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Lester Chambers is a legend on the west coast and the national blues and rock scenes having scored hits with the Chambers Brothers including Time Has Come Today, People Get Ready, All Strung Out Over You, Uptown, I Can’t Turn You Loose and many other hits. He has played in a variety of iterations and contributed vocals to Bonnie Raitt’s Sweet Forgiveness album.
We are very lucky that Rick Snyder, from the Orange County Blues Society, found himself the opportunity to interview Lester Chambers and to share it with us.
LMN&R: Lester, I want to thank you for taking some time out of your day to talk to me and let me get to know the man behind the legend that is Lester Chambers. What was it like growing up in rural Mississippi?
Lester Chambers: It was Hell. We had fun but it was hard work constantly, picking cotton, pulling corn, stuff like that. But you know, it was a life. We got to go fishing a lot, we got to go play in the woods and the water a lot.
LMN&R: I understand you had quite a few brothers and sisters?
Lester Chambers: Yeah man, my Dad, he was busy, he enjoyed makin’ babies. My mom was with us a long time, she lived to be 98 years old, bless her heart.
LMN&R: When did you first become interested in singing and playing music?
Lester Chambers: I think always had it in me , I just had to get old to start doing it. I think the same thing is true with my brothers, we were just born to croon.
LMN&R: How did that interest get nurtured and developed?
Lester Chambers: Well, when we were in Mississippi, we were a Gospel group and we sang around at all the churches and some schools once in a while. When we moved to California we pursued the continuation of the Gospel thing. But that didn’t work out in our benefit, it didn’t benefit us very much other than the fact we got worked hard. Eventually we were no longer a member of the Gospel association because a couple of us were kids, a couple of us were grown so we were unable to meet their uniform requirements. So we got dismissed from that and became a coffee house group at the time. We started singing Gospel and Blues in the coffee houses and we turned into singing a lot of Folk songs and stuff with that whole organization; Joan Baez, Pete Seeger and that whole group of people.
LMN&R: I heard that Mahalia Jackson was instrumental in bringing an end to playing Gospel in establishments the served alcohol. Is that true?
Lester Chambers: She thought she did, she tried to but we mixed it up with a Blues song here and a Gospel song there. We were never going to allow anybody to completely stop us from singing Gospel just because it wasn’t in a church.
LMN&R: When people think of Mississippi they tend to associate that with the Blues. Is your musical background steeped in the Blues and if so how or are you from more of a Gospel
Lester Chambers: In Mississippi we were basically just Gospel. Once we came to Los Angeles and were dismissed from the Gospel association and started singing in the coffee houses we had to widen our repertoire. Lightin’ Hopkins brought us into the Ash Grove and we hung out there. We became real good friends with Ed Pearl (founder of the Ash Grove) and he did a lot of great stuff with us. He allowed us to do Gospel and Blues at his club which is where we were when Mahalia Jackson got into it with us.
LMN&R: Why the harmonica?
Lester Chambers: When I was a little kid , I heard Sonny Terry on the harmonica on the Grand Ol’ Opry, in Mississippi, and that became something that I had to have and my father made sure I got it and I made sure I learned how to play it. Sonny Terry gave me one but he couldn’t teach me because he couldn’t show me what he was doing, he was blind. He was good enough to get me straightened out and I took it from there.
LMN&R: Are you self taught or were you schooled in music?
Lester Chambers: I’m self taught. None of us were actually schooled in music. When we were visiting in Connecticut we took on the keyboard player, Jeff Levine, and he was well educated in music. He taught me a bit of theory and stuff as well as my brother George. Joe and Willie decided they didn’t need anybody to teach them. but it was great he taught me to sing in different keys. The Chambers Brothers basically sang in one key, but the audience didn’t know that. It would have been a great thing for Joe and Willie to take lessons from Jeff, I think they should have accepted that offer. I think anytime you can be taught something and somebody’s offering it to you and the price is right I think you oughta go for it.
LMN&R: Would you mind if I asked you about some of the musicians you played with? I was a teenager in the 60’s so a lot of folks that you have shared the stage with are who I grew up with.
Lester Chambers: Sure.
LMN&R: Who was the easiest to share a bill with?
