Sunday, May 30, 2010

Initial Shock Performance List 1967-69 (Work In Progress)

(a poster for the Steppenwolf/Ace Of Cups/Initial Shock concert at the Sound Factory, Sacremento, CA on July 12-13, 1968. h/t Ross for the scan)

The Initial Shock were one of many bands who moved to San Francisco in 1967, but were more or less alone insofar as having been the only band who moved from Montana. Apparently the group was from Missoula, MT and featured members of local groups The Chosen Few and Mojos Mark IV, and at least one member was assigned to an Air Force base in the area. When the Air Force commitment was over, the band decided to move to San Francisco to be where the action was.

The  Initial Shock released two singles, but no albums.  The first, "Mind Disaster"/"Its Not Easy" (BFD 036), was recorded in Montana and released in 1966. The second, rarer single "You Been A Long Time Comin'"/I Once Asked" (BFD 2022) was released in 1967. I know nothing about the record label nor details of the recordings.

The Initial Shock was well regarded by those who were there at the time, although unfortunately the only live recorded evidence that circulates (to my knowledge) is an excellent 4-song piece of an Avalon Ballroom concert from 1968. It reveals a driving, bluesy sound, but its hard to know how representative of their material it might be. Members of the group were

George Wallace-lead guitar
William "Mojo" Collins-guitar, vocals
Steve Garr-bass
Brian Knaff-drums, vocals

While relatively little is known about the Initial Shock, they played a number of interesting shows in the Bay Area from 1967-69. I gather from various signs and portents that a journal of great importance (in my tiny Universe) will be doing an extensive article on the Initial Shock, so it seemed like a good time to begin trying to determine a list of Bay Area performance for The Initial Shock. As with most groups, it is easiest to find the most high profile shows, where posters or other evidence survives, and that may be only a small portion of a band's performances. Nonetheless, here is the information I have so far. Anyone who has additions, corrections, insights or recovered memories (real or imagined) about Initial Shock performances in the Bay Area is encouraged to Comment or email me.

Initial Shock Performance List 1967-69

September 24, 1967 Provo Park, Berkeley: Initial Shock
Free Sunday concerts in Provo Park (on Grove and Allston downtown) were a regular occurrence in Berkeley, and provided a good opportunity for new or newly-arrived bands to get heard.

October 4, 1967 Straight Theater, San Francisco: Mad River/Mount Rushmore/Anonymous Artists of America/Initial Shock
October 5, 1967 Straight Theater, San Francisco: Sopwith Camel/Black Swan/Hair/Frumious Bandersnatch/Don Garrett/Initial Shock
This was a benefit for the Haight Ashbury Medical Center.  Various poets, dancers and other performers were also part of the show.

October 7, 1967 Western Front, San Francisco:  Sons of Champlin/Frumious Bandersnatch/Initial Shock
The Western Front was one of many attempts to open a psychedelic ballroom in San Francisco. The venue, at 895 O'Farrell (at Polk), never managed to find its footing.

Although I can find no Initial Shock shows until December, I assume they were playing around various places--I just haven't figured out where.

December 1-3, 1967 Western Front, San Francisco: Youngbloods/Wildflower/Initial Shock
The Initial Shock returned to The Western Front, although its my belief that there were different promoters at this point.

December 19, 1967-January 15, 1968: Northwest Holiday Tour
Ross Hannan found a remarkable ad in the Berkeley Barb of December 22, 1967, announcing that the Initial Shock would be returning to San Francisco on January 16, "After 28 Consecutive One Night Stands."

I don't know where or how the band played 28 straight nights, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. If this is true and not hyperbole, I have to assume they played ski resorts in places like Idaho. Given the band's Montana background, they may have gone as far afield as Montana as well.

I assume that Initial Shock had shows booked when they returned to San Francisco, but we have yet to uncover them.

March 16, 1968  Straight Theater, San Francisco: Flamin Groovies/Initial Shock

May 12, 1968 Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco: Kaleidoscope/Initial Shock/Country Weather/AB Skhy Blues Band
This was a daytime show.  It was a benefit for Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinic.

May 28, 1968  Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco: Crystal Syphon/Phoenix/Indian Head Band/Mint Tattoo/Initial Shock/Loading Zone
“Spring Medicine Show” Benefit for The Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic

June 28-30, 1968 Carousel Ballroom, San Francisco: Steve Miller Band/Buddy Guy/Initial Shock 
This show was advertised (a poster exists) but did not take place.

July 3, 1968 Straight Theater, San Francisco: Initial Shock/Allmen Joy/Indian Head Band/Phoenix

July 12, 1968 Cow Palace, Daly City: Iron Butterfly/Creedence Clearwater Revival/Vanilla Fudge/Kai Moore/Canned Heat/Sweet Rush/West/Sandy Bull  
Harmony Benefit  
A variant poster has Sandy Bull, Canned Heat, Vanilla Fudge, Iron Butterfly, West, Initial Shock, Wedge and Phoenix. Of course, Initial Shock was booked in Sacramento (below), but given that its less than two hours from San Francisco to Sacramento, they could easily have played both shows. However, since absolutely nothing is known about this Benefit, I have no idea who actually played.

July 12-13, 1968 Sound Factory, Sacramento: Steppenwolf/Ace of Cups/Initial Shock
The Sound Factory, at 1817 Alhambra, was a newly-opened venue run by Whitey Davis, the former proprietor of Portland's Crystal Ballroom as well as a critical figure at the Avalon Ballroom. This was one of the earliest shows at the Sound Factory (it appears to have opened on June 28--the July 12-13 poster is up top).

