Jo Jo Gunne

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Jo Jo Gunne is an American rock band, formed in Los Angeles, California, United States, in 1971 by Jay Ferguson (born May 10, 1947); keyboards, vocals and guitar) and Mark Andes (born February 19, 1948; bass guitar and vocals) after they had left Spirit. The group's name is derived from "Joe Joe Gunne", a Chuck Berry song that peaked at #83 as a single in November 1958.


Ferguson and Andes, along with Mark's brother Matt Andes (born February 6, 1949 (guitar, vocals) and William "Curly" Smith (born January 31, 1952, Wolf Point, Montana) (drums, vocals and harp), were signed to Asylum Records. Jo Jo Gunne had a Number 6 hit in the UK Singles Chart with the song, "Run Run Run", taken from their first album, Jo Jo Gunne (1972), which peaked at 27 in U.S. charts, and received airplay on U.S. album-oriented rock FM radio stations.[1] The song reached number 30 in Canada.[2]

The group did not maintain the commercial momentum of their first release. With Jumpin' the Gunne''s album cover being blamed for drastically falling sales,[clarification needed] they broke up in 1975.[citation needed]

Personnel changes[edit]

Following the first album, Mark Andes left the band after a falling out with his brother Matt and Ferguson and was replaced by Jimmie Randall. Randall introduced a brighter bass sound and helped increase the band's overall volume.

Matt Andes left after Jumpin' the Gunne, and he was briefly replaced by Starr Donaldson (born September 23, 1950). A more permanent replacement was found in John Staehely (born 25 January 1952, Austin, Texas), who had played on Feedback, the Spirit album that followed Ferguson and Andes's departure. Staehely's overdriven guitar was a complete change from Matt Andes's Ry Cooder style slide guitar.

After the band broke up, Ferguson recorded several solo albums, including the hit singles "Thunder Island" and "Shakedown Cruise", and scored TV shows and mostly non-notable movies. Mark Andes next joined Firefall and, later, Heart. Smith went on to have a successful career as a session drummer, and also played with Spirit in the 1980s and Boston from 1994 to 2000.


The band's first album Jo Jo Gunne was released in 1972 and the first single Run, Run, Run became a top 40 hit with the album riding the charts to #57 on Billboard's Top 100 Albums. Their second album Bite Down Hard skirted the bottom of the Billboard Top 100 Charts rising no further than #75 and the fact that there was no breakout single failed to generate interest and sales for the band. The album was produced by Bill Szymczyk who was best known at the time for his production work on Joe Walsh's Barnstorm and B.B. King's Completely Well which featured the hit single "The Thrill Is Gone".[3]

The band's third album Jumpin' the Gunne failed to rise any higher than #169 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart. The band's fourth album, So...Where's The Show?, featured new guitarist John Staehely. Staehely's harder edged sound complemented Ferguson's songs giving the band a much harder rock sound than on their previous efforts.[3]


The original line-up temporarily got back together around 1992. In a July 1995 interview in Vintage Guitar Magazine, Andes recalls: "Curly Smith called me up and noted that it was the twentieth anniversary of when that band had formed; Steve Lukather took us into the studio and we recorded a lot of new material, but it didn’t go anywhere". They began recording again in 2005 in Santa Barbara at Jay's studio. The 2005 recordings were eventually put out as an album, Big Chain, on Blue Hand Records. The music was co-produced by the band and engineered by Jay Ferguson.


  • Jo Jo Gunne (1972)
  • Bite Down Hard (1973)
  • Jumpin' the Gunne (1973)
  • "So...Where's the Show?" (1974)
  • Big Chain (2005) Blue Hand Records

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London, UK: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 283. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ "RPM100 Singles" (PDF). May 1972. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 
  3. ^ a b Lindsay Planer. "Jo Jo Gunne - Jo Jo Gunne | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2017-06-30. 

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