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Topic: Ed Guzman

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Greg
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Ed Guzman
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I have to admit that I still miss Eddie. I am also a conga player who grew up on Eddie's riffs. I saw him four times and was mesmerized each time. I play his solo's over and over. A few years I wrote an article to DRUM mag. on the 10th anniversity of his death. But they never published it. If anyone is interested I'd like to share it here:


                                        Eddie Guzman


(1944 – 1993)


 


In Remembrance…


 


It’s been ten years since the untimely death of one of rock music’s most underrated percussionists, Rare Earth congerero, Eddie Guzman. Just 49 years old, Guzman passed away on July 29, 1993. His death was due to complications of diabetes and according to some, neglect. Whatever the cause, one of rock music’s driving percussion forces was taken from us.


 


As a teenager, I remember the distinct conga beat flailing in the background of the classic Rare Earth albums Ecology and One World. It wasn’t until the recording, Rare Earth in Concert, which included extended conga solos, that I knew I would be a lifelong Guzman devotee. Rare Earth became the first white act to join with the black-owned, Motown label. In 1969 they were signed to a Motown subsidiary renamed Rare Earth. Their sound was often identified as “Detroit blue-eyed soul” or “funky good-time music.” Rare Earth achieved their greatest success in the early 70’s with such hits as “Get Ready”, “Born to Wander”, “I Know I’m Losing You”, Hey, Big Brother”, and “I Just Want to Celebrate.” In later years the group had multiple member changes and was unable to capture the popularity and musical intensity of the early albums.


 


Eddie Guzman was a “working mans” percussionist, punctuating every rhythm with assurance and candor. As an early rock percussionist, he was constantly in high gear, playing with startling tempo and rapid changes. Guzman’s style was straightforward and stripped down, letting his congas and timbales speak for themselves. He was not one for programmed enhancements. Guzman’s status was never that of the ‘sideman’ when it came to showcasing his talent. He moved effortlessly between congas, timbales, and cowbells with calculated precision.


 


In concert, with sweat rolling down his arms, Guzman displayed inventive riffs and a deep soulful-Latin undercurrent, making Rare Earth’s trademark long jams almost reckless at times. His heavily bandaged fingers demonstrated his prowess in building a rhythmic energy, which other dual percussion groups of that era could not seem to duplicate (with the exception of Santana). In “Born to Wander: An Autobiography of Peter Rivera and His Story of Rare Earth”, Rivera (a.k.a. Peter Hoorelbeke) comments, “I know that six-man groups don’t make much money as four or five-man bands, but I really believe it was worth it to have Eddie with us. His musicianship gave us an edge that, in my opinion, contributed greatly to our later success. Those congas gave us a fuller, earthier sound that literally drove the crowds wild.” (86)


 


To see Rare Earth in concert was a mesmerizing experience. Guzman’s clean and minimalist style of playing complemented the Rare Earth sound. Every pop and every slap seemed to have its own place and meaning. His sound was tight and raw. Guzman, together with original Rare Earth drummer/vocalist Peter Rivera, (and various drummers to follow) operated as a tight ensemble unit in concert. The duo’s call-and-response solos would always bring the crowd to their feet in thunderous applause. The liner notes of the 1978 Rare Earth album Band Together suitably identify Guzman’s contribution as “rhythm inspiration.”


 


Guzman rarely ventured outside of the Rare Earth band or studio. One very memorable session experience was on the 1974 Doobie Brothers album, “What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits.” At times, over shadowed by multiple drums, Guzman’s congas and timbales raised the dynamic to triple forte in such songs as Road Angel, You Just Can’t Stop It, and Daughters of the Sea.


 


From the 1980’s to the present, Rare Earth has mined the classic rock circuit. They discovered a new found popularity in Europe where their recordings are still being purchased by young teens. With two original members still performing, the hits of Rare Earth have proven to have a timeless quality.  Guzman stayed loyal to the original band until his death in 1993.


 


Ten years have passed and the percussion sounds of Eddie Guzman still welcome the listener to his celebratory realm. The joy he brought to Rare Earth fans will not be forgotten. His spirit and melody will live on. Eddie Guzman is not a household name and Rare Earth may fade in the annuals of rock history, but to those of us who have been captivated by the blistering beat of the conga and the strike of the timbale, Guzman will always be remembered as one of rocks first and most compelling percussionists.


 


Reference:


Rivera, Peter & Stephens, Larry, (2001) Born to Wander: An Autobiography of Peter Rivera and His Story of Rare Earth, Copyright by Peter Rivera, USA, www.rareearth.com.


 


 By Greg Scott


 



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UKDave50
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Great piece of work Greg. Its a great shame it wasn't published.


