Skip

Jimmy Carl Black, RIP
November 3, 2008 5:44 AM   Subscribe

Drummer and vocalist Jimmy Carl Black, "the Indian of the group", who appeared on more Mothers of Invention records than you could shake a stick at, has passed away. Here's Jimmy drumming with The Mothers of Invention live on French TV 1968, live on BBC TV 1968, singing with The Muffin Men, 2002, and on one of his last gigs, singing Capt. Beefheart's Dropout Boogie in June 2008, in his duo with mad banjo wizard Eugene Chadbourne which they called The Jack and Jim Show.

There had been a benefit concert planned for November 9, in London, to help raise funds for the cancer operation in Germany that Jimmy Carl had recently had. I'd imagine this will go ahead as planned, but as a memorial concert. You London-based MeFiers might wanna check it out.

Here's another Jimmy Carl Black discography, from a Captain Beefheart site. Fun quote from Jimmy Carl on that page:

"... in 1975, I did a tour with Captain Beefheart.The difference between his music and Frank's was like night and day. Frank was avant garde, but Beefheart was the real thing, totally left-field. We rehearsed seven days a week, and maybe we'd play our instruments one hour in twelve. The rest of the time, we'd listen to him bullshit."
posted by flapjax at midnite (49 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
.
posted by beagle at 5:45 AM on November 3, 2008


Fuck.

I need to find an MP3 of "Lonesome Cowboy Burt".
posted by Dr-Baa at 5:57 AM on November 3, 2008


He wasn't going to get laid anyway with that uniform on.





.
posted by Spatch at 5:59 AM on November 3, 2008


.

Hope he found the beer and got paid.
posted by sourwookie at 5:59 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by futility closet at 6:28 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by Sk4n at 6:38 AM on November 3, 2008


. Aw, man.
posted by applemeat at 6:44 AM on November 3, 2008


If we'd all been living in California, this wouldn't have happened.
posted by Jofus at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2008


Dr-Baa - I uploaded it here (Excuse the SL)
posted by Jofus at 6:56 AM on November 3, 2008


Bummer

.
posted by Eekacat at 6:59 AM on November 3, 2008


Who will Arthur Brown paint with now? (I was actually a part-time housepainter in Austin while in college at the same time they had their housepainting company; I even saw Zappa there on his "Them or Us" tour. Unfortunately I did not find out about the two of them being in the same line of work as me, sort of, until year later, so I missed out on a potential opportunity to work with them.)

Anyway,

.
posted by TedW at 6:59 AM on November 3, 2008


Aw man. I highly recommend checking out Geronimo Black if you can.
R.I.P.
.
posted by Sailormom at 7:20 AM on November 3, 2008


Wow. First of the original Mothers to go, after Frank (unless you count Buzz Gardner and Lowell George as original members).

Jimmy Carl Black related pages on a couple of informative zappology sites:
United Mutations
Information is not Knowledge
Bio, discography, links, pics, comments, rumours, etc.

Supposedly Jimmy Carl was responsible for Lowell George and Roy Estrada naming their new band "Little Feat", via a cryptic joke about Lowell's lower appendages.

"If we'd all been living in California it’d be different."

.
posted by Herodios at 7:21 AM on November 3, 2008


Who will Arthur Brown paint with now?

Ah yes, Mr. Brown and Mr. Black, the "Gentlemen of Color".
posted by Herodios at 7:25 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 7:37 AM on November 3, 2008


If, for any reason, I find myself saying "hi boys and girls", the temptation to add "I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group" is pretty much irresistible.

I get a lot of funny looks.

.
posted by Dr.Enormous at 7:49 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


.
posted by Mental Wimp at 7:49 AM on November 3, 2008


I loved it whenever MST3K made a reference to him, which was more than once.
posted by pepcorn at 7:49 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:53 AM on November 3, 2008


Oh yeah, I'll give my MetaFilter full-stop cherry to Jimmy Carl Black.

.
posted by Restless Day at 7:59 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by shmegegge at 8:41 AM on November 3, 2008


.
posted by davelog at 8:53 AM on November 3, 2008


flapjax at midnite, One of the great things about your obit posts is that I get to learn a lot about people I never heard of and really enjoy knowing about.