Lester Chambers: Janis Joplin was a sweetheart, Creedence Clearwater was great, The Doors. Whoever we worked with, we had no problem. We were good friends with Creedence Clearwater, we hung out with the Doobie Brothers, especially the Allman Brothers. The European groups; The Who, they were real good with us.
LMN&R: Who was the most difficult to share a bill with?
Lester Chambers: No one, we never got along bad with anybody, we got along good with everybody.
LMN&R: I know you had a career with your brothers but when did you strike out on your own with your solo career?
Lester Chambers: Oh God, so long ago it’s old time now. Twenty five, thirty years ago. Maybe even longer. I don’t exactly have that. Even after I did some stuff on my own I still did a few things with the brothers. They were always so quick to get a manager that they never had a good manager. We had that guy, Charles Lamar, in the beginning. I would say of all the people we had, he had more on the ball because he knew everybody in New York and we worked out of New York. ABC, the booking agent, booked us. Charles listened, he asked us questions. “What do you think, what do you want to do?” All of a sudden we got into problems with him and who knows who came in after that. I never signed with a manager with any of those other groups. With Charles Lamar we had an understanding and a handshake and it worked out fine. We trusted each other. Then he went big shot on us and if he went out for coffee a limousine had to pick him up and take him there. We kind of had our differences about that. The other people who became managers to Joe, George and Willie didn’t please me at all. I did work with them but I didn’t get managed by them. But with four brothers majority rules, you know. So I did a lot of things that I probably would have complained about but I never did.
Working with your brothers can really get ugly especially when brothers lose respect for brothers. Once you do that it’s a downhill spin, a real fast downhill journey after that. Although things weren’t totally right from the beginning, there were always some things that we kinda got along with that weren’t right, but we were brothers you know? We wanted it to work out.
There were a lot that weren’t totally what you would have done or wanted to do but we were brothers. Love prevailed, a lot of business got ignored because of love for one another as brothers.
LMN&R: What was the first step on that solo career?
Lester Chambers: Well, the first thing that I did was to go back to the East Coast and I put together my own group. The first band I had was The Lester Chambers Group. We were really good. I had booked us in this club called Soul’d Out on Sunset Blvd., you know it was at Wilcox and Sunset in Hollywood. I got all kinds of great things going on for me and my group there, The Lester Chambers Group. We had a great repertoire of original songs and the band was just awesome. We had gotten a record deal with A & M records. The guy who was going to produce us decided that we should go on a short tour to really bond ourselves together, live together. When we played in LA, everybody got in their own cars and went to their own homes and didn’t see each other until the next night at the gig. It didn’t register with me until later but the guys from the Stevie Wonder band were coming to our gigs. The Michael Jackson Band was coming in, The Funkadelics, George Benson, just an amazing amount of people that could do things on the quick. I took the advice of the producer that was going to produce us.
He said, “You guys are so good, I could probably produce you live. Just put you in a club like this, invite a guest audience and we could make a live recording with a great feeling.” Well, we went on the road and he (our producer) was getting ready to produce somebody and A&M was getting ready to produce Les McCann. So we booked an East Coast tour with LCG and Les McCann. LCG was opening for Les McCann, our first stop was in Connecticut at a ski lodge. We had a couple of gigs coming up right away with Les McCann in Manhattan. I woke up one morning feeling real funny and went outside, my mobile home was gone, the drums in the rental car was gone. So I said “where’s Leon? Where did Leon go?” I woke up all the guys in the band and they said “aw man, we didn’t want to tell you but George Clinton sent him a ticket and he took your mobile home and drove it to the airport with the drums and he won’t be back man, he’s gone.” And that tore up LCG and of course the record deal was gone. So from that day until this one, I’ve been struggling.
I took that song “On Broadway” and I regroomed the melody and wrote a song, “Let the Funk Out.” George Benson took the groove that I had written, the changes that I had written for “On Broadway” and redid it for his version of “On Broadway” . He never came in the club cause he didn’t like cigarette smoke and at the time people smoked in the club. But he sat outside by the front door, every night. When he wasn’t working he was there. And that was his purpose. My brother Willie came one day and he says, “Lester, Lester!” I said ‘what?” “George Benson done took your music and redid On Broadway with it.” i said “Oh my God.” I got hit again you know? So, I’ve been struggling ever since and never managed to get up after that.
LMN&R: Of all the musicians you used to play with who has shared a stage with since you have gone solo?
