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Interview: Royal Crescent Mob

Photo Cred: Michael Wilson

The Royal Crescent Mob (aka R.C. Mob aka The Mob) formed in Columbus, Ohio in 1985. Over the next nine years Carlton Smith (drums), Harold “Happy” Chichester (bass), David Ellison (vocals, harmonica), and Brian “B” Emch (guitar) created an exhilarating blend of punk, funk, rock, and hip hop and ignited stages with their incendiary live shows. A Mob show was always epic and part of the joy was seeing them vibe together like a funky, happy family. Sadly, sometimes it takes tragedy to bring a family back together; in this case it’s cancer. Recently Carlton was diagnosed with glioblastoma (an aggressive cancer that starts in the brain), David was treated for prostate cancer and B’s wife passed away from pancreatic cancer. The Mob will stage two reunion shows (one in Columbus at The Athenaeum and one in Covington at Madison Theater) to raise funds for the Tri-State Area Cancer Research Fund. Somber circumstances, but an opportunity to reunite and showcase the healing power of music. Lead singer (and harmonica player) David Ellison took time out of his busy tour management schedule to talk about reuniting after almost thirty years, his personal experience with cancer and how technology has changed how we make and experience music now versus back in the day. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

In your email, you casually mention that you’re going to Mexico City with “Miley”, and then you’ll be back. And I'm like, wait, what? I had to Google you because I was curious. Probably the last time I saw you was 30 years ago on stage at Bogart’s and I kind of lost track [after R.C. Mob broke up]. I remember seeing Carlton and Happy with Greg Dulli with Twilight Singers [around 2000] so I knew they were still doing music, but I didn't know what happened to you. So, I Googled you and it was like, oh my god, you're [tour] managing these giant artists [including Miley Cyrus, Jay-Z and The Goo Goo Dolls], some of the biggest artists in the business now [Ellison runs DETour MGMT in California]. That just blew me away. Can you talk a bit about how you go from being on stage, playing harp (harmonica) and tearing it up with The Mob to keeping things straight for these gigantic stars? It's crazy.

Well, you know, I mean, back in The Mob days, well, every band’s got that guy that kind of like, does the business part of things. So, I was that guy for The Mob; I did that before we ever got signed. And then even when we got signed, I was dealing with that stuff, even though we may have had a booking agent. But even after we got dropped, just doing it on a real mom-and-pop level, I was the one making a phone call who was booking the gig. So anyway, when we broke up, it was like, “Well, what am I going to do?”. And I sent our old booking agent [a message], Frank Riley [High Road Touring], who has like this great roster, he's got an agency in Monterey, they're actually in Marin County. But anyway, he does like Wilco and all the bands that I actually would listen to today. He did The Replacements back in the day. He did Husker Du back in the day, all those bands that at the time we were kind of like, doing the touring circuit with. So, I said, “Hey, if you hear of anybody looking for a tour manager, I’ll throw my name in the hat.” And I got super lucky in that - there's an Australian band named Frente, who had a female lead singer and they just happened to have a hit at the time with a cover of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle.”

Right. Yeah.

And you know, it was just like a baby band - kind of, well, definitely it was a baby band in the U.S. and they were kind of well- known in Australia. But they were going to start a U.S. tour supporting Counting Crows and I got the job. I rented a van in Columbus and went out to Denver to meet them and pick them up. And then they did the U.S. and Counting Crows and then did Japan. And I mean, that's my first tour to Japan, southeast Asia. I can't remember if we did Europe, I don't think we did- I don't remember. The record did really well and then after that, I got totally lucky, I got Grant Lee Buffalo opening up for R.E.M on their world tour.

Oh, wow.

You know, so like, okay, that was amazing. And then after that, I got Alanis Morrissette [touring to support] Jagged Little Pill starting in 300-seat clubs. And we all know what happened with that record.

Oh, wow. Geez, Louise [both chuckle].

