Archive for paul size

5 takeaways from The Red Devils reunion weekend

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on June 12, 2017 by J.J.

The Red Devils are back, having just completed their first three gigs in 23 years. They returned triumphant June 2-4 in The Netherlands.

Photos and videos of the shows are plentiful, and too many to catalog here. Many of the videos are captured in The Red Devils Facebook group. Also check the Facebook pages for Paul Size, Mike Flanigin and Big Pete, too. The entire Ribs and Blues Festival set is available on Facebook, if you know where to look. Twanny’s Blues has plenty of June 3 Bosuil videos on YouTube, or watch the whole show here. June 2 Fluor clips are available from Joop Chevy on YouTube.

Here are the things that stuck out to us after watching the first three Red Devils shows:

1. There is only one …

From the very first notes of the very first song of the very first gig, it’s clear: These are The Red Devils, and nobody else.

For a generation of fans who only have 24-year-old YouTube videos to go off of, the ’17 Devils are a revelation. The stacks and stacks of bands inspired by the Devils clearly can’t touch them — many of them have been rendered obsolete in just three shows.

You cannot go wrong with Bill Bateman in the driver’s seat, and he makes obvious the fatal flaw for other bands: he just has that beat, locking in with the grooving Jonny Ray Bartel. Paul Size reminds everyone that his guitar playing is singular — his touch and instincts are all still there. He’s been missed.

If you can’t have Dave Lee Bartel onstage, then bring back Mike Flanigin, holding down rhythm guitar. Kudos to the Devils for bringing back a different “brother” when they could have gotten a ringer.

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It’s time: The Red Devils reunited

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on June 2, 2017 by J.J.

Paul Size, Bill Bateman and Jonny Ray Bartel, the three “original” members of the legendary Red Devils.

This photo was taken by “The Drifter” Mike Flanigin June 2 in Holland, the first night of The Red Devils reunion tour.

Welcome back, boys. Glad you could make it.

Rainy Detroit night 1992, club date + 3 rare cuts

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , on March 5, 2017 by J.J.

Red Devils
Tapes don’t often circulate of The Red Devils during their 1992 U.S. club tour, but guitarist Mike Flanigin passed one from his collection to nofightin.com.

Not only is it a representation of 4/5 of the band that will be on tour this summer, but it is the closest I’ll ever get to The Red Devils just as I heard them almost 25 years ago.

Flanigin’s tape was not labeled, so no clear info on date or location. But he recollects it was from that fall 1992 club tour. From there, two other clues: an emcee, just before the encore, beckons the crowd, “I don’t know Detroit, do you want to hear one more?” And Butler thanks the crowd for coming out on a rainy night.

Sully’s Blues Bar in Dearborn, Mich., is essentially adjacent to Detroit. And, on Oct. 14, 1992, according to Weather Underground, Dearborn saw just more than half an inch of rain.

The relatively short show — 11 songs in the set, plus three in the encore, about an hour and 35 minutes time — lines up with a listing in the Oct. 13, 1992, Detroit Free Press:

RED DEVILS, blues from LA, 8:30 and 10 p.m. Wed., 4758 Greenfield [Sully’s], Dearborn. 846-1920

Two shows.

So, this gig took place the night after I saw them at Jake’s in Bloomington, Ind., about five-and-a-half hours away.
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1993 tour contracts show work behind Holland tour

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on February 20, 2017 by J.J.

As the reunited Red Devils prepare to return to Europe for the first time in almost 25 years, a series of contracts, riders and correspondence show just how much work it took to get the band on the road in 1993.

The documents are primarily between concert promoters and booking agents for the band’s 14-date Nov. 14-29, 1993, tour of Holland (some details redacted by nofightin.com):

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1. This document, from Sept. 10, 1993, details a proposed itinerary for the band for two weeks in Holland. Of interest are protential gigs that didn’t seem to materialize, such as on Nov. 16, 19 and 24.

2. The band’s tour rider, dated Oct. 9, 1993, breaks down what The Red Devils needed to stay on the road. Soundcheck, security, billing requirements and backline (the kind of gear the venues or promoters would provide for the band) were all outlined. If you wanted to know what amps the band was using, this document lays it out.

Most folks will be interested in the last page: What the band required in their dressing rooms. Nothing fancy — beer, soda, water, sandwiches. And a bottle of Jack and two packs of Winston 100s.

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BREAKING: Red Devils reuniting for summer 2017 European tour

Posted in bill bateman, jonny ray bartel, paul size, red devils with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2017 by J.J.

