|BEAU FISHER PART TWO
Oh, hello there! You made it just in time. Mr. fisher is just about to get into
the first WW lp among other wonderful accounts.
| DY- Let's
get into this first
LP, Was WW
joined or did it
|BF- Damien, before we get to Capricorn, I need to back up a bit and clear up the chronology of this
whole Tropics/White Witch name thing. After Ronn joined we played for about six months as The
Tropics, headlining shows all over the southeast. One night after a show in Dade City, Florida, we
called a meeting and we changed the name of the band. We'd been steadily working up
new material and Ronn had written new words to the existing originals- most of the stuff that's
on the first album. He wanted to call the band White Witch, to reflect the philosophy of the lyrics.
Everybody had their own individual ideas about this "Powers Of Your Mind" theme, and we were all
reading different books, and it seemed like the right direction to go in.
It was tailor made for me, a twenty-year old seeker, raised Episcopalian, bored with organized religion,
armed with a couple of semesters of philosophy classes at USF- I was ready to be enlightened, you
know? Like when The Beatles went to see the Maharishi.
|We were all like that, exploding in every direction. Still we knew we'd have to keep booking gigs as
Tropics to keep the money rolling in while we looked for a record deal. We'd already cut some demos
at a studio in Atlanta but the deal was finally shopped to Phil Walden at Capricorn by Terry Kane,
whom we'd met doing sound for Mother's Milk, Mike Pinera's post- Blues Image project.
I was as open minded as the rest about being signed to Capricorn because they were obviously up and
coming and they were throwing money at us. In retrospect of course, one only has to look at us and
listen to the music to conclude that we should have been anywhere but in the kingdom of Southern
| DY- Do
|BF- No, I know we did 'em all over
and over and over.
| DY- I noticed when
the CD came out that
some of the bass parts
sound synth, was that
an effect you used or
were you late to the
played your parts on the
|BF- The synth bass was played by Buddy P, not because I was late but because the track worked
better that way. Sometimes under the microscope of the studio record light, your parts don't work the
way you thought they would. On "Illusion", for example, even though I'd been playing that bass line
on stage for over a year, it just wasn't gelling in the studio. Time is money, and Buddy P nailed it in
one or two takes.
| DY- Do
you recall if
made it on
to the LP?
|BF- No, but I have a reel-to-reel tape taken from the board before the record was
mastered. Johnny Sandlin made it for me.
| DY-Now let's get to one of
the controversial tracks IT'S
SO NICE TO BE
STONED, The LP gives
writing credits to You and
RICHARDSON, the flawed
CD gives credit to
"RONALD? GOEDERT &
wrote this song!!? & how did
it come together?
|BF- Of course Buddy R and I wrote that, in his car on the way home from a concert we played in
Atlanta in the summer of 1971. We'd opened up (as The "Fabulous" Tropics) for Sugarloaf and The
Buddy Miles Express. Both groups were great, but Sugarloaf did something on-stage hat caused a
veritable uproar- they played the music to "I've Been Workin' On The Railroad" and changed the
words to "We've Been Smokin' Marihuana". It was a gimmick that produced an overwhelming
reaction from a
largely intoxicated audience- remember this was 1971!
|Buddy and I decided to write
a song that would get the
same crowd reaction- we
weren't even thinking about
recording it- of course when
Capricorn heard it they
wanted it on the album.
Initially, though, it was
intended as a crowd pleaser-
and a diversion from the
heaviness of the live show.
And in that respect, it never
| DY- Most bands I talk with & have been in all have a "LOLA" or a "DREAM
ON", do you know what I mean? A song that everyone wants to hear no matter
what! You can play them your latest & greatest song and still they yell out one of
your old creations! Did WW have a song like that?
I ask because IT'S SO NICE TO BE STONED is the song all of
Your fans talk about the most!
