All the news on Was (Not Was)- Archive
Looks like we have something to look forward to next month! It seems that The Boneshakers, with Randy Jacobs and Sweetpea Atkinson are teaming up for a mini tour with Powerhouse saxophonist Mindi Abair in the coming months. Check Randy’s site for tour dates here: http://www.randyjacobs.com/boneshakers/ As great as that is, the more exciting bit is in […]
The band will be apperaing at the Red Rock Rocks Lounge Las Vegas NV Sat, Oct 16, 2010 10:00 PM. Tickets can be purchased here
A Rolling Stones fan’s idea of heaven would be something like living in the skin of Don Was. The bassist and record producer was, for years, a huge Stones fan, having seen them live countless times, including as a kid during the group’s first wave of British Invasion popularity in the 1960s. Then, in the […]
A review of Pick of the Litter 1980-2010, an interview, and some history from the Detroit News
Pick of the Litter 1980-2010 is now available on pre-order from Amazon. Track List: 1. “Wheel Me Out” (1980) 2. “Out Come the Freaks” (7” Version) (1981) 3. “Tell Me What I’m Dreaming” (1981) 4. “The Sky’s Ablaze” (1981) 5. “Should I Wait – Sweet Pea Atkinson (1982) 6. “Knocked Down, Made Small (Treated Like […]
Was (Not Was), dubbed “the funkier art-funk band” by The New York Times, have spanned three decades with their mutant mix of jazz, rock, R&B and funk. On February 23, 2010, Micro Werks will release Pick of the Litter (1980-2010). More at PR Inside
Reports indicate that Was (Not Was) will be at the Newport Jazz Festival May 16/17 2009. More at Daily Pilot
Was (Not Was) descend on Moe’s Alley, 1535 Commercial Way in Santa Cruz, for shows at 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Tickets are $20 in advance at moes alley.
Don Was no longer requires an introduction in these pages. One of Detroit’s most successful musical expatriates of the last two decades, the producer and Was (Not Was) co-leader returns this week to front an All-Star Detroit tribute at the Concert of Colors. METRO TIMES: So tell us about the origins of the Don Was […]
Don Was positively flourished in the years following his band’s demise. Was (Not Was), the open-ended musical collective with Detroit roots, had called it quits in 1992, launching Was into a career as one of music’s most in-demand studio producers. The roll call of names became towering: The Rolling Stones. Bob Dylan. Bonnie Raitt. Willie […]
“This is more like a party than a regular gig, Don Was told the audience early on, and he couldn’t have been more right. Not having seen any version of Was (Not Was) since a late 1980s Club MTV Tour, I must say that I have been intrigued and puzzled by the wide range of […]
Saw WNW in Portland and Seattle. The Portland show at Wonder Ballroom was excellent, although the sound was a bit muddled at times…especially the first two songs. Crowd was small and the critic for the local rag was groovin’ like the rest of the crowd – all 150 of us. His review can be found […]
The Mrs. and I caught the Was (Not Was) show at the Wonder Ballroom tonight, and I pretty much got just one word: Wow. More Thanks to Jack
Music review: Alternative reality of Was (Not Was) Edward Lorenz, the meteorology professor who helped develop chaos theory, died last month at age 90, having seen his intellectual breakthrough influence economics, ecology and numerous other fields. It is doubtful that Lorenz noticed its application to R&B, but Saturday night’s Wonder Ballroom show by the band […]
“Why do they even give you a “Do not disturb’ sign?,” asks David Was, while recounting a recent hotel staff invasion. “I could have had a dead chick in the room! I’m a rock star, dog!” Interview with David in the Colorado Springs Independent
Towards the end of the night Fagenson promised the Majestic crowd that “we’ll never forget this night — I mean that.” And it will most likely stick in the memory of anyone who was there, too. Review of the Detroit show in the Oakland Press
Hey Everyone, I was at the show last Friday at the Majestic in midtown Detroit. The native Detroiters in the band were quite happy to be back home playing for friends, relatives, and long time fans. I’ve been following the group since around 82, when I played bass in a band that featured JonJaz Weiss […]
