Few people have ever heard of or knew about the underground icon of the late 1960s, Jimmibeetles. He was a guitar wizard who reinvented the sound of rock and roll as we know it today. Making a name in the New York club scene, he created a stage show to highlight his music and to take control over his audience via his wild use of feedback. He was there before Hendrix, Morrison, Joplin, and the psychedelic era was in full swing. In fact, in 1966, Jimmibeetles recorded "Hey Joe," which DJ Jack Spector insisted on making a single for the world to hear, but Jimmibeetles declined. This song would later become a hit for Jimi Hendrix.
Jimmibeetles refused to have his music commercialized and destroyed and deface his art. So, in 1971, Jimmibeetles vanished from the music world all together and almost totally disappeared from the world. In fact, few people know where this musician has been within the last 26 years.
However, the legend of Jimmibeetles lives on with the band called Jimmibeetles Rock Theatre, which was created by another superior guitar master, Billi Pepa, as an inspiration to preserve the history of his musical mentor. To quote Pepa, "The truth is that we don't perform for any reason except that we are musicians; as well, that's our influence." And the influences shine through on their compact disc, THE STORY OF JIMMIBEETLES, for they show that they are intensely gifted musicians.
This release is the first part of a planned trilogy. This first part is about Jimmibeetles' early years. The second part can be best summed up by Pepa: "The concept was the school of musical thought that was one of his (Jimmibeetles') concepts. It was a take-off of the Socrates origin of university where people came together and brought their thoughts. You didn't pay tuition initially. When they first invented the concept of university, people were coming together for a profit. People came from all over and threw their ideas together, and that is how the Greeks came up with the word 'university.' It was having to do with everyone as one. That was what he had -- it was a school of musical thought. The objective was, he thought that music was being done but not thought about like the old classical musicians, who pondered every note. His thought is the music is a movie for the ears, not so much for the eyes, but the mind's eyes." That idea is going to be the basis for the second studio album, tentatively titled THE MAD CLOWN, which refers to the nickname used by Jimmibeetles. The third will deal with Jimmibeetles' work with the ballet and the church via classical, organized compositions through the idea of this experimental rockster.
However, that may change, for Jimmibeetles Rock Theatre is gaining a passionate following, which may be the reason that the band is considering doing a live album before the second part of the trilogy, so that it may capture the true spirit of the band's live performances, which have been wild lately, with fans approaching the band shaking, their hands during the show, and jumping all over the place. This is similar to what was happening during the golden ages of rock and roll and seems to be back with the sounds of Jimmibeetles Rock Theatre.
Jimmibeetles Rock Theatre continues to play live at smaller venues and continues to capture a late '60s style music vibe that grows with each performance. Lately, they began to include a number of free form jams during the shows, similar to what was going on in the sixties. If you have a chance to see this band live, check them out, and give their compact disc a listen, and watch the fire grow. For more information about the band, write to No Records, 2685 Coney Island Ave., 2nd Floor, Brooklyn, NY 11235.
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