The Noblemen

The Noblemen
Craig Reid has been in at least 19 (!) bands since the formation of his very first group, The Ducanes. After Reid's family moved from their home in Columbus, Ohio to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Reid formed the Noblemen, a garage band that recorded an acetate, participated in and won various Battle of the Bands, was written about in The Lauderdale News, and opened for bigger Florida acts such as Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders and the Birdwatchers. After the Noblemen called it quits, Reid continued playing in many other bands, and was gracious enough to fill us in on many of the details. It was the group that allowed him to "learn his craft", however - The Noblemen - that we primarily focused on.

An Interview With Craig Reid (60s): How did you first get interested in music?

Craig Reid (CR): When I was 15 I started messing around with an old ukelele we had. I learned a couple of tunes, and then my folks got me a Kay electric guitar for my 16th birthday and I seriously started learning to play.

60s: Was the Noblemen your first band?

CR: The first band I was in was when I was still living in Columbus, Ohio. I was in my junior year of high school and some guys at school and a couple of us in the neighborhood began playing together. We called ourselves The Ducanes. There was a lead guitar player, drummer, bass player and two rhythm guitars, myself and Jim Nicklaus - cousin of famed golfer Jack Nicklaus. We didn't get to do any gigs before my folks moved us to Ft. Lauderdale in June of '64 but they did play out some after I left.

60s: Where was the Noblemen formed, what year, and by whom?

CR: It was the fall of 1964 when I began garthering players for a band at my new school in Ft. Lauderdale, Northeast High. There was a really good singer in my chorus class, Terry Stewart, that was interested. Then we found a drummer at school, Ruffin Pennington (he had no drums, but, hey, that never stopped us), and there was a sax player in the marching band who joined us, Andy D'Ambrosio. Finally, from Stranahan High, came our guitar player, Dale Stewart (no relation to Terry): The Noblemen were Craig Reid - Bass and back up vocals; Terry Stewart - lead vocals and tamborine; Dale Stewart - guitar; Andy D' Ambrosio - sax; Ruffin Pennington - drums (soon replaced by Ray Lenahan who also did back up vocals); Albert Glazier - Vox organ (later replaced by Mike Thibodeau on the Farfisa organ).

60s: Where did you used to practice?

CR: Initially Andy got us permission to practice at school in one of the small band rehearsal rooms. Later we practiced at my house and sometimes at Ray's house. We never actually practiced in a garage.

60s: Why type of gigs did you typically land?

CR: We started out, like most bands, with private parties for our friends and with freebies. Our very first gig was at the opening of a local ice cream parlour. Then we did some parties and were playing once a month or so at the Oakland Park Skating Rink. Ruffin never got any drums so we got Ray to play with us. We didn't have keyboards at this point.

60s: Did you play any of the local Florida teen clubs?

CR: We played at many of the teen clubs: Pompano Teen Town, Boca Raton Community Center, Cloverleaf Mall in Miami (complete with caged go-go girl dancers), Ft. Lauderdale Armory, Musicasters in West Palm Beach, and several others I can't recall the names of. At Pompano Teen Town, future bass legend Jaco Pastorius used to watch me play bass (I switched from rhythm to bass shortly after we started gigging). Jaco watched all the bass players there; I also say he learned all the things not to do by watching me since I was pretty new to the instrument and wasn't all that great. Jaco went to my high school after I graduated and he lived not far from me. (See the Anthology for more on Jaco Pastorius).

60s: How would you describe the band's sound?

CR: In the beginning we did a lot of surf and some pop, including lots of Ventures, Duane Eddy, The Chantays - plenty of instrumentals with a few vocals sprinkled in. Then, later, when we added Albert on the Vox organ and we moved more to pop stuff - Gerry and the Pacemakers, Dave Clark 5, Freddie and the Dreamers, Sam the Sham , ? and the Mysterians, Beatles, Hollies, Grass Roots and such. We started adding in vocal harmonies and did fewer instrumentals. We did do Green Onions and the old TV Alka Seltzer commercial, No Matter What Shape.

60s: Did the Noblemen have a manager?

CR: We would have loved to have had a manager, but they were few and far between for bands on our level. Ray and I did the bookings and Dale designed our business cards and the band logo (a coat of arms), which we displayed on Ray's bass drumhead and on each of our cars.

60s: How popular locally did the Noblemen become?

CR: That's a hard one to answer. I can only say that as we went on we got better and better gigs, the crowds got bigger and we got more an article (written on us) in the Lauderdale News. So I guess you could say we had some level of popularity, though some of the choicer gigs like Tiger's Den and The Place eluded us.

60s: How far was the band's "touring" territory?

