Joe Seddon

JOE SEDDON JR., a true son of Cramer Hill, musician, artist, hot rod enthusiast and for many years a snake handler, was born in 1943 at Cooper Hospital in Camden to Joseph Seddon, then overseas with the United States Navy, and his wife, Florence Stebbins Seddon. Until his father came home he and his mother lived at 2828 Polk Avenue in Camden's Cramer Hill section. 

Joe has written to me extensively and furnished many photographs which are featured on a number of other pages on this website, including Cramer Hill: The Seddon Photos; Polk Avenue; and Howard Unruh. I've edited his writings, putting the 

letters together to let him tell his own story. There are many photos from Joe's early years on the Cramer Hill: The Seddon Photos which I have not integrated into this web-page yet.

Phil Cohen
July 29, 2012


My name is Joe Seddon. My father served in the navy, stationed in the Pacific while fighting the Japanese during World War II. I was born in 1943 at Cooper Hospital where later Howard Unruh was treated for his gunshot wound. My mother and I initially lived on Market Street in Gloucester but moved in with my aunt and uncle while my dad served. Henry and Madge Hickey are my aunt and uncle, our then address being 2828 Polk Avenue in the Cramer Hill section of Camden, New Jersey.

I'm sending this photo from the year 1949. At the time I took guitar lessons from Don Di Lulu [aka Don Christ- PMC] near Westfield Avenue. In it are my little brother Bruce, sister Marilynne, and beside me, my best friend Sonny Frett.

This was the time that Howard Unruh went on his shooting spree at North 32nd Street and River Avenue.

Our house was on Polk Avenue, and Orris Smith Jr., who was killed by Unruh, was a friend and lived directly behind us. We were both 6, got our haircuts from Clark Hoover, another of Unruh's victims, and sat on the little white horse which I recall very well. Sonny Frett lived side by side with the Smith family so I saw them often. Linda Hurwitz, age 5, lived 2 doors down and was also my friend. Her dad Sherman ran the corner store [formerly run by Louis Waisban and his wife Rose}. Helen Harris, along with Linda, narrowly missed being shot that day. Having attended H.C. Sharp Elementary School, I passed Unruh`s house daily, on foot. I'm still puzzled as to where I was that day and may have been at the barbershop as I have some rather powerful images to cope with after all these years. To complicate things, Garland Wilson was our longtime family friend whom we visited often and he came to our house in South Jersey often, that with his second wife Verna and daughter Margie who I took to her prom. I have a photo of us in their house, she in a gown and I in a red coat and tie. Garland`s first wife Helen was murdered that day as you know, along with daughter Emma and son John. I bought my first car from Garland, a 1956 Studebaker. 

After the shooting of Clark Hoover my father took me to a distant barber and I never could figure out why the sudden change? The best I can say regarding the Unruh murders is this: 
"We kids who lived mere blocks away were kept in the dark to protect us from the possible psychological damages."

Strangely enough, I only learned of Garland`s connection to the murders 3 years ago and was shocked! How did I not know, even as I aged, about these matters? They were so close to us yet it was a secret well guarded. My aunt Madge took me to the crime scene the following day and I remember it well. A silent crowd, looking at a house that to me was quite normal. Again, the cover up was well handled but I still have some flashbacks of it and they do haunt me. I remember seeing a pool of blood beneath the white horse, as though I were there. This image is so real. I'll never know I guess, what went on that day before school started. We moved away in 1953 and my aunt still lives there, in the same house, on Polk Avenue. She never mentions it. My parents never talked about it, but, it happened in a scant 19 minutes some say, and the memories will remain in history forever. 

 My Aunt and Uncle's house at 2828 Polk Avenue was and still is a side-by-side, joining that of the Ott family. The Ott family lived next to us on Polk Avenue and Myrna Ott was another baby sitter. And so it was that Myrna Ott and Mrs. Ott frequently babysat me. Linda Hurwitz lived a few seconds from us, being separated by a small lot. I had a big crush on her for being so young. The Kellum family were my friends, Lucas Britt a kind of problem for me growing up. I can never express how all this haunts me as I was quite a keen boy then, able to read at 1 and push my own coach at 9 months. So it is that I remember so very much of those days. 

My only memory of Howard Unruh is being preached to by a very tall man carrying a bible in front of Cohen`s drugstore. I recall a man with a very pock-marked face, looking down at me as he spoke quietly of Jesus.

I can still remember Sally Roach whom I had another crush on. She was in my class at H.C. Sharp and I walked home from school with her at times. I clearly recall the playground at the school, the teacher at the blackboard, the closet I got sent to for talking too much. Many memories so clear, and the story behind me remembering Orris and the white horse he sat upon is yet another part of all this that jumps out of the past like a bad dream. My parents let us kids walk to school, and I was all over the area on foot. The river and the sunken barges? I prowled those places daily, looking for baby snappers and snakes. Yes, I remember so much of it, can describe it so well, and thus the Unruh shootings haunt me. Catherine Smith may have taken me with her to the barber. Or, I may have been outside. I say this because my image of that day, drawn from somewhere in memory, was that of Orris and the horse and the blood beneath it. Again, the story of how this occurred is unusual but fact. As mentioned, Garland Wilson, our longtime friend, never, ever spoke of this though we were so close. There then is the mystery, the successful cover-up that we kids failed to comprehend. So near yet so far. That leaves me pondering the real story. The truth of that day on 32nd Street where we crossed the light at River Road. I walked to see the movie THEM on River Road, alone, paying a dime I think?

Lots to recall, and perhaps looking into it more will release some other buried bits of info? Little by little it returns as I go about life each day. 

This then, reminds me of Unruh, for I would love to know where I was that day. I have but one bad memory that I've discussed with my wife over the years that plagues me. As a boy I vividly recall being taken to Cooper Hospital and having something "removed" from the back of my head. I can remember the table, the doctor, a parent being with me, and most of all, the pain produced by this procedure. I've searched the records from Cooper but find that nothing exists to describe why I was there. So, what was taken from my head? The back of my head to be exact. This I fear, will remain a mystery forever. It simply lacks an explanation. At any rate, like Linda Hurwitz, I am lucky to be alive and grateful as well. 

Having lived thru the "Unruh situation" I find myself searching internally for the facts of that day and my suspicion is that many remain in hiding or are buried by time and silence. By now you have the photo of myself with Margie Wilson. Can you imagine my shock when I discovered that her father Garland lost his wife, son and mother-in-law on that day? I mean, I grew up with these fine folks! They spent time at our bayfront home in Avalon, I came close to dating Margie as she had a crush on me and she was..... beautiful. So much kept secret that it now forces me to question it. Something surfaced today that hit me pretty hard. And here it is. A cold, hard fact.

Three years ago I did the soundtrack for an upcoming movie titled THE JERSEY DEVIL: THE LEGEND LIVES. You can look this up on Google. At any rate, the producer played 
bass with my road band, THE STERLING BROTHERS. I've known him a long time of course. During the recording of the sound tracks he mentions he'd like to make a movie about Howard Unruh. Well, I of course spoke up and said, "well gee, I grew up in Camden and went to school on 32nd Street. That notion of his started the ball rolling and I decided to look Unruh up on Google. I never thought to do that prior to our talk as..... I never knew of it! The big secret, right?? So imagine my surprise when I start reading and discover the Wilsons who were shot that day. It had me thinking. "Hey, our friend is Garland, Margie is my pal, we spend a lot of time with them. " Hmmmmm, I wonder. " Well, as it turns out, my research showed that Garland Wilson of Pennsauken lost his wife, son and mother-in-law that day. It turns they were his family. So, I'm stunned.

