Showing posts with label James Williamson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Williamson. Show all posts

1.05.2019

SCOTT RICHARDSON AND JAMES WILLIAMSON: THE CHOSEN FEW!


Scott R sent me this photo of "The Chosen Few". (Photos of TCF are really hard to find) This band was on the line up of the very first Grande Ballroom gig in October 1966 with the MC5 as the headliner and the Wha? opening.

Card Graphic by Dick Rosemont (Thanks Dick!)

It has been more than an interesting time for me with tons of new connections and opportunities coming my way. One of the best things to happen of recent is I began working with Scott Richardson (thanks Patti Quatro!) fabulous and handsome lead singer of SRC fame. Scott has provides me with all kinds of historical puzzle pieces to the story of Michigan Rock History. (understatement of the western world...)


See Heather's Gallery on James' website gallery HERE

Met James via Rock Photographer Heather Harris and Facebook and a lot of mutual friends. James is such a wonderful guy and so sweet to me. He sent me photos of his Raw Power Gold Record and made my whole day happy! Read the story about his gold record and see the photos HERE

(photo James Marshall)

THE CHOSEN FEW LINEUP

Various Members of TCF
*Scott Richardson (V)
*James Williamson (G)
*Ron Asheton (B) The Prime Movers
*Kip Phillips (B)
*Richard Simpson (G)
*Stan Salusky (?) D

(Late 1965 - December, 1966)
While James was recently on tour with Iggy and the Stooges in Australia. I wrote and asked him if he would give me a short story on his involvement with TCF and he happily sent it over today... I loved this story and am sure my readers and James' fans will dig it too. thank you JW xxooK

White Fender Jaguar (not James') waiting for pic

James Williamson's Story on "The Chosen Few"

Hi Kim,

I was only in the Chosen Few for a short time. I co-founded the band with Scott Richardson, who I met at a Birmingham coffee shop is I recall correctly. He was from near the Pontiac area and we hit it off since both (of us) were into Beatles, Stones, etc.

So we jammed a little and ended up recruiting the other guys in the band...Richard Simmons (2nd guitar), Kip Phillips (bass), Stan Salusky (sp?...on drums)...I was the lead guitar and Scott was on vocals...

I think we only played a couple of live shows while I was in the band. The first was at a high school dance and the 2nd might have been at a frat party in Ann Arbor. After that I was sent away to Juvie for being "incorrigible" meaning that I wouldn't cut my hair and do what I was told to do.

Of course the first day in Juvie (juvenile detention) they buzz cut my hair, so I might have done things differently in hind sight, but anyway, that was the way it was. From there I was sent to boarding school in upstate NY...and thus the Coba Seas subsequent recent release.

I played a While Jaguar (probably 1964-66) that I had conned my mom into buying me once I could play ok. Loved that guitar and could play all the surf songs on it perfectly...(just got another one recently ...sunburst)...

I had the White Jag until I traded it along with my SG for my Cherryburst Les Paul Custom (1969) which I later recorded Raw Power (and Kill City ) with. Iggy knew the music store owner so he brokered the deal (so naturally I got screwed royally)...really wish I hadn't traded those guitars, but what else could I do...the Les Paul was the perfect guitar for the Stooges.

Anyway, it was during one of my vacation returns from boarding school that I got together with my old band mates from the Chosen Few and went up to their gig at a Frat Party in Ann Arbor...

Kip Phillips was going off to college and so a new bass player named Ron Asheton was in the band. I was impressed at how long Ron's hair was and that he barely looked at the audience...just played into his amp with his back to the audience. That night was the first night I met Ronnie.

Ron Asheton

Iggy was there too that night and it was also the first time I met him as well. I had brought my White Fender Jaguar with me and during a break, I played some of my original songs for him. He said he liked them, but it was hard to tell.

Surely, he's told me how frenetic he remembers them being and that that impression was a lasting one for him and something he remembered when he finally asked me to join the Stooges in late 1970/early 71'...the rest is well documented....James


Gary Grimshaw poster art

From Scott Richardson:

Kim,

Thanks so much to you and James for your info regarding 'THE CHOSEN FEW'. I did meet James in Birmingham though I thought it was at a record store where we were both checking out disks and the amazing beatnik blonde clerk, 'Fran'..

In any case James & I connected and began a whirlwind drive to form our band. Kip, Richard and Stan came from a group called 'THE FIVE GRAND' who I saw at The Michigan State Fair in a battle of the bands.


All three of them plus James and I had an instant chemistry that just felt right. My recollection is that there was one gig at a Catholic School in Pontiac before James left that had Ron Asheton on bass.

Reason that came about was we were scouted by two managers, Ron Richardson, (no relation) and Jeep Holland, both based in Ann Arbor. I hitch hiked to meet Jeep at Discount Records. He managed the store but wasn't there when I arrived. Instead I met a dude named Jim Osterberg who was stocking records, and told me to hang out till Jeep returned. Jim also was the drummer for the Prime Movers blues band at this time.