For my 13th birthday, Nov 1966, this odd guy, Willoughby Sharp (an avant garde artist in his own right), gave me The Mothers of Invention debut album, Freak Out, which had come out just a few months before. At that time I was listening to Donovan, Leadbelly, Buffalo Springfield, Motown. Even though I didn't understand or especially like this sarcastic, audacious, bawdy, raucous Freak Out music, I knew I was listening to the future and that Frank Zappa was Onto Something. What that was I didn't know. It had something to do with truth telling, being raunchily honest and going to the far edge culturally. It was raw and naked, pretty astonishing for 1966, when things hadn't exploded yet.

Nothing I'd ever heard had been out there like this album. It was wayyy ahead of it's time. Now, listening to Freak Out, on YouTube, it's brilliant, politically astute, a good, hip song. Hard to tell what's so special about it, having heard decades of other music, influenced by that album, including Sgt. Pepper's. But then it was from another planet.

This clip is funny, 1967, with Frank Zappa's track obviously deleted because of what he's spewing into the mike and the guy putting on a false nose to match the other serious noses in the band.

This is a good film about that amazing transition from the rigid society as it was then to the one that is routinely known today:
Conventions: The Land Around Us” is a documentary film essay on the topic of cultural and political change. It takes as its particular subject matter the confrontations that took place between anti-war demonstrators and the US political establishment in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Reading the links, what a full life he had!

wow, so this Jimmy Carl Black was there from the beginning of this particular cultural revolution. It's really good to know his name and honor his part in it. Peace man.


posted by nickyskye at 9:05 AM on November 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Whooo could imagine that they would freak out, somewhere in....Minnesota?
posted by Mental Wimp at 9:15 AM on November 3, 2008


MI-MI-MI-MI-MINNESOTA MINNESOTA
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:14 AM on November 3, 2008


This made me really sad. He was just a really endearing character.
posted by anazgnos at 10:37 AM on November 3, 2008


Kansas, Kansas, bo-di-o-di-o-dee...
posted by Mental Wimp at 11:34 AM on November 3, 2008


Lonesome Cowboy Bert

.
posted by al_fresco at 11:38 AM on November 3, 2008


where's my waitress?


.

posted by CitizenD at 1:39 PM on November 3, 2008


Went looking this morning around the nets for a "newspaper" obit on Jimmy Carl. Nuthin'. You'd think Jon Pareles at the NYT or somebody would've been on it by now. Damn.

Came across this post, though: a bit of background on Jimmy Carl's duo with Eugene Chadbourne, The Jack and Jim Show.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2008


:(
posted by deusdiabolus at 3:06 PM on November 3, 2008


Strange, sad news. Just yesterday I was watching the almost unwatchable 200 Motels and wondered what Jimmy Carl Black was doing these days. Strange coincidence.
posted by cropshy at 5:03 PM on November 3, 2008




Steve Fisk once suggested to me that Soundgarden should put out a record which would include the guitarist intoning "I'm Kim Thayil and I'm the Indian of the group".
posted by Tube at 5:20 PM on November 3, 2008


Yeah, tube, this thinking about Jimmy Carl got me to wondering: what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:23 PM on November 3, 2008


Yeah, tube, this thinking about Jimmy Carl got me to wondering: what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?

I think one of Insane Clown Posse's cronies is Native American, but you can't really call that being a musician. Other than that I really can't think of anyone offhand.
posted by DecemberBoy at 5:52 PM on November 3, 2008


what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?

You should probably take these with a large block of salt, but off the top of my head here are some who've been attributed with Native American roots.

Robbie Robertson of The Band
Rick Medlocke, guitarist, drummer, singer with Blackfoot, Lynyrd Skynyrd
Shorty Medlock, blues musician, grandfather of Rick
Other members of Blackfoot (?)
Jan Savage, lead guitarist with The Seeds
Willie Nelson
Jimi Hendrix
posted by Herodios at 6:48 PM on November 3, 2008


flapjax at midnite, One of the great things about your obit posts is that I get to learn a lot about people I never heard of and really enjoy knowing about.

