In 1984 the Voxx label reissued an album of Index. Upon hearing it many
people wondered who was Index.
Index were formed in early 1966 in Grosse Point, Michigan. In e66 drummer Jim Valice (17 years old) met Gary Francis. Jim played in a garage band, and Gary played another band. One day they had a jam session with one more cool guitarist
John B. Ford. Their first jam was exciting, the sound was full and powerful with Johnfs technical guitar playing.
In early f67 the band played gJohnny B. Goodh and gMustang Sallyh. At the time Gary didnft have his own bass. Jim and John bought a violin shaped bass for Gary as present. They became a party band, playing at a pool,and in the living room, in the summer. They covered Chuck Berry, Animals, and played their original songs. At the time the band was called gChicken Every Sundayh. One afternoon after a session, they decided to change the name. John went over to a book shelf, and said taking a bookh "Letfs make the name from what ever page falls open!"h. He tossed the book to the floor. The band changed their name to the INDEX.
The Underdogs, The Rationals, unique girl band Pleasure Seekers(including Hideout clerk girl, Suzi Quatro) Fugitives(SRC) and more garage bands played at teenage nightclubs like Hideout and The Undercroft.
Jim Valice said gWhen INDEX didnft have a gig or practice session,
we went to these clubs to hear what was going down. Mike Morgan, drummer
with The Underdogs went to Austin High School with me. We became friends
and exchanged riffs. I also got to know Arnie DeClark of The Wanted. The
Wanted was an upscale rock quintet with original material. They wrote eHere
To Stayf and performed a Wilson Pickett favorite, eIn The Midnight Hourf,
better than anyone.h(Detroit Sound released these 2 songs as an 45 in
f67, eHere To Stayf reissued on Evafs Punk Ballad Sampler, eIn The
Midnight Hour e on Michigan Nuggets )
In the summer of f67 INDEX was attracked to a new record, with unique, innovative sound, it was The Jimi Hendrex Experience. Hearing it they tried to make their own gpsychedelich sound. John wrote gFire Eyesh, hShock Waveh and gFeedbackh.
In the fall Jim got into The University of Detroit, John went to Yale in Connecticut. He came Detroit every other weekend to play with the band. INDEX was playing around Detroit area. During the Christmas holidays in f67, INDEX opened for The Rationals.
At the concert they noticed someone tried to record their music.
Next morning the band tried their own recording. The basement became recording studio. Throughout December they had gigs in evening and rehearsed for first album during the day. After 3 days recording, they spent a couple of days mixing and adding sound effects to make feedback.
The album cover was basic black and white. On the cover was a picture of gOrpheus and Bacush founders of a singing club John had joined at Yale. On the back was their picture. The record pressing company in Detroit needed a label and logo to press on the record, they selected DC from their friend Dwight Conger (aka. DC) for his great help with the band.
In mid f68 John made the sound a more acoustic, mellow style. He began to listen The Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, and Bee Gees. Gary switched to rhythm guitar.They found new bass player, Tom Ballow who was only 16 years old. He played soul music like James Brown, Wilson Pickett in his former band Joefs Soul Repair.
By the summer of e68, John met young girl called Jan and fell in love with her. She hated the feedback sound and encouraged John to play mellow and tone down his music.
This is one of the reasons why many people mixed up their first and second album.
The bandfs sound changed. He wrote gRainy Starless Nightsh and gI Love Youh. In the summer they made one more album called The Red Album which included Johnfs love songs along with wild gBreakouth, cover of Bee Gees gNew York Mining Disasterh, Birdsf gEight Miles Highh. It was finished in the end of August, But the album was not pressed for a month because they didnft have recent photo.
. John was busy on the East Coast. Gary went to college in upstate Michigan and lost interest with the band.
It was the beginning of the end .
After the recording they had their own house party at Johnfs home. His parents were traveling. It was early September. Detroit gpunksh gathered there, The Underdogs, Scott Richard Case(SRC) ,Alice Cooper. Suzie Quatro arrived very late along with the drummer Nancy. About 10AM the next morning the house was trashed inside and out.
At the time Johnfs parent came back! Beer bottles had leaked a trail across the hall rug and now onto Mr. Fordfs foot. Everyone was immediately expelled from the house.
To release red album, Jim sketched silhouettes of the band members for the sleeve using the photo for theback cover of Black album.
A local radio station WABX played the cuts from Black and the Red albums. But it was too late.
Gary left the band in January f69.Tom quit too. It was the end of their history.
In December f69 Jim and John joined again , they recorded some songs to make one more album . It was released as JUST US, only 150 copies were pressed.
In f84 Voxx reissued the Red Album, the echo fuzz sound enchanted the listener. In late of e80s unknown Sears label released the Black Album. (it seems bootleg)
And at last, in f95 Jim Valis released the CD called INDEX Anthology on his own label ,Top Jimmy Productions. It includes 5 cuts from Black Album, 7 cuts from Red album and 9 bonus songs of f69 recording.
In f97, as a 30 year anniversary Anthology II was released as 2 CD which including f69 live recording, rest of Black album and the last recording as JUST US.
Acknowledgement:The Story of INDEX by Jim Valice