Clinton St. Quarterly, Vol. 3 No. 2 Summer 1981

THERE'S A MARKET THAT DON'T PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE PRODUCTS THAT BACK THE INDUSTRY ON THE CHIU COOK OFFS AND AU THAT KIND OF SHIT. THEY HAVE NO USE FOR OUR KIND OF MUSIC. THAT'S WHY I THINK WE ARE DESTINED TO STAY PLAYING LIVE FOR THEPEOPLE ww” e sat down at Dave’s Deli with Jeffrey to discover what made this hamburger reappear, and this hamburger being Jeffrey Sutton Fredericks, former king clam of the illustrious Clamtones and perfect master of the rowdy bar set, self- confessed food hurler, dipsomaniac, pickpocket and exhibitionist. Today we will reveal the meaning of his flight from the desert and his resurrection of what has been called the greatest... .fuckin’ bar band in America,... .we’re going to take Jeffrey’s pulse here.... Jeffrey: I’m fine today, thank you. CSQ: What made you leave Vermont and come to Oregon? Jeffrey: I felt despondent one afternoon, sold two of my little calves, got on a Canadian National in Montreal, and came across over to Vancouver. I had never been to the West Coast before. CSQ: Who was with you on that trip? Jeffrey: I was by myself, thank you. Well, not really. You know why I wasn’t alone? Because before I left, I cooked a turkey. When I got on that gosh darned train, I had more friends than anybody, because nobody else had any food up there in low class. I had a big hunk of cheese and two cases of beer and a bunch of Jack Daniels whiskey. So I come all the way across Canada, four day trip and I got off in Vancouver, Canada, not Vancouver, Washington, and I thought that it was about another 20 minutes drop into Portland, see, to meet Robin who had said “Come on out here, and we’ll start a band up. You know, you can play all these songs here, and we’ve got everybody.. .got David, Richard, and all those characters, Roger, and what-have-you.” So I got off the train in Vancouver, Canada, and I found out that it was a 24-hour drive on a bus from there to here. They stopped every two seconds. When I finally pulled in, I was sitting in the back...let me tell you, I wasn’t feeling good. I felt that I had just lost my home.... I looked out the bus window and there was Robin all dressed in scarves. CSQ: I’ve seen that outfit. Jeffrey: Where I come from up in hillbilly country, you don’t see that kind of shit. When I looked in there I saw Robin standing on top of the table, and there were all these winos standing around watching Robin playing the fiddle waiting for me to get there, and I said, “Good Lord, what have I done this time?” He puts me in a 1951 Desoto two door.... It had big purple spots with yellow lines. . . . CSQ: Why wasn’t Jill with you when you came out? Jeffrey: She was back in Vermont waiting for me to find out what kind of prospects there were on the wild West Coast. CSQ: Did you ever make any money off Have Moicy? Jeffrey: The last time I talked to them, they said that they owed me $34 but that they would put it on my account... . CSQ: You have been known to be a little late once in a while and mumble into the microphone for 45 minutes. When Michael Hurley showed up in 1980, he did the same thing and nobody came. Are you conscious of the change in the audience and the need to stand up straighter and have you shirt buttoned? Jeffrey: I generally have, yes. I’ve always put on quite a program, one way or the other. I have never missed a program. I was always on time, too. I don’t know where that filthy rumor got started. I think it’s slanderous... CSQ: How do you feel about these Johnny-come-latelys getting all this media backing with simulcasts and the like? Jeffrey: I think everybody should have a profession. Now, some people shouldn’t quit their day job, of course, but that doesn’t bother me one bit. It really doesn’t.... I have other ways of taking care of myself, you know. CSQ: When was the last time you shook hands with your liver? Jeffrey: I’ve never touched my damn liver. I don’t even eat liver.... Jello is the one I don’t like. Anything that wiggles before I eat, I can’t swallow it.... I don’t know why. Ever since my father killed that horse, and we were eating hamburgers made out of the horse, and we had Jello for dessert, and I said, “How did you make that?” And mother said she made it out of the inside of the hooves of that horse, and I loved that horse. I got it for my fourteenth birthday. I haven’t touched the shit ever since, let me tell you. Why is everybody so damned intent on finding out what my liver situation is, Mississippi on the Delta Queen. Barefoot picker Robin Remailly would be madly doing a two step with his fiddle or mandolin. Just as you’d be settling in with Dave Reisch’s rock steady bass and Roger North’s unique drumming (a sound only possible on his own hand-built set, which he’s sold to the likes of Steely Dan and the Doobies), along comes Teddy Deane to take you a little higher with the baddest sax this side of Clarence Clemons of the E Street Band. BL S THE Nixon house of cards * ■ began to crumble, another great American character, Steve Weber, his indulgences finally besting him, began failing. His creative energies at a low ebb, it was fortunate for the band (and Portland) that Jeffrey Frederick—an inventive, talented, crazed singer-songwriter—arrived on the scene. He had earlier connected with the Rounders in Vermont, and upon hearing that the West Coast branch of the family actually had working equipment, Jeffrey and his side-kick Jill Gross followed Horace Greeley’s dictum and headed west. Sans Weber, Jeffrey created Les Clamtones, and in 6 months time the band’s motor was humming to “Robbin’ Banks,” “Beer Shits,” “Red Newt,” and “Playin’ the Guitar on the Toilet Too Long.” The Clamtones/Rounders were frequently gone from Portland during this period, including their Bicentennial Tour down the great American highway. One night the silver slug dropped them in Auburn, Alabama, where they played backup to the Coasters. Some locals didn’t take too kindly to being asked to “Take these nails out of my hand/I swear you’ll get to the promised land/all your sins are forgiven just let me down”—the band was let down about 80 miles down the road. Real life comix continued unabated. The slug caught fire outside Muskogee, Oklahoma, causing a two-month pit stop with some friendly down home country cousins of Merle Haggard. Before returning home, they recorded Spiders in the Moonlight at Rounder Records and Last Round in N.Y. Yet what should have been a triumphant tour following Have 32 Clinton St. Quarterly Photos by Michael Moran