Re: Rubberband Man!

Bob, The Spinners’ immortal song, “Rubberband Man,” has a special place in the history of Ben & Jerry’s.  On the last day of September in 1978, after surviving our first summer in business, Ben and I hosted a “Fall Down Festival” in front of our original scoop shop in Burlington Vermont.  By far, the highlight of the day was the debut of the dramatic sledgehammer-smashing of a cinder block on the bare stomach of “Habeeni Ben Coheeni,” the noted Indian mystic.

As the crowd gathered in anticipation, “Rubberband Man” was cranked out over the makeshift PA system. Habeeni appeared, bearing a passing resemblance to Ben, draped in a bed sheet and perched on a platform in the lotus position.  He was carried onto the scene by six bearers, while chanting in a tongue not comprehended by mere mortals.  His entrance completed, Habeeni took his place alongside of me, and I recounted the improbable story of how his holiness had come to be before them today.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, what you are about to see will astound and amaze you.  What you have before you here today is the genuine article, the real thing.  The man of rubber, the man of steel, the man whose body defies every law of nature!  Born in India, Habeeni was abandoned as a baby, but rescued and raised by Indian fakirs, those magical and mystical people.  One day, Habeeni was studying at the temple of Rishikesh, when disaster struck – an earthquake.  The building crumbled, rubble and stones tumbling all around.  However, Habeeni was able to survive by placing himself into a metabolic trance, which he will simulate here before us today.”

I then invited a few kids to come up and verify that indeed the cinder block and sledgehammer were real, and then Habeeni went metabolic, falling backwards into the hands of attendants, who suspended him in a supine position, between two chairs.  Once he was settled in place, I pulled back the sheet, and placed the cinderblock on Habeeni’s bare belly. I then took the sledgehammer and, raising it high above my head, brought it crashing down on the cinder block, smashing it into lots of little pieces.  To call it dramatic does not begin to capture what a spectacle it was.  “Habeeni Ben Coheeni, ladies and gentlemen, the noted Indian mystic, Habeeni Ben Coheeni,” reverberated over and over, as “Rubberband Man” once again cranked out over the speakers.  Habeeni, restored to his platform, left in triumph, carried out by his handlers, tossing flower petals to the pumped-up crowd.

In later years, Habeeni returned to demonstrate his incredible feats at our annual shareholders meetings, but Habeeni and I realized we needed to forego this when it became too challenging to balance the cinder block on his ever rounding bare belly. Too much ice cream, wailed the cynics and nonbelievers.  Yes, even for Habeeni himself.

It was great to see the clip of the live performance of the Spinners singing their great song. Thanks also for the recent shout out for Americone Dream, my current favorite flavor.


Regards, Jerry Greenfield


From: Chuck Morris

Subject: Mike Finnigan

Just attended his service. Would love it if you wrote something on him. One amazing and wonderful guy. First met him when he played with Finnigan and Wood at my first club Tulagi in 1972. I,m sure you are aware of Mike being the most sort after sideman in the business playing for years with acts like CSN,Joe Cocker and the last 10 years Bonnie Raitt. He was a world class keyboard and organ player and one great singer. And most important this 6. 7 ex basketball player from Kansas University was one caring person who befriended all of us and had a lasting impact as one beautiful guy. His service was amazing with so many attended from Stephen Stills to all of Bonnie Raitt’s band. I loved the guy.


Subject: RE: The Bill Wyman Documentary


I interviewed Bill during the Steel Wheels tour.  He had just written his autobiography. I imagine the book was intended to provide him some regular funding after he left the band.  Something that belonged to him.  I have several vivid memories of the interview.  One was that it was at the Four Seasons Hotel in Washington DC.  They were performing that night at RFK Stadium.  Each of the band members had their own floor in the hotel, each with their own elevator key.  I got off the elevator on Bill’s floor and saw an empty hall with a guard seated in front of a suite.  Bill’s suite was huge.  It had a huge living room (where we did the interview), and adjacent dining room, where he had his computer set up for writing.  He was very proud of the computer, and it was large enough for its own flight case.  He wrote his book on it, but he told me he was writing more.  He loved writing.  It was something he could do alone.  He told me some of the same stories that went into the documentary. He wasn’t very emotional or expressive.  He spoke very simply and calmly.  At the end of the interview, I asked for a picture.  This was before cell phones, so we needed someone to snap the picture.  I figured he’d ask the security guard at the front door, but instead walked over to the bedroom.  He opened the door, and I could see two scantily clad young girls on the bed.  One of them came out and took the picture.  That was the end of the interview.  It’s only rock & roll.


