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The James Gang in 1976.
Left to Right: Bob Webb, Dale Peters, Jim Fox & Phil Giallombardo
James Gang were a rock band formed in Clevelandmarker, Ohiomarker in 1966. Though the band was not a huge commercial success, except in the Northeast Ohio area, the fame garnered by guitarist Joe Walsh has since made the group more notable.

History

The original band members were drummer Jimmy Fox, bassist Tom Kriss, guitarist Ronnie Silverman, keyboardist Phil Giallombardo, and guitarist Greg Grandillo, who was quickly replaced by Dennis Chandler. Bill Jeric replaced Silverman when he entered the service. After Chandler left, the group featured Glen Schwartz. Unfortunately, none of the above lineups ever officially released any material.

In January 1968, Joe Walsh replaced Schwartz after he had left the band the previous month to move to Californiamarker, where he ended up forming Pacific Gas & Electric. The band continued as a five piece for a short time until Phil Giallombardo lost interest and left to become involved in other pursuits. Jeric and Walsh worked together on guitar parts, but Jeric ended up leaving as well in the spring of 1968. He was then replaced by Ronnie Silverman, who had been discharged from the service.

In May 1968, the group played a concert in Detroitmarker at Motown's Grande Ballroom opening for Cream. At the last minute, Silverman informed the others that he would not be joining them at the show. The band desperately needed the money from the show in order to purchase the gasoline to get home. So they took to the stage as a trio figuring if Cream could do it, so could they. That night the band was reborn in its classic (and best known) trio formation. The threesome decided they liked having all that uncluttered musical space to play in and decided to remain as three.

In 1969 the band (now consisting of Fox, Kriss and Walsh) released its debut album Yer' Album.

Later in 1969 the group's producer, Bill Szymczyk, was music coordinator for the movie Zachariah, a sort of "western rock musical" based on the novel Siddhartha by writer Hermann Hesse, directed by George Englund and written by the Firesign Theater comedy group. He got the James Gang into the movie as performers and two new songs, "Laguna Salada" and "Country Fever", were recorded for the film. At the time of the songs' recording, Walsh was tired of being both lead guitarist and lead singer. A new singer/frontman, Kenny Weiss, was brought in so Joe could concentrate more on just his guitar playing. Weiss sang lead on "Country Fever" but was gone by the time the group flew down to Mexicomarker to appear in the movie. "Laguna Salada" and "Country Fever" later reappeared as extra tracks on a 2000 re-release of James Gang - Greatest Hits.

In 1970, the band released its second album James Gang Rides Again, which included the popular single "Funk #49", as well as the AOR classic "The Bomber". By this time, Dale Peters had replaced Kriss on bass. The band opened for The Who during a tour of Britainmarker.

After two more albums, Thirds (with the single "Walk Away") and the live album James Gang Live in Concert, Walsh left the band (in late 1971) to embark on a solo career.

Vocalist Roy Kenner and guitarist Domenic Troiano then joined the band for the next two albums, Passin' Thru (July 1972) and Straight Shooter (October 1972). But Troiano left in 1973 and ended up joining The Guess Who in 1974. He was replaced by Tommy Bolin (ex-Zephyr). Bolin appeared on two albums, Bang! and Miami, but left by mid-1974. He went on to join Deep Purple by early 1975. The James Gang then folded.

By early 1975, Fox and Peters decided to try again with a new lineup that included vocalist Bubba Keith and guitarist Richard Shack who made an album, Newborn, featuring an Elvis Presley cover, "Heartbreak Hotel". Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch had been approached to join the new lineup as well. But in the end, he elected to stay with Paul McCartney & Wings. The band released a final recording, Jesse Come Home in 1976, which referred to the band's namesake, the outlaw Jesse James, with the collaboration of early member Phil Giallombardo, who rejoined along with new guitarist/vocalist Bob Webb. But none of the post-Walsh lineups achieved the level of success they briefly enjoyed while Walsh was a member, although some fans consider the final album the band's finest. Jimmy Fox was the only remaining member of the original quintet when they disbanded in 1977.

The "classic" lineup of the band (Walsh, Peters, Fox) reunited to perform at an election rally for Bill Clinton at the Cleveland State University Convocation Center on November 4, 1996. They appeared on The Drew Carey Show in the 1998-99 season, and at the Rock and Roll Hall of Famemarker in February 2001, drawing fans from all over the globe. In the summer of 2005 the group performed another handful of shows in the Cleveland area.

As of May 2004, Glenn Schwartz can be found playing guitar and singing Thursday nights at "Major Hooples" in the Flats, Cleveland.

In April 2006 it was announced that the Walsh/Peters/Fox lineup of the group would be touring the United States later that summer, featuring a keyboardist and backing vocalists. The trio appeared in August performing live on The Howard Stern Show on Sirius Satellite Radio.

Discography



Band members



1966
  • Greg Grandillo: Guitar
  • Ronnie Silverman: Guitar
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Giallombardo: Keyboards, vocals


1966
  • Dennis Chandler: Guitar
  • Ronnie Silverman: Guitar
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Giallombardo: Keyboards, vocals


1966 – 1967
  • Bill Jeric: Guitar
  • Dennis Chandler: Guitar
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Giallombardo: Keyboards, vocals


1967
  • Glenn Schwartz: Guitar, vocals
  • Bill Jeric: Guitar
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Giallombardo: Keyboards, vocals


1968
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Bill Jeric: Guitar
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Giallombardo: Keyboards, vocals


1968
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Ronnie Silverman: Guitar
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals


1968 – 1969
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Tom Kriss: Bass guitar, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals


1969
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Tom Kriss: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Kenny Weiss: Vocals


1969
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Tom Kriss: Bass guitar, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, guitar, vocals


1969 – 1971
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, percussion, vocals
  • Dale Peters: Bass, guitar, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, guitar, vocals


1971- 1973
  • Dominic Troiano: Guitars, backing vocals
  • Roy Kenner: Vocals, harmonica, percussion
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals


1973 – 1974
  • Tommy Bolin: Guitars, synthesizer, vocals
  • Roy Kenner: Vocals, harmonica, percussion
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals


1975- 1976
  • Richard Shack: Guitars, vocals
  • Bubba Keith: Guitars, vocals
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals


1976- 1977
  • Bob Webb: Guitars, vocals
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Phil Giallombardo: Keyboards, vocals


1977- 1996
Band Split


1996 & 1998
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals


2001 & 2005
  • Joe Walsh: Guitars, keyboards, vocals
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Mark Avsec: Keyboards


2006
  • Joe Walsh: guitars, mandolin, keyboards, synthesizers, vocals
  • Dale Peters: Bass, percussion, vocals
  • Jimmy Fox: Drums, percussion, keyboards, vocals
  • Bill Appleberry: Keyboards, synthesizers
  • Gia Ciambetti: Backing vocals
  • Robbyn Kirmsse: Backing vocals
  • Stacy Michelle: Backing vocals


Further reading

Wolff, Carlo (2006). Cleveland Rock and Roll Memories. Cleveland, OH: Gray & Company, Publishers. ISBN 978-1-886228-99-3

External links




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