My brothers are a few years older than myself, and since our parents both worked full time, I frequently attended the rehearsals and gigs for their bands the Newcastle Five and Art Collection. Being around Rich and Tom exposed me to music quite different to that of my grade school peers. At age 10, I was into the Who, Small Faces, Kinks and Yardbirds, while my friends dug the Monkees.
I remember when in early 1968 Rich and Tom formed Powder, at the same time that they were the backing band for Sonny and Cher. As a spectator, I watched them play songs like ‘Gladly’ and ‘Grimbley Leitch’ over and over again for months, until they were permanently embedded in my mind. I learned an appreciation for the chime of Rickenbacker guitars, Vox amps, ringing cymbals and feedback. Their drummer, Bill Schoppe, was my first drum teacher and a major influence. I often sat right under Bill’s drums and watched his incredible playing. I was hooked!
The Powder recordings never came out of course, and a little later Rich and Tom became Thomas and Richard Frost and achieved some fame with their hit record ‘She’s Got Love’. When Alec Palao first brought out the original Powder tracks many years ago, I had thought these treasures had been lost forever, and I was thrilled that they went on to gain a cult following. Now with Big Beat’s remastering, the sound quality on “Ka-Pow!” is a major improvement: it’s how I remember Powder sounded back in the day. The clarity of vocals, Bill’s crashing drums, the rumble of Tom’s bass and Rich’s guitar thunder are finally revealed and preserved for all to enjoy.
For information on current Powder activities, please visit www.powdersf.com