Lester Chambers: Taj Mahal, Benny Williams, Tower of Power, an incredible amount of people. KK Martin, we had something that was going to reinvent guitar and harmonica but that didn’t last either. Somebody got in the middle of that and blew that up. I enjoy the fact that people still like me enough that they ask me to come play for free. They love me but they don’t want to pay me brother. I am doing a benefit for Freddie Roulette. He’s an old lap steel player. Thank goodness he wasn’t at home because he might have been asleep, his house burned down from top to bottom and he lost everything, all of his guitars, his amps, pictures. I know what that’s like because when the moving van was moving my stuff from LA the boxes arrived empty. They stopped on the way and they emptied my boxes. My most recent claim to fame is that I was assaulted on stage. I have three cracked ribs, I need a hip replacement which at my age will never heal (Lester is 75).
LMN&R: I find that the older I get the longer it takes for me to heal.
Lester Chambers: That’s true and that’s a bad thing because mentally I’m at a younger age. I’m doing benefits, I’m going to do this one for Freddie and then I’m going to do one for my own benefit on the 28th at this place called the Art House Gallery.
LMN&R: How would you categorize the music you have played, in the early part of your career as well as up to and including what you play today?
Lester Chambers: Rhythm and Blues. In my mind that’s what our music is. If it’s not Gospel it’s Rhythm and Blues. My music still has a lot of Gospel flavor. I’ve been singing “People Get Ready” for fifty-two years, that’s a long time. It’s still good and it’s still my favorite song to sing.
LMN&R: What is it that inspires you to be a musician?
Lester Chambers: See people get happy and the joy that comes from it for other people. I’ve seen people come to concerts with a hell of an attitude and when they leave they’re looking up at the sky saying “Thank you God” They got made happy. And music rings their bell. Today we’ve got a lot of problems with young people, they’ve been taught bad things by their elders. If there’s any kind of way we can get a message to them and let them know that ignorance breeds hate, hate breeds pain. People have to listen to music. I couldn’t believe at one point where music had gone, it was nothing more than a violent scream (screams). What are they saying, they were all, like, following the devil man. That music has no feeling, it has no joy, it has no love. It did make these kids angrier than they were. It got their attention to the point where they were being taught bad things; to kill, to hate. We need to come together as individuals to build a bridge. By the way I’m being highly sought after by the Jewish community to become an inspirational speaker for young people. I’m thinking real serious about it.
LMN&R: What do you consider to be important in defining
Lester Chambers: Appearance. That’s your first. When you walk on stage, boom! You need to get attention right there. Hey, look at this guy he looks great and then you sound great. It’s all in one. You bring all of those together and you’ve got a winner, 100%.
LMN&R: How do you connect with your audience?
Lester Chambers: Sometimes I watched them as they’d come in and I’m listened to what they’re saying as they come in. This was years ago, today I represent happiness, I represent peace and love, togetherness, unity. I represent spiritual awareness. I like to see people come in and feel better when they leave. Like for people to come to my shows for all those reasons that I just mentioned, for the love, for the blessings, unification. I like all of those things to be brought to people’s attention, awareness.
LMN&R: Your songwriting ability has been described as “understated songwriting prowess”. When did you write your first song?
Lester Chambers: When I was about ten, twelve years old. I wrote Romeo and Juliet when I was that young in Mississippi. There was a girl that I used to just admire, so I wrote that song. She never heard it then. But I wrote that for her. “Romeo said to Juliet I love you, like a little boy loves his dad, I love you”. I should have said “when we were ten years old,” instead I said “when you were ten years old,” but that’s good too. I said “ I love you like you were my pet, so don’t worry, I haven’t given up yet”. That was in Mississippi and that girl and I went to school together. There’s a lady here in Berkeley that totally meets up to the whole thing of Juliet. She’s maybe sixty-sixty five years old.
LMN&R: Ah, going for the younger women Lester?
Lester Chambers: Well, you know, whatcha gonna do when you’re old, when you’re old? You meet someone young and nothing you can do anyway.
LMN&R: Did you ever record and play that song, “Romeo and Juliet”
Lester Chambers: Oh yeah, it’s on the Chambers Brothers first album, on the “Time has Come Today” album OC Blues News: About how many songs have you written?