CR: The Noblemen played up north to Lake Worth, Lantana, and West Palm Beach, to the south to Key West and over west across Alligator Alley to Naples. We also played at Lauderdale Beach for the college kids at spring break. Often we would share the stage with Mark Markham and the Jesters and many other bands. There would always be huge crowds of kids there. It was hot, humid and sandy but lots of fun. We opened for a few national and regional acts in our career including Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders at Code 1, and at other venues we opened for The Birdwatchers and The Razor's Edge. (See the Anthology for a complete summary of not only The Noblemen but for all of Craig's bands).

60s: What other local groups of the era do you especially recall?

CR: Man, there were a ton of them. Let's see: The Aerovons, The Ambasadors, The Meat Dept., The Birdwatchers, The Canadian Legends, The Mor-Loks, The Evil, The Cavemen, The Invaders, The Vandals, Mike Vetro and the Cellar Dwellars, The Beaver Patrol, Our Generation, Dr T. and The Undertakers (I always thought it was so cool that they drove around in a hearse), The Echoes, Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders, Mark Markham and the Jesters,The Razors' Edge,Tommy Strand and the Upper Hand, King Bees, Kane's Cousins, The Backbeats,The Candymen, The Shadows, The Velvetones, The Body Shoppe, The Chosen Few, The Good Reasons, The Mamma's Boys, What's Left, The Krypt Kickers, The Royal Ascots, The Las Olas Brass, The Warlocks, and I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting, too.

60s: What do you recall about the various Battle Of The Bands that the Noblemen participated in?

CR: I recall that The Noblemen were in four Battles of the Bands. One was at a strip mall in Pompano where we played on a flatbed truck. Another was in Hialeah where someone trashed Dale's new Gibson SG Special by pulling the whammy bar so hard it snapped the headstock off. He had to borrow a guitar to do our set. I know we didn't win but I don't recall who did or where we placed - the guitar incident put us off our game. Then there was a benefit one we did at Boystown in Homestead and finally one we did at Cloverleaf Mall in Miami. I don't recall what songs we did nor much about the other bands that we played against. I think The Ambasadors played in the Pompano battle - I believe they won that one - and we were either second or third. And I recall that The Meat Dept. and The Body Shoppe played at the Cloverleaf one. The Boystown one was in August of '66; we won that one and I still have the trophy. I think we also may have won a microphone at that one. At the Cloverleaf Mall battle we placed first and won a one-hour recording session at the famous Criteria Studios in N. Miami.

60s: What do you recall about that session?

CR: We were complete novices at recording. No one told us that you had to get there before your scheduled time to set up or they'd count your set up time as part of your hour. So when we finally got set up we only had time to do one take of each tune: House of the Rising Sun and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood, both by Eric Burdon and The Animals. They had us lay down the instrumental tracks first and then overdub the vocals. I think either Howie or Ronnie Albert was our engineer. Unfortunately we needed those vocals in Misuderstood for time cues so when we went to overdub the vocals the timing was off and Terry had to rush the lines. Albert did a killer organ solo in House, but when we got our final acetate copies back they had faded out the song in the middle of his solo. This was to be the first of many bitter lessons I would learn about the music biz. We all still have our acetate copies of that session and a few years ago Dale transfered it to CDs for all of us.

60s: Do any other '60's Noblemen recordings exist? Are there any vintage live recordings?

CR: The only other recording that exists that I know of (or that any of us that I know of) is a rehearsal recording with Albert done on the earliest of cassette recorders by RCA. The cassettes were about 5" X 8". They were huge and the machine to play them on is busted. Since the tape is 1/4" day, if I ever get my hands on a reel to reel recorder... I may try to play that tape and see what's on it.

60s: Did the band make any local TV appearances?

CR: There were no TV appearances but when we played at a party for Andy's folks they took some silent 8mm footage of us. That footage still exhists and I believe Ray has it on VHS tape. It's very short but it's a riot!

60s: The Noblemen recorded a radio ad for a local Florida clothes store named The Slak Shak. How did that come about?

CR: I don't recall how we got to do that commercial but it was way fun! I think the Slak Shak was in a strip mall on NE 125th St. in N. Miami. We went down there and somebody from WQAM radio station (I think it may have been Rick Shaw) was there with a tape recorder following us around asking us what we thought of the store and what merchandise we liked. This meeting was pre-arranged so we could do the commercial. I think I may have heard it air about three or four times; that was very exciting! We never did any other radio or TV stuff, though.

60s: Why did the band break up in the '60's?

CR: In late '66, Dale decided he wanted to move up to Chicago to go to school and that signaled the end of The Noblemen. We had a great run and most of us are still friends to this day. In '99 we had a 33 1/3 year reunion of The Noblemen here in Charlottesville, Virginia where I live. Andy, Terry, Ray, Dale and myself were in attendance. We were unable to locate Albert and could get no response from Mike Thibodeau. I'm the only one who still plays but we had a great time talking about the old days, catching up on our lives and being supplied Kool Aid and snack by my mom, just like in the old days when we used to rehearse at my house in Ft. Lauderdale. The only thing missing was the unsolicited back up vocals provided by Josie the dog back then. They are a great bunch of guys and we had a ton of fun.

