy

Piper Rock? seeems to be a black hole in my memory...was that the concert in the park where the bikers and the hippies had a showdown... refresh my
----- Original Message -----
From: David Scroggy
To: Bruce Hensal
Cc: Peter Goodman
Sent: Monday, January 17, 2005 7:51 PM
Subject: Re: Possible blog topics?

> i thought Piper Rock might be a good one for you. As I
> remember it was you who organized a whole bunch of us
> to go there and work We didn't get paid except for the
> promise of a t-shirt and we didn't even get that.
> I can try to get it started, though. But I'd bet you
> have more to say

then he went on,

It was a rock festival to be held outside of Akron
somewhere. You had organized a bunch of people from
kent to come and help be set-up crew. I went, and I
know a friend of mine named greg sandage came also. We
all got to the venue (a farm or something) the night
before. We spent the night out there and started
working in the morning.

There was an out-of-town crew who had built the stage.
The workers were led by a hippie named "Thumper" who
was a big guy with very long black hair and a big
black beard.

It was a bit of a disaster. It poured with rain all
night and continued into the day.

The way we got equipment up to the top of the stage
was to pass the amps and stuff hand-to-hand up a
narrow wooden flight of stairs. It was nuts- we could
have lost people.

I believe this was the first gig of Barnstorm, except
Joe called the band "Barnyard". I can't remember who
all was in it. I remember they did a version of Honky
Tonk Women. Probably Vitale on drums.

Other bands (I can't remember all of them) scheduled
included Pig Iron (from Toronto) Canned Heat, The
Byrds, Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and I'm not
sure who else.

Several of them refused to play (like the Byrds)
because they were afraid they would get electrocuted
playing in the rain. Others kind of faked it. For
example, Canned Heat didn't set up, but Bob "The Bear"
Hyte and "Blind Owl" sat in with Pig Iron, using them
as a backing band and doing some Canned Heat songs.

I assume you were a sound man, but can't remember.

I remember you marvelling over a clause in Canned
Heat's contract that required the festival to give
them limousine transportation. You wanted to have Jim
Greathouse, who drove an old hearse in those days, to
pick them up at the airport, thereby providing a
"limousine". This didn't happen, but you thought it
would be funny.

The backstage area was a sea of mud. Most vehicles
were up to their axles in it and stuck. But this crazy
young farmer guy named Ed Hatch (who I knew from
Akron- I don't think any of the Kent people knew him)
showed up in his pickup truck, which was the only
thing that could move through the mud. He was
immediately pressed into service. Since I knew him, he
let me ride in the back when he drove out to pick up
Kenny Rogers and band from their stuck tour bus out by
the road and took them to the backstage area. So I got
to ride in the truck bed with Kenny & his band.

I know there were some other good acts there, but I
can't remember who. maybe someone else will know.

Is any of this coming back to you?


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Led Zeppelin and Grand Funk Railroad

One of the first appearances of Led Zeppelin in Northeast Ohio was as the opening act for Grand Funk Railroad. This show was either at the old WHK arena or Public Hall in Cleveland.(I don't remember exactly where it was).
Zep opened and blew the spuds away. Jimmy Page's guitar pyrotechnics, including his famous violin bow solo, stole the show. Even though Grand Funk was the headliner, and played a tight and furious show, the Brits won this early trans Atlantic battle.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Herman's Hermits and the Who

Herman's Hermits / The Who in Cleveland

It's funny these days to remember that The Who's first
U.S. tour was as opening act for Herman's Hermits.
Well, I guess if Jimi Hendrix could open for The
Monkees it's not that strange.

Some of us in Akron were able to get import British
'45s, so we actually were pretty up-to-speed on The
Who, and thought they were the greatest band going.

When the concert came to Cleveland, I was allowed to
go. My friend Greg Bury of The Brambles drove, as I
was still too young to go by myself. I didn't know any
of the Kent folks on this blog yet, as Kent was still
a few years away for young David.

As we had little interest in Herman's Hermits, and
were crazy for The Who, we decided to bail on the
concert at intermission and see if we could follow
them back to their hotel. Amazingly enough, this
worked and we found ourselves pulling up to the lobby
of the Statler-Hilton in Cleveland.

Upon entering the lobby, we found a dozen or so young
fans like ourselves and Roger Daltry holding forth on
a sofa. We heard that John Entwhistle was downstairs
in the adjacent club ( Otto's Grotto, I believe it was
called), and most of our party repaired down there. I
couldn't because I was under 18.