I know. So, yeah, I was very lucky, but that was a “fake it till you make it” kind of thing for me. And you know what, it was a “fake it till you make it” for everybody, probably Alanis as well. It's like, you know, she was young and no one expected that. So, yeah, I was just super lucky and I hooked up with The Goo Goo Dolls after that and was with them for quite a few record cycles. And then Avril [Lavigne] was kind of where I started getting into, somehow, female pop singers, and I worked with a lot of female artists, actually – mainly female artists. So, yeah, so that's how that all came about. Just kind of kept getting good tours and really, you know, top artists and Miley, I’ve been with her for a year. That's been great.

That's just an incredible career arc to me. And, yeah, I mean, now that you explain it, I guess, looking in retrospect, it's like, yeah, those dots connect. But, man, I don't think you would imagine when you're in the basement of Bernie's tearing it up that someday you're gonna be, you know, managing these gigantic tours, globally [laughs].

Not in a million years that's for sure. I’m very fortunate and ‘blessed’ as they say. You know, and I've had some great, great artists to work with and big tours. I mean, you know, Jay Z- I really, I barely interacted with him, but it was still a massive kind of tour and all great learning experiences. So, yeah, it's just… for sure, I couldn't imagine even when I did the Frente tour, that it would have led into tours of the size that I'm doing now with the artists. So, it's been pretty crazy, that’s for sure.

That's incredible. Congratulations. It's, it's amazing.

Thanks. Yeah. I’m lucky.

I mentioned Bernie’s in my email…


Like I said, I went to O.S.U in those prime years [1984-1988]. And I vividly remember some of the first dates with my girlfriend at the time going to Bernie's to see to see The Mob. And we always walked out of there just drenched and just like “Oh my god, this was one of the best experiences ever.” And I think I was privileged to be there at that time to catch you guys in that venue because there's nothing to replace that energy in a small club. And then I moved to Cincinnati and I would catch you guys when you came here to Bogart’s and do the New Year's Eve shows and those were phenomenal as well. I always maintain you guys were my bar for live music and the best live band … maybe Iggy Pop or The Afghan Whigs in their prime come close, but man alive, like nothing, nothing really touched you guys. So, just phenomenal. I know there's still a rabid fan base that exists, they’re going to be thrilled to see you back. I was super excited when I saw the announcement come out, and then I saw the reason for it. So, it's a very bittersweet moment. I was excited, and then I read that it's going to be a benefit related to cancer, and that you and Carlton, and B’s wife had all had experiences with cancer, some really sober and sad news.


So, I don't know if you want to talk more about the benefit than the personal experience, because I don't know if that's a touchy subject, but I was really sad to hear that, but also, it’s really amazing for you guys to be doing a benefit as well.

Yeah, you know, I mean, a couple of things. When you talk about the Bernie’s show, those days, I’m kind of envious, I wish we would have had cell phones back then.

Yes, oh my god [to video the shows].

I’m envious, but not envious, of today how kids and everybody can really document anything they want going forward. Like, you know, my nieces and nephews, with their kids, I mean, their entire lives are going to be on film, you know? Yeah, you could have done that back then with some Super 8 little crappy camcorder or whatever we had, some VHS thing, it wasn't that simple unless you had it right there at your disposal. I would love to have footage of that stuff.

There’s stuff out there, but it’s pretty crappy looking, but it's still fun to look at.

Yeah, I was watching a video from the 9:30 Club today.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. As a matter of fact, Carlton just sent me something from like, the [Cabaret] Metro in Chicago. You know, yeah, I would have loved to have all that old stuff archived somehow. But with regards to this thing, you know, I mean, I was never interested in doing any sort of reunion, I never really saw the point of it. I mean, probably because it always seemed like an impossible thing for me to be able to commit to in advance, just because I don't know what my schedule is, or if a tour is going to come along, or if I was touring, like, where would I slot this in? So, you know, Carlton has talked about it before, and I think there was maybe some interest, but it wasn't really being driven that hard. But when Carlton called all of us with, you know, [with] the news of his diagnosis... and I, at that time, I believe- I think I had my prostate [cancer] diagnosis at that point, as well…


I think so. So, when Carlton called…my wife’s aunt had the same disease, so I know how serious that is and how dire…that treatments for that are meant to just buy time and not really extend life that much longer. It’s just a shitty cancer, that's for sure. There just aren't that many options. Whereas prostate cancer, there's a bazillion different types of treatments and success rates are like in the 90% you know if you catch it early and I actually was screening once a year for it so I saw it coming, actually. I saw my [PSA] numbers start to rise. When I went back in for one test and it came back a lot higher than three months earlier or something like that, well, I got a feeling.

