Former Rhythm/Lead Guitar for Edgar and Johnny Winter
Update: Tin House just came out with a new album, Winds of Past, which can be purchased at the following link: http://cdbaby.com/cd/tinhouse. From the 60's to the present, this group will take you on a one hour tour of awesome guitar solos, vocals and rhythm you will never forget. The CD contains 12 original songs that will knock you out.
TIN HOUSE was formed in 1969 by original members Floyd Radford - Guitar, Mike Logan - Drums and Jeff Cole - Lead Vocal and Bass. They were one of the first progressive rock bands to be signed to a major label out of the Central Florida area. Their debut album entitled TIN HOUSE was released on Epic Records in 1970. This album produced by Rick Derringer went on to win international acclaim.
Fast Forward to 2009 TIN HOUSE releases their new album "WINDS OF PAST". The new lineup of the band still includes Floyd Radford and Mike Logan. In addition joining them now are new members David Mikeal - Lead Vocals, Guitar and Keyboards, Robby Crouse - Guitar and Jimmy Smith - Bass. Their new album release "Winds of Past" is quickly proving that TIN HOUSE is still a driving force in the musical arena!
Radford joined Johnny Winter following the completion of the album John Dawson Winter III.
Radford is an accomplished guitarist and songwriter who was formerly a member of Tin House and Edgar Winter's White Trash, then joined bassist Randy Hobbs and drummer Richard Hughes to round out Johnny Winter's Band. Radford's guitar work complements that of Johnny Winter perfectly and Radford's ability to handle both rhythm and lead guitar lines gives Johnny more freedom to perform his own skillful extrapolations.
Radford accompanied the group on their fall 1974 tour of Europe and their Fall/Winter 1974-75 tour of America. The European tour was the first for Johnny Winter in more than four years and included sold-out dates in London, Paris, Munich, Frankfurt, Copenhagen and Stockholm. The American tour kicked off in November and continued in three week intervals for a total of twelve weeks, visiting major cities all across the United States.
Floyd is now an engineer working for Lockheed Martin in Orlando. He is doing great and very active in his own music projects, including a solo CD. In November 2004, Pegasus published: "Rock and Roll Fantasy - you might be sitting next to a rock star in engineering class" this article contains a biography of Floyd Radford.
It was in the year of 1969 that Tin House became a group. Floyd Radford 16, Mike Logan 17 and Jeff Cole 16, broke off of their 6 piece group Marshmellow Steamshovel to form one of Florida's best loved three piece groups. It all happened at one of their gigs "winter's End Pop Festival" near Orlando Fl.
In 1969. They were second in line to open the show and the rest is history, they blew away over 100,000 people that day and were called back on stage for three encores, so the promoters asked them to open for Johnny Winter the next night. Well standing in the wings was Steve Paul (Johnny's manager) he stopped Mike Logan (the drummer) just as he was leaving the stage and gave him his phone number. He told Mike you guys are great and if your band ever gets up to New York please give a call, I would love to help your band out, Mike took the number and off the stage he went. Well the festival really shot the group from a garage band to one of the best bands in the south almost overnight.
Bookings were off the hook, they opened for almost every big name group that came to Orlando. So it's off to the studio they went in 1970 at Bee Jay studios Orlando. Floyd and Jeff were still in their last year of high school and mike just graduated from winter park high in 1969.
Mike had a close friend he worked for in his spare time, (Bruce Behrens) so he asked Bruce to manage the band and help pay for demo tapes and new equipment. Well Bruce loved the group so he said "ok" Now comes the good part. After the demo tapes were done their engineer at Bee Jay sent a copy to Clive Davis at CBS records. The tapes ended up in Larry Coen's office (president of Epic Records) and sitting in front of him was none other than Steve Paul working on Edgar winter's record deal.
Larry said "Did Johnny play at the Winters End Pop festival in Florida." Steve said "yes, why" Larry said " there was a young group called Tin House that opened the show and got more standing ovations then all the groups put together, have you heard them" He answered " yeah, that's my new group " Larry said "I've got their demo tape here and It's great. Well to make a long story even longer, Steve Paul called Mike Logan that night and made a pitch to manage Tin House and get them a record deal with CBS Epic Records.
