TIMMY

Country USA

Style Melodic Rock/AOR/Progressive Rock

It all started in 8th grade, 1967, the summer of love, in Buckhead, Georgia. Keyboardist John Langford met guitarist Don Macleod, and the rest was history. To this day, they still practice on Sundays and Wednesdays. Why? Because they love it. From the beginning, they had to have that “Brown” soun’. (Translated into laymens terms, that’s basically a Marshall on ten). Thus the name ‘Timmy’. A contradiction in terms, or a surprise punch perhaps. I am reminded of when Elvis came on the Sullivan show, and said, “Okay, we’re gonna slow it down a little…Ya ain’t nothin’ but a houndog!!! That knocked me out of my socks. So Timmy comes out with a friendly meek little handshake of a name, and then proceeds to knock you off your ass.

Heralded as the unsung progressive band of the seventies, Timmy boasts an impressive history of associates that includes: Andy West of the Dixie Dregs, Mark O’Conner, Vince Welnick, Eddy Offord, and infamous rock manager Tony Secunda. 1975 Marin County California Timmy joins forces with Cream of Chicken, replacing guitarist Angie Makurak with Peter Penhallow, (aka Mr. Cheez), and drummer Dave Obiedo with Paul Southard, (aka Paul Zahl…his girlfriends tall!). Peter eventually moves to mini moog, the ‘saxophone’, as he would refer to it), Donny moves from bass to guitar, and John takes over the bass with his left hand. One of their songs at that time was called “Big Long One”, which says it all. Most of their tunes, mostly written by John, and collaborated with by Donny and Peter, were anywhere from ten minutes to an hour long, and were these fantastic and beautiful epics with time changes every measure. (What’s a measure?).

From 1975 to 1988, various drummers came in and out, while John, Donny and Peter remained as the core of the group. Zahl stayed maybe a year, and maybe came back once or twice, but was eventually replaced with Mitch Hinard, (aka Panda). The music was a stretch for Panda, but he rose to the occasion and hit hard. After Panda came Bob, (Uncle Woofy), easily the best progressive drummer on the planet. The Uncle Woofy period was a height. The tunes were longer, crazier, more beautiful than ever, and played with precision. The band opened for many progressive bands of that era to standing ovations. Bob left. In comes Charlie Tapp.

The band was also recruited by famed rock manager Tony Secunda. A shift in the music occurs. shorter tunes, straighter beats. This was a typical shift for progressive bands at this time, the early eighties, I guess, and Timmy handled the shift with more grace than a lot of the other progressive bands at that time. 1983 Bob came back, with bassist Andy West, who was rebounding from his break-up with the Dixie Dregs. So now the band was John, Donny, Peter, Charlie, Bob, and Andy. Charlie was Alan White to Bob’s Bill Bruford. It was a killer combination. Mark O’Conner, who was John’s roomate at the time, lent some fiddle to a couple of recordings.

‘The Atlanta Project’ was recorded back in 1984. The band recorded the 4 songs on this album along with guest bassist Andy West of “The Dixie Dregs”, and producer Eddy Offord, Yes, Police, ELP). Although their musical influences also come from these bands, I can’t hear much of a similarity, because this band is pure early 80s AOR/Pomprock that reminds me of bands like Synch, Le Roux, Rathskeller, Thrills…

All the King’s men loved it, just the King’s A and R guys went, ehh! Progressive was dead. Bye Charlie. Bye Andy. Bye Tony. Hello Brain! Paul Chatterton III on the drums. Vince Welnick came in to co-write and produce a few tunes for the “Eye” CD. 1988 “Has anyone seen Peter?” “Hey Peter, when ya comin’ to rehearsal?” “Guys, I ran away from home to play piano for babies”. Brain left the band soon after Mr. Cheez, and eventually flew into the arms of God from the seat of his Harley. God bless ya, brother. 1990 Andy Bishop joins the band on drums, they been a bad ass rockin’ trio ever since. Timmy is John (Langford) Harrison, Donny MacLeod, Andy Bishop 30 years of Rock and Roll!

– The Atlanta Project [1999]
– The Damn Thing’s Still Alive [2002]

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