Fatback Band Letter

Bill with Gerry Thomas
March 11, 2010

Gerry Thomas

I first met Gerry in Ron Anderson’s Band holding down the 1st trumpet seat, and I was on the drums. Just for you older guys, other members of the band were: Eric Gale (guitar), Buddy Lucas and Trevor Lawrence (saxophone), and Ron on bass. This band had all the gigs around New York at the time. Most of the guys were doing recording sessions during week and played with Ron on the weekend.

More on Gerry’s background, he graduated from Performing Arts High School in N.Y. and attended New York University School of Music. He performed in the pit orchestras on Broadway, he played and arranged for Lloyd Price Big Band along side of Thad Jones as a trumpeter. He later joined Jimmy Castor as a trumpeter. The keyboardist got kind of shaky… something happened. I don’t know what, but they ended up with no keyboard player. Gerry started doubling on the Keys with the Bunch. I think he stayed about five years with Bunch before joining Fatback.

Harry Belafonte, Gerry & Bill
Gerry and I teamed up together as partner in Ron’s band. I started producing a few records on my Fatback label. I had about five acts and we released four or five 45’s. I also had Sam Culley Co-Producing along with me. In the mean time, Gerry was doing his thing. He and the bass player in JCB had started producing their group, “Gerry and Paul.” I’d started putting my Fatback Band together. Sam and I started producing Mary Davis (SOS Band), Four Puzzles and Ben Monroe. I heard the stuff Gerry and Paul was doing asked him to let me release it on my Fatback label. We did two 45’s releases.

I never could get my label on the ground. When we were selling records I couldn’t get paid. Distributors played a little game with small company such as mine. For instance, if they sold $2000 worth product…they’d send you back about $250. They would hold all the rest waiting for new pieces of product or if they held it long enough you’d go out of business and they would just keep the money. Working with little or no money, that’s just what happens.

I couldn’t get my money back to keep on going. When I recorded the Fatback Band, I decided to shop it. Now that think about it, that’s not the way it happen; I wasn’t shopping Fatback , trying to get someone to pick up the label. Now I got it right, all this time, I’ve been saying I was shopping The Fatback Band Demo.

Perception Records had never heard what the band sounded like, until I brought them the Masters in and played them. ($5000 why not take a chance)

Gerry was not on the first session of Perception album. He joined us on the second one and this is where the story begins. THE FATBACK STORY (To be continued)

Funk 101- if you have a friend that you would like to introduce funky music to… May I suggest “Truck’n w/ Bubba” from “Bill Curtis and Friends w/The Fatback Band”? This is what funk is about. It’s grease, hot and from the soul. It’s not that dumb down music that they pushing on you.

A few Newsletters back, I told you…they are interested in selling iPods and iPhones and cheating our music to sell them. And they are doing a very good job. I have a feeling that all of this is going to turn around but never to get back to where it was. And as I think about it, that’s a good thing. I guess it took all of this to get us all on equal ground. Real music played by real musicians, on real instruments, with new tools and technology. That’s our new album. It should be on iTunes by now.

If you’d like to help promote and keep funk alive…you can tell a friend to tell a friend to visit our website. You can also invite them to view us on YouTube and/or join us on Facebook.

You guys remember me talking about Ty, well March 15th Ty will be 15.
Stay Live Y'all, and support live music!

MP3 of the Month: "Truckin' w/ Bubba"

Now for you funk fans, here is a Fatback download...

Click here to Download "Truckin' w/ Bubba"

Fatback Live at the 02 in London 2009





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