Archive for red devils

Onstage with The Red Devils and Zach Zunis at the Paradiso, 1993

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , , , , on April 3, 2021 by J.J.

Thanks to Harold Schreuder in Holland, we have some “new ” looks at The Red Devils in 1993 to share.

Harold tells us that he saw the band a few times that year, including meeting The Red Devils (with Zach Zunis replacing Paul Size) at their Nov. 29, 1993, performance at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (You can tell that he really met the band because he has one photo each with the players, and Dave Lee Bartel is nowhere to be seen.)

The first batch of photos are from April and May, 1993, Harold says, with Paul Size on lead. It certainly looks like the Paradiso here on May 2. The other gig is a little harder to tell … could it have been April 29 at De Haagse Koninginnenacht, Den Haag, The Netherlands?

And here are some cool pics of the band from November in Amsterdam, with Zunis on lead guitar:

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

‘A rowdy presentation of the blues’ … Dave Lee Bartel in 1992

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2021 by J.J.

From the Sept. 3, 1992, Des Moines (Iowa) Register, we get this interview with Dave Lee Bartel. The occasion was a gig the next week, Sept. 9, at the Iowa State State Memorial Union’s Maintenance Shop (“M-Shop”) venue in Ames, Iowa. Tickets reasonably priced at $2 ($3 day of show).

Where did the Devils play? Find your gig or share one for the timeline

A couple of things stand out in this relatively rare Dave Lee interview:

  • The elder Bartel brother comes off very humble and self-effacing in this story. He has a “pinch me” kind of attitude about the ride the band was on at the time, chalking a lot up to luck.
  • He also paints a vivid picture of the group’s intent, as laid out by Bill Bateman:

The current lineup has the brash, angry sound of which Bateman had dreamed.

“Bill wanted to make a rowdy presentation of the blues,” Bartel said. “We play aggressive music — like Elmore James, pretty raw. Just scream your guts out and not give it too much swing or jazz feeling.”

— “Red Devils play hot blues,” by Bart Dupuis, Des Moines Register, Sept. 3, 1992

This interview is noteworthy for another reason: Just a week later, Dave Lee would be off the tour, and Mike Flanigin in on rhythm guitar.

Video: Ride With the Devils Tonight

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on November 27, 2020 by J.J.

It’s Black Friday in the United States today, but No Fightin’ brings you some rare, unheard Red Devils for free. “Ridin’ in the Moonlight,” “Ride With Your Daddy Tonight,” “Pretty Baby” … whatever you call it, it’s The Red Devils Live at the King King club in Hollywood, California, 28 years ago, Nov. 30, 1992. (Video courtesy Mike Flanigin)

WATCH THIS: “Dangerous” at the King King 1992 AND THAT: Video: Red Devils live at King King Nov. 30, 1992

Can a record change your life?

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on August 13, 2017 by J.J.

“Can you believe we are really here?”

That was our theme throughout our European adventure.

“Can you believe we are in this hotel room with Paul Size?” “Can you believe we are watching ZZ Top in this tennis area?” “Can you believe we are in the middle-of-nowhere, England?” “Can you believe we are in the Borderline?”

Can you believe The Red Devils are back?

There was a moment, watching The Red Devils from the side of the stage in Dublin’s 3Arena, performing to thousands of music fans, that it really hit home: I have been listening to this band for 25 years.

Would “young J.J.,” at 20 years old on July 28, 1992, hearing The Red Devils for the first time, immediately buying the disc, and putting it on heavy rotation all that summer, really believe he would be here in Ireland with the band? And 25 years to the day, no less — 28 Jul 2017.

Continue reading

Souvenirs, the week after

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , on August 6, 2017 by J.J.

We are still unpacking suitcases (and our brains, a little bit) a week after seeing The Red Devils for the first time in 25 years.

Here are some of the scraps and souvenirs we brought back.

Lester’s legacy

Posted in lester butler with tags , on July 29, 2017 by J.J.

The Red Devils’ story is tangled and troubled, to say the least. That the band has been able to take their show on the road this summer is satisfying for the musicians and fans alike.

One Devil is not so lucky.

