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Linda Wolf was a teenage photographer when she went on Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. She was a friend of Fanny’s. Cocker was burned out from the Mad Dogs and Linda wanted to get him out of seclusion, so she invited him to the Azusa gig. Since I had the big van I took a lot of the equipment and probably June, maybe someone else. The facility, as near as I remember, having seen it only in the dark, was ranch-like with an outdoor stage. It had a bar under cover, a dance floor, and booths. A cool place. It frankly seemed a little surreal to be sitting in this mountain gay retreat watching the band with Joe Cocker. When we were introduced he said,’Are you another roady?’
“No. Another musician.” Either creature ubiquitous in L.A. As we sat and listened it didn’t take long for him utter the familiar refrain: ‘They can PLAY!’
Linda Wolf and I were both staying at the house one day when Lowell George came over with the cash from a check for session work. He wanted an alternative night on the town and said, ‘Let’s go, my treat.’ Jeannie, Linda, Lowell, and I drove around until we found an X-rated theater that was open. I don’t know if we voted on that destination, but nobody put up a fuss. Just another weird night, starting at Marmont Lane. We were the only mixed group in the audience. In fact, I’d say we were the only people there who weren’t singles. Skipping over the details, I will say that Linda, without compromising herself in any way, made things seem to be other than they were. The result being that the guys behind us didn’t know whether to look at the screen or at us. What can I say? Linda was a brash kid with a great sense of show. A lot of fun to be around.
Not long after our trip to the movies, I found Jeannie ironing clothes in her room. She said, ‘Listen to this record. It’s Lowell’s band, Little Feat.’ It wasn’t released yet, but Lowell had left a copy. I sprawled on the bed and was treated to a preview of what became my all-time favorite band.
There was a showcase theater in Hollywood where performers could have a pleasant listening environment to be heard by producers, managers, etc. It seems like we played there more than once. June made sure to get their producer, Richard Perry, to come and hear us. I had met Richard at his house with June, but he hadn’t heard our group. It was slow to transpire, but we did later talk with Richard about an idea he had for recording us. Our band had about run it’s course by then and it didn’t happen. Kind of too bad, it would have been a real test of Richard’s producing genius to see if he could have made anything commercially viable out of a jugband. Considering his track record, he could have done it if anyone could.
Another band we all went to hear at the showcase was Shanti, a truly fantastic group made up of American and Indian musicians combining rock and Indian music. The band featured Zakir Hussien on tabla. I wish I knew the names of the rest of the band. The drummer, Zito (?) was incredible. This approach became ‘the thing’ 25 years later. Shanti was blending two cultures 30 years ago.