Moreover, Orris Smith, my neighbor out back, was 6 as I was that day. So, it hit me really hard, the memory that is, of a white horse in a barber shop, and beneath it a lot of blood. I could see it so clearly. I e-mailed Lee and he then sends me a crime scene photo of the shop, and there is the white horse with the blood on the floor. Just as I had seen it in my mind. Not too shabby of a recall for a kid of 6. My point is, they closed the shop after the murders, I never returned there, and my dad took me to another shop quite a distance from Cramer Hill. So, my only memory is that of a 6 year old, and I hit it right on the head. Color of the horse and the blood on the floor. So how did I know that? A vision like that appears after so many years have passed? Yeah, I'm perplexed all right. At any rate, more will surface as I let it bubble. 

I'm so glad you are doing a bit on Polk Avenue. It was a nice place to live back then. Safe and free until the day Howard Unruh took revenge. In a way it is healing to speak of all this, including my then friends whom I'll forever cherish. I'm sending you an 'update' of sorts on my present life so you can see the transition that took place after leaving Polk Avenue.

Regarding the people we knew and called friends back then on Polk Avenue. The Ott family lived next to a lot, with a big tree in the middle. On the other side of that lot was my then friend Alice "Binky" Harrigan". Her mother was also an Alice. Johnny Simons lived next to Aunt Madge, separated by a small alley. The Schlecters lived next to them I believe in a joined house as we had. Lilian Orth was my real good friend, living across from the Smith family but a few houses down and across from a trashy looking lot with old walls that I climbed a lot. Don Di Lulu, my guitar teacher, played the Hawaiian Cottage frequently and for many years. I rode along with a man who sold veggies from his horse drawn cart. He sent me to the door with the sales he made. He lived down by the river and smoked a big cigar. His name escapes me [C. Fred Geiser of 3518 Farragut Avenue- PMC] for now but his memory exists clearly. 

My parents, Florence and Joseph Seddon bought their prescriptions from Cohen`s drugstore and I went with them of course. I also remember walking to a place called Rundle [Universal- Rundle on River Avenue in Pennsauken Township- PMC]  where they made toilets. This place was special to me as I played in the little 'valley' there, beneath the overpass.

Aunt Madge and I chatted for nearly an hour regarding some of the Polk Avenue facts and I'd like to make a few corrections prior to a page being set up. For one, I think it was Edward Ott (not Johnny) that had his hand caught in the car motor and cut it badly, perhaps clean off. 

The man I recall with the horse and wagon was in fact a Mr. G, Fred Geiser who lived at the end of Harrison Ave as memory served me, actually at 3518 Farragut Avenue, the last house there.

She also remembers Jimmy's Tavern, and The Waterview Inn, which is not even in business anymore she thinks but still physically there. Seeing as she never had a drink she's unable to name any bands or be of help in that department. So Roy and the Raiders, who played Jimmy's,  may go unknown... for now. There was also a huckster who drove a truck around though she can't recall his name, just that he was pleasant enough. "Hambone" she tells me was a gambler who lived across from Sherman Hurwitz`s store. Him I remember too, though vaguely. In front of his house was a big Indian cigar tree. 

Madge recalls me telling her I was at the 32nd Street light the day of the shooting but can't remember any more than that. So it is still a mystery and may remain so for the rest of my life. Grin and bear it I guess. Such is life. Tyler Avenue, Polk Avenue, shook badly that fateful day. It is one of those moments when one had to be there, living in the Hill, to understand.

Myself, Joe Seddon Jr, taken around the time that Camden suffered a serious wound. This photo I think, was from H.C. Sharp where Miss Rod was the principal, and called my parents in often to discuss my talking in class. Yes, I was the teacher's pest!

I was telling my wife today that one mistake I made in life was failing to return to H.C. Sharp to visit Miss Rod. Now, years alter, I regret the lack of wisdom. She, I think, would have been amazed at the success I had in life, an absolute blessing for sure, as I met so many people on stages that I cannot list them all. Sadly, I was her major pest, always chatting away and distracting the class. My mom and dad got called in often to talk with her. My report card remarks are a riot! She really nailed me! But ya know, I think I fooled her in the end. She, perhaps, in the day, failed to see that "something glimmering in my eyes, " and I slid beneath the waves. It happens a lot I hear. Today they have schools for "bad kids" like me. But I survived the lessons and moved on down life`s road. Even survived Unruh`s rampage. May have been there. Time washed it all away. I will say this though. I talked with Aunt Madge for 50 minutes and she went on at length about everyone in the neighborhood. She knows their entire lives, who they married, where they moved to, who bought or sold their homes, but when I ask about Unruh she clams up and plays as dead a Opossum. This is not her, believe me. So I'm twice as suspicious. I ask her where she was that day and I get this." Oh, I guess I was babysitting as I did a lot of that." I ask her what she remembers of that day? Her reply? "Nothing."

WHAT????? You remember nothing????? The biggest event to hit Camden and she's clueless????? She did say that I told her I was on 32nd Street the day of the shootings. I gotta tell ya, something ain't right there. Why won't she talk about it????? Boy that is frustrating. My mind is working overtime to sort it out and dig up memories. For example, I now recall, when I left the Rio movies, and turned left on River Road, that there was this wall that ran along the road, It was fairly tall as I remember, maybe 4 feet? There was an old building that was there at one time [The Benjamin C. Beideman School- PMC], and I walked that wall and played there often. And so I ask, is that a fact? Is the old wall still there, and was it there from some old structure? [Yes, and Yes- PMC]. If so, my mind is slowly but surely handing me facts and I'm gaining on the memories. If I turned right when leaving the Rio, was there a tap room on that corner? With thick glass windows? [Yes- Dick's Cafe, later the Rio Bar- PMC].



Strimbling Blimbles and Alien Kings:
Joe Seddon's Story

When Mercury Records recorded The Strimbling Blimbles in 1969 they unknowingly wrote yet another chapter in the life of an aspiring songwriter/musician from southern New Jersey, that being the guitar pickin` Joe Seddon. Joe wrote as well as handled the lead vocals on the title songs for The Blimbles nationwide release, "Holding My Eyes Down " and 'Perfect Dream", while the legendary Joseph Renzetti was at the producer's helm and steered the music to a higher level. But where does a man come from who has either the talent or else good fortune to secure a deal with a much sought after company the size of Mercury?

The songs themselves, according to this outspoken writer, "are playing in my head like a jukebox, and my duty is to write them down for future use." The first of many arrived from "out of nowhere" during a study hall while in 10 th grade, and rather than continue studying, Joe scribbled the words in a notebook and took them home. Later that evening the heaven-sent words had a melody and beat attached as well, and the first recordings of "Jungle Drums" and "Angel of Love" were waiting around the bend. However, it would take an encounter with an easygoing score writer named Sam Casale from Turnersville to make it all happen

Following that demo The Two Teens moved on to new management and a contract was secured with the Herald label and The Teens evolved into "The Sterling Brothers Band " that featured 2 guitars, bass and drums. Joe penned two new sides for Herald Records, "What Is This Thing Called Love" and the b-side, "Cabbage Head." The songs were played on jukeboxes and on a local station or two, but nothing major developed and the Brothers searched for greener pastures. They played backup for Bobby Rydell, Bobby Lewis (Tossing and Turning), met The Everly Brothers on Steel Pier but still had a desire to record. That chance arrived when the Sterling Brother's management found them a contract to record with the amazing songwriting duo known to the world as Madara/ White. Having had numerous hits to their credits, songs like "At The Hop" and "Rock and Roll Is Here To Stay", the team was superbly equipped to record the Sterling Brothers voices and guitar playing skills.