And, anyway… when Carlton called-you know between mine and then B losing his wife to another horrible cancer, pancreatic cancer -a terminal cancer with few options for treatment, it just seemed like ‘we gotta do this’ and there are positive things that will come from this. I mean, I'm seeing them -I think there's just a joy that everyone's kind of getting from getting back together. We've been getting online; we've got a virtual studio that we've created with the Jack Trip software [software that allows musicians to jam virtually without latency in real-time]. Now we're trying to try to get into a rehearsal mode with that. And then B went up to Columbus recently and jammed on some stuff at Carlton’s house. And then I'll go in a week before the show, and we'll do some rehearsals as well. But I can see, like, the healing effect this is having on everybody, you know, and that's great. That was the intention, you know, I think just playing the music, even though it's been thirty years or so since we've done it -not quite thirty years, but close, you know, I think everyone pretty much remembers things pretty well. I was in our little virtual studio over the weekend with B, just me and B, and we were jamming on some blues stuff, playing harmonica.


We said, “Well, let's do [James Brown’s] “Payback”. Okay, my thing is, like, I don't remember the words or a lot of the words.


So, I looked it up online, grabbed the lyrics from like lyrics.com and I'm reading the lyrics and B’s playing and I’m like, “Oh, I didn't know that's what it says there, I have it differently.” And I said, wait a minute, this didn't exist when we were a band - to be able to go online and look up the lyrics. You’d have to sit down, put the record on and stop and start and stop and start and stop and start and then you know, think they said “Jom ba DOM da DOM” but they actually said, “Bomp A lanky DANK”.

Both: [Laugh hard]

So, you try singing “Bomp A lanky DANK” instead of “Jom ba DOM da DOM” and then you realize, oh, well, I'm not going to write down the real lyrics because I’m only going to get confused. I'm just gonna go and listen to our version. I did that last night like, I gotta go listen to our version and start writing these lyrics down for me to remember.

Yeah, so I think I think there's a certain- everyone's really enjoying playing the music and then we remember more than, you know, it's coming back pretty quickly. I'm sure I'll get lost and there's gonna be some fuckups, but the point is not perfection, the point is the gathering of four guys who spent a lot of time playing these songs together.

And you know, it was important to involve the American Red Cross – not the Red Cross, sorry, during COVID I drove blood vans for the Red Cross - The American Cancer Society. I was speaking with them the other day about their involvement and one of the things, one of the campaigns that they're trying [to promote] is early screening, which they said really got lost during COVID. People just didn't do early screening with Covid. If you wanted to go to the doctor you had to get a PCR test before you go so everyone just said, “Fuck it”. And just, you know, I mean, honestly, before I took the Miley tour, I had an offer from Imagine Dragons on the table that I was about to take when the Miley thing came along. And they're still out on tour. And if I'd have taken that tour, I wouldn't have my diagnosis right now; I would not have been paying attention to the screening. So, just to be able to involve them in this as well, it's a great thing to be doing.

It's - yeah, you mentioned “during COVID”, it's almost like a fog now. But on a personal level, actually right before this, I had to go to the cemetery about an hour from here. My sister- in -law's husband, who was 49, he got diagnosed with colon cancer, went through treatment, and then unfortunately, succumbed to it, like all in the space of 18 months.

Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.

Thank you. But it was during COVID -so a lot of that stuff was like, “Oh, we can't get you in for whatever because of the strain on the health care systems.”


