Back in 1983, Barry White (aka Barrence Whitfield) and Peter Greenberg were working at Nuggets, a used record store in Kenmore Square in Boston. Greenberg, who had previously played guitar in DMZ and The Customs, had recently quit his job playing guitar with Lyres and had begun to form an instrumental rock & roll band with ex-Lyres Phil Lenker on bass, Howie Ferguson (and Real Kids too) on drums, and another Nuggets employee, Steve LaGrega, on sax. One day Barry White began singing at the record store and… Barrence Whitfield and the Savages were born.
The first iteration of the Savages went on to record two critically acclaimed, blockbuster LPs produced by Greenberg that combined the best of 50s/60s rocking R&B with some high octane garage/punk thrown in. The first LP, "Barrence Whitfield And The Savages", was released on Mamou Records in 1984 and has been recently reissued on Ace Records. John Swenson wrote in the Ace liner notes that in the dark days of the early 1980s, "The Savages kept rock & roll alive". The original Savages recorded a second LP, "Dig Yourself", on Rounder Records that rocked just as hard.
According to Andy Kershaw of the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test, "What positioned Barrence and the band way beyond any other rock & roll of the era was a unique marriage of Barrence's personality and R&B shouter elan to the bounce and insolence of Peter Greenberg's essentially rockabilly guitar style. With the addition of much ill-mannered saxophone, we have here a band which embodied the heart and soul of rock & roll."
In 1986, Greenberg and Lenker threw in the towel and quit playing music, and the original Savages disbanded soon after. Barrence kept it alive touring worldwide and becoming internationally renowned for his wild performances.
Trust and the universe will provide. Spun out of a magnetic vortex in the mountainous, desert town of Taos, New Mexico - Barrence Whitfield and the Savages re-emerged - cleansed and revitalized… In 2010, Whitfield, Lenker and Greenberg decided to hang out in the desert and play some shows in the Southwest. This led to the recording of the "Savage Kings" LP, again produced by Greenberg, in December 2010.
It was decided that Cincinnati, Ohio - the home of King Records - would provide the necessary inspiration to the Savages to produce a great rock & roll record. And it did! The core Savages line-up of Whitfield, Lenker and Greenberg was now ready to go, supported by an All-Star team on Savage Kings: Andy Jody has played drums for Pearlene, The Customs, Thee Shams, Viva La Foxx, Cincinnati Suds, Oxford Cotton and most recently with James Leg of Black Diamond Heavies; James Cole on piano and organ has played in The Customs, The Auburnaires as well as The Cole Brothers. Tommy Quartulli has played sax in The Kings of Nuthin', The Allstonians and Darkbuster. Barrence Whitfield and the Savages intend to start touring Europe soon after the release of "Savage Kings".
After 25 years, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages have got together again and recorded a new kicking and shouting rock & roll album
Featuring core members of the original line-up Barrence Whitfield, Peter Greenberg and Phil Lenker
Recorded in Cincinnati as a homage to King Records for its lasting inspiration to the band.
1. (YOUR LOVE IS LIKE A) RAMBLIN' ROSE
2. JUST MOVED IN
3. IT'S MIGHTY CRAZY
4. YOU TOLD A LIE
5. WILLIE MEEHAN
6. SHOT DOWN
7. WHO'S GONNA ROCK MY BABY?
8. 64W MM232
9. HOLD ME CLOSE
10. BAREFOOT SUSIE
11. STOP TRYIN' TO BREAK ME DOWN
12. BAD GIRL