Off to New York the boys went, but first Floyd and Jeff had to finish school or their parents would not let them go. In the summer of 1970 Tin House moved into a six-bedroom house right next to Johnny Winter in upstate New York on the Hudson River. The boys were in Heaven, they had a record deal a big house on the river all the gigs they could play and then it hit.
Edgar wanted Floyd to play in his band so Tin House would have to tour with him instead of Johnny. This was fine until Leslie West from the Group Mountain wanted the boys to tour with his band. It was a California tour from one end to the other, 28 days and 20 shows. Steve told the band "you can't do the tour with mountain, you need to do the shows with Edgar" So Tin House stayed in the North East and finished the dates with Edgar.
The drummer (Mike Logan) soon after the tour left the group and headed back to Winter Park Florida. That was in 1971 but Mike called Floyd in April of 2006 and said "Floyd, we got to get the band back together" So after six months of practice Tin House was back on stage in Orlando after being apart for over thirty five years. It was "THE ORLANDO REUNION CONCERT" September 16th 2006.
The boys brought the house down of at least fifteen hundred fans. After the concert Floyd and Mike had to replace Jeff Cole who lives in New York and could not play anymore shows. So enter David Mikeal on guitar, keyboards and lead vocals and Jim Smith on bass and Wow what a band, Dave can sing like the wind and play with the best like Floyd. Now add Robby Crouse on guitar and three part harmony never sounded so good. Five piece now the group is nothing short of awesome.
Story on Floyd Radford from the UCF Alumni Magazine, Pegasus.
By Judy Creel
Sitting in his living room, Floyd Radford, '86, is the picture of tranquility. He smiles as his new wife, Stacy, walks into the room. It's not hard to imagine him playing in his church's praise and worship band. You can easily believe that he is happy as an engineer with Lockheed Martin. There's simply no hint that beneath the surface beats the heart of a rock and roll star -- until you peek in his den, where a close-up of a young Radford in Rolling Stone magazine hangs on the wall.
Unbeknownst to his engineering coworkers, or to his UCF classmates in the mid 1980s, Radford played rhythm and lead guitar with two of the hottest acts of the 1970s, Edgar and Johnny Winter. Discovered just weeks before his high school graduation, Radford rode a roller coaster from the height of fame down to the lowest lows and back to the top again, gaining a lifetime of experience before he ever enrolled at the university.
Radford's musical journey began in 1963, when he was 11 and his interests turned from Little League baseball to playing the guitar. "Elvis was very big back then, and he was my idol because he played guitar," Radford said. "Several years later I learned that other guitar players actually were strumming the guitar and he was just up there playing the part. If you look at the old movies, you can see he's really not playing, but you hear this wonderful guitar music. That music is what got me started."
A year later, during a visit with his mother's family in Japan, Radford's parents bought him an electric guitar for his birthday. The family returned home to Hawaii, where Radford and a neighbor formed a band. "I was playing the clubs when I was 12," he said. "Since they served alcohol, the others were old enough to be in there but I wasn't, so they'd put me at one of the tables off in a corner during the breaks and tell me to play with my toys until it was time to go back on stage."
The family moved to Central Florida in 1965, where Radford's father was stationed at the Orlando Air Force Base.
"My father was into computers when they were just starting out," Radford said. "I knew it was an exciting field, and I loved science and math and thought that I would want to do something in the scientific world eventually, but at the time I just wanted to play music. I am very fortunate that my parents supported me in anything I wanted to do."
THE BIG BREAK
Throughout high school, Radford played with a variety of bands until he found his niche with a group called Tin House. They played at teen centers, youth clubs and school dances, in a style reminiscent of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. Then came their big break -- the three-daylong Winter's End Pop Festival in 1970. The same people who had produced Woodstock a year earlier had organized a similar festival at what is now SpeedWorld in Bithlo. More than 50,000 screaming fans watched Tin House and bands like the Allman Brothers, Joan Baez, Mountain, and Edgar and Johnny Winter. Tin House went on second, to warm up the crowd, and when they finished the audience roared its approval.
