A couple bits of Rock and Roll History. Once upon a time ( January 1975 to be exact) in an L.A. recording studio far far away was a band called Fleetwood Mac looking for a new lead guitarist. At Sound City Studios they found Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks and recorded Fleetwood Mac’s White Album which produced the mega hit Rhiannon. But right next door in studio A was a band called Whitehorse recording this top 40 pop song My Marie with of all people Mick Mars from Motley Crue on lead guitar. Good thing they picked Mr. Buckingham and not Mick or there might not have ever been a Motley Crue. Part of unknown rock and roll history believe it or not.
MRS audio book free sample Chapter 23 the 1st upside down drum show
This is another night club live audio cassette recording of “Blowin Free” by Wishbone Ash. Nobody in L.A. had ever heard of Wishbone Ash, ZZ Top, James Gang, Trapeze, Budgie, or Rare Bird. We exposed these bands to the L.A. market long before they ever hit the radio airwaves. Soon every band in town was playing James Gang’s “Funk 49” and ZZ Tops “Just got Paid “ because they saw the audience reaction to Mick Mars and Whitehorse doing it. We got a ton of exposure for these unknown bands. I ran into Frank Beard, the drummer for ZZ Top in Denver watching Whitehorse in the audience. He was shocked we knew and covered some of their totally obscure and underground songs way before the public discovered ZZ Top. They were just another starving band doing club gigs like us at the time.
Whitehorse Original, “Run into the Dark”
We got a copy of this song to a radio station in L.A. in 1974. I recorded this track off the air. Somehow I lost the original actual studio recording so this will have to do till I find the missing tape. This is the first recording in history of Mick Mars on the radio.
Here is the original 8mm silent film of the upsidedown show on the streets of Huntington beach. I dubbed the audio from the Starwood flying show and got it to sync semi close. This was the 8th flying show and the contraption almost fell. This was our 3rd gig in 24 hours and the whole band was exhausted with a noon gig after being up all night with two other shows. If you look close as the drums go vertical, I am shouting at the lead singer playing the cow bell, “Don’t forget to hold the rope.” He leans over and says, ”What …What?” as the whole thing almost crashes. The audience jumps to their feet. Mom almost has a heart attack filming but it stayed together. Some unknown surfer also filmed this and let me use his shots. I don’t even know who the heck he was. Unfortunately 8mm film was only three minutes long back in the day so the dramatic bail out finale of the song was never captured for posterity. There is probably around 3000 people who saw the flying shows live and have the memory in their head.
This was my favorite Whitehorse cover by a band from Europe called Rare Bird. Title #1 Again Birdman.” The band preceding Whitehorse was called Joint Session. Joint Session was a three piece band like the Doors without a Jim Morrison. Keys, lead guitar and drums, no bass player as the keyboard player did both. A very rare and unique line up but we needed the “Jim Morrison”. So Joint Session found a lead singer that also played guitar. Now with two lead guitars we could be another Allman Brothers with dueling lead guitarists. That evolved in to Whitehorse and having 2 lead guitars which led Whitehorse into playing killer dual lead songs like this one from Rare Bird. And subsequently the Joint Session lead player was fired to bring in Mick Mars.
Another partial recording from a cheap audio cassette night club gig. This is a Whitehorse cover by a band from Europe “Budgie” . Van Halen loved our version of this song so much they asked if they could cover it. They thought we wrote it. We said “Sure go ahead” but never told them who wrote it. They never did find out. Ironically Whitehorse also had a killer metal cover of “You really got Me” by the Kinks. VanHalen dug our remake of that to the extent they also covered it and made it one of their first smash hits. Bands in L.A . borrowed a lot of cool ideas from each other back in the day.