I remember seeing the sleeve credit to Eddie on the Doobie's LP and having mixed feelings. I was delighted that his talents had resulted in him being approached by another class act, but at the same time I was worried that if he gained a higher profile Rare Earth might lose him. That's how important I felt he was to Rare Earth. I sometimes wonder how he compared with Motown's own Eddie "Bongo" Brown for natural talent?


It is pure magic to listen to "Get Ready" on the "In Concert" album and just marvel at Eddie's playing. Peter's drumming is rock solid as always and there's some tambourine from Gil, but all the while Eddie is filling in the background then coming to the fore to link the different solos together. It really is superb how Peter, Eddie and John Persh worked as a ryhthm unit and it must have been nigh on impossible for the audience not to respond. Whilst Ray, Mark and Gil always delivered on the lead instruments I'm sure the result would not have been quite so impressive without Eddie.


Incidentally, listening to "Get Ready", those 23 minutes just fly by and has anyone else ever picked up a voice on about 22 minutes shouting "You gotta go"? Was that one of the guys in the band or maybe one of the organisers? I doubt anyone in the audience could have wanted that song to end.


 



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Greg
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Thank you for your kind words. I agree, Eddie made the group unique and their choice of songs and driving beat were perfect for the conga and timbale. Interesting that they never had a Latin sound. Just pure rock. In a way I really liked the use of the conga in their straight away rock format. It was all dynamic and driving.


I am curious about Eddie's death. Peter Rivera (in his book) seems to think it was a combination of alcohol and neglecting his diabetes medication. Eddie just gave up on life. But I wonder why? Family issues? Mental health issues? Financial? If anyone has any insights I'd sure like to know. I would also like to know if there are any web sites about his life. He never ventured far from the group and never seemed to self-promote. I really know very little of him other than his playing. Maybe his music speaks for him.


Peace, Greg Scott



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Ralph Terrana
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Eddie was always a great guy. We went to high school together and he was very popular with all of us. In those days Ediie always wore a sport coat and tie. Quite a bit different then the Eddie that would evolve. Of course we were all a little different looking back in those days. I'll always have fond memories of the guy.

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RAY MONETTE
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EDDIE AND MARK OLSON WERE VERY MUCH ALIKE IN MANY WAYS.THEY WERE VERY CLOSE IN SPIRIT,AS I WAS TO BOTH OF THEM.THEY WERE BOTH VICTIMS OF EXCESS.THEY WERE BOTH LIKE SHOOTING STARS SHINING BRIGHT IN THE SKY UNTIL THEY BURNED OUT AND DISAPPEARED.THEY WERE BOTH GREAT TALENTS.


MARK LEFT US FIRST,AND IT WAS A HUGE BLOW FOR EDDIE.I REMEMBER ONE OF THE LAST THINGS I SAID TO EDDIE WAS,DON'T LEAVE US WE NEED YOU HERE.HE WAS VERY FRAIL AND NOT TAKING CARE OF HIMSELF AT ALL,AND SAYING THINGS LIKE I'LL BE WITH MARK SOON.HE REASSURED ME THAT HE WASN'T GOING ANYWHERE.WE TRIED TO GET HIM HELP,BUT HE WOULDN'T TAKE IT.THEN HE WAS GONE.


EDDIE WAS ONE OF THE BEST PERCUSSIONISTS I'VE EVER SEEN,INCLUDING EDDIE BONGO BROWN,BOBBY HALL,AND TREATY WOMACK.AND....CONSIDERING HE PLAYED CONGAS AND TIMBALES WITH THE COWBELLS THROWN IN,HE SURPASSED THE OTHERS.


IT WILL ALWAYS HURT WHEN I THINK ABOUT EDDIE AND MARK......THEY WERE MY BROTHERS.


RAY



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Ralph Terrana
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Ray,
At the time you joined the band, was Eddie already there? It's always a little fuzzy in my memory when he came on board.

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RAY MONETTE
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RALPH,


I JOINED UP IN OCT. OF 1971 AND EDDIE WAS ALREADY THERE.I'M PRETTY SURE HE HAD BEEN PLAYING WITH THE BAND FOR SOME TIME BEFORE,BUT HE WAS MADE AN OFFICIAL MEMBER JUST BEFORE THE "ECOLOGY" ALBUM.THAT WAS THE ONE BEFORE "ONE WORLD" WHERE MARK AND I CAME IN.


THE FACE ON THE COVER OF "ECOLOGY" IS EDDIE.


IF I REMEMBER RIGHT....I THINK THEY WENT TO NEW YORK WHERE EDDIE WAS LIVING AND "RESCUED" HIM,AND BROUGHT HIM BACK TO DETROIT TO JOIN THE BAND.


RAY



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Ralph Terrana
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Thanks Ray. I thought that was the case but I'm never quite certain of the date when Eddy first joined the band. I appreciate the reply. I've been thinking of you Ray. We go back a long way.