Noticing the attention, the promoter brought Tin House back the next day. They received a second standing ovation and a photographer snapped Radford's picture for Rolling Stone. Impressed with their act, Johnny Winter's manager invited Tin House to open up for Winter on his upcoming tour and offered to get them a recording deal with Epic Records.
"I was 17. In order to sign a record contract, my parents had to agree," Radford recalled. "My father insisted that I finish high school first. Two months later, we graduated and Tin House headed to New York City. We recorded our album in CBS Studio C that summer, at the same time Paul McCartney was up in Studio A recording his first solo album. Our drummer met him in the elevator."
After recording the album, Tin House's first job was opening for Alice Cooper in Detroit. "It was like a dream come true," said Radford. "We graduated from high school and suddenly we were `playing ball with the heavies' as they called it then." Tin House's second job was opening up for Johnny Winter and Buddy Miles at the Filmore East in New York City, the pinnacle of success in the music industry in 1970.
"If you played the Filmore, you made it," Radford added. Radford went on to play guitar for Johnny's brother, Edgar Winter, who was famous for the songs "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride" with his group Edgar Winter's White Trash. Loyal to his friends, Radford continued to play with Tin House at the same time, and both bands toured the country together, playing to encores and standing ovations through the end of 1971. Excessive playing wore Radford out, and he needed a break. Winter formed a new band, The Edgar Winter Group, and Floyd headed back to Florida to recuperate.
Although he was young to be a professional musician, touring the country (and the world) was nothing new for Radford. Traveling with his family and the U.S. Air Force, he attended a different school each year for 12 years, including Central Florida's Glenridge and South Seminole junior highs, and Lyman, Edgewater and Winter Park high schools. Ever the exacting engineer, Radford explained that Winter Park built a new school in a different location his senior year, so technically it was a different school.
Back home after his first brush with fame, Radford formed a band called Heaven. The group played a concert at FTU's Lake Claire, and also played in the very first concert held at the Tangerine Bowl, now known as the Citrus Bowl, on April 1, 1972.
FROM DOWN AND OUT TO RISING STAR AND BACK
Fast forward a couple of years and Radford and his first wife were living in Los Angeles, barely scraping by.
"We were so poor we were eating a potato a day, trying different ways to cook it," Radford said with a laugh. One day, Johnny Winter's manager was in town and Radford tried to sell him some music equipment in order to raise some cash. "I asked if he needed some guitar speakers, and he said no, but Johnny needs a guitar player," Radford said. "Two weeks later, I was on stage filming a television show in London. The next two years -- 1974-76 -- were the high point of my music career."
During this tour, Radford recorded his biggest album to date, "Johnny Winter Captured Live," at the Oakland Raiders stadium in California. The album reflected the incredible popularity of the band as they played in concert after concert. While Johnny's style of rhythm and blues was not commercial enough for record sales, it was well suited to performances and the crowds always responded.
The Johnny Winter tour had as its opening act young Peter Frampton. "Peter brought a mobile recording unit to every gig and recorded all his performances. I'd go out to listen to him, and he was just incredible, a phenomenal musician," Radford said. "He picked the best songs from the best performances throughout the tour, put them together and put out an album. "Frampton Comes Alive" was a huge, multi-million-dollar seller. When you listen to it, know that I was standing on the side of the stage, watching him play."
The Edgar Winter Group joined the tour toward the end and Radford continued to play guitar for Johnny Winter while Rick Derringer played for Edgar. Earlier, their roles had been reversed. "We began to kid everybody that we had our degrees from the Winter Brothers School of Music," Radford said.
The tour ended abruptly, however, when Johnny Winter got sick and canceled an engagement with ZZ Top in Tampa. Johnny had had enough, and the band broke up. Edgar asked Radford to help him move into a new house in Connecticut. Going through a divorce, Radford agreed and went to live with Edgar.
The two met with Richard Hughes (drums) and Randy Jo Hobbs (bass) and recorded music in Edgar's basement studio, but nothing panned out. In 1977 they decided to reform Edgar Winter's White Trash with several members from the original group from 1970.
