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Music funk The Meters band pictures (pic) and photo gallery, albums covers pictures.
The Meters were an American funk band based in New Orleans, Louisiana. The Meters performed and recorded their music from the late 1960s until 1977. While the band never enjoyed huge popular success, they are considered one of the progenitors of funk.
Art Neville, the group's frontman, launched a solo career around the New Orleans area in the mid-1950s, while still in high school. The Meters formed in 1965, with a line-up that included keyboardist and vocalist Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter, Jr. and drummer Joseph "Zigaboo" Modeliste later joined by percussionist/vocalist Cyril Neville. They became the house band for Allen Toussaint and his record label, Sansu Enterprises.
In 1969, the Meters released "Sophisticated Cissy" and "Cissy Strut", both major R&B chart hits. "Look-Ka Py Py" and "Chicken Strut" were also hits the following year. After a label shift in 1972, the Meters had difficulty returning to the charts, but they played on several important records, working with Dr. John, Paul McCartney, King Biscuit Boy, Labelle and Robert Palmer.
In 1974 Paul McCartney invited the Meters to play at the release party for his Venus and Mars album aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones was in attendance at the event, and he was greatly taken with The Meters and their sound. The Rolling Stones invited the Meters to open for them on their Tour of America in 1975. That same year, the Meters recorded one of their most beloved and successful albums, Fire On The Bayou. From 1976-77 they played in The Wild Tchoupitoulas with George & Amos Landry and the Neville Brothers. The band broke up in 1977. Toussaint claimed the rights to the name "The Meters", so they played under various other names and in various combinations for the rest of the decade.
In 1989, The Meters appeared at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. They had an informal jam session, and decided to reform under the name "The Funky Meters". Zigaboo Modeliste was replaced with David Russell Batiste, Jr., a longtime collaborator with Allen Toussaint who had also worked with Robbie Robertson and Harry Connick, Jr. In 1994, the departure of Leo Nocentelli led to them inviting old friend Brian Stoltz into the fold as guitarist. Stoltz had been the guitarist for The Neville Brothers during the '80s, and during the '90s had done session work on records with Bob Dylan, Edie Brickell, Dr. John and Linda Ronstadt, to name a few.
Original drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, who started out with the group as a 17-year-old, laid down some very influential rhythms. His beats have been sampled by numerous hip hop groups including Ice Cube, Run DMC, NWA, A Tribe Called Quest, Beastie Boys (who have also mentioned a Meters influence on their instrumental compositions), Queen Latifah, and EPMD. Modeliste relocated to Oakland, California, in the '80s where he teaches drumming, releases new music, and performs around the San Francisco Bay Area and the world with his band "Zigaboo Modeliste and The New Aahkesstra".
The Meters won a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Jammys in 2001. Their music has been used in films and commercials, and in 2005 drum and guitar breaks from their 1970 version of "Oh, Calcutta!" (reinterpreted from the stage musical, and appearing on their "Look-Ka Py Py" album), were sampled by producer Rich Harrison, to provide the main loops of the hit song "1 Thing" by Amerie.
The original Meters reformed for a performance on Saturday, 11/11/00 at The Warfield Theater after several fans pooled their money to bring The Meters back to the stage. The mayor of San Francisco proclaimed it "Meters Day" in San Francisco. At the 2005 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival (4/23/05) the original Meters performed again. This went so well that the original group decided to play further dates in Las Vegas (Vegoose 10/30/05), Chicago (House of Blues 11/11 & 11/12, 05), San Francisco (The Fillmore 11/18 & 11/19/05) and New York (Nokia Theater 11/25) later in the year, including a benefit for Gulf Coast victims of Hurricane Katrina (Madison Square Garden 9/25/05). They opened for the Rolling Stones (3/12/06) in Florida after their performance at the Langerado Music Festival (3/11/06). They played again at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in 2006 (4/30/06) and most recently performed at the Hollywood Bowl with the Neville Brothers on 8/16/06.
The Meters also recently played at Voodoo Fest '06 in New Orleans. They were also brought on stage for an improvisational jam session by the Red Hot Chili Peppers during the band's first encore. The jam session featured numerous "duels" between the members of the bands and lasted for roughly ten minutes.
-David Russell Baptiste.