July 14, 1968 Balconades Ballroom, San Jose: Initial Shock/Womb/Phoenix/Freedom Highway/Rejoice/Day Blindness/Fritz Rabyne/Marble Gardens/Pure Funk/Uncut Balloon
The Balconades was on an upper floor of The Lyndon Building (built 1882), at 181 W. Santa Clara St. After time as a printing press for a newspapers, it had been turned into a ballroom (probably in the 1920s). It had been part of a Country and Western circuit for performers like Hank Williams and Bob Wills, back when San Jose was an agricultural center and the biggest radio station (KEEN 1370 AM) played country music.  There were a few rock shows at Balconades in 1968, although this appears to be one of the last ones.

Most of the groups at this Sunday event were club bands that played around, but weren't yet at the Avalon level. "Fritz Rabyne" was probably the Fritz Rabyne Memorial Band, a Menlo Park band that featured former Menlo-Atherton High School students Lindsay Buckingham and Stephanie (Stevie) Nicks.

July 26-27, 1968 New Orleans House, Berkeley: Initial Shock/Shiva’s Head Band
The New Orleans House, at 1505 San Pablo Avenue, was Berkeley's premier club for rock bands that played original music.

August 16-17, 1968 Sound Factory, Sacramento: Pink Floyd/Initial Shock/AB Skhy Blues Band
Road manager George Crowe (see his Comment) recalls opening for Pink Floyd in Sacramento.

August 2-4, 1968 Fillmore West, San Francisco: Iron Butterfly/Canned Heat/Initial Shock 

 (the Roger Weil poster for FD135, August 29-31 at the Avalon. h/t Ross for the scan)
August 29-31, 1968 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco: Youngbloods/It’s A Beautiful Day/Initial Shock

October 18-20, 1968 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco: Velvet Underground/Charley Musselwhite/Initial Shock

October 31-November 2, 1968 The Ark, Sausalito Initial Shock/Devil's Kitchen/White Lightning
A flyer recently turned up on eBay. The flyer says "Boogie--Ball." Perhaps the Marin band Boogie was on the bill, or perhaps it was just an invocation. Devil's Kitchen were recently arrived from Carbondale, IL.

The Ark was a grounded steamer docked on Gate 6 in Sausalito. It was a hippie rock club and hangout, mostly open on weekends (Halloween was a Thursday this year).

November 8-9, 1968 New Orleans House, Berkeley: Initial Shock/Orion

November 28-30, 1968 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco: Quicksilver Messenger Service/Sons of Champlin/Initial Shock
The Avalon Ballroom had one more show after these that was still under Chet Helm's aegis, when Big Brother headlined (December 1, 1968), but Helms had to give up the lease on the Avalon due to financial difficulties and a struggle to get a Dance Permit.

The Avalon would reopen in March 1969, and members of Initial Shock were apparently part of the Avalon management team. This is just one of many tantalizing bits of history that makes their definitive story so worth looking forward to. 


December 5, 1968 New Committee Theatre, San Francisco: Initial Shock/Aum/Notes From The Underground
December 6, 1968 New Committee Theatre, San Francisco: Initial Shock/Devils Kitchen/Sanpaku
December 7, 1968 New Committee Theatre, San Francisco: Initial Shock/Notes From The Underground/Sanpaku

The New Committee Theatre was at 836 Montgomery. The Committee (an improvisational comedy troupe) was the main performer there, but various rock shows were held as well.

December 20-21, 1968  Sound Factory, Sacramento: Initial Shock/Salloom Sinclair & Mama Bear

Although I recognize that I have only been capturing highlights of the Initial Shock's bookings in 1967 and '68, the trail runs pretty dry in 1969. Given that some members of the group--perhaps all--were involved in the management of the Avalon Ballroom when it re-opened on March 21, 1969, perhaps that had an effect, but the revised Avalon only lasted until April 6, so the final year of the Initial Shock remains vague. I have to assume there were many more shows than are listed here.

January 17-18, 1969 The Matrix, San Francisco: Initial Shock

February 28-March 1, 1969 New Orleans House, Berkeley: Initial Shock/Welliver Fields

March 26-30, 1969 Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco 
Jef Jaisun and the Slow Truck, Santana, AAA, It's A Beautiful Day, All Men Joy, Youngbloods, Country Weather, Welliver Fields, Initial Shock, AB Skhy, Linn County, Conqueroo, Frumious Bandersnatch, Fourth Way, Melting Pot, Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band, Clover, Shades of Joy, Alice Cooper, Pure Funk
The poster lists all the bands who will play over four nights, so I assume Initial Shock played some but not all of the shows, but I do not know for certain.

May 15-17, 1969 New Orleans House, Berkeley: Ace Of Cups/Initial Shock
The trail runs cold after this point, and future published revelations will be welcome.

Lead guitarist George Wallace apparently went on to work with Janis Joplin. Lead singer and guitarist Bill "Mojo" Collins went on to play in the group Sawbuck with Ronnie Montrose (they helped close the Fillmore West on June 29, 1971), but he relocated to Coastal North Carolina in late 1971. He remains an active and successful performer in the greater Wilmington area today.

This is a work in progress. Anyone with additional information about Initial Shock performances is encouraged to Comment or email me.

