Biography by William Ruhlmann: The Blues Image was a one-hit wonder Latin-tinged pop/rock band, that one hit being "Ride Captain Ride, " which made the Top Ten and sold a million copies in 1970. The group was formed in Tampa, FL, in 1966 by Michael Pinera (b. September 29, 1948, Tampa, FL) (guitar, vocals), Manuel Bertematti (b. 1946, Tampa, FL) (percussion), and Joe Lala (b. Tampa, FL) (drums). Malcolm Jones (b. Cardiff, Wales) (bass) joined in 1966, followed in 1968 by Frank "Skip" Konte (b. Canyon City, OK) (keyboards). The band moved to New York City in 1968 and managed a club called the Image. Then they moved to Los Angeles, where they signed to Atlantic Records' Atco division in February 1969, and released their self-titled debut album. This was followed by Open (1970), which featured "Ride Captain Ride." But the Blues Image never followed their hit. Pinera left, replaced by Kent Henry (guitar) and Dennis Correll (vocals). Then the Blues Image broke up. A third album, Red White & Blues Image, was compiled from outtakes. Skip Konte joined Three Dog Night, while some other band members reformed as Manna. Pinera later was a member of Iron Butterfly, then Ramatam, and, with Bertematti, the New Cactus Band. He also formed a band called Thee Image and worked as a solo artist. Lala became a Los Angeles session player and worked with Joe Walsh and the various manifestations of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, among others.
**Blues Image's second album was their most successful, in large part because of the inclusion of their huge hit single "Ride Captain Ride." The rest of the record, however, shows them to be a band in search of a more individual voice, borrowing heavily as it does from Jimi Hendrix ("Love Is the Answer," "Pay My Dues"), Creedence Clearwater Revival ("Running the Water"), any number of average blues-rock bands ("Clean Love"), and the Latin-rock fusion of Santana ("La Bamba," "Consuelate," and the instrumental "Wrath of Daisey"). Those familiar only with "Ride Captain Ride" might be surprised at the band's versatility, which took in blues, Latin, and hard rock, though not in as even or striking a mixture as, say, Santana. It's a pedestrian form of versatility, though, with none of the other songs possessing the pop hooks of "Ride Captain Ride." The 2004 CD reissue on Sundazed adds historical liner notes with quotes from guitarist Mike Pinera and percussionist Joe Lala.
1. Love Is The Answer 2. Running The Water 3. Clean Love 4. La Bamba 5. Consuelate 6. Ride Captain Ride 7. Pay My Dues 8. Fugue U 9. Parchman Farm 10. Wrath Of Daisey 11. Take Me