2.15.2011

SCOTT RICHARDSON/JAMES WILLIAMSON: THE CHOSEN FEW


Scott R sent me this photo of "The Chosen Few". (Photos of TCF are really hard to find) This band was on the line up of the very first Grande Ballroom gig in October 1966 with the MC5 as headliner and the Wha? opening.

Card Graphic by Dick Rosemont (Thanks Dick!)

It has been more than an interesting time for me with tons of new connections and opportunities coming my way. One of the best things to happen of recent is I began working with Scott Richardson (thanks Patti Quatro!) fabulous and handsome lead singer of SRC fame. Scott has provides me with all kinds of historical puzzle pieces to the story of Michigan Rock History. (understatement of the western world...)


See Heather's Gallery on James' website gallery HERE

Met James via Rock Photographer Heather Harris and Facebook and a lot of mutual friends. James is such a wonderful guy and so sweet to me. He sent me photos of his Raw Power Gold Record and made my whole day happy! Read the story about his gold record and see the photos HERE

(photo James Marshall)

THE CHOSEN FEW LINEUP

Various Members of TCF
*Scott Richardson (V)
*James Williamson (G)
*Ron Asheton (B) The Prime Movers
*Kip Phillips (B)
*Richard Simpson (G)
*Stan Salusky (?) D

(Late 1965 - December, 1966)
While James was recently on tour with Iggy and the Stooges in Australia. I wrote and asked him if he would give me a short story on his involvement with TCF and he happily sent it over today... I loved this story and am sure my readers and James' fans will dig it too. thank you JW xxooK

White Fender Jaguar (not James') waiting for pic

James Williamson's Story on "The Chosen Few"

Hi Kim,

I was only in the Chosen Few for a short time. I co-founded the band with Scott Richardson, who I met at a Birmingham coffee shop is I recall correctly. He was from near the Pontiac area and we hit it off since both (of us) were into Beatles, Stones, etc.

So we jammed a little and ended up recruiting the other guys in the band...Richard Simmons (2nd guitar), Kip Phillips (bass), Stan Salusky (sp?...on drums)...I was the lead guitar and Scott was on vocals...

I think we only played a couple of live shows while I was in the band. The first was at a high school dance and the 2nd might have been at a frat party in Ann Arbor. After that I was sent away to Juvie for being "incorrigible" meaning that I wouldn't cut my hair and do what I was told to do.

Of course the first day in Juvie (juvenile detention) they buzz cut my hair, so I might have done things differently in hind sight, but anyway, that was the way it was. From there I was sent to boarding school in upstate NY...and thus the Coba Seas subsequent recent release.

I played a While Jaguar (probably 1964-66) that I had conned my mom into buying me once I could play ok. Loved that guitar and could play all the surf songs on it perfectly...(just got another one recently ...sunburst)...

I had the White Jag until I traded it along with my SG for my Cherryburst Les Paul Custom (1969) which I later recorded Raw Power (and Kill City ) with. Iggy knew the music store owner so he brokered the deal (so naturally I got screwed royally)...really wish I hadn't traded those guitars, but what else could I do...the Les Paul was the perfect guitar for the Stooges.

Anyway, it was during one of my vacation returns from boarding school that I got together with my old band mates from the Chosen Few and went up to their gig at a Frat Party in Ann Arbor...

Kip Phillips was going off to college and so a new bass player named Ron Asheton was in the band. I was impressed at how long Ron's hair was and that he barely looked at the audience...just played into his amp with his back to the audience. That night was the first night I met Ronnie.

Young Ron Asheton

Iggy was there too that night and it was also the first time I met him as well. I had brought my White Fender Jaguar with me and during a break I played some of my original songs for him. He said he liked them, but it was hard to tell.

Surely, he's told me how frenetic he remembers them being and that that impression was a lasting one for him and something he remembered when he finally asked me to join the Stooges in late 1970/early 71'...the rest is well documented....James


Gary Grimshaw poster art

From Scott Richardson:

Kim,

Thanks so much to you and James for your info regarding 'THE CHOSEN FEW'. I did meet James in Birmingham though I thought it was at a record store where we were both checking out disks and the amazing beatnik blonde clerk, 'Fran'..

