Even though he’s been gone for a year now, don’t think any of his fans and friends will ever forget Bootsey X! I’ve spent some time on Youtube the last few days thinking I would add a one of the video’s of Bootsey X and the Lovemasters along with this picture.
The trouble is, I couldn’t decide which one. Like most of you know, not every show is the brightest star in your universe. Should it be one that reminds me of the time we had that night, or a song that everyone wanted us to play.
I watched one that had both Bootsey and Steve King, both of which left us this past year. Instead of rambling on, I’d just like to say during this holiday season, how thankful I am to have been a part of the life and times of these guys, and thank all of you for being there for us.
Feel free to post or like your favorite tune or moment. THANK YOU GERALD
Rare Recordings By Guitar Legend Peter Banks 'The Mars Tapes' Now Available!
London, UK – Much to the excitement of prog fans worldwide, rare recordings of guitar legend Peter Banks, best known for his work with YES and FLASH, is now available on GONZO Multimedia! Peter Banks Empire 'The Mars Tapes' (2-CD set) represents Empire lll in rehearsal at Mars Studios in Los Angeles in 1979. The band had set up camp at Mars Studios for six months rehearsing and showcasing their music, much of which has been unheard until this release. The band basically recorded every thing they did off the board, tape hiss and all.
Peter Banks (RIP 2013) and Sidonie Jordan, who not only co-wrote, but fronted the band with her powerful vocals, founded Empire in the early to mid-seventies after Peter’s FLASH endeavors and attracted artists such as Phil Collins. Peter and Phil had joined forces in a band called 'Zok And The Radar Boys' which was pre-Empire for Peter, and pre-Brand X for Phil. “Sky At Night” (bonus track) features Phil Collins on drums and backing vocals and Jon Giblin on bass and is testimony of their collaboration.
Sidonie Jordan, who has an extensive list of music credentials to her name, including a diversified solo career as a staff writer/recording artist for A&M Records, and has recorded for other labels such as Capital Records, Electra Records and Trojan Records. (Her song and recording of ‘All God’s Mornings’ was produced by Peter Townshend and featured on his ‘With Love’ album. Sidonie is currently producing and writing with Jez Larder owner of Skyline Studios in Sunbury- On-Thames UK, and Empire lll drummer, Mark Murdock, more recently known for his 'Cymbalic Encounters’ release featuring members from Brand X, agreed to release these recordings as a dedication to the memory of Peter Banks and his great contribution to progressive rock music.
Says Sidonie, “ 'The Mars Tapes' were recorded live at Mars Studios in Los Angles during the summer of 1979! And include a few tracks that never appeared on any Empire albums. As with all the Empire incarnations this album features the amazing talent and skill of Peter Banks, who has been called the Architect of Progressive Rock.”
Drummer Mark Murdock explains, “The Peter Banks Empire ship set sail against the ever-changing music world, and was uncompromising in producing a range of material with Peter Banks' 'Signature Guitar Sound and Style,' while incorporating themes of the time period in which the band existed and also reliving the past by playing songs from the early Empire catalog and even a YES version of ‘Something’s Coming.’ There are various tracks on ‘The Mars Tapes’ that also represented a ‘Work In Progress,’ which were both instrumental and vocal orientated. Empire was anticipating to make some big waves in the music scene, but the waves never reached the shore- until now!”
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Grammy Award Winner Buddy Guy to perform at the Michigan Theater in March
Tickets go on sale now
ANN ARBOR, Michigan - The Ark presents blues legend Buddy Guy March 18 at 7:30pm at the Michigan Theater.
Buddy Guy's impressive resume includes: 5 Grammy Awards, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, more Blues Music Awards (formerly known as W.C. Handy Awards) than any other blues artist in history, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked him among the"100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and his song "Stone Crazy" as one of the "100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time."
Guy began his career in Chicago in the 1960's as a studio session musician at the legendary Chess Records label where he backed dozen of blues musicians, including, Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters. He grew to the forefront of the stage where his cutting electric guitar style and passionate vocals captured the attention of a growing number of rock musicians. Eric Clapton calls Buddy Guy "by far and without a doubt the best guitar player alive." He is now considered a major guitar influence among blues and rock icons alike.
Come see this masterful guitarist with a captivating stage presence at the Michigan Theater. Reserved seats are $49.50 and $39.50 (limited Gold Circle also available) and go on sale at ticketmaster.com and all Ticketmaster outlets on Friday, November 21 at 10:00 am. Charge by phone at 800-745-3000. Media sponsorship provided by Metro Times.
About the Michigan Theater: Now celebrating its 87th year, the Michigan Theater is Ann Arbor's award-winning non-profit historic center for fine film and performing arts. The Michigan Theater welcomes more than 250,000 visitors each year to its art house films, concerts, lectures, live theater, and special programs such as Sundance Film Festival USA and Cinetopia International Film Festival. The Michigan Theater is located in downtown Ann Arbor at 603 East Liberty Street. Visit michtheater.org or call the 24-hour information line at (734) 668-TIME for schedule and ticket information.
About The Ark: The Ark is a non-profit organization dedicated to the enrichment of the human spirit through the presentation, preservation and encouragement of folk, roots and ethnic music and related arts. The Ark provides a welcoming atmosphere for all people to listen to, learn about, perform and share music. The Ark is located at 316 South Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor. Visit www.theark.org for further information.
