We are back for part two of our interview with guitar guru BUDDY RICHARDSON! We are just getting into
the Capricorn connection and the first LP! Enjoy!
DY- I am gathering that you did not exactly have to shop a tape around?
BR- No, we did not, One of Capricorn's engineers , Terry King , saw us play a concert at the Tampa Armory
with a bunch of other bands and he totally freaked out. He was involved in putting together the new
Capricorn studios as well so he called them up and told them what he saw, he told them "You have got
to get these guys up here to record" and that's when they called us. They put us up in the central hotel in
down town Macon Georgia. They were still building the studio at the time and it was beautiful. We went
in, set up our equipment, and played three songs live and I guess they taped them. I am not sure how
much time went by, but we eventually got a call and they said "we would like to offer you a two album
contract" And that was it! Again, I remember when we were on our way to sign the contract I was
thinking, You know, we have this show, we have this package, we don't need a manager. All we need is a
record company and distribution. Up until now we had done everything ourselves. Many bands get
record deals and as they're recording they put everything together. They tell the bands, do this don't do
that but we already knew what we wanted to do. In fact, at the time we even had this beautiful faceless
white witch oil painting that was painted for us by POPPY, a great artist. Now I am glad that we used our
pictures on the cover but at the time we really wanted to use that painting. We were that prepared is
what I am saying. Capricorn didn't want us to use it and I had my doubts about the label just because of
the "Southern Rock" thing. I kind of felt like, why don't we shop this before we sign?
DY- Yes, this was your first offer!
BR- Exactly! We didn't even give anyone else a chance to hear it. I felt like we should have taken some
time out and think about it. What if something better comes along? Maybe some of the other guys felt
like, what if nothing else comes along?
DY- So let me get this straight, you go off to a big label to sign a two year contract and you have NO
BR- No! Not at all, I guess we were so excited, you know?
DY- Right, a major label calls you and says YOU'RE ON!
BR- Yes, they were in association with Warner Brothers. Everyone knew Warner Brothers! And also, it was
close to home.
DY- How long did it take to record that first album?
BR- Forever, because of the studio. We used to lie down on the floor and wait. There were guys coming in
and wiring equipment and they rented a Martin acoustic guitar for me and we were waiting for that to
come in and things like that.
DY- Was it a broken album in the sense that you guys played your parts separately or did you all play
together and then go back and do over dubs?
BR- We played together for basic tracks, rhythm parts. Piano, bass, drums and rhythm guitar then I would
put my lead guitar on. I did add things like, in HELP ME LORD, I did a violin bow solo. I did that without
punching in. I don't know why really,
I remember throwing the pick down and picking up the bow then throwing the bow and grabbing a pick
real fast. I didn't believe in punching in parts of solos. Like in DON'T CLOSE YOUR MIND, If I messed up, I did
the whole solo over. Most of the solos on that album are live solos. I didn't plan them out or punch parts
in. So it should be fun to re-learn them! (laughter) We really loved our music and one of the greatest things
about WHITE WITCH was that no one was like us at the time. There was no GLAM ROCK or SPACE ROCK
terminology. No one called us that back then. Years later everyone was saying, "yea, you got everything
you did from Alice Cooper or David Bowie." No, we did not! We toured with Alice Cooper but we were
doing this music before we ever toured with him. Maybe he just had better management, I don't know.
They had big records and so people in this world were exposed to us and they wrote about us. And so
many of them would write, "Why did this band sign with Capricorn?" A publication out of California wrote
"White eagle screamers that should have come from London". They were already seeing in our early
stages a problem, which did come later because eventually Phil Walden said, "I don't understand you. I
don't know why you dress the way you do. I don't know what your lyrics are about." And with our wanting
to, he had sold our contract to Alice Cooper's first manager. But back to the album, I think it took over
DY- You think that's a long time?!
BR- Yea, we were in there night and day.
DY- I ask because people spend that long recording one song these days.
BR-Well, we took 5 hours trying to get a good snare drum sound and things like that. We didn't do that on
every song but that kind of thing. The Moog was something we put a lot of time on but it was worth it. It
really made us different from the other bands.
