Chapter 2 And I went with Jimmy Tyler. He had a house band in Atlantic City. So I worked with Jimmy Tyler from June until of course Labor Day, September. And it was a ???steal spot affair. Great show. Great show. Lot of work, we had to work 7 days a week. I was really… It was work, so I quit at the end. But I was… I heard from Fat Man Robinson of course I was taking Sam Rivers place. I took Sam Rivers…Sam Rivers was the tenor for Fat Man and so I joined Fat Man Robinson. FB: How big of an ensemble was that? AMG: Just two, just a rhythm section and two saxophones. But he was into the Louie Jordan bag. And he, he , he… Sandy Louis was big. So, Sandy Louis was big and Fat Man. So I was with Fat Man. FB: So, he did the singing too? AMG: Yeah, he did good showman. He knew all of Louie Jordan's stuff. FB: That was a great bag, highly entertaining and really popular. AMG: Yeah yeah. And the funny thing about me. The guys talkin about rap. They should hear Louie Jordan talk about rap. That's really rap, good rap. FB: And extremely intelligent and very musical all at once. AMG: Very musical and clever. It's about the signified monkey and all that stuff. Really very clean musically (mumbling) talking about rap they should listen to Louie Jordan rap. FB: Those guys should listen to that you're quite right. We were talking about that before we started rolling here. Kind of deplorable situation with the state of a lot of popular music these days. IF they did a little bit of homework they'd hear some mighty good stuff and might get inspired. AMG: Fat Man… he was very good at it. He was talking about, Don't get married don't taste their cookin and all that it was real funny and very very clever. Plus the music was swingin. Billy Jordan was a.. FB: Some really good stuff. Saturday Night Fish Fry. All that… AMG: Yeah so Fat Man he was in that bag and very popular. FB: So you were on the Boston scene then and you know you met a lot of people around town. Did you otherwise involve yourself in the scene in the 50s in Boston? AMG: Well yeah but , I was involved, the fact that I was with Fat Man and see the thing in Boston at that time you had to work 7 nights a week plus a matinee. That's everybody. The big guys from New York didn't mind it either because they didn't have to work 4 o'clock in the morning and all that. But in Boston they had a blue law on Saturday that they had to closed at 12, 12 o'clock. No club was over 1 o'clock. So I guess they extended so we had to work 7 days. So I was basically, I was basically working with Fat Man Robinson because he worked all the time. I mean I was with him for 4 or 5 years with no time off at all that's why I left. FB: How wide of a circuit did you play with that band? AMG: Well he had Boston, well naturally everybody knew this was St Louis territory (FB: Definitely.) but he had an 8 piece band. But fat man had Lawrence, Lowell, all those places that were great places for jazz. Lawrence, Lowell, Salisbury Beach, until they went dry and then they killed that. Salisbury Beach, and Fall River and then a couple of times we went to Florida. Miami. So, he had that sewed up good. And he had ??? it was another club, I didn't play there. There was another club, but I took Sam Rivers place and that's ... Fat Man had a club called the Stage Bar. If he had any time, space he could always go there like Savvy? going with Savoy you know. FB: Like a home base. AMG: Yeah you could always go to Stage bar. FB: I remember seeing Sam Rivers playing with Jackie Byard and some other people in the early 60s when I first came to school here as a student at Boston College. Did you um…What was your association with Sam and Jackie? AMG: Oh well we were all students together we were great, we were great friends. We were great friends. In the 60s I was gone. I left Fat Man and I joined Lionel Hampton ‘57. So, I was on the road. FB: What made you decide to leave town? You were sick of the 7 night a week thing and.. I mean it was a great offer. AMG: No no. In the first place being a musician… I had a super wife. Super super super lady. FB: Understanding, tolerant. AMG: Yeah understanding tolerant. What direction I wanted to go was ok. I had been with Fat Man for a while and we were doing well and then Fat…something... well he had a young lady a girlfriend and she started interjecting her opinions about the money and what not. And more than that she'd say, "Why are you payin Andy this and