Lester Chambers: Maybe fifteen or twenty good ones, I wrote a song “Girls, we love you” when the Chambers Brothers first started fooling around as a Blues group and it has the same rhythm as Marvin Gaye’s “Can I get a Witness,” he just took it right off, you know? Everybody said, aren’t you going to sue him and I said, no. I’m just real happy he cares what I did and the fact that he made a lot of money, well, more power to him. I don’t get into that.
LMN&R: I know you said you really love to perform, “People Get Ready” Are there any other songs you particularly like to perform?
Lester Chambers: Yeah , I like “Georgia”. You know I did a lot of psychedelics for a lot of years and I wrote a song “Boogie Children”. I love that song. I used to see people as butterflies, sometimes the audience would look like that to me onstage. People would come to the concert and they danced and when they danced they didn’t have a partner, they just danced. Women would come with these big blankets and sheets that were all tie dyed and they would be just twirling and I wrote “Boogie Children” for that. I like “Let’s Get Funky” too.
LMN&R: Could you describe the process that you go through while writing?
Lester Chambers: Basically, I have a story line and I write like a poem. Then I hear a music line for it, all my songs are written from the bass, the bottom. I write the bass line first. Then I put the pretty around the bottom.
LMN&R: Are you a bass player?
Lester Chambers: Not really, I could never really get busy with it. I play the bass and I write all my songs from the bass.
LMN&R: You have been around the world and then some, What’s your favorite Lester Chambers on the road story?
Lester Chambers: My favorite Lester Chambers road story is I’m still alive and I’m here. I’m writing a book. I’m writing my book now so a lot of these famous stories that I’m gonna tell are gonna be in that book. I’m about half done with it. I guess my favorite road story would be that the Chambers Brothers never had any misery or any problems on the road, once we had a water pump go out on us in Detroit but we never even had a flat tire on the road. It was a blessing. Considering the fact that I always thought the Chambers Brothers were four of the chosen few. I’m thinking about how my brothers and I are no longer together as a band but we’re all still alive and pretty much healthy.
LMN&R: You have a number of solo albums that you have done starting about 1999, Lester Chambers on the independent label Explosive Records with an awesome group of musicians, John Heard on bass (Big Joe Turner, Oscar Peterson), Bill “Stumuk” Nugent on sax (Frank Zappa, King Cotton), Sergio Pastora on percussion (Eric Clapton, James Taylor, JJ Cale), Joel Scott on keys (Quincy Jones), and drummer Wilby Fletcher (McCoy Tyner, Ahmad Jamal, Harry Belafonte). It looks like this was re-released in 2005 on the Explosive Records Label. Can you tell us the story behind this time gap? Was there a World Tour that took place as the p.r. states?
Lester Chambers: That’s due to the owner of Explosive Records, he changed the cover. We talked about it and I said yes, go ahead with it. All of a sudden he didn’t like the album cover. The first one didn’t really say much, it didn’t do much for the album. I liked the one he did for the rerelease, Lester Chambers and Friends. We did not tour to support that album. Like I said, once Clinton and everybody got through stealing from me I just haven’t had it in me to go touring. I did go back to New York and sit in the club for a while and I did do two tours with John Lee Hooker as his harmonica player.
We went to Europe together. When I toured Europe with John Lee Hooker, we would go out and play for a half hour before John Lee came out then he would come out and play for an hour. It was so beautiful. I got offered to stay in Europe after the John Lee Hooker tour but I decided not to.
LMNR: Did you ever play with Les Paul?
Lester Chambers: Yeah, we sat in together in New York. He used to do a Sunday evening jam in New York. I was fortunate enough to get invited on stage there a few times. I also have a recording that’s out on the market with Jimi Hendrix, jamming at a club called The Scene in New York, Jim
Morrison was also singing with us. From what I understand, everybody has been contacted and paid except for me. I don’t know why, I guess it’s because I’m not going to beg.
LMN&R: In 2001 you released a CD called Blues for Sale on the Ranell Record label with KK Martin.
Lester Chambers: That was a masterpiece. He and I should still be together because when I do those tunes now people become breathless and just sit there like “oh my God,” I’ve never heard anybody sing like that or play the harmonica like that.
LMN&R: I heard that KK is going to come to California and lay down some tracks with you.