DY- So you were totally aware that you were doing something extremely different?
BR- Totally. We knew it, our clothes, our attitudes.
DY- Do you remember listening to the music as it was being mixed down in the studio?
BR- Oh yea...
DY- How did you feel about it?
BR- I wish I could go do it over again (laughter) Doesn't everybody want to undo what they did and make
it better? Johnny Sandlin was a master though, remember, we didn't have all the modern studio
equipment we have today. I didn't have the kind of guitar amps or rack effects like they have now. No
digital anything, no computers. But we were doing something very different. People would come just to
watch us record!
DY (I am holding up the first LP and pointing at the front cover)- Do you remember this day?
BR- Yes, I had two hours sleep. Look at my face, can't you see how thrilled I was to be there? (laughter) I
wasn't trying to look cool. I just was not happy.
DY- Brother, you couldn't help but look cool.
BR- Yea, well, some people thought I was posing trying to look cool but no, I was tired. We wanted to use
our album cover and they were saying NO! You get down to the graveyard and do this photo shoot.
DY- So you had no say in your album cover?
BR- Correct. They were like, "Sign this contract, we love you, we love you," then we sign and it's like, "all
right, now do what we say and shut up." But I am being harsh, that was about the LP cover. They were
not like that about everything.
DY- Were there any unused tracks from that first recording session?
BR- No. One thing I do want to say. Everybody in our band back then was so happy, so together, so
thrilled to be in Macon recording. Our families were all so thrilled, the sounds were coming out good, we
had a great producer! He didn't try to change everything like on the second album. Every show I did with
White Witch was fun, it caused a stir, a controversy. It was like that when we started and still like that when
DY- Back on the recording session, were there alternate takes of songs on the first album?
BR- I don't believe so, but I do know what you are talking about. Like the BEATLES anthology, I heard it
and thought, my god, they are human!
DY- Well, that is what I am talking about, if someone did a WW anthology would there be any
alternate takes that may be laying around somewhere?
BR- I'll ask RONN about that, I don't recall that there were any. There may have been song ideas
recorded. I know I was working on CRYSTALLIZE AND REALIZE at the time… DY- So it is possible
that that whole LP is first takes? Did you already know the layout of the album? Who chose what order
the songs should appear on the LP?
BR- The three of us, Buddy P, Ronn and me… And Johnny Sandlin! DY- Now I will assume that it was
not recorded chronologically so when did you decide to record an intro and an outro?
BR- It was not recorded chronologically but I am not sure about intro, outro thing. We may have
recorded that all at once.
I will have to ask the others and find out. I know I didn't do any punching in on those pieces. I know Ronn
would sing along while we recorded our part but he would go back and record the vocals that we kept.
DY- Now on to the clothes! Buddy P says this was just your street clothes.
BR- Well, that's how we dressed. That's what I wore in the studio. I didn't wear that shirt all the time but
those pants and the clogs, sure. Ronn and I always dressed in that style and Beau always had great
DY- Yes, he is wearing that WW shirt! Who made that shirt?
BR- Probably someone made it for him, but I'm not sure who. You know that is not the star of David on my
shirt! That's the cosmic star of universal love. I don't know who made that shirt for me. We knew a few
really good seamstresses.
DY- That is another thing that sets you guys apart. I have picked up LPs from glitter glam bands that
were so dull. It was obvious they put all the time into what they were going to wear. Your first LP is so good
it didn't matter what you wore. You could have been in suits and ties!
BR- We didn't really plan out the clothes thing .We may have planned out things for our selves but
ultimately we wore the same things we went out to get dinner in. (Buddy is holding the first LP cover and
looking at it, I can see he is going back in his mind and we both are silent.)
DY-That LP that your holding there is packed full of so many subtleties that I am sure that was another
thing that was unplanned. I believe that is what gives it its longevity, you hear something new each time
you go back to it.
BR- Yes, some of the things you said in your writings about the album were so true. We didn't want all of
our music to sound alike, that's how you can capture timelessness in music. Maybe some people didn't
like that about us, I don't know. That's what we wanted to do though, we wanted different feelings to be
expressed through our music, and there are very subtle hidden messages with in.