60s: After the Noblemen you moved on to Sidewalk's End. Other than you and Ray...who else comprised the band?

CR: When The Noblemen ended Ray and I wanted to keep playing together so we started looking for players for a new band. We found a singer in Pompano, George Lang, who was interested in working with us. Then we recruited Matt Presby, former lead guitar player for Our Generation and then we picked up rhythm guitar player Ralph Turpening and we were off. We rehearsed alternating between my house and Ray's. We tossed around some possible names and finally settled on Matt's suggestion which he borrowed from a friend - Sidewalk's End. We went through a number of guitar players and a couple of keyboard players during our run. Here is a list of our members: Sidwalk's End were Craig Reid - bass and back up vocals; Ray Lenahan - drums and back up vocals; George Lang - vocals and conga drums; Matt Presby - lead guitar; Ralph Turpening - rhythm guitar (replaced by a keyboardist after 6 months due to alcoholism); Jon Gauthier - Hammond M3 organ (later replaced by another keyboardist Jimmy Literer on Hammond B3 organ); Jerry Thornton replacing Matt Presby on guitar; Harold Lindsey and Paul Chevalier - guitar duo replacing Jerry and Jimmy; and Dan Dees - guitar player who filled in when Harold was away. We got gigs playing at most of the teen clubs - the ones that were still open - and doing a house band slot at The Ft. Lauderdale Armory dances. June and Sally, the ladies who ran the Armory dances, complained about our "casual" dress. So our crazy singer, whom henceforth we would call (for a reason I still don't know) "Leapin'" Lang, rebelled. The very next gig we did there Leapin' came dressed in a floor-length night-shirt with a kids pair of holsters with cap pistol six-shooters and a pair of little kiddie sunglasses with tiny little pistols on the sides. We never heard another complaint about our dress after that. We had the opportunity, there, to open for a number of the national acts that played at the Armory (see Anthology for a listing of them). Our repetoire consisted of more progressive rock, blues and soul than the Noblemen had, doing covers of such bands as The Allman Brothers, Santana, Blues Image, Chicago, Taj Mahal, The Butterfield Blues Band, BB King, The Iron Butterfly, John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers, Traffic, Cream, The Stones, Sam and Dave, Joe Cocker, Otis Redding and many others. We played many of the Broward County night spots, too, as well as the beach gigs during spring break. After a while we rented one of those self storage warehouse spaces on Dixie Hwy in Ft. Lauderdale where a number of other bands also had spaces. One night after practice we heard someone in the next row of warehouses just wailing like Jimmy Smith on the organ. We walked around to see who it was and there sits Jaco alone just smokin' on the B3. Man, that cat could play anything. We used to jokingly call him "Stinko" Pastorius - he was just so damned good! Sidewalk's End played from north as far as Ocala, Sebring and Daytona, West to Naples and south to Key West. We played at Code 1 and got to play with most of those really great local bands of the day. Once when Bartok's Mountain was playing there - their drummer, Tom Staley (future drummer for NRBQ) and the drummer, Rich Franks, from another band playing there that night were doing a "battle of the drummers". WOW! They were two incredible drummers and I don't think I have ever heard any drum work more inticate and more kickin' or any finer than I heard that night! What a show! I just couldn't believe how good those guys were. Then there were The Mamma's Boys, a group that had relocated to Ft. Lauderdale from Chicago. The were extremely polished and had a theme to their show: they dressed in giant diapers with giant baby bonnets, sucking giant pacifiers. They played their hilarious theme song, Mamma's Boys. The bass player and the keyboard player would play horns (trumpets, as I recall) while continuing to play their other instrument. Near the end of '69 we grew tired of having to replace guitar players so when Harold and Paul left we threw in the towel and Sidewalk's End came to the end of it's sidewalk.

60s: Did you ever record while with Sidewalk's End?

CR: Late in our run we had a manager - Derek Moorman. He bought us some studio time at Criteria so we could go in and record some of our originals, which were mostly penned by Leapin'. Harold and Paul played on that session and when the band broke up a few months later I guess the tapes were archived at Criteria. Derek owned the tapes and may have taken them, I don't know and I never heard any finished mixdowns of what we recorded. There were some crappy cassettes made on cheap battery-operated recorders using those cheap on-board dynamic mics but they were so bad I wouldn't want them to be heard by anyone else. I do have a reel-to-reel tape of a live gig that Ray and I did with Leapin' and fabulous guitar ace Ken Gemmer of Bartok's Mountain but the quality is pretty poor and I don't have a machine to play it on.

60s: What about post-Sidewalk's End? What were some of your musical highlights after that band?