In any case James & I connected and began a whirlwind drive to form our band. Kip, Richard and Stan came from a group called 'THE FIVE GRAND' who I saw at The Michigan State Fair in a battle of the bands.


All three of them plus James and I had an instant chemistry that just felt right. My recollection is that there was one gig at a Catholic School in Pontiac before James left that had Ron Asheton on bass.

Reason that came about was we were scouted by two managers, Ron Richardson, (no relation) and Jeep Holland, both based in Ann Arbor. I hitch hiked to meet Jeep at Discount Records. He managed the store but wasn't there when I arrived. Instead I met a dude named Jim Osterberg who was stocking records, and told me to hang out till Jeep returned. Jim also was the drummer for the Prime Movers blues band at this time.

I an eternally grateful to him for picking up the phone and calling his friend bassist Ron Asheton. Twenty minutes later, Ron, Scott Asheton and Dave Alexander showed up. Jeep however, did not.

The four of us walked across the quadrangle to Ron Richardson's apartment and there THE CHOSEN FEW PT. 2 was born. Richard moved to lead guitar after James left. Al Wilson became our rhythm guitarist and Ron Asheton played bass.

I feel so proud and grateful that both future hall of famers James and Ronnie came into my life. In the brief time of that band a lot of cool connections happened & a bit of history was made. Scott Richardson

P.S.

Kim, please also add that Ron Richardson took THE CHOSEN FEW to New York City and later became manager of THE STOOGES. Jeep Holland became manager and producer of the SCOT RICHARD CASE.

11 comments:

  1. Incredible stuff Kim...as always!!!!!

    XO Rick Ruiner

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  2. Thanks for this memoir of some incredible musicians and their roots, so fun to read such from the actual people involved.

    Perhaps you should explain to your younger Retrokimmer fans that, as indicated on the poster art, a "dance concert" meant no seats or assigned seating, necessary terminology for the promoters to get their permits then: otherwise it's nostalgic jargon that has a different meaning today.

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  3. This is a great story! What handsome men!

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  4. DerBreezemeister2/15/2011 8:39 PM

    Very nice.

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  5. Loved my homeboy and bro, Scott.......kick ass vocalist and cool dude!!!!! Did Detroit/Ann Arbor proud. xoxox

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  6. Phyllis Stein2/16/2011 7:43 AM

    Great piece Kim & James too. Love the Leni Sinclair photo too. xo Phyllis

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  7. Great stuff! You're becoming the Bob Woodward of Motor City rock!

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  8. Retro:Kimmer;
    My Bro, Harry Phillips just turned me on to your website; WOW. It's like walking thru a time capsule of the Rock and Roll I grew up on.
    I really like the personal stories of the Artists and naturally, Detroit's unique contribution to Rock history. Thanks
    Write On!
    Cheryl Phillips
    peacewriter@gmail.com

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  9. Dick Rosemont2/28/2011 3:01 PM

    Great to see something written on the Chosen Few.

    As a Birmingham native and '60s Michigan band archivist, there's never too much information out there!

    I'd like to post the Chosen Few band card I have if you'll advise the procedure.

    Thanks!

    Dick Rosemont

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  10. Great article. I remember going to the Grande the first night and getting turned away because our girlfriends were too young! Left them at home next week, then got the ok from Russ to let them in!

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  11. Love your site Kim. I never made it to the Grande (my parents wouldn't let me go) but I had a lot of great nights at the Michigan Palace. It's also great to remember how much Detroit radio has informed my life. I remember Paul Greiner on WKNR-FM playing The Stooges into Cream into Sun-Ra into Spirit into The Temptations into John Coltrane into The Red White and Blues band into SRC into Lightening Hopkins. That kind of radio didn't happen everywhere.
    love ya!

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