81 comments:

  1. Hey Corry: My name is George A, Crowe and I was friends with the band and prior bands that the members were in. I was like the fifth Beatle and was the road managerfor IS. I was a very close friend with George Wallace for over 50 years right up until his death in 2004. You should know that Steve Garr passed last year. George Wallace , Myself and Brian Knaff went on to form the band Yellowstone after the break up of Initial Shock. And after that George and I formed The Invaders which led to a rockin album with Jerry roslie from the Sonics and we released Sonics 80's which has become a classic record. I am in contact with Brian and Mojo on a regular basis and we are doing an interview with Ugly Things Magazine currently. Only Mojo and I are actively playing music and Brian is a multi millionaire Talent Booking Agent who owns his own company in Las Vegas and Minneapolis.

    One concert you forgot was playing at the Sound Factory in Sacremento with Pink Floyd and we played the Matrix many times too. We played in golden Gate Park lots of times with the Airplane and Janis. I think that the one band we played with more than anybody was the Youngbloods and Janis. My email address is montanaredneck2002@yahoo.com if you want to email me and I will give you Brian's contacts and Mojo's too.

    Best,

    George A. Crowe

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  3. 1) AB Skhy Blues Band was also billed with IA and Pink Floyd at the Sound Factory on August 16-17, 1968

    2) Initial Shock was from Missoula not from
    Butte (the latter is only the city were they recorded their first single in 1966).

    3) Steve Garr (real name: George Garr) was member of The Chosen Few (with George A. Crowe) while Wallace, Collins and Knaff was members of the Mojo's Mark IV.

    4) George A. Crowe join them in San Francisco in 1968.

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  4. I can confirm January 16 and 17, 1969 as suggested by George and I would be really interested in any more Matrix dates. Somewhere I have a publicity poster which I recall has the band on one side and simply a giant IS on the other. I should be able to find some more shows when time allows. Ross

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  5. Bruno, thanks for the heads up about Missoula vs Butte. Missoula is more of a college town, so it makes sense.

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  6. I have a couple of big IS newsprint posters with blank backs, maybe they were made to be used that way?

    Oh, and I'm the guy writing the piece for UT.

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  7. Erik, I'm looking forward to the Initial Shock article in Ugly Things. What little I know about IS always seemed intriguing, and UT is the best possible forum.

    It seemed like a good time to make a show list. Thanks for checking in.

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  8. And I can account for 28 additional, and consecutive, "one night stands" in December 1967 and January 1968. A nifty little ad appears in the Barb saying that the band will be returning to San Francisco from their "Northwest Holiday Tour" on January 16. A copy is in the post. Erik - as ever I am looking forward to your article. Ross

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  9. This just in from Gene Sculatti...

    "Believe I saw Initial Shock at a one-off Palace of Fine Arts show in SF... Used to have this metallic-mirrored poster for that event, which was an unusual show for that venue; they had some arts exhibit and a couple of rock bands. Wish I could remember who else was on the bill. My guess is it was 1969 or '70. Maybe as early as '68."

    Another show? George?

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    1. This show was the first live psychedelic arts show produced by or for Oscar de la Renta and the President of Saks 5th Ave. at the time.

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  10. Must be this. Brian Knaff told me they played any chance they could so lots of benefits...

    "Palace of Fine Arts Festival, 8/30-9/2/68, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco (benefit for Haight Ashbury Free Medical Clinic and The Athaneum Arts Foundation. This was one of those big S.F. events where everybody who was anybody played. The poster is 13.5" x 24" and is printed on silver foil paper with a collage of various images of the classical columns at the Palace of Fine Arts. Unfortunately, the bands and other performers are not listed on the poster, but they printed separate handbills for each day of the show and these handbills do list the performers who include Grateful Dead, Big Brother, Quicksilver, Santana, Steve Miller, Kaleidoscope, and the Sons of Champlin, to name only a few. Three of the 4 individual handbills are illustrated in The Art of Rock, pl. 2.237, 2.238, and 2.239. "

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  11. That would make sense. Initial Shock wasn't listed on the poster, but the actual bands who played were quite different than what was on the poster anyway.

    The last day was canceled, as many of the scheduled participants were heading up to Seattle for the first Sky River Rock Festival.

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  13. September 24, 1967: Frumious Bandersnatch also played using Initial Shock's PA System.

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  14. October 31-November 2, 1968: Boogie was the band. There is a list of performers on the newspaper 'San Francisco Examiner'(Oct. 31, 1968).

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  15. New show:

    Fall 1969: Adams Field House, University of Montana, Missoula, MT with Canned Heat

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  16. Hi, I have a concert poster by Rick Griffin (a version of the Aoxomoxoa cover for the Avalon Ballroom, Janaury (sic)24/25/26 1969 featuring the Grateful Dead, Sons of Champlin and Initial Shock. It was published in London in 1976 to accompany an exhibition of Griffin's artwork at The Roundhouse (where the Doors and Airplane played in '68).
    If the Avalon was closed in January 1969 maybe the concert was booked but never took place.
    If you'd like a jpeg of the poster email me on gren.nation@gmail.com.
    All the best
    Gren Nation, Brighton UK.

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    1. The weekend shows were super successful.

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    2. Brian- It's Linde..... I see you are still amongst the living????? Remember me?