CR: When Sidewalk's End was over I wanted to keep playing so I accepted a gig with a local soul band, Joey Gilmore and the TCB Express. They were an all-black band and played in all-black clubs, some of them pretty rough. It soon became too uncomfortable being the only white face night after night and I felt that I didn't fit in so I left them. Leapin' and I decided to get another band together. I called on an old friend of mine, guitar player Pete Trias. Pete had been working with a rhythm player, Paul Bugnacki who also did Allman-style double leads with Pete. Then we picked up Kirby Thomas on drums who brought some real kick to the band. We started out calling ourselves Wishbone, but with the release of Wishbone Ash's albumn we decided to change the name. After a lot of thought we came to agreement on the name Axis. We moved up the ladder pretty quickly and were soon playing most of the local clubs, lots of parties, school dances and what was left of the teen clubs. Down the road a little my old friend - the sax player from The Noblemen - Andy had finished college and was back working in town. I went to see him one day and out of the blue asked him if he'd like to manage Axis. To my surprise he agreed. He was a pretty good manager and got us some plum gigs. He hooked up with a promoter from West Palm named Patrick who got us some gigs there. Patrick called up one day and said he had gotten us a gig opening for Ted Nugent at the West Palm Speedway. We were thrilled; this would be a great opportunity for some real exposure. We had bought ourselves an old '56 Chevy stepvan that used to be a Wise Potato Chip delivery truck to tote our gear in. We also had put together a nice PA with 4 Altec Voice of the Theater cabinet, a 600 watt Macintosh stereo power amp and 8 AKG mics. We showed up at the Nugent gig with all our gear. Before anyone could strike a note, Nugent's PA blew up. Their sound woman asked if she could use some of our gear so our sound guy help her hook it up with what was left of theirs. We did our set to an enthusiastic audience and then the Mike Quatro Jam Band played. There were 10,000 people there - our biggest crowd ever - and when Nugent came on all he could do was complain about the PA, saying it was "compliments of abortions unlimited". Thanks a lot, Ted. Pull the plug on the sucker (but we didn't). Just another bitter lesson in the old music biz! Then Patrick got us a gig playing at a rock festival in Williston, north of Gainesville. The festival was a benefit for the local drug rehab center and we were to share the bill with Redbone and The New York Rock n' Roll Ensemble. We got there and our stage time was supposed to be 6pm. We waited in our van while we kept getting put back. It was 2am when we finally took the stage before 20,000 people! We were cold, it was damp, my teeth were chattering and my hands were shaking and I know we didn't play our best. The people loved us anyhow. Imagine 20,000 flicking Bics waving in the cold night air! What a rush! That was way fun. The festival had given us a motel room where we crashed after the gig. There was another row of rooms across the parking lot from ours and the one directly across from ours had a big picture window. We could see a guy (obviously a Narc) sitting in a chair facing away from us watching us in a mirror on the opposite wall. Just for fun Leapin' would walk across in front of our window pretending to toke on a joint. None of us were doing any drugs so we knew we could yank his chain without risk. When we left we heard on the radio that the cops had moved in and raided the festival, busting people for drugs (how ironic). They were also searching the bands; we had gotten away just in time. Leapin' did a lot of crazy stuff. He once covered himself in aluminum foil and did a whole set at a club as "Aluminum Man". Then, at the Flying Machine, he once did a set from inside the bass drum case. Only the members of the other band, Nimo, noticed and they were practically rolling around the floor, laughing. There were two occassions in '71 when Mike Pinera of the Blues Image sat in with us. Once was at the Flying Machine. We had visited him at the house he was renting off Davie Blvd. with Malcolm and Manny from Blues Image. The were trying to put a trio together and were planning on calling it Mother's Milk. When Mike jammed with us that night Malcolm's bother-in-law recorded us on their TEAC reel-to-reel 4-track. He wasn't very experienced at recording so the vocals were way, way down in the mix for about half the tape. It's still nice to have it, though. The second time Mike sat in with us was at SHE, a club in the basement of the Marlin Beach Hotel across from the ocean in Ft. Lauderdale. Leapin' used to do impressions of various people like Stevie Wonder, Joe Cocker, Jose Feliciano and...Mike Pinera. We asked Mike to play and sing from behind the curtain while Leapin' strapped on a guitar (which he had no clue how to play) and did his "Pinera Thing". As the show went on Pinera was laughing so hard the curtain was shaking. During a section of Clean Love where Mike does an incredible lead riff - Leapin' ripped the cord out of the guitar (this was long before they had wireless units) and ran out into the audience still pretending to play. Afterwards people came up to him saying, "Hey, man, you're really good!". When Mike came out from behind the curtain he was laughing and said, "You guys are crazy, I'm never playing with you again." As fate would have it he soon moved out of the area and we never had another chance to play with him. Before he left he brought Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell from the Hendrix band to jam at the Flying Machine. Noel used my Acoustic 360 bass rig. Pretty cool, man! In early '72 we went to SRS (Shadow Recording Studio), a radio commercial jingle studio, to record some of our originals - some written by Leapin', some by Pete and some by Paul. I still have the reel-to-reel tape of those three tunes. We did some live recordings on those battery operated cassette recorders but nothing much that turned out good - except our cover of Santana's Batuka/No One to Depend On which isn't too bad a tape. Axis continued to play very steadily for some time. Near the end of '72 I was beginning a family, and before long I realized I would have to leave the band. When I did I sold my Acoustic 360 rig to Stinko (Jaco) who went on to make musical history with it (I want that back if you're through with it, Stinko). A few years later I sold the rest of my gear, never thinking I'd be able to get back into music again.