Lester Chambers: Yeah, if he gets healthy and if it’s medicine for him then I’m all for it. I know when I had cancer and the doctor told me you’d be ready to play in six months I believed that but it was more like six years. Now that’s it’s been working on twenty-one years all I can say is you’re going to be recovering the rest of your life. So just take it easy dude, don’t push it.
LMN&R: There is also an album listed in your discography called Lesters Besters Vol.1 which I cannot locate any information on
anywhere on Google. It seems to be released in 2004.
Lester Chambers: It was a compilation album. I was working with this lawyer, Larry Feldman, and he’s a ripoff man, he never paid me a penny. He was a bad, bad man.
LMN&R: You then released “Do You Believe in Rock n’ Roll” in 2008 on the Explosive Records label with your son, Dylan Chambers on background vocals, Waddy Wachtel on guitar, Hutch Hutchinson on bass, Bill “Stumuk” Nugent on sax, Lamar “Kronik” Mitchell on drums with a number of guest artists making an appearance.
Lester Chambers: Yeah, Waddy on guitar and Bonnie Raitt’s bass player, Hutch Hutchinson and a lot of guest artists.
LMN&R: Of course in 2012 you started Stompin’ Mud Records, put together a new band called The Mud Stompers, David Aguilar on guitar, Kenneth Roy Berry on bass, Baron Chase on bass and musical direction, Marcia Miget on sax and flute and Kenny “Mo” Susan on the
Lester Chambers: Yeah, Kenny Mo Susan, what a name. He was getting over cancer when we recorded. I have basically become like a supply system of information for a lot of sick people, giving them advice, encouragement and making sure they know that they have the power. When you talk to God, you don’t see God, you’re talking to yourself, so God is right inside you. When you make that first step to God saying mentally he’s there, but it’s you making that first step. So you got to know that God has developed your mind, body and everything just as he imagined in your
mind. Your abilities are equivalent, you can do great things, we can all do great things. That’s what I go for, healing. I’m a doctor. I just say that but I love making people feel better.
LMN&R: What is going on with that CD? I know that since the incident in Hayward you have not been performing but is the CD doing anything?
Lester Chambers: No, people don’t buy CD’s anymore. I didn’t get to promote it, I was laid up.
OC Blues News: Do you see yourself performing in the foreseeable future?
Lester Chambers: Yes. I’m looking forward to a few great things again. I would like to do a few festivals.
LMN&R: Will it be with The Mudstompers?
Lester Chambers: No, that’s dead. If people wanted it I would, but they didn’t want it. They disappointed me real bad. Two weeks after I got hurt on stage they organized another band with the same musicians.
LMN&R: Your talent and reputation seem to allow you to choose from a variety of talented musicians, are you looking for some fresh blood?
Lester Chambers: That I have.Yes, I have some lined up, I have some working with me I’m doing things now just myself and a guitar player.
LMN&R: Although some in the music business have treated you with disrespect, you were honored by others; you were given the Cultural Treasure Award from the state of California for your invaluable contribution to Rhythm and Blues, Gospel and Folk in 2004, in 2011 you were inducted into the West Coast Blues Hall of Fame, in 2012 you were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame, in 2013 you were bestowed with the Imagination Heals Butterfly Award in Children’s Transformational Entertainment and on April 7th 2015 the Mayor of Berkeley declared Lester Chambers Day in the City of Berkeley.
Lester Chambers: Yeah, how about that! Isn’t that something? That’s movin’ on up!
LMN&R: That was awesome. Aside from the too numerous to mention headlining performances at Festivals and Concerts around the world am I missing anything Lester?
Lester Chambers: Yeah, I did a big, big concert with Steve Cropper at Yoshi’s here in San Francisco and man, what a show! He was the guitar player that played with Otis Redding. I didn’t realize that Sam & Dave, Otis Redding, all of that Stax group that he worked with, Wilson Pickett, none of them ever did the North Bay (in San Francisco). So we booked this show and it was like two days before the show and the guy from Yoshi’s calls me and says, man, this is a disaster. And I said what? He said nobody’s buying tickets. He says, do you have a walk up, I said yeah I have a hard walk-up. When people know I’m gonna be somewhere they don’t worry about buying tickets they just come anyway. He says, well good as of today we have sold 49 tickets. I said are you promoting this and goes well we got a little thing we do here and we got a little thing we do there. So I went and got myself a publicist to do a thing with me and we found out that Steve Cropper had never ever played San Francisco, the closest he had ever gotten was Monterey for the Monterey Pop Festival. We went on the radio and the TV and I did a big push based on the fact that he had played with Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and all that Stax crew. While I was talking I would say all these songs that Steve had played on in the background and people were going, Oh my God, that’s Steve Cropper! They thought he was a black dude cuz they never saw him, right? I had the biggest walk-up that I ever had for that show. That thing sold out twice. We did two two and a half hour shows. They wanted us to do another night but Steve didn’t have the time. We could have sold out a third show. We could have sold out Fillmore West! I’m going to be doing a few things next year.
