The legendary band returns to Springfield.
As part of the weekly concert series in Springfield's Stern Square, the longtime Pioneer Valley rock band FAT performed last week. At one time their first album (from which the photo above is taken) was a part of nearly everyone in the Valley's record collection, but hard luck and the stubborn stupidity of RCA records conspired to prevent them from ever achieving the success they deserved. Here is the cover of that debut album.
Amazon.com has this to say about that album and the band's history:
Extremely accomplished debut by Western Massachusetts band, originally released in the US on RCA (LSP4368). Following the eponymous album's success, the band toured extensively as the opening act for the Allman Brothers. Fat's mix of east coast blues and west coast psychedelia, strongly influenced by Quicksilver Messenger Service et al, could have propelled the band into the big time, but an unfortunate drug bust led RCA to cancel a planned follow-up album, and try as they might, the group were unable to secure another recording contract, although two further albums were released in the late '70s, both of which were produced by ex-Mountain man, Felix Papallardi. Over the years Fat toured with a host of rock luminaries, sharing the stage with, amongst others, Grand Funk Railroad, Little Richard, Bonnie And Delaney, Johnny Winter and Robin Trower, but unfortunately their success as a live band didn't translate into commercial success.
Through most of the 70's they seemed to play all over the Valley. I remember seeing them at the old Paramount (now Hippodrome) and at a Springfield Technical Community College Spring Fling. The late Marc Walker (below) of Pine Point's infamous Walker brothers was a friend of the band.
Despite the failure of FAT, lead singer Peter Newland went on to have a successful career as a producer and songwriter in Nashville. Guitarist Jim Kaminsky stayed around the Valley and had a string of popular local bands. From time to time most of the members reunite for the occasional hometown gig, and such was the case this past week in Stern Square.
Accomplished lensman Jeff Ziff was there, and files this photographic report.
As always, the bikers were in town for the show in full force.
Here Peter Newland, gone notably hairless since his rock days, greets the faithful before the show.
The other band members have also aged a wee bit.
Fortunately musically the band has lost nothing!
In case you've forgotten, today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. The Ben and Jerry's in downtown Amherst had this special offer. (click to enlarge)
Arrgggh! I was too busy today to come into town and take advantage of it.
Finally, with all the stoner stuff I put on this blog, I must thank Bo Burnham for reminding me of my social responsibilities.