Priceless Rock Soup - James Gang LIVE on stage at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom circa 1968 - I’m a man
Historic Rock and Roll! James Gang LIVE at Detroit's Grande Ballroom. UEF's Rock Soup series presents historic recording that chronicle of world class performances by some of the greats that took place in Detroit's historic Grande Ballroom. Recorded with the bands permission, not a bootleg, by a young audio engineer with a passion for music recording. I'm a Man shows off Jim Fox and Joe Walsh's musical synergy just one week before their "Y'er Album" was made in New York. The rest is musical history.
INTERVIEW: James Gang founder Jim Fox (aka James Gang) answers a few questions.
Interview by Cliff Yankovich:
Jim Fox: I started at a rather early age (like 7 or 8), taking music theory classes at the Cleveland Music School Settlement. They were valuable to me because over and above what I actually learned there. I was already aspiring to be a drummer, but my father was dead set against it, preferring that I choose a “musical” instrument. The instructor at the Settlement had seen my ability in that direction and was helpful in convincing my dad to allow me to pursue drums. Along with the instructor at elementary school, my dad checked out the local teaching scene and found a private drum teacher who was involved in both classical music and popular music, as well as the basics of jazz. This was very beneficial to me because it allowed me to receive a rounded education on not only drums, but all percussion instruments, including mallets (marimba, xylophone, etc.) and tympani.
JF: In my case, it meant everything!! It gave me the foundation and the confidence to chase music as a career. I majored in music at Ohio State University (ask ME about the marching band culture there!), the Cleveland Institute of Music and Kent State University. I was 13 quarter hours from a degree in music education when they started shooting…!! By then, my band was beginning to “make some noise” on a national level, and I never looked back.
CY: How about the impact in your “other” life?
JF: There IS no other life. Despite the fact that I have had a few “jobs” after my main music career ended, music has never left me, and when I look in the mirror, I see a musician regardless of what else I might be doing at the time.
CY: On a scale of 1 to 10, how important do you think music ed is to have for ALL students?
JF: I feel that a basic education in music at the elementary school level is a solid “10” for all students, regardless of other interests at that early age. Music helps to teach so many other life lessons, such as the feeling of accomplishment, the satisfaction of a job well-done, the value of teamwork, discipline, getting along with others, sharing a common purpose, and on and on and on. Life without music is a trip to the Dark Ages…
JF: Admittedly, I am not a typical story. I was fortunate enough to come from a musical family, where my father was a professional violinist (before I was born), and my mother sang. They guided me gently towards music and once the hook was set, my dad was relentless in seeing that I put in my practice time daily. So, in that sense, I had more of a “boost” than other kids. But regardless of input from home, I believe that every child can benefit from the lessons learned in music for the reasons stated above. Over and above all of this remains the fact that there is beauty in music and we could all use more of that in our lives.