Increasingly utilising the guitar as an ‘out front’ instrument, they invent and perfect ‘Descending pentatonic double-stops’ and the ‘Hambone Rhythm’ along with creating the fuzz-tone guitar sound. Col. Tom Parker is enlisted as manager.
In 1958, Steve is drafted into the U.S. Marine Corp for 2 years. Shane quits to enrol in Bible College. Like Lazarus, both triumphantly return for the band’s debut appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
A year later, former member Jonny Footpath is killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa along with Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper and Richie Valens. Don MacLean later pays tribute to him in the song American Pie.
The start of the decade saw the band, now known as The Bearfoots, travel to Germany to begin playing a 48 night residency in Hamburg’s red light district.
Bearfootmania soon sweeps across the globe. Attracting large vociferous crowds of screaming teenage girls, the band were chased everywhere. Dozens of people tailed their every move making it impossible to leave their hotel rooms or limos.
Mid-decade, The Bearfoots retire from the live scene stating that due to constant screaming during their sets they “Can’t hear ourselves play”.
During a police raid at Scully’s house, authorities allegedly find band members and groupies featured in questionable acts with Mars Bars and mudsharks. The band then flee to a commune in Rishikesh, India to seek enlightenment.
During the Summer of Love in 1969 the band, now as a 3-piece, finally change their name to The Barefoot Experience. Their euphoric set at Woodstock climaxes with Steve pouring lighter fluid on his strat and setting it ablaze following his solo performance of Advance Australia Fair.
After destroying the stage at the end of their Isle Of Wight appearance, The Barefoot Experience (TBE) go on to make several rock operas and concept albums of the next few years blending rock with vaudeville, free jazz, and theatrics that go on to influence many artists for the rest of the 70s.
TBE take up a residency at New York City’s famous CBGBs, playing with up and coming artists such as Blondie, Talking Heads and the Ramones.
The band’s US Tour comes to an abrupt end with Steve spitting at the audience “Ah-ha-ha. Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated? Good night!”, before throwing down his guitar and walking offstage. Later in the year the band members each release a solo album, dedicating them to each other.
Following criticism after a change of direction, their dozens of followers (The Barefootsoldiers) demand answers after seeing TV ads of the band endorsing products for companies such as L’Oriel, Roland and Korg. The band were confronted and then chased after an appearance at MTV HQ. A Footsoldier Sergeant-at-Arms stated “We thought we had ‘em but they ran. They ran so far away!”
Barefoot unmasked! The Barefoot Experience decides it’s time to reveal themselves to the world by appearing in public for the first time without their trademark make-up. Paid-up members of the Barefootsoldiers lead a chorus of cries to “Put it back on!”.
Edited by scully73 on 25 Aug 2011, 05:11
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