This story begins with Robert Grochoske, a piano player from Baytown, Texas. Robert introduced me to his pregnant wife Mary. This story is not about Robert, it is about Mary. She is the reason for me telling this story.~ Tim Dulaine
I was born January 12, 1950 in Baytown, Texas down in Goose Creek.
My grandmother was a wonderful piano player and my grandfather played the harmonica. There was always music in our home. My grandmother and her sister, Lois, even had a radio program in the 40's. I got my first guitar in 1962 as a Christmas gift from my mother Opal Inez. I rode my horse Cochise singing Roy Rogers and Gene Autry songs but the musician that was my true favorite was Elvis Presley. I sold my horse, took the cash to Sears and Roebuck, and bought a Silvertone electric guitar. It had an amplifier built right inside the guitar case. I formed my first rock and roll band, The Epsilons. I was the lead guitarist and lead vocalist along with Ray Hayden on rhythm guitar, Larry Raines on bass and Bobby White on drums. We did Elvis, and Ricky Nelson songs. Lennon and McCartney were great influences along with Dylan and Donovan.
The Epsilons performed for President Johnson while he was campaigning in Texas. We opened for Mickey Gilley somewhere in Pasadena, Texas. We actually played at Magnolia Gardens where my mother saw Elvis play before he was famous. When I was very young my mom would give me her broomstick, stand me up on her bed, play Elvis 45's, and have me sing along in front of the mirror. That's probably why she bought me the freaking guitar in the first place. A little later on The Epsilons performed at the premier screening of "A Hard Days Night" at the Brunson Theatre in Baytown Texas. We gave the Beatles a run for their money that day. This little band performed together until 1965.
Around that time, I used to cut school and run off to hang out in a music store called H&H Music on Caroline Street in Houston. It was the best music store around at the time. There was a whorehouse upstairs. The older musicians didn't tell me about it at the time; I was still just a kid. I found out on my own later on down the road. One afternoon when I was jamming there I met a cat named Alan Wauters. He was the lead singer/guitar player in a band called The Clouds a high profile little group in Houston. He had just lost his lead guitarist and asked me if I could fill in for him that night at a gig in Houston at the infamous Ma Maison nightclub. He primarily asked me because I knew how to play all the Stones, Kinks, and Beatle songs. I joined the group that night. Alan and I shared the lead vocals while Brent Waters played bass, later replaced by Randy Palmer. We had Danny Casey on drums.
We went into Huey Moe's studio. He was associated with B.J. Thomas. We recorded an original song named "Jeannie" penned after one of Alan's girlfriends and it became a regional hit record in Houston. It was released on Kidd records in 1966. Word about us reached Sid Bernstein, a New York concert promoter, the man who brought the Beatles to America. He sponsored a trip for us to perform in New York City. We performed with the Animals in Central Park, clubs in NYC, the Cheetah, and the famous Cafe Wha along side of performers Jose Feliciano, Richard Pryor, and David Fry. The most incredible thing of all, Jimi Hendrix performed as "Jimmy James and the Blue Flames" and used my fellow band mates Danny Casey and Randy Palmer of the Clouds as his sidemen. He was very cool. He told me all about how he taught himself to play guitar while he was a paratrooper in the Armed Forces.
The Clouds disbanded because Danny and Randy joined up with Jimmy James and the Blue Flames for good. They would have remained members of Jimi's band if it hadn't been for the Viet Nam war and the draft. Bummer for them man.
I moved into a slum apartment with Alan on east 5th Street in the Bowery, Jimi and Danny lived in the basement apartment right below me. Danny curled Jimi's hair for him every night before their gigs. Big old banana curlers. They were playing at the Cafe A Go-Go on Bleaker Street and had added Randy Cassidy (California) on guitar making it a four piece. Randy played bottleneck with a broken 7-up bottle. I had never seen this before. A poor man's slide-bar I reckon. I was doing a solo acoustic act at the Cafe Wha on MacDougal Street. The Mothers of Invention with Frank Zappa were next door, while the Lovin' Spoonful were at the Night Owl around the corner. Dylan had just left Gerde's Folk City.
