Sunday, February 28, 2010

Tales of a Roadie: Interview with Lance Lambert, Former Band Boy for The Wailers

This interview is part of a larger article to appear in Munster Style, a magazine devoted to Kustom Kulture and vintage rock.

Paint a picture of what it was like and what that experience was like for you.

Starting in about the spring of 1966, they [Sandy Gillespie and Ron Gardner of The Wailers] asked me if I wanted to go on the road early part of the summer and I said yes.

At that time the band had three vehicles. They had a new Ford station wagon that had "Wailers" painted all over the side of it. They had an Oldsmobile — it wasn't a limousine, but it was a great big sedan, and they had an Econoline [van] that also has "Wailers" painted on it. So the Econoline had the equipment in it, the wagon sometimes had the band and more equipment in it, and the Oldsmobile had the band in it. I usually was driving the wagon or the Econoline.

Anytime I could be in their car and be seen in it, I would jump on it. One time I drove to Owens Beach, Point Defiance in Tacoma, five of my buddies crammed in back, as far back as possible, and when I pop the clutch, I could do wheel stands.

Once I pulled into burger joint before a concert. I get out and there are all these kids. I get my burger, get back in and then back into a telephone pole. It crushed the quarter panel. I wasn't nearly as cool anymore. I crunched the van twice and also got a ticket in it.

How many guys were there?
There were five guys. Plus me [Lance] and Sandy in the entourage.
Kent Morrill – Keyboard and Vocal
Neal Anderson – Lead Guitar
Buck Ormsby – Bass Guitar
Ron Gardner – Saxophone, Keyboard and Vocal
Dave Roland - Drums

How were they getting their gigs? Did they have a booking agent?
They played every little podunk town between here and wherever. They had a guy out of Tacoma that was their manager —I don't remember  his name — their office was on 6th Avenue in Tacoma, near Pearl or Proctor. It was south of Proctor neighborhood just west of 6th Avenue and S. Stevens Street.

And he was booking them in small venues?
Anybody that would pay. Back then (need to verify) their standard wage was $700/night. We'd be in Hoquiam one night and Spokane the next night and Eugene the next night. It was just grueling. Those guys were fine with it — they were raised on it — this guy was dying.

When I was in the wagon I would get to a town before the band — a half a day or whatever, and one of my jobs was to contact the promoter. And it was usually a radio station. You'd get a hold of the station and sometimes they'd have me come on and do an interview, which was really fun because I'd say, "Yeah, and my boys will be here later today," and I'd make this big deal.  

And you were 19 years old? That's insane!
Yeah, well the DJs that were interviewing me were probably 21—the ones who were interviewing me.

And the motels or hotels would be set up in advance so I or we would roll in. The band almost (and I'm showing you a small window, but in that summer) usually they got two rooms: One for for sleeping and one was for partying. And one of my jobs was — somebody went out and bought the beer, and I would fill the bathtub up with ice and beer.

What was the drinking age at that time?
Twenty-one. And most of the guys were probably 21 at that time — not all of them were, but a couple of them were. I think Kent was the oldest guy in the group. Not sure about that. So we'd hit town, set up at the hotel, Sandy and I would go to the venue and set the equipment up, and then the band was really into their "entrance," which was really cool. Very theatrical. They were really smart about that.

So they would build a lot of excitement and anticipation?
Yes. Sometimes they would intentionally, well, sometimes they would get there early, tune up all their equipment, so everything was ready to go (this is before anybody got there) —I don't remember how many times it happened, but I remember it happening — they would intentionally be a little late. You know, the thing was supposed to start at 7 or 8 or 9, and they would get there at 7:10, or 8:10 or 9:10, and the crowd would be [antsy] — yeah, they'd come through the front door. And they would even sometimes wear trench coats. So these guys would come walking in in trench coats (everyone knew who they were) and rather than come in through the back door like anyone else, they'd come through the front door and the crowd would just part as they came in. And they'd walk up onto the stage, pick up their instruments, and BANG, they'd start playing.

Whenever they played in Vancouver, Canada, the Canadians would fly even though it was just from Seattle because the newspaper in Vancouver treated them like they were the biggest name in the world, so they'd get their picture taken, coming off the airplane, like they were The Beatles or something. Yeah. And they had some of that stuff down.