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UK Dave
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It took me thirty years to spot Eddie's face on the cover of Ecology. Doh! Still, at least when I finally saw the face I realised it looked like Eddie.


Its strange, but when I saw Eddie's face on the brilliant One World cover, he struck me as a very serious looking chap that you  probably wouldn't want to tangle with. Contrast that with the picture on the Grand Slam sleeve where he seems to be enjoying the photoshoot to the max.


I was pleased to hear that Ray considered Eddie to be better than all the Motown bongo boys. That's a huge compliment. Its such a pity that DVD wasn't around in the 70s to capture one of those Rare Earth shows.


I know Richard has tried in vain to get Motown / Universal to raid the vaults for unreleased RE songs. It would be great to see a CD called "Unearthed".


Knowing how Motown had a policy of trying out songs with different artists, it would be interesting to know if RE ever got to record any alternative versions of War, Ball of Confusion, Papa Was A Rolling Stone etc during the period when Norman Whitfield seemed to be working with Rare Earth, The Temptations, Edwin Starr and Undisputed Truth. For example Smiling Faces was probably better known as an Undisputed Truth single, even if we think RE did it better!


As a Producer I bet Ralph has some opinions on Motown's Quality Control system. It must have felt great if they approved your material for single release but very frustrating when it was rejected. I seem to recall they weren't very favourable towards Marvin Gaye's What's Going On?



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RAY MONETTE
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HEY RALPH,


YOU'RE MORE THAN WELCOME.TO SAY WE GO BACK A WAYS IS AN UNDERSTATEMENT.40+ YEARS!!!!!  HARD TO BELIEVE ISN'T IT?? MAYBE THAT'S GOT SOMETHING TO DO WITH TRYING TO REMEMBER THINGS.....YOU THINK?? I KNOW A LOT OF MY MEMORIES HAVE FADED.


I SENT YOU AN E-MAIL A WHILE BACK.DID YOU GET IT?? MY NEW ADDRESS IS AN SBC GLOBAL ONE.IF YOU HAVE IT DROP ME A LINE.


RAY



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RAY MONETTE
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DAVE,


THAT FACE WAS PRETTY WELL HIDDEN,AND I DON'T THINK MANY PEOPLE KNEW IT WAS EDDIE.


I'D SAY THAT THE GRAND SLAM COVER SHOWS THE REAL EDDIE.ALWAYS UP,AND READY FOR ANYTHING.


THE ONLY FOOTAGE FROM THOSE DAYS WOULD BE THE TV SHOWS,AND I SAW A FANS FILM OF GET READY ON YOU-TUBE.IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT ABC HAS NEVER SHOWN CAL-JAM AGAIN.WHAT A STAR STUDDED CONCERT THAT WAS!!


ACTUALLY,THEY'RE STARTING TO PUT OUT SOME OF THE MIDNIGHT SPECIALS.WE DID SEVERAL OF THEM INCLUDING THE VERY FIRST ONE.


THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE VERSIONS OF SONGS THAT WE DID ARE THE ONES ON THE ALBUMS.THERE'S NOTHING LIKE THAT IN THE CAN.


RAY 



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Ralph Terrana
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Ray,
I tried to reach you on your old addy I guess. No I don't have the new one. Shoot it to me at Ralpht@soulfuldetroit.com.

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Ralph Terrana
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Dave,
Since I was on the Rare Earth label side of the fence I didn't have to deal with the normal QC system. I had to answer to Harry Balk which, in a way, might have been a little tougher.

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Jeff
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I heard Eddie had a nick name,they called him "Goose" is ths true?



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rareearthworld
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Three postings have been moved to a new thread called unreleased material, thanks.

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dolores
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I had the honor to meet Ed, Ray, Mark, Gil, and Byrd, at a car show in WI. I was very surprised when I heard about Ed and Mark.  And I was think of him when I hear Get Ready.



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RAY MONETTE
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HERE'S SOME PRETTY COOL NEWS. IN A WAY,EDDIE LIVES ON. HIS DAUGHTER MARISSA IS MAKING MUSIC AND SINGING. THIS IS HER MYSPACE WEBSITE:


http://www.myspace.com/marissanicolle


RAY



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Steve Barber
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 This is very sad.  I knew that he had passed away, but did not know when, or from what.  Being diabetic myself, I know how hard it is to take care of this disease.


   I had the absolute pleasure to  meet Mr Guzman, Mr. Monnette and and Mr. Bridges in Galion, Ohio, in October of 1992, at the "Oktoberfest". 