DY- Yes! The timelessness is so right! I taped this LP for a friend and he asked after listening, "Is this a
retrospective? A best of?" He thought it was all from different time periods!
BR- That is an interesting way of looking at it (Laughter)
DY- Yet at the same time it flows and works together so well. This album is such an anomaly!
Considering it's time period I am shocked that more people are not still raving about it! There may be
bands today tapping into what you pioneered but who was doing what you were doing back then!
(Wow, listening back to the tape, I was raising my voice like a southern preacher. Buddy probably
thought he was in church)
BR- We bought this house about three years ago and the last few years I have had a lot of work done. A
lot of people have been over here, many of them were young guy's in their 20s and a lot of them have
seen the album on the wall and they would want to know about it so I would play it for them. And many
of the people I have played it to still say, "Have you thought about bringing that down to the radio
station? That sounds great! It doesn't sound like old music to me."
DY- So I read "Special thanks to Sluggo, Lars, and Jeff?
BR- Roadies man! Sluggo is Doug Hahn? Lars is Larry Smith. Lars the Dutch man, Wooden shoes and a
Dutch boy haircut. Like I said earlier, he is doing so well now with his light business. Sluggo is still in town and
we are all still best friends. And Jeff
drives trains now! All of those guys have done so well for themselves and the love and respect we have is
stronger than ever.
DY- How did this album come off live? There is so much production on it.
BR- I've been thinking about that lately. I think that we were so loud and so much was going on with the
show and the Moog that it still sounded full. Obviously I couldn't play rhythm and lead at the same time.
DY- Also, there were all the layered vocals on the LP. Who sang back up live?
BR- Bobby Shea, Buddy P and I sang back up. Bobby really has a great voice, he could sing really high. I
sang a lot and Ronn also overdubbed background vocals on the recordings.
DY- After this LP came out and you went on the road, who were some of the other artists you played
BR- Alice Cooper, Grand Funk Railroad, Dr. John, and so many more.
DY- Did you guys interact with any of these artist?
BR- Oh yes, we all went to parties together, huge parties. One time we went to this party in Atlanta with
Alice Cooper, and you know, I always carried a bag and I was dressed the way I dress for my gig.
There I was walking through the lobby and BAM! Two undercover cops grabbed my shoulder and pulled
me to the ground. It was bad timing because I was sick. I had fever. That is probably why they noticed
me, I wasn't looking so good. Then they started asking me "Whut ya gott in dat bag
BOY" I said, "You know officers, the usual, lipstick, make up, what else do you carry in your purse?" They
were like "Don't get smart wiff me boy" All I had was some books, my wallet and probably some make up
(Laughter) But they went through my bag and found my Sucrets tin. You know the throat medicine? I
had aspirins in there and one of them said, "I could put you in lock up for six months for having this stuff in
this tin." I said, "These are all over the counter things, what about older people who have to carry all of
their medication around on them?" He said, "I'm talking to you boy, not them". Actually, I was at the
fountain when they grabbed me. I was taking aspirins because I was sick and they thought I was taking
drugs! In truth, I never knew anything about drugs until I got to college. I grew up on cheese burgers and
DY- So did you have any moments with Alice Cooper or his band members?
BR- Nothing big. Just talking like you and I are doing.
DY- Do you know how Alice felt about your music?
BR- I don't know. That is another good question for everybody. Maybe someone else knows? Maybe you
should "go ask Alice" (laughter)
There was one show that we did opening for Alice and we made him fall down! We had this old smoke
machine, one of the hot oil ones, and some of it got on the stage floor, and after the roadies moved our
stuff Alice came out and hit the oil and fell! (laughter) He was fine but he was not happy!
DY- Oh yes, I did want to ask you about the "SO MOTE IT BE" on the step right beneath you on the back
of the LP?