So, we wonder like, man, would things have turned out different…you know? And thankfully, he was doing early screening for it, like I said, he was 49 and they usually…

Yeah, they usually start at 50…

Right. Yeah. So, you know, they did what they could, but yeah, I mean, it's … it's just a horrible, cowardly disease all around.

Yeah, yeah. You know, and so the other thing is, you know, we're doing this with the American Cancer Society, but any money we raise, it's going to a specific group within that called the Tri- State Area Cancer Research Fund and the person that I'm dealing with from American Cancer Society brought that up and suggested it, and I thought, well, that's great, because I really wanted to try to keep this regional as well. I mean, I feel that I was fortunate, I had some very advanced treatments available to me out here in California, that may not be… I know, the actual treatment that I did, the specific one that I did, is only being done at a few hospitals around the country. It’s a type of brachytherapy, radiation therapy, but they actually put the radiation in you [radioactive pellets inserted in the prostate to deliver targeted radiation] and then they take it out. Normally, they just go in and stay. But, you know, not everybody in Ohio or Kentucky or West Virginia, where the Tri-State Area Cancer Research Fund operate has access or can go off to UCLA and get this treatment done or go out to you know, go to New York. And, so, I thought it was great to partner with them as well because they're funding different research initiatives in the hospitals in that area that will benefit people that are diagnosed in that area as well as all of the U.S. So, I’m glad we got them involved.

Man, that's incredible. Amazing. So, you mentioned practice and also playing harmonica-how are your chops these days?


Because I remember [the old shows] and gotta imagine you were a pretty well-oiled machine [back then] from touring and performing, but it's been a while. So, how's your stamina?

That’s a helluva good question [laughs]. I was walking downtown in Los Gatos, California, right near San Jose. We have- Netflix is our tech company, so, it's a little small town. But I was walking downtown to the farmer’s market a few weeks ago, whatever it was, and saw this flyer on a telephone pole for Ruth Gerson, vocal coach. So, I took a took a photo of it. So, I've been doing vocal lessons because I have literally not sung other than a couple of my family's weddings. For some reason “Walking Down the Street with My Baby” has become the official theme song for my brothers and sister’s kids. And as a matter of fact, last summer, my mom passed away during COVID and we did her memorial, or celebration of life thing, just this past…no, two Augusts ago, sorry. And B and Carlton came in for that. Harold, I think had a gig that night, so he couldn't make it in. And then we did “Walking Down the Street”, but I rewrote the lyrics to reflect the occasion. Anyway, other than those times, those three times, I haven't sung since The Mob disbanded. I never, I've never done a vocal warmup in my life. I’m like, [sings] “Mi mi mi mi mi mi.”


And I’m meeting with this woman once a week, and the other day we were working on “Five More Minutes with You”, it was tough. And so anyway, I'm doing that because I'm super, like, I gotta get through two nights. And she goes, “Oh, you'll be fine.” But from a harmonica standpoint, I haven't really played that much. Harmonica is a loud instrument, you know, it annoys the hell out of everybody that you’re living with.


So, yeah, I'm gonna start this weekend, actually. My wife will be out of town. I’ll be singing out loud in our house and playing some harmonica and trying to just listen to the records and remember the chops that I had on there. But I- definitely, when we stopped as a band, I definitely kind of stopped that as well. You know, I just did. I could have at least continued playing harmonica during the past 30 years, but I never did. I mean, that's not true. When I was on tour with Goo Goo Dolls, I did play on one song and appeared on Jay Leno.

Oh, wow, that's cool. I gotta find that clip.

I got paid for that, yeah, a little mailbox money. I forgot, I used to go on stage and play “Chickenman” with the Indigo Girls during Lilith Fair. So, it's not that I stopped completely, but I kind of stopped.

It's crazy, when you think about like, you drop harmonica in the middle of like this, you know, funk and, and punk it could have been this big kind of a mess, but it worked beautifully. And I think I read an article with Happy where he felt like Ohio was the only place that kind of, you know, matched all his influences and matched his vibe where he thought he could create here.


