Celebrating the Winston-Salem Sound (Live at the Ramkat 2018)

The Savage Band

Mac Chambers remembers:

Mac Chambers George Samaras John Williams at a party,
super rare shot of pre-Captain Speed players

"I became friends with Buddy Carlisle in 1965. . . . Buddy's uncle was a very smart and capable man who worked for either Western Electric or Bell Labs. He built from scratch the amps Buddy used. . . . As was common for Western and Bell engineers at the time, Buddy's uncle traveled quite a bit. On his trips he bought Buddy toys—particularly instruments. [The photo of] us playing at the Kiddie Show [shows] some of the coolest stuff including a 63-64 Country Gentleman and a 63 Hofner Bass both bought in New York, maybe from Manny's. He also had a very early (1951) Fender "Telecaster" bass, and a Gibson "Flying X" [X, not V] bass that has its own story.

Lou Christie and the Toys in Winston poster;
Teen-Beats and the Savage Band (who backed up Lou Christie, too)

"When we first played together in the Savage Band, Buddy played guitar and sang. He was always the best singer in the band. This would have been in the 1965 range with me on guitar, Buddy on guitar, Marshall Petit on drums and John Williams on bass. . . . After John moved on, Buddy switched to bass and we recruited Bill Westmoreland on guitar and eventually keys. We played the usual junior and senior high school gigs. Lots of battles of the bands. We also played local clubs in an era when underaged kids could play bars as long as we did not buy beer directly at the bar. Buddy and Bill went on the form Captain Speed and the Fungi Electric Mothers with Mike Greer on guitar and Steve Hutchison on drums. The name was taken directly from "Little Annie Fanny," a risque (by today's standards, obscene) cartoon that appeared at the back of Playboys in the 60's. During one of Annie's adventures, Captain Speed was the band playing in a club she visited."

Savage band business card with illustration by Bud Carlisle,
also used on the kick drum head

"The pick from the Downtown A' Go Go of the Savage Band is probably from 1966-67. Usually these gigs were split between two bands. The blackface Fenders belonged to the other band whose name I don't remember. Bill switched to keys (with a one sound Silvertone from Sears as I remember), me with the 335 and blond Bassman, Marshall on drums, John on the Hofner with Buddy's uncle's home-made amp and Buddy on the Country Gent with a borrowed from the other band Bandmaster. Of special note between John and Buddy is our Bogen PA amp. At the time, it was just about the only way to run multiple mikes, so we placed our PA speakers in back of the stage, miked them and sent that signal to the built in club PA to send out front. The little Shure line mixer that everyone used had not made its way to W-S yet. No monitors. It was primitive, but it worked . . . sort of." Mac Chambers

Tom Chambers: "My best memory of Buddy is this: He went to California at some point, probably around '67 or '68. I was around when he returned . . . Buddy was very excited to tell us about a special treat he brought back, he called it GodinaBox. He gets all of us ina room, turns the lights off, and then turns on the first strobe light any of us had seen."


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