The four-piece deal with The Blue Flames didn't work out so well. Randy Cassidy reached over one night and turned Jimi's guitar volume down. Jimi pitched a fit threw his Strat across the room and walked out. He had borrowed the Stratocaster from Keith Richards's girlfriend, at that time Jimi didn't even own a guitar.
I moved to New York for good in 1966. The Margouleff story goes, that one day while sitting on a garbage can there on east 5th Street playing my guitar a gentleman came up to me and ask me to do a screen test at ABC Television studios where he worked right across the street. The gentleman was Robert Margouleff. Well after singing for him and doing the screen test, he told me to go back to Texas and practice real hard and give him a call in about 6 months. I did. Six months later, I went back to New York and Bob became my manager and producer. I was his first musical artist.
If I remember correctly some of my music reached Mimi Farina. I was told that she recorded a song of mine named "Don't Look Now but I'm Everywhere" on Vanguard records, however, I never heard the recording. I moved in with Bob in his East Village apartment also on east 5th Street. The weird thing is his brownstone was only a couple of buildings down the street from where I lived earlier. He was working on the underground movie "Ciao Manhattan" featuring Edie Sedgwick. Edie moved in with us. She and I became fast friends. I really loved her; I think she loved me too. We were up very late one night; I was playing my guitar, she began drawing a picture of a horse galloping through a meadow; I kept that drawing for 30 years. She signed it simply, "For Timmy, Love Edie". Somehow, it has become misplaced. I loved her.
Bob gave me a role in that film but I was later replaced by a somewhat larger version of me, also a Texan. Now I only appear in the out takes at the end of the movie. Andy Warhol was often on the set.
In 1967, in an attempt to avoid the draft I moved back to Texas. There was a cool group named The Ragamuffins looking for a lead singer and guitar player performing at a strip joint in Houston named "The Cellar". This was when I met Linda Waring, an incredible drummer. I auditioned, got the job and started that night in the Houston Cellar. The other players were Charlie Bell on bass and a cat named Sharkie on keyboards. Eric Satie later replaced him.
We did some gigs in upstate New York with The Turtles. We played consistently at the three Cellar clubs in Houston, Dallas, and Ft Worth with all them strippers. Other musicians such as Dusty and Rocky Hill, Johnny and Edgar Winter, John Nitzinger and Todd Rundgren played in these clubs about the same time. One thing was for certain, in those places it would have been a good thing to have that chicken wire up in front just in case you played something offensive to them cowboys during rodeo season while they're watching the strippers do the 69 dances. The Ragamuffins disbanded in 1968 and I moved back to New York City once again to avoid the draft.
I got back with Mr. Margouleff he set me up in his studio, Centaur Productions, and arranged an apartment for me on East 90th Street in Upper Manhattan. I called on some of my Texas buddies to put a new band together. I called in Danny Casey of the Clouds, Charlie Bell from the Ragamuffins, and another cat from Texas, John Govro a great guitar player. I formed the band Buckwheat. We rehearsed at Centaur Studios in the diamond district in Manhattan for 3 months solid.
Bob gave his Little Red Porsche Speedster ragtop to jet around in. We would cruise around Manhattan listening to The Chambers Brothers "Time Has Come Today" and Creedence Clearwater's "Susie Q". Late one night while rehearsing, we heard sirens from Hell coming from downstairs. Someone had torched that little red Porsche. We stood there petrified watching as it went up in flames right before our eyes, right there in the diamond district on 5th avenue. Bob took it pretty well, all things considered.
I booked us in the Cafe Wha, where I had played with the Clouds earlier on. We did one show and got a record deal with Budda records right there on the spot. We went into the Ed Sullivan Theater and recorded our only album titled "Pure Buckwheat Honey". It was released on a subsidiary label Super K Records in 1969 and was produced by Bob Margouleff. The Manhattan Philharmonic conductor John Corigliano did the score.
Three singles were released from that record "Radio", "Howlin' at the Moon", and "Goodbye Mr. Applegate". We toured the US and even played Radio City Music Hall once. That was cool. The Rockettes were near by. We performed on the Texas Saturday morning Television program The Larry Kane Show, Houston's answer to Dick Clark's American Bandstand. We played quite a bit in Texas always at the Cellar nightclubs, the Catacombs, and the famous Love Street Light Circus Feel Good Machine with fellow Texas musicians Johnny Winter, Billy Gibbons, and Dusty Hill, and always Roky Erickson.