But yeah, it just always worked. I never questioned it. When the Chili Peppers came out [they were contemporaries and I listened to them, but didn’t see them until years later], and I finally I saw them after I'd seen you guys a million times, I was like, “Well…okay, I've seen this, you know, better, frankly”. Not to knock them…

No, no…no…

I like them as a band, but I never connected with them like [The Mob]. Maybe it was because the first time I saw you guys was a small club. Maybe if I saw them in a small club, like, early on, I'd have that connection. But, yeah, I mean, you never walked out of a Mob show going, “Oh, that was a good show”. It was more like,” Oh my god, that was one of the best nights of my life. Let's go do it again!”

Yeah, well, hopefully that's where we can… you know, well…we've only got the two shows. So yeah, I'm a little - not nervous, but I've got some work to do. I think those other guys [will be ok], They recorded, they sent me videos of the rehearsal they did the other day and they pretty much remember it. And Carlton and Harold have been getting together fairly often because it’s easy for them. So, yeah, I gotta get my shit together. I’m probably more worried about the harmonica parts than the actual vocal parts. I just haven't played, you know, riffs and scales and anything like that, but I’ll just make a bunch of noise and fall down on the ground. It'll be fine.

And people will love it. I think your lyrics will come back because like, I swear, there's probably not a month or so that goes by that my wife or I don't randomly drop some line like, “I was flying upside down over the Great Pyramids of Gahanna” [from “Ballad of Montie Temple”]


Or “This one's for Franklin and Pickaway County”.

[Both laugh]

Yeah, from [their cover of James Brown’s] “Payback”. It’s been fun going back listening to the stuff because I don't normally listen to it, just, like while I'm making dinner or something. Now I’m going back and listening to it because I've got homework to do. And hearing Harold say [deepens voice], “This one's for Franklin and Pickaway County” …

Yeah [Laughs]

The randomness of the counties…

“This one's for Bellefontaine”

[Laughing] Only someone from Ohio would even find any humor in that. You can't even explain it to somebody. There’s no way my California-born-and-always-lived-in-California wife would ever understand what's so funny about that. It's like, I'm not gonna even explain it to you. Just roll with it.

That's beautiful.

I was talking to B the other day. He was listening to SNOB, and we were just talking about how we made the fake live record on that. We were trying to get record deal, and so we thought we’d give them a live record. And we went and bought two or three sound effects CDs. And it's so obvious that it's not a live record, but…

[Both laugh]

Like, I don't think I could play” Under the Double Eagle” [now].

I liked the crowd heckling [on “Immigrant Song” and you replying] “What?”

Yeah [laughing]

You know, man, it's so good.

You know, with the audience, you know, I don't know how many Mob fans.... I mean, there's a lot of Mob fans out there, I hope we get a lot of them out for the show. That will be great if we get 1000 people out to these venues. I’ve never been to The Athenaeum in Columbus. And you know, originally, Columbus was kind of hard to find the venue we want to do. I didn't really want to do the Newport. We did a lot of shows there, I just kind of felt it was wrong. Nothing against Scott, because those guys have always been great. I just felt like our audience didn't necessarily want that cavernous of a place. And then Carlton went to The Athenaeum, and… I couldn’t come down there, so I think I went online and looked it up, I saw that they were CD 101, sorry we're always gonna call it, it's always gonna be CD 101. I don’t know whatever they are now, maybe CD 102. They were doing a Dinosaur Jr. show there recently. And I thought, oh, what’s this place? So, Carlton went and he thought it was really a very cool venue. I think he felt like spiritually, it was kind of a cool venue. So that's how we ended up there, because then there's another much smaller place called The Bluestone? That right?

