Q & A with David "Pudge" Scott By Mark Blair
I met Joe Perry at the Anchorage Restaurant in Sunapee, NH, where we both worked as dishwashers. I was coming into work one day in my boat. Joe was putting his head outside the window and asked me, "Hey, do you know your brother's friend?" I said, "Yeah." We then started talking. He said, "I hear you play drums," and I said, "Yes." Joe then said, "I play guitar," and we both agreed that I'd come up to Joe's to hear some Hendrix records, see his guitar, and just hang out. As far as Tom, we meet at a "spin the bottle" party at a friend of mine's house who lived right on a beach. Tom lived in the nearby New Hampshire town called New London. At the beach party, Tom and I talked about music and we got on the subject of meeting Joe. Tom mentioned that he was a bass player. We both decided it would be neat to have a jam at my parent's house on the lake in the basement. That was the starting of the Jam Band. In the beginning, we had three different line-ups. The first band was the Plastic Glass with myself on drums, Joe Perry on lead guitar and vocals, Tom Hamilton on bass, and a friend of Tom's named John McGuire on guitar, harmonica, and vocals. We did various blues and rock songs ranging from Cream, Yardbirds, Jeff Beck, and some obscure blues tunes that John was into. The next line up was the same people above, except we added a woman (better known back then as a "chick") singer named Kathy Lowe. We changed the name to the Pipe Dream and we played two Jefferson Airplane tunes--"Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit". We made it through that summer with her and that evolved into dropping her and John for a power trio that became the Jam Band. From then on, we played every summer for the next three summers. So Joe, Tom and I were in bands for at least four to five summers in Sunapee; in the winter, we would go back to school.
What drums and what musicians influenced you in those early days?
I had--and still have--a purple set of sparkling Gretch Drums. I liked Mitch Mitchell, drummer of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. We were influenced by Hendrix, Cream, Jeff Beck, Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, MC5, and later Led Zeppelin. I also loved John Bonham (Bonzo) from Zeppelin.
What were some memorable moments playing in the Jam Band?
We played as the house band at the Barn Nightclub in Sunapee in a little community called Georges Mills. This was where Steven Tyler from Aerosmith started his career, too. By the way, his real last name is Tallerico. Steven had several bands that he brought up from NY called Chain Reaction and the Strangers. Steven was always the "Rock Star" before his time. He always looked like Mick Jagger and sounded like him, too. However, he could wipe off Spencer Davis, Yardbirds, Beatles, Stones, you name it--he and his bands played the coolest songs of the times. Anyway, back to the Jam Band. We played there one night when Steven showed up to see us. We played a rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Rattlesnake Shake". He came up to me after the gig and said, "You play the meanest backbeat I have ever heard," and "You guys are so bad, you are good." Of course, that quote has gone on to be included in many articles or interviews he has done with Aerosmith about his beginnings with Joe Perry and Tom.
How about some crazy moments?
One crazy moment was when we lived at a house up the road from the Barn nightclub. We were the house band. We had a party one night after Steven Tyler came to see us play (see question above) and we got real stoned and drunk and did some acoustic jamming. I played some pots and pans in the kitchen. That night Elyssa Jarrett, Joe's first wife, was with us and she is real crazy, too. Anyway, we got some different drugs going and played and partied all night long with Steven, Joe, Tom, myself, and several other close friends.
Where was the Jam Band's first gig?
Our first gig was at the Lake Sunapee Yacht club. My parents and I were members. Later, we played at the Barn Nightclub as the house band. I booked the band back then and got us various gigs at high schools, on a Lake Sunapee cruise boat, at various house parties, and later at colleges, etc.
We all know about the Jam Band's acetate songs from the "Walk This Way" book. Can you tell us about some of the other songs you were playing?
