Tag Archives: Woodstock Birthdays

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Happy birthday

October 4, 1947

Jim Fielder’s musical path has been an great one. Not surprisingly, it parallels many musicians’ stories and most interesting of all the bands and performers he has played with as well as simply crossing paths with.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Texas to California

Fielder was born in Denton, TX. He started playing guitar at the age of seven. His early influences in the 1950s were people like Elvis and the Everley Brothers.

In high school he started playing an upright acoustic bass. Ralph Pena, Frank Sinatra’s bassist, tutored him. As a young bassist he listened to musicians such as Ray Brown, Ron Carter, and Charles Mingus.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Tim Buckley

In the 60s his first band was “The Bohemians” a group that Tim Buckley was in as well. They went to amateur nights at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. Buffalo Springfield was one of the groups playing there.

Tim Buckley got a recording contract with Electra Records and Fielder played on some of the tracks on Buckley’s first two albums.  

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Frank Zappa

im Fielder also played with Mastin & Brewer (later evolved into Brewer & Shipley). The drummer of M & B knew Frank Zappa and an introduction led to Fielder playing with Zappa’s Mothers of Invention as a guitarist. He was with the Mothers when they recorded the Absolutely Free album, but his name does not appear on the album because he’d left the band before the album’s release and Zappa excluded Fielder’s name.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Buffalo Springfield

The band Fielder joined after the Mothers was Buffalo Springfield. He played bass for them while their original bassist, Bruce Palmer, was out of the country in Canada with visa issues. When Palmer resolved those issues he returned to the band and Fielder left. He did get a shout out on the back of the Springfield’s second album, Buffalo Springfield Again, amongst the many names the band thanked.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Al Kooper > Blood, Sweat and Tears

Another path. Another relationship. Jim Fielder was “in between” bands. While playing at the Fillmore in San Francisco with Buffalo Springfield and the Mothers, Fielder had met Al Kooper and Steve Katz from the  Blues Project. When Kooper left the Project he lived with a neighbor of Fielder’s. Drummer Bobby Colomby joined the nascent group with Katz forming a quartet.

Saxophonist Fred Lipsius joined two months later. They played at the Fillmore East.  Lipsius recruited New York jazz horn players he knew. The final Blood, Sweat and Tears lineup debuted late November ’67 at “The Scene” in New York.

The band released its first album, Child Is Father To the Man, on February 21, 1968. Kooper left soon after, but the band continued with David Clayton Thomas as its lead singer. Their second album, Blood Sweat and Tears, was a huge success and a big part of their invitation to the…

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Woodstock Music and Art Fair

Fielder’s memories: “We played late Sunday night between Johnny Winter and Crosby, Stills & Nash. The crowd was down to about 50,000 by then, but it still felt like were playing to the whole world. Backstage was like old home week. I got to see a lot of old friends and people I had played with over the years. It was probably the highlight of my career.”

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder

Neil Sedaka

Fielder stayed with the band until 1974. He returned to Los Angeles in 1974 and began freelancing. He worked with Danny O’Keefe and Chris Hillman and was the musical director for Bing Crosby’s grandson Chris.

Then the opportunity to work with Neil Sedaka was on Fielder’s path in 1976. It was an offer he couldn’t and didn’t refuse and Fielder has basically worked with Sedaka since.

Jim Fielder

Here is an article about an August 2017 Neil Sedaka show in NJ in which the reporter writes about a song Sedaka performed with “expert musician Jim Fielder’s bass part which includes an impossibly difficult slap bass line and an ongoing sequence of electric guitar-inspired figures played simultaneously on his bass!

Much of the information for this entry came from this article.

Blood Sweat Tears Jim Fielder
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Christina Licorice McKechnie

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Incredible String Band

Woodstock Music and Art Fair
Born October 2, 1945

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Limelight

Being in the limelight is not necessarily something one wants for their whole life. Despite the curiosity that fans may continue to have, the limelighted person may prefer to let the glare go away.

