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Black Merda

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The band’s original lineup included Anthony “Wolf” Hawkins, VC L. “The Mighty V” Veasey, and Tyrone Hite; they were later joined by Anthony’s brother, Charles. They were first popular as a local and national backup band under various names: Impact, The Fabulous Impacs and the Soul Agents. The group provided backup for Motown recording artists Edwin Starr and The Spinners as well as for Brunswick recording artists Gene Chandler, The Artistics, Billy Butler and The Chilites.

Veasey and Hawkins first met in the spring of 1960; both were budding blues guitarists. Hawkins later met Hite at Western High School in Detroit, introducing him to Veasey, and the three became friends. The band became locally well-known as a talented rhythm section, and were called on for recording sessions by local producers and record companies such as Don Davis, Fortune Records, and Bob and Chico Hamilton, producers for Golden World Studios. Veasey played bass and Hawkins played guitar for Edwin Starr’s hit “Agent Double O Soul” in 1965. They later toured with Starr to support his record and his later hits “Twenty Five Miles” and “War”.

Veasey, who was stationed in Fort Lewis, Washington in early 1966, noticed a picture of Jimi Hendrix in a Seattle newspaper story. Although his first response was to laugh at Hendrix’s appearance, Veasey remembered the name and face well enough to recognize Hendrix on the album cover of Are You Experienced in a record store in 1967. He pointed the album out to his bandmates, and the three decided to buy the record, mostly intending to play it for laughs.

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