Weld's first band photo with "Little Ed and the Blues Imperials". Weld picked up Pookie James Young and Ed and during the Winter months they braved the hawk and hung these posters up and down Welles St. so they could make the big money, $25. Welds first real band, "Little Ed and the Blues Imperials", which Dave, Ed and Pookie started using a number of drummers, until they located Louie Henderson, all of them shown here in thieir first band shot, with Ed borrowing a tie from Dave for the session.
This first professional band shot of Dave with Little Ed and the Blues Imperials was shot behind Alligator Records in the alley. Somone made the comment about a band member having bugs and everyone cracked up!
"Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames" first gig and band shot, playing at Sams Saloon on Belmont, in the room that was a speakeasy during prohibition. Dave got drummer Louie, from Little Ed and the Blues Imperials, bass, Mike Scharf, and Harry Yaseen on piano. Harry studied under the great legend, Art Hodes, and came to sit in one night and played piano until his fingers bled.
This second shot of the Flames was taken at Uncle Steves, on Welles St., where John Belushi and second city crew used to come in. Mike Scharf, Harry Yaseen, Dave and the great Ted Harvey, who along with Brewer Phillips, and Hound Dog Taylor help start Alligator Records. Ted was in the band about four years.
The third band shot was in front of a club on Fullerton, and featured Dave, Mike Scharf, Donny Nichilo, piano, harp, Vernon Rodgers, Drums. Donny had just finished four years with Buddy Guy, and spent four years with the Flames, and then went on to work with the Mighty Blue Kings, Floyd McDaniels, and many others. He resides in Brazil with his wife and Child. Vernon was with the band four years and was a regular on Chicago's blues circuit, with Phil Guy, his wife Gloria Thompson, and many others.
This fourth band shot was taken at Blues Ect. on Belmont, and featured Dave, Vernon Rodgers, Herman Applewhite, and Jasper Buchanan. Herman, from Clarksdale MS was the original bass man for the Buddy Guy/Junior Well band that toured the world in the late 60's, early 70's, and he also worked with Koko Taylor, Eddy Clearwater, Fenton Robinson, and many others. Jasper is from Tchula MS, plays piano and sings, and worked with OV Wright, and leads his own band out of Millwaukee WI.
This fifth picture of the imperial flames features Dave, Bernard Reed, bass, Daryl Mahon, drums and Leio Davis, keys. Bernard has the most extensive history and ranks as a historical figure in Chicago Soul. During the 70's he was studio staff for Brunswick records and toured, recorded with Tyrone Davis, Ramsey Lewis, Percy Mayfield, Howlin Wolf, Little Milton, Jackie Wilson, Lou Rawls, Otis Clay, Little Richard, so many others. Darryl was with Mighty Joe Young and on the Chicago Blues circuit. Leo Davis was with Mighty Joe Young, James Cotton, Eddy Clearwater, many more, and was with the band about four years.
Little Ed and Dave always stayed close and Ed joined the band replacing Leo Davis. Ed had joined the band previously for two years during which they recorded Daves first CD "Roughrockin in Chicago". This time they recorde for Earwig Music, "Keep on Walkin'" and this was a promo shot for the CD.Little Ed and Dave did many duo gigs together to fill in dates and they had lots of fun, and used this duo shot to get work! Ed played the kick drum and they did songs that they would eventually use with the band or record.
This sixth band picture was taken at Chicago's House of Blues, and features Bernard Reed, Jeff Taylor, Abb Locke, and Dave. Abb Locke may be the most legendary of them all, having played and recorded with Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, Willie Mabon, Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Elmore James, Earl Hooker, The Rolling Stones, and many more. He is featured in Howling Wolf's biography and has his own book, which will be coming out, about his life in Chicago Blues, and he has a CD with great original songs, "Big City Blues"
The seventh band picture taken at Space in Evanston, long time band members Abb Locke, (died Sept 2018) legendary saxman. Jeff Taylor, drums and vocals, added to the mix, his first female diva Mona Rose (Monica Myhre (Garcia) vocals and percussion and Dave Kaye bass.
The eighth and current band members: Mona Rose (Monica Myhre) lead vocals/percussion, Jeff Taylor drums/vocals, Harry Yaseem piano/organ, Kenny Pickens bass guitar, and Rogers Randle, Jr. alto and baretone sax. Currently touring throughout the United States and abroad. Look for their upcoming 2020 album!
Winners of the Chicago Blues Challenge 2020!
to Dave Weld & The Imperial Flames who won the 2019 Windy City Blues
Society Blues Challenge. The band was honored to represent Chicago at the 2020 IBC's in Memphis where they became one of the finalist out of over 200 bands from around the world!