Sunday, January 16, 2005

Welcome - Main posts go here

This blog was launched on 16 January 2005 and replaces the old "Jimmie Spheeris Online Forum." I plan to reorganize this blog a bit as time allows and split it in to more seamless categories. Please stay tuned.

Post comments about the Jimmie Spheeris Memorial Gallery. Ask a question. Tell other fans where to find rare Jimmie LPs and CDs. Think up new ways to preserve Jimmie's music - and tell us about your ideas.

104 comments:

IWasTheMercury said...

Andy, thank you for putting this back up. I enjoy reading the fan comments. It continues to remind me the true reason we reissued all those CDs.

AndySocial said...

Thanks, buddy. What a long, strange trip it's been, huh?

RiverCityguy said...

Andy, it's great to see that the forum is back up and we are all communicating again! I was just listening to a 1974 recording of Jimmie and his band, and I thought "I wonder if the forum is back up yet?" THANKS for bringing us all back together online.

Tingler said...

Man, it's really good to see these websites dedicated to Jimmie. I was always very fond of his music....nothing like it. I found the sites, because I was searching the net to see if I could come up with some mp3s of his songs. Tall order!

Brithm said...

Thanks Andy! Again you prove there is a higher being! I have missed the stories and remembrances of Jimmie.

I seem to remember something about a book and a documentary coming out on Jimmie. Where do they stand and whats going on with them?

fairway 1960 said...

Enjoyed the memory of Jimmy's music, touched a deep place. Anyone know of a place to obtain Isle of View?
Thanks

pchristie said...

Four of Jimmie's albums are available on iTunes: Ports of the Heart, Isle of View, The Dragon is Dancing, and An Evening with Jimmie Spheeris. Interestingly, Ports of the Heart is mislabled as Port of the Heart. I'd love to know how they happened to turn up on iTunes!

Brithm said...

I was able to get a copy of Jimmie's live album on ebay. Its really great!

txgypsy said...

Why is it so difficult to get a copy of the Isle of View on CD ? This is my favorite album. I have 2 copies.

Does anyone know how I can get a copy on CD ?

Douglas said...

Hello Andy, thanks for setting this up. As to copies of the Rain Records CD's, I've had no problem finding them all on e-Bay for relatively reasonable prices ($12-$24). I know everyone is used to getting free MP3's for everything under the sun but for CD quality Jimmie I don't think e-Bay is a bad way to go.

Cheers,
Douglas

Bob said...

Jimmie's music is available at:

http://www.music.msn.com/

wendy said...

About 9 months ago, I was trying to play my old album Isle of View. I bought it when I was 13, I think. I played it so much it was worn out. I loved it. I found the CD today at a church sale and was so happy. It made me look up Jimmie Spheeris on the internet and I found out he died. I never knew. It was great to hear it again. I really belive I was meant to find it. Thank you!!! Wendy

hemnebob said...

what a unique memorial to a great artist.
have always missed him. he used to stay in
the hotel where i worked back in the 70's in kansas city...what a thrill that was for me...his music has
been playing in the background of my life story every since my first experience listening to his album in '71...still have it. that mysterious, beautiful voice of his. miss his presence in our chaotic world.
love you jimmie.

Stephen Hancock said...

I first met Jimmie in a commune I helped start in San Francisco. That would have been in 1966-67. We were all so very young back then. He was just there, no real reason. I remember that he would sit with us on our matresses on the floor and sing to us with only his guitar. The songs were like nothing else I had heard. He had that certain something - that spark of genius that was all so evident. One of the guys present made a few recordings on an old Sony reel-to-real tape recorder. After awhile he drifted off, as so many did. I heard that he had gone to New York. Many years later I found his first LP in a used record store. My jaw dropped on listening to some of the old words and melodies, IT REALLY WAS HIM! I was fortunate to know him back then. He was both an intense and mellow young man, and we are all at a loss at his passing.

Stephen Hancock said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MellowMan7 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MellowMan7 said...

Hey everyone: Just saw a brand new Isle of View CD listed on eBay. Thanks Andy for a great site. When will the history be back up that was here not long ago? There was some great reading for fans, new and old.

Ernie said...

I was first introduced to Jimmie as a young kid in the early 70's. He was my first concert at the Boomer Theatre in Norman OK......I was about 12 when I went.....and by myself at that. He played solo acoustic and piano......I was blown away. I had no idea Jimmie had died untill Johnny Pierce came to OKC and was on KRXO one morning......I was very sad to here this. Jimmie's message still rings true today.......thanks to Johnny for all his work in the past 10 years....and for others who have worked on this........

kiki said...

What a Long Strange Trip, indeed! In 1974 I went to Webster College in St. Louis. My roomate, Demi, had Isle of View. When I left Webster 6 weeks later I missed the album dearly and bought it for myself. Over the years it has become a favorite of my 17 year old son who suggested I get it on CD. My record player, a 50 year old Garrard, still works but I figured the suggestion's a good one! Easier said than done. Thanks for the website. I never could figure out why Jimmie wasn't a huge commercial success. His music is so compeling, it sends me to another place. I.ve never met anyone other than Demi who knew his music. It cheers me to read your words and know there are many other people out there who know his work and appreciate it as I do.

Mike said...

I have so many emotions I don't know where to start.

But to start, I first saw Jimmie sing near Dallas Tx in 1974-1975 in college. I am lucking enough to have some of his CDs... and the song "Shirt full of apples" is still one of my favorites.

And to bring it all full circle, I came across this site doing research for a web site clinet of mind. My client lives right where Jimmie lived in Santa Monica, and he is Danny Daniels, the Original Tap Dancing Kid from Broadway.

I will have to come back and post some more... I gotta think about all of this some more.

bob day said...

man what a drag! didnt know he left us! i saw him at the cowtown ballroom in kansas city mo way back when music meant something!he was the mercury!

Jacira said...

Jimmie Spheeris accompanied me through my angst ridden teenage years in high school in the mid-1970s and I have carried his albums with me from country to country through the last 30+ years (US --> Italy --> Ecuador --> US --> Chile --> back to the US).