Hendrix--Foxy Lady, Purple Haze; Cream--Sunshine of Your Love, Crossroads; and, of course, off the album Jeff Beck's Rice Pudding, Hendrix Red House; Spencer Davis--Give Me Some Loving. Of course, I mentioned earlier when we had the chick singer we did White Rabbit and Somebody to Love from Jefferson Airplane, and many more…my mind is losing it. Oh yeah--Milk Cow Blues by the Kinks and You Really Got Me by them, too.
Later on you opened some shows for Aerosmith. Can you tell us about that?
That was after I left the Jam Band and Aerosmith made it. Of course, I was younger than them and had to stay in high school. I had a three-piece band named Nibbler (which we spelled Nibla). It was two friends I met in private school--Steven Reibstein and Karl Titlebaum and myself on drums. Aerosmith was starting out and played at Ceasars Monticello in Framingham, which is now a big furniture store called Jordan's. Anyway, Nibla had a great set of originals and we went on as the start-up band for Aerosmith. I'm sure you can imagine I was pumped to smoke the place. We did really well and they liked us, too. I remember Tom, Joe, and Steven watching from the side of the stage. Needless to say, that was an enjoyable moment in my musical career. That was really the only gig I think I backed them up at.
After reading "Walk This Way," what are your feelings on it. Do you think it was an accurate account?
I think that "Walk This Way" seems somewhat accurate. However, the co-writer Stephen Davis called people on the phone and interviewed people like myself. He took down mostly the correct information and then I felt he would try and clean up some of the answers the way he wanted it to come out. I must admit I had not read the book for a while after it came out, but it was pretty interesting reading. Matter of fact, you are the one who let me borrow the book. I am playing a waiting game until I get my autographed copy from Tom, Joe and Steven. I was a little pissed off at the co-author, as he promised me a copy for giving him a color copy of the Jam Band cover which you can see in the book on, I think, page 69. A good year! '69 was the year we recorded the Jam Band record. As a matter of fact, thanks again to Mark Blair--we just finished giving Joe and Tom a 30th anniversary gift that was a CD which Mark helped me make with a friend of his. It was a real surprise to both Tom and Joe! Thanks again, Mark, and we'll do it again.
Can you tell us a history of the bands you were in after The Jam Band?
After The Jam Band I was in the following: Nibla 3 piece band (see previous questionabout backing up Aerosmith). That band evolved into Tailwind which was a 4 piece band, 3 piece with a singer, from there I took a small break and came back with another 3 piece band called Amberjack. I got it together (Amberjack) through a guy I met out of the blue in Boston. He brought his Bass player up from Florida it was short lived and we did ZZ-Top, Bad Company type of rock. I then met up with my wife and kind of semi retired from music in the 80's. In the mid 90's I put together an over 40 "let's see if we can make it" band with George Johnson from NH on guitar, his friend Rick Dingman on Bass, and their friend Johnie and later Glen Hudson my good friend on keyboards. It was all original rock music and we did ssome recording. That band was called Final Notice it almost broke up my marriage and I left two years later and we did not make it. But had some good times rocking. Lately I've been jaming some blues tunes with a band called Coupe Deville and I'm just trying to keep my chops up.
When Steven Tyler joined The Jam Band how did the band evolve from there before leaving NH?
As I've mentioned before I was too young to quit high school so I officially left in 1970. They Joe, Tom,Steven moved to Boston and we started jaming with the line up Joe Perry, Steven Tyler, Ray Tabano a friend of Steven's on guitar and me on drums. Of course Joey was going to be the drummer. I did some jamming with the in the practice facilities under Boston University. Joey came after that and they got an apartment at commonwealth Ave in Boston and the rest is history. That's when they formed Aerosmith.
What was it like jamming with Steven for the 1st time?
Steven is an excellent musician his family is music oriented so he can play piano, drums was his first instrument, and he could play various guitars too if he needed to show people certain parts of a song. Of course he was a great singer and played harmonica. It was a blast to play with him but he is demanding and I think that is very clear from the excerpts from Joey Kramer in "Walk This Way" book from Aerosmith. However when I was on the money he loved it and we all made great music together.