Blimp Time-Hop: Watch ‘Whammah Jammah’ For Magic Dick’s 75th
WBLM celebrates a New England rock n’ roll legend and harmonica king. Happy 75th Birthday to Richard Salwitz. We all know him in Blimpville as Magic Dick of the J. Geils Band.
He was born in New London, Connecticut on May 13, 1945. In the 60’s he went to college in Worcester and became friends with John Geils and Danny Klein eventually forming the J. Geils Band in 1968.
His harmonica gives the band a distinct sound and is a prominent instrument in most of their songs. The ‘Magic Dick and his Lickin’ Stick’ signature song is Whammer Jammer. It was always a favorite of BLM DJs to play back in the Litchfield trailer days (remember the Noon Tune?) of the ’70s. It remains a popular Blimp classic today.
Here's an exceptionally badass Whammah Jammah live from San Francisco at the Wintahland. Magic Dick steps into the spotlight wearing his dark shades and leather jacket and just kills it.
"Lemme hear ya, blow!"
Take a look at the set from the first ever J.Geils Band concert at the CCCC in Portland. They returned 5 more times including 3 historic New Years concerts.
This band treated Maine like a second home from their first appearance at the Colby College Wadsworth Gymnasium in 1971 to their last maj-ah rage-ah at the Maine State Pier on Labor Day weekend in 2015. We count a total of 15 concerts here over those 44 years.
I've had the honor of hanging with Magic Dick on 3 occasions during my time here at that the Blimp. The first time will always be the most memorable. It was when he and the late, great J. Geils himself had an act called Magic Dick and J. Geils Bluestime.
They played at Shelly's in Biddeford back in the 90s. Tommy C and I drove to the venue to pick them up in my Honda Civic hatchback. We brought them to the WBLM studio for an interview.
I distinctly remember cruising up 295, looking in my mirror more than once and thinking "Holy sh*t, look who's crammed in my back seat."
Here's one last thing to celebrate Magic Dick on his birthday.
We found a rare moment when he does a little singing too.