John Lennon's Plastic Ono Elephants Memory Band
"Being a professional musician from New York City myself for many years, it is highly unusual for me to find a band that is worthy of my endorsement. Last summer, I went into a small club in Waynesburg, PA called, 'Hot Rod's.' It was after my high school class reunion, so I invited several of my classmates and their wives to come along. I was also accompanied by my younger brother, Jay, who is also a professional bass player like myself.
The 'Brother Short Band' was just about to start their last set of the night. I knew the drummer, Bill Harding, who was a close friend of my brother, but I had never heard Bill play live. Little did I know that what I was about to experience would be mind blowing. THIS BAND ROCKS!
Just one of the unique things about them was that they have a knack of taking cover songs and presenting them in a new, fresh way. One case in point was a seemingly mundane groove that was ambiguous and unassuming from the start, but kept building and building until one of the guys at our table, who is a huge music fan, said, 'What the hell is this song, anyway?' All of us simultaneously bopping and grooving, looked at each other in suspense. About 20 seconds later, when the song was fully revealed, he slammed his fist down on the table and said, 'Damn, that's Billy Jean!' And so it went throughout the rest of the set; one amazing rendition after another was presented.
I have worked with some of the world's best drummers in my career: Jim Keltner of Lennon's Plastic Ono Band; Steve Holley and Denny Seiwell, both of Paul McCartney's Wings; Steve Gadd, Rick Marotta--just to name a few, through a 50 year career, but they all have nothing on Bill Harding--and that's a fact. The icing on the cake was when Greg Short's vocals and twelve string guitar finally came in--it was a sheer delight! What a talent! The man is a force to be reckoned with. Laying down the low end was Lynn King, an extremely impressive bassist and a perfect fit for this rhythm section.
I loved this band so much that I used them recently to be my backup band for my recent single, 'The Jacktown Fair,' a bonus track from my CD, 'Pop Goes the Elephant,' on Wind Ridge Records--available at www.garyvanscyoc.com. They did an amazing job on the recording. As an extra bonus, Bill's brother, Beeb Harding, has joined the group on lead guitar and made a monumental contribution to my record as well. I can't wait to hear these guys live again! I expect big things to come from this quartet. If you have a chance to check them out, DON'T MISS IT!"