Let's talk about classic musicians....
...guys like Steve Morse and fellow University of Miami
alumni, Rod Morgenstein, Mark Parrish, Allen Sloan
and Andy West, together comprising the first
and arguably best lineup of Dixie Dregs.
I first heard the 'Dregs' when I was on tour with
Alfie Zappacosta in our EMI band, Surrender.
At the time, we were in high demand on the
club scene, with hits on Canadian radio
and fans cueing up to see and hear
us wherever we played.
It was the early fall of 1979. Surrender was heading
west, after our first, weeklong stay in Winnipeg,
playing for the denizens of the Norlander Hotel,
and following a weeklong residency in Portage
la Prairie's finest local watering hole...
and I mean HOLE.
I remember somebody (maybe guitarist, Steve Jensen)
loading a cassette into the van's cheap, in-dash player,
announcing that this tape was totally "the shit"....
Before I knew it, the opening guitar harmonics-led
riff from "Take It Off The Top" filled the inside
of our little jam packed rust-bucket, instantly
transporting me from the back seat of a
smelly van to the far reaches of the
known rock universe.
Song after unbelievably well played song assaulted
my ears and - once the album was over - left me
emotionally drained and begging for info....
anything of interest... about this new
band of rock superheroes.
Needless to say, that tape never once left the van,
staying safely inside the cassette player for the
duration of our western-Canada-and-back tour.
Thirty-two years later, I'm still awed by the Dregs,
especially "Take It Off The Top", one of my
all-time favourite rock anthems.
Here's the original album recording, following
a snapshot of Surrender, playing the legendary
El Mocambo in the sweaty summer of 1980.
Mozz the Elder