Stooge History – part 1
OK, I cannot stand to be outdone by that "other" stooge who has lots of photos of him
and his old gear at his website. So, here are some photos of this stooge in a few band
photos through the years.
At the tender age of 15, I scraped together enough cash to buy a Vox Jaguar Organ.
I had retro gear before retro was cool. Of course, I really wanted a Hammond B3.
But, they were $3200 and I didn’t have that kind of cash. They were still making them
new at this time. Here I am on stage in the middle of some pounding organ riff.
Notice the corner or my Leslie 122 RV at the extreme right. I was without
Hammond, but under no circumstances was I gigging without a Leslie.
Somewhere along the line, it occurred to me that I ought to at least have a piano.
I am a by nature an organ player. But, I did bear to peer pressure and get a piano.
Of course, we are talking WAY before the age of samplers. So, I found this old
Stark Pianotron that had real strings in it. It was a neat 76 key package. But the
bastard was heavy. Nevertheless, it sounded damn good for having shorter strings.
And, two guys could move it.
Still being an organ player at heart, I quickly grew tired of the Vox sound. And, I wanted
two keyboards on my organ in the worst way. I almost bought a super-continental. Boy,
I wished that deal had gone through. But, instead I bought this Farfisa VIP 223. I did
manage to add on Leslie # 2 (a 147). Two was just twice as good as one. Notice the
guitar player’s stuff. As teenagers, we could afford the guitars you cannot hardly buy
today. Yep, that is a very nice gold with white trim Les Paul. The amp is a Fender Dual
Showman (I have one still today) but we used the Sunn 4 x 12 Coliseum cabinets.
They ruled when you wanted to crank it up.
This dual Leslie, Farfisa, and Stark Piano combination was my gig set-up for quite
some time. Oh, we had heard of synthesizers. But, I had only seen one in person.
The guy doing the demo seemed more intrigued with making water dropping sounds
and the like. We were into deep Purple, Uriah Heep, and the like. I thought, "What
the hell do I need one of those dang things for?" Little did I know.
Somewhere along the line, I decided if Wakeman could wear a cape, so should I. By
this time, my lazy teenage butt was tired of lugging the old Stark around. So, I got this
neat new Univox piano. Frankly, it sounded like crap compared to the real strings of
the Stark. But, the thing was damn light, and when we did bigger gigs they usually had
a real piano provided.
Toward the end of the run for this high school band called "Time Express" we were
getting some decent gigs. Here, we were doing the warm up act for Canned Heat.
They were a bunch of slobs. But, they were nationally known because of their hit
"Going out to the Country" and had a recording contract. We thought we were really
a big deal about this time.
Look at the size of the PA we got to use !! Hey, it even hides the keyboard player.