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Cookin' Mama band members on the porch image
L - R  in back:  Kevin "Charles" Smith, Paul Trousdale, Vince Palazzotto, Paul Hahn, Pat Thrall, Preston Thrall
L - R in front:  Lou Sarrica, Jesse Harms, Sherry Foxx, Tommy Thompson

About Us

Between 1969 - 1972, “Cookin’ Mama” performed and recorded their original music in the musically thriving San Francisco Bay Area. Led by Pat Thrall, Tommy Thompson, and Paul Hahn, the band played shows at San Francisco’s Fillmore West, The Family Dog, Keystone Korner, The Matrix, as well as at, The Lion's Share, Mandrakes, The New Monk, The Longbranch, Babylon, The New Orleans House, and other classic Bay Area venues. Sharing the stage with the likes of: Boz Scaggs, Big Brother & the Holding Co., John Lee Hooker, Tower of Power, Mike Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Robben Ford, Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, Bill Champlin, Mike Finnegan, and a host of others.

At the time, none of them could have ever imagined in their teen-aged minds that this particular musical chrysalis of young musicians would actually end up being one of the major launching pads for their later accomplishments in the music world.

 

After the band broke up in late-’72, lead guitarist/vocalist/songwriter/bassist/drummer/producer/engineer Pat Thrall went on to perform and/or record with a large number of heavy hitters in the music industry.  This partial list includes:

Michael Jackson, Steve Winwood, Bono, The Pat Travers Band, Beyonce, Asia, Tina Turner, Little Steven van Zandt, Jack Bruce & Meatloaf. Thrall also received 3 Grammy Nominations, as well as being awarded "Best New Talent" in 1980 by Guitar Player Magazine. All of which testify to his musicianship and creativity.

(Read more in detail about Pat, as well as the rest of the band members, in the sections below ). 

 

In 2016, Pat, Tommy, and Paul were made aware of the fact that the music they wrote, recorded and produced on their 1972-release Cookin’ Mama album, entitled “New Day,” had been pirated and sold online by a number of very dubious individuals for more than a decade.  It was not just the fact that the quality of these pirated versions was universally awful…no, it had more to do with the realization that this was just wrong on so many levels.

 

It was then and there that the three of them decided that it was time to shut down the quacks, have Pat re-master the album, and re-release their music according to their own standards.  They borrowed an old nickname the 3 of them used back in the day, and "Three Frogs Productions" was born.

 

 (Hence, the re-mastered & re-released album being re-named “Warts & All.”)

This website was originally built for the sole purpose of selling the re-mastered album.  However, once they got started on the project, Pat, Tommy, and Paul began to realize that their site should contain much more than just the original album cuts.  The idea of adding “bonus tracks” from all of the “live” and other studio recordings they were able to find - writing a history of the band in story form - and inserting pictures from that time period, would all help to better set the scene for everyone. 

   As their website brought the music they wrote and loved during those 4 earlier years back into the public’s eye.

Three Frogs Productions now invites you all to enter into our site and get a taste of what we experienced back in those days.  All ya have to do is let your hair down, open up your mind, hop on board and take a ride with us...as we go back in time to an era where youth was eternal, true love was always just around the bend...and music was the backdrop for all of it.

Ribbet, y'all...

Three Frogs Productions

-Pat Thrall

-Tommy Thompson

-Paul Hahn 

(CONTINUED FROM HOME PAGE)

Pat Thrall

Pat with Gibson image

(cont'd from Home Page)...

Back in 1973, Pat put together the how-to-do-it book entitled “Improvising Rock Guitar” (that was one of the first of its kind), and which included a vinyl record inside on which he played the licks shown in the book.  Tens of thousands of people give credit to that book including Slash of “Guns and Roses.”  Pat recorded the 2 songs on that record along with Cookin’ Mama alumni, Tommy Thompson (bass), Jesse Harms (Hammond), and Preston Thrall (drums). The book was re-released in 1981.

After that project, and while playing with Kevin Smith & Jesse Harms in "Rags," Pat was hired by ex-Santana percussionist, Mingo Lewis, to play in his band.

("Live" Mingo Lewis audio broadcast from the Record Plant in Sausalito, CA.)

https://www.wolfgangs.com/music/mingo-lewis/audio/20052651-3737035.html?tid=4766958

 

And it was via Mingo and Pat's younger brother, Preston, that Pat first met ex-Santana drummer, Michael Shrieve, and was asked to join “Automatic Man” in 1975.  Their first album was released on Island Records in 1976.  It gained much critical acclaim and was heralded by artists such as Chaka Kahn, Gary Moore, Living Colour and many more.  The second "Automatic Man" album was released a year later in 1977.

