John LaMain, Bill White and Mark Fry established the band in 1976. The Band has gone thru some incarnations over the years, but so have John, Mark and Bill. In the beginning they were called LaMain, White and Fry, then they Changed the name to the Havana Band until 1988, when some members of the band were sought by some very jealous husbands, as well as some very discontented Bar keeps, whom the band could not afford the cost of reconstruction of their establishments, nor pay their Bar tab. So it was a unanimous vote to change their name to the Indio Blues Band. They came up with the name when, one day Mark, who owned the rehearsal studio, hired a couple of Hispanic gentleman to clean the practices room. While cleaning, the two Hombres happened across John’s not so well hidden bottle (5th) of Wild Turkey. Well, needless to say when the boys arrived at the rehearsal studio for practice that evening, to there dismay, they found two completely passed out drunken Mexican helpers lying on the floor with the empty bottle next to their bodies. John, in his utter discuss awoke the sleeping beauties, yelling at them you little Indio’s! They awoke and replied to John, No, no, no Juan (John) you the little Indio! Well, that left John speechless! (Which is a rare feat in its self).Then, the boys all broke out laughing and the name stuck; from then on they were known as Indio. (Yes! John is full blood French Canadian Indian). The Boys remain friends with each other today and still get together and play, but not like the touring days or playing seven days a week rain or shine, practice or gig as they did when they were in their young twenties. They still love their unique sound and their own style which shows versatility that is second to none. Today: John has diabetes. Bill has Cirrhosis of the liver and awaiting transplant but has been sober 14 years. Mark is still hiding somewhere in the California Desert with shotgun in hand, to protect him self from those poor pissed off jealous husbands.
Original Founding Members:
John Lamain-Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar and Vocals 1976-1997 Partial 2004, Partial 2005 and 2006.
Bill White-Drums, percussion and back up Vocals 1976-1981, and again from 1986-1997, Partial 2004, Partial 2005 and 2006.
Mark Fry-Bass Guitar 1976-1992, Partial 2004, Partial 2005 and 2006.
Dave ""Diving Duck"" Miles-Harp 1977 to 1993
David Rodriquez-Second Guitar 1977.
Adam Thorne-Second Guitar 1978-1979.
Tony Fury-Second Guitar 1979-1980, and again from 1986-1996. Parital 2004, Partial 2005 and 2006.
Gary McSweeny-Second Guitar 1980-1982.
Randy Marenellie Second Guitar - 1983-1986 (Deceased).
Ken Star-Keyboards 1981-1982 and again from 1992-1993.
Joe the Sax Man-Alto Sax 1992-1993.
Jim Hurley-Violin 1978-1979.
Gary Geiser-Bass Guitar 1992-1997.
John Canaday-Drums 1981-1983, and again from 1996-1997.
Charlie McPhee-Drums 1983-1986 (Deceased).
The original master recordings have disappeared or have been misplaced when the Dr’s Office Recording studio moved from Garden Grove, Ca. (Doctor “D” or David Allen Engineers please contact us. We have some work for you!) What we did was to take and extract from cassette songs onto CD, then we had to down load the CD’s into mp3 format and then upload it onto this page. It was truly a labor of love and team work to save these original recordings.
We apologize for any loss of quality to any songs. Like we pointed out the masters are temporally missing until we can contact the sources named above. On any live recordings added the master are missing also and we had to use the same technique to upload these songs. All live songs are unmixed and raw, but they are, and still do provide great performances and very good sound. These live recordings and they are real live recordings, show the real talent, power and style of what became the Havana-Indio Band.
An interview with the Band:
What is your Background?
In 1976 Mark fry had an open jam at his house. Through mutual friends, John LaMain was told about it and was coaxed by his friends to go to the jam. The same thing happened with Bill White, who had recently been discharged from the U.S. Navy, and his friends had strongly suggested to him to go and get back to his roots of drumming. John, Mark nor Bill had ever met before that day. However in 1972 Mark and Bill did both go to Edison High School together in Huntington Beach at the same time. Bill was a junior, and mark was a sophomore, but they never really knew who the other person was. John grew up in Orange Ca. about Twenty miles from where Bill and Mark lived. On that one fine day in late 1976 when the open jam happened, there was about eight guitar players and only three drummers that showed up, no Bass players showed up at all. Mark Fry who fancied himself a guitar player saw the dynamics that happened when John and Bill dominated the open jam. However there was a Bass guitar and a Bass amp someone brought to the open jam. Mark saw what happened when John and Bill started messing around. It was just the two of young guns playing. Every guitar player and the other two drummers just sat back and watched the two of them play off of each other. They just flowed together like drinking a wonderful malt liquor followed with fine Bourbon chaser. It just flowed with a bite that had a taste of wonderful. All of a sudden John and Bill heard the Bottom come in, it was Mark Fry, he picked up the bass and started playing and added to the three pieces, and then all of a sudden, they took off to a place that nobody in that room had ever experience nor have ever experienced again. That night was born what became The Havana Band. Very fortunately the jam was recorded on a very cheap boom box and it the very first recording ever of these three exceptional musicians which was the first step in a long thirty year venture and friendship that very few Bands will ever be able to have or experience, including Major big name acts.
Are you professional musicians or do you do other work to supplement your income?
We have done both. In the early days we were never told not to quit our day jobs, in fact we were encouraged to do so and hit the road. Its just we were so damn broke and we always splurge on our equipment. But there were a few years in between that we did make our living playing music and it was our music too. But then Disco came and ruined a good thing. (The men started laughing) Yeah Platform shoes baby, and the hustle (More laughter)
Who is your typical fan?