Sam wrote the charts for Chubby Checker`s greatest hits, "The Twist" and so on. He lived 5 minutes from the teenage writer's home, and when Sam auditioned Joe and his singing partner, Mark Hutchinson of Brown's Mills, he agreed that they indeed had talent but needed someone better suited to managing the duo known locally as "The Two Teens." Sam introduced the Teens to Russell Faith and Norman Baker among others, and they approached the Philadelphia based record companies in hopes of having the two signed to a label.
During this time of searching the aspiring teenagers cut a demo on their own in Camden at Recorded Publications Laboratories, and copies of that blossoming still exist today. However, their first professional recording took place when Norman Baker took them under his wing and cut Joe's study hall tunes, "Jungle Drums" and "Angel of Love " at Reco-Art Sound in Philadelphia.

John Madara and Dave White worked with the boys in Philly, preparing them for a session at Mirasound Studios in New York. Two demos were produced there, those being remakes of "Beebop-A-Lula" by The Everly Brothers and Chuck Berry`s "Reelin` and A Rocking." Shortly after that the team of Madara / White wrote, arranged and produced two sides for The Sterlings (another name change) titled "Face To Face" and "I Know That You Know, Baby." They were released as 45`s by Decca Records, received some airplay but failed to secure The Sterlings another shot at recording. This is where The Pixies Three enter the scene.

The Pixies Three met The Two Teens while appearing at The Steel Pier In Atlantic City in 1961 and Joe began dating Kaye. The Teens mentioned to the girl's management that they might run into the Madara/White team if they appeared at a popular nightspot in Philly.
They did, they dazzled the duo with their remarkable talents and went on to record hits for Mercury such as "Birthday Party", "442 Glenwood Avenue", "Cold, Cold Winter ", and so on.

Mark Hutchinson, now discouraged with recording and traveling the road left the group and married his sweetheart while Joe continued on, joining groups such as The Monkey Men, The Happy-Go-Lucky Revue and The Rubber Band. To earn extra income he drove trucks for the state, cabs, and also taught guitar, his best student being "The Wizard of Windings", the boy genius Seymour Duncan who presently manufactures the finest guitar pickups on planet earth. That`s when Ralph Citro, manager of The Pur`Swa`Ders entered the mix. He offered Joe a position with the Pur`Swa`Ders as a singer/songwriter and Joe took him up on the offer rather than drive a bread truck. Ralph, being a highly influential individual in the world of boxing, landed them a contract with Mercury Records and Joe wrote the songs for the upcoming 45, "Perfect Dream" and "Holding My Eyes Down" that the renowned Joseph Renzetti produced. The release found airplay in the surrounding states as well as California but failed to provide the now-named "Strimbling Blimbles" with a solid hit. The band drifted apart and Joe, still writing originals, joined a group called Plymouth Rock. The band consisted of Allen Webber on sax and flute, Ron Lovett on bass and Frank Appice, cousin of Carmine Appice on drums.

Plymouth Rock, under the management of the "cutman" Ralph Citro and the whiz from Chancellor Records, the soft spoken but powerful Pete DeAngelis, landed a contract with Atlantic in 1972-73. An album of Joe`s new music was recorded at Atlantic as well as Sun Dragon Studios in New York. The task of producing the album fell on the shoulders of Ed Freeman who had a recent success with "Bye Bye Miss American Pie" among others. The album was finished after weeks of recording and mixing while living at the Chelsea Hotel. Plymouth Rock at the request of Atlantic's staff became "Feather Blue" but the album for reasons unknown was never released. A major disappointment to the band members as one might expect, but not enough to steer Joe away from his careening career as a writer of rhythms and rhymes. He, along with his younger brother Bruce, a self-taught guitarist and lead singer, drifted in and out of bands. They played together on "That`s Incredible", the much-watched TV show centered around the paranormal, but the unstoppable "river of time" carried Joe away and he vanished beneath its waves, neither performing nor writing with the usual flair.

I grew up listening to the Coasters and never dreamed I'd get to meet them, but it happened. The gent I`m shaking hands with is the one who wrote the hits. What a wonderful moment in time it was!

However, 1999 through 2000 found the ever-determined man with pen in hand and the words and melodies rained on down, forming musical puddles in his evolving, mystical mind. Within the time frame of 3 weeks, The Alien Kings album entitled "Roswell Cover-up" was written and arranged. It was immediately recorded in the home studio and went on to become the editor's pick in Goldmine Magazine and is re-appearing on the internet even as you read these lines.

Is this then, "the end of the line" for a fellow who has had the good fortune to share the stage with Little Richard, John Denver and the gifted guitarist Jimi Hendrix, or is yet another unforeseen door about to open into the future? Let's ask Joe that pointed question shall we?

Q: Joe, have you had more than your share of disappointment in this lifetime, or do you intend to follow your artistic dreams in spite of the ethereal highs and saddening lows?

Answer: As long as the jukebox plays in my head I`ll jot down the tunes. That`s my obligation as a "receiver of song", and the mysterious "fame and fortune" that people so diligently seek generally falls far short when it comes to fulfilling a man/woman or satisfying their ever-present spiritual thirst. The genuine satisfaction as I view it comes from adhering to your intuitions and doing whatever it is that you were designed to do in life. The lucky man knows his place. Mine was handed to me a very long time ago in a somewhat boring study hall, and though it hurts at times to see others enjoying the spotlight and glitz, it has never been painful enough to deter me from doing what I love most. My grandest dream is to write a hit that someone else will perform. Then and only then can I lay the pen down and walk away from the rhymes and rhythms that dominate my soul. I recently finished a new album of country/pop/bluegrass that'll be recorded shortly, and it just may be the best material thus far that "the little voice in my head has sent speeding my way."

Boy was my mom bugged when she saw this photo in the newspaper. I hated the idea of wearing a suit to this concert in school (the principle is standing behind the players) so I told her it was "casual dress." Uh huh. I heard about that incident for 30 years! Talk about a natural born "rocker?"

Good luck to everyone out there who has endured a failure or flop, and I encourage you to turn that musical lemon into lemonade with a twist! (or a TV jingle perhaps?)


 Information contributed by Joe Seddon

Strimbling Blimbles: An Interview with Joe Seddon

Last year, we interviewed Jim Corbett of The Pur’swa’ders (winners of the 1967 New Jersey Battle of the Bands).  Jim informed us at the time that the band later changed names to The Strimbling Blimbles after adding Joe Seddon as lead singer.  Seddon was a very logical choice, as he had a very varied career prior to joining The Pur’swa’ders/Blimbles.  We’re now very pleased to be able to provide more on The Blimbles and on Seddon’s earlier musical highlights in this exclusive interview. (60s): How did you first get interested in music?

Joe Seddon (JS): My parents, Florence and Joseph Seddon from Pitman, New Jersey became friends with Esther and Mark Hutchinson of Browns Mill around 1947. They’d spend many an hour singing country songs while “Uncle Mark” strummed the guitar. He started his son Mark and me on the instrument and by teaching us “Guitar Boogie Shuffle”. Dad found a teacher for me in 1952 named Don Di Lulu but I was a real nightmare for him. My mind was focused on rock and roll rather than scales and chord progressions. He’d chastise me for failing to practice and I’d go home, skip the lessons again and teach myself the hits. The standoff ended when my parents agreed that I could pursue my own dreams rather than follow the well-beaten path. Mom spotted an ad in the newspaper stating that a band named The Stardusters were looking for a guitarist. I showed up with an electrified Gibson that was larger than my body, sat in with the older and more seasoned players…and was hired! That started the ball rolling.

60s: In addition to The Stardusters, you recorded and performed with various acts prior to The Strimbling Blimbles.

JS: I departed The Stardusters and Mark and I became The Two Teens. We started playing talent shows and cut our first demo in 1960. My mother then contacted Sam Casale who wrote the scores for Chubby Checker’s hits and he introduced us to record companies like Cameo and Swan. We landed a contract with Herald and released two of my songs, “What Is This Thing Called Love” and “Cabbage Head.” We did record prior to the Herald release for Norman Baker in Camden and produced two other sides I wrote, those being “Jungle Drums” and “Angel of Love.”  They were pressed into demo 45s. Now the tale becomes a bit twisty.