One night at the at the Cellar club in Houston I heard a group named Aphrodite. There was this insane guitar player in the band whom I had played with a few times early on. He was playing this old white triple pick-up Gibson SG Les Paul. His name was Snuffy Walden.
During this time, there was this shyster agent in Houston that booked "Bogus Tours". We performed using the names of other hit recording groups. At the time, no photos were published of original performers since most sales were 45s not LP's, we were able to perform as other artists. No one knew the difference. We would do a show, play the hit song at the end, collect the money and run like hell. The agent gave me a Colt .45 to carry with me just in case. That was just crazy man.
Back in New York Mr. Margouleff told me about a session going on at the Record Plant. The producers had asked me to come by and sing on some tracks. Earl Dowd and Moogy Klingman for Free Creek Music Productions produced the sessions. Some of the featured performers on this record besides myself were Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Linda Ronstadt, and Todd Rundgren, Keith Emerson, and Mitch Mitchell to name a few. The LP is called The Long Lost Super Sessions Album. It is now available over the Internet.
Buckwheat broke up in 1971 and I went back to Texas again, avoiding the draft. This time I hooked up with a very well known cabaret act, Liza Minelli's stage group, The Bojangles. The band actually did The Ed Sullivan show a couple of times with Liza. Crazy, I think they were in the same building as I was while I was recording Buckwheat Album. We performed exclusively at our own place The Bojangles Club in downtown Houston Texas.
Later that year I took that band with me a joined up with a singer Gary Smith who also owned his own club in Houston. Mr. Walden came by to visit me there. The Whiskey River Band went on the road opening for Little Anthony and the Imperials at the Sahara Tahoe in Lake Tahoe. This group featured Wayne Cardiff on Bass, Orville Strickland on drums, Edgar Winters Burt Fannett on keyboards, Gary Smith and myself. While performing one night and filling in for Mr. Smith as lead singer Todd Miller a Hollywood talent scout saw me and made me an offer I could not refuse.
I left Gary Smith's employ hired Todd Miller as manager and took the band on the road. We performed all over, from Alaska to New Orleans. I decided to relocate to Hollywood, California where Todd Miller's Management Company was based. The band decided to stay in Texas and I moved to Hollywood.
Upon arriving in California, I immediately began holding auditions for a new group. I recruited musicians John Durzo on bass, Danny Rose on keyboards, and Brian Glascock on drums. Todd Miller arranged studio time in a recording facility in Santa Ana California. This is where I first met my old friend Johnny Starbuck. He's been with the Rolling Stones now for over 30 years. He was a recording engineer in those days and my engineer on these sessions.
We recorded an album that we would later call "Buried Treasure". We spent the days writing new music and the nights performing in and around Los Angeles and San Francisco.
However most of the Hollywood nights revolved around the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Boulevard. After closing time I found myself at the LA Record Plant working on my music and recording as a house musician. I was privileged to work with wonderful engineers and producers. Robert Margouleff, who had relocated to Hollywood, Austin Godsey, Gary Olazabol and Jimmy Robinson.
Now it was 1973. Snuffy Walden and I had met in Texas in the early sixties and performed together. Snuffy and I ran into one another at the Hyatt House Hotel in Hollywood while Stray Dog was touring America. He invited me to accompany them to Boulder Colorado where the band was based in the USA. We jammed together and I was invited to join the band. I convinced them to move to Hollywood.
Manticore Records set us up in a very large and very dark sound stage on the Sunset Strip called Entertainment Services. We rehearsed here for the next Stray Dog record. It was an outrageous Hollywood event every night. Frequented by famous and not so famous Hollywood musicians, actors and local fans. We performed one US tour then the band-changed direction when Mr. Walden suddenly left the group after a concert in Detroit, Michigan.
Manticore booked us in Studio Instrument Rentals rehearsal facility in New York City to rehearse the new line-up. The band continued as a four-piece group ending the tour back in Los Angeles. The final show in this line-up was a New Years Eve bash at the Whisky Ago Go. Leslie Sampson left the band and moved back to England. In an attempt to keep the group together we hired Hunt Sales to drum. We recorded a few tracks in Hollywood but to no avail. We disbanded.
