The American Soul Festival - November 30, 1984

The Fairfield Cultural Society presents

The American Soul Festival

Show and Band

November 30, 1984


King Camelia & The BBQ's

Fuji & The All Points Bulletin Breakers


The Master of Funky Locomotion

The "King" of Soul Himself

Little Johnny Lotus

and Special Guest Star

The Original "Da Do Run Run" Girl

Darlene Love

The American Soul Festival

held November 30, 1984

at The Fairfield High School Auditorium

Produced by: Fairfield Cultural Society

Directed by: Paul Fauerso & Michael Sternfeld

Lighting Design: Keith Watts

Sound: River City Sound & David Randall

Set Design: Robert Hoerlein


The Lotus Blossoms: Taylor Madden, Paula Baudoux, Monica

Band: Doug Daller-Hammond C3/Leslie, Jeff Rodarmel-lead guitar, Glenn Guenther aka Will Gunn-bass guitar, Dave Brown-drums, Gene Garfin-percussion, Paul Fauerso-piano (and Little Johnny Lotus), Randolph Camelia-soprano sax, Paul Squillo-trumpet, ?-alto sax

Fairfield Source December 1984

American Soul Review

by Paul Fauerso


We made a valiant attempt to get Smokey Robinson and were basically ignored.

I managed to weasel Chuck Berry's home phone number from Bill Graham's secretary (she remembered my old band the Loading Zone.) And miraculously he was home when I called. He didn't remember the Loading Zone and was a bit mercenary in his old age.

Little Johnny was initially very difficult to locate, but then definitely available for a small fee. He was, however, truly a high-risk shot-in-the dark. Would he delight or offend? The international reviews were rave, but let's face it, Buenos Aires and Fairfield are worlds apart. Even if Johnny lived up to the media, he couldn't carry the show. We needed a STAR.

My old friend Darlene Love was perfect. Big, big records in the sixties with Phil Spector. Legendary stuff like "He's A Rebel," which sold three and a half million and went to Number One in 1962. Current reviews were ecstatic. That killer voice was stronger than ever, and her cover versions made you forget the originals.

I called her. She couldn't do it. We changed the date. She could do it. Bliss.

Michael Sternfeld kept pushing for breakers. OK, but how to integrate a floppy-disk phenomenon into a show featuring music that gave teenage baby-boomers reason to live?


There it is, simmering under a cool-blue spot. Bob's Horlein's 1959 hyper-hog. Love at first-sight. Breakers boogie on. Then music-man mike, beat-street theater. We're rolling now. Who's that overly enthusiastic M.C.? King Camelia is silky smooth on soprano and the B.B.Q.s support him with a slow burn right out the gate.

My God! Johnny's larger than life! Who's his hairdresser, Mister Ed? The moves are unique, the voice rings a bell, the audience is hysterical. His age is showing but the intense group coherence gives him the strength to go on and on. "I Lost My Wallet" does sound familiar.

"Billie Jean" is a monster groove with double-dynamite drummers Brown and Garfin too bad to believe. Horns punching holes in the soundscape. Glenn Guenther in the bass-ment like an atomic reactor, ruff-tuff Hammond, mean guitar solo, and Lotus Blossuoms in bloom.

When Johnny starts rappin' and the breakers hit the stage, we witness a seasonal acceleration in southeast Iowa, and thoughts turn to the new pool on campus.

After a necessary intermission, Darlene Love made a Mach 5 entrance with the Pointer Sisters' "I'm So Excited" and didn't let go until she'd dived into "River Deep" and climbed "Mountain High." The woman is a certified classic who only knows one way to do it--righteously. Her deepest gospel roots permeated everything and brought transcendent power to beautiful lightweight songs like Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch." Someone told her "ladies don't sweat, they glow." Darlene doesn't glow, she super-radiates. She closed with a reprise of "Excited" and left the audience in a state of exaltation. She fell in love with the love we share every day and wants to return. The next morning I spotted ???? with Mr. Lotus in his suite at ???

(A very rough video)