Mark and I became Everly Brothers-sound-alikes and performed with Tony Grant’s Stars of Tomorrow on the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. As fate would have it, the real Everly Brothers were the main attraction that week, and having watched our imitation of them from backstage, we were invited to join them in their dressing room for a few hours of song sharing and lunch. That meeting lead to us appearing the next season, 1961, and that’s when The Two Teens met The Pixies Three and I began dating Kaye McCool, the talented Pixie who sang and played the piano during their performances. 

It was around this time that Mark and I signed to Decca and they changed our name to The Sterlings. Johnny Madara and Dave White produced us and we cut some remakes of Chuck Berry’s tunes that became demo 45s. Shortly after that the Madara/White team wrote our actual releases, “Face To Face” and “I Know That You Know, Baby.”  They were pressed with a pink Decca label as a “not for sale” 45 while the black label was the released version.

Shortly after our departure from Decca, Madara/White produced The Pixies Three for Mercury and a hit was born, that being “Birthday Party”. Others followed such as Glenwood Avenue” and “Cold, Cold Winter.”  The Pixies Three made musical history.

During the next few years Mark and I toured as The Sterling Brothers Band and shared the stage with acts such as Bobby Rydell and Little Richard - who had Jimi Hendrix as his guitar player, or…we backed Bobby Lewis (“Tossing and Turning”) when he went on the road. Mark left the group and married his high school sweetheart while I continued playing. 

My new group, The Rubber Band, signed a contract with the manager of The Soul Survivors (“Expressway To Your Heart”) and we were playing shows with them and doing TV appearances (Jerry Blavett Show) but the band broke up when Howie Michaels died. 

60s: What years would this have been in?

JS: The sixties had bands coming and going like weasels in a hen house. People joined groups, left groups, and re-joined the ones they left. They were Crazy times. Therefore it’s nearly impossible to pin a tale on the “date donkey.”  The Rubber Band?  Hmmm. 1964-65 would be my guess. I lived on Sunset Strip in ‘67 so that eliminates that year, “the year of The Galaxy Nightclub and The Iron Butterfly. (Hi Doug).

The Rubber Band consisted of my high school buddy on bass, Jerry Marlowe, Gary Vulpe nailed the drums, Denny …on keyboards and Tommy…singing lead. I apologize for failing to remember their last names, but they were players that joined us to fill in the trio’s sound and though we were friends I cannot recall the last names. Sorry guys, but I’m certain there are players out there are who are struggling to recall mine as well and in that I find some relief.

60s: The Strimbling Blimbles was actually The Pur’swa’ders after a name change. You replaced Joe DiBartolo. How did you hook up with the rest of the Pur’swa ‘ders?

JS: I was playing a club in Philly opposite Cookie Jar and The Crumbs and The Soul Survivors. During a break a man introduced himself to me and said his name was Ralph Citro from Blackwood, New Jersey, and he wanted to know if I’d consider joining the band he managed called The Pur’swa’ders. I remember telling him I couldn’t walk out on The Rubber Band, but as mentioned they split up when our manager died. A short time later a call came for me at home. It was Ralph again, offering me a position as lead singer and songwriter, and I refused him. I’d taken a job driving a bread truck and decided to quit the music business. He offered me more pay to play. I canned the 9 to 5 bit and put a new set of strings on my ‘56 Telecaster.

60s: How familiar were you with The Pur’swa’ders prior to joining?

JS: We were fish living in a different bowl. I swam with the road crowd, having lived in Washington D.C. and Hollywood or Florida at times. They were a local band with a dedicated following whereas I played the cities like Boston or New York. As popular as they were, we never crossed paths.

60s: You’ve been credited with coming up with the name “The Strimbling Blimbles.” How did you come up with the name? Does it have any special significance? 

JS: Oh yes, it certainly does. Here’s the story in a nutshell. First off, I was “class clown” in my yearbook when graduating high school and I love to laugh! When Mercury signed us they wanted a fresh name, something more original that would stick. Ralph Citro notified the guys in a meeting that each band member had to write ten possible names on a paper and we’d submit them all to Mercury, and they’d have the final say. Being the joker that I am, I entered one name rather than ten and left the rest to fate. Fate must have been smiling down on me or else the heads of Mercury were as crazy as I was, because the verdict came back days later and The Strimbling Blimbles entered the musical mix!  I recall it being played for the first time on the Philly stations and the jockey got a good laugh while trying to pronounce it. Knowing that now, I would have made it twice as difficult for them!

60s: Who were members of The Strimbling Blimbles at the time you joined.

JS: Ron Lovett, Jim Corbett, Lee Albright and Ralph Citro Jr.

60s: Where did The Strimbling Blimbles typically play?

JS: The better clubs either in or out of state.

60s: How would you describe the band’s sound? What bands influenced you?

JS: Our sound was a cross between British and American with a pinch of pop thrown in for good measure. As for the bands that sparked the flames…during my teens it was The Everly Bros, Little Richard, The Coasters, Chuck Berry, Danny and The Juniors, Elvis and so on. But when it came to “real time players” it’d have to be The Temptations that featured the legendary Roy Buchanon on guitar. My parents took Mark and me (The Two Teens) to see Roy play at Dick Lee’s nightclub on many occasions, and he’d join us at the table for a chat. He was my favorite musician at the time. Little did I know that as I matured and developed skills of my own we’d become friends, often playing the same clubs. I remember Roy replacing me when I left The Monkey Men in 1965-1966. Those were lasting impressions.

60s: The Monkey Men? Did that band ever record?

JS: Wow…The Monkey Men. Boy, you opened up a can of oversize, radiated, nuclear worms! The year had to be 1966. The Sterling Brothers and The Monkey Men were the first act to play the posh Satellite Lounge when it opened. The “monkey guys” built a huge bamboo cage on the stage and we played inside it like a bunch of simians. Sam Allen was the bassist and leader, being an extremely bright individual and as crazy as a sun-baked bunny. We played Philly one night and set up a black powder charge inside the cage. It was mere feet from the customers at the bar who had zero warning that it was there. Sam set it off when the place was packed and the blast blew people off their barstools and created a huge cloud of stinking smog. That was but one moment of the madness with them. But they were great musicians! I joined them for awhile and was replaced by Roy Buchanon when I left for Hollywood. Like I said, the music scene was a revolving door and you never knew who you’d meet. We played opposite Herman’s Hermits for a week at The Satellite and they thought we were terrific players but utterly whacked. The band did record numerous times, and there has to be cuts with Roy on them, too. They were ahead of their time really. The members? Sam Allen on bass and Bobby…on guitar, whom I replaced after a dispute. The others I can’t recall.

60s: Did The Strimbling Blimbles have a manager?

JS: Ralph Citro handled the calls and bookings and was fully involved in the promoting of the group.

60s: A guy by the name of Ralph Citro was a legendary boxing “cut man.” Is there any relationship to “your ” Ralph?

JS: It pleases me to answer that with a “yes”. Ralph is the famous cut man who was recently inducted into The Boxing Hall of Fame and has been ringside for many a title fight on nationwide TV. I’ve remained friends with him ever since he rescued me from the bread truck and pending doom as a “deliverer of dough.” (Smile) Had it not been for his persistence The Strimbling Blimbles would be little more than an alphabet floating around in space and waiting to be put in order. At one point he and Carmen Graziano (relative to Rocky) managed us as a team. That was during our “brash and outspoken days” as Plymouth Rock. I remember walking in Ralph’s office one day and Carl “The Truth” Williams was there and he was a really big guy up close! Ralph also boxed in the Golden Gloves ranks, thus I remained sensible when it came to giving him any guff. He could be one tough cookie if you rubbed him the wrong way and that showed in his eyes, those penetrating portals that Emerson called, “the windows of the soul.” He may be gone from this physical world but he will never be forgotten. I do a lot of writing these days, and every once in awhile I’ll feel a little tug on the back of my shirt, you know? Enough said.

