jimmy carl black
from the "freak out with the
grandmothers" tour booklet:
jimmy carl black: "born james inckanish jr., feb. 1, 1938 in el paso texas. had a very nice childhood. in 1958 i changed my name to jimmy carl black. i recorded my first single in 1962 with a band called the keys. in 1964 moved to california and met roy estrada and ray collins and had a band called the soul giants. frank zappa joined the band and a month later said "if you guys will play my music i'll make you rich and famous." in 1970 i formed a band called geronimo black with bunk gardner. two albums and many bands in the 70's. in 1980 bunk gardner, don preston and myself formed the first the grandmothers. toured europe and the states for two years. released two albums. in the 80's many bands. in 1993 we got back together and since then it's been gangbusters."
jcb formed geronimo black back in the 70's. i think there were two albums.
well, as i already mentioned in my post, black, preston and gardner appear to suing zappa for his releasing the old moi stuff without consulting them. jimmy has toured europe with eugene chadbourne. he had been thinking about moving to italy. (source: t'mershi duween)
jimmy carl black is credited on the cover of "highway cafe of the damned" by the austin lounge lizards (p 1988; watermelon 1001). he plays drums on three songs: "industrial strength tranquilizer," "when drunks go bad,"and "get a haircut, dad." this is the only one of their four albums he is listed on. i doubt that he ever played with them outside the studio. this band, not to be confused with the lounge lizards, plays humorous songs--largely bluegrass, but other styles as well. as their name suggests, they are based in austin, texas, where i think jcb lived for a while.
for awhile in the 80s jimmy carl & arthur brown (crazy world of arthur brown) had a painting company called black & brown painting in austin.
you may know this already, but jimmy carl black did some recent touring with radical hyperactive improvising/spoofing guitarist eugene chadbourne. i don't know the details, such as venues and dates, but i know there are audio documents of it: a cd entitled _locked in a dutch coffeeshop_, attributed to "the jack and jim show," on (i believe) the fundamental label, and a c-90 cassette available directly from chadbourne.
mid to late '70's in a band called "big sonny and the messila valley lowboys" they released at least one album "big sonny and the lowboys". i saw them quite a bit at the anthony gap saloon in anthony, texas and at some other local bar in el paso. great bar band, i bought a cassette of their album at the bar. i still have it - great stuff, includes love potion #9, sympathy for the devil, summertime blues. jcb's son would sit in on trap set when jcb sang. big sonny where ever he may be was one awesome blues guitarist.
saw the grandmothers in grand rapids, michigan a couple years back although only jimmy carl black was among the former mothers in the band and his comment at the time about the breakup was "oh well' things happen." he seemed a nice guy but did appreciate not being bombarded with zappa questions. a member of his band did say he would on occasion reminisce about the "good old days."
in case yer interested jimmy carl black and eugene chadbourne released a second jack and jim recording on our fireant label. it's a collection of mostly capt. beefheart tunes called "pachuco cadaver." was released last december 1st. jimmy spent last summer in greensboro at eugene's and then returned to germany(stuttgart).
we have a home page thru mabels music and there's even 20 seconds of jimmy singing. address is: http://www.mabels.com/fireant.html
jcb is living now in a small town in the south of germany. i met him last year when he was touring with a band called "the muffin men" (playing zappa stuff) and he seemed to be very happy. he met a nice woman from germany, therefore moving here!
spoke w/j.c black after a jack&jim show in chicago in "95. there is a live g.mothers album(forget the name)that was released after the ones you mention.i will try to get you more info. from the program which came w/the cd.i am also looking for g.mothers tour info. for europe or america(if possible).if you can help me w/that i would appreciate it. i can not get a response from the european address from the program.
shoemaker(bcdrmn@ aol.com) said:
jcb did at least 2 albums not mentioned here previously while in austin. in '87 he released an album on amazing records with the band jimmy carl black and the mannish boys titled a lil' dab'l do ya. gary primich, who has since gained some renown as asolo artist,was featured on vocals and harmonica. frank meyers played bass and gil hartman played guitar.in '88 jcb released an album with arthur brown on blue wave records called brown, black and blue. many noted austin musicians appear on the album including all 3 who worked on a lil' dab. they cover a number of old standards i.e., hound dog, stand by me, fever, unchain my heart. also on a lil' dab the band covers big leg emma.
jimmy carl! saw him at the backyard in austin back about 1991 or 1992. and he remembered me. jimmy carl is one of my "brushes with fame." back in the mid-80s, when he wasbumming around and painting, he came to arlington, tx, to visit with friends (guitarist mike vernon, drummer james newton, etc.) i was living with newton at the time, and jimmy carl got an impromptu gig set up at the hop near the tcu campus in ft. worth. problem was, he had no trap set with him. so i lent him mine. hah! yes! jimmy carl groovin away on my set at the hop. eventually, my tale will be embellished with the edits of selective recall, and the story will blossom into me actually playing in zappa's band. old age can be fun that way. hi newton, wherever you are. you still have my incense and peppermints album.
