Willie “Loco” Alexander goes to Paris, 1982

Willie “Loco” Alexander goes to Paris, 1982

Boston Music Awards Hall of Fame member Willie Alexander was a member of The Lost, Bagatelle and fronted the Boom Boom Band.

In 1982 I had a band called The Confessions that I assembled to do a tour of France for New Rose Records, which had released my first solo album after the Boom Booms broke up. The LP was called SOLO LOCO. My friend The Count/Joe V. asked Patrick Mathe, who released a Count album too, “What was Willie doing?”, and Joe told him I was recording a solo album and that he would put it out when it was finished. That was the deal. Nicole at Autre Chose, where I washed dishes on Mass. Ave., said he looked like a gangster. But he was a fan of the music first.

I brought a killer band to Paris. Walter Powers was my bassist. Walter and I go back to 1964 in our first rock and roll band, The Lost , from 64 to 66. and the Grass Menagerie in 67 and Listening in 68. Then there was Matthew Mackenzie – a monster, from Reddy Teddy who played on my Lost song, Everybody Knows in his high school band, Other Railroad Stories with Scott the kid on bass in The Luv Lace Lads, and Ricky “Rockit” Rothchild, a fantastic drummer I met when he was a Taxi Boy with John Felice. Met him when I was ???. Mark Minelli opened some shows on tour with his Go Go Twisters. He came to America to Boston to that I could produce him with the Taxi Boys.

Then there was Matthew Mackenzie — a monster singer/songwriter/guitar player who, when he was in high school, had a band called Other Railroad Stories that played my Lost song Everybody Knows . Ricky “Rockit” Rothchild was a great drummer I met when I was producing Marc Minelli, who came to America to record with the Taxi Boys, a band Rick was in with John Felice. Marc ‘s band, The Go Go Twisters, opened a few of the dates on the tour . Rick was an original drummer and performer as well.

Our first night in Paris, when we played the Rex, my friend Alan Vega sat in with us on pup tune. I know Alan from the Rat/Suicide/Max’s/CBGB.

I brought my RMI Piano over for the tour and Greg Hannawalt, a soundman, saved our ass in most venues.

Anyway, after our gig at the Bourges Festival, Patrick brought me over to this car and a kid popped a casette in his player and we listened to his band playing “At the Rat” – perfect version with key change! It was just like the way the Boom Booms did it with the key change for the guitar solo from A flat to G then back and the singer sounded like me with some “oh ya oh ya oh yas”. It was the supreme moment in the Rock and Roll world night!!

They knew our history. They loved American music, and Patrick Mathe would say (after every album), “It’s a masterpiece, Willie, but unfortunately it’s only sold a few thousand copies!”

And 30 years later, he would put the Boom Boom Band out on last call records with David Minehan producing at Woolly Mammoth. Dave backed be up with the Hoods when the Boom Booms and I split. Phew!!


– Willie Alexander

Published On: February 20, 2013