Tuesday, April 7, 2009


(part 88) SOMEWHERE IN OHIO 1970
From bobby jameson

When I got to Cleveland, or Chardon Ohio to be more exact, This house, which is now remodeled, is where I ended up with the band RASTUS. This was about 20 miles or so outside of Cleveland and was a good place for a rowdy band to live and practice in, because they could make all the noise they wanted and nobody ever complained. I arrived there with John and was pretty much accepted from the gate by everybody there. It helped that I had had a big hit in Cleveland, "I'M SO LONELY" in 1964 because some of the people remembered it and I didn't have to explain myself so much as a result of that fact.

I was looked upon as a fellow musician as opposed to a total outsider. I was still pretty lost because of all the suicides that had taken place and was just starting to come out of the haze of the long downer addiction I was kicking. As soon as I arrived somebody stuck a bottle of beer in my hand so I knew I was in the right place. Rastus was mostly neighborhood guys from Cleveland who related to the Italian mob from birth. Some were Italian, some were polish, everyone was a bad ass in their own mind and funny as hell.

It was a constant competition of wits and some of the funniest shit I ever heard, for my part, it was exactly what the doctor ordered for the condition I was in. Things seemed to be in a state of constant movement so it was either sink or swim, I opted to swim along with what was going on. There wasn't a lot of time to feel sorry for myself because these guys were so animated. It was summertime so I think I got there in the middle of a barbecue, volleyball free for all, and keg party. You either jumped into the mix or turned around and left within the first five minutes , I stayed for almost a year. James Cantale was the roadie for the band and did everything else as well. Whenever somebody wanted something or something didn't work it was, "Where's Jimmy," or "Hey Jimmy." Anyway, I quickly figured out that Jimmy knew where everything was and where everything went, that included where all the dead bodies were buried and which skeleton was in what closet.

I became life long friends with Cantale and that was proved to me on Saturday when he, John Rhys and his wife Lori showed up at my home and we picked up from where we left off 38 years ago. It was as if we had seen each other the week before. John, Jim and I laughed all afternoon as we ate pizza and went back through our history together in Ohio with the band RASTUS. John also brought me a pile of old tapes I'd left with him which I still have to go through. The song and video I just posted is a direct result of something John gave to me and had kept safe for all of these years. If I had not been writing about this particular subject, Rastus, on my own blog I would not have found John's Blog, Bluepower, and left him a comment in hopes of him contacting me, which he did.

I saw John once in 88 or 89 in Groverbeach, Ca and then lost track of him again until I got an email from him a week or so ago. This is not inconsistent whatsoever with where I am in the telling of my own story, in fact it is part of the story I am telling. The fact that I was so screwed up at the time I saw John in 1970 at GRT is the reason I ended up in Ohio with Rastus. I think if I had of stayed in L A a little while longer at that time I would have died for sure. I had lost my will to go on and I was looking for a way out of my dilemma, when by sheer chance, I ran into John in RON CRAMER'S office at GRT RECORDS.

After putting my mother into a mental health facility in Palo Alto and returning to L A I had no plan or strength to continue breathing. The death of my father, Diane Linkletter and my friend Geno Danello had pretty much done a job on my emotions and when you coupled that up with all the other bullshit I had been through since 1964, I was pretty much done. So when I talk about meeting John Rhys in some office in 1970 you can see why this particular event has such meaning in the overall story I have been attempting to relate here. John Rhys came out of nowhere and reached out to me with just a tiny bit of hope and I took it willingly.

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