about
colin
dussault

 

My interest in the Tiffany Shade began many years ago when I received a copy of their record from my father. My dad, Artie Dussault, was a professional bass player and was a friend of Bobby Leonard’s. They grew up living across the street from one another on Elmwood Avenue in Lakewood.

 

My dad played bass in several area bands including the Crawling Group, the Blackwelles (with Bob Leonards’ cousins Jimmy and Danny McCarthy) and United Artist Records recording group Audi-Badoo. Audi-Badoo released one 45 rpm single on the United Artists label in 1969 (UA 50627). The record contained the songs The Way You Do The Thing’s You Do b/w Troubles.

Audi-Badoo was formed when members of Russ & Ron Jankowski’s popular band the Tree Stumps split up and merged with members of the “Blackwelles . Audi-Badoo consisted of Russ Jankoswki on piano & vocals, Ron Jankowski on vocals & guitar, Danny McCarthy on vocals & guitar, Jim Foley on drums, Artie Dussault on bass and Ginny Nims on vocals.

After Audi-Badoo Russ, Ron, my dad and several other musicians including folk singer Mike Hay, Bassist Will Ryan and drummer Dudley Taw formed Springwheel. Springwheel recorded one full-length album for the Green Bottle/Gulf & Western label in 1973. The eponymous LP was released as GBS 1014.

Bass player Michael Stanley whose real name is Michael Stanley Gee was also member of the Tree Stumps at the time that they broke up. When the Tree Stumps split up he formed the folk-rock group Silk. Silk released one album called Smooth as Raw Silk in 1969 (ABC Records label release 694)

In her book “Rock ’n Roll and the Cleveland Connection, author Deanna R. Adams describes how Silk came to get their recording deal with ABC. “After getting a gig on the favorable Sunday night roster at Otto’s Grotto, the Tree Stumps caught the attention of Bill Szymczyk, A&R man at ABC Records and future Eagles producer.”

Michael Stanley recalls in Adams’ book, “He [Szymczyk] was there [Otto’s Grotto] visiting his old college roommate, Dick Korn. I don’t think he was there on business, just to have a good time. But the more buzzed he got, the better we sounded. By the end of the night, he thought we were the best band in the world!” Former Tree Stump Michael Gee Stanley took on the band name Silk, recorded one album for ABC at the Hit Factory in New York City, and split up.

As a result of my fathers influence, I grew up listening to and inheriting many of his esoteric and classic pieces of vinyl. The Tiffany Shade LP was one of the many titles that I grew up enjoying along with records by The Tree Stumps (Listen To Love & Jennie Lee), Crabby Appleton, the Left Banke, Batdorf & Rodney, Frank Zappa, Silk and countless others.

Due to this huge influence in my life I have been a full time professional working musician ever since I formed my first band on my 20th birthday in 1989. I’ve made a living singing and playing harmonica everyday since and Michael Stanley, who is now a disc jockey on Cleveland’s Classic Rock Station WNCX 98.5 FM, has been very kind and helpful to my band over the years by pushing our music and playing our songs on the radio. Information about my group can be found by logging onto: colindussault.com.

In 1990, I learned that my dad’s friend and Tiffany Shade piano player Bob Leonard was going to be in town attending a funeral. Upon hearing this I politely made arrangements to meet with Mr. Leonard and he very graciously agreed to see me and autographed my copy of the Tiffany Shade album.

After getting my record signed I attempted to seek out information about this interesting group and their album. However, much to my dismay, I found that there was (and still is) very little written or even known about this band and their Mainstream recording. As a result, I’ve resolved to write about the Tiffany Shade and create a website (www.tiffanyshade.com) devoted to the history of the band.

In 2006, after a few phone calls and numerous pleasant email exchanges with Bob Leonard, I was finally able to arrange a meeting with the former Tiffany Shade and Mink DeVille keyboardist.

In May of 2006 I loaded up my van and drove several hours from my home in Lakewood, Ohio to Bob’s abode in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Upon my arrival, Bob and I sat down in the living room of his modest town house apartment and discussed the time he had spent playing piano and making music with the Tiffany Shade, Mink DeVille and several other groups.

I followed up on our initial conversation in January 2007 with an hour and half long telephone interview with Bob. At the conclusion of our talk I commenced to write the story of Bob Leonard and the TIFFANY SHADE.

In February of 2007, I spent nearly two weeks searching for Mike Barnes, Tom Schuster and Robb Clarke Murphy. My tenacity and detective work paid off when, on February 11th & 12th, 2007 I was finally able to speak with each of these former band members via telephone.

Duane Verh was also very accommodating and helpful to me with regards to this article as was Michael Stanley. Both of whom replied to me via email with their memories about the Shade.

If you have any information about the band (photos, stories, memories etc.) please feel free to contact me via email.


Special thanks to: Bob Leonard, Tom Schuster, Robb Clarke Murphy, Mike Barnes & Duane Verh.

The Tiffany Shade
Formed 1966, Cleveland, Ohio
Barrow Davidian – Vocals, Guitar (left the band in fall of 1966)
Bob Leonard – Piano, Vocals
Michael Barnes – Lead Vocals, Guitar
Tom Schuster – Drums, Vocals
Rob Murphy – Bass, Vocals)
Rick Hohn, the original bass player in the band was replaced by Rob Ruzga, Rob Ruzga was then replaced by Rob Murphy. (Rob Ruzga went on to play with Ted Nugent).

Self titled LP TIFFANY SHADE
Released on Mainstream Records on December 11, 1967
US 56015 • Stereo S/6105

European release UK 1968
Fontana TL 5469

Recorded on December 11&12, 1967 at Cleveland Recording
Released early 1968
Engineered by Ken Hamman
Produced by Bobby Schad

Track Listing
Side One

  1. Would You Take My Mind Out For a Walk (Michael Barnes)
  2. An Older Man (Robert Leonard, Michael Barnes)
  3. Sam (Robert Leonard)
  4. Jaguar City Blues (Robert Leonard, Michael Barnes)
  5. A Very Grand Love (Robert Leonard)

Side Two

  1. Come Softly To Me (Gretchen Christopher, Barbara Ellis, Gary Troxel)
  2. No Reality (Michael Barnes)
  3. One Good Reason (Robert Leonard, Michael Barnes)
  4. A Quiet Revolution (Michael Barnes)
  5. Not Worth the Pain (Michael Barnes)

45’s
Would you take my mind out for a walk
b/w One Good Reason
Mainstream 677

An Older Man b/w Sam
Mainstream 680