Just a few months ago I moved to a new house and bought a record player that can record CDs, thinking it was time to transfer all my old LPs onto a medium I can at least play in my car. The very first album I dug out to listen to was Isle of View! That got me started thinking, "What ever happened to Jimmie Spheeris...?"

I am saddened to learn of his passing and glad to find this site where fellow fans congregate to keep his memory alive. Afterall, if we keep his memory and his music alive, then he will always be with us.

By the way, I use IPowerWeb as a hosting service for my numerous websites, and the cost is $95.40 a year for hosting... even my largest site of more than 500 pages. Since it is a labor of love, you may wish to check them out!

GayAtheist said...

I stole Isle Of View from my brother back when "Tony Orlando and Yawn" were big stars, then I went to see Jimmie at the Uptown Theatre in KCMO.
I like the lyric, and Jimmie had the best.
Jimmie played the Uptown that night in the 70s and then we went over to a house for a meeting with Jimmie...I had never heard of Scientology before. I photographed Jimmie that night. It was great. I just got the live album today from Amazon, and I was expecting the live album to have been recorded in KC (because the Uptown Theatre is on the cover)...I thought they made an album out of a concert I attended, but no...after hearing the live album, I get the feeling Jimmie may have been just a little bit gay. That would be great if it were true. Who knows?
I'd like to know where Jimmie is buried. Can anyone post an obit.?
My search for Jimmie Music goes on as I never forget that Jimmie's Fierce!

CherokeeWoman said...

I've been a Spheeris fan since the 70s. Isle of View was my favorite album back then and I've felt lost in time, since I couldn't find a CD anywhere. I came upon this site while searching the internet for info on Jimmie. I didn't know he'd passed away - what a loss. He was one of the most ethereal voices of our time.
It's wonderful to post with his other fans here.
Thanks Andy!

paulyv said...

What sad news about Johnny Pierce's recent passing. If it weren't for him keeping Jimmie's music and spirit alive...who knows? Guess we all have our time- Only hope they both are together and jamming like the old days. I'm a rabid fan (not a dealer) and looking for anything unique to Jimmie- i.e. handbills, ticket stubs, programs, photos, etc. Anyone know ....? My email is paulvolmar@hotmail.com
It's amazing how his music can bring me up no matter how down I am- the legend lives on

markr said...

Every once in awhile a song or a voice stirs our heart, that was the case when I first heard Isle of View in college (1975) like many of you. Maybe its just me but it spoke to my heart and my spiritual drive (am I alone in this) and still does. Its like a friend in hard times as well - it calls something deep inside me. My music career blossomed but we never crossed paths until many years later Jimmy was the "surprise Guest" warm up for the Moody Blues (Maybe 1983?).
For me Jimmy was the gift of that show... I always wondered what happened (I live near Venice beach myself now) and what he was really like as a person...is there going to be anything of a bio, etc on here??

Thanks much

Mark Richardson
Manhattan Beach, CA.

markr said...

OK - I have a question: On his last album, SPHEERIS, there is a picture of him with a crow (looking at the discography). Now a crow is the symbol for death, and the back cover looks like him with wings. Is that a picture he picked???
WEll not surprising I suppose, since life is always giving us messages of what is to come - and this looks like one of those...

Be Well,

Mark

AndySocial said...

Replies to previous posts in this thread...

I'm going through this thread over the next few days and will add more replies ASAP. Meanwhile:

To markr: Thanks for the posts, Mark, and you're most definitely not alone. Jimmie's work continues to dazzle countless friends and fans around the world. I wish I could open up my private email collection to everyone here... maybe someday.

Speaking of which, I got an email today from a longtime friend describing Jimmie's voice as, "like the sound of silk talking." Is that perfect, or what? I wrote back and said I'd steal that line. She wrote back and said OK.

I loved reading your reference to Jimmie opening a Moody Blues concert. They were always very supportive of his work and he opened several concerts for them in the early 80s, with the late Paul Delph. I think there's more info about that on the main site, but I don't remember exactly where at the moment.

As for additional bio info, lyrics, discography, etc., the Jimmie Spheeris Memorial Gallery has pretty much the most complete info available anywhere, as far as I know. It's a volunteer work in progress and I update it as often as possible.

As for the cover photo on the last album, well, that's a long story. Here's the short version. By the time that album was finally released - some 16 years after it was completed - Jimmie was unavailable for direct input on art direction for the CD package. Johnny and I worked closely to find images and a design style that might best capture the mood and material. The guiding principle for all aesthetic choice was always, "What might Jimmie want?"

Jimmie had a pet crow (really, no kidding - another long story) during the time he lived at his last home on Beverley Avenue in Ocean Park, California (just a few miles up the coast from where you live in Manhattan Beach). The crow's name was "Oh." I don't know who made the photo that appears on the final album cover - and wish I did. The version on the cover was resampled from an old xerox poster Paul Delph had on a wall of his little studio in that same apartment. Johnny and I thought it covered all the bases, and that's how it ended up as the cover art.

The back cover photo, by Darryl Golden (Jimmie with the wings in his hair), seemed to fit the general theme. More production credits are available on the Spheeris page.

Crows are very intelligent animals. The crow was Jimmie's totem, no voting about that. Scientists know that they have a language of at least 17 words... which, if you think about it, might be more than enough.

Anonymous said...

FEB. 2006 - Spheeris Cds are avaliable in KANSAS CITY, Missouri at the Music Exchange 4200 Broadway KCMO 816.931.7560 (musicxch@aol.com)...this store closed on Dec. 31 and will re-open in FEB for a final going out of business sale. Behind the counter is a jimmie spheeris box full of sheeris CDs...it put a rise in my Levis.

AndySocial said...

Well there you go, fans. Get in a car, get on a plane, get to Kansas City for a Jimmie fix. I love anonymous and everybody at Music Exchange. Always did, always will.

Beau Zar Satori said...

