So who is Bob James?
Inspired by seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, Bob James picked up a guitar and his first performing gig was in 1965. He eventually wound up playing with bands in the new wave/orginal music scene in Buffalo in the late 1970s and through the 1990s. He’s still performing today.
A Buffalo Music Hall of Famer (class of 2008), his bands included have included the Third Floor Strangers, the Rain, Big Happy Family and the Blue Reimondoz, plus many more.
He owned his own studio, Maxwell Music, and produced the legendary “We Killed McKinley” and “This Is It” compilation albums.
He was a part of the Restless, the Buffalo supergroup that also included Terry Sullivan, Joe Bompczyk, Guy Pelino and Frank Luciano. Together they recorded an album for Mercury Records, produced by Eddie Kramer (engineer/producer for Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones, among others).
It was with the Rain that he became involved in social issues. Channel 2 weatherman Barry Lillis had started a music-based telethon, Kids Escaping Drugs. James wound up producing music videos for the project.
Since then he’s gone on to be involved with safe schools programs, Tunes 4 Food, events for the Food Bank of Western New York.
These days he’s the guy behind the scenes for Buffalo Blues and just recorded a CD of British Invasion-era covers with Geno McManus, Howard Fleetwood Wilson and Brian Burd.
If you think about it, he’s come full circle.