Henry Vestine

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Henry "The Sunflower" Vestine (Washington D.C., 25 December 1944 - Paris, France, 20 October 1997) was hired to play with The Mothers in the mid-sixties (his contract is dated nov.15, 1965). He quit the Mothers because he wasn't satisfied with the music he had to play.

FZ in "The Incredible History Of The Mothers" (1968, Hit Parader): There were four original Mothers - Ray Collins, Jimmy Carl Black ("Jim Black"), Roy Estrada and myself. We starved for about ten months because we were playing a type of music that was grossly unpopular in that area. They couldn't identify with it. So we got into the habit of insulting the audience. We made a big reputation that way. Nobody came to hear us play, they came in to see how much abuse they could take. They were very masochistic. They loved it. We managed to get jobs on that basis but it didn't last very long because we'd eventually wind up abusing the owner of the club. Then we decided we were going to the big city - Los Angeles - which was about thirty miles away. We had added a girl to the group, Alice Stuart. She played guitar very well and sang well. I had an idea for combining certain modal influences into our basically country blues sound. We were playing a lot of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf-type stuff. Alice played good finger-style guitar, but she-couldn't play "Louie Louie", so I fired her. Then we got Henry Vestine who is one of the most outstanding blues guitarists on any coast. He's really a monster. He was part of the group for quite some time. But our music kept getting progressively stranger and he couldn't identify with what we were doing and he wanted his freedom, so we said, 'Goodbye, Henry' and he split. He's in Canned Heat now.

Later, he played with the Vipers. In 1991, Jimmy Carl Black contributed to Vestine's "Guitar Gangster" solo album. Henry Vestine died in 1997 at the age of 52 from heart and respiratory failure, while touring, in Paris, France. Henry provided guitar for Joe's Corsage.