Gary James' Interview With
Jay Boy Adams

He's a singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. He toured with all the greats, including ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Marshall Tucker, The Allman Brothers band. He is Jay Boy Adams.

Q - You've got this bus transportation business you run. That must be a full-time business, isn't it?

A - Well, we've got a staff of people that work for us. My son is basically running the company now and has been for a couple of years. I'm still actively involved but Jason does all the day today booking and is the operations manager of Roadhouse (Transportation).

Q - Is Wounded Bird Records your label?

A - Wounded Bird is basically a company that does all of the acts that were not superstars from Atlantic and Warner Brothers. I don't own that record label.

Q - Who put that record label together?

A - I have no idea. That would be a Wounded Bird question. Wounded Bird takes all the groups that are no longer in print with the major labels. They've got a lot of people on there. They've got John Anderson, Ashford And Simpson, Brian Auger, Count Basie. They've got a huge repertoire of people they do. They have first writer refusal to all of Warner Brothers and Atlantic people that have been signed to one of those two labels.

Q - So, they are going back to the catalog and deciding which material they want to release?

A - That's right.

Q - Don Henley was in your college English class?

A - He was, yes.

Q - Why would you have remembered that he was in your class?

A - Well, he was just a musician. He played in a group called Shiloh. I mean, he was just there. Most of the musicians kind of knew each other. It was no big deal. We'd park our cars at the same place, across the street from the University. Shared a little area where we parked our car. Every morning on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Q - And you became friends with him?

A - No, not really. He was just a classmate. I'm not big buds with him, you know?

Q - Did he know you were a musician?

A - He knew I was a guitar player, yeah. We're talking over 40 years ago. (Laughs).

Q - That's all right. We are trying to get a historical perspective here. Did he ever come out to see your band? Did you go out to see his band?

A - No. Never did. Never heard Shiloh 'live'. He has heard my band. I did some dates in California with Rick Nelson. He was dating a lady who was a sister of a big fan of Rick Nelson. He came out a couple of times to hear Rick play. We played a week at a place called The Roxy in Los Angeles. He came out a couple of nights, yeah. It was kind of the showcase place for Country Folk, Country Rock. Kind of the counterpart to the Whisky A Go Go.

Q - You knew Billy Gibbons when he was in The Moving Sidewalks?

A - I met Gibbons when he was in The Moving Sidewalks. That was our first meeting.

Q - Was that at a club called The Cellar?

A - No. I met him at a little place right off the Bayou called Alan's Landing. It was kind of a teen hangout.

Q - That must've been really early in his career.

A - Yeah that was in '69.

Q - No booze there.

A - They did not serve booze.

Q - Where did this name "Wild" Billy Gibbons come from?

A - I don't know where "Wild" Billy Gibbons came from. I never heard that before. (Laughs).

Q - In 1972, a fellow by the name of Steve Moss got you a job with ZZ Top. What kind of a job?

A - He got me a show to open for ZZ. It was in Lubbock, Texas.

Q - Where were they playing?

A - They were playing in the Municipal Auditorium in Lubbock, Texas.

Q - Maybe a 5000 seater, maybe more?

A - No. About a 3000 seater.

Q - Who was Steve Moss?

A - Steve Moss was just a friend of mine. Steve Moss is now a video producer and lives in Los Angeles. He's been in music for an awfully long time. He's quite a successful videographer.

Q - He must have some connections with either ZZ Top or their management.

A - No, I think he maybe knows someone who was promoting the show who called him up and said, "Hey, you need to put this guy on the show with these guys!" I think that's kind of how it all started.

Q - How did ZZ Top's audience receive you?

A - I was received very well because I had played over there before. I had done some other dates in that same room. I was quite well received.

Q - Did you go on to do other shows with ZZ Top?

A - Later, the following Summer I went on the road with those guys as a guitar tech and a support act.

Q - Guitar tech for Billy or Dusty?

A - Both of 'em. I was the only backline tech. They had a guy that did drums and they had a guy who did front of house. The drum tech also called lights, but the other guy was just kind of front of house. I took care of the backline and the guitars, bass and guitars.

Q - They got their money's worth out of you!

A - They sure did. They got their money's worth out of me, but it was a lot of fun and a lot of great experience and a lot of great exposure, which later led me to getting a major record deal.

Q - Was that your first time on the road with a band that had a major recording deal?

A - Of that quality and that level, yes.

Q - Things started to take off for them in '73, didn't they?

A - Well, they were sort of on their way, definitely regionally. I went to work for them before "Rio Grande Mud" was released. "Rio Grande Mud" is kind of the turning point for them. That's what kind of started it. That's when they really started to build. Then of course "Tres Hombres" was next and that's the one that really broke 'em wide open. They had "La Grange" as a hit then. It was a radio hit.

Q - You are managed by Bill Ham?

A - Yes.

Q - What kind of manager was he?

A - He was a great manager.

Q - I interviewed John O'Daniel at Point Blank a few months back. He also had Bill Ham as a manager. He and the other guys in the band signed contracts with Bill Ham that they never looked at, never read, and never had anyone else look at. Did you have a similar experience?

A - You know Gary, this is not something I think is pertinent to an interview for you for your information. I had a great relationship with Bill Ham. My business affairs is really not something that's for public consumption.

Q - Are you still with Bill Ham?

A - I still do an awfully lot of business with Bill Ham. I'm not a candidate for a Bill Ham witch hunt. You got the wrong guy to talk to about Bill Ham and some sort of bad laundry on Bill. Anyone that's stupid enough to sign a contract that wouldn't read it and have their attorney look at it, that's their problem. I'm not one of those guys. I'm not one of those kind of individuals. I think a lot of Bill Ham. He's a great guy to deal with. Bill Ham is like a father to me and always has been.

Q - You went on to become a manager yourself, a co-manager of Pat Green.

A - That's right.

Q - How did that come about and did you like managing someone?

A - Sure. I loved management, the management side of the music business. I like the music business, period. I like producing. I like recording. I like writing. I've done just a little bit of all of it. The way that I met Pat Green, who is an excellent young man, was I leased him a coach (bus). That's how I met Pat.

Q - Where did this name Jay Boy come from?

A - Well, my father was named Jay and it was a nickname and it just stuck.

Q - Do you still performed today?

A - Yes, I still do.

Q - Where do you perform?

A - I play a lot of private parties. Two years ago I played a date with Skynyrd in Dallas. I toured with Stephen Stills in 2007 and 2008, supporting my record "The Shoe Box", a CD. I play a lot of dates in Texas. I'm playing four dates in New Mexico this week.

Q - How many dates a year would you say you're playing?

A - I do probably 70 to 100, something like that.

Q - And with your transportation business, that keeps you busy.

A - That's right.

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