Sounds like they did a lot of really intelligent things? Like things that were very sophisticated? 
They were a smart band—a very smart band. That's why their music's so good.
They would pay their own way and make sure the local media knew when they were arriving. I remember seeing a picture on the front page of the Vancouver newspaper of the band walking down the ramp off the plane while waving at the crowd. Very “Beatles-ish”.

So it seems like they had it all, but musically they were challenged to put out something that reached the same level as when they were at their pinnacle?
When rock and roll was rock and roll, they were the kings around here. Not just here, but they were the kings in Seattle, Portland, Ore, Vancouver—the northwest. When music started changing — and this is just a personal opinion — they were a little slow to change —not that they even needed to change, but once The Beatles started happening, I think the Wailers and a lot of other people thought, "yeah, that'll go away." And it didn't.

And so their music was becoming a little dated. So then they started playing "catch up," and if you listen to their "Out of Our Tree" — Correction —“Walk Through The People" album, that's when they tried to get psychedelic. And a few things before that. And some of it worked, some of it didn't. A typical Wailers album, no matter where they were in the time line, it was always the same thing: a third of it was killer—just number one stuff, a third of it was okay and a third of it was like, nyah. But I suppose you could say that about everybody back then.

I remember that last album — "Walk Through The People," I think was on Bell Records — and I remember, even though this really wasn't the case, the attitude was — boy I hope I don't get in trouble saying things I've twisted in my memory—but it was kinda like, "This one's gotta make it. This album's gotta make it or we have to really look at what we're doing."

With the album art on “Walk Through The People” I think they shot themselves in the foot on it. It looked like two things: “A Web of Sound” by The Seeds was released in 1965 and the Wailers album cover looked too much like it. And then it sort of looked like it wasn't “current.”

So that was still like around '66? So how long do you think that ride continued? You said you kind of hooked up with them just after they'd peaked and they were kind of heading down.
Of course they've had a resurgence, but probably '68 or so? [Things were really changing radically by 1968] They went through...their album, sitting in a spaghetti house in San Francisco — "Outburst"— that has some really good stuff on it—very commercial sounding— and every time I hear it, it sounds like The Monkees to me. And that album— I used to hang around their office—there might've been another writer. They hired a guy to write a bunch of stuff for them, R. Wayne Davies. It was like, OK, put an album out that's not ours—someone else is going to write it. But I remember the guy drove up. He was a rag-tag looking hippie before there were rag-tag hippies. He drove a beat up Corvette and I remember him driving to the office. And he wrote a good part of the "Outburst" album — I think. It was pretty commercial sounding, but there was some good stuff on it. Commercial stuff isn't necessarily bad.

It was sorta like, we're gonna stop being the original Wailers and sound like everybody else, and [not be true to yourself].

Those two albums were produced around the time you hung out? 
I think "Out of Our Tree," and "Walk through the People." Maybe they put out 15 albums? Something like that. Among them:
The Fabulous Wailers
The Wailers At The Castle
Tall Cool One
Out of Our Tree
Wailers Wailers Everywhere
The Wailers and Company
Walk Through The People
Cadillac to Mexico
Two Car Garage
The Boys From Tacoma

The Sonics is a huge piece of the Wailers history. The Sonics recorded a lot of the Wailers music. The Sonics were another Tacoma band. The Wailers get credit for being the first garage band. The Sonics were really different. They had this feedback system they were using that no one else was using. The Kinks, I think got their whole gig from the Sonics. There are a lot of people who think that. 

People think the Kinks were influenced by the Sonics?
Yes. Sonics were recording stuff that the Kinks got a hold of. They thought, “Hey, this stuff is really different.” But the Sonics were a local, popular band. The Wailers took them under their wing—started recording them on the "Etiquette" label. The Sonics, in some people's eyes, eclipsed the Wailers. Their song, "The Witch," was a pretty big hit. I don't know where it landed nationally, but it definitely was up there. And they had a bunch of local hits—some other stuff. They were really an acquired taste.

Did you ever like the grunge stuff? Did it resonate with you at all? Like, did it harken back to those days? 
I didn't pay attention. As time went by, I'd hear some Nirvana stuff and thought it was good—it sounded more like the Sonics. I claim no expertise. My own taste in music stopped in 1975 or so.