“We had no idea what to expect when we hit the stage. It had been almost 30 years since we played together. We new this could be either the end, or the new beginning.” The Petrucci sisters,
Bret Kaiser (Vocals)
Maxine Petrucci (Guitar)
Chris "GODZILLA" Doliber (Bass)
Roxy Petrucci (Drums)
FROM JACKIE WALLACE:
Like many people, I love to hear a good comeback story. I had the opportunity to meet with the band members of Madam X. Their journey was and continues to be a fascinating one. This is a story within many stories they have to tell…
Going Against the Norm…
Madam X was formed in the late 1970’s /early 1980’s by two sisters from Detroit, Maxine and Roxy Petrucci. The two girls were into heavy metal music. Maxine played guitar, and Roxy played drums. They were not your typical high school girls. They didn’t hang out in dress shops, or go to school dances. Instead, their free time was spent playing music and hanging out in music stores. Their obvious obsession with music made them somewhat of misfits among the high school student body, even though they had both earned music scholarships to Oakland University in Rochester Hills, Michigan.
Maxine and Roxy had auditioned many musicians for their band before they finalized their lineup, which included Chris Doliber on bass and Bret Kaiser on vocals. After a year of gigging every night in Detroit, the foursome packed up and left for New York. They had no plans on how they were going to survive; they just knew their ultimate goal was to be in California and have a record deal, so the how didn’t matter.
The Gritty Road…
There is no better way to describe their early years of work other then to call it gritty. The word “gritty” means “having strong qualities of uncompromising realism,” and that just about summarizes their journey early on. With little income, the foursome lived the life of “starving artists.” When they weren’t sleeping in their vehicles on tour, they slept on the floors of roach infested motels. They would take turns going to eat at cheap buffet restaurants, paying for one meal and then sneaking food back for the other members to eat. The band had a grueling schedule of performing every night which gradually led to a loyal following of metal heads. They had no manager, no marketing team, and no money. They did all the bookings, promoting, and negotiating, themselves.
After building a following in New York, and elsewhere, they scheduled a tour that included their ultimate destination, California. They booked a show at the Troubadour Nightclub in Las Angeles. After their performance, which ended at about midnight, they were approached by a woman who introduced herself as an agent in the music business. The woman suggested that the band go to the venue next door, called the Rainbow Room, to mingle.
The Rainbow Room was the hangout for major national bands such as Motley Crue, Poison, Alice Cooper, and many others. With some hesitation, the band decided to go check it out. As they walked into the venue, their “larger then life” hairstyles caught the attention of everyone in the room, including one of the A&R representatives from Jet Records. The A&R representative asked them who they were and the band introduced themselves. He then asked for a promo pack. Luckily, the band was always prepared and gave him one. Within a week after, the band received a call from Jet Records asking where they were playing next.
The audience at their next gig included, the president of Jet Records, Don Arden. The band performed with their usual level of passion, energy and integrity to their music. Immediately after their performance, Don Arden told them their lives were about to change. He offered to sign Madam X to Jet Records that night.
After the initial explosion of excitement from getting signed, the band quickly began settling into the realization that they were no longer in control of their destiny. They had to adjust and conform to having little creative control. They were under the impression that being signed to a record label meant things were going to happen quickly and on a big scale. The problem was Madam X had already made things happen quickly and big, without any help. Their level of speed was much greater than what a label could offer them.
Hence, began the negativity with the label and then within the band. Eventually, both the band and the label were dealing with separate as well as some mutual issues that caused the band to break up and the label to dissolve. At this point, the members were emotionally drained, and their energy was depleted. They walked away from the Madam X experience and all went their separate ways. Each member continued to pursue music, Maxine started her own band called Maxine; Roxy became the drummer for the popular all female metal band, Vixen; Bret began his own band called Band ’56; and Chris continued to play bass and write music.
As the Years Go By…
Aside from getting back together in 1991 for one show, the band had little or no contact after the break up. Some 28 years later, while on tour in England with the Vixen band, Roxy was at a “meet and greet,” signing autographs after her gig. She found herself repeatedly answering questions about Madam X and also signing Madam X paraphernalia. Roxy realized that although the members of Madam X had moved on, their loyal fans did not.
Roxy contacted Maxine, Brett, and Chris to share her experience and suggested they get together to write and record one song. With the help of producer Kevin Sharpe of Metro 37 Studio, the band reunited and began working on one song to release. As word got out, via social media, the band found that their fans were waiting with excitement. They were contacted by one of the founders of The Sweden Rock Festival, the biggest festival in Sweden, and invited them to perform at the 2014 festival.
With some reservation, the band agreed to do the show. When they arrived in Sweden, they were interviewed by on one of the local magazines, who asked them if they had any idea how big they were in Sweden. The band had no idea. The moments before the show, as the band walked toward the stage, they described the halls leading up to the stage as a “maze” with tall walls so that you couldn’t see out. They described being somewhat nervous, hoping that maybe at least a couple hundred people would show up.
“We had no idea what to expect when we hit the stage. It had been almost 30 years since we played together. We knew this could be either the end of Madam X, or the new beginning.”
Once they hit the stage and saw the “sea of heads,” a crowd of about 20,000 fans, chanting for them, they were overwhelmed. The band portrayed the experience as being “surreal” and “invigorating.” As they began playing, “the nerves settled and it felt like home,” as Roxy put it. At one point, during their performance of their song, High in High School, Bret pointed the microphone at the audience and the band listened to the crowd sing all the words to the song they wrote some 30 years ago. This moment proved that this was, in fact, the new beginning for Madam X!
The Next Chapter…
The band is now recording a new CD with Kevin Sharpe at Metro37 Studio. They have plans to release the CD with a big comeback party right here in Detroit, where it all started. They hired an agent and are planning on a tour in the summer of 2015.
It is amazing how the universe works. When the time is right, and the dream is big enough, the universe will bring it back around.
Welcome back Madam X!