George Gerdes - vocals, guitars, keyboards; Bill Bachman - guitar; Jeff Herman - drums; Johnny Mann - bass; Jessie Walden - piano, violin
George Gerdes is known throughout the world for his numerous TV and film appearances. Although he had originally intended to be a musician (his earliest records, Obituary and Son Of Obituary, were released on United Artist Records in 1971 and 1972, respectively), he made his biggest claim to fame as a character actor.
Born and raised in New York City, Gerdes started taking acting gigs to supplement his less-than-frequent live shows as a musician. The acting career took off, and although he has also done well as a singer/songwriter/ performer, Gerdes recognizes the fact that his primary income comes from being in front of the camera, with his musical career a much beloved second job.
As an actor, Gerdes has landed both small and significant roles in a number of major Hollywood films (Jacknife with Robert De Niro, Single White Female, Armistad, Amelia Earhart-The Final Flight), and network prime-time TV shows, among them L.A. Law, Seinfeld, The X-Files, Chicago Hope, NYPD Blue, The Practice, Walker, Texas Ranger, and Seventh Heaven.
As a musician and songwriter, Gerdes is not as easy to pin down. He writes and plays (mainly as a guitarist) a wide variety of musical styles, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, folk, and country. Most of his material has a comical slant, and is somewhat tied into the often quirky characters he portrays as an actor.
This show, taped at New York's Bottom Line for the King Biscuit Flower Hour, was captured when Gerdes was the opening act for Proctor & Bergman, half of the Firesign Theater comedy troupe. His show was tailored for an audience that had come to laugh.
"Stick It In The Fridge," "Guamanian Lost Love Blues," and "Wrecked Among the Ruins" all keep the laughs coming, as does Gerdes' cover of "Framed," the Lieber/Stoller classic recorded by The Coasters and Ritchie Valens, among others. Among the highlights of the night is Gerdes' autobiographical "Epic Sojourn of the Double G," which was designed to tell the hard-luck story of his life as a character actor.
With all of that said, he is also a talented guitarist, and this show is well worth a listen for those looking to discover something different.