Sorry this is not a timely report but since I attended the show at the Majestic last Friday I should offer some comments. (Despite the nice previews given in both major Detroit newspapers, neither had a post-show article.) Very good turnout for the Detroit gig, not standing-room only packed but surely bigger than they’ve been […]
Dave (Not that Dave) just sent me this email – I have to share it with you all! Don says to get in touch with you so here I are! I saw the band last night in Minneapolis at the Cabooze and had a great time. Here’s a bit of what I’ve written elsewhere… (forgive […]
I am one of the lucky few who experienced an intimate, powerful show in Columbus,Ohio in The Basement. The band was phenomenal and the energy for what had to be less than 100 in the audience was great. I waited 19 years or so for the opportunity and the experience was far better than anything […]
“What we were doing was just out of vogue,” says Don Was. “Nobody was saying, ‘Yeah, keep going.’ It felt like we were lost. I once read this quote in a Bob Dylan interview: He was saying sometimes it’s just not your time, and there’s no sense in fighting it. You don’t want to compromise […]
The breakthrough happened when Dylan was in the studio cutting a vocal. “It was all right — not bad.” Weiss says. “Don says, ‘Great vocal, Bob.’ Bob says, ‘Great? You thought that was great?’ And Don hedges. ‘Well, you could do it again…but yeah, some good stuff on there.’ “A silence descended,” David says, “and […]
“At the Birchmere, the set was occasionally weakened by stereotypical arrangements with obligatory guitar solos and generic saxophone interludes. The combo sounded best when the focus was on the vocalists: the raspy soul of Sweet Pea Atkinson, the middle range of Sir Harry Bowens, and the falsetto of Donald Ray Mitchell. Mitchell’s lead made the […]
An interview with Don appears on the Total Music Magazine website.
“So Friday night at World Cafe Live, where a reactivated Was (Not Was) kicked out the Motor City jams for a loyal, if not quite teeming, crowd of revelers, I walked in persuadable and walked out persuaded.” Philadelphia Show review from Jonathan Valania In The Inquirer “You’d be hard-pressed to unearth a more unlikely band […]
ok saw was not was in philly last night i saw the show at the trocedero in 2005 and this show was just as good. having seen the band 7 or 8 times now i went with some trepidation due to the missing david mcmurray and james gadson no worries these guys are probably the […]
WHEN A BAND takes off 18 years between albums and then the members try to recapture in their 50s the magic they had in their 30s, the results are usually embarrassing. But “Boo!,” the first Was (Not Was) album of new songs since 1990, is full of improbably catchy songs. Geoffrey Himes – Washington Post
A short interview appears on The Boston Globe website. “But it stuns me that there are people – not people I went to high school with, they’re strangers! – who know intimate things about these songs and have really listened to them. It really blows my mind.”
FairHearing.co.uk music review site The Independent The Times
Thanks go to Dirk for his audience review of the Carling Academy gig. Review
You gotta love an album that starts with the line ‘Monday I was tryin’ ta get my freak on, with a coupla twins from Washington DC’ with absolutely no shame. This is the new album from the seminal Detroit funk collective – back out of semi-retirement since 1992 – Was (Not Was) also known as […]
Weekend Edition Saturday, April 12, 2008 – For almost 30 years, David Weiss and Don Fagenson, along with a rotating cast of musical pranksters, have melded funk and absurdity as the band Was (Not Was). The group has just released a new album, Boo!, its first new release in more than 15 years. Bandleaders Weiss […]
APRIL 22 JOOLS HOLLAND SHOW BBC-TV APRIL 24 – CARLING ACADEMY. OXFORD UK APRIL 25 – LATER WITH JOOLS HOLLAND, BBC-TV APRIL 26 – ISLINGTON ACADEMY, LONDON UK APRIL 30 – JOHNNY D’S, BOSTON, MASS MAY 1 BLENDER THEATER, NEW YORK, NY & CONAN O’BRIAN SHOW, NBC-TV MAY 2 WORLD CAFE LIVE-PHILADELPHIA, PA MAY 3 […]
Few pop-rock songwriters are prepared to address modern life in all its rancid, dysfunctional glory. Fewer still can frame their lyrics in music that doesn’t rot your teeth. But Don and David Was have done this since the 1980s, and middle age suits them just fine. Boo!, their first album for 16 years, is well […]