In Columbus? I don’t know that one. I know, like Skully’s and Kemba and some of the other places. [I looked it up and The Bluestone is a very cool looking venue in an old Baptist church in Columbus]

But my point being, I hope there's enough Mob fans out there and I'd like to,

you know, [hope that] we can get everybody [to] leave with a big smile on their face, whether we're sloppy or not, or I forgot a line here, there, that's going to be okay. And again, you know, I'm doing it- we're doing it, not “I’m” doing it -we're four guys up there…and, you know, our audiences, our fan base is our age probably now. And it's important for them to know there's like, there's this shitty thing about getting older, it's like, things pop up. And, you know, I mean, hopefully we can raise some awareness about that as well. That'd be just extra special to be able to do that and it's going to mean a lot for everybody to up on stage just to be playing together, that whole camaraderie. So, I think it's going to be a lot of fun, assuming I do my homework.


I've always been a very impromptu person, but I don’t think this is something that it's a good idea to be impromptu on. I better buckle down and do my work.

I did love [the spontaneity] at the Bernie shows, like- I remember you guys doing [cover songs like] “Hard Day's Night” one time, and I swear you did, like, “Shaft Goes to Outer Space” …

Yeah, probably. I’m trying to figure out that, you know, a lot of that stuff was very spur of the moment and, you know, just came out of nowhere with no preconceived thought of doing it. And I'm kind of hoping, I'm not quite sure, because of the time constraints of not actually playing together a lot, I’m hoping that somehow that pops up. It's just like, I was more immersed in hip hop going on at the time, whether it was a De La Soul thing or whatever it was, but I'm not, you know, I'm not current on today's stuff. And I still remember that, so, you know, I'm not sure, like how do we go into that, kind of just shoot off on that tangent. I hope we can come up with doing things like that, because I think that's kind of what made our shows unique and special as well. Just, there's like, where the hell did that come from?

Maybe you can do a Mobbed-up version of “Party in the USA” [laughs]

There you go, if I can remember the lyrics [laughs].

Ask Miley if it’s okay.

Yeah, she’ll give me her blessing. She didn't even know I was in a band until just recently.

And then she kind went [mimics Miley], “Oh, you're kidding me!”. [laughs]

We were doing the Taylor [Hawkins tribute] thing. Dave Grohl was always a big Mob fan [note-after The Mob broke up, Dave was looking for a guitarist and wanted Happy to join The Foo Fighters, but the logistics didn’t work out].


To the point where I literally had to take him a copy of [The Mob album] Omerta when they played in Santa Fe a couple of years ago. So, we were doing the Taylor thing and Miley was getting ready to do her part with Def Leppard. I was up on stage and Grohl came over to say hi, and he said, “Well, who are you here with?” [I said,] “Miley”. And Miley was standing a couple feet away. And Dave turns and says, “You know, this guy was in one of my favorite bands when I was a teenager in D.C.!” She looks at me and says, “Ellison, you didn’t tell me that!”


Yeah, we’re from the Midwest, we're humble. We’re modest people.

God bless Dave Grohl.

“Party in the U.S.A.”, that’s a good idea. I'm gonna go, I'm gonna go learn those lyrics. If that pops up, you can pat yourself on the back.

Hell yes, I'll be ecstatic. Awesome.

As a matter of fact, now that you mentioned it is go back and grab a verse or two from all these different artists that I've worked with. I can do “Girlfriend” by Avril. You know, “I’ve got 99 problems, but a bitch ain’t one” by Jay-Z.

Nice. [Both laughing]. Drop that into “Two Sisters” maybe [laughing].

Yeah, yeah good idea [laughing]. As these ideas pop in your head, shoot ‘em my way. Be glad to give you a writing credit [laughs].

[Laughs]. I'm all good. It's like -I am, I am thrilled. I don't want to take too much more of your time. I really appreciate this and it is a blast. I mentioned I only met you once in person, I saw you perform many times, but I met you at that Stache’s show with Bob Mould [in 1991]. I actually got to interview and photograph Bob Mould about a year ago and I told him that story.

Yeah, I kinda remember that and I've got a crappy memory.