While in England recording the “Automatic Man” albums, Pat was also asked in 1976 to record on the “GO” album featuring Steve Winwood, Michael Shrieve, Stomu Yamashta and Al Di Meola.  Thrall was featured on the song “Crossing The Line”.  He played on the band's "live" album, as well.  It was released in 1977. 

1977 also found Pat touring and recording with Narada Michael Walden for the “Awakening” album.

After those projects, in 1978 Thrall went on to do 3 albums and tour extensively with “The Pat Travers Band.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6JA6X25g9M

And it was in 1980 while playing with Travers, that Pat Thrall was voted by Guitar Player magazine as “Best New Talent” (over Mick Jones of “Foreigner” and James Honeyman Scott of “The Pretenders”).

1981: Thrall partnered up with “Deep Purple” singer and bassist Glenn Hughes on CBS records with the legendary Andy Johns producing and engineering.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4Cw4mZq1q8

After the “Hughes/Thrall” project, Pat decided to pursue the life of a studio musician and did albums for Tina Turner (he played the guitar hook on “Simply The Best”), Alphonso Johnson, Phoebe Snow, Sly and Robbie and many others.

1987: Pat returned to "live" performing and joined up with “Little Steven Van Zandt".

https://youtu.be/eLK_oVNmuls  While with Little Steven, the band opened for "U2" and did their first stadium tour of the USA.  As well as, opening for Peter Gabriel on the “SO” tour. 

Bruce Springsteen joined them onstage many times.

1988: Thrall toured with Jack Bruce - performing the music of "Cream.”  And on one night while Pat was gigging with Jack at the “The Bottom Line” in New York City, Eric Clapton came onstage to perform with them for the encore playing “Spoonful” and “Sunshine of Your Love.“ 

This was Clapton’s 1st time playing with Jack Bruce

since “Cream” broke up 20 years earlier in 1968. 

1988 - 1990: Pat began touring with "Meat Loaf."  At that time, "Meat" was just beginning to re-start his career.   The band played mostly in night clubs & on college campuses.

1990: Thrall joined the super group “Asia" replacing Steve Howe.  He recorded one live album and toured for two years.  Pat was in the video which "Asia" shot in Moscow's famed "Red Square."  https://youtu.be/WFKiAPxiuj4  And also played at their "live" 1990 Moscow show.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRpDwSDMpzE

(To hear one of many killer Pat solos, go to the 9:44 mark in this video!)

1993: Pat reunited with “Meat Loaf” to record on the multi-platinum album, “Bat Out Of Hell.”  Along with the single, “I Would Do Anything for Love,” the album was at Number One for 4 weeks.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJkWoGUIKT8

He also performed with “Meat” during the world tour to promote that album. 

In 1995: Thrall recorded another album with Meat Loaf, “Welcome To The Neighborhood,” and continued to tour with him until 1997.

At that point he retired from touring

and started working as a producer and an engineer.

1999 found Pat engineering on Elton John’s musical “Aida,” working with artists like George Michael and the Spice Girls.

In same year he worked on “The Black Crowes” album “By Your Side” and also worked on the closing ceremony song for the “Games of the XXVII Olympiad 2000.”

After that, Thrall was hired to be the producer and/or engineer on 3 projects with “Beyonce.”  On her first solo album, Pat recorded her and Jay-Z on the iconic single “Crazy In Love” (he was nominated for a Grammy).  Thrall did several songs on “Beyonce 4” and played guitar on the hit “Love On Top”.

In 2003 Pat also did a project that teamed Beyonce with Bono, Dave Stewart, Dr Dre, J-lo, Luther Vandross and Queen.  It was the concert and album for Nelson Mandela’s “46664” to raise money for antivirals in AIDS-ravaged South Africa.

And after moving to Las Vegas in 2005, Thrall worked with MIchael Jackson, helping him develop music for his upcoming album.

Pat was nominated for 2 more Grammy’s in 2012 for the Frank Ocean album: “Channel Orange.”

                 In total, Pat Thrall has been credited on almost 500 albums. 

