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Forrest McDonald | The Early Years with Steve Jablecki

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Rock: 70's Rock Rock: Rock & Roll Moods: Featuring Guitar
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The Early Years with Steve Jablecki

by Forrest McDonald

Forrest McDonald and Steve Jablecki left the Wadsworth Mansion and reformed in Hollywood, CA in 1973. This CD captures 14 recordings the pair did together and contains some of Forrest best written songs in the early 70's. Rock, R&B, Funk
Genre: Rock: 70's Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Don't Ask Me
3:07 $0.99
2. Dusty Angel
2:51 $0.99
3. Hold On
3:18 $0.99
4. Why Does It Hurt so Bad
4:10 $0.99
5. Maybe We Can Work It Out
4:24 $0.99
6. It Doesn't Matter
3:00 $0.99
7. Anyway You Want It (Live)
3:32 $0.99
8. We Believe (Live)
4:08 $0.99
9. Sweet Universe (Live)
6:04 $0.99
10. Rapid City Transit (Live)
4:04 $0.99
11. Seagulls Flying (Live)
5:28 $0.99
12. Capetown Retreat
3:13 $0.99
13. Get Down
3:02 $0.99
14. It's Over
1:20 $0.99
15. Dreams Reality
2:49 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Forrest "Howie" McDonald started playing guitar in 1964. His high school regional band The Ox Bow Incidents had a great reputation in the New England Area. In 1969 Howie joined the Boston Rock Symphony. This was an 11 piece rock band backed by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Their first performance was at Symphony Hall in Boston, MA. After the Rock Symphony he started his first all original band Pale Ryder on Cape Cod. In December 1971 Forrest received a phone call from Steve Jablecki. Steve scored big with a song he had written titled Sweet Mary (I’m Coming Home) released in 1971 with his band the Wadsworth Mansion. He was looking to add a better guitarist that wrote his own songs to the band. Steve described the situation in great detail and asked if I would join the band. I agreed and we met for some writing and rehearsal sessions throughout the month preparing for a session in Ney York City. In late January 1972 we drove to Manhattan, NY for the recording session. We cut Don’t Ask Me, Dusty Angel, Hold On, and Why does it Hurt so Bad at the Ed Sullivan Studios. In the spring of 1972 drummer Mike Jablecki left the band to return to college. My friend Charlie Flannery auditioned for the drummer spot and got the job. The Wadsworth Mansion did a 35 State tour opening for Alice Cooper and Edgar Winter. After being wiped out by hurricane Agnus in Wilkes Barre, PA bassist John Poole, drummer Charlie Flannery and Forrest continued as a trio called “Choker” while Steve Jablecki moved to Hollywood, CA to be closer to producers Norman Marzano and Jimmy Calvert who had moved from NY for life in the California sunshine. After a year playing in “Choker” Steve called Forrest “Howie” and asked him to come to Hollywood and put a new band together. He agreed and in September 1973 he moved in with Steve at the new band house in North Hollywood, CA. This was the heart of the San Fernando Valley. They named the new band Slingshot and visited the musicians contact service to find a bass player and drummer. The first cut of the band had Steve playing Piano and Guitar, Forrest playing guitar, with Skip Perking playing bass and Bobby Zamora from “Rubin and the Jets” playing drums. After reviewing our home demos, we decided Bobby was great on the Latin cut Seagulls Flying but didn’t have the right feel for the rock songs. We found Dave Atwood the first drummer for the band “America.” After a few rehearsals we went into Cherokee Studios early in 1974 and recorded some new songs I had written titled Get Down, Dreams Reality, Capetown Retreat, and one of Steve’s called Life’s Road is a Bumpy One. Pepper Watkins sang back up in the studio on Get Down and Chet Washington played sax. When it came to recording Dreams Reality Dave Atwood could not get the right feel so we took a break and looked for another drummer. I found former “Iron Butterfly” drummer Ron Bushy working as a carpenter building sound stages and introduced myself. I asked him if he wanted to record with us and he said yes, he would record for $15 a recording. In July 20 1968 his band the Iron Butterfly received $80,000 playing a 30-minute version of In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida in Honolulu, Hawaii at the HIC. Five years later he was flat broke due to bad investments. I was stoked to have him on our record. A few months after the recording we met Rob Robertie a drummer from Long Island who had played with Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Gary US Bonds and a host of others. Rob became our fulltime drummer. By the fall of 1974 Skip Perkins moved on and we brought in Mark Levine another Long Islander to play bass. Mark went on to play with Johnny Rivers, Rick Springfield, and Barry Manilow for 9 years. We played the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in November of 1974 and had a live feed going into a cassette recorder. Five of those songs are on this recording. Background vocals were provided by Kathi McDonald, Lea Santos, and Eddie Rodriguez who also played conga. Rob and I went on to play with Kathi for two years. The songs Maybe We can Work it Out and It Doesn’t Matter were recorded in our practice space. Finally, after Steve left LA and moved back to RI I visited him at his studio Hot Trax. We cut this song It’s Over that I had written and recorded with Steve Perry of Journey fame six months prior to his joining the band. That version can be heard on iTunes called Forrest McDonald before the journey. This is a different version with Steve Jablecki singing it is just 1:20 but long enough to get the feel which I really like. I closed out this CD with Dreams Reality. We both shared the dream. We wrote about 55 songs together. The songs on this CD were in the best shape to reproduce for download. Our partnership was an important part of my early songwriting and our friendship cannot be understated. I hope you enjoy Forrest McDonald the Early Years with Steve Jablecki. I sure did. Every song tells a story. Forrest "Howie" later played the guitar solo on Bob Seger's Old Time Rock and Roll making him the most often heard unknown guitarist in the world. He also played on Bobby Womack's Roads of Live. Both CD's were recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound. Forrest also has 14 CD's under his own name.



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