Wow! Good Question! That’s a hard but easy one to understand. Like we said Thirty years gives you a fan base that is rather wide, and has a lot of depth. We have been around our peeps so long the when our fans were young we saw them get married, have children, watch their children have children. And all of those people who have seen us at some point in their lives. So were pretty diverse as far as age. We have fan as young as 13 years old and fans that are baby boomers, getting ready to retire. We also have broken cultural barriers as well. Hell anybody who likes our stuff is a fan and a friend as far as were concerned.
What are your songs about?
Our songs are about life in general. Sharing with others, some of our own experiences and listening to other peoples experiences. Their about heartbreak, happiness, anger, fear, love, resentment and revenge. It’s about life on life's terms...the Blues man! Rock and roll, live for today because tomorrow may never come! The theme is for how anyone may be feeling or experiencing on any given day.
Do you write your own songs? (Discuss the songwriting process in detail.)
Yes! John LaMain is one of the most brilliant song writers we have ever been associated with. He brings his ideas into rehearsal and says I got something new I want to try and we, Mark and Bill, collaborate with John on the feel of the song. Its a wonderful thing to do because the chemistry that we have with each other is so complementary to each other that we just seem to know what John wants out of the songs and we just take off on the rhythm add a little salt of the dog, some curry, some sweet smelling lady fragrance from the night before add some cooking Brandy shaken well and lightly stirred. Put into the mix some blood and tears, and wha la! Bon Appetite. One dish is as different as the other. Every song sounds different. But always our own distinctive style.
Who are your musical influences? (Site specific examples.)
Oh Geeezzz! Do you have all day? Well our primaries are: Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Mahogany Rush, Johnny Winter, Allman Brothers Band, Carlos Santana, Cream, Eric Clapton, and ZZ top, T-rex, Rory Gallagher, Robert Johnson, Blind Mellon, and Etta James. Add infinite...
How do you describe your music to people? (This is not a short answer. Discuss it.)
Raw, untamed, so don’t pet it, just move to it. And please, don't feed the animals. It is just us, no others compare to our style. Then just add questions number four and five above and you have a de_scription of our style that is second to none.
What image do you think your music conveys?
Don't except collect calls or Dear John letters. To hold your friends close, but your enemies closer. To heal and take a chance on Love again or fall in love for the first time. Live life! It is in secession.
What are your immediate music career goals? (Next 1 to 3 years.)
Too finally except a record deal with a label Indies or Major, who believes in us? Were not the good looking lad's we once were but we do have certain “something” about us that comes out in the music. We have found out though research that there is a very viable market for our music and for us. We can reach all ages. We have a vault of thirty years worth of original music that we want to pick the best of the litter to put out two to three CD's and tour smaller venues as well as get back on the blues festival circuit. Hire management who can look us in the eye and know were veterans and have integrity as we expect him/her to have the same.
What are your long-term career goals?
To be successful recording artists and song writers. To collaborate or sell songs to up coming artists and subsidiary rights for movie, television or commercials. To start publishing, and help produce and support younger bands and artists so we can afford to start our training for geriatric delinquency.
How would you define the word success?
We already are... were still playing! Outside of Commercial success. What really else is there. If you have brought smiles to the face of the people you've played for... You have succeeded. If you enjoy and have the love for the music that you ply you succeeded.
If you've survived the early years and you’re still making the audience smile... You’re a success!
Are you looking for an independent label deal, a major label deal, or no label at all? (Why?)
We have already answered that... to go over it again would be redundant
Are you looking for an independent label deal, a major label deal, or no label at all? (Why?)
Like we said ""Thirty years""! We have played in front of crickets chirping with two people in a road house bar to major blues festivals in front of 10,000 wonderful happy people. We’ve been razed and we have had major standing ovations with encores
What live performance experience have you had?
Very high ratings. Not to say we haven’t had an off night as do most major acts do also. But we have found we never give the same performance twice. We have played thousands of gigs we know what the other is thinking and we are very creative on stage. We know how to get you're attention and keep it.
Did anyone in your band have classical or formal music training? Where & Who?
John LaMain does. He has a little. When he was a small boy his mother was a teacher and she knew she had a prodigy on her hands. But John never perused it. When he first heard the Blue his mom knew she lost him.
Can you tell us a bit about the recording process? What did you use, how long did it take you to reach the finished product?
It's been a few years and technologies has past by a little but we like to play live altogether with a scratch vocal track. We use a 16-channale processor and coy on to hard drive and then download into 32 channel board for the final mix and dubbing touch up's. Or in the past we used dat with a 16 track board and processor. With what you’re hearing on here is a labor of love. The old recording engineer that recorded the album moved with our Masters and we can't find him. The live tracks were done at festivals and we never got to keep the masters. So we have old master cassette tapes that we had to copy onto CD then from CD into mp3 format. It's not the best way to go but we had to save the recordings some how because cassette tapes only last so long before the music is lost forever. We just laid down some songs in a studio that we recorded live and now have a fresh new recording of Big Bad Blues the studio version, and yes! We do have the Masters.
What do you think about downloading music online?
We think it could be a good toll but it must be carefully regulated. It does cause piracy and can be dangerous to the artists. It has made the record industry come out of the dark ages though. But I think that is a good thing. We all must come of age. But like anything else on the internet you’re going to a crooks and power trippers.
What do you think of the record industry today?
It has become very broad. The old schoolers with old thinking will have to come up to speed. We think that there is more competition between the record companies which makes way for a big change in the industry. It looks very challenging between the record company and merging computer companies... It's a wide open field for the executives today.
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