Fire on the Mountain
When George was 12 he helped form one of the first rock & roll bands in San Francisco. Seven years later the Sharps were playing in the city's strip clubs on Broadway; the year was 1964. But that's another story..... Two years later George moved to Los Angeles to 'seek his fortune'..... or at the least get a chance to play with the 'big boys'. Many nights after playing club gigs in the greater L. A. area, George would jam with his new friends, the acapella singing group Danny and the Memoies. They just taken up instruments. 5 'Many times we'd play one blues tune for maybe 12 hours or until somebody dropped.' George's brother Leon and violin virtuoso Bobby Notkoff would also join in. After a year or so the Rockets were formed: Danny Whitten - guitar Billy Talbot - bass Ralph Molina - drums, George and Leon on guitars, and Bobby Notkoff playing violin. Barry Goldberg produced the Rockets' first and only album for White Whale Records in 1968. The Rockets became the house band for the Fillmore - like Pinnacle Rock shows at the L. A. Shrine Auditorium. While playing one of several engagements at the Whisky a-Go-Go, Neil Young sat in and decided to'borrow' Danny, Billy, and Ralph for his own project. He called the boys Crazy Horse. The Rockets would never achieve 'lift-off' again. Within a year Danny Whitten had developed a 'slight' drug problem (heroin).....it would later take his life. George was called to take Danny's place with the ever changing Crazy Horse line-up. This would go on and off many times over the next several (20) years. George played on and wrote seven songs on the Crazy Horse album 'Loose', as well as playing on Neil Young's albums 'On the Beach'...'Tonight's the Night...and 'This Note's For You'. All this time George was also playing with and producing other bands in both L. A. and S. F.: Jimmy Witherspoon, The Texas Chainsaw Band, and the Pete Charles Band, to name a few. There have also been several incarnations of the George Whitsell band and years of gigs in the San Francisco Bay Area. George's new C D has just been released on the newly formed Rocket's record lable. 'These are by far some of the finest musicians I have ever had the privilage of playing with. Two of the tracks were cut in Seattle with my longtime friend and consum- mate drummer Carson Michaels. Rick Sankey - drums and Willie Riser - bass are also at the top of the list..... I'm extremely proud of this new C. D. .....and I've been told by those who know that we've captured some of the old Rockets energy... I know I've never played better..... Hope you like it.