BF- Well, "It's So Nice..." has certainly gotten a lot of attention
over the years, but for me, "And I'm Leaving" would be the most
| DY- I'm looking
at the album cover
and I'm checking out
your pre-glam make
up & I'm still blown
away that some guy's
in Tampa (Back yard
America) had the
guts & creativity to
take this musical
route! Who's idea
was the make up?
|BF- I wore stage makeup as far back as The Ravens and I know Buddy R did in Noah's Ark. Back
yard America is a mind set that we didn't have. We were performers, and in our minds we were from
Earth, not Tampa.
| DY- Go
that day of
|BF- It was pretty much what you've already heard- not fun. We were tired, it was early, there wasn't
enough preparation. Warner Brothers had already rejected the first album cover we'd submitted, so
there was pressure on to get it done. We didn't get a proof sheet, didn't get to choose the pictures- I
hated the cover the first time I saw it. I never would have used that shot of me. The grease paint
under my eyes looks like it was put on with a bricklayer's trowel. Still, there's an attitude to it... I
guess in retrospect it's pretty cool. I always liked the back cover better anyway.
on & do
|BF- I wish I still had it. That was a black velour dress I bought at a boutique in New Orleans and cut
down to a shirt. I drew the symbol and a lady friend sewed the rhinestones on. I actually made some
of my own clothes- I had a sewing machine. We also got clothes from Michael and Toni, two Tampa
designers that made clothes for Hendrix, Jimmy Page and other "luminaries".
spots & if
so do you
|BF- No, the Channel 10 show was done
with Rabbi Barbee.
|BF- In addition to the Alice Cooper tour, we did shows with Rare Earth, The James Gang, and Dr.
John (when he was still "The Night Tripper"). We opened for him in the French Quarter during Mardi
Gras- that was pretty wild!
copy of the
|BF- Mixed. I was proud of it, but as I mentioned before, the
cover made me cringe.
after that LP
Did you go
out on the
|BF- I was expecting to go to the West Coast with them to promote the album. We were in the middle
of rehearsals for that when we had a meeting and they informed me that they were getting another
|BF- I left right before they went to
|BF- I know it was a tough call for them because
we were like family-
|it wasn't about personalities. They wanted to try out this
new guy, supposedly a really hot player. After I left though,
it seemed like they had a different bassist every time I saw
them- four or five guys in about a two year period. I guess
I was just the first casualty in their quest for the ultimate
|BF- I went out on the road with a Latin rock band, playing salsa music
and Santana cover tunes.
|SWEET SMOKE was 180 degrees from what I'd been doing, but that was the idea. I've always
chosen the path that would allow me to grow, and I hadn't had the opportunity to play Latin music
before. It was great- they were booked steady for a year. Our keyboard player was Karen Deal (now
Mrs. Marty Balin)- it was her first band.
| DY- I also see
that you &
went on to
projects & are
|BF- I did the salsa thing for about a year and a half and then one day there was a knock at the front
door and it was Buddy Richardson! He'd left White Witch and was full of new ideas and typically
bursting with energy. We decided to go into business together- not just performing as a band,
although we did that, but promoting and advertising as well. We took graphics jobs, made up print
ads, booked bands- eventually we took on managing a nightclub in Tampa called "Stonehenge"-
there's a Spinal Tap reference for you! We did the whole bit- from ordering beer and tending bar to
carrying guns and bags of money out the back door at three a.m. And occasionally we got up on the
stage and kicked out the jams. We hired new bands every week. One of the most popular was
Amanda Jones, a hard driving six piece outfit with a powerhouse lead singer named Mike Regar. We
became involved in producing a demo for the band, and at some point, many days into the project,
Buddy and I found ourselves working on the arrangements and listening to the playback with Mike.
