Johnny’s Blog Spot

General Smokin’ Joe discussion

by on Feb.11, 2007, under Smokin' Joe

Post any comments you have about Smokin’ Joe here.

12 comments for this entry:
  1. skipstone

    I remember playing Fourth of July at the Jolly Roger in Norfolk Va.
    One night we were doing Going Down by Jeff Beck and our old singer LJ Krain drop his pants on stage and all he had on were these heart under wear.Next thing you know the whole band is lined up against the kitchen wall and three of the biggest black guys are threatining to shoot us if we ever do a striptease in their club again.A little scary.

  2. marvin

    It’s a hard (on) to believe world we live in skippy!!!!!

  3. JohnnyPress

    After the split up of GNP, I went home to Southbridge MA. Several almost bands were supposed to happen and never did. I soon came to the realization, that no one was gonna hand me a new band. I was gonna have to start a new one. I hooked up with crazy man drummer (but loyal friend David Pontbriand, bass player Daryll Atanian , guitarist and childhood friend Kenny Larochelle and singer Ronnie Blais. We became Smokin Joe. The band shortly turned into an event, packed houses everywhere. We were loud and proud and full of energy. Daryll was really the ring leader of the bunch (and that meant watch out troubles coming). David was the biggest stud I’ve ever run into in the R&R have no idea how many women this guy attracted ( my guess is it was animal magnetism). Kenny was a great musician ( he could play Chet Atkins version of Dixie and the Glory Halleluia together at the same time. Ronnie had a lot of range. So we started writing and performing originals. In top 40 clubs we would say the song was a Doobie Bros song or a Rasberries song. No one knew the difference. After about a year, drugs were taking a toll on some of the guys. Darryl wanted his friend Lee Vachon to be in the band so Kenny had to leave. Lee was hammered every night and couldn’t make through the last set. He was a great musician, but what the hell. After about 4 gigs he left and Daryll left with him. I called up Artie Johnson and he became our new bassplayer. Norman Lamoreaux saw us play one night and I asked him if he wanted to join up and he said yes. Now our lead singer decided he was Smokin Joe and that he was gonna sell yo yo’s saying Smokin Joe and the Cosmic yo yo.s at gigs. I asked him if he was crazy (never ask a crazy man if they are crazy). I tpld him if he ever did that again he was gone. Well he did it again. So Artie Norman and myself were now the lead singers and we weren’t that good. Finally an agent brough LJ Krain (little John Krazanik)up to see us . He sat in and sang and was with us from then till the end and beyond.The band was together close to 4 yrs and there are more stories to tell about this band than any band I’ve ever been in. Eventually we cut 3 songs and I gave them to Tom Werman at Epic. Then GNP called to reform and Artie was going and Tom Werman it was the smart move. I left and that was the end of Smokin Joe…there should be a ton of tales on here eventually about this band. A word of warning, if it gets too raunchy, it will be deleted..theres a reason for this considering some of the tales there are about this band….Johnny Press

  4. JohnnyPress

    I’m sorry Kenny could play Yankee Doodle and Dixie at the same time. You think its easy…you try it. That guy could and still can play guitar

  5. skip stone

    L.J. Came into Riverstyx in York Beach Me. I think he sang Jumping Jack Flash and it sucked. I was at the sound board mixing and I asked Johnny Press to give him one more try.He said he had this original blues song calle Workingmans Blues. He said to Johnny can you do a blues in A.
    The rest is history

  6. JohnnyPress

    By the way Ronnie Blais was selling yo yos not saying yo yos..sorry

  7. JohnnyPress

    The Smokettes..Sharon, Wendy, Elaine, Nancy and Lucille…the babes

  8. JohnnyPress

    Smokin Joe played a lot before we started playing in Framingham..but it was at Mickeys where the magic began. Mike Zachella saw me play in Marlboro and hired us for his club in Ashland called Mickey’s. We packed the house there every time we played..the line would waiting to get in was a long one. The stuff that happened at that club was classic. I made a lot of lifetime friends and fans there and appreciate the good times we had there. We never had a bad gig at Mickey’s. I still have some live recordings from there that is serious stuff man…thanks Mike for the good times…Johnny Press

  9. JohnnyPress

    We were playing an East Coast tour from the top of Maine to Virginia. We used a large Hertz truck and took turns with 3 upfront and 2 in the Cab with the equipment. It was while being transported with the gear bouncing around in the back of the truck that I found i had the uncanny ability to sleep anywhere at anytime. I willed myself to sleep so I could escape the horror of bouncing around in the back of the truck. After doing a gig in Atlantic City we had to go to an after hours club in Philadelphia. We were pretty exhausted, but I knew this night I would be in the cab and relaxed . Well as we played, David decided( probably out of sheer exhaustion and boredom) to start playing some songs backwards and inside out. Now David always was with me in the back of the truck and the fumes probably made him a little delusional. Normally David was right on as a drummer. the other guys pulled me aside and said you have to talk to Dave. They wouldn’t because of the fear that David would beat them up( he is an exceptionally strong-tough guy). So they threw the responsibility on me. As we travelled out of Philadelphia, Norman was driving, I was sitting in the middle and David at the passenger door. Norman kept elbowing me so I would talk to Dave. Finally I turned and told Dave not to play backwards anymore and that the whole band was mad at him. I looked down and he had a closed fist and was ready to pop me one. All of a sudden he struck the dashboard and the whole dashboard was then shaped in a V shape. I kept thinking that could have been my face ! David told us to shut up and guess what we did. Nobody criticized David about his playing again. ….Johnny Press

  10. skipstone

    Smokin Joe was playing at Mickeys in Ashland the night that Tom Cuddy got married and I was at the wedding so I was’nt doing sound that night for Johhny.After the weeding reception I invited the whole place back to Mickeys.Before the night was over we were all dancing on the tables and swinging from the chandeliers.WHAT A NIGHT THAT WAS You had to be there.If I remember right I think the same night the 2 bouncers Richie Sneeklof andMatt Deloya R.I.P. through some stiff headfirst through the front door of the club .Cost Mike Z a new door

  11. marvin the rat

    never got to see/hear Smokin’ Joe live but it looks like I missed out on some fun times!!! I don’t remember swinging from chandeliers in GNP but I think we broke some!

  12. Jannet Jubinville

    Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive learn anything like this before. So nice to find anyone with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thanks for beginning this up. this web site is one thing that is needed on the web, somebody with a bit of originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the internet!

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