I had a Husker Du postcard with me. I was so excited. We came up from Cincy and I'm like, I'll get him to sign it. Then I saw you and I'm like, “Oh, man. Cool. I get I'll get Dave to sign it.” And you signed it, “I was never in this band.” It's like, I know, I know who you are! [laughs] I thought it was funny that Bob Mould saw that and wrote, “Neither was I” and I'm like, okay, I'm good. All right. Yeah.

[Laughs] Yeah, that’s even better, right?

So, I have to ask you one more question. This is for my wife. I said, “What should I ask Dave and she said ask him, ‘What was going down when the man come around?’ [from “The Ballad of Montie Temple”] with no hesitation.

[Thinks a sec, amused]. What was going down when the man came around? Ahhh, I think Carlton might have just got done blowing one off…

[Laughs hard] Nice.

Yeah, so there might have been you know, not like today where…yeah…

I remember seeing Twilight Singers in 2000 and Carlton and Happy were playing with them.


And Dulli just dropped that into a song and yelled,” Carlton! What was going down when the man came around?” And Carlton sings back, “I was sleeping in the van…” There are many, many fond memories. Thank you so much for the amazing music, thank you for this interview.

Well, yeah, thanks, we will see you at the show. You have probably been a lot of shows at that venue, the Madison?


Yeah, I think, God, I think that we did a show there with Adam Lambert in 2010.

I was gonna go the Columbus show. When I saw it announced, I said, “Oh, I’m going”. And then an hour later, I saw the Cincy show. And I'm like, “Oh, I'm definitely going to that.” I may try to make both, but I may just do Cincy because it's easier to travel. But I definitely would have gone to Columbus if it was the only gig, you guys were doing because I can't pass that up.

Cool. Yeah, well, I appreciate you giving us a little you know, print action. Do you need a photo of any sorts? I really don't have anything other than old press photos…

Yeah, they might need a stock photo. The guy I can ask actually- tangentially related, I started doing photography four or five years ago, so I took a class with a local photographer, but he actually shot you guys back in the 90s. So, I don’t know if you remember Michael…

Michael Wilson?


Oh, if he has something he likes and you want to use you it, go for it, you don’t need even need to run it by me.

Nice, nice. And I actually met B at one of Michael's [exhibit] openings and he was talking to me. Michael introduced me and [because he knows I love music] says, “This guy's a musician.” And I said, “Oh, cool, really? And B says, “Do you know a band called Royal Crescent Mob?” My wife and I both looked at him and said, “Are you B?” And he seemed surprised and said, “Yeah, yeah.”

Yeah, I saw Michael at B’s wedding a few years ago.

Oh, nice. Nice. Yeah, he's amazing.

If he’s got something, let me know. I mean the only thing that I have of anything current are some photos that Carlton sent of him, Harold and B at Carlton’s house rehearsing together. But you know, it's kind of interesting that these are in color. But otherwise, whatever Michael has, you know, we always trusted his eye.

He's phenomenal. Cool. Cool. All right. Thanks so much. Have a great weekend. Have a great tour.

Thank you. Yeah, well, it’s quick. I'm literally leaving Friday night on a red eye and coming back Monday morning.


Well, yeah, I had to change my flight so I was getting in before she [Miley] got there. Make sure the hotel is set. But yeah, some festival called the Corona Capital Festival. You go to Corona, get the corona.

Uff, if it's not one thing it's another these days.


But hopefully you all stay healthy. Good luck. Good luck with your practice.

Thank you, thanks.

I'm sure the crowd will fill in the lyrics if you forget them, but we can't play harp for you so…

Yeah, I know, that’s on me. Yep, that’s on me. Well, that’s not true, actually, I can go into a studio and record it and just play it back.

That's true.

We use a technology that exists today that didn't exist back then.

It's insane.

Auto tune here I come!


You guys are gonna say, “Hey, Ellison never sounded so fucking good, he’s pitch perfect!”

Ah, where's the fun in that?

Yeah, right? Exactly.

Royal Crescent Mob plays a special reunion show Saturday, December 17 at Madison Theater. 100% of net proceeds benefit the Tri-State Area Cancer Research Fund.