The other group members had gone home- it was late at night and we needed to take a break. I
remember picking up the bass guitar and playing the line to the tune we'd been listening to- an original
of Mike's. Within seconds he was at the piano singing and
Buddy joined in. To hear those two harmonizing was a revelation! And as it turned out, a premonition.
|The Stonehenge became so popular the owners eventually sold it out from under us. About the same
time Mike became a free agent from Amanda Jones, and we recruited former White Witch crew mate
Jeff Parramore on drums. The first time the four of us ever played together was on jam night at a
Dale Mabry Strip bar- unrehearsed, unplanned- we did a couple of Beatle songs and a James Brown
number. The club manager offered us the house gig- asked if we could start in a week! We didn't
name or a song list but we made up for it with energy. We moved our gear into a rehearsal space and
worked on material for seven straight nights. Then we went to the club and worked six nights a week
for the next eight months. We'd play until 2:30 in the morning and then go out to a bottle club and
jam for two or three more hours.
I was really into music at this point in my life. I'd been out of high school for almost ten years and
never really had a day job. Bands and gigs had paid for everything I ever had.
|For the next couple of years we were one of Tampa's top club bands- on our own terms. We played
whatever we wanted and maintained a solid following. We changed our name a half a dozen times-
we could never agree on a name. For a while we refused to tell people the name of
the band- we didn't want to be bothered with a name. All our friends knew where we were playing
anyway. One day I was at the beach and I heard an ad on the radio for the club we were playing at-
the announcer said "This week- The band they call 'The Band With No Name' ".
|I just started laughing- I liked it! Eventually we settled on the name
"Revolver", and stuck with that.
|The nightclub lifestyle began to catch up with me in 1977. We'd been at the Pad Lounge in South
Tampa for over a year- six nights a week, five hours a night, week in, week out. I loved the band, I
loved the music, but the gig was starting to get to me. I was wondering what it was like to work
during the day and watch TV at night. Reluctantly, I gave my notice and left the club scene behind.
|I got a job with an advertising company as a paste-up artist and became one of those guys who only
plays in a band on weekends. One day, about three years into my day job, I was washing up in the
company rest room and I heard one of the new sales guys, whom I hadn't met yet, singing in the stall.
"It's So Nice... To Be Stoned..." and he knew all the words! When he came out we got to talking and
I told him a friend and I had written that song. "Yeah... Bullshit!" he said, "Sure you did." He didn't
believe me. The next morning when I got to work he was waiting at my desk with the album, wanting
me to sign it. That was my first inkling that the music of White Witch was going to have a life of it's
|I really hadn't thought about White Witch in years. Can you imagine that, Damien? During the years
you were discovering the music of White Witch on your own, I'd all but forgotten about it. Buddy
and I would discuss it occasionally, but by then we had begun playing together in the band I'm in now,
Mac and the Damians.
|I knew Pendergrass was busy with his projects and though I saw Bobby Shea from time to time, he
said he'd given up playing altogether. I totally lost touch with Ronn until your website appeared.
|BF- As you know, I'm a partner in an internet-based music store called Legends Music, Inc. We deal
in used, collectible and vintage guitars and basses. It's something I'm totally passionate about. I urge
everyone to check out our website. Since 1982 I've been in a band called Mac and the Damians.
About six months into it I recruited Mike Regar as keyboardist and lead vocalist, and I'm proud to say
we still share the stage. In 1988 the guitar slot opened up and Buddy R came on board. At that point
the band became a sort of Revolver Redux. Buddy stayed for six years and then left to pursue his
own interests, ultimately culminating in Charisma, the group he has now with Kim and Rita.
|Now I play at social events- yacht clubs, country clubs- weddings, parties, dances, shows- and no
musical idiom is too bizarre to attempt. We've become fearless- if you're just willing to pay for it.
I'm at a point in my life where I look back on all these gigs, and I think I should be proud of the fact
I've always been able to make a buck doing what I love... but I'm more interested in where I'm going
to be next Saturday night!
|DY- Beau, after
years of playing
music in various
bands, what is some
of the music you like
to listen to? What
would we find in
|BF- I still have a lot of vinyl, so it's pretty retro- you'd find a weird mix of '60s pop, '50s jazz, Sinatra,
Miles, Electronic stuff, Musique Concrete, Suzanne Ciani, R&B, Funk, Otis Redding, James Brown,
Luther Vandross, Bowie (of course!), a bunch of bass players you never heard of, some '80s new
wave, Bow Wow Wow... there's no theme to it at all, just what ever's struck my fancy over the years.
|BF- You know, when I get in the car these days, the first thing I do is turn off the radio. I don't know
too much about the new stuff. It's funny though- I took a freelance gig about a month ago- played a
fraternity party out at USF with some younger guys. No rehearsal- on the fly- we did songs by Tom
Petty, The Wallflowers, Gin Blossoms, Natalie Imbruglia and a bunch of others I can't remember.
