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Listen to 'Turn On Your Love Light' performed by Dirt Cheap
Waits For No One' performed by Dirt Cheap
Night' performed by Dirt Cheap
Dirt Cheap... Curtis
Crotzer on vocals & harmonica, Lenny Hatch on rhythm & lead guitar,
James Armstrong on rhythm & lead guitar, and myself on drums. I would like to dedicate
the "Turn On Your Love Light" song to one of my closest friends Lenny Hatch who
played rhythm, lead & backup vocals in the band and passed away on April 12th,
2003. These recordings are not too good when it comes
to quality and the performances are far from perfect, but I loved the live energy... yea. I
played in over a hundred bands prior to Dirt Cheap but this was one of
steady bands to last more then a few months. This was
also the start of some long time friendships within the band. I am not
exactly sure which year these recordings are from but a good guess would be
around 1977. I knew Lenny and Curtis from an earlier band a
couple of years
prior to this. The band lasted
only a few months the first time around but I was glad it happened because after meeting
with Lenny on the streets of Venice,
California almost a year later I was invited to audition for his new band.
That's when I met up again with Curtis Crotzer on vocals, harmonica &
rhythm guitar along with a couple of new
guys, 'Hollywood Bob McCullogh' the bass player and James Armstrong on lead &
rhythm guitar. James continued with his own solo career later
released three albums with
was working on a
fourth when this was written I believe? I made the audition and stayed with the band long
enough to find out bass players were not that easy to keep for some
reason? However the band still managed to evolve because of our
friendship. Even with several different bass players including the
eccentric but very skilled bassist/violinist Gary
Spain or other excellent the late great bass player Ray Olson.
We managed to continue
doing what we loved best, that was playing music and having fun doing
it. Over the years other bassists came and went including
one of Curtis's good friends Rob Beckett who helped out by playing bass on
the 'At the Church' recordings, follow the link below. We played this live show
one night at a local church in Santa Monica, California which we
rented for the evening. We sold tickets in advance
for the show and had a real fun time that night. It was a really
cool night and we had a great
audience turnout too. We became long time friends, playing music all over the bay area for private parties,
clubs and later backing up the Jessie (Jade) Anderson Band.
It was the best of times... This picture above was taken around 1978,
many years ago and I'm not sure who the kids were, they just happened
to be there, go figure? Click on the picture or link above to hear one of our live
performances from many, many years ago, unfortunately the quality is
not that good but feel free to check it out if you want...
'DIRT CHEAP' the band and my friends!
Lenny Hatch 1952 - 2003
Ray Olson 1954
Musicians for the 'Dirt
band and good friends...
Lenny Hatch, Ray Olson, Sara
and her husband Vince have all passed away and I
will miss them a lot. Lenny was more
than a good friend, he was like a brother to me.
I did not know Ray as long as Lenny, but he was
a terrific bass player with a really charismatic
personality and great sense of humor. They
were all good friends and will be missed!
started when I met Lenny
around the age of 18 when he enlisted me into
his band with Curtis Crotzer. I eventually
moved from Venice to Santa Monica, California
around the year 1972. Lenny heard me
playing playing drums at my house while walking
by one day and simply walked up to my front door
and asked me if I was interested in auditioning
for his band and we were good friends ever
since. The band broke up after awhile,
like a lot of bands but we remained friends.
About a year or so later Lenny invited me to
audition for another band with him and his
friend Curtis. That's when I met other
band members James Armstrong and 'Hollywood' Bob
McCullough. The band was originally called
'Dirt Cheap' and for short while we went under
the name of 'Skylite' to possibly upgrade our
image, heh heh, that's when we met Ray Olson
through one of our friends to the best of my
memory? Ray Olson was very good musician
and played music with us during the early 70's. I guess the name 'Dirt
Cheap' more or less stuck with us down the line. It was
kind of our statement to the music business that
you really had to love what you did because if
you weren't at the top of the food chain you
definitely worked for 'Dirt Cheap' wages...!!!
Eventually we started working parties all around
southern California that is when the music
really started becoming a lot of fun and the
friendships continued to grow with Lenny, Curtis
and James. They were the best of times,
some of my favorite memories and greatest
adventures were in the early days playing rock n
roll music with this band. Lenny Hatch
passed away years later in 2003. I'm sure
we will always remember Lenny as a good friend
and someone who was so much fun to be around.
recordings on this page are from the late 70's
recorded years ago. Many years later when
technology allowed they were transferred to
digital, unfortunately they were in pretty bad
shape like a lot of my audio tapes by this time.
I fixed them the best I could and tried to
preserve some good memories of the band.
songs below were recorded live at a church on
2nd St. in Santa Monica, California you can
almost feel the energy. A local church
that would rent out their place from time to
time to raise additional funds for their parish.
This seemed strange to us renting out a church
and playing on the altar but that's what
happened. We booked the church on 2nd
street and sold tickets to friends and locals in
the community. So we could put on our own
small time rock & roll show for the
neighborhood, it was a gas! During the mid
to late 70's we continued to play as the rhythm
section for Jesse 'Jade' Anderson's band.
After awhile it seemed like we must have played
in hundreds of clubs and hotels throughout the
Los Angeles area, but my favorite was a small
club called 'The Burning Tree' in Santa Monica.
Those were some fun times alright. Our
last night at The Burning Tree we played to a
packed house, roughly around 1976.
Listening to these old songs reminds me of why I
loved playing rock & roll with these guys.
Curtis Crotzer on vocals, and harmonica, Lenny
Hatch on rhythm and lead guitar, James Armstrong
on rhythm and lead guitar.
James later advanced with his own band years
later and acquired a recording contract and has
released around 3 albums nationwide as a blues
recording artist for the 'HighTone' record label
and I believe was working on a fourth. His
link is listed on the home page too. We were
never able to keep a bass player for very long
back in those days, it seemed like some kind of
curse at times but I would like to mention some
of the bass players we enjoyed working with.
Starting with 'Hollywood' Bob McCullogh our
first bass player, Gary Spain (somewhat of an
eccentric but in the pocket bass player and
violinist) who is still hopefully a good friend
after reading this...heh and Ray Olson a very
charismatic character and very good bass player
who lives somewhere in Florida now? Then
there is Rob Beckett who plays bass on the 'Dirt
Cheap At The Church' tracks and had no time to
rehearse for this show but still sounded great.
I believe he is still living in Southern
California somewhere? I am sure that I am
forgetting many others too? Maybe I will
update more information later on if memory
allows. Lenny was one of coolest
people you could ever know and I will miss him
as a close friend.
Below are a few pictures to remember Lenny by
and a few songs from the Dirt Cheap band to go
along with them.
Sincerely Robert Heinze...
pictures to hear some 'Dirt Cheap At The Church'