X-SouthGang singer Jesse Harte answer to fans about his old band mate Butch Walker.
Butch Walker & Jesse Harte in the middle of SouthGang (1990)
Former SouthGang singer Jesse Harte talks about history with Butch Walker.
Posted By: Metal Sludge
Facebook is interesting. Who could have thought in 198? that one day any human being in Iowa, Spain or from across the street could send a note or question from their phone to anyone on the planet. Well it’s 2012 and this stuff happens all day, all night (WTF?). Yes it does.
From local Joe Schmoe’s to the famous, the infamous, super models and to anyone who has anyone of many social network accounts.
In recent months former SouthGang singer Jesse Harte has made himself seen (again) after many years of hybernation from the music world. He has recently released Bloody Red Hearts and looks to be engaging fans, old friends, and former band mates with the wonderful world we know as the internet.
With that said, a fan asked a question the other day and Jesse replied.
Hey Jesse – I was wondering how you feel seeing a former member of Southgang that has achieved a good deal of success making fun of and more or less ripping on the band you were a part of? I get it times were different back then, but a good percentage of his fan base are people that were fans of Southgang. There is a movie coming out and a fan asked if Southgang would be mentioned and the response was don’t blink. Just wondering what your thoughts were when you read interviews, or even read his book?
The music mogul you refer to is Butch Walker and is an interesting person and close childhood friend. We first met at a pivotal time as budding musician teens, 14 years old I believe, as we shared the same guitar teacher and really a music coach in a lot of ways. I guy named Jerry King, a Berkley graduate and owner of King Brother’s music in Rome GA. To my knowledge that is left out of his book completely. Jerry organized young bands and such and put on local shows and got kids believing in big dreams. Jerry was a totally great guy and mentor to kids that wanted to learn music theory or just simply how to put 3 chords together and play Back in Black.
Butch and I grew out of the “being coached thing” quite early. As kids eager to grow up fast we started playing in local rival bands in bars at 16 and 17 years old… Somehow the law at the time in Georgia said you had to be 21 to be in a bar, but could perform in a bar if you only were 16. It was an amazing childhood being shepherd by hot 80s chicks in there 20s and bar owners eager to get our draw from the hundreds coming through every weekend to see our bands. It was really weird going back to high school the next day after a Thursday night gig not showered, eyeliner just slightly rubbed off the eyes and smelling like weed, sweat and spunk. The school teachers were appalled and tried to suspend me several times for just falling asleep at my desk. They would also look miffed when I told them I just made 500 dollars last night.
In 87 Butch came down to one of my shows and told me that him and I should combine forces and form a band and move to LA and pursue a record deal, and that was the scene for us. I looked at him and processed that concept about 3 seconds and said let’s do it.
We moved there in 89 with a demo we had made with a cool local Rome cat named Rob Fricks who had a small home studio we managed to get a 5 song demo out of. We hit LA as naive as four guys could be. But it did not matter we were just there to do one thing and that was get on a stage somewhere and play our music and explore the universe of a big music scene.
After one year we were headlining every club in Los Angeles and courted by almost all major labels and with the help of Bill Gazzari, from the well known Sunset Strip club Gazzaris and a local manager, Pop Landers we got a deal. We took a deal in 90 with a subsidiary label of Virgin Records called Charisma. It was big money budgets, big time Executive producer Desmond Child, tour budget, video and the whole teenage dream. We toured for about 3 years, had a top 4 hit on rock radio and a music video on MTV. Went to China and it is a good thing we are not still there doing hard labor. Read Butch’s book “Drinking with Strangers” he has got that story right…
Now to answer your question as to why Butch is not so excited about this part of his journey to success is beyond me. I have not really paid that much attention to his comments about SouthGang or Marvelous 3 over the years. Only recently with my new band Bloody Red Hearts releasing our EP have people been bringing it up to me, and or after his book release I guess. Just as Butch said in his book “I know deep down inside I do love him.” We are still blood brothers from other mothers and that is all I am going to say.