Archive for Pinkpop

Block 1993 interview with Lester Butler after Pinkpop festival (annotated)

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2021 by J.J.

This week, we bring you an interview with Lester Butler from the July/August/September 1993 issue of Block magazine (#87).

There is a lot to take in from this interview, conducted May 31, 1993, after the band had already played its seminal morning set opening the 1993 Pinkpop Festival, and a gig that night in Doornroosje, Nijmegen, Holland. Basically, this interview was their last official activity at the end of an important month for the band, which kicked off May 1 with the legendary performance at the Moulin Blues Festival in Ospel.

The story, originally in Dutch, has been translated by nofightin.com (well, Google Translate, with some contextual edits by us), and appears in its entirety below.

In addition, we offer annotations throughout the story: What’s right, what’s wrong, more context and history. Look for the notes just under some paragraphs.

A band foaming at the mouth: The Red Devils

By Marion Wisse

The Red Devils started in 1988 as a jam session band at the King King club, a former Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles. The first time only nine skateboarders came to watch, but due to word of mouth, the number of visitors grew quickly. Among them: Peter Wolf, Lenny Kravitz and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Also always present was Rick Rubin, producer for the Def American label. But it wasn’t until they had seen his face about 60 times that Lester Butler (vocals/harmonica) and his mates knew what that man does in the business.

Much of this is detailed in the band’s official press kit biography.

The debut CD “King King” has been out for less than a year and resulted in a studio session with Mick Jagger. In addition, The Red Devils were allowed to close Moulin Blues and open Pinkpop. In the evening, after Pinkpop, they performed in Doornroosje in Nijmegen. There we spoke to the band.

When the band arrives at Doornroosje a little later than planned due to a minor collision, their Pinkpop performance of that morning has just been broadcast. Great is the hilarity among the band members when Bram van Splunteren does not seem to know who Little Walter was. And when the cameraman of the NOS then switches bass guitarist Jonny Ray Bartel and guitarist Paul Size during the announcement, the boys are really laughing. Immediately afterward we talk with Lester Butler, Paul Size (or was that Lester Butler?), and drummer Bill Bateman.

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Dave Alvin remembers Butler and Red Devils

Posted in bill bateman, lester butler, red devils with tags , , , , , , on December 6, 2013 by J.J.

Dave Alvin posted his thoughts to Facebook Dec. 4:

Got to thinking today about the late, talented Lester Butler and the short lived but tough little blues outfit, The Red Devils, so I found a good clip of the guys playing some European festival over a decade ago. Yeah, that’s Blaster Bill Bateman on drums and Knitter Johnny Ray Bartel on bass backing up Lester as he blows the hell out of his harp. In those days they battled their demons while dancing damn close to the edge but for a few shining hours they played some great damn rocking blues. I’m glad some film remains of Lester and the guys before things ended as ugly and sad as anything could.

Alvin, of course, is essential to The Red Devils, basically a spin-off band to The Blasters. Dave Alvin played in the original Blue Shadows trio with Bill Bateman and Jonny Ray Bartel, and teams still with Bartel in The Knitters.

As of this writing, the post has 422 likes, 64 comments and 86 shares.

And he posted this video, from PinkPop, more than 20 years ago:

Lyrics: “The Backstreet Crawler” (“Time to Cry”) at Pinkpop 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , on May 5, 2010 by J.J.

Alternately called “Time to Cry” or “Your Turn to Cry” by fans, this Red Devils boogie at Pinkpop 1993 is actually titled “The Backstreet Crawler” on its only official release on the “Blackwater Roll” EP.

The lyrics of the song are just as confusing as the title. The Pinkpop lyrics are different than the “Blackwater Roll” version are different than the “2 Meter Sessies” version. Basically, Lester Butler just sang whatever he felt at the moment, and the meaning of the song changes from performance to performance.

After careful consideration, looking at context and related lyrics, these are nofightin.com’s lyrics for “The Backstreet Crawler” as performed at Pinkpop 1993. We plan to transcribe the lyrics to other prominent versions of this tune in the future. (More after the jump …)


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nofightin.com on YouTube

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , on August 18, 2009 by J.J.

For those who haven’t seen it on the righthand side of the page, nofightin.com is now on YouTube as nofightindotcom.

Right now, we’ve gathered some of the best Red Devils, 13 and Lester Butler clips in easy-to-use playlists, so you can hear things like Pinkpop all in one sitting (and in the right order). If we have time, we’ll try to upload some of our own personal videos, and collect up some other Devils-related music. And if any fans have videos they’d like us to upload to nofightindotcom, or found some vids we haven’t seen, please let us know.

You can find more about some of these videos here on nofightin.com, including reviews, background info and more.

“I was Wrong” Lyrics

Posted in red devils with tags , , on August 5, 2009 by automatic32

Contained in this post are the lyrics to the song credited incorrectly as “Who Do You Love” on the Pinkpop video footage. It has been unofficially renamed “I was Wrong,” taking its name from the phrase most often repeated in the chorus by Lester Butler. The lyrics are similar to and seem to have been lifted in part from the Magic Sam tune “You Were Wrong,” while the music sounds as if it was borrowed from a different Magic Sam song called “Backstroke.” At any rate, if you’re listening to the Pinkpop performance, these are the lyrics.

(extended guitar intro)

I’ve been wrong, baby, I been so wrong, baby
I been wrong, baby, I been so wrong, girl
I been wrong, I been wrong, I been wrong
Shouldn’t of stayed away too long

Kiss me, baby, momma hold me tight
Kiss me, baby, momma hold me tight
Can’t wait another minute
Can’t wait another night

(guitar solo)

Oh yeah, baby – I feel all right
Say yeah, baby, momma feels all right
Can’t wait another minute, won’t wait another night

(harp solo)

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