  Mr. Guzman was actually talking with me privately, outside of the building where the group had gathered to sign autographs and chat with fans. I had mentioned to him how badly I'd been trying to find a way to get the California Jam footage of them released on VHS. You couldn't even find a bootleg of it, and, since I had already had a bootleg of Emerson, Lake and Palmer's performance at the Cal Jam, I knew that *someone* had to have that footage some place. I am a drummer/percussionist myself,(the kind like Carl Palmer was of ELP days) so Mr. Guzman and I shared some discussion about how fun it is playing with all the ''toys'' percussionists play with. 


 I feel very fortuante to have  had the opportunity to have met him, and now that I learn for the first time, when he passed away, I feel even more fortunate.  He was such a down to earth person.  I would never have dreamed ina million years that I would be meeting the person whose entire face appears on the cover of the "Ecology" LP/CD/ ! 


I also had the pleasure of speaking briefly with Mr. Monnette, who said something that made me depressed for weeks, and still bothers me to this day, because it is so untrue. I told him that I thought when he joined the band, that they "really took off."  He replied "Yea", pointed his finger into the air, then made a downward spiral gesture and said "Right down". 


  Mr. Monnette, if you read this by any chance at all, I just want you to know that you are one of the *MOST gifted guitarists I have ever heard.  I firmly believe that your guitar playing was what took Rare Earth to the top.  You guys were so ahead of your time, and you opened the doors for so many 70's bands. I have heard other musicians say that you guys were the ones paved the way for groups like Average White Band, and others. 


 One of my favorite Rare Earth tunes is "Thoughts"/ "Fresh from the can", and its because of the guitar!  I wore that side of the album out, playing that tune over and over as well as absolutely destroying my copy of  Get Ready from "Rare Earth in Concert". The section of the LP where your guitar solo was, had turned white from overplay!  I wore that record out!  You are absoluetly phenominal, Mr. Monnette.


I'm sorry if I am getting carried away here. I just never thought I would have an opportunity to get a chance to have dialogue with members of Rare Earth, again.


  This Website is  very awesome.


 


 Thanks,


 Steve Barber


  



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UK Dave
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Good post Steve


I totally agree that Ray brought a new dimension to the band. Like yourself, I've worn out my copy of In Concert. I now have it on CD and still play it regularly.


I think the introduction of Ray and Mark was the icing on the cake. They just moved up another level in my opinion.


There are so many memorable solos by Ray but one I particularly like is on the Midnight Lady album on the track called Do It Right. It's not particularly one of RE's standout tracks but I do like Ray's solo.


As for keyboards, Kenny James was fine but I liked Mark a whole lot better. He added some great organ and piano which still sounds fresh today. One of the things I learned from this forum was that Mark played sax as well. A man of many talents.



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RAY MONETTE
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STEVE AND DAVE,


THANK YOU BOTH FOR THE KIND COMMENTS. THEY ARE MUCH APPRECIATED!!


AS I SAID BEFORE,AFTER MARK PASSED,EDDIE WAS NEVER THE SAME.HE WENT ON A DOWNWARD SPIRAL WHICH ENDED WITH HIS DEATH.IT STILL HURTS EVERY TIME I THINK ABOUT MY TWO BROTHERS.THEY WERE BOTH SO TALENTED,AND SUCH GOOD PEOPLE.


WHEN MARK AND I JOINED THE BAND WE WERE BOTH AT THE TOP OF OUR GAME.MARK JOINED FIRST,AND ONE OF THE MAIN REASONS I CAME IN WAS BECAUSE HE WAS WITH THE BAND.WE HAD BEEN DOING MANY PROJECTS TOGETHER: STUDIO WORK,LOCAL GIGS,AND THE STAGEPLAY "HAIR",WHICH RAN FOR 6 MONTHS IN DETROIT.WE WERE TOLD BY THE PRODUCERS THAT WE HAD THE STRONGEST BAND IN THE COUNTRY.OF COURSE WE HAD BOB BABBITT,AND ANDREW SMITH WITH US TOO.


STEVE, THOSE WERE SOME TOUGH YEARS DURING THE TIME THAT YOU TALKED ABOUT.I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT I SAID THAT TO YOU.YOU MUST HAVE CAUGHT ME AT A REALLY BAD MOMENT.NOTHING COULD BE FARTHER FROM THE TRUTH.


RAY



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Steve Barber
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 Dear Ray, ( if I may?)


 It is very sad to hear that Mr. Guzman was so affected by the passing of his fellow band mate, Mark Olsen and that he was never the same. 


I am sorry to hear that you have never fully recovered from the loss of both of them either.  It is terrible to lose friends, let alone friends with whom you are very close. 


 


Thank you, also, for sharing what you and Mark were both doing at the time you joined the band.  That is some very interesting history, to say the least


 I have to admit it, when I first bought "One World" and saw yours and Mark's images on the cover, and then saw your names on the  back of the jacket, I didn't know what to expect. I  was not then--and still am not big on ''change''.   When I opened it, and heard Rare Earth's version of "What'd I say" then, the guitar  work in "The Seed" and "Under God's Light"-- I was HOOKED! I couldn't get enough of that album. 


