The Earthmen

The Earthmen

BandAlternativeSinger/Songwriter

The Earthmen do original music with an esoteric blend of flat out rock and roll and jazz rock fusion combined with a counter cultural country blues soul inspiration accented by searing electric guitar and keyboard fills ranging from traditional to futuristic.

Biography

At the age of eleven John Wildcat picked up his first guitar, which he crudely made out of plywood and scrap lumber and the strings were made of speaker coil. John was already taking piano lessons, but the guitar constituted involvement in Rock & Roll.

Music from the Beach Boys, Jan & Dean and Dion were an influence as their music poured out from the radio. However, when the Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time in 1964, the true note of enthusiasm struck in his heart. This was the fork in the road in which his musical travels would begin.

Around six months later John obtained a cheap but "real" acoustic guitar which would become the first step in forming a band called "The Ant Eaters" which consisted of two other kids from grade school. At this time there were local talent shows on television such as Poop Deck Paul, then following came Starlit Stairway then there were "stars" in "The Ant Eaters" eyes. When the BEATLES hit big, groups of youngsters flocked to the Poop Deck Paul show. Pantomime and Lip-Syncing to current hit songs took off as the fad of the times.

"The Ant Eaters" had no amplifiers or sound machines but they still sang and played music with enthusiasm. Finally, in March, "The Ant Eaters" were to perform on the Poop Deck Paul show. However, the night before the debut the two other band members called John and wanted him to stand in the background, play guitar and not sing. With this change in program the night before the performance, John declined to play, and "The Ant Eaters" bit the dust!

That summer, John and two or three neighborhood kids got together and chose their vocal parts to the current hits of 1965 radio. After a multitude of hours spent singing, and progressing to playing instruments along with the records, the record player was put to rest. It was at that point that the band "The Dragsters" were born.

"The Dragsters" quickly progressed and as the 1965-1966 summers of love approached they picked up on bookings and began writing some of their own material and changed their name to "Motives of Existence" , which carried them through Junior and High schools. During this time the band fluctuated between three to five members and managed to record "My Love", composed by John, at Pioneer Studios in Detroit.

It was the High School year of 1967-1968 that the band hooked up with George Williams, a booking agent, who got "Motives of Existence" playing engagements from High Schoolls and Wedding Receptions to the YMCA and the USO. After High School, misguided boyish enthusiasm brought an end to their business relationship with Mr. Williams and subsequently brought an end to the "Motives of Existence".

Then came a short lull of traveling around the country inspired by a star-crossed love affair, during which time John still kept in touch with music by sitting in with blues bands and playing one nighters in coffee houses in California and Washington State. Inevitably, John returned home to Detroit.

A new road was being paved which lead to the Grande Ballroom, East Town, The Michigan Palace and the Birmingham Palladium. After seeing groups like SRC, All the Lonely People, Savage Grace, Iggy & The Stooges, Wilson Moore Pursuit, T Garden and Van Winkle, Amboy Dukes, The Rationals, Mitch Ryder, and Bob Seger a new musical awakening arose in John. At first these bands seemed to be completely out of John's league and almost intangible though after a few front row seats of concert's, watching fingers and taking notes on equipment he realized that after many late nights of experimenting he could do that too! These progressive Detroit based bands had the same effect that the Beatles did years before to the the fire burning again.

In 1970, the early stages of the new band "Bison" was being formed. Composed of all original songs "Bison" quickly landed a job playing at the Fruit Palace in Mt. Clemens. However, when John heard the female disc jockey on WABX mispronounce the the name as "Bixon" the band decided they needed a catchier sounding name and that's when the new name "KATMANDU' was born. The band got more gigs as weeks went by and added a flamboyant front man and became a glitter show group of the "70's".

In 1972, numerous local bands including Bob Seger engaged the Belle Isle band shell to perform concerts for free. "KATMANDU' was among these local performing artists. Bob Seger, being the most renown of any of these acts, caused the members of ''KATMANDU'' to decide that appearing as an opening act for such an artist would indeed give them a chance at a larger audience. Subsequently ''KATMANDU'' contacted Punch Andrews, Bob Seger's manager, via phone and discussed this issue at length. Andrews was friendly and open-minded about the idea but nothing ever transpired. Four days later booking agent Joe Pereno had been scheduled to stop by the rehearsal studio to hear '

Discography

The EARTHMEN have been recording and evolving in the studio since the mid 70's and have an extensive library of material but to date have one CD, Motives of Existance, which contains 16 songs ranging over a wide span of John's career.

Set List

Let's start with the song list from the fore mentioned CD, which are ... 1. Partyin all Nite, 2. Freedom for Sale, 3. Uptown Downsound Band, 4. New Wave, 5. Blackman Whiteman, 6. Ya Gotta Be Free, 7. Play The Game, 8. Hate Mile, 9. 20th Century Robot, 10. The Hill and the Night, 11. Everything's Gotta Change, 12. Go for a Ride, 13. Stage-Door Johnny, 14. Greenback Friend, 15. Neverending Day, 16. We're Being Watched.

This group of songs could be used as two sets, (even three) depending on the venue. We have enough material to repeat this size of a time slot without repeating and of the songs. We are currently working on a new CD of all brand new material. As far as covers are concerned we do revitalized versions of such tunes as "Secret Agent Man" by Johnny Rivers and turn it into a medly by going into Devo's version while adding our own twist throughout. Other covers could also include Boris The Spider (The Who), Let The Good Times Roll (Hendrix), Don't Back Down (Beach Boy's)