Lester Butler was many things — artist, friend, brother — but he also could be complex and frustrating, especially to bandmates.


A few years ago, the guitarist Alex Schultz, who played with Butler in the short-lived 13, told us that his experience with Lester was different than it was for the Devils just a few years earlier. Schultz described Lester in his 13 years as clear-eyed, focused and creative.

It was 20 years ago this month that I last saw Butler at two shows with 13, and my experience was as Schultz described. I spoke with Lester then, and he seemed humbled that his music meant so much to me and my friends. He was gracious and funny and quite different than in my first encounter with him in 1992.
Continue reading

Red Devils & ZZ Top fans: Welcome to nofightin.com

Posted in red devils with tags , , , , , on July 9, 2017 by J.J.

For ZZ Top fans and those just discovering The Red Devils for the first time, we’re glad you could make it to nofightin.com. What took you so long?

We’ve been here since 2009, cataloging the music and stories of The Red Devils and the late, great Lester Butler.

Wander around and find rare music, videos and reviews from the Devils’ heyday, and meet other fans — and some of the musicians who made the records we love so much. Later this month, we will be in Europe for several Red Devils shows, so watch for nofightin.com exclusives.
kingking_vinyl

Start here with some of the most popular and essential posts and pages on nofightin.com:

Reunion tour: Keep up with the 2017 reunion tour here.

Lyrics: You will want to start a band. Learn the lyrics to “Automatic,” “She’s Dangerous,” “Devil Woman” and everything on “King King,” most of “13,” live stuff and more.

2 Meter Sessies: In lieu of a second Red Devils record, this live radio set from 1993 can fill the void.

“Lester’s Legendary Last Gig”: Full coverage of the DVD release of 13’s classic 1998 Moulin Blues performance.

“Lousiana Blues”: The story behind one of the most rare songs in the Devils’ discography, released on a promo tape before “King King” came out in ’92.
Continue reading

Eyewitness: Blue Shadows “deadly serious” at the King King

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


Some of the best stories about The Red Devils come from the people who watched it all go down.

One such eyewitness is Kevin Shattuck, who has been recounting his favorite shows, and the stories behind them, on his Facebook page. Not only that but he is assembling amazing collages that render his musical memories in iconography.

He recently did a piece on the Blue Shadows — the precursor to the blues Red Devils — from the summer of ’88 at the King King. That is Genesis 1 in The Red Devils’ nearly 30-year story.

Kevin’s recollections are published with permission below, but it is definitely worth checking out his Facebook page for stories about The Blasters, X, the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Gun Club, Panther Burns and on and on …

In the Summer of ’88, a Chinese restaurant on the corner of 6th & La Brea named “King King” decided to stay open late & book rockabilly & blues acts. I was working at the Beverly Center & the club was on my way home, so I started to drop in fairly often. It didn’t take very long before an astonishingly great punk/blues band named the “Blue Shadows” settled into that space on a Monday nite residency. It included ex-”Blasters” Gene Taylor on keyboards & Bill Bateman on drums, “Radio Ranch Straight Shooter” Greg “Smokey” Hormel (or on occasion) Dave Alvin playing lead guitar & the Bartel brothers Dave Lee & Jonny Ray on rhythm guitar & bass. The front man was a young harmonica player named Lester Butler. He was a pretty good singer, but was a flat out beast on the harp & had a true bluesman’s weathered, world weary demeanor.
Continue reading

Red Devils summer calendar filling up

Posted in red devils with tags , , on April 23, 2017 by J.J.


Here are all the dates we have — so far — for The Red Devils June and July across Europe.

Solo shows, festivals and an opening stint on ZZ Top’s summer tour mean there are plenty of chances to see the gang in a variety of venues.

JUNE 2: Fluor in Amersfoort, The Netherlands

JUNE 3: Muziekcentrum De Bosuil, Weert, The Netherlands

JUNE 4: Ribs & Blues festival, Raalte, The Netherlands

JULY 7: The Red Devils + The Goon Mat & Lord Benardo, Le Gueulard Plus, Lorraine, France

JULY 13: Musiktheater Piano, Dortmund, Germany

More dates are expected to be added, so watch those off-days between ZZ gigs:

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: