BACK TO PREVIOUS PAGE

Chicago 1966, Maxwell Street Gig

I am the bassist behind the dancing man. This is (was) in the Maxwell Street area of Chicago. The actual spot is on Sagamon Steet near 14th. This is the same spot where lots of people used to play for tips, including Robert Nighthawk, John Wrencher, and many others.

Photo courtesy of Chicago Historical Society, iCH-35009 by James Newberry.

The guitarist is a guy named Little Nick, a good player, with whom I also played at the Silver Dollar lounge on Ogden Avenue on Chicago's bluesy West Side. The drummer's name escapes me, unfortunately. The part I do remember is that when we picked him up for gigs, we realized that he kept all his drums & drumkit stuff stashed behind his furniture & hidden under blankets at his apartment so nobody would steal them.

I am playing my first electric stringed instrument, a short necked Kay Bass that I got at a pawn shop on State Street. My late friend Marty Anderson helped me pick out one that worked and had good action.

That reminds me, the first time I ever sang with a live band was at a strictly unauthorized high school era party, where Marty's band (The Trespassers) was playing. Although we were all underage as far as drinking was concerned, we drank some beers and I felt the urge to sing some Joe Turner lyrics. Also in the Trespassers: Chuck Smith, bass, Ned Engelhart, guitar, and Dave Nightengale (son of Chicago radio announcer Earl Nightengale) on drums. Marty was the rhythm guitarist. They put out about 500 copies of a 45 called "No Trespassing", which I am searching for today, wish I had kept my copy at the time.