So during the time you were the band boy, you were traveling vast distances?
I keep getting side tracked. This is a good story. It was really a grind. We'd set up the equipment, the band would go play. Part of my job, for lack of a better word, was being a "pimp." I would make sure that I was seen on stage by the audience. Still to this day I make sure I get "seen by the audience." [Smile.] I would make sure they would make a connection. I would walk up to girls and all I would say is, "Are you 18?" Laughs. They'd say, "yeah." I'd say, [for example] "The Wailers are staying at The Tradewinds tonight. C'mon down. We're in room 502." Only the cute ones. And everything you've ever heard about groupies? They're all true.

There were no drugs. In fact, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy was playing in SF or somewhere and The Wailers might've opened for them. I was invited to go smoke dope with them, and I can't remember if it was Buck or Kent, but he gave me the finger shake. They were all for drinking themselves into oblivion, but don't touch marijuana — nothing.

Do you think that changed over time?
I would suspect so. Laughs. But I have no stories. I witnessed nothing. [Smiles.]

So on a typical summer—would you guys play...
Seven nights a week. One night off per month. They were booked night after night.

If they were making $700 per night, that was a sizable amount of money back in those days. 
Each guy, I don't remember the amount of money, but each guy would get a certain amount of money every week and all the rest of it went into Etiquette Records. So they were on a "wage." Etiquette was THEIR label and it still is.

So it was night after night after night. The thing that was hard was, some nights you'd finish playing at one or two in the morning, tear down the equipment, go back to the hotel, sleep til 8, 9, or 10. But sometimes you'd tear down the equipment, climb back into the van, then drive 300 miles. The band might stay behind and sleep, but Sandy and I would drive to the next town. And I did this for two and a half months. One day we were in a restaurant. It was really bizarre because we were eating breakfast at breakfast time. I remember thinking it was 8 o'clock and we were eating breakfast. I got up from the table and went into the bathroom and puked my guts out, came back and said, "Guys, I can't do this anymore. It's just too hard on me, physically."

It must have been the time of your life.
Cherished memories.

When you guys would do these gigs, would you say you'd have an audience of a couple hundred?
Easily. There'd be an audience of 150 to 1,000. A roller rink, dance hall. Probably the biggest gig I saw when I was with them was the Coliseum in Spokane. Huge. Big enough that I was with the Wailers band and Chuck Cantrell (the roadie for the Sonics) is in his van, and we drag-raced inside the Coliseum, aiming straight for the stage. Have you read Pat O'Day's book? There are some pictures in it of the Wailers taken on stage in the Coliseum, that night.

Was there like a pinnacle moment for you in that whole overview of the summer? Like you thought, wow, this is an unbelievable moment? That really sticks out in your mind as the most amazing thing—like, you can't believe you're doing this, or you can't believe you're here?
It won't print as well as it came across, but I remember Sandy, Ron and I —people would pair up/share sleeping quarters/hang out— we went to a department store and all the clerks there, the girls were all over Ron. Two stories: Ron points at me and says, he's in the band too, and all of a sudden they're all over me.

But a better story: Sandy and I are somewhere, we stop at a fruit stand. There was a family with two daughters there. The two daughters saw the van.

They see us and come running and they have a Wailers album. And they ask us to autograph. I said, “Hey, I'm just the roadie,” and they were like, “I don't care!” So I signed it, "Best wishes, Lance Lambert." so somewhere out there, there is an album inscribed like that.

Oh, I have another story...
They're playing in Burien — a club there, like a dance hall or skating rink or something. Concert's over. Tearing down the equipment. The exits doors on the side "CRASH" and burst open and about six or eight teenage girls come flocking in and they all gather around me. And they're squealing and saying "Give us something! Give us something! Give us anything!" And I had some Wailers calling cards, so I gave them each a calling card (like, business cards?) Yeah, and I didn't bother telling them I wasn't in the band at that point. And it was like I just gave them each a $500 bill.

Do you have any mementos from those times? Back stage passes? Ticket stubs?
Nothing. And I'm a guy with lots of scrap books filled with everything. It's crazy. I have a picture of Sandy standing next to the van. I have sadly one bad picture of me climbing into the station wagon. I have Wailers posters I've picked up over the years. But yeah, I wish I had more.

