The Butts Band an historical perspective! Apr 27, 2006 20:03:32 GMT
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Apr 27, 2006 20:03:32 GMT
The Blue Thumb / Butts Band promo pic… taken in Jamaica (almost certainly at Strawberry Hill) when the band were on the island recording the second part of their first, eponymous album.
Left to Right Densmore, Krieger, Davies, Roden, Chen
The Butts Band came about as a consequence of trying to find a replacement for Jim. The lads were in London in 1973 looking for a new lead singer for The Doors and had auditioned several Brit singers including Howard Werth (the singer with Audience), Kevin Coyne (from Siren) and Jess Roden (who was the leader of Bronco).
Howard Werth even rehearsing with the band for a week with a view to stepping into Jim's shoes (Audience and Siren were both signed to Elektra in the US as parts of distribution deals with thier own labels here Charisma and Dandelion Jac Holzman favoured Howard as he had at one stage forseen Audience taking over The Doors spot on Elektra but the band (Audience) had fallen apart and he now saw Howard and The Doors merging as the new Doors) but Ray shied off and went back to LA effectively finishing The Doors as a band forever but John and Robby hung about in London and began looking for a new project.
Linking up with Jess, Phil Chen and Roy Davies (of legendary Gonzalez fame who died in 1986 sadly) to form the Butts Band.
I remember reading an early interview in Melody Maker or NME where Robby explained the origin of the name..... 'butts band' equalled bunch of losers desperate for a gig....hence the tattered speaker on the front cover.......I thought that a cool concept...still do today.
Thier debut was anything but a 'bunch of losers desperate for a gig' as they produced one of the unsung albums of the early 70s. Jess had been a popular vocalist with Bronco (which also featured Robert Plant side-man Robby Blunt on guitar) and his vocal talents would have graced the Doors in 1973 and did a fine job for the half of the band that remained.
Backed up by the 'mysterious' Chen (nobody even knows where HE was born) and the funky Davies their debut was a delight with some excellent Krieger gems as well as the song of the album written by Roden 'Sweet Danger'!
Fun and funky (just check out Baja Bus) best described it as it was recorded in Jamaica and London and must have cost a fortune......I think I was the only one who bought a copy in 1974?
Damn shame as it was excellent.
The pressure of two members living in California and 3 in London told and the band split after a low key tour and the odd TV appearance...I saw them play a couple of numbers live on the Old Grey Whistle Test BBCs best ever rock show.....The nearest they came to me was Scarborough and Hull supporting Sparks which is a gig I would have loved to see as I was a fan of early Sparks.
John and Robby tried again and Butts band 2 were formed...now this lot took the concept a bit too much to heart as the earlier description of a butts band fit this lot to a TEE!
If you get the chance to listen to the first BB album then damn well do so as its awesome but the 2nd one is bloody awful.
The release party of the bands debut must have been a hoot as unbeknown to the guests in one of Beverley Hills poshest restaurants Blue Thumb had three naked guys streak around the place with Butts Band scrawled in big letters on their arces.......oh how I miss the 70s....
"Before An American Prayer, we did two albums as the Doors, Full Circle and Other Voices, which were fairly well received albums. But the problem was after Jim had gone, the three of us couldn’t get along anymore. We did for a while but after a while, it got very strange. We all decided to go to England and maybe find a singer over there. So we all went over there, kind of moved over there. Then Dorothy, Ray’s wife, got pregnant and she had gone through some weird stuff. So Ray decided to go back home.
John and I were stuck over in London, so we formed this group called the Butts Band with Phil Chen, who at that time was the hot bass player in England, like the James Jamerson of England. We had a singer named Jess Roden and a keyboard player named Roy Davis. It was really a good band. We recorded half of the record in the U.K. and half in Jamaica which Phil help with because he is from there and he was able to visit his mother and father for the first time in ten years. Then we came back to Los Angeles and we couldn’t hold the band together because half of them lived in England and half of us lived here. They got homesick and stuff didn’t happen as soon as we had hoped. The record got shuffled around to two or three record companies so then we did another album as the Butts Band with a whole different line up. Karl "Slick" Rucker bass player, Mike Stull who is a great singer. He sounded like the Righteous Brothers and a Lady keyboard player named Alex Richman. We did an album called “Hear and Now”."