When Jim graduated from Villanova University in 1965, he traveled for the State Department as a “musical” cultural liaison.
One member of his band wrote to me to explain where, what and how they did it!
Mind you, after 50+ years my memory sometimes struggles with details. To the best of my recall, that photo was taken when we were in Philadelphia prior to departing on the tour. It was intended to be a stock photo we could give to host student organizations who might need a picture they could use as publicity prior to our actual performances. To my knowledge, it was not widely used. Most of the posters (which I sadly don’t have copies of) were all text and didn’t include the pictures. As I’m sure Jim described, we were on a whirlwind schedule with usually only 4 to 6 days in any one country. There wasn’t a lot of down time but we had so much enthusiasm for the travel we didn’t really care. We used the train trips or the bus rides to refine songs, joke around or simply to enjoy the adventure.
One event you may not have heard about was our delay in Tripoli. We were flying from Beirut to Tunis and the plane (Egyptair, I think) had a stop in Tripoli. It was scheduled to be a short stop but after we landed and taxied to the terminal, another plane – a twin engined British military plane – landed on the airport’s only runway and the nose gear collapsed skidding it to a stop. When it became clear that there would be a substantial delay before the plane could be moved and we could take off again, the flight attendants offered everyone the chance to deplane and go into the terminal to use the facilities, etc. We had developed a cordial conversation with the flight steward (Husain) who told us we didn’t need to deplane if we didn’t want to. Consequently we stayed on the plane and after he learned we were on a musical tour, he retrieved our instruments from the luggage compartment and we made it into a mini-concert. He turned out to be a very accomplished harmonica player and he pulled out his harmonica and we jammed together. He even pulled the emergency escape windows over the wings so we could at least get some air flow through the cabin of the plane. (of course we put the windows back in before we took off.). It was a delightful surprise in the midst of the trip.