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The rumors are true …

In 2017, on the silver anniversary of “King King,” The Red Devils return to Europe, to the crowds that have kept their memory, spirit and music alive.

Bill Bateman, Paul Size and Jonny Ray Bartel return with one-time Red Devils guitarist Mike Flanigin (Jimmie Vaughan, Billy Gibbons and the BFGs).

And picking up the bullet mic and fronting the band is Dutch bluesman Big Pete, Pieter van der Pluijm, filling in for the late Lester Butler. As a solo artist, Big Pete has carried on the Devils’ tradition, bringing Billy Boy Arnold, Little Walter and Chicago blues harp into the 21st century.kingking_vinyl

The first date has been announced: Sunday, June 4, at Ribs & Blues, a free roots and blues festival in The Netherlands.

Early-June club dates are expected to be announced soon, as well as a full summer tour lineup.

WATCH NOFIGHTIN.COM FOR UPDATES.

START HERE: The very best posts on nofightin.com … music, videos, lyrics, myths, more.

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Video: Red Devils live at King King Nov. 30, 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on December 26, 2016 by J.J.

One of the treats hanging out with Mike Flanigin last year was watching vintage Red Devils video live from the King King more than two decades earlier.

We watched half of the Nov. 30, 1992, video in his Austin living room. Essentially, we got the DVD commentary from one of the members of The Red Devils himself.

Flanigin held the guitar he played in the Devils as he watched a younger version of himself, sparking many more memories and stories.

Two things stuck out: That Flanigin wasn’t entirely impressed with the King King mystique, which even in 1992 was thick around the band. Watching the video, the band in living color under stage lights, is surreal. How many of us have listened to the “King King” record and imagined the whole night in grainy black and white, dimly lit and gritty?

Photo by Tina Hanagan

Photo by Tina Hanagan

This is video of the Devils in their prime, road-tested and ready. Sure there are festival videos out there, scattered TV appearances. But this is three sets of classic Red Devils with their prototype setlist of the time (“Who Do You Love,” “She’s Dangerous,” “Blues in the Morning,” “Blackwater Roll,” “Checkin’ Up On My Baby,” plus Hook Herrera sits in, too).

The other thing was his sense of belonging in the band. As he mentioned, his kids never knew him as a guitar player, and certainly not as a member of one of the hottest blues acts of the second half on ’92. Many Red Devils fans don’t even know his role in the band; this video proves it.

Mike: But I do have this videotape from the King King. You probably never saw it?

Interviewer: No.

Mike: Well, this was the King King and I don’t know if anyone has any video of us playing like that whole American tour. In the video the quality is not that great. But this is when we got back and they were like, “Man, we’re going to play the King King!” Well this was the night. Like this was our first night back from being on the road and Billy Gibbons was there and Rick Rubin was there and that’s the night. And so the guy had taped it , they had the camera, so they run that tape. And then when we got down with the gig, he had the VHS tape and Lester was just like, “Hey Mikey, you take this,” and gave it to me and I hung on to it … I would feel like everybody else had just went by the wayside at some point …

I held on to like little scrapbook or little things that it might got lost. And so this videotape is — I had to dig it out man. I knew I had it. …

And that’s a whole night, like it’s not just 30 minutes. I mean it’s like all night, all the whole thing. …

And so, it gives you an idea of like where we were and what the band sounded like that you remembered from like when you saw us. Because it’s the only thing that really exists. There’s no live recordings and all that or like anything professionally done or see the band. I never have seen anything with me in it. Even though I was in the group a long time really. I mean of the working life with that band.

Tina: It’s got to be out there though, right?

Mike: Well, what’s funny is that he took this tape out of the machine and gave it to Lester and Lester gave it to me. I think it’s the only existing copy.

And I’ve never given it to anybody, like I never show it really and I hadn’t seen it years. I just pulled this out because I knew you were coming.

Interviewer: Yes, yes. That’s very kind of you.

Mike: We’ll see what’s up with it. I mean it might be a complete mess.

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Mike Flanigin on tour 1992 with The Red Devils: “We were a gang … mowed everybody down”

Posted in red devils with tags , , , on December 4, 2016 by J.J.

IMG_0577In the spring of 2015, Mike Flanigin opened his Austin, Texas, home and opened up about his time in The Red Devils.

Flanigin became the band’s second guitarist during its critical club tour through the U.S. In 1992, replacing Dave Lee Bartel.

