Redbone's original lineup of (l-r) Pat Vegas, Tony Bellamy, Lolly Vegas and Pete DePoe, as seen on the cover of the greatest-hits compilation 'The Essential Redbone' released in 2003 on the Epic/Legacy label

'Come and Get Your Love' at 40: Pat Vegas Reflects on Redbone's Ride

Vincent Schilling

In April 1974, the Native American members of the group Redbone basked in the success of their million-selling gold single “Come and Get Your Love.” The single was a Top-Five hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and hit #1 in several U.S. cities across the country.

ICTMN spoke with Pat Vegas, the group’s bassist, and only founding member still playing under the Redbone banner. Pat’s brother Lolly died in 2010, just months after Tony Bellamy died on Christmas day, 2009. Original drummer Pete DePoe left the band in 1972 — under circumstances that make for just one of many interesting tales Pat Vegas has to tell. Read on, music lovers…

A Top-Five single — what did that kind of success mean for you as a Native artist in those days?

It was something I had already envisioned in my head. I had always loved Native American chants and music and I knew If I worked hard I would come up with something that would appeal to everybody.

How did the song “Come and Get Your Love” come about?

Lolly called me up at 3 am; we had just come back from Philadelphia from doing a tour and he said “Pat, can you come over? I think I have a great idea for a song. I want you to come and help me write it.” I was pretty tired and I said, “Oh man, I am not going to come over there and work on this unless we write together.” He said of course.

My girlfriend and I went over there at 3 AM and we listened to it — it was nice, but it wasn’t structured. I think it was 11 minutes long. I sat in the music room and worked on it, structured it with a bassline and cut it to 6 minutes. We recorded it in the studio, and when it came out, there was only one name on it — Lolly Vegas. (Laughs) I said, “Wait a minute man, I got up at 3 in the morning with you, that’s my bassline!”

When the record came out they wouldn’t play it because they said it was too long.

Michael Atkinson, the head of promotions at CBS-Epic, came down to Whiskey-a-Go-Go when we were performing with Ronnie Milsap, and he said, “Pat If you go into the studio and break this down to 3 minutes, you’ll make it to number one.”

We worked on it, mastered it and I cut it down to 2:56. I said to Lolly, look what we’ve done and he said, “I don’t hear anything different.” (Laughs) He didn’t even notice it was shorter.

It was number one in many, many cities including New York.


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