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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Great Charlie Prichard Picture!

charlie prichard
charlie prichard

Check out this great picture of Charlie Prichard; lead guitar player of the Conqueroo. Charlie joined Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys in 1970 and moved to Mendocino, a little coastal town 150 miles north of San Francisco. This is a photo of "Fat Charlie" backstage at one of Cat Mother's outdoor boogies. Anyone notice the resemblance to Fat Freddy of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers? Charlie has been back in the Austin music scene since the mid seventies, and was named to the Texas Music Hall of Fame a couple of years ago.

Gilbert Shelton has said that the likely candidate for Fat Freddy was Charlie Prichard. I've also included an image of Fat Freddy of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

Here's an interview fragment about Charlie's time with Cat Mother concucted by Carlton Crutcher and courtesy of http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Features/Conqueroo_interview.htm :

CC I have that album, Cat Mother’s ‘The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away’

CP Oh yeah that’s the one Jimi Hendrix co-produced it with them, it’s the only thing he ever produced as far as I know. It was their first album, they were just finishing up their second album when I met them. They’d moved out to California and were lookin' for a guitar player. So I came and brought my Little Champ amp and then a few weeks later got the call to do the Atlanta Pop Festival. You know, five hundred thousand people!

CC I have a video of Jimi Hendrix from that… So you joined Cat Mother and that was while they were recording their second album, so you played on that second album?

CP No, I played on the third album. They were just finishing the second album when I met them. I played on the third and helped them get the music together for the fourth but they were going back to New York. They were taking a school bus and were all going to stay on the Bowery in New York, because of this tie with Michael Jeffrey who was Jimi Hendrix’ manager.

CC Right

CP You know I just said “no I’m not going to New York.” We picked up this guitar player in England, Charlie Harcourt, who was a great guitar player, a great guy. Geordie lad, from Newcastle way. So they had a good guitar player so I just said “this is where I get off” And they went back to record their fourth album.

CC What was that third album called, do you remember?

CP I think it may have been called just Cat Mother.

CC They shortened their name to just Cat Mother?

CP Yeah, when they moved from New York they dropped “the Allnight Newsboys”. I think the first one was called “the street giveth and the street taketh away” the second one was called “Albion Doowa” I believe.

CC So when you joined the band, is that when you went down and played that Atlanta Pop Festival?

CP Yeah. We actually toured opening for Hendrix, we were the opening band.

CC Wow, was that one of his last US tours? Must have been. Did you get to hang out with Jimi? What was he like?

CP He was a sweet guy.

CC A real spiritual person wasn’t he?

CP Yeah. I used to see Jimi Hendrix, back on TV in Austin in the ‘60s there was this show called Night Train on TV that was either out of Nashville or Knoxville I can’t remember. It was like a black R&B show. It was on at midnight, Friday nights. It was sponsored by the Victory Grill and the Sweet One Hour Cleaners and they’d have like Bobby Bland and Bobby Bland imitator or Jackie Wilson and the Jackie Wilson imitator all on the same show. Had this guy called Ironing Board Sam, and they had Little Richard’s Band and this was when Little Richard was with God you know. And there was this guy on the end and we’d go “oh man look it looks like a Black Bob Dylan.” And it was Jimi Hendrix sitting there playin' guitar and he’d throw his guitar up and it’d go do two or three flips in the air.

CC That footage would be worth a gazillion dollars now! Wow, it’s amazing. Opening for Hendrix must have been a trip.

CP You know he’s from Seattle?

CC Uh huh

CP So we went back there and played at this baseball field called Sicks Stadium. It was Cactus, which was some guys from Vanilla Fudge I think, playing first. We were supposed to go on next and then Jimi. But it was raining and we were on this big stage at a baseball stadium and “we ain’t going out there and playing in the rain.” You know playing electric instruments. But Jimi kinda had to play. I mean his dad was there and everything so he got out there and played and there were guys holding up tarps over his head while he played and the rain was in the tarps. Ya know it was really weird. (laughter) Talk about psychedelic - that was a psychedelic scene.

CC What did you think of Hendrix’s music and what did you think of those gigs?

CP Oh, what a treat, getting to hear him play. It was an education and I shoulda gotten more from it than I did, but I sure got a lot you know.

CC So you recorded that album with Cat Mother and then you said you worked a little bit on the next one, or putting the songs together that were going to be the next one?

CP Yeah, yeah.

CC Then you quit?

CP Well, when it came time to record it like I said I just couldn’t face another bus trip across country, “you know they have really excellent recording machines out here on the West Coast now fellas.” Plus I had this little R&B band to be busy with down in Santa Cruz with Jerry Miller the guy from Moby Grape.

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