 Something I have always wanted to ask you is, what effect(s) did you use on your guitar in "The Seed"?  It sounds like a flanger, but, they didn't have those back then, ( did they?) and, I have very little knowledge of guitar.  That is the most awesome guitar solo.  


There are 3 guitarists in my life who caught my ear, and they are in this order: Ray Monnette Steve Howe, and a guy not really terribly known called Peter White, who played with Al Stewart.  There is just something about the sounds produced by you 3, individually, that really touches my heart. 


 Concerning that night in Galion, Ohio... if you have a secondary private email address "Hotmail'', ''yahoo'') you would like to share, I would like to share why I think it highly probable that you were having a bad night there.  Let me put it this way... Mr. Guzman wanted to get out of the room we were all gathered in, where the fans were, so we could chat. 


 


Thanks so very much for your reply.


 Best regards,


 Steve



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RAY MONETTE
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STEVE,

I USED TO TRAVEL WITH A FULL SIZED ORGAN LESLIE CABINET BECAUSE I LIKED THE EFFECT.THEN ONE DAY THEY CAME OUT WITH A UNIT THAT YOU COULD HOLD IN YOUR HAND THAT PRODUCED THE SAME EFFECT.IT WAS CALLED A MAESTRO PHASE SHIFTER.THAT'S THE SOUND THAT YOU HEAR ON THE SOLO.

RAY 

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Steve Barber
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 Hi Ray,

 Thanks so much for the information. 

 I remember when guitarists were using Leslies, back in the day. 

 I also remember those Maestro phase shifters, with the 3 different colored buttons on the face.  

 I have to tell you, Ray... when I was 15, and we were in my parent's garage, practicing your songs " What'd I say" and "If I die", I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams that I would actually have gotten to meet you and shake your hand, let alone have the pleasure of talking with you on a computer--years later! 

We used to dream of playing your songs to huge crowds, and were so fascinated by that One World and "In Concert" album, that that was all we talked about.  I can't believe  it that I am actually doing this, this very moment.  I hate to sound like a ''fan'', but, I can't help it--this is incredible.

Steve

p.s. Did you guys ever do " Under God's Light" live? 

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RAY MONETTE
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NO STEVE......WE NEVER DID PLAY "UNDER GOD'S LIGHT" LIVE.

RAY

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Jocko D
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Greg, What an excellent tribute to Eddie you have written. It's a crime that it wasn't published but thank you for sharing it with all of us here on the forum. Eddie will always live on in a special place in all of our heart's and I too was lucky enough to have the honor to meet Eddie in person a number of times.

I can really relate to your mention of Eddie having never strolled far from the band with the exception of him guesting on the Doobies "Vices" LP. Back in 1974 I had already been a die hard Rare Earth fan for years and some of my friends were fans of the up and coming Doobie Brothers. One day while in a record shop checking the racks for a new Rare Earth LP I came across the newly released Doobies "Vises" LP with that catchy live shot on the cover. I flipped the LP over and started reading the credits and the name Edward Guzman jumped right out. I immediately placed the LP under my arm and walked over to the cash register to purchase it.

Besides being a life long Rare Earth fan I'm also a life long Doobies fan since that day in 1974 when I purchased the "Vices" LP. If it weren't for Eddie guesting on that LP I may have never become a Doobies fan.

UK Dave-Your mention of learning that Mark also played sax as well also stuck me right in the memory bank. I had mentioned this fact before on the forum because I recalled seeing Mark and Gil playing sax together at live shows in the distant past but as far as I know nobody else has ever confirmed this fact.

I was beginning to believe I may have been wrong about Mark playing sax. Perhaps I dreamt I was attending a vintage Rare Earth concert where Mark was playing sax and that's where the memory came from. Just as Ray has mentioned "memory is not what it used to be". I now know I'm not crazy because I recently watched the 1975 live version of "Get Ready" from DKRC on Youtube for the very first time and sure enough there was Mark playing sax. I guess the old memory banks aren't so bad after all. If I could only remember what I did yesterday I'd really have it down pat. Jocko D


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UK Dave
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Great to see you posting again Jocko D. I always enjoy your input.

I think it was your post that first made me aware that Mark played sax, but Ray has since confirmed it as well as one or two fans.

I had that exact same experience with the Doobies' Vices LP. I saw Edward Guzman on the credits list and was sooooo tempted. I held back for some reason and even now, I still pick the CD up if I see it in the stores, look at the credits to see Ed's name, then like before, decide not to buy.