The UK’s Clash magazine waxes lyrical about new Was album. Daily Star – Album Review. Robert Spellman gives the new Was album a 4-star review in the UK’s Daily Express newspaper . Colin Somerville, rock critic for the Scotland on Sunday makes the new Was album “Album of the Week”. Phil Johnson of the UK’s […]
“David and I were looking at the Jungian archetypes, trying to figure out who we were,” he says. “We hit on the archetype of The Fool. He’s not an idiot, but the king always used to put a Fool at the table at a banquet to act as a provocateur. He would say anything to […]
Was (Not Was) – Boo [Rykodisc] It may be little over 25 years since the leftfield Detroit production team of Don (Fagenson) Was and David (Weiss) Was laid down their off kilter mix of rock, funk soul and boogie. But with their new Rykodsic album ‘Boo!’, Was Not Was prove themselves to adapt at imaginatively […]
Honestly, they didn’t write, they didn’t call, what were we supposed to think? Well, it matters not, as eccentric funky Uncles Was (Not Was) are back after nearly 20 years away from popland. Were they just trying to make us miss them? Who can say, but within minutes of spinning this bad boy and you’ll […]
FUNK is back and it’s just as hot as before. Was (Not Was( have been walking the dinosaur for quite a while now, but it’s great to have them back. From the instant hit Semi-Interesting Week to the Temptations sounding It’s A Miracle, this is one nostalgic and welcome treat. Glenn Meads – Manchester Evening […]
It may be little over 25 years since the leftfield Detroit production team of Don (Fagenson) Was and David (Weiss) Was laid down their off kilter mix of rock, funk soul and boogie. But with their new Rykodsic album ‘Boo!’, Was Not Was prove themselves to adapt at imaginatively recycling old wine in new bottles. […]
Reminiscent of their masterwork album ‘What Up Dog?’, this new set is after a 16-year wait MORE than welcome. Recorded here and there over a long period, there is no lack of cohesion and everything this strange crew do is well-represented here and no fan will be disappointed. Savour the deep soul balladry that so […]
“WAS (Not Was) may have been napping, but they never stopped having nightmares!” runs the blurb which accompanies the group’s first album of original material in 18 years, for which David and Don Was have been rejoined by their dapper vocal foil Sweet Pea Atkinson and by the jolly Sir Harry Bowens. Boo! sounds a […]
Two decades after walking their dinosaurs, Detroit’s avant-garde funksters, led by David and Don Was, are back to give their wah-wah pedals a workout. Red-hot soul, dirty grooves, surreal jokes about presidents’ daughters . . . it’s as if the party never stopped. Joining in are Kris Kristofferson, who lends waggish, 100-a-day vocals to the […]
There is a Was (Not Was) gig at the Gothic Theatre on May 15 at 7:00PM
With the current penchant – musically and fashionwise – to live the dream like the ’80s never happened, the landscape is primed and ready for Was (Not Was)’s first studio album in 20 years. Because for Don and David, it’s not so much as if the ’80s never happened as that they never stopped. How […]
As unaccountably gifted Jewish wiseacres with a sophisticated grasp of music and a penchant for darkly droll lyrics, operating as the twin-brained hub of a musical machine manned by impeccable players, Don and Dave Was have always struck me as being rather like the kid brothers of Steely Dan’s Becker & Fagen. Andy Gil – […]
The band are appearing at Johnny D’s Uptown on 30 April
Was (Not Was) are playing the Majestic Theatre in Detroit on May 9 at 8:00 PM. Tickets available here
Was (Not Was) have just announced a rare UK concert at the London Islington Academy on Saturday 26th April. Tickets are priced £22 and go on sale today. The band will perform songs on Later With Jools Holland television programme “live” on Tuesday 22nd April, repeated on Friday 25th April on BBC2 television. The TV […]
Thu, May 1, 2008 08:30 PM Blender Theater at Gramercy New York, NY General Admission for $28.50 & Loge Seating or $34.50. Limited seating and General Admission Standing on the floor Presale is now and the password for the Nokia Ticket Rush is “Rock”.
Bill sends in news that the Ram’s Head in Annapolis, MD is selling tickets for a 1 pm show on 5/3.
Boo! is now available on pre-order from Amazon.
