Chapter 4-H.264 800Kbps
RR: mmhmm and how did you make that transition to becoming a professional musician? RE: Well, I was playing bass then and everything play a little gig here or there mostly I was people liked me for arranging. I would arrange stuff. RR: mmhmm RE: I went back to carson perry scott, you were making a dollar an hour... and in 1952 was when I was there before. a dollar an hour you made 40 dollars a week and after taxes, you got 35 dollars or so... but you could catch the you could get on the street car for 8 cents then.. RR: mmhmm RE: they had a guy in the front and a guy in the back, and you'd get on there and pay 8cents and you know.. the guys driving didn't collect the guy in the back did you know... and so I'm just saying that money was umm... RR: it's more relative RE: relative situation RR: to what the cost of living was RE: but when I came back I was in housewares in '52 but they put me in ladies dresses, you know where they had to go in the little rooms to dress.. and I'd say well I started that I guess about march or somthing of that year, back to Carson Perry Scott but the July the fourth independence day, I can remember stuff um.. I said "today is independence" I'm gonna be independent of all this working in the stock room and I will quit. "oh well we..." "No, i'm outta here, and I will be a musican from this point on I'll be a bass player and wherever that takes me I'm going..." so I stopped working and I started playing. You know working in the store... RR: In the store.. yeah RE: and I started playing bass and I never looked back. RR: And who were or some of the... or who were some of the first people that you started working with? RE: Well, let me... let me mention my really best friend Eddie Harris.. RR: Eddie Harris. RE: I met him in Dusalvo in 19... oh 1940... 1947... a no 1949 or something like that RR: mmhmm RE: And he was playing clarinet but he switched over to tenor and I met him there and we became very good friends. Um... and I watched him develop stuff.. uh... but um... let me see uh...I'm sorry what was your question? I lost it.... RR: I'm just... just kind of getting you to talk a little bit about... getting you to teach us a little bit about how you made that transition coming back from Korea in '55 RE: We were coming back from California, I didn't go to Korea.. RR: Oh, you didn't go to Korea at all? RE: Yeah, I went to fort Carson Colarado RR: ok, so you got back home and you said you started working as a... like as a security guard? RE: Well, no, no. When I uh... lemme see when I got out the army I started working Carson, Perry, Scott... it's a clothing store. RR: Ok RE: I mean it was just a store at State and Madison. RR: OK RE: and then I started there, but then I left there on July the 4th, 1955 and from that point on I became a musician. The first uh.. person I worked with I joined his band in 19 uh... oh it was about uh... lemme see, about July 1955 was Sun Ra RR: Sun Ra? RE: I joined his band I played bass with him RR: mmhmm RE: and then I stayed with him but he's the kinda guy that wanted to get into your business and uh... uh.. you know all the guys like the Govenors father, Pat Patrick was playing uh.. alto and baritone with the band then thats when I met the Governors father. RR: yeah mmhmm RE: and he helped me about arranging and doing stuff... beautiful guy. Pat Patrick, he was... but he was dedicated to Sun Ra and the (inaudible) it was all the guys, John and all the guys that was in the band they were kind of dedicated to Sun Ra because he had a movement that was gonna shake the world and he was from the planet Saturn... RR: Yes... yeah. RE: and he came here to help save the earth. RR: mmhmm.. mmhmm RE: And these guys he was a guy who was slight of hand, he could do stuff with.. that would cause little tricks and all that. And the guys were like afraid of him they would... he would say uh.."John come on over here did you do that arrangement I told you?" 'well no sun I had to' "Listen you have the arrangement over here by tomorrow or your mother will be arrested." 'oh!! ok Sun Ra' That's the kind of scene that was. Now having come from a fairly controlling stepfather I didn't need another father, So I couldn't stay with the... Well I did he was having a concert, so I used my skills of drawing... RR: mmhmm RE: and I drew saxophones and things on a poster and it said Sun Ra: Concert on October the so and so. RR: mmhmm RE: and it took me about a week to do it. When I brought it to him and he and the guys laughed "ahahahahah" "we don't play Jazz we play dazz" D A Z Z so that's what I got? a laugh I worked a week on this and this caused you to be laughing? Ok, I'm outa here so I left that and uh... then I got with King Colax, trumpet player.. RR: mmhmm RE: Beautiful trumpet player, I mean the guy he was an older fella' and he played trumpet and everything.. and then I made the mistake of going to the movies with his young girlfriend, I wasn't hittin' on her or nothin' you know I respected.. you know but she.. there was a movie she wanted to see at the regal. "Oh you wanna see that movie?" 'Yeah hey! let's go!' boom went there and he thought that was... got the wrong opinion you know he started.. it was strained. so I said ohhh man so then uh... I got.. Eddie Shamly came uh.. the next year in 1956 and wanted me to join Lionel Hamptons band. I said ok and joined his band, but Lionel Hampton wanted me to play uh.. electric guitar RR: mmhmm RE: and I didn't like that I liked the upright RR: mmhmm RE: but I went on to satisfy him and uh.. I stayed with him from uh.. I went over through all of America he was a republican and we had to go and play for the inaugural for uh.. the second run for President Eisenhower all through Washington D.C. and everything RR: mmmhmm mmhmmm RE: we flew there on a plane that was owned by a friend of Eisenhower you know? from the west coast all the way to New York in 1956 that's when they had that. And we played and we then went to Europe 1956 all of not dominated by the russians... the soviets places um... uh.. that was west, west europe. Uh.. Sweeden, Denmark, you name it we went through there. We went through France but we didn't play anywhere. We played mostly in German... Germany RR: Ok RE: and we went through France haha RR: and spoke the language eh? RE: well what I did being a smart alec, I wanted to impress... Slide, Hampton and I were uh.. in Hamburg and we wanted to go to uh.. back to Berlin. RR: umm mhmm - RE: cause everybody else went but we hung there, and so I went up to a German Gentleman and I said " Bitta Voy Nich te Flu Hoffen?" - Like where is the airport?" and said well bla bla bl... he coulda said " Up yours! buddy!" - I wouldn't have known. RR: right RE: "Gute Danka!" "Danka Shein" Danka.. you know so he said "What'd he say. I said " I don't know.. hahaha I just knew enough to be a dummy you know.. well I retained some of the German stuff. I watch ah.. things where people are supposed to be speaking in Germany. ' and they'll say "Ich... that means I" - Ich this and Ich that I said no cause it's supposed to be Isch!" (sounds) Isch, those are the finer points I learned about the language. I always like it RR: uh huh RE: Especially after you hear normal part of German. .. It's a very precise.. like if you were trying to build something. English came from Germany, German ... first and then English came from it. There are words that are similar and so forth. They go around the corner adding words.. they add words to say one thing .. it just builds out. It's very interesting. But anyway we went to Germany and ah England, of course went through England and Scotland, Germany and France. .they didn't let us stay there. We went to Paris but they didn't let us stay in Paris, cause they figured a lot of us wouldn't make the boat, so we went to Le Harve, H A R V E .. Le Harver.. or whatever it's called. And we stayed there, and I realized that French people were very nasty uh, to you if you didn't speak French, but we had a guy in the Band, Oscar Bernard, who was a Genius.. piano player, and he spoke 5 languages, and spoke French so well that people would sai Misuer are you from Paris? - No he was from down south in Florida RR: mm hmm RE: But he just mastered those languages you know. RR: mmm hmm RE: So that's how we got served you know, he know how to ask this stuff.