By 1978, the bubble burst once again and Radford headed back to Florida, in search of a steady job.
FROM MUSICIAN TO ENGINEER
Approaching age 30 and tired of riding the roller coaster, Radford wanted a job where he would feel secure. He decided to become an aerospace engineer, but nearly lost his resolve when he failed the math entrance exam at Valencia Community College.
"I made A's in algebra in high school, but it had been many years. I was not going to let that get in my way. I ended up getting a 4.0." From there, he enrolled at UCF, where his father, James, was the assistant director at the computer center. "My father retired from the Air Force in 1968 and went to work for Florida Technological University," Floyd said. "He spent 24 years at the university, so I knew all about FTU -- UCF -- all along." A serious student, Radford kept his music past a secret. He studied electrical engineering and was eager to learn more. "I was very excited about physics and mathematics, and I was trying to come up with the grand unification theory that is still elusive to scientists today," Radford explained. "I would study on the side, trying to determine the correlations between the different sciences. At one time I had four books open and was pulling from all four, putting theories together." He still hopes to prove his theories and publish them one day.
In 1986, Radford was nearing graduation when he received a call from Edgar Winter. "He told me, `remember, we decided that we're going to get Edgar Winter's White Trash together for a reunion every seven years,' and I had to say, `but Edgar, I have finals to study for. I just can't.' There was my dedication to UCF. What all students should realize that not even a job as a rock star is as important as an education," he said with a grin.
Radford donned his cap and gown and graduated summa cum laude a few weeks later, then earned a master's degree in electrical engineering at Florida Institute of Technology in 1991.
INTO THE WORKFORCE
Starting as a work study student, Radford began working for Martin Marietta in 1982. Once he earned his diploma, he made a leap up to a whole new level. He has stayed with the company as its name evolved to Lockheed Martin and today works at Lockheed Martin Simulation, Training and Support in Orlando.
Radford works in a field called automatic test equipment where he tests electronic components that are in all military aircraft, helicopters, patriot missiles, etc. He writes the software to program the devices in the test station to stimulate and measure response from the "black box" that comes out of the aircraft.
It's both hardware and software intensive, and Radford reports that he still consults his textbooks to help find the answers.
A few years ago he was awarded a two-year assignment in Nagoya, Japan, the very town where his mother's relatives still live. The reunion was heartwarming, since he had not seen his family since the year he received his first electric guitar back in 1964. He worked supporting Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, which won the contract to produce the F-16 fighter for the Japanese government, renamed the F-2.
COMING FULL CIRCLE
While Radford's eyes light up as he discusses advances in engineering and research and development, they get even brighter when he picks up a guitar again. It's just like riding a bike -- he hasn't forgotten how to make the instrument sing.
When Radford gets the itch to play in public, he has an open invitation from several local bands, such as Stone Soup and the Don't Quit Your Day Job Band, to join them. He also does postproduction work for Sound-ORama, recording parts for movies and television. He tones down his former hard rock guitar when playing for the Church of the Messiah, an Episcopal church in his home town of Winter Garden.
That's the same church where he married Stacy, a teacher at Hope Charter School, in June. The two met in 2000 and it was love at first sight.
In his spare time, Radford is combining his computer expertise with his love of music, writing songs with the help of a computer, a guitar and a keyboard. "I record directly to hard disks, a new technology, not to tape anymore. Back when I was recording with Tin House, you were talking half a million dollars to set up a studio. I've got a Macintosh right here that will outdo any of those tape machines," Radford explained. "Basically I can record part by part to the hard disk, and that's a good way to express myself as a songwriter. I usually put down the rhythm guitar first, and then record the rest of the instruments, including the bass and lead guitars, and maybe the piano."
Radford doesn't play piano, but has a synthesizer guitar that allows him to play notes the keyboard can understand.
"That's how it comes together," he said. "I'm an engineer -- I write software and work with digital and analog hardware. I play an analog instrument; I digitize it and work with software, and it comes full circle. That's my way of doing both music and engineering, and it's a great feeling to be able to have fun at both."