I an eternally grateful to him for picking up the phone and calling his friend bassist Ron Asheton. Twenty minutes later, Ron, Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander showed up. Jeep however, did not.

The four of us walked across the quadrangle to Ron Richardson's apartment and there THE CHOSEN FEW PT. 2 was born. Richard moved to lead guitar after James left. Al Wilson became our rhythm guitarist and Ron Asheton played bass.

I feel so proud and grateful that both future hall of famers James and Ronnie came into my life. In the brief time of that band a lot of cool connections happened & a bit of history was made. Scott Richardson

P.S.

Kim, please also add that Ron Richardson took THE CHOSEN FEW to New York City and later became manager of THE STOOGES. Jeep Holland became manager and producer of the SCOT RICHARD CASE.

4.17.2018

STOOGES GUITARIST JAMES WILLIAMSON RELEASES NEW VINYL/CD!!


James Williamson of The Stooges has started a new band with Frank Meyer of The Streetwalkin' Cheetahs and Petra Haden of that dog. It's called James Williamson & the Pink Hearts and they will be releasing their debut album Behind The Shade on June 22 via Leopard Lady records. Order it Below.


Behind the Shade by James Williamson & the Pink Hearts will be released on LP+CD, standalone CD, and digitally by Leopard Lady Records on Friday, June 22, 2018.



Riot On The Strip from the Album "Behind The Shade" by
James Williamson & The Pink Hearts
Directed by Amy D'Allesandro
Cinematography by James Rodney Stolz
Edited by David Schneider
Executive Producer James Williamson

Williamson supplies all of the riffs, guitar parts, and most bass parts. In addition, Behind the Shade features a wide array of talented accompanists. Michael Urbano (Smash Mouth, Bourgeois Tagg, Todd Rundgren, John Hiatt) provides inventive percussion and driving drum patterns. Gregg Foreman, Hervé Salters, Paul Roessler, Nick Hart, and Audrey Vera guest on keyboards and piano. Additional musicians on the sessions are Jason Carmer (bass), Don Rooke (lap steel), Geoff Yeaton (saxophone), Tony Peebles (saxophone), and Steffen Kuehn (trumpets).

The origins of the Pink Hearts stretch back to 2012 when Williamson was searching for backing singers to appear on what would become the final Stooges album, Ready to Die (2013). Latter-day Stooges bassist Mike Watt suggested his friend Petra Haden to Williamson. “Petra came in with her violin and blew me away with her playing and singing,” recalls Williamson. “Months later when we recorded the basic tracks, I included her on what would become Ready to Die’s closing track, ‘The Departed’.”

RACKLIST:

1. "Riot on the Strip"
2. "Judith Christ"
3. "Pink Hearts Across the Sky"
4. "You Send Me Down"
5. "Destiny Now" *
6. "This Garden Lies"
7. "Purple Moon"
8. "Miss Misery"
9. "The Revolution Stomp"
10. "Behind The Shade"

CD BONUS TRACK:
11. "Died a Little Today" **

All songs written by Frank Meyer & James Williamson except:
* Paul Nelson Kimball & James Williamson
** Alejandro Escovedo

  

5.11.2017

JAMES WILLIAMSON AND DENIZ TEK LAUNCHED A NEW EP "ACOUSTIC K.O."

Deniz Tek (Radio Birdman) and James Williamson (Iggy & the Stooges) photo Anne Tek

FROM DENIZTEK.COM 

Fans of The Stooges and Radio Birdman are in for a real treat this spring as guitarist James Williamson and singer/guitarist Deniz Tek have teamed up for a new spin on four classic Williamson compositions from the early/mid '70s. The two proto-punk icons have unplugged their amps for drastic, yet no less gratifying reworkings of two numbers from Iggy & The Stooges’ seminal Raw Power album (“I Need Somebody” and “Penetration”) as well as two tracks from Pop & Williamson’s often-unsung masterpiece Kill City (“Night Theme” and “No Sense of Crime”). These songs were orginally composed by Pop & Williamson, with the exception of "Night Theme" which was penned by Williamson and Scott Thurston.


Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Williamson explains hooking up with Tek and working with him on this effort, “I first met Deniz in 2011 when doing the Ron Asheton Tribute show at the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor. Deniz had been a good friend of the Ashetons (having come from Ann Arbor like them) and had been asked to play on some of the old Stooges tunes that night.”

“Later we stayed in touch during the times I would visit Australia on tour with the Stooges, and it also turned out that he visited the Big Island of Hawaii frequently, as do my wife and I. In fact, during one of our get togethers on the Big Island Deniz mentioned that we should record some acoustic songs together. Maybe do some of my old stuff. It was later that day, hiking in a remote area, that we came across some abandoned trucks. His wife, Anne, got her camera out and said 'there’s your record cover!’”


ACOUSTIC K.O. TRACKLISTING:
I Need Somebody
Penetration
Night Theme
No Sense Of Crime

Oddly, in a parallel development, a long time fan and incredible collector of Stooges memorabilia, Hakan Beckman, had suggested to James a couple of years earlier that “Night Theme” should be orchestrated. Further, he had developed a fantasy album cover called Acoustic K.O. James loved these ideas and now, with Tek, had the vehicle to realize them.