Something I'd like to say about the Kingsmen—I was in Vegas about 15 years ago. There was a concert at The Aladdin. It was Jan and Dean, The Kingsmen, The Shantees (sp), and the Shantelles. Jan and Dean headlined. All four groups took a break (I do have a great, one of a kind poster for the event, made up by the hotel). The bands each were set up at tables to sign autographs and stuff. At the time I think there were two original guys in the group. I said, "I certainly don't expect you to remember me, but I will always remember when the Wailers were sitting at a patio killing time before the show and you guys pulled up in your car because you were staying there, too. As soon as the word "Wailers" came out of my mouth, the other three or four guys stopped talking to whomever they were talking to and scooted their chairs over, and sat there and talked. And this is a direct quote in my memory, "You know, all we ever were was a Wailers-wannabe band." If the Wailers version of “Louie Louie” would have come out a week or two earlier, and it would be their version you always hear."

Through all of this, from '59 until now, I've always thought the Wailers are just a really great rock and roll band. And it's always frustrated me and every one of their fans that they weren't bigger. The rest of the world deserves more Wailers music. You look at them now and they're being recognized, busy and still performing. They just released "Two Car Garage", a new CD with The Ventures.  They recorded a bunch of stuff and it's the best version I've ever heard of "Louie Louie."

February 19, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

Etsyveg Team Rocks!

Finally a like minded group of people that I can be proud to hang out with!

The Etsyveg Team has welcomed me with open arms and I just wanted to say thanks! Keep on veggin'...

Vegetarians and Vegans Voice on their Venue!


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Digital paper is here!

Print Paper for;

Photography Backgrounds
Pendant Making
Altered Art

Use digitally for;

Clip art
Websites and Blogs
Banners, Backgrounds, Buttons, Ads, and whatever your little heart desires!

Personal and Commercial use okay. You may use these for all of your small business needs however, do not resell as is or in a kit. Please read enclosed TOU's after purchase for more information or contact me here.

To purchase paper please visit here, Graphic Design by Tara Digital Paper

Sunday, February 21, 2010

It's all new to me!

Even though business has trickled down to next to nothing in my jewelry shop, I have still managed to keep myself really busy this week!

Here are some of my latest projects...

Stay tuned for new designs, freebies, and logos here. Please visit my main website for more info. and examples of my work.

Graphic Design by Tara


Saturday, February 20, 2010

I DON'T Want to Steal Your Artwork!

So help me out and put your TOU, (terms of use), on everything you put on the worldwide web. I do not buy or download ANYTHING that doesn't have information regarding resale. If I have to go through more than the actual download/add to cart page I am already over it. What I worry about most in this situation is the other people using this "Honor" system on the internet. Who can police millions of buyers? Just because I don't do it, doesn't mean someone else will care. Sometimes you feel like you have to hire a detective to find some people's TOU's! lol  Please, if you are serious about your designs don't put them out there without watermarks or very visible TOU's.

The digital pirates are lurking everywhere....(paranoia much?)


Friday, February 19, 2010

We're having another growth spurt!

Can I ever sit still? The answer is no! So I've started another site for my Graphic Design Company. I hope to develop it into a larger outlet for support to the handmade community and my fellow designers.

Graphic Design by Tara Official Site

When/if I decide to open up this site to advertising, I will make an official announcement here and on the Etsy forums.

Thanks for reading my blogs, supporting my websites, and all of your friendship!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Animation Domination!

So what to do when my own biz gets slow? Why I just learn something new! I have always loved playing around w/animation so no time like the present, right?




Sunday, February 14, 2010

In response to the forum font thread controversy of 2010....

I have just made a PIF banner for all my fellow Etsians to enjoy.

Feel the love people, forget the font!

Happy VDAY!

Valentine's Day PIF

Here is a VDay PIF that I just designed to kick off this new blog. The images already come Etsy sized so all you have to do is right click on the images to save. Please enjoy!

Thank you for viewing my new blog, please add yourself to my list of followers and I promise to do the same for you.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

Per request...

More patterns and some new owls!

Thank you to for the owl suggestion. For more owl designs please visit my shop.