60s: How popular locally did The Strimbling Blimbles become?

JS: When the record was released and being played on the radio we received the usual upturn in phone calls and bookings and interest in general, but no one tore our hair out or attacked us in the shower. It was an enjoyable success but not long lived. We toured and poured our hearts out, but without another record to support one’s efforts the popularity vanishes like a fog and the players themselves are left to wonder like a frog on a sinking log.

60s: How far was the band’s touring territory?

JS: Delaware to our south and as far as Rhode Island when heading due north. 

60s: Where in Philadelphia did The Strimbling Blimbles record? What do you remember about the recording sessions?

JS: It was either Bell Sound or Sigma, I’m not sure as I’ve done a number of sessions in Philly with various groups and it all becomes a little fuzzy. As for remembering the sessions themselves, well, I am a product of the 60’s you know, and I’ve heard it said that, “if you remember them you weren’t there.” (Just kidding of course).

The sessions were exhilarating. Nothing can compare to putting on a great set of headphones in a quality studio and hearing a track begin. 

60s: What are your recollections of producer Joe Renzetti?

JS: Black jacket, white shirt without the tie and a pair of pressed slacks. He was clean-shaven and as sharp as a tack. He has a focus that’s bulletproof and comes up with ideas on the spot. I found him to be easy going yet tactical, always aware of the time and what had to be accomplished. I’d be happy to write a million tunes for Joe to produce. Yours truly may have written the ditties, but Joe put his brilliance into it and made them sing. 

60s: Did The Strimbling Blimbles write many original songs? Were you the band’s primary songwriter?

JS: No, they didn’t as a group. The other guys may have been creating in their quiet time but I can’t recall anything in particular. That would make yours truly the “primary writer.”   Although I can play several instruments and sing, I consider myself a songwriter/arranger first and musician last.

60s: “Perfect Dream”/ “Holding My Eyes Down” was officially released as a single, but do any other Strimbling Blimbles recordings exist? Are there any vintage live recordings or unreleased tracks?

JS: I’d have to say yes to that. We taped quite a few practices during which we worked on my other materials. Ralph, a generous friend as well as manager, passed on recently and willed me the entire collection of master tapes from the sessions with Mercury as well as Atlantic. Among the numerous tapes from Sigma and Bell Sound there are probably some cuts that would shock me when they started to play. 

60s: How many songs do you think are part of the tapes that Ralph willed you? Would they all be from The Strimbling Blimbles period, or from the Feather Blue period as well?

JS: I have quite a few actually. There are the sessions with Mercury and Atlantic as well as the originals we recorded at Sigma and Bell sound and Sun Dragon in New York. I own the copyrights to the music save for one song, that being “Feather Blue” that was written by Ron Lovett and Frank Appice when we signed to Atlantic. I also have many other songs that have yet to be recorded and are waiting to be cut. Due to the fact that I’ve written so much material over the years, there’s a mixture that’s difficult to explain.

For example (and I failed to mention this) I also recorded two more songs that were produced by Joe Renzetti in 1968, the A-side being “Bobby Girl ” while the flip side was a ditty called “Baby, Baby, Oh Baby.” Where are those today? Maybe I better play these masters huh? I also learned from Kaye (Pixies Three) last week that Mark and I (The Two Teens) played guitar on The Pixies Three studio demos! Well, you can bet I’ll be playing those records today and hoping to remember the Philly studio we tracked them in. Maybe she knows?

60s: Jim Corbett has us transfer several 1971 Strimbling Blimbles demos (songs include “Aquarius”, “Born To Be Wild”, Piece Of My Heart”, and “Words”,). I assume you had left the band before these were recorded?

JS: That’s correct. I was writing for Plymouth Rock during those years as well as performing and had no idea they’d even done so.

60s: What about local TV appearances?

JS: No, we never thought much about the television, nor did we make home movies of any kind, though I do have some well-preserved footage from The Rubber Band and The Pixies Three. 

60s: What year and why did the band break up?

JS: I personally was involved in another band in 1970, that being the east coast version of Plymouth Rock, so what happened to the other players and did they continue past 1973? I’m not sure. The Blimbles didn’t break up due to any tensions or internal conflicts because we were true friends and always will be. It seems to me that we, like water, were seeking our own levels, much like The Beatles when they began their individual careers.

Mark Hutchinson, after leaving The Sterling Brothers in 1964 formed a band in the ‘70’s (Mule) that consisted of Steve Johnson, Tom Club and a drummer by the name of Phill Marder. Phill wrote the tune “She’s So Mean” recorded by Mott’s Men, and I’d sit in with them whenever I could. We’re still close friends and remain in touch. The most creative band I’ve worked with consisted of drummer Frank Appice, cousin of Carmine Appice, Ron Lovett from the Pur’swa’ders, Allen Webber on sax and flute and me on guitar and vocals. We had the good fortune to share the stage with Edgar Winters, John Denver, Cactus, Rhinoceros, Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels and a list of others. Pete DeAngelis (the whiz who produced many of Philly’s top artists) along with our manager Ralph secured us a contract with Atlantic in 1972-1973. We recorded an album of my music under the name Feather Blue in their New York studio with Ed Freeman (“Bye Bye Miss American Pie”) and Pete DeAngelis sharing the producing. After a month of laying tracks and mixing down, the album lays sleeping in the archives at Atlantic’s headquarters. I have the masters here. End of tale. 

60s: How long were you with Plymouth Rock? And what do you mean by “east coast” version? Was there also a “west coast” version?

JS: I auditioned Frank Appice in late 1967, early ‘68 as a possible drummer. My brother Bruce heard about him when he moved to Jersey from New York and informed me that Frank was available and absolutely fantastic. I had a massive amp setup in my living room with effects added and Frank and I were going to be (I thought) a two-piece band named Stone Genius. At the time I had skunk pelts hanging on the walls, crows flying around inside the house and a 20-pound snapper that lived in the bathtub between its uses. Frank did audition but never came back, convinced that I was insane! Ha! Fate had other plans in mind, and when the “original” Plymouth Rock that I joined needed a drummer, Frank showed up for the audition and guess who was playing guitar! Yep, the mad man himself. There were conflicts in that group so Frank and I left to form a new version of Plymouth Rock and lured in Ron Lovett and Allen Webber from the disbanded Pur’swa’ders. We read each other’s minds on stage and the original tunes flowed like wine, some of them radical, offensive at times and theatrical by nature. We played from 1970-1973 and recorded our album for Atlantic.

We never knew it but there was a band named Plymouth Rock working in Texas at the same time, and I didn’t know that until I discovered their name on the ‘Net last year! Wow and shock. I was immediately grateful that Atlantic changed our name to Feather Blue.

60s: And today?

JS: My brother Bruce also plays guitar and sings lead. He formed a band that consists of Ron Lovett and Allen Webber from Plymouth Rock along with John Roach, the drummer who worked with Government Mule and Splintered Sunlight. I am a welcome addition whenever they perform, and oddly enough, they are still playing bits of music that was written in 1970-1973.

Rather than throw in the towel and quit writing, I penned another album entitled “Roswell Cover-up” by The Alien Kings. It was recorded in my home studio, pressed into CDs and released in 2000. It’s a humble offering of my talents as a singer/songwriter, drummer, guitarist, keyboard player, bassist and engineer. Wow. Try saying that three times in a row backwards! The album was the editor’s pick in Goldmine magazine (July 27, 2001) and made it into the issues of UFO Magazine. It’s been for sale at the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico as well as on the ‘Net, and is still being played by various sites. Having finished The Alien Kings, I’m gearing up to record an album of country/folk/bluegrass that’ll include my favorite instruments, banjo, steel, fiddle and mandolin. It’s written and ready to go to a disc. 