AUSTIN, Texas — Was (Not Was) may not have, as its song says, blown up the United States in the week hours of Sunday morning, but the Detroit-bred group did blow righteously during a festival-closing show at the club La Zona Rosa. The Oakland Press
Best show, far and away: Was (Not Was), who probably played the last note of SXSW, since La Zona Rosa staff finally had to turn the lights on Saturday night and point us all toward the exit. If they’d given the band 10 more minutes, they could have just finished tearing the roof off, so […]
UPDATE — 15 March 2008 THESE DATES ARE NOT THE FINAL TOUR DATES PLEASE IGNORE THEM OR USE THEM AS A GUIDE ONLY Damn Rumours!!!! 04/28/08 Lee’s Palace, Toronto, Canada 04/29/08 TBA 04/30/08 Middle East, Boston, MA 05/01/08 The Ethical Center, NYC, NY 05/02/08 World Cafe Live, Philly, PA 05/03/08 Rams Head Tavern, Annapolis, MD […]
Saturday, March 15 @ 1:00 a.m. La Zona Rosa (612 W 4th St) Austin TX http://2008. sxsw.com/ music/showcases/ band/69970. html
Was (Not Was), Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace St., Chicago: pop/funk/rock. Tickets for the 8 p.m. May 10 show go on sale at noon Saturday. $20, $25. (866) 468-3401.
Don Was kept it simple, pushing his bass to the side as he introduced the long-missed conglomeration onstage at the Orpheum Theatre on Thursday night. “We’re Was (Not Was),” he said. “From Detroit.” He spoke the truth, though several decades separated the band’s original members from their funky hometown. Los Angeles Times
Wow! The opening Was (Not Was) gig of 2008 rocked! One of many priceless moments was when Sweet Pea, Sir Harry, and Donald Ray first really let loose their glorious 3-party harmony on Where Did Your Heart Go. Don briefly burst into this million-dollar smile that seemed to say “I’ve been waiting a long time […]
There is a press release with information about the new album. Here is the track listing: Tracklisting 01. Semi Interesting Week 02. It’s A Miracle 03. Your Luck Won’t Last 04. From The Head To The Heart 05. Big Black Hole 06. Needletooth 07. Forget Everything 08. Crazy Water 09. Mr. Alice Doesn’t Live Here […]
News that Was (Not Was) are to play SxSW in Austin, Texas. Undercover
Don has confirmed that “Boo” will be released on April 6 Via Rykodisc/Warner Bros – Now there is something to look forward to!
Just in from Don: “we’re gonna kick of a year of shows with our 2nd Annual Valentines Day Bash at the orpheum theater….brian and kris are each gonna play 3 songs with us…..in addition to sweet pea, sir harry and donald ray will be back in the band and, on drums we’ll have the great […]
Seems that Don is moonlighting on My Damn Channel. See some great new songs that he has been producing for other artists, and listen to what is on his MP3 player. at The Wasmopolitan Cavalcade Of Music.
Was (Not Was) Live at Ram’s Head Onstage on 2005-01-05 – Was (Not Was) Was (Not Was) January 5, 2005 Ram’s Head Onstage Annapolis MD *** THIS IS A 16-BIT FILESET INTENDED FOR AUDIO CD *** Was (Not Was) Live at Trocadero (Upstairs Bar) on 2006-01-07 – Was (Not Was) Was (Not Was) January 7, […]
I have just added links to a whole bunch of videos that are available via YouTube. You just need to click on the Videos/mp3s link above.
There are some excellent photos (over 300 of the) of the band taken by Amanda Coplans at her website I think you will find them interesting.
From Peter: Just so there is no confusion over the London gigs at the Jazz Cafe, their last night on Thursday was terrific. The band looked like they were having a great time, always a good sign, and the crowd cheered everything. The guy from an English soap next to me was as happy as […]
For another point of view, this just in from London Forget the idiot who wrote that review you featured the other day on the site – clearly the boy has gone crazy; as one of the fortunate 60 or so who were there on Monday night I can assure you all that the band were […]
Reports say only about 100 people, or so, attended the first night of the gigs at the Jazz Club in London. There is a review of the gig in This London. Not a good reaction from the crowd, or the reviewer.
A second interview, and this is a good one. This time with Johnny Walker from BBC Radio 2. A track from the new album is featured. You can download the interview here. By the way Don says the Monday show at the Jazz Club went well.
Seems like the new album will be out this (northern) spring, and that the title is still, or even once again, Boo! You can here Don and Dave discuss this album in an appearance on the Phill Jupitus show on BBC 6music. (download the interview here). They were on the show to promote their gigs […]
According to Wikipedia the next album is now called “Land of the Freak and Home of Depraved“.
As we all sit and wait for the new album, Don, Dave, and the gang are getting set to perform in London. The article on the web page advertising the gigs, claims that the new album will be called “Out Come The Freaks”.
