RIP Red Archibald

Posted on: Wednesday, Dec 27, 2006

I agree with Chuck Nevitt entirely on this one.  I had not heard of Red Archibald so was a little unmoved when I heard that he has passed away.  However, after reading Chuck’s post below, I checked out the 10 min promo clip and really enjoyed the clips and the voiceover.

You can read Chuck’s  post on Red Archibald on the link below.
the blues and then some: RIP Red Archibald



December 29th, 2006 at 07:43
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Wow, I didn’t realize what an influence Red had or what his music sounded like. I know him as a fellow housemate…he never played any of his music at home. I have a new respect for him and this is a better way to remember him.



January 2nd, 2007 at 15:29
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Red was to perform at a gig I organized. He showed up sicker than a dog! He was lying down before the performance and I didn’t think he’d be able to go on. Not only did he go on, but he brought down the house. He ended up staying a few extra days in our area because he was too sick to drive home to California. He was the consumate performer and will be sadly mised.



January 11th, 2007 at 18:39
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Hi, im Red’s daughter Kenzie. Im really glad you guys appreciate his music. I grew up listening to him, and he was a fantastic musician.
thank you



January 14th, 2007 at 13:19
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I knew Red since 1976. Elvin Bishop took me over to his house to get some encouragement on the harmonica. Little did I know that we would met up again I Europe. I went to Europe in 1983. I played with Red Archibald and the Internationals and spent time with Red on and off stage. Red was very mischievous. At the same time had a kind giving hart. On tour he could beat up club owners and festival promoters. Steal there money and have sex with there wifes and daughters, but some how charm everybody anyway. On stage we had to dance spin and twirl and play like we where on fire. He could play a ten minute harp solo and get a standing ovation every time. Then take ten minutes to tell some corny joke. Even though you herd the joke many times, you had to laugh.
Red was one of a kind. I had to save his life twice, so I knew this day would come. But it doesn’t help I feel sad and will miss him and his mischievous ways.
Derrick Walker



January 19th, 2007 at 21:47
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I also played with Red in Europe for about a year, along with Derrick (hi Derrick, how are you?).

I can only agree with what Derrick says: Red was a one-off, a great entertainer with a heart of gold. “Mischievous” is putting it mildly, but whatever he did, you always forgave him.

Before I joined the Internationals, I bumped into his old guitarist in London and I asked him what it would be like to play with him. With a twinkle in his eye, he said “you’ll never be bored”. He was right.

We played mostly in Germany, Belgium and Holland. When we lived in Amsterdam for a few months, Red would get huge crowds when we played in the street, while my wife Anne hit the audience for all the money they had. Then it was party time!

He was on fire when he played and once he was actually on fire when he was sleeping (never go to sleep with a cigarette!).

We are planning to go to San Francisco in May and we thought it would be great to surprise Red at one of his gigs. Now that sadly won’t be possible…

Red will be sadly missed by Anne and me.

Marc d’Aboville



January 22nd, 2007 at 02:10
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I met Red (Tommy) Archibald in 1973 in Humboldt County. He’d gotten a month in jail for some minor dealing, and I replaced him in this country-western band he was playing in for a gig or two during his sentence.

Red used to wear a pair of sunglasses with bright blue lenses. I remember one time a mutual friend, Denny Hulbert, told me that a car had run over Red’s head. I don’t remember if the sunglasses were damaged, but Red was OK.

Red used to make up nonsense rhymes, such as “Premier Kosygin, Egan, Richard Keagan, Ronald Reagan, that’s my name!”

I left Humboldt County a couple of years later, but would return occasionally for a visit. Red had a two-person comedy-music act under the name Marin Red during the late 70’s. I jammed with them one year in Clear Lake. Another time I joined Red and Denny for a reunion show at a bar in Mad River on Rte 36. As usual, Red made me fall on the floor with laughter.

Denny was my source for news of Red during the following decades. I heard about his time in Europe and his problem with addictions.

I was fortunate to get to see Red one more time a few years ago at Biscuits and Blues. I snuck up to him and said “Premier Kosygin …”. It was great to see him again; as usual, he was in fine form.

I don’t know if I’ll ever laugh as hard again.

Jay Goldfarb
Santa Cruz


Dennis Hulbert

January 22nd, 2007 at 02:33
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I played with Red in his first Band, even did a C&W recording with him back in 1973. He has been a life long friend. No one played harder and he was the best showman I’ve ever seen. The last piece of work Red played on is a project I am presently producing. Kenzie if your going to be at the event for him on the 11th of Feb. I will be able to give you both his first recording as well as his last. He will be missed but his music is here to stay.


Paul Olguin

February 3rd, 2007 at 17:11
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I had the pleasure of working with Red a few Times around the bay area. When he was on , he was amazing. Absolutely the real deal. Even when he was struggling with his health , he managed to pull the music up from somewhere deep inside.The Man had soul.



October 24th, 2007 at 06:41
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I’m sure I have the dubious distinction of being one of the very few musicians to ever have conducted a job interview at the ‘pissoir’!!!

I first encountered Tom at the Park Hotel in Grande Prairie Alberta in 1976 whilst he was performing with ‘Ajax’. I was completely blown away with the bands’ incredible energy and musical prowess. I was in the men’s room during a break when Tom joined me at the next stall. I complimented him on the band and he asked me if I knew any bass players as their present bass player was filling in only ’til a replacement could be found. Coincedentally, my gig had just finished and I was ‘looking’.

I auditioned the next afternoon and was offered the job on the spot. I had some really big shoes to fill as ‘sprocket’ (their current bassist)was a monster. In the end, I joined the band and began a musical journey that shaped my entire musical career. I had the pleasure to work not only with Tom, but Eric Raleigh on piano, Skip Sussman on drums, and Dennis McGetrick on guitar.

For anybody interested, I will be posting some recordings from that era on my site (search for djingo379 on YouTube) in the near future.

Life is filled with mysterious twists and turns; Eric died of cancer about 2 years after I left the band (he was 24 years old. Skip went on to join Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen and I went on to study music formally at Grant McEwan College in Edmonton and North Texas State University in Dallas.

30 years after joining Ajax I decided to ‘Google’ some former band mates and ended up having a grand reunion with Skip (Ajax’ drummer).
It was only by shear happenstance that we connected about 45 days prior to Tom’s passing. He sadly informed me of Tom’s ill health but I had no idea how serious things really were.

I could write a book on the escapades of Ajax during my tenure…I shall spare you the details. Suffice to say everything that’s been written above is not exaggerated at all…he was just as wild and crazy back then as he was later on.

The crazy coincidence in all of this is that I lived in Amsterdam for 2 years between 1988 and 1990; I saw posters all over Holland, Belgium and Germany that advertised gigs for ‘Red Archibald’…I never dreamed that this could be the ‘Tom Archibald’ I had worked with many years before.

Tom was an intense individual; but he was one of the best harp players/singers/performers anywhere. He touched thousands and thousands of people all over the world…I miss him very much…