With only a month's experience az a 'U.of A.' freshman in Fayetteville, I accepted an invitation for a road trip to escort two sweethearts to a concert. I had never heard of Jimmy Spheeris nor "Isle of View".

Live on campus in Dallas 1972...Wearing a middle-eastern style cotton pullover down to hiz ankles, with hiz knee length hair tied back, Jimmy played a long and brilliant accoustic set. Hiz smart and poignant humor permeated the music through many funny stories. Hiz vocal ranges were astounding while hiz ballads and lyrics were enlightening and deeply moving. Throughout the show, shouts for Jimmy to take hiz hair down, were met with hiz big smile and delightful coyness.

After the fabulous solo act came to a cheering finale, Spheeris broke into a rocking encore with a mysterious bass accompaniment. Az the encore continued to build, the sounds of a keyboard joined in while the spotlights exposed more musical equipment and musicians through a sheer black curtain. The back up band began to really rock out az the curtain rose and Spheeris exited the stage left. While the band continued to really rock the crowd into a driving crescendo, Spheeris came racing back onto midstage in a slide, skin tight pants, knee boots, no shirt, flowing hair everywhere, and a dual neck, flying V electric guitar.

The show went on for another hour more than expected in a hot, sweaty dance rage. Another unveiling curtain exposed a 'starscape' backdrop floor to sky. Just when the amazement seemed to be overwhelming, they dropped a giant, spinning, mirrored ball with criscrossing purple spotlights that cast undulating and eclipsing shadows into the starscape while bathing everyone in purple stars. Then, az the crowd ascended into a timeless elation, they dropped an even greater, spinning, mirrored ball into criscrossing white spotlights...blinding everyone in ecstasy.

I wish the Jimmy Spheeris website would include a comprehensive list of hiz live shows and concerts. Each date could turn into a Topic for posting shared experiences and reviving memories. Pleaze feel free to correct any of my descriptions that might be in error.

Thank you for your consideration.

Beau.

AndySocial said...

Good post, Beau. A full list of Jimmie's many concerts is simply beyond the scope of the project at this time. Maybe some day, but probably not.

I wish I could respond to every post on this thread... and the thousands of private messages in my Jimmie inbox.

I'm too slammed these days. All I can say is I Love You (Isle of View). Keep posting - and thanks for keeping the flame burning so bright.

- Andy M (Auntie Em - we're not in Kansas anymore)

Beau Zar Satori said...

When I wrote the above story, I waz responding to a music question on a local blog. The writer waz wondering if anyone else had heard of 'Jimmy' Spheeris. I, immediately, pounded out my memories without remembering how 'Jimmie' spelled hiz name. After posting on our blog, I googled 'Jimmie' and discovered the memorial site. After reading some comments, I registered on this blog and posted my story. I apologize for the misspelling and wish I knew how to edit my posting afterward.

I published this memorial site address on our local blog so others are now learning about Jimmie Spheeris and hiz music.

AndySocial said...

Don't worry about the Jimmie typo, Beau. It's a common boo-boo. Spheeris fans often Google both 'Jimmy' and 'Jimmie' to find their way here.

Your post paints a vivid picture of a Jimmie show... and is much appreciated. Wish I'd been there! ...and through you, I am.

Anonymous said...

I added a Jimmie "virtual grave" to a website called findagrave.com using some photos from this site. (if this offends the "legal stuff", I'll remove the offending material promplty. please don't sue me, I have nothing). Stop by
www.findagrave.com and search jimmie's name on the "non-famous" side for now. If you please, I'd like more information about where Jimmie's remains lay so I can add that information. Find A Grave is a fine site dedicated to preserving graves in cyberspace for future generations, and a fun place to browse and leave notes at people's graves.

Anonymous said...

In addition to the above post, if you find any mistakes in the Biography, please let me know.
I suspect Jimmie was born in, or from Kansas. Do you have any anformation on this?
Thank You
midtownkc@netzero.net

Thump553 said...

I was just on buy.com and they have a couple of Jimmy Spheeris' albums for sale as MP3s. It says the label is Rain Records? Are the legal logjams cleared up-will the CDs be available again?

AndySocial said...

Welcome Thump553:

Thanks for the post. I have no idea who gets the money for digital downloads of Jimmie music from the buy.com site. Certainly not Rain Records (whose CEO, the late Johnny Pierce, made the CD restoration project possible). Maybe the money goes to Jimmie's estate (Jimmie's sister). Maybe it goes to Sony (an evil corporation from planet Hell, IMHO). I honestly don't know.

In any case, the legal logjams are as jammed as ever and the CDs remain in limbo. Somebody's making profit from Jimmie's work, but it ain't us.

Ray Songwriter said...

My girlfried turned me on to Jimmie Spheeris in 1973. We both went to see him in Atlanta in 1974. Jimmie played a set with just guitar and piano and totally captivated his audience that night.

I think the thing that I feel most influenced by when it comes to Jimmie is that he had a lot of guts in that era to put out music that wasn't top 40. It was harder then to continue to be associated with a record company and not have a "hit". But the thing about Jimmie's music is that every song didn't have to be a "hit" and conform to the fad and fashion of the day in terms of what a "hit" was. Nope, every song was just damn good.

There are beautiful songs out there that will never be "hits" in this era or any other. These are timeless songs that transcend the idea of being popular. Instead, they are just the essence of quality.

What Jimmie taught me was that it was important to write a good song - PERIOD. If it was "popular" that was just gravy.

He also wrote from the heart and I think that anyone who doesn't is just faking it.

I think that Isle of View is one of the truly classic albums of that era.

James said...

I just found out that Jimmie Spheeris released a single "Hold Tight" in 1980, from this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Spheeris

Does anyone have that single?

sunwolf said...

