Web Site Home Page

Credits & Liner Notes

Many talented and generous musicians contributed to the tracks on the Gear Fab Records release of THE GRAPES OF WRATH. What follows is the history:

Credits

If Anyone Should Ask
Produced By: Ashley Bacak, Ray Bacak & Tony Bacak
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman & Ray Bacak
Written By: Steve Whitehurst & Tony Bacak
Publisher: Bacak Music, BMI

Steve Whitehurst, drums & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead & rhythm guitars;
Brent Burns, lead vocals;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, Vox organ.

Not A Man
Produced By: Ashley Bacak, Ray Bacak & Tony Bacak
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman & Ray Bacak
Written By: Steve Whitehurst & Stuart Wood
Publisher: Bacak Music, BMI

Steve Whitehurst, drums & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead & rhythm electric 12-string guitars;
Brent Burns, lead vocals;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, Vox organ.

Irene
Produced By: Ashley Bacak, Ray Bacak & Tony Bacak
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman & Ray Bacak
Written By: Steve Whitehurst
Publisher: Bacak Music, BMI

Steve Whitehurst, drums & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead & rhythm guitars;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, Vox organ, piano & vocals;
Jim Simmons, acoustic bass.

Life's Not For Me (Only For You)
Produced By: The Grapes of Wrath
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst & Stuart Wood
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, guitar & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, sitar;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, suitcase, tambourine & vocals.

Have A Good Time On Me
Produced By: Brent Burns
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman & Ray Bacak
Written By: Steve Whitehurst
Publisher: Wolfhound Music/5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, rhythm guitar & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, drums & vocals.

Bawm Diddy (Wipe Out)
Produced By: John Hesterman
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: The Safaris-S. Whitehurst-M. Whitehurst-J. Hesterman-S. Wood
Publisher: Miroleste-Robin Hood Music, BMI

Steve Whitehurst, rhythm guitar & vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar & vocals;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, drums & vocals.

Makin' It Through 71
Produced By: John Hesterman
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, rhythm guitar & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar;
Stuart Wood, bass;
John Hesterman, drums & vocals.

If You Leave Me
Produced By: John Hesterman
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst & Brian Allan Black
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, guitar, keyboard & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, guitar;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, drums & vocals;
Brian Black, keyboard & vocals.

I'm In Love With You
Produced By: John Hesterman
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Brian Allan Black, Steve Whitehurst & Sheldon Skinkle
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, guitar, keyboard & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar;
Stuart Wood, bass & vocals;
John Hesterman, drums & lead vocals;
Brian Black, keyboard & vocals.

The Party's Over
Produced By: John Hesterman & Sandy Lamont
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst & John Hesterman
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, guitar & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar;
Sheldon Skinkle, lead guitar;
John Hesterman, bass;
Keith Rosenbaum, drums;
The Thornhill Brass Section.

For Awhile
Produced By: John Hesterman, Sandy Lamont & The Bacak Brothers
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst, Brian Allan Black & John Hesterman
Publisher: Bacak Music, BMI

Steve Whitehurst, acoustic guitar, electric piano & lead vocals;
Sheldon Skinkle, acoustic 12-string lead guitar;
John Hesterman, bass, percussion & vocals;
Keith Rosenbaum, drums.

Shades Of Lillian White
Produced By: John Hesterman & Sandy Lamont
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, acoustic guitar & lead vocals;
Mark Aguirre, acoustic lead guitar;
John Hesterman, vocals.

If She Leaves Me
Produced By: John Hesterman
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst & John Hesterman
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

John Hesterman, acoustic guitar, lead guitar, bass, piano & lead vocals;
Stuart Wood, vocals;
Brent Burns, vocals;
Rick Grammatico, drums.

Suicide
Produced By: The Grapes of Wrath
Stereo ReMix: John Hesterman
Written By: Steve Whitehurst
Publisher: 5 Grapes Music, ASCAP

Steve Whitehurst, acoustic guitar & lead vocals;
Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar & vocals;
Gerald Tietz, bass;
Terry Mitchell, drums & vocals.

All stereo remixes were done December, 1998 at John Hesterman Productions, La Mesa California.


Liner Notes



The sixties were a very exciting time in history, and musically, a very magical time. When people think of the sixties, mod clothing, protest marches, long hair (though by today's standards hair was comparably short) and the British rock and roll invasion all come to mind. As a result of that invasion, rock and roll groups sprang up on every corner of every city large and small across the nation, and Phoenix was no exception. I remember it fondly, as I was one of the thousands of young boys who combed his hair forward in an effort to emulate John Lennon and Paul McCartney. So were Steve and Michael Whitehurst, Stuart Wood and Brent Burns. Collectively, we were the Grapes of Wrath, one of about a dozen of the more popular rock groups around Phoenix between 1964 and 1973. The material on this album is a very good representation of our direction as writers and sound as a unit. The Grapes were unique because of those Phoenix bands that were lucky enough to find themselves in a recording studio, we were one of the few that recorded primarily original material. We also had the advantage of regular access to professional recording gear at live performances, which we made use of frequently. As a result, there is a considerable collection of live and studio tapes available on the Grapes, some of which are represented on this CD. At its peak, the Grapes of Wrath included Steve Whitehurst, drums, rhythm guitar, keyboards and vocals; Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar and vocals; Stuart Wood, bass and vocals; John Hesterman, organ, drums, rhythm guitar, bass and vocals and Brent Burns, rhythm guitar and vocals.

If Anyone Should Ask - This song was written by Steve and Tony Bacak, one of our producers at the time. It was supposed to be the "A" side of the STORM Records single, but local radio stations preferred the flip. It has the feel of the British Invasion, in the tradition of The Beatles Second Album recorded for Capitol Records.

