Uncle Stick
(Gerald Pierce)

Here's a little info on some of the bands and artists I've played with and some of the venues we played. The list is by no means complete, but it might include someone you've seen or heard.




1962-1963 – I played Bass with Edgar Winter in a 70-piece (give or take a few) group called “The Beaumont High School Band” in Beaumont, Tx. I played Sousaphone, which qualifies as a Bass. I'm sure Edgar didn't know me from Adam, but I couldn't resist dropping his name.

1965 – The Mystics – Port Neches, Tx

The first non-school band I played with. We played a lot of what's now being called Swamp Rock. Back then I thought it was just Southwest Louisiana Blues.

The band members were:

Ray Little – guitar

Larry Talbot – guitar

Bill Smith – drums

Gerald Pierce – bass/vocals

Bill Watson – bass/vocals (Bill and I swapped out between lead vocalist and bass player).

1966- The New Breed – Beaumont, Tx

We played a lot of songs by the Beach Boys songs and other groups popular at the time. The other members of the band were from out of the area and were students at Lamar Tech in Beaumont (now known as Lamar University). At the end of the Spring semester, they all went home to different places, thus dissolving the band.

The band members were:

Tom Moore – Hammond Organ/vocals – Tom returned to Houston where he joined “The Moving Sidewalks”. In March of 2013, Billy Gibbons got the group together again to play a few gigs, beginning at B.B. King's club in NYC.

Jeff Strange – Guitar/vocals

Jack Grochmal Drums/vocals – I saw Jack in the late eighties in Nashville where he was engineering at Jack Clements' studio. Jack has very impressive credentials and has worked as producer, recording engineer, songwriter, musician and singer with some of the biggest names in the music industry.

Gerald Pierce – Bass/vocals

Tom Moore went on to become the organ player for “The Moving Sidewalks, a Houston-based band that also included Billy Gibbons on guitar and vocals.

1966-67 The Basic Things – Port Arthur, Tx

We played a mixture of British Invasion and American music including lots of Soul music....Wilson Pickett, James Brown etc. The band recorded version of Wilson Pickett's “99 and a Half” with an original song, “Wish You Were Here” on the other side. We got a handful of plays locally including at least one airing of “99 and a Half” on KJET, a station that played only black music. We were quite flattered.

The band members were:

Herman Bennett Vocals and tambourine – Herman later was part of the Austin-based group “Ain't Misbehavin”.

Tom Arrington – Guitar/vocals

Charles Jayroe – Lead Guitar/vocals

Larry Quinn Farfisa Organ/vocals

Ronnie Cooper – Drums/vocals

Gerald Pierce – Bass/vocals

Herman and Larry are still pursuing music. You can click on their names to find more info about them.

1967 – The Chosen Few – Beaumont, Tx

This band only lasted a short while, but we did play a few gigs. We played popular British and American rock songs of the day.

The band members were:

Bill Carter – Guitar/vocals

Glen Dowell – Fender/Rhodes electric piano/vocals – Glen died in an automobile accident in 1968. He was an exceptionally accomplished musician.

Jack Fowler – Drums

Gerald Pierce – Bass/vocal

1967-68 – The Magic Ring – Houston, Tx

Houston music producer/manager and former organ player for “Neal Ford and the Fanatics” , Steve Ames, who managed The Moving Sidewalks also managed a band called “The Magic Ring”. Tom Moore of the Sidewalks turned me on to the gig when the Ring's bass player left the group. We played a lot at the Catacombs club and opened some Houston concerts including “The Young Rascals” in the Coliseum and Jimi Hendrix in the Music Hall. We also opened for a few other big-name bands. The group recorded a version of “Do I Love You”, and old “Ronettes” hit which was released in Houston on the Ames Brothers' “Tantara” label. It was picked up by “Music Factory Records”, a subsidiary of MGM, but got very limited airplay other than in the Houston area. The band dissolved in about May of 1968.

The band members were:

John Wilson – 6 and 12-string Guitar/vocals - John went on to become part owner of a successful Dallas club called “Up Your Alley” and performed there in the duo “Bowley and Wilson”

Doug Reneau – 12 string Guitar/vocals - Doug Passed away in 2011. In addition to his musical talent, Doug was an excellent painter.

Jim Clinton – Drums – When I first moved to Houston I temporarily roomed with Jim. He introduced me to everyone as “Stick” and the nickname followed me from there. Jim later played at the Cellar. He passed away in the mid-seventies.