In 1975 a Hollywood producer approached me by the name of Kim Fowley. He had seen a Stray Dog performance at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset Strip. His idea was to put together the ideal Hollywood group. The band was called "The Millionaires". It featured me on vocals and guitar, Tony Sales on guitar, Nigel Harrison on bass and Hunt Sales on drums. Well it was a great band and a cool concept but it didn't pan out.
While I was recording at the Los Angeles Record Plant my recording engineer and co-producer Austin Godsey, was also recording Chaka Khan's new record. He played one of my songs for her in hopes that she might include it on her new album. The song was named "Circles". It was released on the Rufus featuring Chaka Kahn album. It was also released as the flip side of the single "Sweet Thing". This record reached number one on every chart in the world and attained gold and triple platinum status.
Austin introduced me to a friend of his that was looking for gig. He said that he was a great singer and fine drummer. His name was Steve Perry. We hit it off and hung out every night at the Rainbow. We sang together over at Austin's house and joked around about starting a band and calling it "Two Dog Night". Funny really. He told me one day that he had gotten an offer from a band named Journey. He wasn't sure if he wanted to take the job and asked my opinion. I said do it man they have record deal and you haven't got a job. He took my advice. He stopped by my house pretty much every night before going in the studio recording their first album together. Wow. What a caper.
In 1976 I started putting together the first version of "Dulaine"; I began trials and jamming with everyone from Hollywood to Dallas. Various line-ups include Prescott Niles, Tony Sales, Hunt Sales, Nigel Harrison, Scott Melnick, Luis Cabaza, Ricky Phillips, Timmy Pierce, Timmy McGovern, Skip Gillette, Marc Greene, John Hyde, Michael Monarch, Frankie Banelli, Lonnie Cartwright, Preston Hartians, and Ted Hawley. Man, a lot of people.
The first successful line-up included Luis Cabaza, Scott Melnick and Skip Gillette. I leased a sound stage on the Columbia Pictures lot and began rehearsals. We headlined The Starwood Theatre in West Hollywood and gained a following. Soon Luis and Scott left to pursue other interests. I replaced them with Ricky Phillips on bass guitar and Marc Greene on keyboards. I went into Sunswept Studios with Austin and recorded a lot of tracks. Snuffy came by and joined me on guitar and vocals. After a couple of performances at the Starwood, Ricky Phillips was seen by John Waite and off he went to join the Babies. Marc Greene began writing music for the television series The Bold and the Beautiful. Skip Gillette joined the Ronnie Montrose group "Gamma". Dulaine broke up.
Now I hired Robert Richards as my manager. He then worked for Richard Steckler, The Electric Light Orchestra's management company. Since Dulaine had disbanded Robert had the idea to put me together with The Jet records recording act Trickster. I gave that a shot for a while however this was a very uncomfortable situation. I was hired to replace their lead singer who was also the primary songwriter. He was to remain in the band but I was going to take over as lead singer singing his songs. This was a horrible idea.At this time Richard Tandy, Jeff Lynn's keyboard player agreed to produce a solo album with me for Jet Records. We did the record but it was never released. The musicians on these sessions were Marc Green and Richard Tandy on keyboards, Scott Melnick on bass guitar, Skip Gillette on drums. Jimmy Robinson Engineered the recordings at the LA Record Plant.
I got a house in Van Nuys with a very large swimming pool and decided to take another direction with my music. So I sat around the pool all day working on new music.
Luis Cabaza joined me again. We began writing tunes in a different direction. We formed Dulaine Cabaza with Scott Melnick on bass guitar again. Scott didn't stay with us long and was replaced by Terry Wilson on bass guitar and Tony Braunagel on drums both from Backstreet Crawler. We hired the Susan Joseph Management Team to represent us as she had done very well with Seals and Croft. We produced very few recordings. We did no live performances. Only showcases.
Having not gotten enough interest in this project, we disbanded also. I took a position at The Great Atlantic and Pacific Aeroplane Company at Van Nuys Airport. I was hired as the Administrative Director. I was completely out of my element. One of my close friends Eddie Perry, a Sergeant in the US Army, was a pilot and also the manager of this airport. He gave me the job. I was completely disillusioned.
