Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Pigus Drunkus Maximus

Last week, I put up a song by Top Jimmy & The Rhythm Pigs, now I’ve decided to post more about the band.

Sometime in the late seventies, Jimmy Koncek decided that in addition to working at Top Tacos, he wanted to be a blues singer. Koncek was introduced to a guitar-playing doorman named Carlos Guitarlos. The two put together a band and soon had a Monday night residency at a Hollywood punk club called the Cathay de Grande. The band played their for three years and attracted a loyal following that included John Doe & Exene Cervenka, Ray Manzarek, and David Lee Roth. Van Halen want as far as recording a Top Jimmy tribute song called “Top Jimmy”.

Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, The Blasters) produced the band's album called PIGUS DRUNKUS MAXIMUS. Don Bonebrake of X plays drums and the Blasters great piano player Gene Taylor of the Blasters sit in on the LP too.

The Rhythm Pigs are reported to have been a terrific band live. The one album they made backs up that claim. The band had a wide ranging repertoire, the LP has songs written by Jimi Hendrix, Howlin’ Wolf, Johnny Paycheck and Bob Dylan. There’s a great cover of “Homework” and a fine take of Merle Haggard’s “Workingman’s Blues". But my favorite song on the LP is an original song by Carlos Guitarlos. “Dance With Your Baby” is a high energy jump blues telling all the hipsters in the back of the club to get up and dance or at least bring the band a fresh drink.

Drinking is also part of the band’s story. Apparently they did a lot of it. Unfortunately, Jimmy Koncek died of liver failure in 2001. Carlos Guitarlos became a homeless street musician in San Francisco for a period and developed diabetes. Fortunately, he got himself together and now has several well-regarded discs out.


Anonymous Lonnie said...

I'm listening to a bootleg tape I made of Top Jimmy and the Rhythm Pigs I made at Club 88 in LA on July 4th of...ah...1981, I think. Yes, they were a hell of a live band, and Jimmy was a character.

Gotta find me a copy of that album; I wonder how I ever missed it. I can only hope it's half as good as this recording I made.

7/6/07 2:34 AM  
Blogger KS said...

I'll trade you for burn of the LP if you're interested.

7/6/07 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Lonnie said...

Sure...um, any contact info for you other than this blog?

20/6/07 9:31 AM  
Blogger KS said...

kip*shepherd at hotmail dot com

Take out the * and the spaces.

20/6/07 10:05 AM  
Anonymous bubba said...

Any chance of re-upping the songs from this album?
I've been looking real hard to find it, such a shame it isn't available on CD.
Carlos Guitarlos solo album(s) are great, by the way.

7/6/09 3:52 AM  
Anonymous bubba said...

To answer my own comment ... the album is shared as ZIP-file of MP3s at Rapidshare:



14/3/10 1:32 PM  

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