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  17. Gren - The shows did indeed take place at the Avalon Ballroom (although they are not Family Dog shows) and they are missing off the list. I also see that the March 21-23 Avalon shows featuring Santana, Sons of Champlin and Dancing Food & Entertainment also seem to have slipped under the rada. At that time, the new managers of tha Avalon were Brian Knapp (of the Initial Shock) and Bob Simmons & Gary Scanalin (of the old Family Dog). I remember the Roundhouse Exhibition well with Rick Griffin signing the set of four posters for me. Ross

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  18. Knaff told me he was more of a silent partner. He procured funds to reopen the Avalon but didn't have any say in managing or booking per se.

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  19. I found some information about Initial Shock's activity during the March-April '68 period. In his Chronicle column of April 12, 1968, Ralph Gleason writes "The Initial Shock has just come back from a series of engagements in the East and returns there April 25 for appearances at The Cheetah in New York."

    Other information in Gleason's columns around that time suggests that Initial Shock was booked at a benefit concert at the Palace Of Fine Arts in San Francisco on Sunday, April 14, 1968, headlined by Big Brother and Quicksilver. I think the concert was never actually played.

    Initial Shock was also booked at the Lion's Share in Sausalito (not San Anselmo) from Sunday Apr 14 through Saturday April 20. Thus for this period it appears the list is

    late March-early April 68: Easter tour
    April 14, 1968: Palace of Fine Arts (canceled)
    April 14-20: Lion's Share, San Anselmo
    April 25>: The Cheetah, NYC

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  20. Corry,

    In April 14, 1968 Initial Shock played at the Carousel Ballroom with Big Brother and The Holding Company, Quicksilver Messenger Service and Gospal Singers also on the bill. This was a "Haight-Ashbury Clinic Benefit".

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  21. The Initial Shock is indeed a Missoula, Montana band, since all of the members lived there. In my late teens and early 20's, many a mystical night was spent listening to the band live at the University of Montana, usually at the student union. The band backed The Raiders and many other well known bands that played at the U, and for the period that I was going with lead guitar George Wallace's little sister, Susan, it was my fortune to meet many of them at after parties (I've kept to myself and close friends some funny stories about many!). The band returned to play at the U after having spent some time in SF backing varies bands, including the Spoonful whose influence on George was obvious when he appeared wearing round glasses and playing the autoharp so well that we wondered if it was actually Sebastian.

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  22. An additional IS show:
    December 17, 1967: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA Country Joe and The Fish, Phoenix, Mt Rushmore, Mad River, Initial Shock (Agit-Pop)

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  23. Bruno refers to a Fall 1969 show with Canned Heat at University of Montana. I think by the they had broken up. I have a listing for a Yellowstone (George Wallace, George Crowe & Brian Knaff) show at the New Decorating Experience in Billings on Saturday October 11, 1969.

    I do have a listing for Initial Shock with Canned Heat on Friday May 23, 1969 and with Brown Sugar on Saturday May 24, 1969 in Missoula at the University of Montana Adams Field House

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  24. You're right Greg (aka TourArchive) about the exact date of Initial Shock and Canned Heat show at the University of Montana. Thanks for this new info, I correct my "Canned Heat Shows List" accordingly.

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  25. Re the October 31-November 2, 1968 show. George Crowe mentioned his brother was in a band called White Lightning. Not sure if this was the group. Or if George's brother was in the Colorado White Lightnin'. Or...

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    1. It wasn't George's bro at these shows.

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  26. Re the Palace of Fine Arts show. I've seen a photo of IS posing at the Palace, but not on stage. The band remembers playing the gig though and Gene Sculatti told me he remembers seeing them there for the first time, describing them as "punky" and "Yardbirds-ish."

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  27. In the 11-11-12 issue of The Missoulian, the Initial Shock is pictured in one of their promotional photos from back in the day....There is a two full page feature in the Territory section regarding Montana bands from the 50's to the 70's...Nice to see the Initial Shock front and center and being given the credit they deserve as pioneers of a new direction in music....An aside ...There was another Montana band that made the journey to San Francisco..Barry and the Jaywalkers ...Their story was cut short when Barry was nearly killed in a horrific car crash...By the time he had healed,the scene was over (Altamont) and he returned to Montana,and lives in Missoula...He still has some of his music and hearing it brings one back to a place and time we can only dream about...I also have a Montana friend who went to S.F.and played in the pH Factor Jug Band,but he went down there by himself...

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  28. I have a poster advertising performances by Initial Shock and Brown Sugar on May 29, 30 & 31, 1969...the poster has a background of marijuana and joints spelling out 'Montana Tea Party'...the venues were 29-Grand Avenue Billings, 30-Montana State Univ., Bozeman and 31-Butte Civic Center...it is a San Andreas Fault poster printed by San Francisco's famous Bindweed Press

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  29. Though you can barely read the word "Initial" spelled out in bombs, "Shock" is obvious in a poster for the Sound Factory also advertising the Hourglass and Curley Cook on the weekend of 9/13-14 and 1968. The non-profit Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum is looking for a copy of this poster, as all we have now is a small jpeg of the original art. www.sacrockmuseum.org

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  30. Funny, I don't see reference to a concert, I think at Fillmore West, with Chuck Berry, Initial Shock, etc. Initial Shock backed up Chuck and before the end of the first tune, Chuck stopped the band playing, to everyone's surprise, and said, pointing to Brian Knaff, "This guy is not a drummer. Is there anyone in the audience who is a drummer?"
    As Brian slinked off-stage, a fellow came up from the audience, took the sticks, pounded out a riff to which Chuck exclaimed, "Now, this guy is a drummer". I'' never forget it.
    Had to have been 1969.

