Unfortunately, the Indian of the Group is no longer with us.
Jimmy Carl Black succumbed to cancer last weekend, aged 70.
Peace Be Upon Him.
Jimmy and the Muffin Men visited
They were superb. And Mickey Jones, the Man Band guitarist, added to the gratification by joining the band for a jam in a most Jonesian/Zappaesque kind of way.
Sometimes it really does pay to live out in the sticks! You just never know what’s going to happen.
I did get to have a chat with Jimmy during the intermission, which was fucking amazing.
He immediately became the Jimmy Carl Black I’d vicariously known for many years, through my avid listening to old Mothers of Invention albums.
I asked him if there was any truth in the story that he had apparently started a painting and decorating firm with Arthur Brown:
'Yeah, man. Well we just weren't gettin' any money together; and shit, ya gotta live ya know. So I'm pretty handy, ya know; and Art can really paint, man, he can really paint. But shit, it's not me, man, so we're back on the road; just tryin' to earn a livin', ya know; doin' what we love, but just tryin’ to earn a livin''.
Or something like that.
This really blew me away.
Not only was I now experiencing bizarre visions of the Indian of the Group and the God of Hell-Fire turning up at someone’s house to do a decorating job, but here he was, straight off the Uncle Meat album (credited for ‘drums, droll humour and poverty’) where he is wonderfully captured in conversation complaining to Zappa about his lack of and need for money, as he’s ‘not living very extravagantly, that’s fa-sure’.
He couldn’t have made my brief moment in his existence any more perfect.
A benefit will be held on 9 November at the Bridgehouse II in London.
To accompany this post, I thought I would share something wonderful; so here is the first Grandmothers’ album from 1981.
It is essentially a collection of ex-Mothers’ solo material; with the occasional Mothers' meeting, resulting in a revisit to their roots by banging-out some excellent white man’s R&B, with JCB at the vocal helm, sounding uncannily like Beefheart.
There’s some really crazy mixed-up stuff on here – mainly recorded in the early seventies, it features free-jazz, hardcore blues (Eliot Ingber’s ‘We Don’t Feed No Livestock Here’ is a wonderful piece of outsider blues; knocks spots off Seasick Steve; more in the vein of the Lonesome Organist if anyone), R&B, hard rock, avant-garde, and general anarchic chaos.
2: Sweet Fifteen
3: Qualude to Chaos and Fine
4: A Bit Blue
5: Motorhead's Bumble Bee
6: Basement Theme Downstairs
7: The eye of Agamoto
8: Trail of Tears
9: One for the Girls
10: We don't Feed No Livestock Here
11: I Can't Breathe
12: The Fight Out
Grandmothers: Jimmy Carl Black: voice, trumpet; Jim Motorhead Sherwood: sax; Bunk Gardner: horns; Buzz Gardner: horns; Don Preston: moog; Denny Walley: guitar; Andy Cahan: drums; Tom Leavy: bass (tracks:1,5,8,12).
Menage a Trois: Bunk & Buzz Gardner, John Balkin (Tracks: 3,6,9).
Raw Milk: Don Preston, Sandy Reiner, Christy Rundquist, Phil Davis (Tracks: 2,7,11).
Eliot Ingber (tracks: 4,10).
So Jimmy lives on.
He’ll always be the Indian of the Group.
And as his own website says:
“Jimmy says hi to everybody and he doesn't want anybody to be sad.”
Get happy with Jimmy with this cassette rip @256kbs.
You won’t find this album anywhere else; this is now damn rare.
Adopt a Grandmother here