Gamalon Billy’s Saloon Footage from 1988

I stumbled onto this Gamalon footage from 1988 today.  That’s me on a home-made violin I called EVI (minus the gray hair we see today!).  I had probably been in the band about a year at this point, but you can readily hear how developed our sound was even in this early state.  This tune is a bit show-bizzy with the guitar/violin duel but it always got a great response from the audience.  Airplay-wise Billy’s Saloon was one of our more played tunes that got used at Hockey Arena’s, Football Stadiums (I think that the Buffalo Bills ran onto the field to this song), the Olympics and World Wrestling Federation too.  I know that famed NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace told us he listened to Gamalon while racing.  Pretty neat.  At our peak, Gamalon hit a #8 spot on the Billboard Jazz Charts, Played the Newport Jazz Festival in front of 40,000 people, was signed to MCA and Amherst Records, and toured with sax great Ernie Watts.  I am proud to have stood with my brothers for 8 years.  R.I.P. Ted Reinhardt (drums) and Bruce Brucato (guitar far right).  Also in the band were George Puleo (dueling guitarist) and Tom Reinhardt (bass).

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I stumbled onto this Gamalon footage from 1988 today.  That’s me on a home-made violin I called EVI (minus the gray hair we see today!).  I had probably been in the band about a year at this point, but you can readily hear how developed our sound was even in this early state.  This tune is a bit show-bizzy with the guitar/violin duel but it always got a great response from the audience.  Airplay-wise Billy’s Saloon was one of our more played tunes that got used at Hockey Arena’s, Football Stadiums (I think that the Buffalo Bills ran onto the field to this song), the Olympics and World Wrestling Federation too.  I know that famed NASCAR driver Rusty Wallace told us he listened to Gamalon while racing.  Pretty neat.  At our peak, Gamalon hit a #8 spot on the Billboard Jazz Charts, Played the Newport Jazz Festival in front of 40,000 people, was signed to MCA and Amherst Records, and toured with sax great Ernie Watts.  I am proud to have stood with my brothers for 8 years.  R.I.P. Ted Reinhardt (drums) and Bruce Brucato (guitar far right).  Also in the band were George Puleo (dueling guitarist) and Tom Reinhardt (bass).
Since this is primarily an educational site, I guess it would be appropriate if I talked about the music in this song!… Basically, it’s a one-chord jam.  Yes, there is a lot of stuff going on, but listen to the bass… it is just “pedaling” (an old organ term) on an E (with a few popped notes to support E).  I often have noted this with Jazz students who tend to think that music has to be complicated to be good.  Just like any other song, it has a melody section that appears at the beginning and again at the end.  The melody has an A and a B part not unlike a fiddle tune, and we arranged the parts to make it musically satisfying for us and the audience with a typical Head/solo(bass)/solo(trades)/drum solo/head format.  The solos are all E minor Pentatonic (jam along using the finger chart below).  Though it’s been nearly 30 years (I can hardly believe it!), if one of our members asks, I would be glad to go back, re-learning it, and write it out in chart form for other members to benefit from.  Let me know (comments below).AtoodzEbluesFBwEZZnTxt.001
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