Archive for April, 2014

“They didn’t play any songs from ‘King King’!”

Posted in red devils with tags , on April 27, 2014 by J.J.

Mike Mullahy in Wigan, England, cc’ed us on an email he sent to Paul Rees on the Classic Rock article. It would be great if Devils fans keep the conservation going in letters like this to Classic Rock.

Just wanna say thanks to you (and Billy Gibbons!) for the great article on The Red Devils in Classic Rock 195.

I bought the “King King” album the week it came out in ’92 (think I must’ve heard a track on Paul Jones’ blues show on Radio 2?) and was immediately blown away by its power and rawness. I think I played it every day for the next six months.

kingking_vinylMy mates were hooked too and so you can imagine our surprise and delight to see the band were playing at the 1993 Phoenix Festival that we already had tickets for. So on the Saturday afternoon of the festival we all stumbled into a tent where the band were due to play and waited eagerly along with only a handful of others to hear the “King King” album in all it’s live glory. However, the band didn’t play any of the songs from “King King” so we were slightly disappointed, but the band were still smoking’.

Then in 1994 I read in Sounds that the band were due to tour the UK so I bought a ticket for Manchester University — ticket number 0001! — only to hear on the radio that the band had canceled the tour. When I went to the box office to get a refund I asked why they had canceled and was told they landed in London, did a gig that night, fell out with each other and went back home. Should’ve kept a photocopy of the ticket!

Anyway, thanks for the article and thanks for the mention of the website, great resource.

Cheers pal,

Mike Mullahy
Wigan, England

PS: I’ve got the “Blackwater Roll” EP, if there is a dirtier blues riff out there than the one on “The Hook” then I ain’t heard it!

Classic Rock: Finding the real story in the grooves

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on April 9, 2014 by J.J.

Photo Apr 07, 8 56 57 PM

With Classic Rock 195 now out in the U.S. — the U.K. Queen cover replaced by Slash — The Red Devils’ story is being read by more people than ever before.

Seeing high praise from Billy Gibbons and Rick Rubin, not to mention the Mick Jagger and Johnny Cash connections, it is hard to fathom the band won’t belatedly pick up a few new fans.

Photo Apr 07, 1 10 56 PM

Reaction to the magazine last month, where it was first released in Europe, was strong. Seeing the band’s young faces, so vivid on glossy paper, tucked among rock royalty through the pages, was a treat.

Described on the U.S. cover as “cult heroes,” The Red Devils’ story is so much more than that. “King King” was just a moment in time; the lifespan of the “famous” Red Devils — Butler, Bateman, Bartel, Bartel and Size — was only about two years, the length of “The Kid’s” stay in the band.

The Red Devils’ legacy is built on woulda-coulda-shoulda: How many bands are featured in a book called “The Greatest Music Never Sold” and a magazine article subtitled “The greatest bands you’ve never heard”?

Unfortunately the band’s bullet points — a little neighborhood blues band gets discovered, finds fame, tours the world, breaks up, the singer eventually dying much too young — are almost too easy to tell. It doesn’t play as well for the real lives found in between the grooves. And a four-page article, or one chapter of a book, cannot contain the whole story.

I still believe the real story lies somewhere on those nights, playing for a barroom full of friends and fans, creating music and memories that would still be as vivid nearly a quarter century later.

Red Devils at Red Rocks, 93/94

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on April 6, 2014 by J.J.

The Red Devils performed two times at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the famous Colorado open-air venue built into a rock formation. Most famous (for guys my age, at least) for an iconic performance by U2 for 1983’s “Under a Blood Red Sky,” Red Rocks hosts concerts regularly.

From the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News in Denver:

“The Blues on the Rocks series on Sept. 5 has a full circle of blues: Legends B.B. King, Koko Taylor and Buddy Guy will mix it up with young guitar slinger Eric Johnson and newcomers, the Red Devils (a band that is a favorite of Mick Jagger).” (April 16, 1993)

“Blues on the Rocks at Red Rocks (Sept. 21): B.B. King, Dr. John, Little Feat, the All-Star Tribute to Muddy Waters and the Red Devils heat up the rocks starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $22.50 at TicketMaster, Sound Warehouse and other locations.” (May 22, 1994)

Notable is that, if the timeline holds up, the Sept. 5, 1993, date was one day before the band recorded its session with Johnny Cash and for its second album.

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