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Thread: 1962-04-14 Indianapolis, George's Bar, IN

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    1962-11-XX Indianapolis, George's Bar, IN

    [Day? mid] November 1962
    Indianapolis, George's Bar, Indiana, USA

    Billy: “So, we split from the other fellows (Kasuals) and went to Indianapolis. Tried to do a thing which we did unsuccessfully, very unsuccessfully.”
    “Jimi and I had been playing together for ah, up to that point, maybe a year and a half together and-ah, we were out of the army. At that particular time we had a place in Clarksville and we came to-ah, Indianapolis because a fellow had told us that he worked-ah, here at the Brass Rail and any time we were in town – he-he said that he thought we were a good band – he’d like for us to come and he’d hire us. [We were to play in the house band backing Ophelia Hoy, a bawdy blues singer. But then they said they couldn’t hire us and my ’55 Plymouth wouldn’t start. But] there was a club called George’s Bar and ah, we signed our name up to enter the talent contest.”
    Raymond Belt: “Then one Saturday afternoon, it was a matinee, an’-ah, the Presidents were on the stage playing at George’s Bar and two guys came in an’ one played bass another played guitar. One was kind o’ short and witty, and one was tall and just, you know, he was takin’ a quiet look around. And it happened to be Jimmy Hendrix and Billy Cox.”
    Billly Cox: “I thought ‘The Presidents’ were very well rehearsed and a good band. Ah, unfortunately they didn’t have Jimi Hendrix...We entered the contest...
    Alfonso Young: “My first impression was, does the guy want us to come and play? And-uh we did get on the stage and play [backing them], you know....”
    Billy Cox: “...and we played good, [‘Soldier Boy’ by the Shirelles*] and the girls cheered and hollered...
    *Not as strange as it may seem, The Beatles, with Ringo on vocals, record the Shirelles’ song “Boys” in March 1963 (and also played it in concert)
    Alfonso Young: “...I said, ‘This guy’s a genius,’ I mean he played different, he played it awkward, he played upside down, at, you know. I never seen a guitar play like that before.”
    Billy Cox: “...but then there was another group called ‘The Presidents’, they cheered and hollered for them an’ unfortunately they cheered very loudly for them, louder than they did for us. They won the contest. But the-ah, fellows in ‘The Presidents’ band knew that we were pretty good.”

    “So we wounded up back in Clarksville again.”

    Mid November 1962
    Clarksville, Pink Poodle, College St., TN.
    Alfonso Young and Raymond Belt from The Presidents arrive from Indianapolis..
    Alfonso Young: “I hate to say this but the band was cutting up real bad, you know, at the time and-eh, one guy [David Leon the singer. Ed] wanted to be the leader and things, kind o’ got in the way a little bit, you know an’...”
    Raymond Belt:: “They were tryin’ to put a group together, what they were telling us. An’-uh, so they asked us to go with them, and so we got out.”
    Billy Cox: “When we got back to Clarksville ah, maybe couple of days later, Alfonso and the other guys were, they were in the club. They came to the club an’ they say, ‘Hey, man, we just wan’ o’ be a part of this, ‘cause we know that you guys are gonna go somewhere an’ you’re gonna do big things.’
    We had a guy named Raymond Belt who portrayed Moms Mabely and he was quick with the wit. If somebody in the audience acted up he’d talk to ‘em and say somethin’ funny.
    Then Alfonso knew intuitively that Jimmy, Jimmy was the man, he’s the lead guitar. So Alfonso was rhythm guitar and he did rhythm to perfection. We were a team.
    Now Jimmy respected Alfonso because there’s some, there’s a picking that makes the, the strings squeal and howl, he had that special thing. Jimmy always tried to get that, but he never could perfect that, that style.”
    Alfonso Young [had been featuring playing with his teeth since the early days in The Presidents (see photo of him on his knees, biting the strings)]: “I believe with my whole heart that Jimmy Hendrix learned it from me. And I never seen him pick his guitar with his teeth until I did it, then I saw him do it.”
    Jimi [seems to back up Alfonso here]: “The idea of doing that came to me in a town in Tennessee (Clarksville?). Down there you have to play with your teeth or you get shot. There’s a trail of broken teeth all over the stage.”

    Nashville, Club Del Morocco, Jefferson St., Tennessee, USA
    The King Kasuals was then: Harry Batchelor (vocals), Jimmy Hendrix (guitar), Buford Majors (saxophone), Alphonso "Baby Boo" Young (guitar), Billy Cox (bass), Harold Nesbit* (drums) and Raymond Belt (MC - dancer & Moms Mabely impersonator).
    *Nesbit later went on the road with Gene Chandler ("Duke Of Earl")

    Billy Cox: “And I told you the story about ah, our singer [Harry Batchelor] who, people [ie promoters. Ed] came and said, “Man, they [ie the audience. Ed.] gave him three standing ovations. Man, you [ie Harry. Ed.] are great!” But they forgot – and I’m not putting the singer down, ‘cause the singer was good – but what they heard was a tight band. And took this boy to New York and he starved to death, because it was an illusion. They [ie promoters. Ed.] thought they [ie the audience. Ed.] were listening to the singer. They weren’t [just] listening to the singer, they were lookin’ at one of the bands of, hell, hell of, hellish bands that they’d ever heard!”
    Last edited by stplsd; 04-06-18 at 03:22 PM.

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