Archive for blasters

Bill Bateman: ‘Do I remember any of it? Hell no!’

Posted in bill bateman with tags , , , on January 12, 2020 by J.J.

“William Raymond Bateman. Born in the city of Orange …”

A great, 10-minute interview with Bill Bateman gives a rare chance to hear from the legendary drummer in his own words, voice and cadence.

Though recorded on Nov. 9, 2015, for the documentary “Tales of the American,” the Bateman interview video was only uploaded to YouTube a couple of months ago.

The full documentary tells the story of The American, L.A.’s first black hotel that, during the 20th century, became a gathering ground for the city’s artists, musicians, poets, writers and other characters. (Bateman ticks a couple of those boxes.)

Though The Red Devils are not mentioned, there is plenty to love in this interview vid. A quick rundown:

  • Gigging with Edwin Starr
  • “The Phil and Bill Show”
  • Hessians MC in the crowd
  • “Everybody watched the freaks, the Alvin brothers.”
  • Circle Jerks, Black Flag and Fear
  • Checking out the legendary Frank Frost
  • Mario Melendez and the King King
  • Grand World Class Drum-A-Thon: DJ Bonebrake + Bill Bateman + John Densmore
  • The Blasters: “It’s a family.”

You don’t need me to sell you on this video. Watch the Bateman video below or on YouTube.

Check out “Tales of the American” on Amazon Prime, Google Play, YouTube, iTunes, Xbox and Vudu.

#NowPlaying: “The Roots of The Red Devils”

Posted in red devils with tags , on July 14, 2017 by J.J.

UPDATED JULY 18 with Willie Nix number.

The Red Devils’ backstory includes classic blues, arty punk and the best of California rock ‘n’ roll.

Nofightin.com presents this curated mix of “The Roots of The Red Devils.”

Some of the songs will be obvious, and others are “in the spirit of” the original Red Devils.

Listen up, and let us know what songs you would include. And turn it up!

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The Blasters in The Cities

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , , , on July 5, 2015 by J.J.

There was no cooler place to be in Minneapolis on June 17 than Lee’s Liquor Lounge.

We were piled in there, too, pressed against the stage for The Blasters‘ return to the Twin Cities.

Phil Alvin, John Bazz, Keith Wyatt and the powerhouse drummer “Buster” Bill Bateman played a greatest hits show for hipsters, rockers, punks and squares in the little corner tavern.

Here are photos by Tina Hanagan, including a couple of openers Javier and the Innocent Sons (you remember Javier Matos from a latter-day version of The Blue Shadows w/Bateman & Bazz).

The Blasters back in Midwest

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , on May 14, 2015 by J.J.
The Blasters. Photo by Blurry Lens

The Blasters. Photo by Blurry Lens

The Blasters are storming through the Midwest U.S. again this summer.

It’s always a good thing to see the gang, and this short run has some added incentive for Red Devils fans.

Opening a series of shows will be Javier and the Innocent Sons. The Minneapolis-based group features Javier Matos, who many might remember from the resurrected Blue Shadows with Bill Bateman, as well as the Doghouse Lords.

We caught The Blasters at Fitzgerald’s in Berwyn, Ill., a few years ago, and they will be back there again for a two-night stand.

Here are some relevant dates:

  • June 17: Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • June 18: Turner Hall Ballroom, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • June 19 & 20: FitzGerald’s Chicago, Berwyn, Ill.

Check out the whole lineup, including several in California stops, here.

Spare bands & one-and-dones

Posted in 13, lester butler with tags , , , , on September 2, 2013 by J.J.

Blues musicians will know … get a group of guys together, come up with a name, and you are a “band” for a night. Might have those same four guys another night, new name. Use a different drummer for a pickup gig, and that’s three. One of those bands, likely, was called the Blues Meisters. Law of averages.

The Red Devils had a fairly monogamous relationship during the prime ’92-’93 years: Butler, Size, Bartel, Bartel and Bateman — save for Mike Flanigin taking North American duties for Dave Lee Bartel in late 1992. But once Paul Size left the band in mid-’93, all bets were off.

Here are some of the random situations featuring Lester Butler, primarily between The Red Devils and 13.

THE BACKSTREET CRAWLERS: “Tonight at 9 [at the Blue Cafe], the Backstreet Crawlers, featuring Lester of the Red Devils on harmonica. The Crawlers are an L.A.-based blues outfit who often have non-musician celebs dropping by to jam.” — Long Beach, Calif., Press-Telegram, July 25, 1992 Continue reading

Fourth of July fireworks: The original Blasters live

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2010 by J.J.

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While many in the crowd were talking about the return of the Fightin’ Alvins, the real on-stage fireworks this Fourth of July weekend came courtesy of the past and present of Blasters guitar players.