But his connection to the band started before he was drafted one night in Dallas: Flanigin had already been associated with lead guitarist Paul Size, who he reunited with again in Texas after The Red Devils imploded.

Today, Flanigin is the go-to Hammond B3 player for Jimmie Vaughan (the two are off to New York Dec. 9 for a show with Steve Miller honoring T-Bone Walker) and Billy Gibbons (Flanigin toured and recorded with Rev. Gibbons’ solo BFG Band). He also has a sprawling musical travelogue called “The Drifter,” released last year, which is an all-star tour through American roots music.

But more than 20 years earlier, he was a key part of keeping the hottest blues band in America chugging up and down the highway.

In a nearly two-hour interview, Flanigin talked about his own musical journey, his relationship with The Red Devils members, road stories — including the infamous “destroyed hotel” story — and so much more. The Q&A is edited only for space and clarity; further comments will publish later with more photos, audio and video.

It was a laid-back, familiar conversation that was exciting to be a part of. We bounced from topic to topic; hope you can keep up.

[Apologies for the ridiculous delay on this … life and all. All photos by Tina Hanagan.]

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Mike: I was fairly old when I started playing. I think my first gig was 24 or something like that.

Interviewer: Really? So and you’re from Denton?

Mike: My dad was in the Air Force, and so we were in California when I was young and then we moved to Louisiana — Shreveport. Then we moved to Michigan and then ended up in Denton. My dad retired and so my sisters were going to school in Denton. So that’s how we ended up there. I think when I was about 13 we moved there.

Interviewer: But had you been in music? Had you been playing instruments when you were a kid or how’d you­­ …

Mike: I wasn’t really in a musical household. I always liked music but, I worked at a pawn shop in Denton and it was kind of a music store too, so I’d strum on the guitar or something. But, everybody else in the pawn shop, they were in bands and I thought well they’re good. They seemed like musicians.

I was never that guy. It wasn’t until — I didn’t really know people in bands, I was just kind of out of it — really it wasn’t until I met Johnny Moeller and Jay [Moeller] and Paul Size, they would come in the pawn shop and I had met Anson Funderburgh. Somehow I had stumbled onto a gig for Anson Funderburgh in Dallas. And I talked to Anson and then those guys came in. And so we started talking about Anson.

Of course then they sat down and started to play. I was like, “Well, who are these kids?” Because they were just kids. I don’t know how old they were but 16, Jay was maybe 13 or 14 or something. Paul and Johnny were little kids when I met them. They were in high school. I remember I use to go over to Johnny’s house and his mom would check — I would bring over some cassettes or something — she’d check. She thought I was selling them drugs, going through my cassettes.

Interviewer: Like, why is this older fellow coming by …

Mike: Right, yes. Who is this? Well you know at that age just a few years seems a lot older.

Interviewer: Right, right and why are you hanging out with him?

Mike: Especially their kids are that young. It’s weird because music bonds you but I probably wouldn’t have been hanging out with a kid in high school at that age, and it’s not that I was super old but those were guys were talented. Even then, you knew these guys were the best. What was great about Paul — Johnny — everybody knew Johnny was the guy. And Paul idolized Johnny. But Paul just had this natural thing, I think he sounded like Buddy Guy and I don’t even think he had heard Buddy Guy. He just does this stuff and then it all just comes pouring out and it’s this. You’ve seen it right?

Interviewer: Right, right. Yes.

Mike: No hesitation. He’s not preoccupied with trying to sound like a particular guy or whatever.

Interviewer: Just presence.

Mike: It’s just pouring out and Paul was always real natural like that.

Interviewer: Yes, yes. So, your first instrument, was it organ or was it guitar?

Mike: No, I was playing guitar back then. I didn’t play the organ until, I was 30 maybe was when I started?

How that started was, I was playing at Antone’s. Me and Johnny Moeller and I can’t remember if Paul — I guess Paul was maybe here still before he moved­­ a little bit. But there had to B3 on stage.

Well, I was playing guitar, Johnny’s playing guitar and I was like, “Well Johnny, he’s got the guitar covered. I’ll go try and play the organ.” But I didn’t know how to play keyboard but I would try and play while we had our little gig. Someone said, “Well, find the key and then count up three, that would be a minor. Count up four, that would be a major.” So, that’s how I started. And then when the other bands were playing, Derek [O’Brien] and the house band, I would sneak up there and just try and play the organ. But Doyle Bramhall Sr. hired me after about three months, saw me.

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