Photo from PeterWolf.com.
October 1965 – Group’s Origin
Interview with Paul Shapiro, founder of the Hallucinations from http://www.maverick-arts.com/.
I was running a frame shop for the Child’s Gallery on Newbury Street from 1962-65 and met Steve Bladd who was framing for Boris Mirski’s Bunnell Frame Shop. (Boris’s son, Mark, a regular of Coffee Corner, was known to his peers as “Bonnie Prince Junkie.”) That was around 1964 and we would talk a lot about music. At some point he mentioned that he would like to play the drums. I encouraged him to buy a set and we could jam together. I don’t know how he did it but he could play drums as soon as he bought them.
At some point he mentioned that he had a friend who played guitar named Doug Slade. We met at a party in Brookline Village to play unrehearsed. While we were playing a guy asked if he could sit in and sing. We were doing Sonny Boy Williamson’s ‘One Way Out’ and he pulled out a harmonica and we were off and running. I said, ‘Let’s form a real band.’ That was Peter Wolf’s debut. We invited a bass player Joe Clark and Steve Bladd came up with the name Hallucinations.
The band lasted from October 1965 through June 1969 (Peter Wolf and Stephen Jo Bladd left in the summer of 1968). We did gigs with Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, John Lee Hooker and numerous well known sixties groups. I left in the summer of 1969 because of some ridiculous identity crisis. Am I a painter or a musician? Of course, now I am a painter who plays music and feel wonderful about it. The band morphed into the J. Geils Band with Peter Wolf and Steve Bladd. The rest is rock and roll history. Sometimes I feel like the Fifth Beatle, Pete Best. None of that would have happened if I didn’t put The Hallucinations together because I was Peter’s mentor and turned him on to a lot of the music.”
The Hallucinations – Peter Wolf sitting, Left to Right: Doug Slade, Joe Clark, Paul Shapiro and Stephen Jo Bladd. Taken at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Thanks to J. Geils Band fan Pia Francesca for sharing the photo.
Rare Recording – Cover of ‘Messin’ With The Kid’ by Junior Wells
“It’s the Hallucinations. Which is very exciting, since there’s almost no existing recordings of the band that I’m aware of. Messin’ was of course the signature tune of Junior Wells, whom Peter Wolf no doubt saw play many times, including at Club 47 around the corner from his apartment in Harvard Square circa 1966-68 (I saw Junior there too back in his days with Buddy Guy). Not only did The Hallucinations play that song regularly, but the clip doesn’t sound like the J. Geils Band. The first thing you notice when you listen to it is that there’s no harp except when Peter isn’t singing — during the break and a riff at the end. That’s because it’s Wolf on harp. Magic Dick would have been playing throughout the tune, and it doesn’t sound like him anyway. Second, the guitarist doesn’t sound like Jay. The lead guitar player of the Hallucinations, Paul Shapiro, didn’t have Jay’s really biting chops, but he did have a rhythm guitarist behind him, Doug Slade, which gave the H’s a very funky and rhythmic sound in tunes like Messin’ and the R&B stuff they did like Funky Broadway. From this recording it’s hard to hear if there are two guitars, but the overall sound is that of the H’s. Could well have been recorded at the Tea Party at the time, although of course they played many other venues, even at Club 47.”
The Hallucinations: Tour Dates 1965 – 1968 (Thanks to Gilles at 1000Dances)
* 12/20/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/21/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/22/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/23/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/25/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/27/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/28/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/29/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/30/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 12/31/65 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 01/01/66 – Odyssey Club – Boston, MA
* 06/16/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – w/ Children Of God
* 06/17/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – w/ Children Of God
* 07/12-18/67 – Fine Arts Theatre – Boston, MA – opened for Lenny Bruce (Almost certainly an incorrect date and/or main act. Thanks to ghostoflectricity. See comment below!)
* 08/18/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – w/ The Ultimate Spinach
* 09/22/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA
* 09/23/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA
* 12/29/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – w/ Children Of God
* 12/30/67 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – w/ Children Of God
* 05/23/68 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – opened for John Lee Hooker
* 05/24/68 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – opened for John Lee Hooker w/ Quill
* 05/25/68 – Boston Tea Party – Boston, MA – opened for John Lee Hooker
* 10/27/?? – ? – w/ the Barbarians and The Cloud