Mr. Max’s Message 7/09

MR. MAX’S MESSAGE  July, 2009


I’m psyched for Mr. Timothy Charles Duane’s 40th Anniversary/
CD Release Party on Saturday, July 18, at Che’s Lounge (38 Main Street,
Vineyard Haven, MA). This band started in New York in 1969. We specialized
in living room concerts and playing in Central Park. We had fan
club meetings, put together Christmas shows at the Katherine Cornell
Theatre in Vineyard Haven, we rocked out at the Seaview every weekend,
we played a No Nukes Festival, we backed up Kate Taylor, we played Peter
Simon’s wedding and had Carly come up and sing “Things We Said Today”
with us, we jammed with John Hall (Orleans) who’s now a New York Congressman,
and we turned down a major label contract because we were artistically
stubborn. Now we’re old friends who still play our creative music
from 1969. Our debut CD will be served up at Che’s Lounge (a very
cool café right on Main Street in Vineyard Haven) on Saturday July
18. I know you’ll be there. Won’t you?


The construction of the extension on
my new place of residence is really coming along. Reliable Construction,
headed by Rocky Morrison, is getting the job done. Rocky is also the
founder of
River Project
that does
an amazing job on the Merrimack River. If you would like to help him
out in any way, check out the website. Another man dealing with all
the electric work on the project is Randall Gibson. Local rock ’n’
rollers will remember Randall on the drums with Scruffy the Cat and
the Flies, or in the Hoodoo Barbecue at the street level of the Rat
in Kenmore Square. Good vibes keep the job moving along right on time
so I’ll have some space to put all those back issues of the Noise.


Urban Caravan is at Perks Coffeehouse
(685 Washington Street, Norwood, MA 02062). I’m gonna play my
latest catchy number “Give Me Some Coffee” and see if I can get
someone to bring me a cup of joe by the end of the song. Joining me
in the Caravan fun is Bird Mancini, Mr. Curt Ensemble, and Glenn Williams.


by T Max

Chapter One

I was born in Brooklyn on December
9th 1951. James and Doris Maxwell were my parents. My dad worked in
construction as a wire lather. My mom was a nurse (during WW II) and
later an attendant at Pilgrim State Hospital. We moved out to Long Island
when I was three—that’s where I grew up, or at least attempted to.
I had two brothers, James Micheal Maxwell (three years older) and John
Gary Maxwell (2.5 years younger). I can remember all of us visiting
my grandparent’s (on my dad’s side) house in Brooklyn. Their house
always had that smell that I later learned was cooking cabbage. We only
went there on the holidays when big meals were being served so I never
knew if that was the way their house smelled all the time. At some point
in my single-digit years my grandparents moved out to Long Island, only
a couple of blocks away from us. My favorite uncle (Uncle John, who
died in 2009) lives in that house. One time on my birthday Uncle John
wanted to buy me a present. He said I could pick it out. I knew exactly
what I wanted—General Grant and General Lee, Warriors of the World—little
stiff plastic figurines. You could buy them individually and they were
pretty inexpensive. We searched all day for Grant and Lee but only found
them in a big 30-piece set. This was not inexpensive, but Uncle John
sprang for the whole set to satisfy me. When I was 13, my mom bought
home to things that would change my life—a cheap acoustic guitar and
a record by a band called the Beatles (Introducing the Beatles
on VeeJay). Mom must have been with it, because not long after her picking
up the record, the Beatles were playing on the Ed Sullivan show, and
man, did the girls scream for them. By 15 I was playing in a band called
the James Gang—Jimmy, my brother, was the lead singer—he was Mr.
Personality in high school. We played in bars every weekend and made
pretty good money. I was able to buy a Fender Showman amplifier and
a double cutaway Harmony guitar. Every week I would borrow a Gibson
fuzz tone from a guy who lived around the corner. It was the only fuzz
I had ever seen—I had no idea that I could possibly buy my own.
I used my brother Jimmy’s ID to get into the clubs. Since he was in
the same family, it made it easy for me to memorize his ID information.
He took me to many of the Murray the K shows at the Brooklyn Fox Theatre.
These shows cost $2.50 to get in and I’d be handed an LP as soon as
I walked in (a live recording of a previous Murray the K show). These
shows focused on the top soul groups out at the time (the Temptations,
the Supremes, the Shirelles, the Four Tops, the Vibrations, the Drifters,
Little Anthony & the Imperials, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Ben
E. King, but also included the latest rock bands from the U.S. and England
to hit the scene, like the Moody Blues, the Who, Cream, the Young Rascals,
the Zombies, and Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels. These shows marked
my soul and helped direct what I was to do with the rest of my life.


T Max/the Noise
74 Jamaica Street,
Jamaica Plain MA 02130


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