I'm sorry that I can't offer any of the Harvest (1975, Tommy Shaw, Jimbo Jones, Tommy Beavers, me) music - they really are great tapes. I haven't been in contact with Tommy Shaw for several years so it wouldn't be right to use his performances and songs without his permission. CORRECTION: There are bad copies of some of this music available on the internet and floating around Montgomery, so, here is some of what I have.
HISTORY / COMMENTARY: In summer of 1975 Jason Wohlford was born and I heard Tommy Beavers play drums for the first time. I thought if I could get Jimbo Jones and Tommy Shaw to come play with Beavers and me that it would be an extra special band. Tommy lived in Chicago and played with a band called Smoke Ring (formerly M.S. funk) but when I told him Jimbo would join if he would join, he did and he moved from Chicago back to Montgomery for good reason - it was a great band. When Steve Lander heard of this possibility he wanted us for the Kove and then there was Harvest. It was an extra special band and there was some Montgomery music history made. People came from all over to hear this band and Shaw, Jones, and I had some extraordinary vocals. We even opened a concert with 'KISS' at Garrett Coliseum.
Tommy Beavers showed himself to be extraordinary all by himself and we gave him a good place to showcase his talent. I know of at least two excellent drummers who were inspired to be drummers by watching Tommy Beavers at the Kove. Tommy went on to be awarded a Grammy for his work with a Texas Swing band called 'Asleep At The Wheel'. He has since been all over the world knocking out other musicians with his playing. PERSONAL: My wife, Marie, and I went to Destin this summer (2003) and stayed with Tommy and his wife, Tana. We had a great and memorable time for three days and nights, although Tommy kept trying to peek at me in the shower ( some things never change). He said he was going to invite us to a race they were going to but NEVER CALLED TO TELL US WHEN THEY WOULD PICK US UP. Tommy won first place driving in a stock car race not long after that. He has always been speed crazy. T. Shaw used to go nuts when Tommy would leave us without a drummer for a whole weekend so he could go race cars. Beavers is currently making some improvements in his and his families' lives and It gives me hope and encouragement to talk to him. We talk on the phone for seconds at a time (and longer). Actually, I'm really enjoying having him as an active friend again. I think it is more important to us now because of the changes we've both made. Tommy Beavers is one of the people in the world that I laugh at the most - he told me his new band is called THE WELL HUNGARIANS (get it Ed?, get it?)
Okay, so Shaw was back in Montgomery playing with us, however, while playing at a club called 'The Rush' in Chicago, Tommy was seen by the manager of a band named 'Styx'. Harvest had been together about six months when Tommy got a call. Styx was about to go on tour when one of their guitar players quit suddenly and the manager remembered Tommy from Smoke Ring. As I understand it they finally hunted him down after hearing that he was playing at a bowling alley in Montgomery, Alabama. There was only one at the time and they found him and stole him from us. Why would somebody leave the corner of a bowling alley playing with ME just to make a few million dollars? HA! Tommy's history with Styx, Solo projects (more on this later), Damn Yankees (with Ted Nugent and Jack Blades), the Shaw Blades Band (with Jack Blades of Night Ranger), back with Damn Yankees, back with a modified Styx - is well known.
PERSONAL: About Tommy Shaw: We have a lot of history together. He is probably the one person . . .
In December of '75 Harvest was hurt by Tommy Shaw's departure, however, we had been regularly loving Beth Nielsen's voice for months when she would come to the Kove and sit in singing songs she wrote. Beth would literally quiet the place down when she sang and I would even stay inside during breaks to hear her. We asked her to join and it was during that time that we won a battle of the bands at the Coliseum . Tommy and Beth didn't play in the band at the same time. We changed the name of the band to 'HARMONY' because, with Beth's voice and without Tommy's electric lead guitar, the harmony vocals were now our strongest point. Soon, we also asked Bill Hinds, the left-handed guitar-monster to join. It took two fine musicians to take Tommy's place but Bill is a great guitar player so we weren't hurting there and he helped with the singing, too. Beth is a show of the finest quality all by herself, so, more Montgomery music history was made. We packed the place for two and a half more years and made some outstanding music.
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