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    1. Your memory is clouded on this one. Chuck Berry tossed the bass player off the stage not the drummer. The drummer went on to play with Chuck Berry as a back up over 10 times including a KROQ Rock Festival in Los Angeles and at the Long Beach Arena and at the the University Ballroom in Missoula, Mt to name a few. I know, I'm Brian Knaff the drummer.

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  31. Funny, I don't see reference to a concert, I think at Fillmore West, with Chuck Berry, Initial Shock, etc. Initial Shock backed up Chuck and before the end of the first tune, Chuck stopped the band playing, to everyone's surprise, and said, pointing to Brian Knaff, "This guy is not a drummer. Is there anyone in the audience who is a drummer?"
    As Brian slinked off-stage, a fellow came up from the audience, took the sticks, pounded out a riff to which Chuck exclaimed, "Now, this guy is a drummer". I'' never forget it.
    Had to have been 1969.

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  32. Richard Regan also from Missoula MT. joined Initial Shock in April 1968 as Hammond organ player. After he was added, the band started receiving standing ovations at live shows.

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  33. Regan auditioned for Blue Cheer and Steve Miller Band. Richard Regan also auditioned for L.A.'s Odin.Regan plays 4 synthesizers and sings on originals. He is touring and will record his own material.

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  34. To set the record straight,Mojo Collins'Airforce career abruptly ended when he threw a fellow Airforce serviceman out of a second story window in a fight. It ended in the death the guy who was thrown out of the window and Mojo did 6 months in the brig and was booted out of the Airforce with a Dishonorable Discharge. Mojo's Mark Four were all white guys. Mojo Collins has a rap sheet with 11 arrests.He never made it past the 5th grade with his family constantly on the move. He even admits in his bio that they often ate grubworms cooked with bacon fat because they were dirt poor during his childhood. So it is easy to understand that it was Mojo that held Initial Shock back from attaining stardom.His subsequent band Sawbuck made little to no money as a slave band for Bill Graham. Their album went nowhere because of poor distribution,weak sales and a pretentious label. Sawbuck quickly imploded after Monte Montrose and drummer Chuck Ruff were drated by Edgar Winter. After that as Mojo reveals in his biography, he was forced to bum living quarters,panhandle,and was forced out of the limelight of showbusiness. That was until he devised a subterfuge to steal his brother David's band in Wilson N.C. and call them aka Sawbuck. He kicked his brother out to gain full control. This pseudo-Sawbuck fizzled out in awhile. Mojo is an old geezer now at age 74. His CD's are pathetic, poor sellers,and reveal his egocentric attitude. He dresses like a fag onstage and usually looks like an acid overdose while singing. He wears a hippie mustache so big that you'd swear that you were looking at a walrus.He belonged in prison and is barely good enough for a good laugh.



    ,

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  35. Omitted in the Mojo Collins autobiography is his arrest for burglary while on tour. The Chosen Few precursor to Initial Shock were playing at Yellowstone National Park when Collins broke into a store at night to steal food. He was busted and incarcerated in the Yellowstone County Jail for 6 months. The band left without him as embarrassed as any band could be!

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  36. On another occasion Collins tackled a band member onstage at a concert in Salt Lake City whereby the cops promptly shut the concert down and the band was never invited back to play at The Salt Palace again!

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  37. Billy Bob Collins his real name fired the original drummer Brian Knaff after Knaff gave Collins free residence at the Sigma Chi house in Missoula MT.and sneaked food out to him!

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  38. Knaff was replaced by a better drummer Kenny a heroin addict and friend of Collins. Collins then brow beat the Hammond organ player Richard Regan to the point of quitting Initial Shock. A black conga player was added. Collins singlehandedly mangled the band lineup to the point of fighting onstage at their last and final concert at ASUM Fieldhouse in Missoula MT..

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  39. Initial Shock manager bounced Mojo Collins out of the band and assumed ownership of all equipment.

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  40. Collins took off with Kenny never to play another concert in MT..

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  41. Collins and heroine addict Kenny soon parted ways.

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  42. After Initial Shock's final concert in Missoula,MT.. Doyle Wynn was supposed to return a massive rental P.A.System back to Harry McCuen Sound Ren.tals in San Francisco,CA.. It never came back because roadie Doyle Wynn stole it and probably ended up dead trying to sell all of it to the Angels at The Ark in Sausalito CA..

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  43. The Shock's lead guitarist George Wallace lived with his parents in Wash.after the Yellowstone band dissolved. Sadly he became an alcoholic and died as a ward of the state in a mental institution. Bassist Steve Garr of Initial Shock also succumbed to acute alcohol poisoning after running the Top Hat for years in Missoula MT.. He should be credited for heading up The "M" Band which belted out blues frequently at the Top Hat. His ashes are spread over Virginia City,MT..

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  44. One more Montana rock band should be mentioned. Richard Regan helped start a band that was in competition with Yellowstone band. Called Zelda Quagmire and her Savage Delights Band they were Ross Gander lead gtr./vocals, Eddie Garr rhythm gtr./ vocals, Dan Rogers bass,and Richard Regan on Vox organ/vocals. The band's cameo debut was at the prestigious UC Ballroom on the University of Montana campus. The band wrote all of their songs and often toured Montana. Eddie Garr,cousin to Steve Garr, and Dan Rogers have passed away...may they rest in peace. The band resided at a huge house on Connell St. and was "the party place of Missoula!"