Not A Man - We used an electric 12-string guitar on this tune played by Michael, much like The Byrds did on Mr. Tambourine Man. Because that "sound" was popular, radio gave this tune heavy airplay during the spring of 1967. The song was written by Steve and Stuart.

Irene - Steve wrote this song in an attempt to answer the New Vaudeville Band's Winchester Cathedral. The interesting thing about this cut is that it features the same acoustic bass line in the first few seconds of the recording that was played on Nancy Sinatra's These Boots Are Made For Walkin', played by Jim Simmons, the same bass player. He was flown in from Los Angeles for the session and his contribution was added in about 60 seconds.

Life's Not For Me (Only For You) - The Grapes, like most other bands of that period, were very influenced by The Beatles. When George Harrison made the sitar popular by using it on the Revolver LP in 1966, Michael Whitehurst followed suit by using it on this song written by Steve and Stuart about the life of John Lennon. I remember recording this in the dark, laying on our backs in a spoke-like circle on the studio floor the summer of 1967.

Have A Good Time On Me - Our lead singer, Brent Burns, enlisted in the U. S. Army during 1968, making the Grapes a four-piece unit relying on Steve and me for lead vocals. During that year, Steve matured as a writer and the band improved dramatically musically. When Brent returned from basic training a few months later, the band was working on the arrangement for Have A Good Time On Me, a new song written by Steve. Brent was impressed enough to book studio time, assume the producer's chair and the result was a track I always felt was one of our best. Notice the Beach Boys/Beatles vocal style in the middle eight and especially on the coda.

Bawm Diddy - Most musicians will tell you there is a specific song they simply loathe playing. For the Grapes, it was the surf classic Wipe Out. Our response to the continous requests we received over the years for this song was an intentional massacre of it, which we had a great time recording. It was also inspired to a lessor degree by the Nazz's recording of Loosen Up, a tip of the hat to Archie Bell and The Drells.

Makin' It Through 71 - Steve wrote this to document his experiences during 1971. The loss of his and Michael's mother, major surgery and lost love contributed to the lyrical content. Steve recently told me he lifted it from the rock version of The Beatles song "Two Of Us". He literally just wanted to scream. It's very raw. All the better.

If You Leave Me - Recorded during the same sessions as Makin' It Through 71, this ballad written by Steve and Brian Black is melodic and touching. This, and its flip side, were quick mixes on which I played drums instead of keyboards and Steve played keyboards instead of drums. Also featured is Brian on keyboards and vocals.

I'm In Love With You - This is the flip side of If You Leave Me. It was written by Brian, Steve and Sheldon Skinkle, lead guitarist with Sleepy Hollow, another popular Phoenix band. That's Brian on Hohner Electric Piano in the midddle eight, just like the one John Lennon played on "The Night Before".

The Party's Over - After 1970, the Grapes performed live only occasionally and functioned primarily as a studio unit with contributions to the recordings by players from other bands around the Phoenix area. This track features the brass section from the band Thornhill, Keith Rosenbaum on drums and the dueling lead guitars of Michael Whitehurst and Sheldon Skinkle. Steve and I wrote it.

For Awhile - An acoustic offering written by Steve, Brian and me, this track again features Sheldon Skinkle on acoustic 12-string and Keith Rosenbaum on drums. It was recorded during the spring of 1972 at Summer Wind Studios. The Beatles influence on the backup vocals is obvious. It's also a tip of the hat to Chris Montez.

Shades Of Lillian White - This is one of my favorite Grapes tracks. It's Steve and I with guitarist Mark Aguirre from Thornhill. For a period in the early 1970's, Steve was also a member of Thornhill.

If She Leaves Me - This song was originally written in 1967 by Steve and me. I re-wrote my middle eight in 1971. It includes Stuart, Brent, me and Rick Grammatico from the band The Cresendos on drums. We wanted to record this song in 1967, but our producers at the time rejected it. We finally got around to it in 1972. It was my first outing as lead guitarist and lead vocalist on a Grapes record.

Suicide - Even though there isn't one now, during the sixties there was still a military draft, and in July 1969, I was called up and was away from the band for a year. Shortly thereafter, Stuart left the Grapes for a period of time to finish college. Steve and Michael reformed the band with their cousin Terry Mitchell on drums and guitar, and bass player Gerald Tietz. This song, written again by Steve, was a "heavy" track dominated by acoustic guitar. It's out of sequence here, but it's a fitting way to close the program.

Over the years, the Grapes of Wrath included Steve Whitehurst, drums, guitar, keyboards and vocals; Michael Whitehurst, lead guitar and vocals; Stuart Wood, bass and vocals; Brent Burns, guitar and vocals; Terry Mitchell, guitar, drums and vocals; Gerald Tietz, bass; Lance Wolf, guitar and vocals; Terry Merritt, vocals; Bill Mumford, vocals; Greg Vann, bass and vocals; Brian Black, keyboards and vocals; and John Hesterman, organ, piano, bass, drums, guitar and vocals. We collectively existed from 1964 to 1973, and in fact, still get together each year in Phoenix for what we call our annual "crash and burn" session. We hope you enjoy listening to these recordings as much as we did making them. What a ride!

John Hesterman
John Hesterman Productions
Mesa, Arizona
May 2010

This album is dedicated to Sally Whitehurst and the 1967, 68, and 69 Graduating Classes of Maryvale High School, Phoenix, Arizona.

For Grapes of Wrath information other than the Gear Fab Records releases, call or write to: John Hesterman, 208 N Kodz Road, Payson, AZ 85541. Call (928) 474-2678 or email: zacharyj@juno.com


THANK YOU FOR VISITING THIS SITE!


Return To The Top Of The Page


HOME