Click on the pic to see the YouTube video

Click on the pic to see the YouTube video

After BootCamp broke up, I decided to circle the wagons.  So I gathered up the mules and the Conestogas, and sat by the campfire, trying to figure out my next move. One night, after getting kicked in the head by one of the jackasses, I came to the realization that I needed to go back into the studio and start writing and recording again.

So that’s what I did. Monday through Thursday, from 10 AM until 3 PM, I wrote songs. The studio was owned by Rick O’Rick, AKA Cowboy Pickles; it was right outside of Washington, DC.

I’d leave Baltimore at 9 AM, drive an hour to the studio, write and record for five hours, then drive back.

At night, I was singing in piano bars.  I had decided to learn all my favorite songs, to find out what made them work.  From Sinatra to Elvis to Motown, I studied and learned every hit song I ever loved.  I would sing these songs and play piano at restaurants in and around Baltimore, Maryland. I also had a blues band — The Scrappy Harris Blues Band.  We played every Wednesday night at a dive bar called The Horse You Came In On.

That was my Life After BootCamp.  I played piano bar.  I played the blues.  I wrote songs–all kinds of songs.

I wrote a rock song and needed a singer for the demo.  Someone had mentioned the name Brian Jack.  I looked him up.  He was in a band called Child’s Play.  They had released an album on a major label, and had just broken up after being dropped.  I reached out to Brian and asked him to sing one of my songs.

I picked him up — he didn’t have a car – and drove him to the studio.  He walked in, opened his mouth and sang that song like he’d sung it a hundred times.  It was magic.  Everyone who heard the song loved it, and loved his voice – he sounded like Bryan Adams meets Rod Stewart.

I continued writing songs with Brian in mind.  I’d write a song.  I’d get everything done – all the guitars, keyboards, bass, backing vocals, horns, everything.  I’d go pick up Brian, drive him to the studio, and he would sing, as I guided him along.  It took us an hour a song – at most – to do the vocals.

That’s the way it got started.  We became the best of friends.

I wrote.  I produced.  Brian sang. He had an amazing voice.

After about a year, when I had 12 songs finished, I suggested we put out a CD.  I borrowed some money to get the CDs made. Rick O’Rick and I took care of the studio bill. Brian did the artwork. He sent it off to the manufacturer. When we got the CDs back, I was pretty shocked when I read the back cover…

All songs written by Brian Jack and Tim Camp.

Dayuummm, son! Ain’t that a kick in the head! Brian hadn’t written one word, hadn’t written one note of music.  When I asked him why he listed himself as songwriter on the credits, he said,

“I always wanted to be a songwriter.”

I suggested that he might start by writing his own songs, not by putting his name on mine. There was no way I could afford to get the credits changed. Not on this batch of CDs. I figured I’d correct the songwriting credits if we re-ordered more.

The CD took off like a rocket.  We were getting airplay on the big rock station in Baltimore.  Lots of airplay.  Brian put together a band.  He asked me to play keyboards. I didn’t want to.  I had just finished the BootCamp saga, and I was in no hurry to play in a rock band again.  But Jackson — that’s what I called him — insisted.  I started playing keyboards in his live show.

He was packing 1,000 seat clubs.  Jackson put together an incredible show.  At one club called Hammerjacks, he hung a rope from the ceiling, which was 20 feet high.  He would swing from the stage up into the balcony, hold the railing, sing a few notes, and then swing back on stage.

He was like Tarzan, bare-foot and bare-chested, swinging from the rafters, screaming at the top of his lungs.   He was selling out wherever he went.  He had a great voice, along with charm, looks, charisma and stage presence.

And he had incredible hair, which is the most important thing in the music binniz.

I started calling some folks I knew in the music business.  I hooked Brian up with my attorney – who’s also my close friend – who hooked Brian up with a manager, Dee Anthony.  Dee came out to a show.  He loved it.

Dee Anthony started off as a road manager for Tony Bennett.  Dee went on to manage Peter Frampton, J. Geils, Devo, and Basia, among others.  His daughter, Michelle, was a bigwig at SONY/Epic.

Brian signed with Dee.  Dee signed Brian to SONY/Epic.  Frankie LaRocca was hired to produce — he had just come off a big hit with the Spin Doctors.  The future looked mighty bright.