60s: Was The Alien Kings LP a concept album entirely about the UFO crash?  Was this a solo venture?

JS: Yes. I cut the drums, bass, guitar, keys and vocal tracks and engineered it along with the mixing which I would never trust to anyone, not after the experiences I’d had in certain studio situations. To be honest, it was the hardest and at times most unbearable portion of my recording career. But, now that it’s done I can laugh at myself as well as the moments of madness it spawned and add it to the pile of music that’ll remain when I am little more than dust in the wind. And to answer your final question, no, it’s not entirely UFO based, but has catchy cuts such as “Heartless Highway”, “World On Fire”, “Dear Mr. Suineg” (better look at that one closely), and so on. It’s a diversified mixture of melodies and will thus appeal to a larger and less spaced-out audience I believe. I’ll be renewing my efforts to have it heard quite soon so check the web for it.

I hope in some small way that my refusal to give up the writing I love will inspire others who have the “Perfect Dream” to continue their efforts and refuse to be caught “Holding Their Eyes Down.”   

Best wishes to all in Cyber Space. Eoj Noddes.

The Rubber Band Perform on The Jerry Blavat Show

The Two Teens

The Pixies and The Sterling Brothers

Plymouth Rock

Goldmine Magazine - May, 2011

Seddon & Appice…Jumbo Hot Dogs CD You May Relish

Frankly speaking, the Jumbo Hot Dogs are a tasty treat

By Phill Marder

Today, I’m gonna tell you about a new CD by an old friend you may not have heard of and a drummer named Appice.

You’ve heard of a drummer named Appice? In fact, you’ve heard of two? Keep reading.

Joe Seddon wasn’t out of high school when he was appearing with The Everly Brothers, The Orlons, Screaming Jay Hawkins, exchanging guitar ideas with friend Roy Buchanan, backing up Bobby Rydell, Bobby Lewis and Patsy Cline and recording numbers by Johnny Madara and David White for Mercury Records.

Dated Kaye McCool of the Pixies Three when they were hitting the charts with tunes such as “Birthday Party” and a cover of the Crows’ “Gee.” Gave guitar lessons to Seymour Duncan, who seemed more interested in the pickups on Joe’s axe and how he managed to squeeze out certain sounds.

Have I dropped enough names? How ’bout a drummer named Appice?

Played opposite Herman’s Hermits, Timi Yuro, Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders, the Coasters, the Del Vikings, Melanie, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Peter, Paul & Mary…traveled to California, hung out with Doug Ingle and Ron Bushy and sat in with Iron Butterfly when turmoil erupted in the band right before 17 minutes of “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” made them radio legends, especially for deejays with weak bladders. Played opposite Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard, who offered him a spot in his band.

And still to come was the drummer named Appice.

Returning to New Jersey, Seddon put together a band named “Plymouth Rock.” Being long before Al Gore invented the internets, Seddon was unaware a group with that name existed out West. The band became the band in South Jersey circles, drawing standing-room only every place they appeared. Soon, they were appearing in front of Jerry Wexler and Ahmet Ertegun in an audition for Atlantic Records.

The band, re-named Feather Blue by the Atlantic brass, was led by Seddon, the guitarist, lead vocalist and composer. He was complimented by bassist Ron Lovett and Alan Weber, who doubled on sax and flute. Oh…they also had a drummer named Appice. And he was unbelievable.

“Atlantic put us up at The Chelsea Hotel in New York City,” Seddon recalled. “The tracks for the album were cut at two studios, Atlantic’s own and Sun Dragon. During these sessions, Foreigner would hang out with us as they were signed as well and about to cut their first album.”

What happened to Foreigner is, as they say…history. What happened to Feather Blue is, as they say…tragedy.

“They became a hit,” Seddon mused. “We were shelved for unknown reasons and the album was never released.”

The “unknown reasons” became clear to me as soon as I received a copy of the album, which I dubbed from an eight-track copy Seddon had lent me to a reel-to-reel. This is the copy I’ve listened to for over 30 years, the copy that became my favorite album – bar none. But Atlantic heard what I heard – nothing commercial, nothing radio friendly.

The songs were brilliant, the playing incredible. But you wouldn’t hear the classic “Tire Iron” on too many radio playlists. Today, it would fit right in. But this was the ’70s. “Blood Stained Woman,” about Richard Speck “Green Rats In My Heart” and other similar topics didn’t exactly spell commercial success.

Which brings us to today’s topic “We’re On A Roll” by the Jumbo Hot Dogs, the first official release of some of those classic tracks – at least some of the not-too-offensive ones. And now, for the first time, most of you have the opportunity to hear the third drumming Appice – the amazing Frank, cousin of Carmine and Vinny, on a kit standard for that day. No gimmicks, no electronics, no drumming overdubs.

“Frank Appice is the most talented drummer I’ve worked with, period,” said Seddon. “Fast hands, great taste and inventive. In the early days of the original music he’d balk at practices, saying to me, ‘Joe, I can’t play that fast … the timings are too weird,’ or something along those lines. I’d say, ‘Oh yes you can Frank. Try it again. Just do it man, it’ll come.’ And he did, amazing me always with his speed. An example of this can be found at the end of Uncle Sam, where you hear him say, ‘Joe, I don’t know how we got that timing, but we did it.’”

Plymouth Rock visited with Carmine and, Seddon recalled, “We played opposite Carmine with his band called Cactus, billed as a ” battle of the bands” type deal with two great drummers, related no less, going up against each other. It was … wild! Carmine did mention, recently, about us reforming and going on tour with him, but we are all too settled now to be on the highway. But his offer is appreciated for sure.”

Seddon may be settled, but he has been active, not comatose. There was the “Roswell Cover-Up” release by the Alien Kings in 2000 and a Goldmine “Pick Of The Week,” and The Amishland String Band’s CD in 2007. Each contained all new original material. But when Seddon finally got his old studio tapes back from his ex-manager, he decided to see if they could be cleaned up enough for release. The job went to his old Pixies Three comrade Kaye, now Kaye Krebs, and her friend, multi-instrumentalist Earl Kiosterud, and Kaye’s Virginia Beach studio Kristebelle Sound.

“I liked the name Jumbo Hot Dogs as it was an attention getter,” said Seddon. “I also thought it would make a weird album cover. Plus, I felt it would be appealing to the hungry masses (sigh), offend no one, and look tasty on the cover! Very American, like baseball and roller coasters.

“Kaye and Earl were incredible when it came to The Jumbo Hotdogs,” he added. “Words cannot describe the work they put into this collection of songs, which came from various sources and time periods. Essentially, I handed them a box of tapes, ones that had been sitting for decades, poorly stored to make matters worse, and they, using the latest technology on hand, took out the noises, the bumps and drops, and added numerous instruments to modernize them. A prodigious task for sure.”

But well worth the effort. Five of the Plymouth Rock/Feather Blue tracks made the CD, which also features some new recordings and some demos of a couple Seddon gems done acoustically. “Uncle Sam,” as relevant today as ever, made the cut as did “Psychopathic Genius,” a look at Ted Bundy. “Evolutionary Beast” also is present and “Purple Murder” still amazes, sounding like “20th Century Schizoid Man” meets The Beatles. “Let Us Arise” will please fans of Rare Earth.

Plymouth Rock 1970-Seddon (front center);

(top l to r) Ron Lovett, Appice, Alan Weber

The lead cut, “Go Baby Go,” is a new ’50s spoof featuring Seddon’s Chuck Berry and Duane Eddy inspired guitar and the keep-the-beat drumming of yours truly. This stemmed from a joke about writing a song with no lyrics, just one phrase repeated over and over. Two minutes of madness concocted in the studio was the result. Guaranteed to get a laugh, it’s the perfect recording for a baseball park’s public address system. Sure to get the crowd riled up, especially in a base-stealing situation.

