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The History of Bill Long

I started playing guitar at the age of eleven, when I picked up 
my cousin Pete (Butchy) Sommer's guitar. Shortly thereafter, 
the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and that was it. 
Like every red  blooded American boy, I discovered the guitar 
was the ticket to ride. My parents Bill and Marion, bought me a 
thirty dollar Champ acoustic guitar, with the strings a half 
inch off the fretboard, making my fingers almost bleed. But I 
stuck with it.

In a few months I purchased a 1964 Gibson Firebird 3 and Gibson 
Discovery amp. Within a few days, I found out the guitar was too 
big for a twelve year old. I took it back and traded it for a 
Fender Jazzmaster, because they were out of Stratocasters (OUCH!) 
I have since repurchased a 63 Jazzmaster and a 64 Firebird. 
Nostalgia got the best of me!

Eventually, I learned to play well enough to form my own band 
with friends from Normandy Street in Roseville, Michigan. We 
called ourselves the Logicals for the combinations of our last 
names, Long, Gervasi, Kolar and Kouri. We played local school 
dances and frat parties.
 
When I was in the ninth grade at Burton Junior High, I joined 
the Tidal Waves. We recorded the song "Farmer John" which soon 
became a local hit on S.V.R. records. The year was 1966. We 
appeared on the MTV of it's day, Swinging Time, a local daily 
dance show from Windsor. Soon after, H.B.R. Records bought our 
contract and the song became a nation wide hit. H.B.R. is Hanna 
Barbara, yes the same as Yogi,Fred, and Wilma. Neil Young has 
covered it on one of his albums. We played concerts at Ford 
Auditorium with The Dave Clark Five and Olympia Stadium with the 
Animals and Herman's Hermits. It was quite a thrill to play for 
thousands of screaming fans, and to sing  through the same Altec 
Lansing microphones the Beatles sang through a few weeks earlier. 
I know,I was there!

After the Tidal Waves, I rejoined my original bandmates. We 
called ourselves Ellie Pop, then Featherstone, and finally The 
Macomb Delfonics.  We wrote all our own material and played such 
venues as the Grande Ballroom with the Three Dog Night.
 
In late 1969, I started a custom P.A. manufacturing company 
called Killer Sound Gear. But I missed playing music so much I 
sold out to my partner. The company went on to rent P.A.s to 
such artists as John Lennon when he played the Free John Sinclair 
concert in Ann Arbor. But at least I got free backstage passes!

In 1970 I was called by Holland, Dozier, Holland, the three main 
songwriters for Motown Records, who had recently formed their own 
record company. I joined "100 Proof Aged In Soul" and with them 
another nation wide hit gold record was born, "Sombody's Been 
Sleeping In My Bed". I toured with them for a year and learned 
more about the recording industry.

In 1974 I started my own recording studio, "Lifeline Recording". 
With two four-channel Teacs and a lot of elbow grease, we helped 
a lot of local bands get their start.

When the disco scene hit big, I became a single act and played at 
Carmen's Pizza from 12 A.M. until  4 A.M. I honed my act which 
still continues today.

Currently my show has expanded to bringing seven guitars, each 
with a different sound and purpose. I record all my own back-up 
music including bass, keyboards, backup vocals and drums. I am a 
virtual "One Man Band". I am working on a C.D. which I will have 
available soon. I hope to see you at my shows.
Bill Long

Click to enlarge

Bill Playing at the Idle Hour Yacht Club
New Years Eve 2000


Copyright 2000, Bill Long, All rights reserved