BR- That means, So be it! We got that from our Egyptian cosmic literature. That was Ronn's and my idea to
put it on the album. We wanted to put a lot more cosmic signs and symbols on that LP but we didn't get
DY- The second album catches up with WW 1974, the line up has changed. When did you guys lose
BR- Wow, I don't know. You will have to ask Beau that one. I can't remember when it happened but at
some point we knew Beau was not coming with us so Buddy P got Charlie Souza to play Bass. Bobby
moved on to percussion but I do not know why he didn't play drums on that LP.
DY- So where did Bill Peterson come from?
BR- Tampa bands, a good friend of ours! He is just a great drummer! And Charlie Souza is also truly a great
DY- I saw Charlie in the old Tropics photos. Did he take on the cosmic attire when he joined WW?
BR- I don't know. I split after we recorded that LP. I never did a show with Charlie.
DY- Oh really! Now it's getting interesting!
BR- Yea, I went to be a "missionary" Ha ha ha! Right! That's a great rumor! I always got a kick out of that, so
I never denied it.
DY- Do you recall the first song you recorded on the A Spiritual Greeting session?
BR- No, you can ask Ronn that one. Songs were not done in their entirety and then on to the next song.
We would do the rhythm tracks to a few songs and then go back and add stuff to them.
DY- These songs were things that were coming together live before you even went into a studio?
BR- Some of them... CLASS OF 2000, CRYSTALLIZE AND REALIZE. This was a much quicker album then the
first one. I don't remember it taking more than a week. It was cool. Bill Wyman was there mixing some of
his music! He and I had a six pack of Heineken and just sat on the floor and talked! I still have my beer
bottle and YES was there doing some work as well.
DY- I have to know! How did you feel about CRYSTALLIZE AND REALIZE when it was complete and
you were hearing it back for the first time?
BR- I loved it! It is one of my favorite WW songs. There was one strange thing about it. The timing is a bit
odd so it took a while to get across what I wanted. I also wanted an echo effect on the guitar but I could
not get it across to the Albert brothers. I had a really tough time with those guys. I really think they were
closed minded and they were trying to change our songs. They would try and tell us things were out of
key when they were not! I had to sit there while playing AUNTIE CHRISTY with head phones on while this
person told me "Hello! Hello! Are you in tune? Do you know what you are doing? That note you are
playing, you can't do that!" I told them, "I can do what ever I want, I am paying for this recording and
your salary and I wrote this song." He was doing this to me in the presence of all these people in the
booth and I was thinking I don't care, I am going to play it my way. When they heard that lead, the little
fast part, they were like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING! YOU'RE CRAZY! It's on there though. When I was finished
they liked it a lot! But back to AUNTI CHRISTY, Charlie did a great Bass part. I believe he played through a
phaser. And Bill was great and the synth was perfect in that song! I love the middle part of that song.
Buddy P is doing that SYNTH solo and we stop the beat. It's like being in a space craft in artificial space
and then you just step out into space and you're floating.
DY- Looking back on both of these LPs I must say, I am still shocked that this first LP is anyone's FIRST
LP! Most bands work their way up to a concept LP but you guys did this master piece on your first trip to
the studio and shame on Rock historians who do not pick up on the genius of this work! Forgive me but I
must rant about this!
BR- That's fine. I think this is great. It is like going back to that time period. It's wonderful going over all
these things again.
DY- Well back to A Spiritual Greeting... what was a stand out track for you on that one? Obviously
CRYSTALLIZE AND REALIZE.
BR- That is my favorite and also CLASS OF 2000. People have always responded to that song and I see so
many people on the WW site mentioning it.
DY- Oh yes, we are also moving upon the year 2000 and so many people started talking about the
possibility of getting you guy's to do a Class Of 2000 reunion!
BR- I know, wouldn't that be great? If we did do it what I would want to do is the entire first album add
CRYSTALLIZE AND REALIZE and CLASS OF 2000 and end with the outro. Those songs were spacey songs
that fit with the first album. I love WALK ON but it just doesn't sound like a WW song to me. It is a beautiful
song and I sing it all the time. Buddy and Ronn came up with a winner on that song. I just don't think that
second album flowed as well as the first one.
DY- Do you think it was because you were more of a live band at that point?
