End Price: USD 25
Start Price: USD 25
End Date: 2005-12-24
Start Date: 2005-12-17
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Number of bids: 1
Country: USA
Auctioned at:     ebay


After some checking around, I've determined there were probably around 1,000 copies released. This is most likely the last SEALED copy in existence and is my last one!

BILLY ROBERTS & GRITS's "Thoughts Of California" a PRIVATE PRESSING released on TULIP RECORDS (TLPS-2001) in 1975, is the only released recordings by the man who wrote "Hey Joe". Given the convulsed history of the song (much of the info below is courtesy of, it has been established that Roberts did write the version of Hey Joe that we came to know, though perhaps "borrowing" the classic circle of 5ths chord changes and some of the theme of the song from an ex-girlfriend in the late 50s.

"The confusion about Dino Valenti's ownership of the song came from an act of generosity on Billy's part when Dino was in jail. Billy signed over the rights to the song to give Dino some collateral to get out of jail. Billy did write the song, but is based on many old Delta Blues themes and is probably very much "rearranged" from several different versions of very similar songs. Billy, however did put together the version we all know. By the way, Billy was in a motorcycle wreck back east a few years ago and and now is in a very poor state." (Courtesy of Pat Craig from a posting on the above mentioned web sight.) And according to his good friend, manager and producer in the 70's when this album was recorded, HILLEL RESNER, "I first met Billy in Reno, Nevada, where he had gone in the winter of '61-'62 to get a divorce from his then-wife, Susan. We hung out together for a couple weeks and Billy played me every song in his repertoire on his trusty 12-string. Among them was "Hey, Joe," with lyrics as you reprinted them on your site. He also showed me his copyright on the song, dated that year. Dino Valenti had claimed to have written the song and Third Story had published it, with Dino named as the writer. However, based on the earlier copyright, Third Story agreed to recognize Billy's authorship--providing that he give them a share of the songwriter's royalties in perpetuity! Such is life in the music biz..." Please take a look at the website for much more information.
The on-line encyclopedia at, states that "Often erroneously attributed to the pen of American musician Dino Valente (who also went by the names Chester Powers and Jesse Farrow), Hey Joe was registered for copyright in the USA in 1962 by Billy Roberts (William Moses Roberts Jr.). Roberts is the apparent author, and the song may have been written by him earlier. Apparently, tapes exist of Roberts performing Hey Joe (one as early as 1961), but these have never been released. Roberts was a relatively obscure Seattle born, California based folksinger, guitarist and harmonica player who performed on the West Coast coffee-house circuit. He later recorded the country rock album "Thoughts of California" with the band Grits in San Francisco in 1975 and co-produced by Hillel Resner" (who was one of the Founders of THE STRAIGHT THEATRE in the Haight Ashbury in the 60's and where Roberts frequently opened shows for the Grateful Dead and others.)

Concerning this album, as stated above it was co-produced by Hillel Resner and Roberts at DIFFERENT FUR RECORDS in San Francisco, recorded with the band Grits, who consisted of former Big Brother & The Holding Company bassist PETER ALBIN, Elvin Bishop Group guitarist STEVEN GURR, guitarist JOHN BESHARIAN, Bay Area pianist BILLY PHILADELPHIA, and drummer HAROLD ACEVES. Also playing are JOHN McFEE (Clover & Doobie Bros.) on pedal steel and fiddle, and a couple others listed on the back cover. See back cover scan for songtitles, pics, and more info.

And NO - HEY JOE is not on this album, apparently because Roberts didn't want to pay a certain publishing company for the rights to record his own song! As far as a Robert's version of Hey Joe goes, (again from the above site) "an old friend of Billy's from the folk days passed through S.F. and gave a friend a dub of a tape Billy recorded around 1961. It contains all traditional folk songs, except for one, that Billy sings in a strong, youthful voice: Hey Joe, where you goin' with that gun in your hand?...". Also Hillel Resner may have tapes of Robert's performing it.

The Record is STILL SEALED with the Shrinkwrap fully intact except for the bottom left corner where it's worn through just a bit (1/4") with just very slight wear on that corner. Otherwise sharp corners and No defects! And flat!

There is no Reserve! What you see is what you get. I prefer a Money Order/Cashiers Check within 10 days of end of auction. Winner with Respectable Feedback may send personal check for same day mailing. Also take Bidpay and Paypal and whatever gets it here safe and fast! Buyer pays US Postal Priority Shipping for $6.00 or Media Mail for $3.00 in U.S. & for More Overseas in a well-packed LP mailer. Insurance is buyer's choice and liability. Item is GUARANTEED SATISFACTION. Please check out my other auctions for LOTSA LPs.

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