Born in Chicago in 1952, Dave was first influenced as a child
when he found an old Victrola in the basement and wore out
the blues 78's. In high school the Stones, Clapton and Mayall
first came out but Dave traded those records for Howlin'
Wolf, Lightnin Hopkins, and BB King.
|Boss Joe's Lounge on
W Lake, where the guys made from $7 to $15 depending
on the door, which there never was, but it kept
Dave, Ed and Pookie playing!
After high school Weld moved to New Mexico, and studied guitar
under Kurt Black, a jazz
player who worked with Benny Carter,
Grant Green and others in the New York jazz scene. Also he
drove to Nevada and met and jammed with Gatemouth Brown.
first band! Hound Dog Taylor's group of Brewer
Philips and Ted Harvey. They had been working with
JB Hutto after Hound Dog's death, and after they
came back from breaking iff with JB in Boston,
they had a little house gig at Sweet Pea's. Weld
joined the band and played with them for a year.
Brewer Philip and Ted Harvey are well known because
their music started Alligator Records, the world largest
blues label. Brewer learned from Memphis Minnie, one
of the most famous women in blues history! Their recordings
and tours with Hound Dog over 16 years signaled an
increase in popularity of the blues in middle class
Weld bought Hound Dog Taylor's first Alligator album, heard Howlin Wolf over
the radio in the desert one night, packed up and drove back home in his 67' Ford,
and made it with $10 to spare.
Dave found out the West side of Chicago in the black hood
was friendlier than the North side, and started sitting in
at clubs, and landed a gig with Hound Dog Taylor's band,
Ted Harvey, at Sweet Peas on 43rd St. While
there a year, there were shake dancers and fistfights. The gig ended
was stabbed in the throat by his wife, but they reconciled.
|The Garfield, at Homan
and Madison was right around the corner from Ed's
house and featured Little Wolf, Hound Dog, and
Little Ed's band stayed there about a year.
Weld then moved to the 1815 Club on W. Roosevelt, owned and
operated by Eddie Shaw who had Howlin Wolfs band, the Wolf
Pack. Dave stayed there and played in the band with Chico
Chism, Lafayette Gilbert, Hubert Sumlin, Detroit Junior,
Shaw. The going rate was $15 per night, but Dave
played there with Otis Rush, Maxwell St. Jimmy, Guitar Junior,
Jew Town Burks, Doug Macdonald, Boston Blackie, Tail Dragger,
Little Wolf, Big Bad Ben, Little Aurthur, Johnny Littlejohn
and more. The gig ended when the band was taken to the Maxwell
St. lockup because of the nude dancers. Shaw bailed them out.
During this time Weld was under tutelage from JB Hutto, a Grammy awarded Blues
Hall of Fame slide man from Georgia. He studied at JB's house for three years until JB introduced Dave to his nephews, Little Ed and James Young. They started
the band "Little Ed and the Blues Imperials" and played every joint
in the West side for ten years.
About $15 a night, until Bruce Igauer from Alligator recorded them in a historic
session "Roughousin'" and
they started world tours.
|Necktie Nates at W Roosevelt was a hotbed
of blues and Little Ed and the Blues Imperials stayed there a year,
during which Buster Benton came in to play quite a bit. The gig ended
when Nate insulted Pookie's aunt and James jumped down off the stage
to give Nate quite a lesson in manners.
Dave started "Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames" in 1988 with Little
Ed's Blessing and they came out with their first CD "Roughrockin' in Chicago", on Parsifal Records in Belgium,
and Dave toured Europe, Canada and Japan with his own band.
Little Ed joined Dave's band twice for two years each time and the second time
they recorded for Earwig Music, "Keep on Walkin'", and this brought
them overseas again, as well as local, regional, and national gigs. When Ed went
back to his band he was replaced by the great Abb Locke, legndary sax man who
is in the band today with Jeff Taylor and Herman Applewhite. They continue working
every week since the band was formed in 1988, and Dave made his first UK tour
in 2005, with the second to closing slot at the Maryport Blues Festival, going
full circle by opening up for Hubert Sumlin and the Legendary Blues Band!
mentor, J.B. Hutto was a hall of fame bluesman, grammy
winner and important during the "rediscovery" of
bluesmen in the 60's. From Augusta Georgia, JB had
sung with the Golden Crowns gospel group, but loved
"Blues will be Blues until the end of the world",
and taught Dave Weld the philosophy and feel of bandleading,
song writing, lead and rythm guitar.
"No matter what, don't let anybody, your girlfriend,
your parents, your brother,
bandmembrs, NOBODY, tell you that you can't make it!" "You have
to MAKE your fingers do it".
Three years every Tueday at JB's house in Harvey helped
where JB would have Dave back him up, and then make Dave
play lead while JB backed him. They went to clubs together
and Dave even booked JB at Sweet Lips on Lincoln where
Dave had to pay the guys $5 each. They were at the 1815
club getting ready to play when the electric went out.
They went to Theresa's to see Lightnin Slim, they went
to Brewers house to rehearse.
JB had quit drinking because of diabetes, so
he was eager for the company and Dave wrote articles
about him, doing the cover story for Living Blues.
JB introduced Dave to his nephews, Little Ed
and James Young. "Write
a song like a full grown man", and when Dave went
to visit JB in the hospital when he was dying of lung
cancer he told Dave to take care of the band, with Little