“Chelsea Hotel,” the CD’s second track, was written in the New York City hotel, but not recorded during the Atlantic sessions. Seddon recalled, “I used to look out the windows and observe what was taking place on the streets below. Despite the thrill of recording there, it was a lonely time and my song reflects this.”

“Bye Bye Beverly” and “Wreck and Ruin” are new recordings. “Bye Bye Beverly” came so fast that I had to scribble it down to get all the words and verses,” said Seddon. On “Wreck and Ruin,” he plays everything, as he does on most of his new recordings, this time using drums, bass, guitar, mandolin and five-string banjo in addition to putting down all the vocals.

“One Way Rider,” “Perfect Dream” and “China” are melodic demos from the early days and “Stranded” and “Molly Gets Around,” round out the selections. “Molly” is a tip of the cap to Seddon’s high school partner in The Two Teens and The Sterling Brothers – the late Mark Hutchinson. “Molly” was written and entirely performed by Mark’s son, Markie, who remains a close friend.

Seddon already has completed several new songs for a coming movie about The Jersey Devil (he insists it’s not autobiographical) and has considered a new disc of all new material. With the vault now open, it certainly would be fun to hear more of the Seddon classics revived, though.

“I did shrink away from the limelight,” Seddon said, commenting on the aftermath of his glimpse of the big time. “Disappointments can dull one’s senses, detract from the joys of appearing onstage. When too many people say, ‘you should have made it big’ you have to wonder what went wrong. Bad timing? No luck? Karma gone kaput? To be honest, I quit to save my life. Music, in the wrong hands, is like a gun with a hair trigger.”

Wife Betty proved a stabilizing figure in Seddon’s life and remains his chief inspiration.

“Bars and marriage don’t mix, like oil and water,” he said. “Pick one or the other I believe, cause you may not survive both. True love came my way and I took it, the wisest thing I’ve ever done. No regrets.

“Yeah, I’d like a hit record, of course,” he added. “But let someone else sing it and do the touring. I write, they perform!”

The CD is available or individual tracks can be downloaded at, Amazon and most other outlets. Just type in Joe Seddon in the search box at the top.

A few random comments from Joe about the music scene in South Jersey 

I appeared with the Sterling Brothers at Andy's Log Cabin quite a bit. My parents took Seymour Duncan there to watch us during an afternoon jam session. He was of course, about 15 at the time. I played Dick Lee's a lot, the new one that is, opposite bands like the Red Caps or was it the Ink Spots? The old Dick Lee's is where Mark and yours truly first met Roy Buchanan and became friends with him. The doorman was a gent named Mel and he'd let us in during the afternoon jams to watch Roy and the Temps play. I got to know them all, and hung out with them a few times in their apartment near the circle. It was really a special thing for me as I was but a kid of 16 watching them play, but, time rolled along and I ended up in the circuit and appearing at lots of clubs. Yeah, with age we matured and became respected for the talents exhibited. Like a fantasy actually, a frog becoming a prince kind of thing. Roy's death was a hard hit for me to take. Also played the Chateau but I kind of recall a different looking building than you show on the site. A side door rather than front entrance? I'm not so sure but I do have a photo of my mom and dad dancing there and us on stage. We rocked the joint and had a great time.

Johnny Caswell & the Crystal Mansion and my band, Plymouth Rock, played opposite each other a lot. The Erlton [Uncle Al's Erlton Lounge on Kings Highway, Cherry Hill, NJ - PMC] was a big place with a big stage and we rocked until the walls caved in! Johnny, Sal (keys), and Mario (congas) took us with them to see the Yogi who came to America. He had a big to do in New York city and Johnny was adamant about us going along. What a day that was. I think the guy was a fraud myself but who am I to say? It was an experience I`ll never forget. In fact, I recorded one of my songs titled CHINA ROSE at their farmhouse in Mt. Laurel. Dave White, writer of AT THE HOP AND ROCK N` ROLL IS HERE TO STAY was my musical producer for Mercury and played keys on it for me. He lived upstairs at that time. Great times, lots of memories.

There was a big country scene at the Ranch. I played there often, behind the bar. Bill Haley worked with for a week in 1974 or so at the Shamrock in Atlantic City. Yet another blessing for me as I had his records as we all did and sang his songs at gigs. So it was a dream come true to meet him and share the stage. I also knew Bill Black from the Bill Black Combo. He went to the same speakeasy as The Sterling Brothers did in Washington D.C.

We played Rand's 16 weeks per year so I got to hang out with Bill there until the sun came up. Those were the best days to be on the road as it was far safer. No gunfights, no serious drugs around. Just people drinking some beers and having fun.

Ralph Citro was my musical manager for several years and a close friend as well. He landed us a contract with Mercury, Joe Renzetti producing our songs, and later, with his partner Pete DeAngelis, a contract with Atlantic. One funny story regarding Ralph. Atlantic Records put us up in a big hotel during our initial meeting with them. I, the prankster, went into his room at night and said in a panic, "Ralph, you gotta come quick. Frank has had too much to drink, he's out on the ledge (4 stories up) and he`s gonna jump!" Ralph, believing my words, leaps to his feet and goes flying down the hall and into the room, only to be met by a big "surprise!" from the guys in the band! Man, he was really mad at first, (not a guy you wanna get angry) but found it funny later. He acted as cut man for some incredible boxers and I watched the fights on TV, amazed by his skills and calmness while tending to a serious cut. More about Ralph at



Sir Tim Rice's American Pie

This is a special honor that means so very much, for, i am but a skinny little kid from Camden, the poor section at that, who managed, by the grace of God, to see and experience so many interesting things. Tim`s bio at left of this page is outstanding. A fascinating man. He graced my music by placing it ("Roswell Cover Up" by Joe Seddon & The Alien Kings, about the alleged 1947 crash of a UFO at Roswell.) under the state of New Mexico as seen below. Joe Seddon and the Alien Kings are listed with the very folks I admired for so long. This to some extent, makes the years on the road, living in hotels and such, all worthwhile. My cds are found on CD BABY under Joe Seddon and should you wish, you can sample some of the albums or various tunes. 

Seymour Duncan

Being from South Jersey, having left Camden, I played many of the local clubs there. Andy`s Log Cabin, Al Jo`s, Dick Lee`s, The Chateau on River Road, and lots more. So it was, at age 19, that I met Seymour Duncan and became his first paid guitar teacher. He was 14 and lived in National Park while I was playing Nick`s Cafe on weekends. We remained life long friends due to the lessons and common interest. Again, a matter of being at the right place at the right time. 

This photo is self explanatory. I had the distinct honor of teacher Seymour guitar when he was 14 or 15, this when he was taking pickups apart to see how they worked. Needless to say, his genius developed into a whopping success and he is one heckuva` guitar player too. Like my friend Roy Buchanan, he uses no picks and plays finger style. Roy used either finger nails or steel/plastic banjo picks to get his sounds that were so unique and made him a legend.

My former girlfriend Kaye and The Pixies Three, she having the blonde hair and looking a bit like Marilyn Monroe in this photo from the early 60`s. 

Their Madera/White hits "Birthday Party, Cold, Cold Winter, 442 Glenwood Avenue along with a version of Gee" hit the charts of Bill Board Magazine. 

Mark Hutchinson, my stage partner, dated Debby Swisher (on left) who later became the lead singer for The Angels who recorded the classic tune, " My Boyfriends Back And Your`re Gonna` Be Sorry. "!

The original East Coast version of Plymouth Rock in 1970. Joe Seddon in front, Ron Lovett to left, Frank Appice, cousin of Carmine Appice (drummer for Rod Stewart, Vanilla Fudge, Cactus and B.B.A which stands for Jeff Beck, Tim Bogert and Carmine Appice.) Frank looks a whole lot like Carmine in this photo. On the right is Allen Weber.