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  45. Richard Regan moved to Las Vegas,NV.where he played all over that city.He toured Montana and headlined the Smokejumpers Annual Gathering in Hamilton, MT..He appeared at The Oval in Missoula as well as two concerts at Carras Park. He performs all original material on four synthesizers/vocals powered through a massive sound system.
    .

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  46. Before joining Initial Shock, Richard Regan played Hammond Organ and sang with a successful rock band called The Sound System.They were based in Missoula MT.and produced a 45single that was played by radio stations throughout Montana. That band was comprised of Larry Underwood,a one of a kind star quality drummer' Steve Noblitt ld.guitar/vocals and on Hammond Organ/vocals Richard Regan. Even though still in high school their band called The Sound System packed the house at the Butte and Helena Civic centers with capacity crowds. Larry and Steve have passed on with Regan still carrying the torch for them as he still rocks hard throughout the nation.

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  47. Replies
    1. Richard Regan has jammed onstage with Elvin Bishop at The Matrix in San Francisco,CA..He also jammed with Carlos Santana onstage during a soundcheck at The Avalon Ballroom. He played with Steve Miller at Miller's house in Stinson Beach and jammed with the late Jerry Garcia at an afterhours jam session onstage at The Fillmore West.

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  48. Richard Regan was also a member of Initial Shock when they backed Chuck Berry for four nights at the Filmore West in San Francisco.

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  49. Merry Christmas to all of the Initial Shock fans.

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  50. After interviewing a couple of people who lived and worked for Initial Shock they described the living situation at the band's Casa Madronna Apt.in SanFrancisco. Their apt. was packed with 10 people or more. There was always a shortage of food if any at all. They were frequently out of toilet paper. Band members never received any wages with communal style living. Crashers were ever present and inserted awkward vibes that came into play with the band's downfall. Mojo's hygiene was disgusting. He usually always had body odor. He would help himself to the other members clothes and never learned to flush the toilet. He was described as a hack and a hayseed who never made it out of Glascow,MT..

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  51. Initial Shock did record several live tapes that were aired on San Francisco's KMPX FM STATION. Some were recorded at The Fillmore and some at The Avalon Ballroom in 1968. A lot of people are still searching for those recordings. Without a record contract Initial Shock had substantial drawing power. However, the absence of a record deal weakened the band's competitive edge and played a major role in stalemating the group as an opener for headliners. With no album out Initial Shock could not reach the momentum needed to sustain steady income. They went hungry. Bill Graham once awkwardly halted an Initial Shock performance before Regan was added on Hammond organ. They were performing a perfect rendition of a Byrds' hit complete with 12 string when Graham stopped their song midstream to quip "You aren't The Byrds.We don't play copy music here at The Fillmore!"So the band complied and dived into Boil Your Kettle Motha" which is one of their originals.They pulled out all their original material to finish their set. I often wondered if Bill Graham was shocked by those huge powerlines before he and his helicopter went down. Graham was also the person who suggested to Initial Shock that they replace Brian Knaff on drums. Before I forget, it should be noted that Greg Rollie auditioned for Initial Shock who had been together for 10 years. Greg opted for a newly formed garage band who came to be known as Santana.

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  52. The best color poster ever was a Rick Griffin for The Avalon Ballroom. It had The Grateful Dead,Initial Shock,Sons of Chaplin done as a giant orgasm on oversized tagboard. At that concert The Dead showed up with a 100+ entourage. It was the grand re-opening of The Avalon and a packed house.Initial Shock received a standing ovation and The Dead did not.Initial Shock had a powerhouse signature sound. Mojo sang until dripping with sweat. Steve and George struggled to be heard over a deafening wailing Hammond with Brian beating his drumset so hard sometimes it was thunder. No other band had their sound. Regan sailed his Hammond through four Leslies.. T Steve,George, and Mojo were amped by 5-6 Fender Showmans. Knaff's Ludwig set was always miked through a huge California style P.A. system. Initial Shock was set apart from the rest of the bands with their raw power rock.They will be missed.

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  53. I would like to correct the previous article. Steve,George and Mojo were fitted with FENDER DUAL SHOWMANS 5-6 lined up in a wall. At The Sound Factory in Sacramento our headliner Pink Floyd showed up with no equipment. It seems their roadies hadn't been paid so they took off with Pink Floyd's truck and all of their equipment. They did their horrible sounds on all of Initial Shock's equipment.The Floyd was never invited to play The Sound Factory again.

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  54. To this day I continue to break sheetrock with a wall of sound cabinets. I currently nuke out with 6 KUSTOM SPEAKER CABINETS all powered by an 800 watt powered mixer by HARBINGER.I use a touch of delay on the P.A..Most of my shows are outside where blasting isn't so restricted. Once I saw Ozzy I wasn't afraid to nuke.

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  55. After being ripped off for all of my music equipment three times, I have everything insured by State Farm this time. Rehearsed 3-4 hours per day for two years in a big new housed in Las Vegas. I use a Roland MK II 550 drum machine which can rock you like a train. This is the third one I've had with the first two being stolen from me. I've tried MIDI and sequencing but I like to play live.

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  56. When Initial Shock disbanded members had their equipment sold and clothes taken. Loans were not paid and Harry McCuen did not get his $10,000 rental P.A. system back. Knaff used all the money from the sale of the Hammond and Leslie to buy a new Ludwig drum set for Kenny. Knaff ended up taking that set for himself and started a crappy little top 40 band. He went from performing all original songs to all copy music again...about 10 steps backward.