                            To see a full discography use the link below:

 

https://jaxsta.com/profile/073cb4bf-5b89-441b-8a96-fed3d1b5f18f/catalogue?view=tile

       And see photos of many of Pat's accomplishments mentioned above in the                                     "Flashback Gallery" page:  "Pat wth Other Bands."

Tommy Thompson

Tommy Thompson image

When "Cookin' Mama" disbanded in '72, Guitarist/keyboardist/bassist/vocalist/

songwriter and band leader Tommy Thompson moved to L.A. along with CM alumni Vince & Lou.  Together they worked on original music from '73 - '75 in their band, "Saroyan," which featured Hank Saroyan & Janis Liebhart on lead vocals.  Hank also produced the band @ Wally Heider's Studios in L.A.

 

After that project, Thompson returned to the Bay Area and spent 1976 & '77 playing in a number of different types of cover bands in order to further expand his musical horizons.  He delved more heavily into genres such as: Funk, R&B, Hard Rock, classic Jazz Standards, various forms of Blues, Jazz Fusion & Latin, and even some Country music. 

 

And from '77 - '79 he re-united with Paul to play in "Scratch."

 

Then, from 1980 - 1984 Tommy did a 5-year stint with the Berserkely Records band "HYTS."  This association produced two albums ("HYTS" and "Lookin' From the Outside"), which were both released on Gold Mountain/A&M records. 

 

Their first single in 1981, "Backstabber," generated a video which was featured on a fairly new cable TV station known as MTV.  That video was in heavy video rotation for 4 weeks.  It was a humorous "take-off" on the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie:  "Psycho."            

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wwkdb_SToN4

A compilation of both albums was re-released in Europe in the late-'80's under the name: "Eleven Bloody Men."

While with "HYTS" Thompson performed on shows opening up for Rick Derringer, Lesley West & Mountain, Joan Jett, Joe Perry Project, Ronnie James Dio, Motorhead, Alvin Lee & Ten Years Later, Angel City, Scandal, Night Ranger, Red Rider, Dokken, The Tubes, The Greg Kihn Band and Y&T, among others.

HYTS also performed on the late-night TV music show: "Rock Palace."  Which was filmed and recorded at that old and famous L.A. venue known as: "The Hollywood Palace" (think: Dean Martin).

In 1983 Thompson had also begun working with local Bay Area band, "The Alameda All Stars."   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZY7TPt2voYw

 

And it was in 1990 that he and the All Stars scored the gig as the original members of Gregg Allman's back-up band: "Gregg Allman & Friends."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-hyR4xwjJ4

Tommy spent the 5 years between 1991 – 1995 performing and recording with "Gregg Allman & Friends" as Gregg’s pianist.  Then, from 1996 - 2001 he continued on as Allman's pianist, as well as becoming his band leader and musical director.

In 1994, GAF was booked for that year's "Bay to Breakers" run in SF.  The post-race show was held at the Polo Grounds in SF's Golden Gate Park.  Jay Leno was the MC for the event.  The crowd was estimated at over 200,000 people.

Also in '94, Pat joined Tommy & Pres onstage to perform with "Gregg Allman & Friends" for a New Year's Eve show.   Gregory's long-time friend and blues legend, John Lee Hooker, also did a guest appearance with GAF that night.  As well as former Alameda All Star, Brad Gillis, who was currently working with "Night Ranger."  

From 1995 - 2001, Thompson continued touring & recording with Allman, which included recording tracks on Gregg’s 1997 solo album, “Searching for Simplicity," 

which was produced by the one-and-only Tom Dowd. 

And he can also be heard playing the keyboard solo on Gregg’s Hammond organ for their “live” version of Jackson Browne’s song “These Days.”  That track - which was recorded at the famed "Fox Theater" in Atlanta, GA - was included on Allman’s 2002 album: “No Stranger to the Dark” - “The Best of Gregg Allman.” 

During his years with GAF, Tommy toured extensively throughout the USA and Canada, as well as doing a 4 week tour to Japan in 1998 to promote "Searching For Simplicity." 

After the Japan tour GAF recorded a radio commercial in Marin at Jonathan Cain's Studio to be used over in Japan for "Kentucky Fried Chicken."  Jonathan ("Journey") engineered & produced the session.