I have NO idea whether the bass lines I played sounded anything like the records we were supposedly
copying. I do know that a hundred kids had a good time.
| DY- How
did you find out
page and what
you saw it for
the first time?
|BF- Buddy R called me- what's it been now, about a year and a half? I was stunned. It was like
hearing that stranger sing a song I'd helped write- a revelation. It continues to thrill me that so many
people got so much out of something I had a hand in. Of course my hat's off to you, Damien, for
caring enough to do this. Everyday it seems someone new writes in and says "Wow- I thought I was
the only one who knew about them!" What's really significant to me is the passion with which these
| DY- How did
you find out
and what are
|BF- SHOW ME THE MONEY! But hey-
that's a whole other story...
| DY- They not only
name, they messed up
the song credits &
What are your
thoughts about that
|BF- I love my real name- it was my father's. Now that he's gone, it connects me to him. I created
Beau in elementary school- again that stubborn individuality thing. But as to the album credits- I'm not
surprised they screwed the names up. I'm surprised they remembered the names.
| DY- Looking back on the
WW years, do you recall
any SPINAL TAP moments?
(For example: I
have heard that Captain
Ronn almost rode his
hobby horse off the
stage right into the audience
|BF- I have a lot of inspiring memories, not necessarily comedic ones, but I'll share one with you
Touring as an opening act was great but some of my favorite gigs were the shows where we'd headline in some
out-of-the-way place. One such gig was in Fairhope, Alabama, a town noted for making grandfather clocks. They had us
play in an old warehouse in the middle of town and about a thousand kids turned out for the concert. In those days Lars
would often have to splice wires to connect our lighting system into the main power lines coming in to the building- it drew
so much juice you
couldn't just plug it into the wall.
We got set up and took the stage that night- the place was packed and about ten minutes into the show
we blew a fuse- only we didn't just blow a fuse, we plunged a whole city block of downtown Fairhope
into total darkness. We were so into playing that Buddy R and I didn't even realize at first that our
instruments weren't making any sound.
Bobby Shea- bless his heart- never stopped pounding the drums and as I looked out into the room
which was now pitch black- no windows- I couldn't see but I realized the crowd was still all around
us, moving in an undulating wave in time to the drums. Buddy R picked up a cowbell and began a
maniacal rhythm on top of Bobby's drumbeat. Buddy P and I were groping around in the darkness
looking for something to add to the percussion and Ronnie,as usual, was running around the stage
trying to set things on fire.
|He must've gone through several packs of flash paper- you'd see this huge strobe of flame and
Ronnie's silhouette and the crowd would scream and then everyone would lapse back into the trance
of the jungle beat.
Eventually the power came back on and we finished our set, but with a level of intensity I don't think
we'd reached before.
| DY- WHEW! Thanks Beau! I hope this interview was fun as opposed to being a job! Thank you for your help &
your wonderful contribution to the soundtrack of our lives! Thank you again Beau.
|BF- Damien, thank you for your interest in the past and your involvement in the present. I hope very
much you'll be a part of our future. You didn't ask, but regarding a White Witch reunion, I'll go on
record as saying I'd be honored if you'd take part in it. Your tribute to the band has revived and
re-invigorated it. Whatever happens to White Witch down the road, the path has been forever
clarified by your torch.
|WELL, there you have it people. It's sad looking back on Beau talking about WW's future. This
interview took place a few weeks before Captain Ronn's demise. I have more pages & photos in the
works. Stick around!