“That’s how it all started,” Williamson admits. “However, once we began recording, the project took on a life of its own. If this was to be called Acoustic K.O. it needed to be entirely acoustic. Michael Urbano broke out his old 1920s drum kit and Gregg Foreman used my old 1930s pump organ and a piano. Guitars, of course, were acoustic, and the only exception was the bass that Bob Glaub played - an old hollow body Kay since an upright just didn’t sound right for these songs. The horn section rounded everything out.”


“For ‘Night Theme’ I enlisted the help of Mark Culbertson, musician extraordinaire who had played contra-bass for me on the albums Ready to Die and Re-Licked, to do the arrangement. He did an extraordinary job! I was able to find an incredible group of players called The Awesome Orchestra from Berkeley, CA under the direction of David Moschler to realize Mark’s arrangement and I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

“It all came together once we layed down Deniz’s vocals while in Hawaii, and with the help of Petra Haden doing some backing vocals and violin, along with Annie Hardy (Giant Drag) doing the duet with Deniz on ‘No Sense Of Crime’ we had performances to be proud of.”

Deniz Tek and James Williamson’s Acoustic K.O. EP will be available March 31st on vinyl and digital (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) formats. Read Full Article Here

2.07.2014

LA 1973 IGGY AND THE STOOGES: ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER HEATHER HARRIS:



How a born and bred Los Angeles person like yours truly came to appreciate Detroit/Ann Arbor/Michigan music from afar at a relatively early age... Rock and Beatles/Stones had saved my sanity from a toxic family, and I liked my music loud and fast. While I preferred Lennon's hard-edged rocker covers my chums gravitated to their beloved McCartney ballads and worshiped the latest faux-Joni. Egad, why?


Experts contend that in popular musical tastes, females prefer emphasis on great lyrics and males fixate on insistent beat or groove. Balderdash. If you don't remember the power and musicality of a song first, how can you later dissect what was sung? With this in mind, I tried to infiltrate any club that didn't catch my underaged ass and began photographing that to which I could get access in 1967. I was open to anything good, preferably great. With greatness in mind, a lot of focus came upon The Stooges circa 1970.


I was fortunate early on to encounter the in-person musical orbit of John Mendelsohn, a music writer for Creem Magazine and Rolling Stone who mattered in the late 1960s and 70s. And he didn't just like but loved the Stooges as kindred subversives. He trumpeted same to anyone who'd read or listen, particularly like-minded, quirky new friends such as visiting rookie musician David Bowie on the latter's first USA trip.

 
Corroboration of Mendelsohn introducing Bowie and consequently, for better and worse, his management MainMan to the Stooges' music can be found on page 148 of Paul Trynka's first edition of his Iggy Pop bio "Open Up and Bleed.") Here in L.A. as with most of the world in the pre-internet Pleistocene, absolutely no one beyond Midwestern zip codes had any prior Stooge exposure prior to Mendelsohn's lauding thereof.
 

Hence the importance of Mendelsohn's 1970 Entertainment World feature, one of the first if not the first nation-wide cover stories on The Stooges in a mainstream multi-arts magazine, not just a regional, music-based one. Their centerpiece article by Mendelsohn featured lots more natural stage light, live performance photos which took great skill then (and a close, personal relationship with a pro lab that would push film beyond recommended specs) by Kurt Ingham (AKA singer Mr. Twister) (and future Mr. Fastfilm.)
 

Unfortunately I hadn't met the great arbiter until after the first Stooges gigs in California mid-1970, so my first opportunity to photograph them became the Whisky A Gogo, Hollywood CA in 1973. At the only freebie possible for this impecunious college student/photojournalist, my twenty-two minutes of photographing an appallingly short second set of two songs ("She Creatures Of The Hollywood Hills" and "Open Up And Bleed") yielded all my vintage Stooges' shots since seen over the years in domestic and international periodicals both print and online. They were everything heretofore touted, wild yet precise musicians, wasted, cute and dangerous. The audience initially was scared of them: I thought it was hilarious. At the time, 1973, I could only sell a single image. The world had yet to catch up.


As a Fine Art major at UCLA, I was used to true innovators in my art history lessons being ignored by their contemporaries. Outliers are outsiders, so the slander and malediction of The Stooges meant zero to me. At least in this instance forty plus years later, its audience finally caught up with the onetime maligned Iggy and The Stooges, inducting them into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010, acknowledging what punks everywhere had known in those intervening decades: they fucking ROCKED. I have been sufficiently fortunate to photograph Iggy and The Stooges in about a half dozen venues, nowadays always to huge, out-of-control-enthusiastic audiences. See LINK to find them all.

 Scott Thurston, James Williamson and Heather Harris

Iggy and The Stooges were my gateway drug to all that Detroit/Ann Arbor/Michigan music had to offer: now let's hear it for The Ruiners and Turn To Crime! -Heather Harris 2014
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