In 2007, Tommy and The Alameda All Stars backed up ultra-keyboardist Brian Auger for the "40th Anniversary of The Summer of Love."  This gig was held outdoors @ fabled "Speedway Meadows" in SF's Golden Gate Park.  Over 100,000 people attended.     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NvLb6eL3tN0

Two years later in 2009, the All Stars and Thompson were back again at Speedway Meadows to perform at "West Fest" -  which was held to joyfully celebrate the "40th Anniversary of Woodstock."  This time backing up Denny Laine from The Moody Blues and Paul McCartney's touring band.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxWzBuMX2is

And Leslie West from Mountain.

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8LH2uIxWww     

                                  Once again the crowd was over 100,000.   

Over the course of his career, Tommy has recorded on sessions produced and/or engineered by Eddie Kramer, Jim Gaines, Larry Cox, Matthew King Kaufmann, Norton Buffalo, Jonathan Cain, Brad Gillis, Richie "Dr. Schnoz" Corsello, and Tom Size. 

And he has played on recording sessions with Warren Haynes, Norton Buffalo, Rusty Allen, Brad Gillis, Deen Castronovo, Dan Chauncey, Shane Dwight, Natasha James, Jackson Stone Band, Luvplanet, Guin, The FOG, and Robbie Z.   

Thompson has also performed on stage as a back-up musician for a number of artists such as: Dickey Betts, Warren Haynes, Butch Trucks, Jaimoe Johanson, Alan Woody & Oteil Burbridge ("Allman Brothers Band"), Donnie van Zant, Don Barnes,

Dan Chauncey, & Bobby Capps (".38 Special"), Harvey Mandel, Joe Satriani, Lonnie Mack, John Lee Hooker, Maria Muldaur, Russ Kunkle, Norman Greenbaum, Jimmy Hall, Roy Rogers, Norton Buffalo, Brad Gillis, David & Linda LaFlamme ("It's a Beautiful Day"), Devon Allman, Lester Chambers, Dickie Petersen ("Blue Cheer"), Terry Haggerty ("Sons of Champlin"), Floyd Miles, Barry "The Fish" Melton, Greg Kihn, and many others.

Tommy is currently still working with his long-time (43 years and counting) local Bay Area band, "The Alameda All Stars," performing a tribute to their former band mate, Gregg Allman, entitled:

             The Alameda All Stars – "Celebrating the Music of Gregg Allman.”

(*see photos of the gigs n' such mentioned above in the "Flashback Gallery" page:                                        "Tommy & Paul with Other Bands")

Paul Hahn

Paul Hahn image

Saxophonist/flautist/vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist/songwriter Paul Hahn performed after Cookin’ Mama with several popular local Bay area bands including "Rococo," and "Scratch."  And it was while playing in "Scratch" that Paul reunited with his fellow CM alumni member, Tommy, for that band's final two years. 

 

After relocating to Seattle, Hahn played with nightclub acts: "The Night Shift" and "Lexington." 

 

He then put together his own duo - "Hahn-Minzel" - with local keyboardist/vocalist, Steve Minzel, and in which multi-instrumentalist Paul played tenor, alto and soprano saxes, flute, guitar, keyboards, and sang vocals. 

 

Hahn also formed the "Hahn-Lauber-Smith" jazz trio with well-known Seattle studio musicians Terry Lauber and Garret Smith.

Then while living in Austin, Texas, he played with the "Austin All Stars," the "Doc Patterson R&B Revue," and "Tim Garron."

Back in Alameda, Paul performed with "The Alameda All Stars" (along with Tommy and Preston).  These shows also occasionally included guest artists Brad Gillis of "Night Ranger," Danny Chauncey of ".38 Special," and local Bay Area Bluesman, Daniel Castro.

After moving to Denver, Hahn added his saxophone chops to local band - "Ricky Fire and the Red-Hot Voodoo Devils."  And he performed and recorded with the Celtic-Rock band, "Angus Mohr."

Then, in 1994, Paul played his first gig on sax with "Gregg Allman & Friends" up at the Horizon Casino in South Lake Tahoe.  Tommy & Preston were also on this gig.

And, it was at the House of Blues in Chicago in 1999 that Paul did 3 shows playing his tenor sax  with "Gregg Allman and Friends."  This gig once again re-united him on stage with his long-time friends and fellow musicians, Tommy & Preston, former Alameda All Star and ".38 Special" guitarist, Danny Chauncey, as well as fellow "Blizzard Horn Section" saxophonist, Jimmy Hall, from the "Wet Willie" band. 

Hahn organized the members and arranged the horn section parts for those shows.

 

Paul still writes songs and performs & records locally in his home-town of Denver. 

