Hey, I know I’m little late with the newsletter this month. I’ve been working putting the new band together, a new guitar player and keyboardist. My long-time buddy Johnny King wanted to stay home after his accident, then the economy caused some bands to downsize, carry fewer pieces. It’s not easy replacing a person who has been with you from day one.
Johnny is an original member who helped to establish the sound of the group. We have had other guitar players, but they all had to play what Johnny laid before them. He was a man of few notes, but also a pocket man. He held the band together and kept the rhythm tight. He never got in your way. There’s not many of those kinds of guys around today.
One of the things that made the earlier Fatback rhythm section, Johnny Flippen, Johnny King, Bill Curtis, so tight, was that we were like a family. Off the bandstand we hung out together, and for a good twenty-five years we didn’t play with anyone else. It was the same rhythm section more or less.
Thank you, Johnny, for what you brought to the band: professionalism, loyalty and hard work ethics. No, Johnny isn’t retiring, he just decided to stop going out on the road. He’s still got a lot funk left in him.
Bob "Zoot" James
Bob "Zoot" James replaced Gerry Thomas in 2003. Bob is moving on in his musical career and in life. It was great working with him! He had some big shoes to fill and he did a wonderful job filling them. One thing I can say he left with a little funk on him. We wish you the best in your endeavors! Thanks for everything!
George Williams: I’ll save for the next letter.
There's a link I want you to check out, Robin Dunn (Wild Sugar) dancer and background singer with the band. The girls always seem to get lost when we start talking about the band. In the beginning, there were no girls, all guys, but after the third album we added dancers. Robin took over the duties of choreographer and later on the role of office manager and secretary. Two things happened when we added the girls: they brought our music alive and brightened up our show. As a matter of fact, they made the show. I would say they were one of the turning points in the history of Fatback Band. They were a very big component part of the group, but it didn’t start out that way. It took time and Robin made it work. She stayed with the group for about eight years. She left in 1985 I think, to start her career and she’s still doing it. Go girl!!
We will be back in the UK around April. I’m looking for new ideas for how to package the “New” Fatback Band. Things such as: How can we get our new music heard? Do we have to change our name? We have definitely changed our style of music and added some young blood to group. I will be dropping a couple of new tunes next year. We're not doing album downloads anymore. If anyone has any great ideas or would like to help us market our new music, please e-mail me at email@example.com.
Love, Peace & Fatback!!!
Video: “I Feel The Fire” Fatback at Southport Weekender
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