Cleveland Advocate Article
The Who, you say? by Debbie Pilcher
For those of us growing up in the 1970s, the Who were easily identifiable - one of the best rock groups that took to the stage. Now, 30 years later, audiences arc still being entertained by the group who is in concert. What does that have to do with Cleveland, you ask? One of the Who has been visiting his parents in the Cleveland area since giving concert in The Woodlands August 31.
Who keyboardist John "Rabbit" Bundrick has found a new gig if the old one doesn’t pan out. Galaxy Manor Nursing Home staff and residents are ready to make the pianist a permanent fixture. Bundrick has become a familiar face at the nursing home while in Cleveland, visiting his mother Maxine, who is presently a resident at the center. While visiting his mother, he graciously entertains the other residents and staff with his piano magic. One of four sons, Bundrick showed piano talent at seven years of age, when his mother bought him a toy piano. According to his father, Bill, “10 to 12 lessons later, the teacher said he was ‘out of her league.’ And it’s been that way ever since.” Possessing a God given talent wasn’t taken lightly by the young man. Brother Sam said “John practiced all the time-as much as eight hours a day during the summer.” Music came naturally to the man whose parents were both musicians as well as two of three of his siblings, Sam, and Bill Jr. Brother Jim “just went fishing.”, the family teases good naturedly. The eldest Bundrick said his family formed their own band until “the boys got better than me and left.” The family played with a singer named Johnny Morrison at barn dances, jamborees, and every Saturday night at the Morrison ’s Hay Barn. The band consisted of Bill on guitar and bass, Sam on drums, Bill Jr. on sax, and John on piano. Maxine also played “a mean guitar,” according to her husband. Raised in Houston, the boys graduated from North Shore High School. The parents moved to Gaylor Lake, near Cleveland, in 1962, where they remain. In 1969, John worked with rhythm and blues singer Johnny Nash, providing the keyboarding on “I Can See Clearly Now.” He continued to play on every album that Nash cut. Also in 1969, John played behind Roy Clark at the Astrodome. At that time, the young man was offered a job with the Buck Owens ’ band, the Buckaroos- contingent on cutting his hair. He declined, yet now sports a trimly cut look. Moving to Europe the following year, Bundrick worked with several groups before joining The Who in 1979. He now resides in England with his English wife and family. The concert last month was the first Who concert his father had ever attended, and he was treated like a King, and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to watch his youngest child doing what he loves- playing the piano. Bundrick left Cleveland Friday to rejoin the Who on tour- he left on a good note.