The Blasters were one of the featured acts this past weekend at the 30th American Music Festival at FitzGerald’s in Berwyn, Illinois. The current lineup (frontman Phil Alvin, guitarist Keith Wyatt, bassist John Bazz and Bill Bateman on drums) was augmented by founding guitarist and songwriter Dave Alvin, in a rare return to the fold.
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Bateman drums: Old school, new ideas

Posted in bill bateman with tags , , , on June 6, 2010 by J.J.

Bill Bateman in Drumhead [Photo by Kelly King]Bill Bateman is featured in the May/June 2010 issue of Drumhead magazine, mostly talking about the craft of drum building. Bateman began building kits for his own Bateman Drum Company a few years ago, and he talks, in detail, with Drumhead about the why and how:

“I noticed that some of the drum companies have made choices in their production that aren’t geared towards a better instrument, but rather are a by-product of mass production. Some companies are good. Gretsch still does it the old 1940s way, which is great. Ludwig is kind of imitating what they used to do, but they have all butt joints. They didn’t have butt joints in the old days.”

Bateman is revealed as a true drum gearhead, with an astounding knowledge of styles and companies. He even talks at length about studying Civil War-era snare drums, eventually building two rope-tension snares in the 19th-century style, according to Drumhead. Much of the article is about how he and his brother-in-law experimented with making wood shells. But Bateman always keeps the player in mind, even when selecting hardware (which he gets from old drums): “All of that double-braced hardware isn’t going to fit into the back of your Toyota,” Bateman told the magazine. “Even if it did, your back would be pissed at you the next day.”
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Show souvenirs

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2009 by J.J.

Christmas came a little early here at nofightin.com, thanks to some cool memorabilia shared by Andrew Rackauskas.

Rackauskas, who tells us he ran a ’90s fanzine called Spinal Column (his 13 review can be found on Jasper Heikens’ site), sent us an e-mail, relating stories about seeing the Devils every week at Jack’s Sugar Shack in L.A.:

I can’t tell you how lucky I felt getting to watch them virtually every Thursday for so long! Once Jack’s moved to the Hollywood/Vine location, the vibe was killed, and the Devils started playing far less. I was also really lucky to see them play as the house band at the “Ciao Def” party where Rick Rubin’s label got rid of the “Def” and made it “American Recordings.” They played in a bowling alley off Olympic in Koreatown in L.A. that is no longer there. It was quite the party! I remember waiters walking around w/ wheel-barrows of beer and booze!

Check out these photos he’s passed along:

Rackauskas has a harmonica signed by Lester Butler, "but I'm never going to part with that!"


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Doghouse Lords unleashed in California

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by J.J.

Doghouse_Lords_picFor all your Bill Bateman needs, look no further than The Doghouse Lords, with dates next week in California. As an added bonus, it looks like Bateman and John Bazz are pulling double duty with The Blasters on a couple of these gigs.

Doghouse Lords guitarist Chopper Franklin (late of The Cramps) tells nofightin.com that tour dates and more can be found on the mutts’ new site doghouselords.com.

Aug. 5: Redwood Bar, L.A.
Aug. 6: Red Devil Lounge with The Blasters, San Francisco
Aug. 7: Thee Parkside — the “Doghouse Duo” in San Francisco
Aug. 8: 19 Broadway with The Blasters, Fairfax, California
Aug. 9: Redwood Bar — the “Doghouse Duo” in L.A.

If anyone hits these shows, give us your review on nofightin.com.

And for those not familiar with the Lords, watch “Georgia Chain Gang:”

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The Blasters’ ‘Trouble Bound’ 2002

Posted in bill bateman, related music with tags , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by J.J.

The California blues/roots/rockabilly/R&B collective The Blasters should be required listening for any fan of American Music. During the 1980s, the band, along with contemporaries such as X and Los Lobos, bridged punk and roots music with an energy and enthusiasm that thrilled a legion of fans of all types of music.

That Blasters ethic is well-displayed on the 2002 “comeback” album “Trouble Bound,” a live disc featuring the four original Blasters on record for the first time 17 years: Phil Alvin, Dave Alvin, John Bazz and Bill Bateman.

The Red Devils were one of many offshoots from The Blasters, sharing at least half a dozen musicians over the two bands along with 13, the Blue Shadows, the Knitters and others. Devils fans will find much to love on “Trouble Bound,” along with some familiar touchstones: An edgy live sound, an exemplary cover of “I Wish You Would,” the wonderful Gene Taylor on keys, as well as the Blasters’ classic “Blue Shadows,” the song that ostensibly gave the Red Devils their original name.

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