SALT LAKE CITY—Conspiracies abound as investigators attempt to locate R&B/blues group the Boneshakers. The Los Angeles/Austin-based group failed to call for an interview Thursday evening, shortly after guitarist/leader Randy Jacobs told Dissociated Press music columnist Randy Harward he’d call back in 20 minutes.
“He said something about needing to get everybody situated and get Malford (vocalist Milligan) an inhaler or something,” said a perplexed and somewhat pissed-off Harward, who waited 45 minutes before attempting to call Jacobs on his cell phone, believed to be a black Nokia. Information as to whether Milligan is indeed an asthmatic was unavailable at press time.
According to Harward, this is the second time the band has flaked this week. “We were supposed to do this on Wednesday night, otherwise known as Deadline Eve. When I called Randy Jacobs, he said, ‘You know what? I forgot today was Wednesday. Is there any chance we could do this tomorrow night at the same time?’ An appointment was set for 4:30 Pacific Time the following day. Thursday. The day they disappeared and stuff.
“You’d think they’d wanna do the damn phoner, after spending $17.85 to send two CDs and a press kit. I mean, that money had to come out of Jacobs’ own pocket. It could have bought two sets of guitar strings, a Moon Pie and coupla tall boys. Probably Coors Light.”
Jacobs, a veteran session musician (Paula Abdul, Bonnie Raitt, B.B. King, Stephen Bruton) and songwriter (he co-wrote Michael Henderson’s Top Five R&B hit, “Wide Receiver”) once had a Jheri-curl mullet. He formed the band in 1996 with vocalist Sweet Pea Atkinson, formerly of the R&B group Was (Not Was), known for their hit song, “Spy In The House of Love.” The pair released two albums on Virgin Records, Book of Spells (1997) and Shake the Planet (1999) before Atkinson suffered a stroke and, we’re left to assume, quit the band.
Milligan, late of the blues-rock band Storyville (and, if you believe the All-Music Guide, appears on Blind Faith’s eponymous one-off (none of which is mentioned on the singer’s website), joined the band shortly thereafter. The new Boneshakers have released two albums, a studio album called Pouring Gasoline and a live set dubbed Put Some Booty On It.
Investigators are looking into several leads, including devouring by a rabid Oprah, abduction by militant indie rockers, spontaneous combustion, The Rapture, blindness and consequent disorientation from habitual bone-shaking or just plain musician-associated flakiness.
It is not known whether the band will show up for its planned show at the Zephyr Club on Thursday night. Should they materialize, says Harward, “they’ll probably play a mixture of originals, cover tunes and selections from the Storyville catalog, including the sublime David Grissom-penned ‘Good Day For the Blues.’ It’s really good stuff. Might be worth stopping by the Zephyr to check ‘em out. No, wait. I’d call before showing up.”
THIS JUST IN: Malford Milligan did in fact have an asthma attack, which is why the Boneshakers flaked. The show, says Jacobs, will go on. “Please come meet us.”