Such is seemingly the case with Christina Licorice McKechnie. A member of the Incredible String Band and with them when they performed at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, little if anything is known about her currently with any certainty.

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Edinburgh

McKechnie was born in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 2, 1945. In the early 1960s she met Robin Williamson, one of the founding members of the Incredible String Band. She left home with the intention of marrying Bert Jansch, another British folk musician who became a revered leader of the British folk scene.

The wedding never took place.

McKechnkie rejoined Wiliamson and in 1966 she traveled to Morocco him. She became a member of the Incredible String Band performing mainly as a backing vocalist and percussionist.

We can hear her especially on the song “Painting Box.”

She left the band in 1972 when she and Robin Williamson parted ways.

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Woodstock

I wish I could say more about their Woodstock performance. They were scheduled to play on Friday with the other folk-based performers, but the disrupted scene forced the festival’s organizers to postpone ISR’s performance to the far more loudly electric Saturday.

It was late that afternoon and friend Tony and I were getting hungry, not having eaten anything since Friday dinner. ISB’s performance slot seemed like a good time to search for some sustenance at the Food for Love concessions. No food and little love. And no Licorice.

Christina Licorice McKechnie

Mystery

Her current status is a mystery. Some say they saw her hitchhiking in California decades ago. She is assumed dead by many who say they should have heard from her but haven’t. Others say that they have heard from her and she prefers anonymity.

Here is a link to a page that appears to be a fan site.

The Incredible String Band occupies an interesting piece of the 60s I was familiar with their music thanks to FM radio, Many find their music inaccessible, but with a bit of time and attention, I find most of the Band’s compositions wonderful.              

From their Woodstock appearance:
Christina Licorice McKechnie
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Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Happy birthday

Born October 1, 1942

Thank you for taking us higher and higher.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini

Jerry Martini was born in born in Shamrock Mine, Colorado. When he was two, his family moved to San Francisco so his father could join the Navy.

His first counter-cultural experience was visiting  North Beach in the 50s. There he saw beatniks and Beat poets reciting poems, playing bongos, or a flute.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Sly and the Family Stone

Martini met Sly Stone when they were teenagers. Of an age (Stone was 5 months younger), Stone surprised Martini because Sly was so into Bob Dylan. A black guy into Dylan was not the norm, but Martini says that Stone was never the norm.

Organizing a band with blacks and white, men and women, and different ethnic groups was Sly Stone’s conscious goal. It didn’t just happen and later people realized what happened.

That band’s mix was deliberate did not mean that others accepted that mix. Venues were still racially divided as well as politically. Black Panthers told Stone that the band should be all black. Stone counter-argued and won.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Woodstock

Although the band was good enough to make it on its own, their recorded and filmed performance at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair supercharged their fame.

Jerry Martini’s memory of the event was that, “It was a mess. A total mess. We had to wait six hours to go on. It was three in the morning before we got out there. After every act, they’d have to tear down and set up. Took forever. By the time we got out on-stage, people were in sleeping bags. But we got ‘em up. Something happened between us and that audience. Half a million people or however many it was, they were just totally into what we were doing. That’s a feeling you couldn’t scrape off you. It was Love City.

Family Stone Saxophonist Jerry Martini

Post Woodstock and Sly

After the band broke up in 1975, Jerry Martini continued playing. He performed on Sly Stone’s solo album, High On You and later performed on the bassist of Family Stone, Larry Graham’s Now Do U Santa Dance album.

He also worked with Prince, who was a big fan of Sly and the Family Stone. After the 2006 tour with Prince, Martini helped reorganize the band with Greg Errico,  Alex Davis, and Phunne Stone who’s the daughter of Sly and Cynthia Robinson.

Cynthia Robinson was also part of that reband, though she died in 2015.

Included in his credits, Martini has also played with Mike Bloomfield, Carlos Santana, Rolling Stone Bill Wyman, Robert Cray, Willie Lomax, and Van Morrison.

Related link >>> Flower Power interview

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