It had snowed and I was alone in Philadelphia pondering what to do with my life. So I headed to the zoo. I believe it was January, 1970. For quite a while I thougt I was the only one there. Then I spotted a man and woman in the distance. The man had long hair and something about them made me want to meet them. But they soon disappeared and I wandered alone for quite a while. I had just driven out of the zoo and I saw the couple again hitchhiking. I stopped and picked up Jimmie and Idalie. I took them to the Mainline Coffee House where Jimmie was opening for Jerry Jeff Walker. I hung out with them late into the night. Jimmie's music was great but there was much more. Sharing stories and laughs made it one of those magic evenings that has stuck with me for a lifetime. It helped me keep my own creative fires alive. Thanks Jimmie and Idalie.

AndySocial said...

Hey James. I have a copy of the "Hold Tight" single. It's a gem in the archives. I hope to share it with Jimmie fans some day. Thanks for posting.

AndySocial said...

Great post, sunwolf. That's a keeper. My current phone number for Idalie in Florida no longer works. She sent me a postcard from Greece a while back. Maybe she moved there... I dunno. In any event, I'll pass your post along to her when and if we hook up.

After I post this reply, I'll scan Idalie's postcard and upload it to the Jimmie site, with a link.

Best to you and yours. If you have a site, post a link. I'd like to see what you're up to.

AndySocial said...

You can see the front of a postcard Idalie sent me from Greece here. Looks like a beautiful town. On the back she mentions that she may move there.

tucker said...

To follow the sad news of Johnny Pierce's passing, some good news for 2006. I have found an old tape of previously unreleased Jimmie Spheeris demos that I got from his brother, Andy, back in 1988 or '89. I worked with him on the film, "Peacemaker" (a low-budget sci-fi film, not the George Clooney one). Andy was a grip and when he told me his name was Spheeris, I replied that that was the last name of one of my favorite musicians, Jimmie Spheeris. He replied "Jimmie was my brother." I was immediately thrilled, because I hadn't heard what Jimmie was up to the last few years and then it hit me he used the past tense. Was? He told me about Jimmie's death and I was suddenly deflated. To make a long story short (or shorter) Andy was nothing like Jimmie -- stern, somewhat jaded man, but good at heart. The last day of the production, he handed me an audio cassette and told me it was a copy of some of Jimmie's demos they had found in his house. Years later, I tracked down Johnny Pierce (through Rain Records) and told him of the tape. He was anxious to hear it and I made him a copy. Johnny had played on four out of the five tracks, (which were tracks that didn't make the final albums), but the fifth was one that even Johnny hadn't heard before. The following is a list of the tracks (the tape wasn't marked, so these may not be the "official" titles, but probably are close since they are prominent in the main chorus of each song: 1. "Sweet Havasu," 2. "Open Up Your Heart" (not to be confused with "Open Up"), 3. "It's Only Make Believe," 4. Wind, Blow Her Back Here," and 5. "That's What Friends Are For." (The last one is the one Johnny had never heard). I'd like to share these rare recordings with other Jimmie fans out there. If anyone would like a CD copy of these songs, please let me know. My email is: tuckerjohnston@hotmail.com Please keep in mind that they are demos from a cassette copy and aren't CD quality, but any chance to here (and preserve) more songs of Jimmie's is worth it.

James said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
James said...

Andy I am really looking foreword to those lost tracks again. I really loved the lost tracks and enjoyed listening to them quite a bit. I was never able to download them when they used to be on the site and so I am missing them quite a bit. There also used to be a short video clip of Jungle Sweep maybe it's just a trick of member but it looked like I saw Jimmie recording singing it or something in the studio. I think it may of been the alternat version and at the end of it it sounds like I heard a crow

Tucker thank you very much for sharing the demos

artistpw said...

I was a young teenager when my brother or sister got “Isle of View”. I listened to that album until it was worn out. When “The Dragon is Dancing” was released, my sister bought that, but returned it for some unknown reason. After that, I lost touch with any of his newer music.

I got an Ipod a few months ago, and have been having a lot of fun finding newer songs and trying to remember older songs I used to listen to. I was so happy to find this music on ITunes the other day when I remembered it. I can’t recall hearing his tunes in about 30 years, and they are so haunting and contemplative. I downloaded the whole “Dragon is Dancing” album, and in listening to them for the past day or so, I find myself trying to hum their tunes and recall the exceptional, pensive lyrics. I really remembered a few of them, but not two now that I really like. “In the Misty Woods” is so wonderful, and it almost sounds like a gently exhaled song, and “Blown Out” has a enticing dark, delightful theme that sort of seems like “Tainted Love”.

I noticed the cover of “An Evening with Jimmie Spheeris” and I recognized the Uptown theater marquee from Kansas City, Missouri at 3700 Broadway.

I was saddened to find out about his death, and especially discover it was so long ago, but Spheeris was an amazing musical talent, and his contributions will be remembered forever.

ColoradoBob said...

One magic night in 1974 I went to see The James Gang. Some unknown artist named Jimmie Spheeris opened for them. The crowd was drunk and surly. Jimmie and his violinist did a few numbers and were booed offstage. Wrong crowd! Something in me snapped and I had never felt so disconnected from my peers as I did that night. I think I lingered for a few numbers by the main act but something inside had been touched too deeply to stay. The next day I haunted the record store until I found "Isle of View."

All these years later I still haunt the record stores for Jimmie's music. I've been lucky to obtain "Isle of View" and "The Dragon is Dancing" on CD. They're my prize musical possessions. That said, I have a question:

Would it be legal to burn a CD to trade for another one? I can't afford the intense prices Amazon.com is asking for the rare Jimmie Spheeris CDs they have. Today "Isle of View" is listed for $139.00! My idea is to freely copy my 2 CDs and trade them for the others I don't have - "Ports of the Heart", "Spheeris", "The Original Tap Dancing Kid" and the "Live" album.

As a graphics designer I can recreate the album art (at least the cover) to give the CD a professional look. Like all of you, I'm in it for the music and not the money. Maybe, someday, Sony will allow us access to his music once again but until then I just want to be able to hear it. Trading a home-burned CD sounds logical and shouldn't fall into the category of theft or bootleg. Let me know what you all think.