60s: Well...what about after Axis?

CR: You can see the course of my after-Axis musical career in the Anthology. There is one band I would like to tell you about. In '89 I could stand it no longer so I purchased new gear and started working to get my callouses and my chops back. By that summer I found myself jamming with a firery young 20-something guitarist, Stuart Martin. By late that fall we decided to put a band together which was first called Out Of The Blue, but later was changed to Wolves of Azure. We went through a number of drummers and two keyboard players during our run and we played from North Carolina (we were based here in Charlottesville) over to West Virginia and up as far north as New York City. Stuart's wife, Nina,was our manager and she did a helluva job till she started having babies. We hired a New York City music attorney, David Werchin, and went down to Atlanta to record a CD. David shopped it around to several major labels and got plenty of interest. We went up to do a couple of showcases for the label's A&R people at CBGBs and came very close to being signed by RCA Records. Back home we had been opening for a number of national acts (see Anthology for a listing) and had done some gigs with another up-and-coming Charlottesville band, Dave Matthews Band. Their manager apparently perceived us as a threat to them and proceeded to sabatoge our potential career. In November of '93 we replaced our keyboard player and drummer with some better players and went on to try again. At this point Nina was no longer managing us and actually gave Stuart an ultimatum...either have substancial income coming in within eight months, or quit the band. Well, I knew right then it was the beginning of the end. We had a fabulous eight months, gathering an incredible regional following but our expenses kept us poor so in July of '94 the run was over. During that time Stuart and I got to jam with Carter Beauford (DMB drummer) and Gali Sanchez (Santana percussionist). What a trip! That was a real high. At the final gig we toasted the band and we all agreed that we'd probably never have another opportunity like this one had been. Since then I have worked in as many as five bands at one time - all blues and classic rock bands. I have played one to three times a week mostly in regional clubs and at outdoor concerts - sometimes opening for national acts (see Anthology). I presently am in only one band - The Dinah Pehrson Band, a blues covers/smooth jazz and originals band. We play only one to three times a month, not enough for my liking. I would still love to find a GOOD classic rock band, because that is where my heart is - playing the kind of great music we played in the '60s.

60s: Since it was really your time with the Noblemen that started it do you best summarize your experiences with the band?

CR: The Noblemen was a great band and the perfect place for me to learn my craft, gain stage poise and bass playing skills. I learned a lot about the music biz back then, lessons that have served me well all these years and I've made a lot of lifetime friends. At the Noblemen reunion in '99 it struck me how lucky we were to have had the opportunity to be a part of that magical musical time. I am blessed.

The Anthology Of The Bands Of Craig Reid

Recordings of these bands, where they exist, were made over the course of 35 years in vastly differing circumstances. They were recorded on a wide variety and quality of recording equipment ranging from small, inexpensive cassette recorders using on-board, cheap, dynamic mics, to camcorder audio tracks and all the way to full digital studios. Some were recorded at gigs, indoors and outdoors, and some in studios of varying degrees of sophistication. Because of this, while listening to these recordings, you might find it necessary to raise and lower the volume level between some cuts to maintain an equal listening level.

The bands chronicled here by no means represent all of the bands I've been in. I recently counted them up and was surprised to find that I have been in a total of nineteen bands. They are: The Ducanes, The Noblemen, The Sidewalk's End, Joey Gilmore and the TCB Express, Axis (Wishbone), The Moon, Tough Love, Blue Two, Wolves of Azure(Out of the Blue), The Belmont Blues Band, Myth, Little Rick and The Bluetones, Fulton Patrick and the Ful-tones, Villanova Junction (He Said Monday), Kustom 150, The Dinah Pehrson Band, The Gruv-Digrs, Trashe' Blues Band, and The Chris Winter Band. This spans the period from 1964 to 2003.