WAS (NOT WAS) – Live at the Jazz Cafe Mon 24th, Tue 25th, Wed 26th, Thu 27th October doors 7pm £22.50 advance Jazz Cafe 5 Parkway Camden Town London NW1 7PG Please note: These dates were originally scheduled to take place between Sunday 18th and Wednesday 21st September. Original tickets remain valid for the new […]
Note Sir Harry, although pictured, is not in the band for this tour.
Were he a gangsta rapper, Don Was might tell the story differently. Somehow this is probably one of the differences between hip-hop and rock. Hip-hop artists are all about establishing their cred as criminals. The rhymes talk about committing the crimes and the run-ins had with the man before they realized they could get a […]
28TH MAY – JAZZ CAFE PARKWAY – LONDON 29TH MAY – JAZZ CAFE PARKWAY – LONDON 30TH MAY – JAZZ CAFE PARKWAY – LONDON 31ST MAY – JAZZ CAFE PARKWAY – LONDON Order your ticket from Bigmouth
Matt Charmicael from rocknroll.net has some photos of the Chigago Show.
Well the tour is over, but it has left those who saw it with some good memories. For those that didn’t, you can down load a recording of the January 5, show at Ram’s Head Onstage in Annapolis MD, with thanks to Sleepypedro and Don, who OKed the recording. [Show no longer available, site shutdown […]
MON DEC 27 ANAHEIM HOUSE OF BLUES TUE DEC 28 LOS ANGELES HOUSE OF BLUES THU DEC 30 SAN FRANCISCO SLIM’S FRI DEC 31 DETROIT ROYAL OAK THEATER (w/ THE ROMANTICS) SAT JAN 1 CLEVELAND HOUSE OF BLUES TUE JAN 4 CHICAGO HOUSE OF BLUES WED JAN 5 ANAPOLIS,MD RAMS HEAD THU JAN 6 NEW […]
David is a music correspondent for “Day To Day” a show on NPR. They call his pieces “Was On Music”. The credits for the show also say that he writes the “Big Shots” column for “Golf” Magazine. You can hear one of David’s slots here (for a short time). He talks about a $49 computer […]
News from Don about a new album and live shows: a label called “shout factory” – owned by the the guys who started and built rhino records – is going to release a double cd retrospective set that will include a dvd film of odd performance clips that david and i are currently compiling. hopefully, […]
Try the competition and win the CDs
News from Don about a new album and live shows: the album consists of covers of bob dylan songs performed in the style of early 50’s chicago blues. we’re going to start performing these songs live. our first gig is at the sundance film festival, jan 22. billed as “sweet pea atkinson & the was […]
Rumour has it that Rhino Records are working on a Was (Not Was) compilation. Lets hope it has all the remixes!
Ze records have just released the track listing for (The Woodwork) Squeaks Tell me that I’m dreaming Traditional 12″ Remix 6.30 Out come the freaks Predominantly Funk version 12.04 Wheel me out Classic 12″ version 7.08 ( Return of the valley) Out come the freaks Extended version 8.49 Hello operator Classic 12″ version 5.21 Dance […]
Ze records are re-releasing some of the Was (Not Was) back catalog. Maxi vinyl Ep : Tell me that I’m dreaming CD Digipack : Out come the freaks Vinyl Album : Out come the freaks Tracks on Out come the freaks are: Wheel me out – Long Version 7.03 Out come the freaks 5.39 Where […]
David tells me “The new Was (Not Was) album is forthcoming, probably by spring of 2003, godlessness willing.”
David and Don are back writing music for TV. This time the show is “That Was Then”. David will be writing the theme with Don, and will be scoring the incidental music for the show himself.
David was let go from making the music for this CBS. New producers who were brought in to make the show ‘warmer and fuzzier’ replaced him with one who more suited their ideas.
David reports that working on the Max Bickford show togther with Don has given him the final impetus to finish this album.
David and Don are creating the music for this show on CBS. David is scoring most of the music, while Don is producing songs for Richard Dreyfuss’ on-screen daughter, whose storyline is that of an aspiring rock n roll singer. They have both writen the theme music. Thanks to Beth for this news.
David and Don are working on a fifth album, it has the working title of “BOO!” One track is called “Green Pills In The Dresser” and features Kris Kristofferson. A record deal is close to being finalised.
David Was finds the site and gives his love and blessing.
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