ColoradoBob said...

I suppose I should include a way to contact me if anyone wants to swap some Jimmie music.
ahabob@mac.com

Again, there is no money exchanged or financial gain here - simply an exchange of music no longer available through ordinary channels. It's done with love.

Mike said...

It was the Spring of 1974 when I was stationed in Argentia Newfoundland (US Navy) and a friend of mine, Roger, had Isle of View playing in the background. From that moment forward I have had Jimmie playing and singing in my head, despite an absence of any of his albums in my collection for 20 years (until 2005). Thank you for putting this Blog up.

icanwait said...

I was a shy 18 y/o, spending the night with my first real girl friend, for the first time. She was my age but far ahead of me in both sexuality and spirituality. The lessons in love that I learned from her were orchestrated by music I had never heard---from the Isle of View album. That girl disappeared from my life a few months later, and I never bought the album because it painfully reminded me too much of that unbelievably splendorous night. Now, 33 years and a lifetime later, I was just moved to tears by "I Am the Mercury", which I haven't heard in ages. I am now on a quest to find this album---an icon of my life---and share it with my wife and our daughter, who is now 18 herself.

SunSwan said...

I was 19 in 1975 and used to spend half my paycheck on albums, every week. My favorite thing to do was buy a stack of albums by unknown artists. The Dragon Is Dancing caught my eye and the way it blew me away was indescribable.
We were very much into heavy rock at the time and I was just getting into jazz and discovering my spiritual side. That album just sent me off, every time I listened to it. As I'm reading your site, I have the headphones on and the dragon is dancing in my soul. You know how some songs just give you the shivers? I can rarely listen to Dragon without tears filling my eyes. Such a voice. Thanks so much for an opportunity and place to share.
I'll catch ya next time around, Jimmie.

Ron V. said...

I have been an avid Jimmie Spheeris fan since '75 in college at OU. I have a co-worker that says she saw Jimmie and Jethro Tull in Tulsa around '76/'77. I don't know how I missed it, since these two are my personal favorites...I was wondering if there were any records of the concerts and can not find any video, anywhere. If anyone has anything they could put it on You Tube to share...

GeoKan said...

This is crazy. I have been archiving my vinyl lately and "Isle of View" was at the top of my list so I decided to do a search while I was waiting for the real time record to disc. This copy of the album has been played about 3 times my first copy which I still have has been "drug abused." I bought the new copy in a retro store in the 80's and recorded it to casette so it would be safe. The night I got engaged I took my now wife of 35 years to a Jimmie concert at the uptown. I gues that was agood omen. God bless Jimmie and all teh people who put this site together. I am blown away by your efforts.

AndySocial said...

Hey geokan (and everyone who's posted)...

Thanks. Every post here rekindles a spark in my gut and reminds me to help keep Jimmie's flame burning.

love,
andy

Ron V said...

I finally found a copy of Jimmie's last CD, Spheeris. It is very eery, mystical, and spiritual to listen to the songs and the words knowing it was completed hours before his death. In the first song he sends a clear message that he believed in Jesus, and, eternal life...throughout the CD it just seems that he had a providential message, a vision...the last words on the CD, "We are coming back...." WOW, I'm so glad I know and understand Jimmie Spheeris. I wish we had the last 22 years of recordings in addition to the first 6 but those 6 are very special...Thank You, Jimmie!!!

Norm said...

I also saw Jimmie Spheeris at the Cowtown Ballroom in Kansas City...it was either 1975 or 1976. He was a phenomenal story teller, and his voice was like God's little brother's: probably. It was as though we were all his personal friends and he was letting us "in" on the poetry that was his mind. He sang Lenny Welch's "Since I fell for you", and there were very few dry eyes in the house, and there were NONE after "I am the Mercury". Everyone was stunned by what they'd witnessed. "Talent" seemed a pitifully wanting description of the magnificent creature painting vocal tapestries before us, and my girlfriend and I stood enchanted and dazed. He told a bawdy story about a satyr from New Orleans he'd known, and spun tale after tale before each song he performed. Those who never knew of his genius are the poorer for it, but are fortunate to be blessed by blissful ignorance. I am grateful for this blog, as I would very much like to re-enter the magic of his music, and many of you have shown me the way.

AndySocial said...

Hi Norm (and everyone else who's posted lately).

Thanks for your lovely post. Yeah, Jimmie's cover of "Since I Fell" is easily one of my favorite recordings of all time. He nails that tune like nobody else - no voting about that. I have a couple of versions, most notably the version on the double live CD ("An Evening With Jimmie Spheeris"). I'm listening to it as I type this and it always sends me back to the heart of Jimmie's genius. I also have a few private tapes he sent over the years... wish I could share them with you all. The funky recording quality and analog tape hiss can't disguise the heart and soul of his gift.

Johnny's death [Johnny Pierce - longtime buddy and Jimmie's bass player - see jimmiespheeris.com for more info], plus scary letters from Penny's lawyers [she seems to think we made money off of Jimmie's name - a nearly funny concept except, well, it's actually more tragic than lucrative] keep me from spending much time here. Frankly, it's very difficult to visit the site these days. Stirs up a hornet's nest of emotions. I could write about that for gigabytes. But I won't, and that's good news for the fans - heh.

Anyway, I stop in from time to time and cherish every post. I said it before and I'll say it again: Thanks for keeping the flame burning. Post more, post often, and continue to spread the word. Some day, we'll all punch through - and Jimmie's work will find its rightful place in the history of our times.

love, andy

Anonymous said...

Come here, come back,...come back here. ooo....Cunningham Run Road, West Virginia....grand old home on the hill, lyin back with my man, listening to Jimmie. The music even brings the smells of the country back to me. Now, isn't this one beautiful boat we're all in? My, my....

Anonymous said...