The Bands:

The Ducanes
Type Music: Pop, surf, rock
Place of Origin: Columbus, Ohio
Dates of Existence: March 1965 to June 1965
Members: Lead Guitar - Greg Mapes; Rhythm Guitars - Craig Reid & Jim Nicklaus (cousin of famous golfer - Jack Nicklaus); Drums - Ken Wickliff; Bass - Dave Wagner
Recordings: None

The Noblemen
Type of Music: Pop, rock, surf
Place of Origin: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Dates of Existence: Fall of 1964 - November 1966
Members: Lead Guitar - Dale Stewart; Lead Vocals - Terry Stewart (not related to Dale); Sax - Andy D'Ambrosio (left in August 1965); Bass Guitar - Craig Reid; Vox Organ - Albert Glazier (formerly of Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels and later replaced by Mike Thibodeau on the Farfisa Organ); Drums - Ruffin Pennington (replaced before first gig...had no drums); Drums - Ray Lenahan; Backing Vocals - Craig Reid, Ray Lenahan
Recordings: Recording session at Criteria Studios in North Miami, Florida (won in a battle of the bands). Two songs: House of the Rising Sun and Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood. A CD was later burned from the 45 rpm acetate recording that was done at Criteria. Rehearsal recording done on an old RCA giant cassette tape
Opened For: The Birdwatchers; Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders; The Razors' Edge; The Gas Co./Proctor Amusement Co. (featuring George Terry of Eric Clapton fame)

The Sidewalks' End
Type of Music: Progressive rock, blues and soul
Place of Origin: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Dates of Existence: December 1966 - April 1969
Members: Lead Guitar - Matt Presby (later replaced by Jerry Thorton, then by Harold Lindsey and Paul Chevalier and briefly by Dan Dees); Lead Vocals - George "Leapin'" Lang; Bass Guitar - Craig Reid; Drums - Ray Lenahan; Rhythm Guitar - Ralph Turpening (fired after 6 months for chronic drunkenness); Hammond M-3 Organ - Jon Gauthier, later replaced by… Hammond B-3 Organ - Jimmy Litterer
Recordings: Studio session at Criteria Studios in North Miami, Florida. Recording whereabouts are unknown. Other recordings of questionable quality were made on cassette tapes.
Manager: Derek Moorman
Opened For: Kenny Rogers and the First Edition; Every Mother's Son; Music Machine; Knickerbockers; The Evil; Jaco Pastorius in October Road; The Grass Roots; Iron Butterfly; Sweetwater (hit tune: Motherless Child. They played at Woodstock. They used our PA gear and played in our stead at Ft. Lauderdale Beach during Spring Break for the college students.)

Started out as Wishbone - had to change the name when Wishbone Ashe hit the charts
Type of Music: Rock, blues, progressive rock, latin rock, jazz
Place of Origin: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Dates of Existence: April 1969 - December 1972
Members: Lead Guitar - Pete 'Pito' Trias; Rhythm Guitar - Paul 'Bug-Man' Bugnacki; Lead Vocals and Conga Drums - George 'Leapin' Lang; Bass Guitar - Craig Reid; Drums - Kirby Thomas; Backing Vocals - Craig Reid and Paul Bugnacki
Manager: Andy D'Ambrosio
Recordings: Several 'live' tapes were made on cheap cassette recorders at gigs, one reel-to-reel tape was made when Mike Pinera of the Blues Image sat-in with us at a Ft. Lauderdale club called The Flying Machine, and one session of originals was recorded at SRS (Shadow Recording Studios) in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Opened For: Ted Nugent; The Mike Quatro Band; Redbone; The New York Rock n' Roll Ensemble
Jammed With: Mike Pinera from The Blues Image on a couple of occasions. Also Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell of the Jimi Hendrix Experience used our equipment to play on one occasion. I sold my Acoustic 360 bass amp to Joco Pastorius at the end of 1972 when I left the band. Axis played gigs with cult faves Mother's Finest (for a long-time...until the '90s}, an Atlanta-based funk band with a large cult following

Wolves of Azure
Formerly Out of the Blue
Type of Music: Power rock, blues, progressive rock, jazz, Original rock Place of Origin: Charlottesville, Virginia
Dates of Existence: December 1989 - July 1994
Members: Lead Guitar and Vocals - Stuart Martin; Keyboards - Joe Doerr (later replaced by Harris Kindrick); Bass Guitar - Craig Reid; Drums - Greg Simms, then Patrick Sullivan (later replaced by Eddie Almodovar, Jim Ralston, then by Lance Foster, and finally by Dave Jenkins); Backing Vocals - Craig Reid, Joe Doerr (later Howard Brundage - the sound man)
Manager: Nina Martin and later Mike Lane
Music Attorney: David Werchin, New York City
Recordings: Recorded as Out of The Blue at Star America Studios in Richmond, Virginia, then at Virginia Arts Recording in Charlottesville, and recorded our CD - Out of the Blue at Cheshire Studios in Atlanta, Georgia with producer George Pappas. Did a number of live digital recordings at gigs in the last eight months of our existence with the new members (Harris Kindrick on keyboards, Dave Jenkins on drums, Howard Brundage on backing vocals and doing sound). Those recordings were compiled in a bootleg tape of originals and cover tunes which was sold at gigs at no profit to our loyal fans Opened For: Elvin Bishop; Edgar Winter Band; Delbert McClinton; Danny Gatton Band; The Marshall Tucker Band (twice); Dave Matthews Band; Matt "Guitar" Murphy (of Blues Brothers Band fame); Everything; The Ocean Blue; Col. Bruce Hampton and The Aquarium Rescue Unit (featuring Otiel Burbridge on bass - who later played for The Allman Brothers Band) Also: Playwrite/Actor Sam Shepherd sat in on drums one night at Zippers' club in Charlottesville; a harmonica player from Jimmy Buffet's Coral Riffers sat in with us one night at Mulligans' in Richmond and Craig and Stuart jammed with Tom Principato, Carter Beauford and Boyd Tinsley (drummer and fiddle player for Dave Matthews Band) and Galli Sanchez (Conga/Timba'le player for Santana)