(*see photos of the gigs n' such mentioned above in the "Flashback Gallery" page:                                       "Tommy & Paul with Other Bands")

Paul Hahn

Jesse Harms

Jesse Harms image

Keyboardist/percussionist/vocalist/composer/engineer/producer Jesse Harms continued his career after Cookin' Mama performing with CM alumni Pat Thrall

and Kevin "Charles" Smith in the popular local Bay Area band, "Rags."

He then began touring and recording with a large number of very well-known artists.  The following list contains a small sampling of his musical achievements:

Ry Cooder

1970 – 1987:  Toured and Recorded with during various times.

John Hiatt

1982:  Toured and recorded with.  And recorded Vocals & Keys on “All of a Sudden”

Hughes/Thrall

1982 - 1983: Toured with on Keyboards & Background Vocals.

1984:  Recorded Keyboards & Background Vocals for “Footloose” (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Sammy Hagar

1984 - 2016:  Toured and recorded with.

1987:  “I Never Said Goodbye” - Composer

David Lee Roth

1986:  Recorded with on Keyboards.

Eddie Money 

1988:  Jesse wrote and performed on Eddie's hit song - “Walk on Water” - which was featured on the "Nothing To Lose" album.

REO Speedwagon

1990  - 91:  Producer, Keyboards, Background vocals

2014:  Producer for “The Box Set Series”

Johnny Van Zandt

1990:  “Brickyard Road” - Composer

Heart

1990:  “Brigade” - Composer

1991:  “Rock the House Live!” - Composer

Bad English

1991:  "When I See You Smile" - Composer

1992 - '93:  Harms wrote a monthly article in Keyboard Magazine on “Songwriting.”

Patty Smyth

1992:  Worked as a Composer

Guitar Shorty 

2004:  Engineerer/Producer & keyboards on “Watch Your Back”

2008:  “We the People” - Composer

   To see a complete list of Jesse Harms' many musical accomplishments go to: 

 

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jesse-harms-mn0000335325/credits

   And, until just recently, Jesse also owned and operated "Marin Music Center,"                                         a music store located in Novato, CA.

         And modeled after Howard Yeremain Sr.'s "Tempo Music" in Alameda. 

Preston Thrall

Preston Thrall image

After Cookin’ Mama disbanded, Drummer/Percussionist/Guitarist/Songwriter Preston Thrall spent the next 20 years performing and recording with the "Robert Berry Band," "The Six O’clock News," "New Frontier," and others.  

 

In 1991 Pres began working with local Bay Area band, "The Alameda All Stars."  And in that same year, he grabbed the gig as Gregg Allman’s drummer in “Gregg Allman & Friends.” 

 

During his time with GAF, Preston recorded tracks with legendary producer Tom Dowd on Gregg’s solo album, “Searching For Simplicity” (Sony – 1997).  And he toured all over the USA and in parts of Canada, as well as doing a 4 weeks tour to Japan in 1997 to promote “Searching For Simplicity.”

 

                      Preston toured and recorded with Gregg for 9 years. 

 

2007 – Pres and The Alameda All Stars backed up keyboardist Brian Auger at the “40th Anniversary of the Summer of Love” held at Speedway Meadows in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. 

 

2009 – Two years later, he returned to Speedway Meadows to perform at “West Fest.” – which celebrated the “40th Anniversary of Woodstock.”  On that day, Preston and the All Stars backed up both Leslie West from Mountain, and Denny Laine of The Moody Blues and Paul McCartney’s touring band.

 

Preston has also performed onstage as a backup musician with Eddie Money, John Lee Hooker, Dickey Betts, Roy Rogers, Jimmy Hall, Warren Haynes,  Brad Gillis, Russ Kunkle, Maria Muldaur, Joe Satriani, Harvey Mandel, Lonnie Mack, Alan Woody, David and Linda LaFlamme, Norman Greenbaum, Norton Buffalo, Lester Chambers, Terry Haggerty, Floyd Miles, Barry'The Fish" Melton, Dickie Peterson, as well as a host of others.

 

And, in 2020, Pres scored the drummer’s slot for the storied local SF Bay Area band “It’s a Beautiful Day” - featuring David & Linda LaFlamme.

In 2023, Preston retired from The Alameda All Stars 

to pursue that project and other musical interests.

Nonetheless, after 31 glorious years of performing with The AAS - and as a true, valued and longtime member of the The Alameda All Stars alumni association - 

Pres still comes by to sit in with the band.

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