This version of Plymouth Rock played opposite Bill Haley for a week at The Shamrock In Atlantic City in the mid 70`s. I`m on the left with the usual cat got the mouse grin!

In the studio with Frank Appice, cousin of Carmine Appice (Rod Stewart's drummer and co-writer of "If You Think I'm Sexy ". Frank and I have played some great gigs together for years and he is a remarkable drummer as is his other cousin Vinny Appice.

Joe Seddon Jr. in 1980 with wife nicknamed " Biggy " on the left. She stands 6'3" when wearing shoes and I'm always looking up at her. To the right is Mary Lou weighing in at 5 foot 2. (smiles).

A photo of myself and 1936 Chevy coupe taken in 2001. Having grown up around old cars in Camden I am a devoted hotrodder, driving antiques most of my life, starting as a teen with a 1934 Ford street rod.

This is a more recent photo of Marilynne Seddon and yours truly, taken in 2000 at Atco Dragway. Behind us is my 1936 Chevy hotrod that won a goodly number of trophies at various shows.

Bought this Pro Street Nova in 2001 on the Wildwood Boardwalk. It has a 
383 stroker engine running nitrous oxide injection and.... it goes fast, turning 
low 10`s. It was a winner in the Maryland 1/4 mile drags.

One of the very few photos taken with Florence Seddon (left) and Madge Hickey together, both from Polk Avenue, Cramer Hill. In the center, the tall, smiling beauty is my wife whom we adoring call Biggy as she makes all of us look short!

This has been a lifelong hobby and scientific interest of some 
importance. I started hunting rattlesnakes in the Jersey pines at the age of 13 and continued on until two severe bites in 1981 nearly killed me. After 3 days in intensive care and 12 vials of antivenin, I lived but had to quit handling the beauties I love so much. My good buddy and fellow snakehunter is Bill Holmstrum, head curator at the Bronx Zoo for many years. We as a team removed the unshed eyecaps from some very lethal snakes from Africa and such. Vipers. Cobras. Yeah, a terrific science but one 
that requires a lot of skill and expertise if one wants to live very long!

This is a typical Rattlesnake den, usually on a south-facing slope and high up the mountain where people don't normally walk about. It takes a good 3 hours to reach this den on foot, all uphill of course. The snakes are always handled with care and never harmed by we who hunt them in the spring. The snake I found here sent me to intensive care so it can be quite dangerous, even to the experienced handlers. I have seen many a hunter get bitten firsthand and some lost fingers and more.

This is a smaller rattler, but very angry and thus dangerous. I don't use a grabstick as it can harm them. Instead, a shaft with a bend at the bottom to rest them upon. They are carefully placed into a sack and taken to the fairgrounds to be weighed, measured, viewed by the crowds and then released days later at the same spot to ensure their survival.

After many years of handling venomous snakes of all kinds, I finally received 2 bites to the leg from a Timber rattler which just about killed me. 12 vials of antivenin saved my life. It was an experience, I`ll say that! Not the Jimi Hendrix which was much more interesting! (Ha!).

My wife was doing dishes when the hospital called to inform the family that I was bitten by a rattler and they needed to get there... now!. Oddly enough, she had just thought to herself, " geez, Joe could get bitten and die." Talk about E.S.P.? I`m a believer for sure.

Here I am, ever the clown, taking a bite out of the rattler instead of getting bitten! The snake wasn`t hurt, her pride maybe, but it was released unharmed soon.

The snakestick I use, as this photo shows, has no tongs to grip with and cannot harm the rattlers. This is out of respect for their place in the natural world. I LOVE THEM in fact as they are so pretty and essentially harmless if not threatened.

This is not a move for the untrained handler. Despite my love for rattlers and venonous snakes in gereral, I still treat them as wild animals, capable of delivering a fatal bite. In this 1972 photo I keep her away from my face and neck, areas that would really look bad after the fact... if I lived to tell the story!

A 13 foot Reticulated python that I raised from a baby. " Steamhorse" was trustable enough to pull a stunt like this. Two years later being much larger and heavier, she came close to killing me by wrapping around my neck during a feeding that went bad. My father came to the rescue and the two of us managed to free me in the nick of time as, she was serious and had a powerful grip. 

Her tail is wrapped around my waist and she had to be unwound after this was taken. Man oh man are they strong!

I was hoping to get a photo of the rattles on this dark phase male.

This female is buzzing like crazy, a sound that`s unmistakeable in the silence of the woods. It only takes one wrong step and the day can go badly. Fact is, I was but a foot from this snake when I saw it and had to inch back slowly in order to escape a bite. They blend in amazingly well and often go undetected, even by an experienced eye.

A photo from 2000 with my friend Bill Holmstrum, former head of the Reptile House at the Bronx Zoo. He is a great guy with lots of experience when it comes to handling snakes of all kinds. 

A rough sketch of the painting in the primitive stage.

Painting has always been my favorite thing to do and I continue to pursue it with delight. The subjects vary greatly and my aim is to create " one of a kind " pieces that won't be found on a shelf in an art shop. I think the days at H.C. Sharp with Miss B. Rod inspired me greatly as we drew a lot, probability to keep us quiet!!!

The attempt here was to capture a bit of action, thus the waves rolling down and the fish leaping upward.

My version of a seascape titled Orange Spheres on a Blue Sea.

This piece was finished several years ago as I was in mourning over the death of my female boxer, " Pumpkin " whom we adored. She meant so very much, thus it became expressed in this unusual work.

Complexity makes sense to me as an artist. It makes people stop and look a little closer I think, and in doing so, they gain more from the works.

This is an odd piece, completed many years ago when I was on the road.

I betcha Miss B. Rod would faint if I ever drew this in her class! It's a bit complex which is what I like most. The title: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. In today`s world that seems to apply.

One of my sculptures that weigh about 20 lbs! Not easy to lift for sure. This one has a different face on the opposite side which doesn`t show here.

Banquet For A Madman, done in 1971.

This piece is too large to photograph well but it gives the general idea. It was finished this winter past 
and I may add more to it as it has a lot of open places to noodle with!

I just finished this one. There's a lot more added at the top and so on. Simply haven't taken of picture of the dull piece yet.

Would Miss Rod approve of this one or.... would I have been sent to the closet again for being a wee bit bonkers!

Here is a more down to earth painting done in 1972 titled " English Girl With Red Hat "

A painting of King snakes with berries and flowers.

This painting depicts the life and death struggle between a Canadian Snow Owl and a Milk snake found in the farmlands of New Jersey. The owls migrate south at times and prey on whatever is available to them.

A nautical theme with flying fish overhead.

My interest in herpetology inspired a number of paintings but, they seldom remain in the realm of reason as I prefer to stretch the imagination a bit which is much more fun when doing such tedious, time consuming work.

Titled "Pumpkins and Poison", this work depicts a few venomous snakes that are strangely colored and that special oddness which adds a desired effect to the piece overall.

Peaceful and pretty.

A quiet, peaceful landscape used in a Carpet python cage to make the snakes feel more at home. Branches were strung across the cage so the snake could rest on them and take in the scenery!

This odd piece was finished in 1980 and sold to a columnist from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

A photo taken off the TV, this when i appeared as a guest on the show, "That's Incredible " in 1979. The reason I was on there was for possessing the ability to predict major events, a "precognitive gift" I suppose one could label it. My band played on the show as well and it was quite a truly unique experience. The story itself is a complex one, involving many disasters I've predicted and recorded including events like 911 and Black Monday when the stock market crashed. This 
strange ability landed me in many newspapers that I saved as evidence and for the science of it too. The ability continues to this day, comes and goes at will, and I cannot explain it. Very complex, mystifying actually and in general, highly stressful as well.