Whether we've heard of the people or not, flapjax, about the only bad thing about your obit posts is that they mean somebody died. (Other than that they're terrific.)

what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?

The biggest name I ever heard was Redbone, whose 1975 Epic double album of hits I often still find myself pulling out of my record shelves to listen to, all these years later. Wovoka, Light as a Feather, Maggie, The Witch Queen of New Orleans, Fais-Do, the unusual Chant 13th Hour, their Top 5 hit Come and Get Your Love — even though it's probably not all that different from what gets played in the lounges at Native American casinos, where the band (what's left of them) reportedly tours these days, for some reason I could listen to those songs over and over.

The double album really only needed to be a single LP; it looks like this CD does a nice job of collecting the band's best cuts.

I never knew back then that the Vegas brothers were really named Vasquez, and that Mexican blood was mixed in with the Cherokee, Yaqui, Apache, and Shoshone (and Cajun rhythms). The Witch Queen is truly a funky song, and probably my favorite of theirs.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:42 AM on November 4, 2008


.

I remember getting the chance to meet JCB (briefly) when he played around my way with Liverpool - based Zappa tribute band called The Muffin Men a few years ago. The Muffin Men themselves did a set of the more esoteric Zappa tunes (Big Swifty, Inca Roads) and then Black would come on and sing a few of his own tunes, as well as the old Zappa doo-wop pastiche Love Of My Life and an absolutely killer version of Dropout Boogie. Seemed like a nice guy, though aforesaid meeting was no more than a handshake and a civil word. In fairness, he was a lot more interested in the stunning-looking young lady who was behind me, and who could blame him?

On preview: as for other Native North American singers/songwriters/musos, Buffy Sainte-Marie would spring quickly to mind.
posted by El Brendano at 5:34 AM on November 4, 2008


Yeah, tube, this thinking about Jimmy Carl got me to wondering: what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?

Ahh, Umm, Kim's actually an Indian kind of Indian, 'cause his parents were from India and stuff. I thought everyone knew that, but I guess it means I'm getting old...
posted by Tube at 9:42 PM on November 4, 2008


Haha! I'm probably older than you, Tube (I was born in 1957), and that's one of the reasons, perhaps, why I didn't know Kim Thayil was one kind of "Indian" or another. I never paid more than glancing attention to Soundgarden. So, I guess you gotta be just the right age: not too old, not too young!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:09 AM on November 5, 2008


Man - in all of the US election frenzy, I missed this. Because of that little snippet from We're Only in It for the Money... JCB will always be ingrained in my head.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:42 AM on November 5, 2008


Yeah, tube, this thinking about Jimmy Carl got me to wondering: what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?

Link Wray!
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:18 AM on November 5, 2008


Crud, I duped the post. Drat. ANyway, I have hurried over here to pay my respects.

.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:53 AM on November 5, 2008


what other Native Americans are there/have there been in rock and pop music?
The very influential and mostly overlooked Jesse Ed Davis comes to mind.
posted by Sailormom at 11:30 AM on November 5, 2008


One from the state of South Dakota, where I grew up: Indigenous! Damn those guys are good...
posted by Mental Wimp at 12:33 PM on November 5, 2008


Link Wray! (Part Shawnee, according to the Wiki.) Who woulda guessed he was included in the Native American Music Hall of Fame.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:15 AM on November 7, 2008


ah, crap. i totally completely missed this. jcb, rip.

i met jimmy carl about a year or so ago when he & dr. chad came through nola. i was the first person in the club--i beat jimmy carl & chad there--and watched them schlep their instruments into the 2nd floor of a shithole club the dragon's den on esplanade, great place but it's a shithole and jcb was a) not a young man and b) not particularly well, even though he looked good. i introduced myself and fawned over him a bit--i mean, he was the real deal. i told him i loved the grandmothers & couldn't imagine why they never got any wider recognition, and that started him railing on a bit about how the music industry pretty much sucks and how he'd forego the respect for some money. it was a great show. i'm glad i went.
posted by msconduct at 5:48 PM on November 9, 2008


« Older sovereign risk and the current economy   |   50,000 words of cr - pure awesome Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post