Gerald Pierce – Bass/vocals

Naked Letus – 1968-70 – Houston, Tx

We played a few gigs around Houston including the “Love Street Light Circus” and other venues and recorded an album of original material at Robin Hood Brians' studio in Tyler, Tx that was never released. Tyler native, Knox Henderson, produced the album. In November of 1968 we began playing at the “Cellar” club in Fort Worth. Steve Coleman, who founded and fronted the group, left in early 1969. After that the band was never the same and we went through a number of guitarists and drummers in the next year and a half without finding the “magic” that we as a band had with Steve. We played a few original songs and a lot of lighter rock of the day including material by “Buffalo Springfield”, “The Lovin' Spoonful”, “The Beatles”, “Moby Grape”, Neil Young etc. Except for a couple of 2-week breaks, Naked Letus played at the Cellar clubs in Ft. Worth, Houston and Dallas until October of 1970 when the group dissolved.

The original band members were:

Steve Coleman – Guitar/vocals

Mike HickmanGuitar/vocals

Jas Stephens – Drums

Stick Pierce – Bass Vocals

Other guitarists were Charlie Mitchell and Arvel Stricklin. Other drummers included Don Ivy, Gary Barriman, Darrell “Hatchet” Welch, Randy “Panda” Woolery, Joe Wonder, Doyle Brashears and probably 2 or 3 more that I don't recall.

During one of our breaks from the Cellar in 1969, Bill Gibbons (I knew him as Bill) who I met through my association with “The Magic Ring”, asked me to join his new band, ZZ Top”. Their organ player, Lanier Greig, formerly of “Neal Ford and the Fanatics”, had recently left the newly formed group and Billy wanted to use a bass player as the third piece. I met one evening with Billy, former Moving Sidewalksdrummer Dan Mitchell and their manager, Bill Ham, and we ran over a few songs, including a couple or so of Billy's originals. I was flattered that I was offered the gig, but it just wasn't what I wanted to do musically. Billy found exactly what he needed a short while later when he teamed up with Dusty and Frank (also former Cellar players from the group “The American Blues”).

Charlie McCormack – 1970-71 – Beaumont, Tx

After the Cellar gig ended, I returned to Beaumont for a while. I went to an old highway honky-tonk just out of town called the “Hayseed”, hoping to sit in on pedal steel. I didn't spend much time playing pedal steel and never really gigged as a steel player. I ended up getting hired to play bass there. The place looked pretty much as it did when my folks went dancing there when I was a kid (yeah, people took kids to honky-tonks....it was the 50s and a different world than now). There was no air conditioning, only a few window fans and screened windows three-quarters of the way around the place. The parking lot was still paved with bottle caps from 20+ years of honky-tonkin'. I remember arriving one Friday night to play and found a box full of kittens and their mother on the bandstand. I just made sure I didn't step on any of them and the gig went just fine. Now that's country!

Charlie McCormack strummed the guitar and sang every old standard country song I ever heard and then some. His son played drums, I played bass and Dick Counts played guitar. By his style, I'm pretty sure Dick played with some big swing bands in his past. None of the rest of us were anywhere near being in the ball park with him musically. His personality was as up as his playing and I feel honored to have been on the same bandstand with him.

Cliff Keener – 1971 – Arlington, Tx

Cliff Keener is the name Cliston Keener was using when I went to work with him at the “Pub Royal” in Arlington. Cliston had natural charisma and knew how to please a crowd and fill the dance floor. He played guitar and sang standard country and rock songs. Jackie Lassiter played drums. We were a good trio, got paid decently and had lots of fun. Unfortunately, Cliston passed away too young as a victim of 6 Saturday nights a week for too many years.

Chuck Isles - 1973 – Beaumont/Galveston, Tx

Chuck was a piano-bar single act playing small bars in the Beaumont area. I can't remember how I met him, but I went to work playing bass with him at a small bar called “The Gusher Room” in Beaumont. Chuck was a great entertainer and a real crowd-pleaser. I got to play a lot of songs I'd never played before. We played for a couple of months at the “Sea Horse” motel restaurant on the seawall. Chuck is still playing in the Beaumont – Pt. Arthur area.

Steve Young – 1973-75 – Beaumont, Tx

Just across the parking lot from the Gusher Room was the Ridge Motel and the best “sit-down” gig in town, “The Petroleum Club”. Play five nights a week, leave your equipment set up and get paid well. What a deal! It was a laid-back supper club gig for the first couple of sets, but by the time the kitchen closed there was a nightclub/dance crowd. A local trio, “Steve, Mark and John” played there. I'd been there hear them and would sit in occasionally.

