The Prime Mover Blues Band formed in the summer of 1965, lasted about five years and, like all things in life, gradually dissolved.
The legendary Prime Movers Blues Band recorded no albums. The band formed in the summer of 1965 at the same time the Grateful Dead began. Known mostly throughout the Midwest, the band did play in San Francisco during the 'Summer of Love' in 1967, opening for "Cream" at the Fillmore Auditorium, playing at The Matrix, The Straight Theater, the Avalon Ballroom, and many other venues. Recently a reel-to-reel tape was found. It is one summer night's bar gig, one complete set probably in 1966 or 1967.
"Digging out these old recordings has been fun, but it also has made me realize what a great place Ann Arbor was in the middle Sixties. The Prime Movers Blues Band formed in the summer of 1965, the same time as the Grateful Dead were doing the identical thing out in San Francisco. Neither knew about the other. Later, of course there was interaction among these new music groups that were appearing all over the country. There was something in the air. It was the Sixties! The Prime Movers had gone to Chicago.
"Friends of the Sixties" with Michael Erlewine, a half-hour show on the legendary Ann Arbor blues group the Prime Movers Blues Band, with Iggy Pop as their drummer, complete with dozens of photos, live tunes, and Iggy Pop singing "I'm a Man" with the Prime Movers Blues Band. Michael Erlewine is founder of the All-Music Guide and former lead singer and amplified-harmonica player for the Prime Movers Blues Band.
This video originally appeared here.
I often wonder about my interest in seeking out wise older men to learn from. Perhaps it is because, although I had both grandmothers, I never had a grandfather, on either side. How I would know what I was missing, I have no idea. But perhaps there is something in there that goes way back in the human race that wants to have a grandfather, someone separate from one’s father with perhaps more life wisdom, some kindness, and hopefully a little time on their hands, enough for a grandkid or two.
I have to laugh. I keep finding various accounts of my musical days with the Prime Movers Blues Band, usually in connection with a young Iggy Pop, who was our drummer. Here is something from the book “Iggy Pop: Open Up and Bleed” by Paul Trynka:
“... throughout 1966, Michael Erlewine’s influence was crucial. “Iggy was a sponge, I think he soaked up ideas,” says Scott Richardson, then singer with the Chosen Few, who for a while shared a squalid basement apartment with the drummer. “Michael was a very bossy figure, but a very influential one.”
Well dear friends, I fear you are going to be guinea pigs for this new TV series I am working on, actually more like a podcast with graphics. I am just getting started, and here is the script for my first segment, a show about one of the great blues harmonica players, Junior Wells. Humor me, because I am on a learning curve here. And you won’t be able to hear music yet, but I will post it to YouTube when it is finished. Thanks for your attention. Here is the first part:
"A question I get a lot is why did the Prime Movers never record and get famous? The short answer is: it was not in the cards. The longer version is actually pretty funny. Here it is in brief: There were two attempts to hitch our wagon to the stars. For a short time early on, we had the now-legendary 'Jeep' Holland, manager of the rock group "The Rationals" as our manager. For sure, he wanted to get us into the mainstream of popular music and to this end he tried to get us to conform, to wear little suits, and whatever he thought would help us.
The Prime Movers Blues Band formed in the summer of 1965 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. This audio track is from fairly early on, a gig at the Schwaben Inn and Jim Osterberg (AKA Iggy Pop) is definitely the drummer on this track. This video is a tribute to Dan Erlewine, lead guitar player for the Prime Movers Blues Band. Subsequent to the Prime Movers Dan played lead guitar for the Sam Lay Blues Band and was considering playing guitar with the Butterfield band, when he decided he really wanted to build some guitars.
The main band members included: