The Uptown Horns: On the road back then

Uptown Horns: On The Road

The Rolling Stones
"The phone rang," remembers Hecht, "and there's Mick Jagger on the other end. He's saying 'You know how it is when you put a tour together. Someone will say, 'add horns' – why not hire a whole f**king orchestra!' And I'm saying to myself, 'Okay, Mick Jagger is calling me up to tell me why the Stones don't need horns on the road – and I'm agreeing with him!' I'm like, 'You're right, you don't need horns on the road.' At the end of this whole thing he said, 'but if we did hire horns would you be into it?' Three and a half months later he calls back – just nine days before a world tour – he calls and asks if we can be at the rehearsal tomorrow with 12 songs arranged. We had less than 36 hours ….'No problem!' we said! The next day we were at the Nassau Coliseum in a little room with keyboardist Chuck Leavell and Mick …."

Robert Plant/Jimmy Page
"On the way to perform at NY's Byrne Arena, former Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant told us that Zep guitarist Jimmy Page would be making a guest appearance to perform the Otis Rush song So Many Roads. We knew the original horn arrangement, right? Wrong. Once in NJ we crossed our fingers and called a record collector friend who obligingly played the track over the phone. Within a few minutes we were practicing the 25-year-old horn lines. That night, Robert Plant grinned onstage when we got it right."

Sammy Davis Jr.
"We were in Vegas to back up Sammy Davis for a special broadcast of the David Letterman Show," says Funk. 'We suggested Davis do For Once In My Life and he went for it. Paul Shaffer decided we should rehearse it once – and the tune wasn't nearly as fresh for the show as it was for the rehearsal. Sammy turned to Shaffer and said 'Just think how good it would have sounded if we didn't rehearse!' Sammy was my hero – after I played this one riff he even hugged me onstage in the middle of the broadcast – and at the end of thegig we rushed to the exit to have our photo taken with him. Suddenly this huge wall of mean looking bodyguards grabbed us and Sammy jumped out of the limo yelling, 'No, no I love these dudes – they're great.' Later we found out there was no film in the camera."

The J. Geils Band
"The mighty J. Geils Band initiated us into national touring. Freezeframe had just gone platinum (1982). With lead singer Peter Wolf, here was a band that routinely received six encores a night. Arno played tenor sax solo on the band's version of Land of 1000 Dances. One night, in the middle of his long solo, two roadies emerged and covered Arno's shoulders with a long flowing purple velvet cape with a big black "A" in the center. Arno was completely oblivious as the entire J. Geils Band, including the drummer, dropped to their knees and bowed at his feet in rock's first 'we're not worthy' scenario. The crowd went wild!" 

The Uptown Horns at the Stereo Society (selected links):
To Uptown Horns homepage (all links)
To Uptown Horns Biography
To "On the Road"
To Uptown Horns albums

To Uptown Horns interview with Mike Thorne
To audio clips from the Uptown Horns interview

To Bob Funk (trombone)
To Crispin Cioe (alto sax)
To Larry Etkin (trumpet and flugelorn
To Arno Hecht (tenor sax)

To external Uptown Horns sites:
To Burnzy's Last Call soundtrack