Steve Young came in the Gusher one night and told me that John Piggot, the bass player, was leaving the group. He offered me the job and after consulting with Chuck Isles I accepted the offer. The name of the group changed to “Steve Young Plus” which was quite fitting. That may very well be the most professional and versatile group I ever worked with. We did all the current radio hits plus songs from the 50s and even the 40s, songs by “The Ink Spots”, “The Mills Brothers” etc., complete with nice 3-part harmony. Steve was schooled as a vocalist and pianist, but he didn't let that stop him from singing and playing his ass off. He also played great Jimmy Reed style harp and blues guitar. He told me that once while waiting at a railroad crossing for a long freight train to pass, Johnny Winter showed him some harmonica licks and Steve took it from there. Steve even sang some songs in Italian and Spanish. What a great singer, keyboard player, arranger, teacher , band leader and friend he was. I learned more about performing from him than anyone I ever worked with. Steve continued to play in the Beaumont-Pt. Arthur area until he died in 2010.

Apple Creek Review – 1975 – Beaumont, Tx

A band called “Apple Creek Review” had been coming in to sit in at the Petroleum Club and were a really good 3-piece country band with a Female Singer. Their bass player was leaving the group and I was offered the gig. I was ready for a change and took their offer. The band consisted of Randy McClain (Randy McClain Fultz) on guitar and vocals, Hank Barry (Hank Barry Fults), Randy's Brother (and yes, they do spell their last name differently) on drums and vocals, Mary Nell Osborn, vocals and me on bass and vocals.

We had a good band and played a few gigs in the Beaumont area, but in the Spring of 1975, we went to Tennessee to audition for the soon-to-open “Opryland”. The Fultz Brothers had relatives just down the road in Manchester, Tn where they were raised, so we stayed there a couple of days and did the audition. Needless to say, they weren't looking for honky-tonk bands. They wanted singers/dancers ala Disneyland or Six-Flags. Oh, Yeah, I forgot to mention that Mary Nell, our Female vocalist, was George Jones' niece. At that time, George and Tammy had just split and we heard that she got his band, so we went by his office to try to apply for the job. He did happen to come by when we were there, but he was not in a very good mood (or sober) and it wasn't the time to be talking business and wouldn't be for a while. We didn't get the gig as George's band, but we tried. I left the band shortly afterward.

The Stricklin-Pierce Band – 1975 - Ft. Worth, Tx

After I left the Apple Creek Review, Arvel Stricklin, who I played with at “The Cellar” called me and said he needed a bass player for a gig at Panther Hall in Ft. Worth. The band consisted of Arvel on guitar, Cal Freeman on pedal steel (formerly of the group “Gallery” who had the hit “It's So Nice to Be With You”), Randy “Panda” Woolery on Drums and me on bass.

Almost immediately after our first gig, Cal was hired away from us by somebody with better-paying gigs. We played a couple of gigs after playing Panther Hall.

We recorded a few songs at “Pantego Sound” studios in Pantego, Tx in the Arlington area. The studio was owned by Jerry Abbott, father of Vinny Abbott and the late Dimebag Darrell Abbott of Pantera fame and Charles Stewart, an ABC Records rep. We never found the right fourth player after losing Cal. The spark was gone and the band soon evaporated. Nothing became of the other songs we recorded, but over the next 30 years Jerry Abbott and I teamed up to write several songs.

The Alligator Band – 1975-77 – Ft. Worth, Tx

After the Robt. Bob experience, I started working local bar gigs in the Ft. Worth area with brothers Larry and Steve Funchess in “The Alligator Band”. The 4th member of the group varied between several players, depending on who was available. Sometimes it was Dean Morrow on Banjo, Charlie Mitchell on guitar, or some spur-of-the-moment fill-in musician I don't recall right now. We did a bit of traveling and played a couple of times in Telluride, Co.

Delbert McClinton – 1976-77 – Ft. Worth, Tx

I met Delbert while working in Ft. Worth with the Alligator Band and in late 1976 he hired me to do some road gigs for a few months. He was and still is one of my favorite singer-songwriters. I'm pretty sure that at one time or another he hired every seasoned club musician in Ft. Worth. It's something he was known for by club musicians in the area.

Joe Don Silvers and Lois Johnson – 1983-85 – Nashville, Tn

I went to Branson in 1983 to audition for a band there but instead was told about a job available with Joe Don Silvers and Lois Johnson. I called Don and convinced him that I was the guy they needed. I was hired unseen and unheard. I loaded up my VW bus and headed to Nashville. We met at Clyde Beavers' studio (Clyde wrote “Twisting with Old Santa Clause” which was a big hit for George Jones) where we quickly ran over 10 or 12 songs before hitting the road that same day.

After working with Don and Lois, I continued to play many dates with various bands and artists but most were short-lived or one-time fill-in situations requiring knowledge of the “Nashville number system” (one of the most useful things I ever learned). I still play when the right opportunity presents itself.

Copyright – Uncle Stick 2009 - 2018 - All rights reserved