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  57. Steve Garr having had enough of things managed to take two FENDER DUAL SHOWMANS out of Dr. Wallace's basement while nobody was home. Knaff assumed ownership of four FENDER DUAL SHOWMANS which George Wallace and George Crowe used to start Yellowstone. Knaff handled lead vocals and drums as well as booked all of the gigs for Yellowstone. Missoula may remember all three Ystoners riding around town on big Harleys. After band life Knaff became a successful booking agent starting Good Music Agency with Missoula resident Doug Brown. They booked rock bands throughout the Northwest. Good Music Agency morphed and grew into the colossal TALENT BUYERS NETWORK booking all the major headliners on the scene.They packed GRIZZLY STADIUM in MISSOULA,MT.by hiring THE ROLLING STONES. Knaff has rubbed elbows with none other than RINGO STARR. Both of Knaff's sons play in a rock group based in LA.On the other hand,both of Mojo's sons never learned or entered the music field.

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  58. not much is known about a son that Carol Field and George Wallace had. Knaff said that their son was raised by Dr.Wallace and his wife. Steve Garr raised a few daughters and left a wife when he passed a few years back. Ross Gander who has played in many Missoula area bands raised a son and a daughter with his wife Marianne.

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  59. I really enjoyed playing concerts in MISSOULA,MT.. Caras Park stands out in my mind at the moment. I slipped in under the huge white canopy and laid big rugs for my stage. It was April there by the Clark's Fork River and gusty but I had electricity from an outlet. It took nearly 3 hours to set up 9 cabinets and 4 synthesizer, P.A., and powered mixer. I played to a small band of hippie travelers who were appreciative of getting a free concert.I played two sets and even got a few barbecue hot dogs from some real nice people. I nuked out so loud they heard me at the University of Montana Girls Dorm. That was about a mile away. A Bumble Bee bicycle cop shut me down after the last song for having no permit at a cost of $150.00. He threatened me with jail when he caught me playing there again without a permit. You rock and roll.

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  60. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY DIE HARD INITIAL SHOCK FANS!!

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    1. By the way, Richard, thanks for telling the ongoing story of what happened to the members of Initial Shock. It adds a lot to the Blog post.

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  61. I'll never forget when we played at The Whiskey on Sunset Blvd. and JIMI HENDRIX was seated at a big round booth with a girl on each side of him. I actually asked him to jam but he said that he didn't bring his axe. He plays a left-handed guitar strung backwards.The Whiskey always fed the band members a good hot meal from the kitchen. The girls were so beautiful they were like sirens to sailors as band members fought over the same one. We later saw Hendrix after our show cruising The Strip in a blue Corvette with the same two girls stuffed inside!Bands that were breaking big had color billboards on Sunset advertising their latest album.The smell of success was in the air as LA rewarded a bunch of bands with lucrative record money. As always there were more bands than jobs for all of them. The attrition rate for bands is high due to the unpaid struggle, to eat,to travel,to keep all sound equipment in good working order, to meet rent and so on.The band is the ultimate sacrifice. Members give up all else to put their band first. It's even tribal.We are a nomadic band of gypsies willing to risk it all for a shot at The Big Time.

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  62. Initial Shocks performance ie from the previous article was a gig at The Whiskey featuring Illinois Speedpress who managed to cut a record deal on Columbia. It was a big deal to play on the same stage where The Doors started to get famous. The Whiskey still separates the men from the boys and is going strong to this day... some 50 years later.

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    1. Brian Knaff,drmmer for Initial Shock was proficient at booking us in LA and San Francisco.We played at The Cheetah on Long Beach with SLY AND THE FAMILY, and LINDA RHONDSTADT!! Sly's horn section stole the show. The whole band wailed on their big hit songs! Linda had her first hit going for her at the time and performed with her band THE STONE PONEYS. The Cheetah has since been torn down.

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  63. I took a little press kit of myself to Brian Knaff's first office in Las Vegas. He had just relocated his booking business to Vegas from Minneapolis. In fact they were still called Good Music Agency. It was a very upscale office building and Knaff had a few employees. A few years later the GMA name changed to TALENT BUYERS NETWORK and Knaff's business rose to a national level competing with William Morris Agency and International Famous as well many more. Brian Knaff booked headliner entertainment on the Las Vegas Strip for years. He booked stadiums with big name bands throughout the USA.

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  64. BRIAN KNAFF and his family,wife and two boys enjoyed the luxury of living in a huge home built of castle looking stones on the prestigious Upper West side of VEGAS.It was close in proximity to Red Rocks and had a semi-circular"ELVIS"style driveway. BRIAN KNAFF'S house took your breath away. No other members of INITIAL SHOCK came even close to achieving BRIAN's high profile financial success.Through a lot of hard office work,jet rides,and tenacity BRIAN built TALENT BUYERS NETWORK to the same level as William Morris Agency, InternationalFamous, and Creative Artists Inc.They all book the big headliners.Nobody could drum and sing"IT'S A MAN'S WORLD"like BRIAN could when his paradigm band THE CHOSEN FEW came back to perform in MISSOULA at THE MAD HATTER complete with horn section. They had just come back from testing the waters in New York City and an extensive tour of THE DEEP SOUTH. THE CHOSEN FEW had a big TOP 40 hit or two and could generate capacity crowds at THE UNIVERSITY OF MONTANA.They got to live in GEORGE WALLACE's father's house. You may remember DR.WALLACE who was a Professor of Economics at UM. They lived in his basement off of Pattee Canyon Hill in MISSOULA,MT.I remember the cops blaring a siren as they raced up to that house to stop fights on more than one occasion! It usually happened during rehearsals in that daylight basement at the base of MOUNT SENTINEL with a view of MISSOULA.

