"The Stones,Animals and Yardbirds took the Chicago Blues and gave it an English interpretation .We've taken the English version of the Blues and re-added a Chicago touch" Shadow of Knight
Interview with Jerry McGeorge
Jerry:I started playi g music when I was about 10, but I didn't get a guitar until I was 15. My parents did everything they could to prevent it, as it was not considered appropriate. They hated Rock & Roll, which, of course, to a teenage boy meant that it MUST be good!
H:Which band or singer influenced early on?
J:I loved Elvis, but I also like the early rock singers like Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, the Every Brothers and several Country artists, like Chet Atkins. I also liked Jazz / Bossa Nova guitarists like Charlie Byrd and Laurindo Almeida.
Hitomi: Let me know about your first band Black Stones. Is it your first real band? Did you and Geoff(Jeff Boyan) formed the band in Indiana?" Why did the band move to Chicago?
J:That was my second band, but it was the first really good one.
Geoff formed the band around several other people including me, to showcase
his songs, which were great. We weren't very skilled musicians at that
time, very young, but we played together well as a group.
|Dalek Engam: The Black Stones was Jerry
McGeorge's first band.He formed the band with Jeff Boyan(future Saturday's
Children) in 'early '65.He sez the reaosn why he scouted the band was because
of his guiter playing but his hair and exotic badkgroud!The manager made
them to pretend two of the band were English. The band name changed Dalek
Engam:The Blacksones.(Engam meant "English/American")
H:I hard some songs of Black Stones' songs, I love them, it sound folk rock. What kind song did you play at gig? Did the Blackstones influenced by British bands?
J:Geoff had been a folk singer in the early '60's, when folk
music had a short period of great popularity, and it was the genesis of
much of the rock music that came later. Since I loved Country music, and
Geoff had played folk music, it influenced our music a great deal. We played
mostly our original material at gigs, which restricted where we could play,
and led us to the Cellar, where bands could be appreciated for their own
songs. We were also very heavily
influenced by the Beatles, Hollies and several other great British bands. We
also loved the Rolling Stones and the Byrds.
H:Did you wear tie and suits?
Early on we wore matching outfits, but as time wore on it became far
fashionable to wear our street clothes.
H:How old were you when you joined SOK?
J:I was 20 when I joined the SoK.
H: I've never seen SoK gig but fortunately now we can here unreleased "live at Cellar" on Sundazed . How was the gig?
J:I always loved to play the Cellar, because the people there made s feel at home
and they loved our original songs.
H:I can't believe it was first time that Hawk played bass.
J:Well, Hawk was a great keyboard player, but in my estimation he was a genius and he could quickly learn to play nearly any instrument. We wanted him in the SoK so bad that we took him as soon as Warren left and he learned bass very quickly.
H:You were house band of Cellars, which bands did you play with
J:Well, by the time I joined the SoK we went on the road and we didn't play at the Cellar all that often. It was something of a homecoming when we did, and we loved to play there in front of our home town friends.
H: How many capacity was it?
J:The Cellar was actually several different places.
The first one I played at was in a Chrurch basemant and I would guess capacity was only about 200 people. The next one was really a warehouse and it held maybe 700.
H:Did the audience only listen the music or dance go-go?
J:They did both.
H:When "Gloria"broke in national chart, did you toured united states?
J:Oh, yes. we toured immediately and it was very hectic for about
the next year,
we were rarely home.
H:Please describe the fashion worn?
J:Well, the Sok happened during the "Mod" period, before flower power, so we dressed more like what you see in older Rolling Stones pictures. By '67 we began to look more like flower children!
H:Did you were bell bottom pants later?
J:Yes, and as always, I was the first to set the fashion tone. I had such skinny legs I'm sure I looked very funny!
H:(it may be silly question but if you answer it, I'm glad) In SoK photo, sometimes you looked with upturned eyes, why? Was it to impress your exotic looking??
J:Well, interesting question, Hitomi! See, when I was in the
Blackstones I had a friend in Indiana named Cindy. She told me I had very
sexy eyes that I should use to impress girls. She was very beautiful, and
I decided, "well, if it works on her, maybe it'll work on all of them."
H:Oh I agree with Cindy!
H: I wonder how were you influenced by black blues in Chicago.
J: The only black blues artist I can remember playing at the Cellar was Howlin Wolf, in 1970, right near the end of the Cellar's run. He was very ill then, with emphysema, and he played and sang sitting on a chair. It was a very memorable occasion.
Chicago blues was the foundation of most of the Shadows music. Most of us had been influenced by the authentic artists to varying degrees. However, our strongest influences really came from the mid-60's British bands, like the Beatles, Rolling Stones or Yardbirds, not from the original artists. At that time in the USA, most black artists' music (called "race music" in those days) was confined to small AM stations, few of the original artists got radio airplay on the major stations. We were lucky, growing up in Chicago meant there were plenty of great blues stations to listen to. But, the British bands got us all interested in the originals, and we also got inspired by Paul Butterfield's band, which was a powerhouse and played locally.
H:How did you feel to listen Paul Butterfield band?
J:We all loved Paul Butterfield. They were grown-ups and played very well. We were really just kids, so we learned a lot from listening to them. WQe couldn't get into the places they played, because we were all underage (in the USA you have to be over 21 to get into places that allow alcohol).
H: Now we can listen 3 version of " I Got My Mojo Workin' ". I think chess studio version is most close to Chicago Blues.
J: As for your comment about the SoK's versions of "Mojo", your perceptions are correct. The third version, done at Chess came about when we for a brief time took over our own production out of frustration with the direction the producers were taking us. Unfortunately, we had no idea at all what we were doing! "Mojo" was in reality just a warm up for the Engineer, and it was caught on tape. The reason there's no bass is that Hawk hadn't arrived at the studio yet, but if you listen closely, he comes in right at the end. He arrived, grabbed his bass and plugged in just in time to get the ending. Other than the night we recorded it, I had never heard this version again until the the folks at Sundazed sent me a copy. Very cool,and very authentic sounding.
H: Who brow the harp in it?
J:It was Joe Kelley who played harp on the Chess version of "Mojo". I'd forgotten that he had spent a tremendous amount of time practicing harmonica during those days. However, over the next year he devoted more time to guitar, and by 1969 Joe was a simply stunning blues guitar player. I do not think anything of his from that period ever got recorded. That's a shame, he was outstanding.
H:Who arragned your genious version of Hey Joe? Which version did you
hard before? Byrds? Leaves??
J:"Hey Joe" was inspired by the Byrds. On our first trip we went to Los Angeles to do the Dick Clark TV shows (American Banstand and Where the Action Is). We stayed at a Hotel on Sunset and the Byrds, on of our favorite bands was playing at a club called "The Trip". During their set they played "Hey Joe" and it knocked us flat. We immediately got a copy of The Leaves version to get the changes and the lyrics, after which we took it from there. The new Sundazed re-mix really showcases Warren's bass, which was outstanding for any era.
Another Cellars band Males with girls at Kiddie A Go Go
left Warren Willingham (bass) , right Oscar Salinas (rhythm guitar)
See More photos
their article on Go magzine
Vote your fave GLORIA
Cellar band Mauds' related article
Link to Sundazed music to get their CD,LP