The Red Devils’ Dec. 31, 1992, show at Jack’s Sugar Shack in Los Angeles boasted a surprising, one-time lineup, according to a review in the Jan 8-14, 1993, LA Weekly:
- Lester Butler, harp and vocals
- Paul Size, lead guitar
- Mike Flanigin, rhythm guitar
- Larry “The Mole” Taylor, bass
- Bill Bateman, drums
It’s a rare lineup with no Bartel brother in the lineup; Dave Lee was out at this time, replaced by Flanigin. No word on what caused brother Jonny Ray to miss the gig.
If you’re going to get a replacement, you could do worse than Larry “The Mole” Taylor, the legendary bassist from Canned Heat.
We’re not sure how this pairing came about, but Taylor’s presence marks another connection between The Heat and The Blasters/Red Devils camps: Gene Taylor, Hollywood Fats, Smokey Hormel and Junior Watson all were members of the World’s Greatest Boogie Band at one time or another. (There are many other familiar names on the list of Canned Heat alumni: Wikipedia counts more than 50 musicians in the band over the years!)
Taylor died on Aug. 19, 2019, after a highway-long career that spanned from The Monkees to Tom Waits.
(Larry Taylor photo: Heinrich Klaffs, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)