Hot Rocket


Don Sheehan (guitars)
Louis Sheehan (bass guitar)
Bill Andersen (drums, background vocals)
me (vocals, Wurlitzer electronic piano, percussion)

5. WHISKEY TRAIN (added 12-14-03)

8. THE OCEAN (added 12-14-03)
9. NO QUARTER (added 10-23-04)
10. GO TO HELL/Hot Rocket original
11. END OF SET JAM (added 10-23-04)
1 2. I LIKE MY LADY/Hot Rocket original

HISTORY / COMMENTARY: Hot Rocket was a four piece rhythm and blues, Led Zeppelin type band. In fact, we went to see Zeppelin in Mobile together in 1973 and came back from that concert thinking we were Led Zeppelin. We proceeded to learn about half of their music and had a good time doing it. Bill Andersen had the ability to keep it simple on drums that most drummers either won't do or they can't because they're limited by technique so they try to overdo themselves. I had a Wurlitzer Electronic Piano that we hooked up to a Leslie (B3 organ speaker system) and it sounded amazingly like a fat rhythm guitar. I consider Donnie to be a very tasteful, solid, guitar sound-heaven kind of player and along with Louis, who is always, every time on beat and in tune and huge sounding, this band was powerful.



We played New Orleans and most of the same places the Hawg Band played and I remember once when we were playing for a fraternity on a river boat. CORRECTION: It was a high school senior party and it was on the riverboat "Mark Twain". As it turns out Rickey Parsons, a.k.a. 'Jabbo Stokes', and Jimbo Jones were also there. I don't have any tapes of the Original Hot Rocket with Jim and Jabbo - I wish I did. Rickey saw this story and called me with corrections and details I had lost around 1982 when there was a hard drive crash in my brain. It was on the Mississippi River in New Orleans and we set up and it was time to play. We started the first song, which was a Van Morrison tune called "Working", and the riverboat started moving at the same time and for some reason we felt like part of the movement of the river or like the boat started moving in concert with the music. We looked at each other and just took off cooking.

This picture (above left) was taken in New Orleans and Jimbo was there, too, but he must have been taking the picture. One night, very late, we went to a 'Krystal' type greasy spoon called 'The White Castle" and, while we were eating,  this guy overheard us saying something about Montgomery. He joined us and asked if we knew a musician whose name was Jimmy Wilkinson. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I informed him that Jimmy was my father-in-law.  He invited us to his house the next day for a cookout, although Rickey and I don't remember a thing about it (we don't wonder why). This is at his house and his name was Billy Ray.

Bill Andersen has contacted me with some new information also, and he sent me some great pictures, which he got from Donnie and Sheila and then digitized, of this band in concert with 'White Witch' and at the Seville Square Gazebo in Pensacola on the 4th of July, 1973.  I found some more music from Hot Rocket and I am currently working on remastering it.



That's Mike Turner behind the Hammond B3 organ and maybe I will have some music from that concert, later.


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