Decided to check into the Jimmie world and am in tear to hear of Johnny's passing. Was one of those that looked on the net for years for Jimmie and then one day.....it was there. Took 10 years to get into Jimmie after seeing him only once in a big concert on Sedalia,Mo. My interest was perked and gradually I tuned in. Eventually I got all the CD's from Johnny communicated w him about the recording I did of Snake Man from Jimmie's Dragon is Dancing Album.
Where are all those CD's that the distributor had when they went bankrupt, leaving Johnny in the lurch. Did they ever get redistributed or re-released?
Thanks Andy, for keeping this going.
This blog is my only connection to the Jimmy world. No one I know here in Mass. has ever heard of him, Jimmy is in a class by himself. I'm in a ton of different bands, see my bio page at (www.contrabanditos.com)and will certainly keep the "Jimmy Faith" and will keep puting his songs out there. Now I'm tuned in again, I'll keep in touch. The essence of all good never dies, and can't be killed. Peace,Dan Fassett

AndySocial said...

Hi Dan, sorry for the reply delay.

"Where are all those CD's that the distributor had when they went bankrupt, leaving Johnny in the lurch. Did they ever get redistributed or re-released?"

Not to my knowledge. Johnny had a few CDs left before he passed away and I've got a few of each that I keep as my private stash. As to the bulk of the catalog, we could never find out exactly what happened when K-tel went belly up. They had a few thousand units of each CD as I recall... the entire stock of everything Johnny had paid for.

I suspect, but cannot say for certain, that they went to Sony as part of the bankruptcy. Secure creditors always get first grabs at the proceeds from liquidation and Sony was probably at the top of that food chain.

It's all pretty twisted. Johnny paid for the CDs to be manufactured by Sony at their plant out of his pocket -- even though he could have gotten a much better deal on the open market. Sony required us to use their plant as part of the deal, then pulled the license around the time K-tel went bankrupt. By that time, Johnny was dealing with declining health and we never could get a straight answer from Sony or the courts.

The albums are available on iTunes now, but I have no idea who collects the money for sales or mechanicals. Perhaps Sony, perhaps Penny. An attorney I spoke with a few years ago at iTunes couldn't (or wouldn't) tell me where the money goes.

It's all a stunning example of everything I've come to despise about the music biz. But during one of the last conversations I had with Johnny, he told me he was glad he's done the project even though it cost him tens of thousands of dollars. "At least the music is out there somewhere," he said, "in digital format."

It's important to note that the master tapes were in terrible condition. Ellen Fitton, who remastered "Ports of the Heart" for Sony, called me one night and said, "It's a good thing you did this when you did. When we opened the box with the original studio master from the Sony vaults, brown dust drifted out. The tape was unstable and the magnetic media was separating from the mylar tape. Another year or two and the tape would be beyond salvage."

I can only hope that there are crates of CDs sitting around somewhere and that whoever has them (again, Sony probably) will eventually release them. Remember that last scene from the film Indiana Jones? The huge warehouse scene? I have a picture like that in my mind.

Tell me more about your cover version of "Snake Man" some time. And happy holidays to all the fans.

- andy

Jim Harper said...

What a treat read the stories of Jimmie all of you have.

Cowtown Ballroom KC, and Memorial Hall.

I followed Jimmie to Denver in 72 and saw him open for Chick Korea at Ebits Field a Jazz club.

My 8 year old son loves his music. My son nails the high notes at the end of I Am the Mercury. Brings tears to my eyes.

Thanks for putting the blog up and the site.

Jim

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axememan said...
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axememan said...

sorry andy social..thanks for the site and info..i was so fired up about finding jimmie info..i had been to the memorial site[found it from the dead musicians site]..and i forgot my manners....sorry,i see where a person can sorta find jimmie stuff..i would like to end up with all of his albums....cd's too..

axememan said...

does or can..anyone out there tell me how to play 'i am the mercury'..?..i tried the tuning that was posted on the site..well i just cant figure it out?..im not to good on the guitar as it is...so,how can a person tell when the blog was posted?.im pretty computer stupid....thanks again andy

jack rabbit said...

THANK YOU! FOR THIS SITE! I was introduced to the music of Jimmie Spheeris while I was in high school during the 70's - and I immediately fell in love with his haunting lyrics. He could always take me away to a magical, mystical place like no other artists could. From the haunting "I Am The Mercury" to the lively "Seven Virgins" - I have to listen to "Isle Of View" from time to time, to "refresh my soul!" I was SO very sorry to hear of his passing! We are all diminished. He left us with some wonderful music that is very special. I hope that he is smiling down on us all!

PEACE BE WITH YOU ONE AND ALL!

- A Devoted Fan -

P.S. Would love to replace my well-worn LP copy of "Isle Of View" with a CD version.

jack rabbit said...
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axememan said...

03/07/07..anyone outthere?....annonymous?,,im in the midwest area...albums?..cd's?

Pamela said...

Jimmie Spheeris opened for Bruce Springsteen (!) at the Liberty Hall in Houston, Tx on 7/3/74. This website has a ticket stub and an article reviewing the concert.

http://www.brucebase.org.uk/gig1974.htm

Lipwak said...
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axememan said...

did you remove those posts?..curious..maybe an explanation why they were deleted would be nice..............if i faux pas-ed..sorry..i recieved my copy of the dragon is dancing album finally..decent shape...very pleased!

axememan said...

also..i wish the date as well as the time was in these posts...04/16/07....

AndySocial said...

Yes, axememan, I removed the posts. See the post entitled "The Rules" for more info.

GuruDave said...

My roommate in college used to play "The Nest" and I loved it. Nearly 30 years later I was able to download it on iTunes. Sweet. I was (am) very saddened to learn that Jimmie is no longer with us. How tragic. Thanks, Jimmie, for the great music.

GuruDave said...

Has anyone heard Sufjan Steven's song "Concerning the UFO Sighting Near Highland, Illinois"? It sounds very much like Jimmie. Jimmie lives on!

axememan said...

thanks andy.....it is a shame that the music gestapo has to be involved in such matters...wouldnt it be nice to be able to share the music...it is a sad thing that jimmies music cant be proliferated to the masses by any means..i wish the family or estate would let the music go..be free...for all to enjoy..it has been long enough that a whole new generation would and could be blessed with his songs!still fresh today!
peace
05 27 07

cls238 said...