claude kuhnen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1.i saw jimmy carl black in saarbrücken/germany 8/31/97 performing as a drummer with a blues rock trio from germany. his only performance as a singer was the last encore "road ladies" (chunga revenge album). the concert took place outdoors for free, it was a sunday morning and definitevely to early for drinking beer. black lives in bavaria, is married to a german woman, he refers to her as "ladie" 2. black, preston & gardner performed as the grandmothers on 2/20/98 in freiburg/germany in a place called jazzhaus. they performed with 3 younger musicians (1 german (bass), 1 italian (guitar) and a drummer).
jimmy did just sing, and they played for almost 3 hours. the most recent stuff they played was black napkins and the outside now solo in the middle of rdnzl. one of the most impressive song of this evening was a brutal rap/hip-hop version of "help"(beatles) which led to "trouble everyday" (roxy ..) i was skeptical about these grandmothers because of all the nostalgia stuff, but they were in gorgeous shape and didn't sound like nostalgia at all. jimmy is a hard rocker.
j.c. black was in march this year (98) in hilversum, holland. he played with the grandmothers in de tagrijn. it was a three-hours session and the crowd loved it very much.
the maniac (email@example.com)
i first talked to jimmy carl black at a concert in anthony, n.m. (about 15 miles north of el paso, tx) on july 4, 1979 (i just found the ticket stub and i'm clutching it in my greezy hand right now). me and my buddy m were tripping on acid and had big unerasable grins on our faces, and we cruised backstage and walked up to jimmy carl., who was playing with "big sonny and the low boys" at the time. the first thing out of our stupid teenage mouths was some question about why he wasn't playing with zappa any more. he gave us a look that made our skin evaporate, so we went off to watch some biker guy blow up firecrackers in his hand.
the second time i talked to jimmy carl, i was on stage playing in the finals of the 1985 austin songwriter's competition, with the band i was in, "casual pain." he came up to us right after we played a song called "post-christmas refugee," and said to me, "man, that was cool! i haven't heard a sound like that since we used to jam at suzy creamcheese's house in laurel canyon!" i was just floored, and didn't know how to respond. i think i managed to stammer a thanks...
my friend c says that he walked in on jimmy carl fucking his wife, and my friend h used to work for jimmy carl and arthur brown, who had a painting company in austin together called "black and brown."
anyway, that's all i know...
- stuart the maniac
- date: mon, 03 aug
subject: re: a roadie for j.c.b. from 1971-1973 san fernando valley
trying to contact jimmy, or his sons; gary or daryl, my name is tim corcoran. here's proof, they lived on tampa ave, in between saticoy and shermanway. thanks for any help!
chris roe (firstname.lastname@example.org)
back in 79 jcb put out a record here in el paso.recorded locally & released locally.featuring him & his little brother called "big sonny & the low boys".all covers,none zappa.a friend had mentioned that in recent years (maybe 5 or more)that jcb resides in austin,tx.
i found out that jimmy lives in austin, and thought i might see him play there on a visit some weekend. i called a couple of local music and entertainment oriented publications there to see if i could find out where he might be playing, but these people involved in the "hip austin music scene" were not even aware that he lived in austin!
john henley (email@example.com)
i believe that jcb no longer lives in austin, but relocated to europe in order to make a living. there's tons of music here to be sure, so much so that very few musicians are able to give up, or do without, a day job. jcb was one of them - he was working as a house painter during the day. i had my own jcb encounter once - nothing to tell, he and i nearly collided in the doorway of a local music store - it was right after he moved here. i think he left here several years ago and as the local trendmongers share a short attention span with their target audience, it's not surprising that no one you talked to had a clue.
old news but still nice- met jcb in buffalo ny (mothers day eve) 1995 jack & jim show- told him i was coming to germany that summer he gave me his phone # i called & guess what ? he answered! (didn't get to meet, his car was broken) friendly guy- called don preston a " grouchy old man!"
hello zappafans, today 26-02-99 i was at a barconcert of jimmy carl black, the indian of the group. i took my digital camera and my minidisc and if you are interested you can watch and hear the result on:
joerg goettlicher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
i have seen jimmy carl black on september 24 1999 in karlsruhe at the harmonie with their band farrell and black. he was drumming with such a fun that i couldn't hardly believe it. farrell and he alternate each other in singing. i enjoined it very much when they played their fast rough stuff. and... "the drummer needs more gasoline"...to get going!
hung out with jcb in weimar, germany for the muffin men show. he got me in free and took me along with the band to eat a pre-show dinner. he says he is gonna try out this internet thing to push some of the grandmothers stuff and i think he said they were going to release some new stuff. his voice sounded great although he mentioned a few times that he was to old for the road. i dont believe it he will coming to america soon.
steve turrell (email@example.com)
my name is steve terrell. just wanted to let you know that there is another record on which jimmy appeared - my own picnic time for potatoheads. check out my web site http://members.aol.com/bluespud/spudframe.htm click on "bio, propaganda"
"but i remember mainly the good times, like when frank zappa's old drummer, jimmy carl black -- who was living in albuquerque at the time -- came on the second or third night to play drums on "the green weenie." we all felt cool to be playing with an actual rock star -- lonesome fuckin' cowboy burt! "