It was the early 80's the Baby's had recently broken up. My old friend Ricky Phillips phoned me. Rick couldn't believe what I was doing. He rescued me from my disillusionment.
Together we formed Dulaine Phillips featuring Tony Brock on drums and Timmy Pearce on guitar. Ricky's original idea was to call the band "The Lads". We settled on the "Stagger Lee" instead. We performed live only twice. The first show was at Madam Wong's East in China Town. Tony Brock joined Rod Stewart's band and was replaced by the dynamic powerhouse drummer, Jimmy Hunter. The second show was at Madam Wong's West in Westwood, California. Both shows were standing room only. Really great shows. We went into Elektra Studios and recorded one LP with Ricky producing. For one reason or another this record was never released either.
Enter Lita Ford, Exit Lita Ford.
Enter Tanya Tucker, Exit Tanya Tucker.
I will remark on my marriages, divorces and Hollywood romances at a later date.
Sadly Dulaine Phillips disbanded also and we went our separate ways. However my old friends Stevie Plunkett and Randy Rand had been at these performances, I reckon, because Stevie called me up right after the break-up to join his new band as lead singer. This band had many names over the years. Wolfgang, Lois Lane, John Doe, then finally Autograph. Steve Plunkett was always a genius this way, like David Bowie. A chameleon. This was a cool idea and very flattering but Steve didn't need me as a lead singer. He is a great singer himself.
In 1983 I started looking for a new band to use in my solo act. My road manager Hovig Kelekian took me to the Country Club concert hall in the valley to see the RCA recording act Blind Date. These cats were really great. A powerhouse trio with Arnie Badde on guitar, Dane Bramage on bass, and Brian Meegan on drums and percussion. Hovig introduced me and I hired them to rehearse and record my new songs for my solo project.
We went into various LA Studios with Bob Margouleff and recorded the first tracks. John Govro, my friend from the early days was now the president of a studio in El Paso Texas named The El Paso Sound Stage. We got together in Los Angeles to discuss the possibility of working on these at his studio in Texas. I flew to the Rio Grande to see the studio and discuss a record situation with John. I flew back to Los Angeles made the band an offer. We flew to El Paso to record. We recorded 3 CD's with John Govro as executive producer.
I took these recordings to Los Angeles to finish them at Baby'O Studios with Robert Margouleff producing and doing re-mixes with Karat Faye engineering. We hired Ron Stone to represent us on this project in a management capacity. We performed at the Troubadour, and various other concert venues. At this time some critics referred to me and the band as the Def Leopard of the USA. Whatever that means. Even still this record remains unreleased until now. We disbanded.
The Hollywood Library Association contacted me. The screening of Natalie Wood's last film "Brainstorm" was being screened at the Pacific Cinerama Dome Theatre on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. I was asked to participate. The Hollywood Library had recently burned to the ground and they were asking celebrities for book donations to refurbish the library at the Cinerama Dome preceding the premier of the film. I stepped up to the red carpet and donated a family heirloom of Percy Blithe Shelly's complete works of poetry. This was broadcast live on CBS, NBC, and ABC television.
In the late 80's I bought a pet store on Hollywood Boulevard. It was called "Chateau de Chante". I owned the only Rock and Roll pet store in the city. Musicians and producers from all over frequented my store. Very Cool. I went bankrupt.
My dear friend Scott Melnick contacted me in and around 1990 and offered to finance the recording of my new music. He had done very well as owner of Classic Mercedes Benz of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. We began rehearsals with Bobby Dimarco on guitar, Steven Klong on drums, and Scott Melnick on bass guitar. Bobby and I recorded the very last of my LA sessions in his home studio in 1990.
I left Hollywood California in 1991 and moved back home to Texas where I have remained.
You would not be reading this today if it weren't for my very dearest, most special, and oldest friend; now turned business manager and confidant, Mrs. Mary Martindale Lindsey and her unwavering belief in me for the past thirty years. PS. I apologize now if I have failed to mention anyone or anything accurately... I do have senior moments... Please contact me with corrections and comments. I would love to hear from all my old friends and colleagues.~ Tim Dulaine