PAUL COTTON... Musical Archive

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(John)Keith Anderson

KEITH, 2002

Bass player, Keith Anderson was I was born in Chicago, May 29, 1943. Keith was with Paul from the beginning in 1957 as the Capitols and the Mus-twangs until 1962. He then reunited with Paul in the Rovin' Kind in the latter part of 1967 and stayed with the band through the name change to Illinois Speed Press until he left in 1969. Keith's bio, in his own words, reads:
"was born on Chicago's South Side - and has been performing since 1959. Frequenting Chicago's many blues clubs and enjoying Jimmy Reed and Guitar Red, signed with Mercury Record's Smash label in 1962, warmed crowds for the Rolling Stones in Chicago, 1963; the Young bloods at New York's Peppermint Lounge, 1968; and Albert King/Janis Joplin at San Francisco's Fillmore, 1969. One of the original members of the Illinois Speed Press and Gage, Keith has published songs and recorded for Columbia Records."
Here's what Keith had to say recently (mid 2002):
"Hi Rich, It was a thrill to get your message and to be contacted. Paul Cotton and I met on the mats of Thornton Township High School wrestling class in 1958, and the "Capitols" soon followed. A thrilling (to me) history followed, as you seemed to be aware. Bobby Simms and I formed a trio in 1962 playing on the Chicago's South Side for Wally Melnick at the M&B Club. We felt 3 pieces could divide up more money apiece. I still love the 3 piece concept. Our drummers included Billy Charmello, Verne Johnson, and Bobby Capri. Bobby Simms Trio cut a few more records with the SMASH label and toured the West Coast, promoting them in Bobby Simm's Pontiac hauling our instruments in a U-Haul. I remember after hours breakfasts with Kal David's EXCEPTIONS, during that time with Bobby Simms. I think all the musicians I have worked with have made considerable contributions to the art form. Their stories all deserve to be chronicled. After leaving the Illinois Speed Press (1969), I decided it might be a good time to make some changes in my life. I went to Long Beach State for BA in Business Admin (1971). After a year at Peppedine School of Law (I didn't like it-music is much more fun), I moved to Dunsmuir, California (1973). Dunsmuir is in Siskiyou County, California and it is real rural, and mountainous. No heavy traffic, fresh air and great tasting mountain water. Had a band called GAGE (Dave and Kay Amour, Arnold (Arnie) David Bryer (drums) and a couple others) for several years-touring Northern California and Oregon. At that time (1975?) I got in touch with my friend Verne Johnson, told him of a need for a drummer to replace Arnie. He needed a few months time to get out here, and we unfortunately needed a drummer right away, so hired another drummer, Jim Melfy, before Verne arrived. Had a great visit, however. Verne and I stay in touch. I had my own bookkeeping business during the day, music on weekends (no profit-just fun). Currently, in addition to 3 clients, I am the Finance Director for the City of Dunsmuir. I have semi-retired musically, but occasionally play with Dave Amour (formerly with GAGE mentioned above). He is a fantastic musician and vocalist. (As a luthier, he also makes fine acoustic classic guitars by hand.) We are known as the Dave Amour Band (3 piece). We are featured September 14, 2002 at the Smooth Jazz and Blues Festival, Ashland, OR (visit that is about it. The rest of my "semi-retired musically", was spent as host to the Siskiyou Blues Society open Wednesday night Jams (1993 to 2002). In May 1993, I and a few locals, incorporated the blues society, here in Mount Shasta (my home address: PO Box 133, Mount Shasta, CA 96067, Phone 530-926-5823) where I live. I think my desire to play blues comes from early 60's days with the Bobby Simms Trio. I loved to sing Jimmy Reed songs, whenever Bobby wanted a break from singing. The Siskiyou Blues Society ( holds a blues festival each year. On July 20 and 21st, 2002 was the 9th festival. It was great-10 acts a day--2 days. Sonny Rhodes and Chick Willis headlined. (Past headliners include Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers, Little Charlie and the Nightcats, the Yardbirds (yes, Yardbirds-two originals-the rhythm guitar and drummer, during a US tour). A couple of years ago I visited Kal David and Laurie Bono at their Palm Springs nightclub "Blue Guitar". I was grateful to Kal for inviting me on stage to play a couple of numbers with him and his band, The Real Deal. I am going to the "Blue Guitar" again, on June 29, 2002. I bought my first (and second) Fender Precision Basses from Al Zordan (formerly of Zordan's House of Music in Roseland , and my Ampegs, and Kustom Amps. I still have the Kustom Bass Amp I bought in 1963. I remember it being shipped to me in Lansing Michigan where I was playing with the Rovin' Kind at a huge college beer hall. Man, did I have a great sound that night. We (Rovin' Kind) had been using Baldwin guitars and amps, as part of a promotion by Baldwin. Not very good instruments, as you probably can tell by not hearing about them. I remember one show (Kaldiscope?, Chicago?) when Paul and Kal through their Baldwin guitars into the audience, and picked up their Gibsons and Fenders. I still have the Baldwin Bass, however. It is an electric hollow-body. It is for sale, as well as my Kustoms, as they are not being used enough to keep. My current rig is a Fender Jazz Bass and an Ampeg (60's remake) SVI CL Classic."

Further links to Paul's musical history -

History main page--- Beginnings--- Capitols--- Mus-twangs--- Starfires--- Carol Vega & Trio--- Gentrys--- Rovin' Kind--- Rovin' Kind Gig Dates--- Illinois Speed Press--- Illinois Speed Press Gig Dates--- Poco & Beyond--- Joseph Schwantner--- Chuck Edelhofer--- Keith Anderson--- Gerald (Jerry) Urban--- Guy Franchot (Frenchy) Germany--- Walter (Buddy) Riley--- Johnny Jordan--- Johnny Moyer--- Carol Vega--- Johnny Moore--- Verne Johnson--- Frank Bartell (Bortoli)--- Mike Anthony (Harry Baikauskas)--- Fred Page (Pappalardo)--- Rob Lewine--- Bobby Simms--- Barney Pip--- John Uribe--- Kal David--- Jim Jarosz--- Ronnie Laas---

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