Sunday, May 9, 2010

IN SEARCH OF JIMMY RECCA

So that Retrokimmer could post a true, worldwide music biz scoop HERE , last Friday I photographed the seemingly elusive Jimmy Recca, M.I.A. bassist from the mythic 1971 lineup of The Stooges that featured both Ron Asheton and James Williamson on dueling lead guitars, who again flirted with fame in The New Order (the first, non-New Romantic one,) a short-lived supergroup with Recca, Asheton, the MC5's Machine Gun Thompson and an assortment of famous but unreliable singers. This New Order proved so unpublicized in its mid-70's era that A) I, who loved all things hard rock and proto-punk at the time wasn't even aware of their existence in my local burg and B) they opened for the last incarnation of my future better half Mr. Twister's first band Christopher Milk, (although after they'd parted ways,) a group past its label-sponsored prime. Then the world lost track...

Back to the mythic 1971 Stooges. We can all thank Carlton Sandercock for immortalizing the short-lived, 1971 Recca-bassed/Ron and James twin lead guitar Stooges on his Easy Action box set "You Don't Want My Name You Want My Action."
(And Carlton's [through Kimmer's] recent search to give Recca his You Want My Action royalties seems to have prompted a new New Order retrospective for posterity in the works.)

This 2009 release of 1971 material (details HERE ) validated the suspicion that record execs of the day were stone cold deaf in dismissing both the band and its (heretofore unheard) material, as both were magnificent beyond belief even via the (cleaned up) audience recordings on the 4 disc set, which included both legendary Electric Circus, NYC sets heretofore known only in the photo evidence of Iggy covered head, bare torso to toe in silver spray-on paint, and 2 other gigs photographed with this improbable line-up. It also prompted a mini-fad of searching for Jimmy Recca amongst online Stooges' chats, the most amusing involving highly creative writing by one "Chin Lee" spinning tales of Mediterranean academia and nonesuch, spawning weird catch-phrases such as "I'm Chin Lee and I ride the bike!"

As retrokimmer noted, the real Jimmy turns out to be managing the venerable Alley rehearsal studios in North Hollywood CA (venerable in L.A. translates as older than a decade, and The Alley's been around since my better half Mr. Twister rehearsed and showcased there thirty five years ago in his punk band Chainsaw.)

Jimmy still has great hair and arresting blue eyes, so in person he's recognizable from the photographic evidence of some four decades ago. I didn't catch every word, as his voice is as low-volumed as my own, which reminded me how hard I probably am for others to hear, and how much of my own hearing has been compromised in my four-decade live music photography pursuits.

He told me James Williamson (our session HERE and HERE ) had gotten him into the band when the he was in his teens, and that he had seen the show his old bud Ron Asheton played at our local (now extinct) Coconut
Teaszer club which I had photographed some 19 years ago (HERE.) (But then again it was too crowded to see individuals in the audience. I my short self had to stand on a bar stool to photograph the stage.)

The Alley remains a prestigious place to be (I had just missed the Red Hot Chili Peppers before our photo session) and an extremely pleasant work environment, what with its original '70s decor of indoor spider plants and hand-hewn natural woods a la retro Topanga and Laurel Canyons. I noted that its steep wooden spiral staircase must have played havoc with the platform-booted musicians of the original glam era, and he claimed the only real mishap occurred with a suicidal trespasser was thwarted in his leap from same only by catching his footwear on the Fort Apache-style wooden fence below.


Note thirty-seven years' worth of band graffiti in my photo above. I have a fuzzy recollection that I myself might have been responsible for the one that reads "Eschew Obfuscation!" from the Chainsaw days, as that sounds like me in the mid-70s. The Alley remains sort of this side of L.A.'s equivalent of Swinghouse,
so it's very nice to see that overall, the formerly elusive Jimmy Recca has done well. I'm Heather Harris and I shoot the music.

5 comments:

RetroKimmer said...

EXCELLENT! WILL PASS IT AROUND
rk

Anonymous said...

ha! turns out he was hiding in plain sight....
-eye gee

suze said...

james recca is so worthy !

suze said...

james is one worthy man !Go baby !

suzanne said...

James is So worthy. i hope this forgotten one gets his due reward .

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