BR- It was because of the producers! They interrupted our flow, they wanted their mark on it. You cant
give people that kind of control over your vision. If you ask everybody in the room, "How does that
sound?" if there are a thousand people in the room you are going to get a thousand different opinions.
They will have to find something to change just to validate them selves being there. What does a
producer feel like if you just tell him what you want? Now Johnny Sandlin had an ego and a vision but it
meshed with ours so it worked. The second album was just more business than cosmic.
DY- I have to ask Buddy, why did you walk out?
BR- I wasn't happy with the whole "second album" production experience. I remember sitting on the floor
and they were saying "Oh, Buddy is over there sleeping" I wasn't sleeping, I was seething! All I could think
was, I am going home after this and it is over. And here is another reason, No more jamming! Alice
Cooper doesn't want you out there jamming, you have 40 minutes and then you need to get off. They
would say, "You can't use your props tonight. You don't get a sound check" Even back with Grand Funk,
we were only allowed to play so loud and then when they came out they would crank up the board!
DY- That's because they know you would blow them off the stage.
BR- I know but that is wrong! If I were playing tennis I would want to play the best tennis player there is
because that would make me better. But anyway, it was ending to me. Playing shows and only getting
25 minutes sometimes and then it's over! And so many people didn't get it. Why did Capricorn throw us a
party in a mortuary in San Fransico? They must have thought WW was a Halloween act! Hey look, forget
all of this, look at that blue bird on the fence, Damien! That's a beautiful creature isn't it? OH YEA, I did not
leave because someone was playing slide guitar! We had people sitting in on the first album playing
percussion and doing back up vocals, should that have upset Bobby Shea? I don't play slide guitar so
that would be the same as asking a sax player to sit in. It was not stepping on my toes. I was concerned
about putting a stand out slide guitar on the album since we did not have a slide guitar player in the
band and we would have to recreate it live. BLACK WIDOW LOVER was completed without the slide but
the Albert brothers decided to put it in.
DY- I know that you walked after this album was recorded but did you play any of these songs live
before you recorded the LP?
BR- Let me see that album. Yes, I did this and this and this (ok Buddy, I need song names, I guess you were
pointing at the songs you played ooops)
DY- I asked about Auntie Christy because I heard that Ronn came out in a cowboy suit?
BR- No, I was gone before the rocking horse and the bible burning.
DY- Buddy P also mentioned that you were supposed to open for DAVID BOWIE in New Orleans but
the bus broke down?
BR- First I've heard about that! David Bowie is one of my heroes. That must have been after I left. You
I was one of the first David Bowie fans in this town. People around here were like, "That David Bowie is a
glitter freak" And I was thinking, "Bowie is a genius! Cant you just sit down a listen to his music?" I would sit
on a bean bag chair at a friends and listen to every Bowie album as they came out, staring at the covers
and going crazy. What was that album… Hunky Dory! Shhheeeshh.
Aladdin Sane, Diamond Dogs! DY- I think with Crystallize and Realize under your belt, if you did a
whole album in that acoustic space style you could do an LP as strong as Hunky Dory.
BR- I would love to get together with Ronn and work up music like that, No "HOMEGROWN GIRL" or
"ILLUSION," just beautiful melodies and cosmic music.
DY- Some of the questions the fans wanted to know mostly dealt with your leaving the band.
BR- I was just tired. I loved what Ronn was still doing but after the second album it was all changing. Bobby
wasn't playing drums, Beau was gone, It wasn't the same kids playing songs anymore. They went on to do
more work. GEORGE BRAWLEY came in on guitar. Ronn changed the band into STARCHILD and Runyan
was in. I think they may have played a few shows as WW but they were a totally different band. Riff and
Jack West had joined Ronn by then which means Pendergrass and Shea were gone by then.
DY- What was next for you after leaving WW?
BR- I was after this singer I had heard and known for years. He is great! Mike Reager is his name. Mike can
sing everything from Rod Stewert to James Brown and plays cooking keys as well. We got Beau to join us
on Bass and Jeff, a former roadie that played drums.
DY- You really kept in touch with Beau then?