why are you payin him that" and what not. So, it got a little funny. And I just told my wife, and she said ,"Look, do whatever you want to do" you know. So I quit. Best move I ever made. FB: How did you hook up with Hamp? AMG: Well that's just it, I quit Fat Man. Two weeks and I was wandering around you know. Well Fat Man was a nice guy good business man too. I think he was one of the first guys looked out for the musician. To the point where he made sure you applied for unemployment. Nobody did that. (FB:Wow.) So he was a good guy. The problem with that band started with tax, the guy who was supposed to be paying the taxes and didn't pay any taxes. That was a beginning of the downfall. I was rehearsing with a drummer on Commonwealth Avenue and I said this is not going any place. I had my horn and said, I think I'll go by storyville and catch Hamp's band. So, I went by storyville and ??? brother introduced me to Hamp. And he said "Hamp have you ever heard this guy play?" And Hamp said “well no” and he had a tenor sax player who was a girl in providence and she got sick and she had to go back to New York. So he was basically looking for a tenor player. So, he said do you have your horn with you and I said well yeah. "Well next set when we go up I'll play a tune and then I'll call you up and ask you to play." FB: So you were reading the book and then took a solo. AMG: No I didn't read the book. (FB: Oh you didn’t. Oh ok.) They had a saxophone player. Doug Leo was there, but he wasn't interested. They had somebody fillin in. FB: I see. AMG: No. So he said "come up and play" and so I got up and played. FB: What tune did he call? AMG: Blues in Eb. They played the blues in Eb. The thing about it though that he just started playing the blues he didn't tell you he didn't say Blues in Eb, he just said come and play. So the blues in Eb. So then he said "Ok well tomorrow night " because Doug wasn't interested "you'll start tomorrow night." So I came in and started, and of course he had an alto player, one of the greatest, the most underrated alto player Robert Playder. (FB:Yeah.) He wrote Jersey Bounce but they...(mumbling) FB: He didn't get the credit for it. AMG: He didn't get the money, but they gave him some of the credit. But he wrote the tune. (FB: Great tune.) Great tune he wrote it for a dancer from New Jersey. (sings) Tony Bradshaw band ??? when he heard it. FB: He made a hit with it? AMG: Well sure... Jersey Bounce... Harry James...It was a hit by two or three bands years ago. Anyway make a long story short. Bobby Playder was listenin and my readin ability… 'cause Bobby was the ??? boss so he kinda put the okay on it. Hamp probably asked him and said,"What is he doing with the music?" and Bobby said "Fine. " And that's the way it was. So Hamp said " Go up and see my wife we're leaving for Europe in 2 weeks and you have to have a passport." And that's how I got the gig. FB: Wow. So what was his wife's name Lorraine? No. What was his wife's name? AMG: Gladys. FB: So she set you up with the passport people. AMG: No no no she didn't do that. She just said... she just told me how much money I was going to get. And she said to get paid x many dollars we leave in 2 weeks. You have to get a passport and that's it. FB: And you went home and told your wife and she said? AMG: Oh man she was she was flabbergasted. Yeah. I was too man. FB: A huge opportunity. AMG: She was really really happy for me. FB:Wow AMG:Yeah yeah. So that was… FB: So you were with Hamp for a few years? AMG: Oh yeah six. FB: Six! AMG: About six years.. FB: You're on some of those recordings from that period. AMG: I did an original called McGee. I wrote that. Of course nationally some of the albums? called Flying Home. I'm trying to think of some other ones. Hamp was a great player and he was funny. I might play a tune we had a called written by Bobby Playder. And I played the solo it was a tenor thing. But when we got in the studio he cut the tenor out and he played the solo. So, I was kinda limited on how many solo things I did. FB: Hamp was a pretty versatile guy and he liked the limelight. AMG: Oh he was a great player. FB: Vibes, drums, even a little piano. AMG: Well yeah, the piano, he did the 2 fingers, that’s just set up like the vibes. His ears were out of sight. He'd hear a tune and he like it. Then 2 or 3 minutes he'd play it. He didn't care what it was. He played anything hip or whatever. And he would play it.