#172: Are You Ready? by Pacific Gas & Electric
Charles E. Allen was born in 1942. He learned to play drums, but by the time he joined Pacific Gas & Electric, he became the lead vocalist. Glenn Schwartz, born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1940, was the lead guitarist. Schwartz had previously been with the James Gang, and then when he was drafted into the United States Army, he went AWOL and moved to California. Tom Marshall was on rhythm guitar, and Brent Block on bass guitar. Frank Cook became the band’s drummer. Born in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, in 1942, Cook started drumming in his mid-teens. He was tutored by Murray Spivack, the sound designer for the 1933 film King Kong. Cook went on to play drums with jazz musicians: trumpeter Chet Baker, bassist Charlie Hayden and pianist Elmo Hope. Cook also collaborated with Shirley Ellis and Dodie Grey. He went on to become the first drummer for Canned Heat, and subsequently for Bluesberry Jam. Cook met Charlie Allen in Blueberry Jam. In 1967, Pacific Gas & Electric formed and in 1968 they released their debut album Get It On. The album included a recording of the African-American spiritual “Wade In The Water”. The single made the Top Ten in Honolulu. Another track, “The Hunter”, became a Top Ten hit in Melbourne, Australia, in 1969.