It's hard to believe that it's been 23 years since that horrific phone call telling me that Jimmie had died. 4th of July has never been the same since. Five years ago I got married on the 4th of July so that I would have happiness mixed in with the sadness over losing Jimmie. He was in Atlanta 3 weeks before he died to play a show and stayed with me. I consider him to be one of the dearest friends I ever had on this earth, although we only knew each other for 3 years. I will go through my letters and photos and submit them for posting. I will be forever grateful for that last time I got to spend with him and see him play....what a brilliant, loving man he was.
Lisa Smith, Atlanta, Georgia

Dan said...

I've been a fan of Jimmie since 1975, and he's still at the top of my playlist. His unique style has never been replicated which is a testament to the timeless quality of the music. Thanks to whoever put the CDs out because it allowed me to retrieve some of the albums that had been lost along the way. Every time I play some Jimmie for someone that's never heard any before, they really light up. So the music is still alive and new fans are appreciating it every day.

planetjeffy said...

I am listening to come back on Rhapsody and I am crying. Such a beautiful song by a beautiful person. I did not know he was dead. Brings back memories from Tulsa circa 1974-5. Bless you Jimmie and all his disciples.
jeff maslanplanetjeffy@gmail.com

Antonio said...

Crazy that I now just found all this talk about Jimmie. I never imagined there were so many people that were moved by his stuff. I thought it was my own little incredible memory.
I was turned on to The Isle of View on a trip to Alaska in 1972. Way out in the Chugach mountains, in Eklutna, our homesteading friends played it all the time, and it stirs unbelievable memories of the wild experience up there and my youth. It's hard to even describe the mood that it evokes. Today I grabbed it off of iTunes...so great to hear it again.
And to just now learn that he perished in a bike crash, was quite sad indeed. But...his music and mood flows on...let it flow.

vince magers said...

I knew and worked for one of the two gentlemen who booked Jimmie and the band into Kansas City's Uptown Theater. I was already a diehard fan, having bought everything he had recorded and nearly wore out the LPs.

I had the good fortune of meeting Jimmie during the sound check. My friend Todd knew I was a fan and introduced us. Jimmie gladly autographed a playbill and talked for a minute or so. Here I was a young teenager and he was getting ready for a show but for that minute it was as if he had all the time in the world for me. It was clear that there was a beautiful human behind those moving songs and angelic voice.

It was a magical night. Johnny Pierce opening and a great show following.

I have many, many mementos from more than 30 years of listening to music but meeting Jimmie and his simple note of "Thank you for listening" are the ones I cherish most.

thelistener said...

I am in search of the original artwork for the album "Isle of View"....does anyone know how to find it?
It appears to be a painting. It is one that I woud like to find a copy of for my home.
I cannot begin to tell you about all the magical times I relate to this album artwork.
Thanks if you can hlep. I wiill check back in on this blog site from time to time to see if anyone has any clues for me.
My thanks.

vieuxkansas said...

A young co-worker (age 30) had just been introduced to John P...a long ago favorite of mine...I told him about Jimmie S. and thought he might like his music, too. We found out on the web that Jimmie S. had been killed in a motorcycle accident. I was sorry to read that.
I had purchased two Isle of View albums in my lifetime..wore the first one out..Still, have that album on cassette and still play it in my car and at home on Rhapsody.

Thor said...

Like Ernie - I too saw Jimmy at the Boomer Theatre in Norman, Oklahoma in the early 70's when I was about 8 years old. I went with my college-age sister and that was my first concert.

Being the youngest of five kids, I was constantly listening to the music of my brothers and sisters. Home life was hectic and I remember taking refuge in the warm, soft sounds of Isle of View. I do still today.

I do remember after he performed for about thirty minutes non-stop, he asked for and received a beer from offstage. After taking a drink he said, "Feels like camel crawled down my throat and took a s**t". Ahhh...what an eight year- old will remember. I loved it.

I still remember the concert to this day and am eternally grateful I was able to see him perform in person. His music will always be with me until I die and even after (my two daughters of 12 and 8 are serious fans now).

And, although my sister said someone was "just burning some rope", I had a sneaky suspicion something else was afoot.....let it rain...

greyhound53 said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I remember sitting in the dorm and listening to Isle of view while we all TRIED to sing along to I Am the Mercury. This brings back wonderful memories.

Lee said...

I am new to this sight, but a long time fan. I saw the Armadillo poster and wondered does anyone know how many times and when he played the Armadillo besides this gig? I saw him there twice-the only times I saw him. Just curious.
Thanks!

Justyvonne said...

I wish I could remember how I found out about Jimmie but in 1982-85 I was playing guitar and singing in a Sheraton in Louisiana. I wanted to do "I am the Mercury" so badly and somehow after working for hours and hours, I came up with a suitable facsimile. I thought there was open tuning but never quite figured that out so I did the best I could. (Thanks to this site I can go back and do it correctly now)

I often did songs that on one knew and one night a couple came in celebrating their anniversary. I think they requested something I didn't know so I said I'll just do the next song on the list. It was "I am the Mercury." I noticed their reaction...they were both in tears and I didn't understand until it was over. It was "their" song and didn't ask for it because they assumed I wouldn't have known it. How incredible! Thanks for the site and fortunately I found "Isle of View" on iTunes and I'm listening again right now!

fsujb said...

Hello Folks,
I saw Jimmie many times starting in 1973 where he performed at the University of Florida. He was a great musician, and I was saddened to learn of his death. I once owned his albums and they were well loved and frequently listened to. Jimmie was quite popular during the early seventies in Gainesville and his concert in the fall of 1973 was my first concert, and one of my fondest memories

Goody said...

Hello Andy,
John Goodsall here.I played all the Lead Guitar & some Slide on the 'Spheeris' album.
Why am I NOT listed in the music credits?
Jimmie, Paul Delph and all the other musicians were close friends of mine and would not approve of this error.

