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If you have any thoughts, musings,  memories, or pictures related to the band or to the scene in Newark from the 70's, please send us an e-mail with them.  We'd like to post them here.  

Special thanks to Mike MacGuiness, the primary poster artist for the band.  Above, is an example of his work for us. 

Many of his posters are featured in the newly released CD from Obscure Oxide Records.

 

All opinions and commentary are the responsibility of the authors.

     The Snakegrinder supporters were in a very real sense a group of people that formed the Newark, Delaware "alternative" community. Looking back now it is a fair estimation to say that we were products of the late 60's and 70's generation. We were anti-war, anti-establishment as well as believers in personal freedom and social justice. A lot that was going on nationally had its influence on us as well. The changes that were happening musically around the country were also reflected in Snakegrinder music. Snakegrinder could do the blues, rock, and incredible jazz-like improvisations that reminded people of the Grateful Dead. Snakegrinder could take a song like Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" and turn it into an anthem of "Rock/Soul" music!  Not even the Dead's rendition of 'Not Fade Away is as good as our own Newark, Delaware version!

 

      During the early 70's musicians like Johnny Cash and B.B. King brought their music to Folsom Prison and Cook County Jail. Snakegrinder also got an invitation to play at the Delaware State Prison. In keeping with that tradition of bringing our music to the people, we graciously accepted the invitation!  I was real proud of the fact that the whole band wanted to do it!  It was a great concert!  The mostly black prisoners absolutely loved it. They went crazy when we did the Allman Brothers song, "Whipping Post". At that time Delaware was the only state in the nation that still had the whipping post on its books as a punishment for crime! 

 

     The gig had a special meaning for me. In 1969 I was busted in an antiwar demonstration in Chicago. If I had known that the Chicago Police would be running us over with their vehicles (imagine wheat being cut down by a scythe) and shot with a .38 revolver (the policeman fired at me and missed, he did hit the fellow running behind me); I would have gone to Woodstock and stayed there. I was arrested and taken to Cook County jail and served two weeks for disorderly conduct. My jail suite was B-4. I could still see the palm trees on Waikiki beach from a window in my mind. The warden and two guards paid me a visit. No badges, no names, no uniforms and they put the fear of God in me or at least the fear of the warden! The warden at Cook county is God! They caught me giving a locked down prisoner half my food. That is a crime at Cook County. Terrible things happen there and I can honestly say that I was glad to get out of there alive. The Blackstone Rangers and the Black Panther Party can tell you all about it.  I just want to remember to forget. On the last Sunday that I was there, a miracle happened. We went to chapel. And after a short service. A white prisoner in a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, Gibson guitar and southern twang entertained a 95% Black audience with Hank Williams and Johnny Cash songs.  He got a standing ovation and I felt tears go down the side of my face for no apparent reason other than the fact that I saw hope and smiles on the faces of the miserable and almost forgotten. It was the music that brought us together!  For me that became the light at the end of the tunnel.  When we played at Delaware State Prison we got to share that light with some of the people that needed it most.

 

 - George Wolkind - 10/09/2007