The Wallets


The Wallets were a popular band from Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing original music from 1980 – 1989. I joined the band at the invitation of Steve Kramer, our fearless leader, in December 1980 (The band had already been performing for about a year with a different bassist). We had 2 rehearsals and then played a few nights at Jay’s Longhorn. At the time the band had a 4 piece horn section, two keyboardists, a conga player, 2 girl backup singers “The Wall-ettes”, a guitarist, drums and bass. It was a monstrous groove machine. As a bass player it was quite an education.

Blue Castanets


Steve Kramer and I were good friends from high school days and we jammed together often with guitarist Steve Brooks. Those 2 guys could improvise on snatches of riffs and melodies for hours. It was like Kandinsky and Stravinsky playing tiddly winks. I valiantly tried to give the music some structure with my bass playing but it was pretty loose.

THE HURRICANE BOYS – 1971 (Steve Brooks, Duncan Hannah, Jim Clifford, Steve Kramer)

We added our friend and former classmate, Duncan Hannah, on drums and named ourselves The Hurricane Boys. After a few months we hooked up with Erik Anderson on drums for a brief stint. We played huge house parties, one of which was broken up by police helicopters.

In college, Steve Brooks, Steve Kramer and I got credit for playing/jamming one month in a house in south Minneapolis, and then one month in a beautiful chapel on campus at Lake Forest College. We compared our improvisations to Indian ragas. It all culminated in an 8 hour all-night performance, “Tones in Time”, at Bennington College, with Bill Dixon, an avant garde jazz trumpeter, as our advisor.