I quite liked the Doobies hits though something puts me off buying an album. I think it has a lot to do with a UK Radio 1 DJ called Dave Lee Travis who used to like them. He never shut up about them and plugged them to death. If only he'd liked Rare Earth smile

Jocko D made an interesting comment about the Doobie's sleeve. The fact that they had that live shot on the front was enough to make you pick the sleeve up and look at the back. Its been said before but Rare Earth might well have benefited from having some live shots on their record sleeves, particularly in the UK and Europe.

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John
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Road Angel from that lp.....what more can i say!

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Jocko D
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I probably would have come home empty handed from the record store back in 1974 had Eddie's name not been on back of the Doobies "Vices" LP.
Once I placed the LP on the turntable and heard "Road Angel" I was hooked. Tom Johnston's chuga riff guitar solo along with Eddie's congas in the middle of the song still blows me away to this day. Jocko D


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Whitney
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I know this is really late, but I just found this site, and it pleases me very much to know that there are so many people out there who really knew what the music meant to him. Eddie is my grandmothers cousin, and as a child was a VERY large part of my life. Although being little I never really knew the battles he was facing, but I will always remember going to his house and playing on his congas, and spending time with him. He lived for his music, and yes, he did have his battles, as with anyone else in life. He did die due to complications with his diabetes. 

It absolutely thrills me to have found this site, I only wish I would have found it years ago.

However, I have seen some questions about who he was when he wasn't playing... I can remember him fairly vividly as a child, although i was only 7 when he passed. I remember his overly large hair, his warm smile and his eyes that seemed like you could look into them forever. I remember visiting his house often and playing with him for hours on end. To his family, he was an amazing person, always there for everyone, and one of my most treasured memories.

I remember when he tried to teach me how to play the congas, although that did not go over very well.

Obviously, I was raised listening to Rare Earth, and I often get online to watch videos of their concerts just to see his face. The energy he had when he was playing was something I simply cannot find the words to express. Music wasn't just his passion, it was his life.

Thankfully, one of us in the family inherited his talents. Marissa is a fabulous singer, and is very happy living her dream of music.

I wish more than anything that he could have been around longer, but I will never forget who he was to me, and the music and joy that he brought into this world. As I said before, it makes me very happy that so many people were devoted fans of his, and didn't just see him as "the one in the background".

The article was great, and I'm very sorry to hear that it never got published, as it should have.

God Bless,
Whitney


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UK Dave
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Hi Whitney

Welcome to the forum and what a great post. Believe me, I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say that Eddie was far from being "the one in the background". His percussion playing was an essential ingredient of the Rare Earth sound and I'm sure that Gil and Ray would agree that it left a big hole in the band when he passed away. I'm sure that many bands would have given their roadie's right arm to have a percussionist of Eddie's standard in their ranks.

When I first saw the One World record sleeve it was Eddie's face that stood out. I'm not sure why but he looked like the sort of guy you wouldn't want to fall out with. I presume it was the beard and the serious look. I seem to recall a similar looking character on the front of the one of the cigarette brand packs that were around at the time. I'm sure he wore a Navy uniform. Was it Senior Service? I never smoked but I remember the picture. Anyway, it seems that this couldn't be farther from the truth and his picture on the back of the Grand Slam sleeve is most likely represents the real Eddie. A big grin on his face.

Edward Guzman was a true legend and we all miss him. As you say, he lives on through his beautiful daughter Marissa and I've heard and really like her music.  



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tracy
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biggrinoh yea i rember uncle eddie man we had some good times he coulnd play and his music is living on thur his daughter and nephews , my mom is his sister ida phillips and i rember him coming over to our house and her taking care of him they sure were tight , him and my dad and my brother robbie him and my brother use to jam all the time together , robbie was a hell congo player too , we had some good times eddie and our family , my little brother ronnie is now a hell of a congo player tooo .. it must be in the blood , my brother robbie has now passed away and i bet you uncle eddie and my dad and robbie and eddie brother uncle joe ,uncle leo are all jamming  god bless you all , keep the music going

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whitney
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Dave,

Let me correct myself, Eddie is my grandmothers brother. And yes, his smile was the best!

Tracy,

Just the thought of all of them being together again makes me want to cry and laugh at the same time. I remember being very little and I don't remember why, but they were all playing together and it was soo much fun. I just wish I had the chance to know them all being an adult now. Hope all is well with you. xo

Whitney (Mary's daughter)

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BJ Bilger
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I found this blog looking up info about Eddie Guzman. I was told as a teenager that he was related to my father's side of the family. By then (early 70's) we had lost touch with that side of the family. Did Eddie have relatives (cousins, aunts, uncles) named Louie and Eileen, Joe and Julie, Mike and Carmen? Most of these people probably passed away by the late 70's. Just trying to find out if there was any family connection. Thanks for any info you might have

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Jimmie Myers
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I am a Latin Percussionist and I started out in the beginning as a boy raised in Pontiac, Mich.  Ed was the first home boy conga player even before Santana.  I've been to  7  Rare Earth concerts in my life and have watched Ed  like a  hawk.He was a master of blending rock,blues, with Latin and they all worked magicly together.   It's a shame your article wasn't published.   Have you thought of Modern Drummer??

