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The True Story of Bud Green

            Back in the early 1980’s I had a chance to play music with some of the best musicians I’ve ever encountered. They were also my good friends. For a couple of years we called ourselves the Bud Green Band, and this collection of tracks is a memory of that magical time.  If you are too impatient to read on, follow the links below to the music.  Otherwise, skip below the links to hear the true story.

The  who, where, when, and maybe why

33 years ago, in the mountains of Northern New Mexico, my friends David Phillips and Dick Padberg needed a new bass player for their band. They agreed to let me try playing with them, even though I’d never before touched an electric bass and could hardly even play electric guitar. After years of acoustic guitar lessons as a kid now I just played a few tunes I’d written over the years, and sometimes a little ‘kitchen music’ with anyone who brought an instrument over to my house. But I wanted to be in a band, making music with other people.

    I’d heard Dick and David play, and I was already in awe of their musical ability. I knew that they were both experienced musicians who had played in working bands, so I was stoked when they told me I could try playing with them. Howard Stoneback joined us, playing drums, and it seemed to click.budgreen-3 
For a couple of years we practiced together regularly and played some public gigs as the Bud Green Band.

The how

           In those days cheap cassette tape recorders had become commonly available, so we often recorded the music with a little mic plugged into a portable cassette recorder. Those tapes were lost, gathering dust for years, until they were rediscovered and transferred to digital format. The cassettes turned out to be filled with long stretches of drunken musical drek, punctuated by occasional moments when, to my ear, musical magic emerged, or at least a suggestion that it might be hiding in there somewhere. Once it was digital, all this rambling tunage could be mined for those magical musical moments. And I found quite a few.

The what

            The first “Volume” is a collection of excerpts from practices. It includes things like creative first tries and fooling around moments that become musically worthwhile right before your very ears.  Jamming on David’s musical ideas was always the most fun for me, and there are several tracks where you hear us doing just that. Creating something original interested me the most, and this volume has some nice examples of the original Bud Green sound.

            The second “Volume” consists of excerpts taken from recordings made at actual public performances of The Bud Green Band, and it has some priceless moments of crowd audio along with many moments of Bud Green musical coolness and displays of musical talent by Dick and David.

            Mostly, I think all these tracks highlight what fantastic musicians Dick Padberg and David Phillips are. Despite my irregular and frequently incoherent bass playing, backed by Howard’s usually solid, often creative drumming, Dick and David on any night could make original and interesting music emerge like magic from the chaos of what we were doing. And mostly, we had a really great time together doing it. I hope some of the fun we were having comes through when you listen.  To see if it does, follow the links below:

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  1. Pingback: Best Bud – Volume II | ELEMEE

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