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  65. BRIAN KNAFF used to book 10 city tours of Montana often hiring more than one second or third bill rock band. Those tours were absolutely a blast! Each band member was paid $50.00 at the end of the tour. We shared a billing with THE MOONRAKERS who BRIAN imported from Denver Colorado. It happened at The Helena Civic Center. THE CHOSEN FEW opened for MITCH RYDER and THE DETROIT WHEELS in Great Falls. I actually got to talk to MITCH after his sets at THE FREEMONT EXPERIENCE in Las Vegas. He asked me "What ever happened to those guys?"

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  66. Because another semi-famous rock band already owned the name THE CHOSEN FEW,the second group by the same name decided to copywrite a new name. MONTANA'S CHOSEN FEW were christened INITIAL SHOCK and they did rock the house. Most other rock bands could not touch the powerful synchronized sounds that INITIAL SHOCK produced. We were not afraid to beat most other bands in songwriting prowess, in in stage presence,and the best live sound in THE HOUSE.Had MOJO COLLINS not choked we could have kept all the grinches away.MOJO COLLINS really blew it for us. It's embarrassing and something that he can never live down. HE managed to take the whole band down and to a subterranean level where INITIAL SHOCK could never regroup the TROOPS. As President Trump would say,"Sad".

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  67. MOJO COLLINS has become a cheap looking and sounding vaudeville act. He trys to pull off a one man show now and fails miserably. He abandoned traditional 1-4-5- blues chord changes and makes up lyrics as he goes along. He awkwardly stomps a tambourine on top of his tweed suitcase with his foot as if we are to accept this farce as a percussion section. MOJO COLLINS has never held a straight job or paid taxes. He has lived off people his whole life. Some of his CD's were paid for by welfare money,also the same source from which he supported his wife and two sons. He'll look you in the eye like a snake and brag that he's made it when he has never had a mortgsge or bought a new car.HE bums of of anyone he can including family. He has no class as a person or as a performer and can be seen in women's sparkle blouses which he parades on stage. He was so crude that he would try to steal other band members girlfriends because all of his couldn't stand him after awhile.I was always suspicious that he played a major role in putting his oldest brother in a mental institution for life. MOJO COLLINS is truly one of the biggest uneducated low-life's on the planet.He and fellow band members short-circuited themselves by not being a part of character building that Church,Little League,Cub Scouts, and a good family upbringing instill.The rest of us were stuck with this loser MOJO COLLINS was usually belligerent and volatile like a pin on a grenade waiting to blow up in our faces.He failed to bring a coat to a winter concert in MISSOULA,MT. and whined and cried out loud in the Greyhound all the way to MISSOULA from GREAT FALLS. I finally loaned my coat to the louse which he didn't want to return to me.Ive never had to work with a more over-rated musician with a despicable personmality that turned everybody off. This prick MOJO COLLINS needs a tune-up where some body slamming would be needed to teach him a lesson and make him see how crude he is around other people.COLLINS has a maligned personality disorder which is nurtured by narcissism and all of his grandiose lies about his life.

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  68. My girlfriend Carol Frang and I left Missoula right after my departure from ZELDA QUAGMIRE AND HER SAVAGE DELIGHTS BAND. Internal struggles over not sharing Carol with other band members and former band members reached a boiling point. I wanted to try Colorado and fresh pastures. It created nothing but problems having every swingin' dick around making my ol' lady their hot property. Once safely tucked away at Carol's parents home in Golden CO.,we planned marriage.I worked in the Produce Dept. of the Safeway in Golden. Carol helped me save for another big Hammond Organ. I had air-freighted a new Leslie 900 from Missoula which made my equipment have a crisp look and sound. I jammed on stage at SKUNK CREEK INN in Boulder,CO.with a big Top 40 band of the day. I auditioned for WAKEFIELD from Denver,another cover band.I went to work for COORS at their aluminum can plant. Carol and I got to see Leslie West and Mountain perform a UC Boulder,CO.. I was in a band that auditioned to play MR. LUCKY'S in DENVER. I tried to join ZEPHYR based in BOULDER. I struck out for greener pastures and moved to LA. I gained employment at Mark's Shoes in Westwood Village. I had a Persian drummer,Mozzafar Neshat, and we performed at the INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CENTER on UCLA Campus. We also performed at a very upscale Persian nightclub called PERSEPOLIS located in CENTURY CITY. I was happy to have acquired a key to the PLAYBOY CLUB also located in CENTURY CITY.I was acquainted with VAN HALEN when they were one of the many bar bands that played SUNSET BLVD..I lived with the brothers at SIGMA ALPHA EPSILON on UCLA Campus in WESTWOOD VILLAGE.

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  69. I decided to try Salt Lake City after I discovered a rehearsal studio there. It still houses practice space for 30 bands. I played a park festival there and booked three bands at The Black Bear at city center. After residence at the studio called POSITIVELY FOURTH STREET for 2 years I started missing Vegas. So that's where I went. I remember it cost me $600.00 to get all of my music equipment shipped to Vegas. Salt Lake is one city that has no shortage of bands. Another studio there housed close to 40 bands. I had multiple offers to join a number of Salt Lake bands. I had a superior sound and better original material than any of them.

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