The Belmont Blues Band
Type of Music: Blues & Rock covers & originals
Place of Origin: Belmont - Charlottesville, Virginia
Dates of Existence: December 1995 - December 1996
Members: Lead Guitar/Lead Vocals - Max Hoecker; Back-up Guitar/Lead Vocals - Mike Cvetanovich; Piano - Harris Kindrick; Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals - Craig Reid; Drums - Tim "Crash" Howeth
Recordings: Live performance on radio station WVGO - Eric E. Stanleys' "Bee-Bop, Boggie, Rhythm & Blues Review" in Richmond, Virginia

Type Music: Classic Rock Covers
Place of Origin: Lexington, Virginia
Dates of Existence: October 1996 - August 1997
Members: Lead Guitar - Steve Hoke; Lead Vocals - Michael Williams; Keyboards - Ernie Latrelle; Bass Guitar - Craig Reid; Drums - David Wheeler
Recordings: Board tape made live at a gig at Katie's Club by Gary Kirby

Little Rick & The Bluetones
Type of Music: Jump blues
Place of Origin: Cremora, Virginia (Shenedoah Valley)
Dates of Existence: November 1997 - July 1998
Members: Lead Vocals/Harmonica - Curt Crandle; Guitar/Backing Vocals - Chris Botkin; Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals - Craig Reid; Drums/Lead and Backing Vocals - Rick Garber; Keyboards - Harris Kindrick
Recordings: 8-track home recording demo

Fulton Patrick & The Fultones
Type of Music: Blues
Place of Origin: Charlottesville, Virginia
Dates of Existence: November 1998 to 2000
Members: Lead Vocals/Guitar - Fulton Patrick; Lead Guitar - Sandy Gray; Drums - Spencer Lathrup/Gary Taylor
Recordings: None
Opened For: The Bill Haley Comet Band

Villanova Junction
Started out as He Said Monday
Type of Music: Rock, blues, jazz, originals
Place of Origin: Belmont - Charlottesville, Virginia
Dates of Existence: December 1997 - January 2000
Members: Lead Guitar/Vocals - Max Hoecker; Bass Guitar/Backing Vocals - Craig Reid; Drums/Lead and Backing Vocals - Danny Barrale; Keyboards - Harris Kindrick
Recordings: Live at The Big Bang - '98 ( 5-song CD recorded on DAT by PMG Studios, Charlottesville); Live at Fridays After Five 1999 (board tape by Howard Brundage); unfinished digital studio recording at PMD Studios in Charlottesville, Virginia - 11/99-01/00
Opened For: Storyville (Former members of Stevie Ray Vaughns' Double Trouble Band); Government Mule (Former members of The Allman Brothers Band - Warren Haynes and Allan Woody with drummer Matt Abst); Cork (Former member of Mountain, drummer Corky Lang and The Spin Doctors bass and guitar players)

The Gruv-Digrs
Formed from members of Kustom 150
Type of Music: Rock, southern rock, blues
Place of Origin: Esmont, Virginia/Fishersville, Virginia
Dates of Existence: October 1997 - August 30, 2002
Members: Lead Guitar/Lead and Backing Vocals - Elvin Davis; Lead Vocals - Dan Tyree (replaced Danny Barrale); Bass Guitar/Lead and Backing Vocals - Craig Reid; Drums - Steve Davis; Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals - Skip Haga (main player also - Bill Edmunds/Paul Gum/Dale Roller)
Recordings: Four song CD of originals - recorded digitally at PMD Studios, Charlottesville, Virginia, February, 1998. Live board tape by Gary Kirby at The T & C Lounge in Waynesboro, VA and at Mulligan's in Staunton. Also a 4-track recording was done after Dan Tyree joined the band and a live board tape was made by Gary Kirby at Mulligan's in Staunton. Board tape made by Tony Roberts at various gigs in summer of 2002 - compilation of cover tunes - final farewell recording - 19 tunes
Opened For: The Coasters

