Fritz Richmond dies
November 30, 2005 3:29 AM   Subscribe

Fritz Richmond, former washtub bass player for the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, has died. Richmond pioneered the use of the homemade washtub bass, and taught himself to use the jug as a musical instrument. He was one of the favorites of the Cambridge folk scene of the 1960s. More here.
posted by Kirth Gerson (8 comments total)
This reminds me of a band I saw playing in the T at Harvard Square in the mid-nineties. They were called "The Big Deal Whiz-Bang Band" or something like that. They had a washtub bass, a guy on the washboard/other percussion, a blind lead guitarist and a crazy rhythm guitar guy who flitted around saying "thank-you, thank-you" as people dropped change in their hat.

They looked nutty, but they sounded great. I've never been able to find out anything about them--maybe they were just an ad hoc group of local buskers.
posted by thejimp at 4:50 AM on November 30, 2005

Those damn hippies never could figure out what a washtub was really for.

posted by furtive at 4:59 AM on November 30, 2005

When you have patchoulli, washing becomes optional.

posted by nervousfritz at 7:54 AM on November 30, 2005

I know this has been discussed on MetaFilter before, but in case you all missed it, Fritz Richmond's old band, The Jim Kweskin outfit, were not only terrifically entertaining (with for a time Maria Mulduar as their girl -- and I do mean girl -- singer), they also spawned one of the strangest cults of the 1960s: the Mel Lyman cult. With their house in Roxbury, their carpentry and their LSD, they were a legend in their time. Any student of the true weirdness of the 60s needs to be aware of them.
posted by Faze at 10:25 AM on November 30, 2005

If you can't play the jug, you can't play with me.
posted by MotherTucker at 10:47 AM on November 30, 2005

Not even if I buy you a Chevrolet?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:29 AM on November 30, 2005

Also, the Mel Lyman/Charles Manson connection has a high creep-factor.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:30 AM on November 30, 2005

I've found that plastic tubs yield a more mellow and adjustable sound than the steel tubs, though some may consider that heresy. Still, it's all about using what's at hand.
posted by Poagao at 11:27 PM on November 30, 2005

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