When it came time for Brian to record his CD for Epic, I found out that none of my songs would be included. Dee was under the impression that Brian had co-written all of the songs we had recorded.  Dee then set Brian up to write all new songs with other big-name writers.  I was out. Like Tom Hagen in The Godfather, I was out.

Epic rented the finest studios, hired big-name musicians.  When they heard the first batch of new songs, they didn’t like them.  Epic decided to abandon ship.  After spending $40,000 they dropped Brian.  He hadn’t even finished half the CD.

I didn’t see Brian much after the Epic disaster. I went back into the studio by myself and started writing again.  I wasn’t writing for anybody but me this time.  I just wrote whatever came to mind.  After a few months, I put all of these songs together and decided to do a CD of my own.

I needed a CD cover, so a friend arranged for a photographer to shoot some photos of my donkey face.  I sat at the piano and he took pictures.  After the photo shoot, I made dinner.

As we were having dinner, I asked the photographer what kind of stuff he liked to photograph.  He told me he was a forensic photographer for the police department.


The guy who shot the front cover of the very first Slim Man CD took photos of dead bodies for a living.  Come to think of it, the front cover for End of the Rainbow does look a little morose.  But even that didn’t stop it from being one of the Top Ten Jazz CDs for the whole year.

One door closes, another one opens.


I have a great friend named Clubby Clubb who lives in Ocean City, Maryland – he was also good friends with Brian. Clubby Clubb has the most incredible wine store and deli a block from the beach.  He lives a charmed life.  He only works six months a year, April to September.  The rest of the year?

Mostly, he goes fishing. He plays with his kids.

One day when I told him I wanted some fresh scallops, he told me about a bayside fish store where the boats bring everything in fresh each morning, to service the resort restaurants.

I went there one morning and they had these incredible scallops.  I love scallops and I created a way of searing them that is so quick, so simple and so delicious that you are going to send me a million dollars after you try these.

Make all checks out to Mr. Man.

Scallops are expensive—I’ve seen them as high as $36 a pound. I found them for $20 a pound recently, and bought a pound. There were 10 big scallops, which I seared. They were delizioso!

One last note – make sure you buy dry scallops.  This is very important.  Your fish guy should know. Wet scallops are injected with chemicals and crap and are impossible to sear.

Buy dry scallops, and gently rinse them. Then gently pat them dry with paper towels. Keep patting them dry until the paper towels are no longer damp. Even dry scallops retain a bit of water. Water ain’t good for the searing process! Capisce?

And finally, if you don’t like prosciutto, just leave it out. You can still pierce the scallops with the rosemary—without the prosciutto.


10 dry sea scallops, about one pound

10 slices of prosciutto, sliced thin, fat trimmed off

10 thin rosemary sprigs, each at least 4 inches long

A little brown sugar or turbinado sugar (you can use regular sugar in a pinch)

Salt (I use kosher salt)

Fresh cracked black pepper

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Here we go…

Rinse off the scallops and pat dry with paper towels.  Remove the small side muscle from each scallop, and discard – the muscle, not the scallop!  Place the scallops on a plate.

Take a slice of prosciutto, and trim it so it’s about the same size as the scallop. Remove some of the fat if you like, and wrap it around the sides of the scallop.  I wrap the prosciutto around once, and slice off the remaining prosciutto.

Then, take a sprig of rosemary, about 4 inches long, and strip off about an inch of the leaves from the bottom of the sprig.  Take the bottom end of the rosemary sprig, and pierce it through the side of the scallop, to hold the prosciutto in place.

The end without the leaves should be poking out of one side of the scallop, and the other end – the top of the sprig – should be poking out of the other side of the scallop.

Do this with all 10 scallops.

Add a sprinkle of brown sugar, salt and pepper to the top of all 10 scallops.

Put a large sauté pan over medium-high heat.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  When the butter starts to bubble and turn brown, place the scallops in the pan, salted/peppered/sugared side down.

Cook for 90 seconds, 2 minutes maximum. As they cook, add a LITTLE salt, pepper, and brown sugar on top of each scallop.

Use some tongs to turn each scallop over.  Before you set each scallop back in the pan, swirl the butter and olive oil around in the pan, so you’re not placing the scallop in a dry pan. Cook for 90 seconds, 2 minutes maximum on the other side.

Remove the scallops with some tongs.  Make sure the scallops are done.  Cooking times can vary according to the heat of your stove and the thickness of the scallops.

Dish it up! You can serve these over some wild greens, with some tomatoes on the side. Or eat them all by themselves.