James "Jim" Andrew Mankey (bass guitar and electric guitar). James Mankey is born May 23, 1952, in Washington, USA. Before Halfnelson Jim Mankey played in a Blue Cheer lookalike group called Three Day Blues. In 1970, after the release the Halfnelson "A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing" demo Jim Mankey was stolen by his brother Earle Mankey for use on second guitar and bass in Halfnelson.
So James "Jim" Mankey joined the band and Earle Mankey said to the Maels : "Jim is a better guitar player than I'd never hope to be but is playing bass because I'm bigger !". At time Jim had no car so the other members had to drive great distances to bring him to band practices.
James "Jim" Mankey was the bass player and guitarist on the first two Sparks' Bearsville albums. It's Jim Mankey who played the definitive guitar solo on "(No More) Mr. Nice Guys" song. Jim Mankey co-wrote "Moon Over Kentucky" from Sparks' first Lp with Ron Mael.
On stage with the band, long haired Jim Mankey practiced standing still with a white Fender Jazz Bass, as it worked for John Entwistle from The Who. Rumour is he almost wanted to leave Halfnelson/Sparks because of the Troggs song "Give It To Me" on their playlist at live performances... Jim Mankey didn't like that song at all.
After the Ron Mael & Russell Mael went to England in 1973, Jim Mankey founded a band called Dream 6 with singer/songwriter/bassist Johnette Napolitano during the L.A. post-punk boom that included X, Wall of Voodoo, and The Plimsouls.
The Concrete Blonde story starts back in 1982. Jim Mankey and Johnette Napolitano met when both were employed backing Leon Russell, who they ditched when they realized they shared a musical chemistry between them.
Jim Mankey and Johnette Napolitano, calling themselves Dream 6, released an EP on a French independent label. But, adamant about retaining control over their music, they kept major labels at bay until 1987, when they signed to MCA-distributed I.R.S. Records, homes of bands like R.E.M. and Wall of Voodoo.
Jim Mankey and Johnette Napolitano officially changed their name to Concrete Blonde, a moniker offered by labelmate Michael Stipe. Drummer Harry Rushakoff joined in time for the release of their self-titled 1987 debut album which was produced by Earle Mankey For the next 10 years, Jim Mankey and Johnette Napolitano continued making records as Concrete Blonde. The band's last recording was 1993's Mexican Moon. Concrete Blonde even cracked commercial radio with the hits "Joey" and "God is a Bullet". But Concrete Blonde's commercial fortunes declined after the "Bloodletting" album (1990), and Johnette Napolitano and Jim Mankey broke up the band for a while but recently reformed.
In 2003 before the reformation of Concrete Blonde James had temporary mental problems. As a form of therapy he decided to complete an album of his own material. The "JAM" album is the result of that therapy. All songs were written, played and recorded in James' basement. He mixed the music as well with the exception of two songs which were mixed by James' brother and long-time Concrete Blonde associate Earle Mankey.
- Read more about James "Jim" Mankey at : www.concreteblondeofficialwebsite.com