*Feel free to use any of these patterns (except my own logo above), for your personal projects. For commercial use patterns please contact me here: Graphic Design by Tara

Friday, February 12, 2010

Going pattern crazy? Don't mind if I do!

Mad For The Plaid, Polka Dotty, Silly Stripes! Yep, here at GBT I am going pattern crazy! I have been spending a lot of my down time today, (now that both my kids are home and drive each other crazy!! lol), creating patterns in Photoshop.

Here is the Alice In Wonderland inspired banner I just created.
As soon as I can I am going to either resurrect my Deviant Art Site, or add some of these and more to my FREE section on this blog. Here are some examples of what I've been working on...

Patterns can be so much fun and don't have to be as basic as some of the ones I have here. There are so many endless color/shape combos and it's super entertaining to mix them up!

Okay, I definitely need to go outside and get some sunshine now. These patterns are starting to make my eyes go funny!

TOU - Feel free to copy everything here except the watermarked Banner. These swatches are for personal use only which includes; adding to your own blogs, websites, avatars, and banners. If you'd like a background for a commercial project, please contact me. Graphic Design by Tara If you do decide to use anything here or on my FREE page I would love to see it and add it to this blog.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Things to do when there's nothing to do!

Sitting here thinking a lot lately because my shops are slow. Here's a list of things to do when biz gets slow that will perk up your shop and make things start moving again.

"What to do?"
  1. Go to Etsy promos section and start answering all those threads with your info. Now you have the time to actually look at other people's items and comment on their blogs. I can guarantee this will be not only appreciated, but returned to you tenfold.
  2. Start a blog, flickr, Big Crumbs, Twitter, etc. Join a ning group such as "We Love Etsy". Spend hours of fun jazzing up your little space of the internet.
  3. Submit your site. This is something I"m very familiar with because I had a website for many years off Etsy where I sold my jewelry. There are so many places to get listed! Start by Googling submit website, website directories, and things of that nature. You could do this all day and never run out of lists to add your shop to.
  4. Get Organized. Take some time to catch up on shop accounting. It's always a good idea to go through what's laying around and try to make sense of everything. Even the most highly organized person probably needs to at least empty the trash in their office! lol
  5. Learn something new. As most of my readers, on/off Etsy friends know, I am currently catching up on my graphic design knowledge. Last time things were this slow I learned how to make art pendants, scrapbook, and crocheted some scarfs. Keeping your mind busy keeps it off your slow sales.
  6. Start free shops on other selling sites. It never hurts to have your site come up as much as possible on Google. Starting a shop on Artfire and sites like it is a snap. Put a couple of items and even if they don't sell, free publicity rocks!
  7. Write a tutorial. It's always fun to use your knowledge to help others. Why not write about something you want to share and either post it for free somewhere or sell it on Etsy? Nothing is better than an email only sale! I love the idea of less packaging and not going to the p.o.
  8. Inspire yourself. Sometimes we get so obsessed with checking our online site and the business end of it all, we forget why we started this darn thing in the first place! It doesn't matter if you are a graphic artist or a bath and body person, there's always something out there that will get your creative juices flowing. Go to a museum, park, perfume store. Promise you it will be worth it!
  9. Start a list of business/personal goals. Even though we love our shops and want them to succeed, it's always good to take an account of how it is impacting your life and the people around you. Create a short list of what you'd like to accomplish goal wise in all things. Please remember to put your family and self first♥
  10. Start again at number 1 until business picks up!
*Please note, the best thing to do sometimes is just walk away from your computer/biz for 24 hours and then come back. Usually things are hopping again.


Friday, February 5, 2010

Owls are overtaking my graphic design shop!

I have become obsessed with making owl banners because there are so many, many, ways to incorporate these little cuties into my designs.

I am currently restraining myself from making anymore until some are adopted and go on to better homes.
I am also working really hard to study for this logo class and at the same time learn some advanced Photoshop tricks. I just made a mock logo for my shops in order to practice. Here's the jewelry one...
I might be offering some free logo design services in the near future to build up my portfolio. So I will definitely keep everyone posted and announce it here, my other blog Jewelry by Tara Biz, and of course on the Etsy forums.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

What's the first thing..

You are supposed to do as a Graphic Artist? And what did I neglect to do for all these years that I have sold designs in my shops? The first thing anyone would do in this situation, create a watermark! Finally today I got some free time and I made this...