BR- Oh yea! Always and forever, best friends forever. We became THE BAND WITH NO NAME and then we
to REVOLVER. We worked between 75-77.
DY- Do you have any recordings of that project?
BR- Yes but the quality is really bad (laughter) You will never hear it!
DY- What kind of band were you?
BR- We were one of the first rock bands in this area to bring back the British Invasion music.
We played clubs all over the area. Beatles, Stones, Spencer Davis Group, we played it all. Danny Di Pietra
replaced Jeff Parramour on drums. He is great! We used to do lots of long jams and he really tore it up! We
blew speakers almost every night. I really had fun in that band and would like to do it again.
DY- Then after REVOLVER what next?
BR- A few weekend party bands, still mostly 60s music.
DY- What about Buddy Richardson the composer, the writer?
BR- (With a big smile) He's back writing again.
(Buddy went inside to get some water for us and when he came back he had some thoughts on the two
BR- I really wanted to say, The first album was so cosmic, it was candles and incense, It was like a dream.
The second album was more like someone turned the lights on and we woke up.
DY- You are right on about those albums and just said in a few words what has taken me pages
of writing to get across. I love that first album and though I think the first is more consistent, I still dig A
Spiritual Greeting. But most of all you should know, the world was waiting for that third WW LP. We still are.
(Pointing at the album cover I say) We want these guys back.
BR- They are all alive and well and I am in hopes we will get back together. Beau is ready, he knows every
note of that music. When my wrist gets better I will be ready as well.
DY- I should add... Buddy, I was impressed with your playing last night!
BR- Yea, didn't we sing great together? WE did Bowie and Beatles great! (Yes space friends! I did get the
opportunity to sing with a rock hero of mine and yes it did sound great. Yes, I did tape it!)
DY- I have to say Buddy, I saw John Lennon sit in with Chuck Berry on a TV show. That was one of his
Rock heroes. Last night, singing with you was the same thing for me.
BR- Well you are a very good singer, You should have been around back then. We could have been in a
DY- Well you have a band currently, do you not?
BR- Yes, Charisma! That is my wife Kimberly, Rita and me. We just do parties and stuff like that. We just all
love to sing so it's just so much fun. We do everything from the Beatles to Aretha and I just love the three
DY- Are there any new bands that stand out to you?
BR- I like FASTBALL.
I am not familiar with a lot of band names. I know the songs. I love all kinds of music,
I loved the REMBRANDTS when they put out the LP with "THAT'S JUST THE WAY IT IS" on it.
DY- Is there any music you always go back to?
BR- I listen to Jazz a lot. I love all the solos and jamming.
DY- Wow, I almost forgot to touch on this! IT'S SO NICE TO BE STONED! Who wrote it?
BR- Beau Fisher and I. We wrote it when he and I were driving home from Georgia in an old blue Ford.
Beau had his acoustic Ovation with him so I jumped in the back seat with it and told him to drive. By the
time we got home it was completed and we went crazy.
DY- What about "LIFE IS A SINGLE PILGRIM"? Was that the early form of the song?
BR- I referenced this with Ronn and he said no, not at all. That was another song that Ronn was working on.
DY- I was wondering, Can you categorize the style of music WW played?
BR- People have asked me that before. There are screaming songs, straight Rock n Roll, space, cosmic
songs. I know it's not Southern Boogie! It's not Jazz though there are jazz elements to some songs. I wrote
some of that Jazzy break down in SLEEPWALK. But I can't categorize the music other than Rock n Roll.
DY- How did you find out you were re-released on CD?
BR- It was out before I knew it! I was minding my own business going on with my life. Then my daughter
told me you were out there with this web page! At the time there were like 38 hits and a few weeks later
there are over 2000! All of these countries all over the world! Then Capricorn put out those CDs! What
happened! Were we in a vacuum?
DY- Last question. Is WHITE WITCH getting back together?
BR- Ronn , Beau, and I say yes! Buddy P seemed into it after the Tropics show so we shall see. He say's he is
going to call me and we will get together and talk about it. It looks good, Damien.
TAKE ME HOME