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bourdeau
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i grew up next to eddie guzman as a child he was my hero man i remember them getting ready for gigs practicing meeting the band when he died my neighborhood was recked he eas like fam a good man i liked this article



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Anonymous
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I held back for some reason, even now, I still pick the CD, if I saw in a store, look at the credits to see Ed's name, and then, as before, decided not to buy Cree LED Flashlights.



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Barbara Gaber
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I married Eddie in 1973 and we produced a lovely daughter.  We both miss him very much.



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Barbara Gaber
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Thanks, Whitney.  I remember meeting Eddie in the spring at a farm off Northwestern highway on a dirt road called Farmbrook.  We still had Firemill Village, a rustic group of stores that catered to hippies, and MacInerny's, a broasted chicken restaurant. Other than those two businsesses, Northwestern was very rural.  This was in 1970 or 1971. He was very beautiful and we immediately fell for eachother.  It was my first time meeting East Siders,which included Joe Cubert of Mitch Ryder and Detroit Wheels.  He lived there with his girlfriend, a classical violinist who studied at Interlachen and was mainly an exotic dancer.

I was attending the University of Michigan at the time, and was quite naive about  goings on such as those that were happening at the farm.  Then there was a second farm that we all hung out at in Ypsilanti, which was conveniently located to Ann Arbor.  Eddie lived there for a while before moving to L.A. with Motown.  I followed about six months later.  That's the story.  We got married and had Marissa. She not only has his musical genes, but also on my side of the family was my cousin, Jacsha Heifitz, one of the world's foremost, if not the foremost, classical violinists of all time.  He is the standard that violinists strive for. Eddie, though is her muse and inspiration.



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UK Dave
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Nice to hear from you Barbara. I never had the pleasure of meeting Eddie, or any of the other guys for that matter, but his contribution to the Rare Earth sound was immense. We all miss him dearly.

I've listened to some of Marissa's songs on her My Space site. Not only is she a very pretty lady, she's also a great musical talent. I'd love to see her succeed in her career.



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Anonymous
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i have been friends with rare earth for years--- just started shortly before they lost eddie--- right from thier mouths was that eddie just couldnt stop drinking and when you mix that with the diabetes it obviously wasnt good.

 

they tried to dry him out but he wouldnt have any part of it

drinking is a bad disease



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Anonymous
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I too am a Big Rare Earth Fan and loved Ed Guzman's contribution to the sound. I saw Rare Earth for the first and only time live in 1972 at the Delaware State Fair. They were supposed to play two shows at 7 and 9, but because they were late come from DC because of beach traffic, they played one long show and rocked the place. During I Just Want To Celebrate, Pete transitioned off the set and Ed took over... never missing a beat to the song... phenonomial. I was doing some production work for Grand Funk Railroad in 2009 at Pompano Beach and had the opportunity to sit and talk with Pete, one of my heros. We talked for two hours. It started off about Rare Earth, but then became a conversation about many other topic. I asked him about Ed and he told about Ed's death. I was a bit bummed to say the least. 

I enjoyed reading your article.

Thanks,

"Shock"



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Anonymous
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THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS TOUCHING AND TRUE TRIBUTE. I DIDN'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THIS INCREDIBLE MAN UNTIL I READ THIS. I WILL NOW SURELY NEVER FORGET HIM OR HIS STORY.  SOOO SAD HE IS NO LONGER WITH US. I REALLY ENJOYED HIS INCREDIBLE TALENT AND MISS HIS AMAZING DRUMMING.



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RICH
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His daughter MARISSA is doing well as a performin artist,go to her site,marissaguzman......................



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Ronald M.
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I met Eddie at Biscayne Baby in Coconut Grove, Florida in 1986 or 87.  He gave me the OK to tape the concert.  I later met

him at a concert a year or two later at the Metro-Zoo in Miami, Fla. where I had the oppurtunity to talk with him for a little while. 

We talked some about his music and life. He then informedme of his diabetes and that he had to take care of himself. 

It was a shock at the last t Rare Earth concert that I had attended at Musicians Exchange in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Eddie's

Congas were on stage with the group but no Eddie.   Gil told me that Eddie had died the year before.  It came as a shock

to me. I was sorry to hear of his passing.   Barbara, I have a couple photos of Eddie that I took at the concert they did at Metro Zoo

Miami.  If you would like a copy of them, contact me at:   racm30@hotmail.com

 

 



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Jocko
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First met Pete and Eddie in Summer 1973 at an outdoor gig at Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey. Earth, Wind and Fire opened the show but we couldn't care less about catching their set. We were too busy trying to get a glimpse of our real heroes through the fencing in a huge back stage area. We were lucky enough to attract both Eddie's and Pete's attention and they walked over to us and signed autographs for us through the chain link fencing . 