I'd put in a pic but I guess Blogger is crashing again and can't handle it's photo issues, sigh:*(

Anyhoo, hope you enjoy my latest. I am putting up a ton of owls, chicks, etc. because they are just so darn cute!

Shout out to the fabulous,

Cupcake Cutiees

For continuing to bring me the cutest graphics ever!


What makes a Logo a GOOD Logo?

Welcome to my Thursday info. for Graphic Designers. Since I don't do regular features you can just expect sporadic PIF's, Tutorials, and general info. from both of my blogs. I do run an artist feature daily on my jewelry blog.

Jewelry by Tara Blog

So today's scoop is actually from a class I am taking called Logo Design. I have been asked to create logos a lot in the past year and I haven't had any formal training in it. I wanted to offer my online/offline clients a profession logo, presentation, and collaborative experience. So here's my first of many to come info. session on Logo Design.

What makes a good logo?

The following are 10 things that can make a logo more memorable and visually appealing.

1. Uniqueness of logo. Your logo should stand out as an individual in a sea of other logos.

2. Sophistication. The logo should not only have a professional appearance, but avoid inappropriate images, fonts, etc. It should also clearly communicate it's message without overstimulating with too much design/imagery.

3. Conceptual Design. Using parts of the actual logo to express ideas, words, numbers, as a concept. I.E. Jewelry by Tara = Jewelry♦Tara Not the best example and not my actual logo, but the concept is replacing the by w/the diamond for jewelry. Another example would be to take the name Purple velvet and I have obviously replaced the black in purple w/purple.

4. Logo Relevancy. What makes a logo most relevant is to incorporate company imagery that is easily recognizable into the design. When adding a design to a logo you must really think ahead. Will this company only be making X 10 years from now? Or should I go with a broader design to incorporate possible product changes.

5. Versatility. So important! The logo you design should be able to be incorporated into any type of advertising the company desires. Banners, stationary, etc. A flexible size and distinguishable font are very necessary to design. Some letters and images will become illegible when applied to different sizes and components.

6. Cohesiveness. Good logos should not require a frame around them, but should stand alone in their design. No to say there aren't some fantastic logos that do have this type of imagery, but they have been well incorporated into the overall effect and do not detract from the logo itself. The shapes should not appear too detached from each other either and not appear disjointed. Reducing the spaces between fonts is a good way of bringing your logo into a more cohesive position.

7. Attractiveness. This is totally subjective of course but there are some points that hold true to all design. See 1-7 and 8-10.

8. Memorability. What makes a logo memorable? Logos that are simple in their design but not in their concept. They read easily what the brand is and reinforce your product image.

9. How to make your logo endure the test of time. Don't fall for trends that make your logo appear dated, assume that your client will be using this design for the rest of the company's life.

10. Secondary characteristics of a good logo. The ability to animate your logo and using multicultural imagery. Multicultural meaning images that can be seen on the worldwide web and are easily understood by sight if not by language. I.E. Symbols such as arrows, hands, etc. and/or images like faces, or trees.

Okay, so that's my 10 for today and I'm sure there will be a lot more info. to come. I'm actually finding this reading part of my class more interesting than I thought I would. Who knew so much went into good logo design? Please do not undervalue your fellow graphic designer's work by calling banners, and premade logos LOGO DESIGN. A true logo design is unique only to that particular company. Otherwise it's just a general advertisement for your company and why have a company ad when you can have a stand out company brand? What I'm trying to point out with all this is that logo design is intense and therefore costs more. Which essentially gives you more over time.


Monday, February 1, 2010

What is handmade market?

Most people don't know so I'm going to share it with you today.

Handmade Market

This is a fab place to show you wares in a craft show setting. I really enjoy looking at all the shops there and I have advertised with both of mine before.

Hoping it gets bigger and has a wider audience, it's only $2 a week right now!

Okay, that's enough outside promotion! lol Here's what's new w/me...

Hearts for Haiti Banner/Avatar sets are still available, only $5 to help out our Haitian friends!

There are so many more styles in my shop. Please take my poll on the side of this post to help me better understand what types of designs to create in the future.

Thanks so much for reading!

For my latest artist feature please visit my other blog here:

Jewelry by Tara Blog