The end of the great period
from 1976 to 2000
The music goes on
In 1977 Redbone reappeared, minus Tony Bellamy and Butch Rillera, but with the addition of Aloisio Aguiar on keyboards and percussion, with a jazz-funk styled offering entitled "Cycles " on RCA featuring several long, disco-styled workouts that sought to exploit the late '70s dance craze.
"Lolly and I were in limbo," reflects Pat philosophically. "Then Linda Creed, who was a fan from Philadelphia who had written "Betcha By Golly Wow" for the Stylistics and "The Greatest Love Of All " for Whitney Houston, signed with a West Coast company called Far Out Productions which was working with War. She said 'Look, I just signed a production deal with Far Out and I want you and Lolly to come and talk to them.' So we did and that's how we came to record Cycles."
"I kicked back for a couple of years," says Tony of this period. "It was hard, because it's difficult being a star one day and not the next. In the early '80s Butch and I put a 13-piece band together called Bimbam. It was a phenomenal group: we had five horns and two guitar players, one of whom is now with Alabama, and on keyboards we had Paul Williams's producer and arranger David Garland. Butch and I sang lead vocals."
Meanwhile the Vegas brothers were still with Far Out. Although recorded in 1977, "Redbone Live", taped in Corpus Christi and Los Angeles while supporting War, did not emerge until 1994, when it appeared on Jerry Goldstein's Avenue Records via Rhino. Mixing hits from the classic period with funky up-tunes from "Cycles", it also featured an open-ended workout entitled "Far Out Party At Gazzarri's " with Aloisio Aguiar on keyboards and Eddie Summers on drums.
The Vegas brothers continued to work as a duo and as solo acts throughout the 1980s. They also did voiceover work for documentaries on Native American history. They tried to reform the band's original lineup in the early 1990s, but their plans were waylaid by Lolly's illness from a stroke and DePoe's reluctance to tour. Drummer Rillera became unable to perform due to an aneurysm. Despite all this, Bellamy and Pat Vegas continued to work the Native American casino circuit with a group of supporting musicians. In 1998 members of the group appeared as special guests at the Native American Music Awards.