But Greg and I spied Peter Townshend as he was heading
for the elevator, and he was nice enough to stop for a
minute and shake hands and let us tell him we thought
he was great.

Not long after, Peter Noone arrived, and planted
himself in the bar off the lobby. In his wake, a bunch
of teenybopper girls appeared (they must have been
young if they seemed young to me) and wanted to go
talk to "Herman" but were afraid to enter the bar
because they "weren't allowed".

So they waited patiently, and after an hour or so of
mooning and twittering, were rewarded by the sight of
Mr. Noone and a few manager-type associates heading
from the bar into the lobby toward the elevators. We
had been nearby listening to Daltry, who was dressed
splendidly in a flowing paisley capelike jacket,
regale his fans with god-knows-what kind of b.s.

We weren't paying that much attention to Herman's
group, but at that point an interesting thing
happened: a very pissed-off shout loudly echoed
through the lobby, which was "I'm gonna kick your
fucking blooming ass!!!". As all heads turned, we saw
dear sweet Herman (who was not exactly a small guy,
cute press shots notwithstanding) throwing a
roundhouse punch at some drunk guy in a suit.

Apparently this fellow was a hotel guest drinking in
the bar who didn't know or care who Peter Noone was
and had spent the last hour insulting him because he
had long hair. By then Herman had had a few himself
and was ready to mix it up.

Quickly his handlers restrained Noone, who was
frothing and screaming and trying to break loose to
fight this guy, and (no doubt envisioning the morning
papers) they hustled him bodily into the elevators and
upstairs. But not before some 50-ish, short bald man
in a suit with a cigar in his mouth, who appeared to
be about 5 feet tall and was undoubtedly on the
business side of the Hermit's team, said "Why don't
you try that with me, sport !", and pushed the drunk
ass-over-teakettle down a short flight of stairs.

Simultaneously, I noticed two things: one was the
completely horrified expressions on the young
teenybopper girl's faces as some kind of dream
shattered before their eyes, and the other was Roger
Daltrey, now standing on top of the back of the couch,
waving his outstretched arms and singing as loud as he
could a slightly sarcastic rendition of The Beatle's
tune "All You Need Is Love".

After that, everyone pretty much called it a night.


Thursday, January 13, 2005

Jeff Beck Group with Rod Stewart

Did any of you attend the Jeff Beck Group show at the short lived
Grande Ballroom in Cleveland? Rod Stewart was the singer, Ron Wood played bass, Mickey Waller on drums and Max Middelton on keyboards. Amazing show...and the year was?

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Poor Girls, Chi-Pig

I was going to post a request for audio/video/still photos of the Poor
Girls and Chi-Pig, esp. from the gigs at the Civic Theater opening for
Cream and Steppenwolf, and the Cleveland Teen Fair.

Susan Schmidt Horning, Ph.D.
Adjunct Faculty, Liberal Arts
The Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, Ohio 44106

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Genral Jackett and Headquarters

Gary Jackett sent me a lovely Christmas card this year, an original signed work of art, probably created on a Mac with Photoshop. I remember when he spray painted on large canvases and T-shirts...that's adaptation!
He lived above the flower shop on Water Street (Headquarters) back in the day.

Friday, January 07, 2005

The Measles, Glass Harp, James Gang, the Numbers Band

These bands played mostly at J.B.'s on Water Street. Great playing, great singing, great grooves and beer, a spud's delight.
the Kove, the Loft, the Robin Hood and the other bars I've forgotten.
Fred Weber, Jeff Curry, Bob Webb, Mary Measle, Buddy, Dave, The Numbers Band cast; Bob and Jack Kidney, Terry Hynde, Chris Butler, Jerry Casale, Fred Trabuzzo, David Robinson, Michael Staley, etc. Joe Walsh, Tom Kriss, Jimmy Foxx, Phil Keaggy and everyone else I've forgotten again.

Guido's Pizza and Franklin Apartments

These were both places I lived in Kent. At Guido's, Chris Butler, Gerry Casale, Terry Hynde, Jim Greathouse and myself all lived there at the same time.
Franklin apartments was right across the street from the old library. Myself and Patrick Cullie lived on the ground floor, along with Ted Bliss, a beatnik record collector who turned us on to old classic Robert Johnson blues. Bill Zorn, of later Coop fame, was Ted's roomate. Grant Kollar, an art student/race car driver was the manager and lived in the third ground floor apartment.