SPIRIT OF 76 - TAMPA JAM ELECTRO JAM - FROM THE TIME COAST
Front and Back of the double album drawings created on a napkin 6" X 6"
America The Beautiful
The Times They Are A' Changing
Victim Of Society
Lady O' The Lakes
Tampa Jam Part 1
What Do I Have
Walking The Dog
Tampa Jam Part 2
Joker On The Run
Like A Rolling Stone
Feeling In Time
Jack Bond - Burt Shonberg
Tampa Jam Part 3
Thank You Lord
Jack Bond Part 2 - Burt Shonberg
The Star Spangled Banner
Randy California - Guitar - Vocals
Ed Cassidy - Drums
Barry Keene - Bass
Album Art Design - Burt Shonberg (Jack Bond)
Produced by: Randy California
SPIRIT - Randy California - Ed Cassidy - Barrymore Keene
photo courtesy of Ledru Shoopman Baker III
Album recorded in Tampa FL - February, 1976 - Randy's manager, Marshall Berle, suggested that Randy meet Burt Shonberg and discuss a cover art design with Burt. Randy sent a plane ticket to Burt to fly from Los Angeles to Tampa for a meeting. Randy told Burt that he wanted a cover art that represented the 200th anniversary of The United States and the title was going to be Spirt of 76. Burt, who had now become JACK BOND, an agent from the 4th dimension, on a secret mission here on the planet Earth, told Randy that he does not do art related to "holidays" or "politics". Randy wanted an American flag on the cover to symbolize the 200th anniversary of our country. After two weeks of drawing, Burt finally came up with the album cover which was drawn on a napkin titled: "Tampa Jam, Electro Jam, From The Time Coast, Spirt of 76". It wasn't until five months after the album came out, while on a very special "trip", that it was discovered that the album cover was in fact an American Flag. When Burt first laid eyes on Randy California in Tampa, he said the word: "Rama" relating to a spiritual being. Randy decided to record Jack Bond on the album and is featured on two tracks (the sound bytes will be available here soon.)
In January 1997, Randy California went missing and presumed dead after being sucked into the surf off the coast of Molokai, Hawaii. Witnesses report that California pushed his 12-year-old son, Quinn, out of the current, saving the boy's life, before being dragged in himself. His body was never found. Ironically, one of the songs on the Spirit of 76 album, titled, Maunaloa, is about Randy returning to this place of paradise to "get back home" away from the rat race of the world and the music business too. The following is an excerpt from a fan and ex-roadie of Randy's which was posted up on Randy's website and related to this album:
Jah Paul Jo
I heard a rumor that Randy had died - but I was unable to substantiate it until I saw your website. Thank you for posting the information - sad as it is.
When I was 17 years old I had an opportunity to help out Spirit as a roadie. The Son Of Spirit album was just out and an older friend of mine (through some machinations that I have never been able to figure out) became their road manager. This was to be Spirit's big comeback, John Locke had just re-joined and there seemed to be a lot (well, maybe not a lot... but some) push from Mercury Records.
In those days, the band had no song list on stage, They would all kind of look to Randy and he would launch into whatever he thought was appropriate and the rest of the band would join in. But the night at the Whisky-Au-Go-Go in Hollywood would be different.
Their manager, Marshall Berle (Uncle Miltie's nephew!!!?), had convinced several Mercury Records staffers to attend the show that evening. Marshall had written out a song list of the Spirit biggies that he insisted that they play. "Fresh Garbage," "Nothing To Hide," "Dark Eyed Woman," "I Got A Line On You" all were on the list. I'm thinking, wow, what a night this will be. At that time Spirit would play almost everything from Spirit of '76 or Son Of Spirit but would rarely play the older stuff.
Before the show Berle made the whole band and crew huddle up and go over the strategy of the night. The band were going to play the classic songs in the order of the list. Randy would count the songs in - rather than just start playing them like usual. And the crew... the crew had to be spot on, paying attention. No slip-ups. The importance of this momentous occasion made a big impression in my teenage brain... no slip-ups! I'm ready.
The lights dim... full house.. my fellow roadie Rick and myself are ready to run out on stage to repair whatever necessary. We're pumped. The band comes out and I can't wait for the opener, "Fresh Garbage," one of my favorites. Oh yeah, I forgot one of the other Marshall Berle instructions to Randy... "keep the talking between songs to a minimum." Hmmmm
Randy walks to the microphone, looks down at Rick and myself crouched in front of the stage ready for anything, winks and says:
"Hey, it looks like we have some people from Mercury here... or one of those planets." Then, without a count, launches into "Tampa Jam Electro Jam From The Time Coast," a looooong jammin' type song (it may have been the shock of him doing this but I swear the song lasted at least half an hour).
Poor John Locke. His face made the most amazing contortions as he realized what Randy was doing. I wish that I could have seen Marshall Berle's. Of course, this incredible defiance of authority (and the thumbing his nose at his record company) made Randy one of my heroes. In the course of the following 5 or 6 months I was able to see Randy play a lot of the classic Spirit songs mentioned plus an always amazing Hendrix-like version of "All Along The Watchtower."
To this day, whenever I sit in with a band, I play "Got A Line On You" complete with the weird chords that I learned by watching Randy in action.
Johan, as you can imagine there are quite a few great stories that I could share about my time with Spirit. It was a great and fun time in my life and the first time that I was able to see one of my musical heroes "behind the scenes."
Please keep up the good work with the Spirit page.
JAH PAUL JO
(former Dread Zeppelin guitarist & producer)