Nine years later in 1982 at club gig in New Jersey after the show Gil invited us back stage to meet the entire band. All the guys were really great to us and everyone went all out to make us feel at home. We had a beer or two and partied some with the band and it's needless to say my friends and I all had the time of our lives. 

A couple of us had a little something to lift some spirits and Eddie was so appreciative of our efforts. He kept telling us you guys are the greatest and would then give us each a kiss on each cheek. Luckily for me I met Eddie and several of the other band members a few more times after that gig but everything good doesn't last for ever.

Please rest in peace both Eddie and Mark and please know you will always live on in your music and all of our our hearts. 



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JOCKO
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At the top of this thread there is mention of Eddie guesting on the Doobies Vises LP. I had good friends who were really into the Doobies and we caught them live at Carnagie Hall in NY City in 1973. They put on a smokin' show but it wasn't enough to make me go out and purchase one of their LP's

In 1974 I stopped in at Sam Goody's record shop every Thursday checking for the follow up LP to Ma P. Little did I know there would be follow up LP but after seeing no new Rare Earth release one day I decided to check the Doobies section. And there it was. The new Doobies LP What were once Vices are now Habits. After checking the guest musician credits I read Eddie Guzman, Congas, percussion courtesy of Rare Earth records.

After seeing Eddie on the credits how could I not purchase the LP. I actually owned the Vices LP long before my die hard Doobie fan buddies purchased their copies. 

Over the years I met Eddie several times and my only regret was passing up an opportunity to speak with him one last time in 1990. Rare Earth was booked to play Wetlands in NY City and I brought a good friend as well as my girlfriend to the show. This show would be the very first Rare Earth concert for the people in my party and all three of us really enjoyed the show. We arrived somewhat early and five minutes later Eddie, Ray and Wayne walked in through the front door and immediately set up shop at a small bar right inside the front door. 

I should have walked over an introduced myself and I believe they guys have very well remembered me. I should have also offered to buy a round of drinks for the three band members and then possibly strike up a conversation between us  My friend actually had a little something different to offer the band beside booze. After partying with the Willie Remembers line up of the band after club gig in 82 I'm sure there would have been a good time had for all involved. 

Several years later I read that Eddie had passed away and I was devastated upon hearing this news. You never know what the future will bring so thank God we have the past with so many wonderful memories. Not speaking and partying with Eddie, Ray, Wayne of the other band members  that night was a huge mistake. 

 



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Elio
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Does anyone know what was Eddie's background.  Or where his parents were from ??  Hispanic last names weren't too common back then.



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Rich
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I actually asked him......................................Mexican.



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Laurence Gerard Cousins II
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In all due respect and much love to Ray Monette, I have to respectfully disagree with Ed Guzman being a better percussionist than Bobbye Hall-Porter and Eddie "Bongo" Brown. Bongo was straight from the school of conguero lendgen  Chano Pozo. Bobbye Hall is an all around studio percussionist who can even play an automobile brake drum. Although Eddie Guzman's playing is impredsive, I never heard him play too many rhythms in the Afro-Cuban vein. Correct me if I'm wrong. mudically yours, Seneferu

 



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Anonymous
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Lets not 4ger TITO PUENTE................Eddies hero.



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UK Dave
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I take Ray at his word. He played with Eddie for years and also worked in the studio as a member of the Funk Brothers, so he's well placed to compare the talents of the likes of Bobbye Hall, Eddie Brown and Treaty Womack. As he pointed out, Eddie had all the cowbells and timbales going off as well, and that's how I interpreted what he meant by surpassing the competition. In truth they were all great percussionists as Ray would be the first to say.



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Anonymous
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I totally agree with you. Eddie was amazing. My friend who is a professional percussionist told me that Eddie was his Idol while growing up. I know he (Eddie) has a daughter out there somewhere, I hope that she is proud of her father.

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RAY MONETTE
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LET'S JUST PUT IT THIS WAY. THE PLAYERS WE HAVE TALKED ABOUT ARE THE CREME DE LA CREME OF PERCUSSIONISTS. WHEN I SAID THAT EDDIE SURPASSED THEM ALL,I REALLY MEANT IT IN ONE WAY MORE THAN ANY OTHER. HIS HEART...HIS FEEL.....HIS SOUL. NOT ONE OF THE OTHERS COULD TOUCH HIM WHEN IT CAME TO THOSE MATTERS.

RAY



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