Linda Wade said...

Jimmie was one of the greats! Every time he passed through OKC I made a point of being there! He was simply magical... and fun.

and I would imagine quite a pill for those close to him

Jimmie's music for me has always been an intimate thing...something not really shared with strangers. I was thrilled to find the CDs! as the vinyl had given out.

I miss him and his art... without a doubt he was someone whose music made a difference in my heart

tombonet said...

i recently purchased a new turntable and of coarse going through my old record collection i came across three lps i listen to in my early twenties from jimmie spheeris. i first heard of him when a local alternative station in charlotte nc call wrpl (the ripple) would play in the misty woods from the dragon is dancing. i was abosoutly stunned and blown away. the most haunting beautiful melody i have ever heard. the years have passed i was marriedin 88 got two beautiful daughters to show for it now in thir teens. Of coarse playing jimmie after nearly 30 or more years the memories of my youth and the joy of listening to this wonderful music was restored, go to the internet to find that we lost jimmie 20 years ago or more i did not know this had happened. it is strange and wonderful the things we forget in our youth and rediscover this one bitter sweet this wonderfully gifted man lost so many years ago in an accident. no fanfare no headlines but this why i liked jimmie anyway he was away ahead of his time. by the way my isle of view LP was in mint condition.

Kelly said...

Greetings,
I just wanted to say thank you for keeping his spirit alive.

After all these years, out of the blue, I yearned to hear Jimmie Spheeris - googled and came across your website before it was updated to a blog.

Now his music is available for sale and you should be proud of yourself.

The Isle of View brings me back… reminds me of a close friend (Louie McLean - passed), who introduced me to this album (yes, I have the LP). Now, I listen to his music and sing the lyrics as if no time has passed at all. It relaxes me and gives me much pleasure; especially at work!

So I wanted to take the time let you know how he touched me.

Cheers,
Kelly
Seattle, WA

Kelly said...

Greetings,
I just wanted to say thank you for keeping his spirit alive.

After all these years, out of the blue, I yearned to hear Jimmie Spheeris - googled and came across your website before it was updated to a blog.

Now his music is available for sale and you should be proud of yourself.

The Isle of View brings me back… reminds me of a close friend (Louie McLean - passed), who introduced me to this album (yes, I have the LP). Now, I listen to his music and sing the lyrics as if no time has passed at all. It relaxes me and gives me much pleasure; especially at work!

So I wanted to take the time let you know how he touched me.

Cheers,
Kelly
Seattle, WA

StevensonDW said...

How amazing is this. Today out of the blue, the song "Sweet seperation" pops into my head. When I got home I googled and found this site. I had not heard of nor thought of Jimmie since a wonderful week in Metarie LA in 1976 when I spent some time with a Culver Alum. This really takes me back. Thank you for keeping his music alive, and more importantly thanks for the memory.
Dale in Florida

bamberg south carolina said...

I am 49. When I was 18, I was in a VERY abusive (physically and mentally) marriage. Often, when my husband left for work, I played Jimmie's "Isle of View" album. It was my therapy. I cried sang along,and dreamed of just sitting beside him in that old iron bed. Well, I divorced that ass-head and 31 years later, I am the mother of four and grandmother of one. My 23yo daughter is now going through a painful breakup of her own. I found this site after telling her about my "friend" Jimmie who was such a good listener during my dark days. I suppose now I will have to pull out the album and play it for her. Yes, I still have the album. Dumped the husband, kept the album! So on to the next generation! Awfully glad to know this site is here.

kcmiss57 said...

As I sit here listening to Isle of View through my mp3 earphones, for the first time....I am totally
in awe! What a beautiful voice and message he had. I saw Jimmy in Lawrence, Kansas everytime he came or to Kansas City back in the 70's. I will never forget the concert where he was playing his beautiful mellow music when everyone (maybe not everyone) was trying to clap and make noise along with his music. Jimmy just stopped playing for a brief moment, when I yelled out to the audience "RELAX!!!" and Jimmy said "THANK YOU!" I was and still am a huge fan. I was so sad to hear that we lost him so young. He will never be forgotten and this is a wonderful tribute to him.

mark said...

Greetings, I searched the Internet on the chance I might find some fans of Jimmies still out there. Darnit if I wasn't surprised to find you all.
My english has been corrupted by the southern vernacular and I apologize for that =
A friend introduced me to Jimmie back in 1970.. 71? Not sure of the date, but I can still see and hear him advise me to buy the album. Same guy who told me to buy The Soft Parade... in any case, hello y'all, and darn if we aren't still kickin' around.
God bless you all.

Mark

riverdream45 said...

http://www.lala.com/#album/937030197521420164
I've been listening to this all day.. posted it on facebook and a local forum.. wonderful.. beats my scratched album.

Aqua said...

I don't remember any of his songs other than "Sighs In A Shell" but that one was pretty hot no homo. But other than that pretty funny seeing you surfer bums and the stuff you type. Haha, what a bunch of bums! Haha, but hey if any of you have a copy of Dance Of The Dragon you'd want to email to me as a zip or rar file I would greatly appreciate it!

Tony said...

Just listened to the Jungle Sweep tune at the memorial page. (only 1 minute of it there) I've never heard that before, and tried locating that song on iTunes, etc, but I can't find it. It occurring to me that there are probably a lot of awesome recordings by Jimmy I don't know about. Would be great if someone could point me to a way to get jungle sweep, and other places for his recordings.
BTW, Isle of View is etched into my memory from a time when I was traveling the country in 1976...quite incredible music...hope I can find some of his obscure stuff out there.

Fred Haseney said...

Gay Atheist asked, "I'd like to know where Jimmie is buried. Can anyone post an obit.?" Jimmy Spheeris was cremated, ashes scattered within the park surrounding the Self Realization Fellowship Center located near Los Angeles (where West Sunset Boulevard meets the Pacific Coast Highway across Sunset from the Will Rogers Ranch). (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=13108573)