Black Pearl (band)

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Black Pearl
Origin United States San Francisco, California, United States
Years active 1967 (1967)–1978 (1978)
Past members Bernie "B.B" Fieldings (vocals)
Bruce Benson (guitar)
Oak O'Connor (drums)
Geoffrey Morris (guitar)
Tom Mulcahy (guitar)
Jerry Causi (bass)
Bobby Mason (vocals)
Tom Becker (harmonica and vocals)
E. Rodney Jones (bass)

Black Pearl was a San-Francisco-based band that existed from the late 1960s to the early 1970s. They released two albums, Black Pearl (1969) and Black Pearl - Live! (1970).

History[edit]

Black Pearl was composed of Bernie "B.B" Fieldings (vocals), Bruce Benson (guitar), Oak O'Connor (drums), Geoffrey Morris (guitar), Tom Mulcahy (guitar) and Jerry Causi (bass). Morris, Causi and Benson had been members of the Barbarians, a 60s garage band noted for their extreme long hair for the times and their single, " Are You a Boy or Are You A Girl". The Barbarians were also noted for the band's drummer, Moulty, who had lost one hand in a childhood accident and consequently played drums with a hook.

The band was formed after Barbarians' singer and drummer Moulty refused to travel to Boulder, Colorado for a two-week engagement. A new drummer, Oak O'Connor, plus Mulcahy and Fieldings, joined with ex-Barbarians Morris, Causi and Benson, all initially based in Boston, to form Black Pearl in 1967. The band relocated from Boston to San Francisco, after a period of time in Colorado.[1]

Fieldings, who was white, was a wild showman who modeled his stage presence on that of James Brown. His admiration for James Brown was evident on the group's live album, which contains a twelve-minute version of James Brown's "Cold Sweat". As noted by one reviewer, "Black Pearl crank out some hard rockin' psych-rock music with the most ferocious drumbeats you've heard in a while."[2] The band's three guitar lineup was considered to be both unique and powerful, being a format also found in contemporaries Moby Grape and Buffalo Springfield.

Black Pearl released two albums, Black Pearl (1969) and Black Pearl - Live! (1970), with the second being less well-received than the first.[3]

By the time of the 1970 release of the second album, the original band had broken up. Morris, O'Connor and Mulcahy continued as Black Pearl, playing initially as a power trio. Later musicians were Bobby Mason on vocals, Tom Becker on harmonica and vocals and bass player E. Rodney Jones. The band finally broke up in 1978, followed by reunion shows in 1988, 1996 and 1999,[4]

Discography[edit]

Black Pearl Atlantic 1969; CD reissue Wounded Bird, 2007

Black Pearl - Live! Prophesy, 1970

References[edit]

  1. ^ The band, after fulfilling the Boulder, Colorado engagement, became quite popular in that city, influencing local bands such as Zephyr, featuring guitarist Tommy Bolin (d. 1976) and lead singer Candy Givens (d. 1984). Givens was greatly influenced by Fieldings' stage presence, and through Fieldings, met his then girlfriend, Janis Joplin, who commented favourably on Givens' stage performance. See Allan Vorda, Zephyr: A Vocano of Dreams; www.tbolin.com.
  2. ^ Uncredited, Overview of Black Pearl Archived October 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.; www.nehrecords.com.
  3. ^ See, for example, Lester Bangs: "Black Pearl appeared with a promising first album—no real experiments, but a distinct Yardbirds echo in the metallic clanging cacophony of precisely distorted guitars. Their second LP fizzled out in bad soul music." "Of Pop and Pies and Fun" Archived October 19, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Creem Magazine, January, 1971, as reprinted at www.beatpatrol.wordpress.com.
  4. ^ Stephen Haag and Oak O'Connor, Black Pearl; Music Museum of New England. Retrieved 2015-10-25.