Bjørn og Ella George

BMS school stuff



What follows is a sort of audio history book of my life as a musician. I am trying to add to it every week, from recordings that have been on the shelf for more than 20 years.

Cliff Frederiksen and Friends - Madison, WI 1988-1992

Not all music greats do things the same way. Cliff is a guy who decided to live his own life his own way for his own reasons. One of his decisions was to base his career around Madison , Wisconsin. I was lucky enough to play in his group for the years I lived in Madison. He is an amazing guitarist and singer, and has been an institution in Wisconsin for many years. You put him anywhere in the world, with any audience, and he would knock 'em dead every time.

This is from a jazz gig we did at Lake Monona pub in Madison. The drummer is Mark Luhring.


Thee Alamo 1985-1987 (and probably beyond)

We had a cooperative recording studio in the basement of Thee Alamo, a great and strange residence on Stoddard in E.Lansing. Doug Decker, Scott Helmke,
Steve Shoha, Herbie Russ, and myself all contributed equipement at various times, and it was always available for various projects. My one big regret in my
life is that we didn't take things as far as we could have when it came to songwriting and recording. The ideas and the players were there. What follows
is but a tiny part of what was done in those years. Other stuff is bound to surface sooner or later. The following are two of my favorites:

Mexico - Written by me, imagining what it would be like to drive in a 1963 Nash Rambler station wagon along the coast of Mexico.
This recording is a dear relic of a special friendship between myself, my brother, and Doug.
Doug Decker - Hammond organ.
Scott Helmke - Mini moog hotwired with a Yamaha breath controller. This rig made all the really weird synth sounds.
Myself - vocals (through a Shure Green Bullet mic), drum programming, synth overdubs.

Can't Let Go - Where I was at that point in my life.
Steve was always a guy I really liked doing music with, and hanging out with. He saw what was going on.
Steve Shoha - guitar.
Myself - vocals, Hammond organ, drum programming.
Can't Let Go


It's My Party 1981-1984 E.Lansing MI

It's My Party was the full blown professional club band that almost killed my college career. I loved it, I hated it, and everything in between. But I am proud that we did it, because we learned how to be working musicians, and it opened a lot of doors. As any musician knows, a band is a special family. We had basically three versions of the group - more or less one a year. The band was started in Campbell Hall at M.S.U. Our first gig at Dooley's set a midweek liquor sales record, which forced all club owners to take us seriously. We were young, sort of cute, and well rehearsed. I used to love it when we packed the dance floor, that is what electric bass is all about.

These are the full sets from the legendary Campbell Hall annual beach party, held in spring 1982.
This was one of the critical early gigs for the group.
Personel, in alphabetical order:
Kathy Brooke - vocals; George Helmke - bass, vocals; David Hirsch - drums, vocals; Pat Nielsen - keyboards; Jim Risgin - sound; Dean Saigeon - guitar, vocals

It's My Party at Campbell Hall 1982 - 1
It's My Party at Campbell Hall 1982 - 2



Nickelodeon 1985-1987

This was the house band at the Green Door in Lansing for many years. It also did some road work around south central Michigan.
The cut featured here was an oddball. Doug Decker, the Hammon maestro, was in one night to hang out with us. He came on stage, and
we ended up doing a reggae version of Gimme Some Lovin' completely unrehearsed.
Personel, in alphabetical order:
Kris Brown - keyboards and vocals; Doug Decker - keyboards and vocals; George Helmke - bass and vocals; Bobby Lopez - drums; Bill Wallace - guitar

Gimme Some Lovin - Reggae


Emanon 1976-1978

A high school rock band, my first one that really stuck together and tried to do some gigs. Learned a LOT. This is a cut that was a
favorite of my sister Carolyn. ;) She only heard us rehearse it about 200 times. I honestly don't know how our families held out. There
wasn't much floor insulation in those days.
Personel, in alphabetical order:
Bob Carbeck - drums; George Helmke - bass; Dan Orcutt - guitar; John Young - guitar, vocals

Rocky Mountain Way / Happy Birthday