LMN&R: What is your musical guilty pleasure, something no one would think you would listen to?
Lester Chambers: I don’t really have a guilty pleasure because I love all genres of music. I’m not really all that up on rap, I could never really get behind that, especially when they were talking bad, sayin’ f*&#ing this and calling women bitches right over the radio. It had a lot to do with bad teaching. I thought the record companies would never accept anything like this but they made money. Rap was the beginning of how independent labels could work, but once the record companies saw that they could make money on this they thought if that’s what they want then we’ll pay them off then they get to choose the audience and the artist that they want rapping. So they started bringing in a bunch of white rappers just like they brought in a bunch of white blues artists. They brought a lot of these white blues artists from Europe because they had learned from the masters.
They learned from Howlin’ Wolf, they learned from T-Bone Walker and they brought it here and sold it back to us at a higher price then we could imagine.
LMN&R: How do you feel about the role of the internet in today’s music business?
Lester Chambers: It’s equally as good as it is bad. I like the fact that now, people can get music any time, any way they want it but they download it and don’t pay the artist. That sucks. But I would rather have 22,000 people hearing my music than 200 wanting to. And even if they get it for free, maybe that’s the way it’s meant to be. But it would help if they looked in our pockets and said, these guys who made all this music, they must be getting pretty hungry by now. Especially guys like us who didn’t get that top dollar because we were trailblazers. We made it possible for all these others, when I say we I don’t mean as individuals but our generation. We made it possible for all these other genres to get so blown up. The price of five tickets for some concerts today is as much as we got paid for a night.
LMN&R: What advice would you give to musicians trying to break into the biz?
Lester Chambers: Yes, know what you are doing, read your contract and if you don’t understand it, get a lawyer that you trust to read it. Always know your business, stay on top of your business. Record companies have a long history of giving you a little bit now and promising you a lot later. Get the lot that they promise you later now and the little bit will come later.
LMN&R: What’s the best advice anyone has given to you?
Lester Chambers: The same thing that I just told you. It was told to the brothers when we were just a group singing on street corners. It was told to us by a guy named Dickie Barrow, he produced black live shows on stage. He told us that then. Like I said, when we signed contracts with Columbia Records they were only giving us three points at the time and that was as much as anybody had ever got. But everybody who signed a contract for three points when we did has been bumped up to fifteen to twenty-five points now and they’re still holding us down to three. I think the Chambers Brothers are owed by the record companies and by the production agencies. I think we are owed from being robbed close to 250 million dollars. And every time we get a law firm to represent us what happens is the record companies who are about to get sued come to the law firm and say “how much are you going to make from the brothers? What are they paying you? We’ll give you that now to leave us alone.” And of course the law firm says , “Why not?” I have come to the conclusion that the Chambers Brothers will never get their just due. May God bless the person that’s keeping us from that.
LMN&R: There has been so much written about you Lester, tell our readers something about yourself that no one knows. Lester Chambers: Well, I’m gonna live to be 140 years old. (laughs) So you can DEPEND on me!
LMN&R: As you look back over your 60 year long music career, for what are you most grateful?
Lester Chambers: That all of those people heard us and loved us and they don’t know about all of the misery that the record companies put us through and the promoters. The audiences think we were just great and we were always in the best place we could be and I really like that they think that and don’t know the truth. I think they would be very disappointed in knowing that not just us but all groups were treated like this.
LMN&R: Thank you for spending this time with me Lester, are there any parting words you would like to leave our readers with?
Lester Chambers: God is good 24/7. God Bless you and God keep you always and KEEP ON ROCKIN’ IN THE FREE WORLD. Tell everybody to be well and that I truly love them.