The Chris Winter Band
Type of Music: Blend of Texas and Chicago style blues and blues-type originals by Chris Winter
Place of Origin: Charlottesville, Virginia
Dates of Existence: October 2000 - January 2002
Members: Chris Winter - Guitar and Lead Vocals; Dave Connely - Harmonica and Vocals (dropped out before first gig but occasionally sits in); Craig Reid - Bass and Vocals; Larry Powell - Drums and Vocals; Nate Hawkes - Baritone and Alto Saxaphone
Recordings: Live tapes made on a 4-track at gigs; CD demo digitally recorded at The Kalidescope; Live CD recorded digitally at The Vinegar Hill Grill.

The Dinah Pehrson Group
Initially known as The Tangentials
Type of Music: Blues covers, original blues/rock, smooth jazz
Place of Origin: Charlottesville,Virginia
Dates of Existence: Novemer 1999 - Present
Members: Dinah Pehrson-Day - Lead Vocals; Vincent Day - Guitar and Lead Vocals; Warren Jobe - Drums; Craig Reid - Bass and Backing Vocals; Bucky Clark - Tenor and Alto Sax and Vocals (left the group in summer of 2002); Dan Sebring - Violin, Guitar, Mandolin, subbed on Bass sometimes; Wes Allen - Keyboards (later filled by Stroker and replaced by Bill Edmunds) Recordings: Demo CD (10 songs) recorded live to DAT at The Blue Moon Café in Sperryville, VA; Four song demo recorded at Wes Allens, mixed and mastered by Warren Jobe; live digital recording at the Dogwood Blues Festival on 4/28/01, recorded by Warren Jobe (Stroker on keyboards, including accordian); live recording at Bistro 151 in Nellysford, Virginia and The Daylily Festival in Staunton, Virginia (both on 6/14/01)
Opened For: The Tom Principato Blues Band

Although I did not know him well, I was an acquaintance of the late, great Jaco Pastoruis, legendary as "The World's Greatest Bass Player". He used to come to gigs of the Noblemen at Pompano Teen Town and stand at the corner of the stage and watch me play (as he did with the bass players of all the bands there). This would have been around 1966. I tell people that he learned all the things NOT to do by watching me. I remember him as a quiet, rather intense kid - but a nice kid. Later, when I left Axis at the end of 1972, I put my Acoustic 360 bass amp up for sale on consignment at Modern Music in Ft. Lauderdale. One day I got a call from John Gallager, the owner, asking me excitedly if I wanted to know who bought my amp. He then told me that Jaco had purchased it. I later learned that acquiring this amp allowed Jaco to achieve his "signature sound". Some years later, when I had been out of music for several years and Jaco had come out with his ground-breaking solo album Jaco, I saw him at Modern Music. He took a few moments to chat with me. He was interested in what I had been doing and if I was still playing. I had other experiences with Jaco, which I won't go into here but suffice it to say he was a very colorful and dynamic character who became renowned the world over as an incredibly gifted player who single-handedly revolutionized the way people played bass. He was the inspiration for a whole generation of bass players who copied his style and were awed by his genius. He was a fabulously talented composer and arranger as well. I wish I had known him better. Jaco died in 1988 of injuries suffered at the hands of the bouncer of a south Florida private nightclub he had tried to crash. Jaco suffered from bipolar disorder, which made him prone to radical shifts in personality. He was treated for it with lithium but discontinued taking the drug when it made his hands numb, interfering with his playing. He reverted to the personality shifts and it ultimately resulted in his death. There is a book out chronicling his life and death. One day they will make a movie of his incredible life and everyone will know who Jaco was.

The south Florida music scene of the early 1960's to early 1970's was, to say the least, prolific. There were untold numbers of great bands peopled by fabulous musicians, many of whom went on to fame and fortune, but most of whom never got their break. Some, like me, are still out there making great music and some left it behind. There is a book out (of which I have a copy) called Savage Lost - A History of South Florida Garage Bands in the '60s by Jeffrey Lemlich (out of print for some time now). It is packed with facts and marvelous stories of all the bands and musicians I knew back then, even though none of the bands I was in are mentioned in it.

Music has been, and still is to me, a great source of inspiration, healing, love and satisfaction. Nothing else I have experienced gives me as much pleasure as making great music with great musicians. It lifts me to a higher plane and heals my Soul - and, hopefully - touches the hearts of those with whom I share it. I give thanks to the Spirit of God for granting me the gift of music, for it has given great meaning to my life and has filled my heart to overflowing with the greatest joy.

- Craig Sterling "Groovedigger" Reid

"Copyrighted and originally printed on by Mike Dugo".
"Listen live, online to their music at Beyond The Beat Generation, 60's garage and psychedelia".