George Achaves


From: Eric Bazilian

Subject: Re: The Brian Jones Documentary

First line, second verse. Written in 1998(?).

The Stones have existed with the title ‘The World’s Greatest Rock And Roll Band’ but with Brian they were transcendent. Yes, Mick Taylor shredded rings around everyone else and Woody has fit like a glove around Mick and Keith since 1975, but Brian was the secret sauce, the left turn, the recorder in Ruby Tuesday, said sitar in Paint It, Black, the slide in Little Red Rooster. I stand by the first line, second verse.

I did take her to see the Stones, finally, by the way. Several times.


From: Andre’ Cholmondeley

Subject: Re: Music

Oh man, Bob, you’re gonna trigger a LOT of people w this one.

The part about musicians relaxing, smoking dope and think it’s not their fault when it doesn’t work out….ouch

Stings but…..true for so very many. The fantasy of “being discovered” ……..and next thing you’re in a private jet, is still strong.

One thing you didn’t say — but touched on when you mention how cheap it is to make music — is that thanks to globalization, democratization and easy access to tech — WHICH MUSICIANS CHAMPIONED FOR DECADES, we now have hundreds of thousands, probably millions MORE musicians than ever before.

Which means — essentially infinite supply of music. From GLOBAL sources, when it used to be predominantly from…….the USA and UK.

With a $200 pawnshop laptop, and a cheap mic, teens and 20-somethings are making great music. Sure, some bad music too. But as you say — that’s a sidebar. It’s music that gets heard.

Made with free software for recording , synthesizers, promotions tools, hosting their music, streaming their shows etc. Free free free free free — yet older musicians want the payouts to be like 1989. Literally NO OTHER INDUSTRY would have economics like that — where the inputs approach free on so many fronts…. the creators explode in numbers, yet the principals expect the same market value for the item sold !!

So the FIRST LAW of Economics kicks in — Supply & Demand.

But musicians get MAD when that is brought up — they want the culprit to be “Spotify”, or ‘Apple” or “napster”, or “streaming” in general…all while they love their all-you-can-watch streaming bargains with Amazon, Hulu, Netflix. As you always point out  – NOBODY would go back to driving DVDs back & forth to Blockbuster  …..or the independent video rental place. Or dropping off their Kodak film to be developed for $25…. then half the pictures are blurry or your mom was blinking in the best shot. Nor would they give up the great “unlimited” cell phone plan and go back to the “600 mins for $35” model……

On and on. A fantastic psychological experiment, watching fellow musicians literally stamp their feet like Dorothy trying to go back home… what never was anyway — it was always a record-company blanket party, with the execs running away with the major rewards.


tech- Steve Howe/YES

& Celebrating David Bowie



Subject: Re: It’s A Team Sport

….yup…..there was a time when burl ives sold records……


Subject: Re: It’s A Team Sport

Bailed on Guns last night in Phoenix after I realized there was no policy to show either a negative test or vaccination. So 19k ppl packed in there like this is all over. No thanks. Can’t believe Axl, Slash, Duff and the rest of the hired Guns are ok with this, and are willing to risk their own health. Strange times continue.

Marcus Thunich

Glendale, AZ


From: Linden Coll

Subject: Covid – NYT’s UK article can’t be trusted. “Scotland could impose new restrictions as Delta cases rise”

Sure, there’s a lot of people/idiots acting as if its all over – especially the young, but the article failed to mention the music festival in Cornwall

mid-august which was prominent in the news recently because it led to ~5,000 new infections.

Scotland’s schools went back a couple of weeks ago and predictably cases are suddenly escalating

England’s return this week with universities following later in the month.

Scotland could impose new restrictions as Delta cases rise which will move to parts the UK soon




Subject: Re: Don’t Ya Mess With Me

Hey, Bob –

What’s interesting musically about “Baby, I Need Your Loving” is the variable verse lengths. Of course, it’s a Holland-Dozier-Holland composition but rarely, if ever, would they utilize anything but the standard four-line verses and choruses.

But for BINYL, the instrumental intro is three couplets, the first verse is seven couplets, the second verse is five, followed by the four-couplet bridge (of sorts) and the eight-couplet third verse. But all the choruses are four lines (all the easier to sing along to) and it fades with a vamped chorus.

If you’re playing it live, you really have to be paying attention.

Love to learn how that came about if anyone has any backgrounder on the writing and the session.


Larry Butler


From: Tom Johnston

Subject: Re: Don’t Ya Mess With Me

Thanks for the “window”! I agree on Oh Mexico and a couple of other tracks on the full length album.

We played Chicago last night to 25,000 people and they did respond to the new stuff and in general tore it up for the whole show which is 2 1/2 hrs.

From the road,


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